Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week 6: Busyness

Many of you are no doubt asking yourselves,

"What the f#!k is Kevin up to?"

Luckily for you, I've designated the day of the SUN as the day of days to report about what the f#!k I am up to.

Here's what the f#!k I am up to.

THIS PAST WEEK!  I think the most exciting bit has been, and the part that was hardest to keep from making an entire post about, was bed.  I have been without a bed since October.  It had been 57 days since I slept in a bed and I was hurting for it so bad, I didn't even know I was hurting for it so bad.  I'd love to say I slept like a baby, angel, or other thing that sleeps real well, but I didn't.  All I did was sleep like I was on an overnight drunk then woke up and felt that "sleep hangover" you get when you still haven't gotten enough sleep and you whole body hates you.  I felt that the first few nights until I got caught up on sleep... so I must have been supremely sleep deprived.

This makes sense.  I mean, I am super thankful to my roommates that posted me up these past few weeks, but when one roommate works until midnight and the other works at 5am and your air mattress is by their front door, sleep isn't something you get much of.  I've passed through that gauntlet and made it to the end.  For that, I deserve praise.

The new digs are nice, a tad girly but tidy, and my roommate, although I have seen very little of her, is nice.  She gave me Korean style pot stickers because she wasn't going to eat them so that was cool!

 Flowers on the bed. Watch out ladies. (I've since replaced the bedding with my own, manlier dressings)

The below pictured item is the elusive washer/dryer. It's cousins around the city eat quarters and bits of your soul, but this wonderful piece of machinery resides in unit, and has become as a close friend: never asking money or commitment from you, and only wishing to help you by washing your clothes...


^New best friend^

 "But what else has been happening Kevin?  Anything work related?"

I'm glad you asked. YES! Lots and lots of work related things.  I got signed on to 2 websites where I can find and submit myself for roles.  These two websites have absolutely been helpful getting me to auditions and in front of casting peoples.

WB Backlot. Pretty neat!
Granted, most of the jobs I've been called to are student films and non paying gigs, I am still happy to be working so prolifically.  This week alone I have had 13 auditions, 1 short film for a student, and later today I'll be shooting a promo video/commercial that I am pretty excited about.  Again, while these aren't paying...
(and a depressing thing that is as ALL AUDITIONS COST MONEY! Gas, parking, time(is money), I'm watching my bank account siphon through my fingers as I stupidly walk around saying "this is fine!" )
...I am happy to get in front of people and do my thing.  I've auditioned as fiances, boyfriends, teenagers, "FREELANCE SCIENTISTS", computer wizards, stoners, and many other things.  I basically wake up, shower, and I'm out until late auditioning.  I'm "working" constantly, and that is gratifying.

It is also surprisingly tiring.  I never realized how powerfully draining switching from role to role is until I have to play 4 roles in 3 hours with the same amount of enthusiasm, poise, and creativity all the while driving like a mad man across town in between just to make sure I make it to my next audition in time to find parking. It is emotionally draining and I have come home multiple times and found myself in a bad mood and skinny as a damn rail because it dawns on me that I never ate anything.

Good things do happen though, and funny weird things to. Obviously I've gotten people's attention and have been cast in things which is good, but I've also met some new people and had some adventures throughout.  For instance;
Kirstin and Thai food

In passing I mentioned, waiting for an audition, that I had an audition south in Longbeach, and Kirstin, the girl that I was waiting with, said she did to.  I mentioned it was for some "Shakespeare modern day Hamlet" and she said "... me too..."

So, disregarding all of the advice she has ever received about how to handle strangers, Kirstin accepted my invitation to ride together and hopped into my car to head to Longbeach. Lucky for her I am not a creeper and we had a nice drive together through rush hour traffic.  We even stopped off and ate Thai food after the audition.

This past Friday, to get myself out of "work" mode, Lauren and I snuck off down to the "Atomic Ballroom" to dance the night away with swing, blues, and some other dances I don't know yet.  It was quite the set up, and the crowd was diverse in age ranging from highschoolers (a lot of them actually) all the way up to some older ladies and gents, one who I can only imagine was 70 something. (that old man was easily the greatest dancer out there. Spry and able to lead the follows with a few simple gestures. I was pretty thrilled to watch him).  Lauren and I took a blues lesson which was fun, but my first priority is to learn 8 count Lindy.

The dance community is a lot different here than in Nashville.  Now, I do have a biased opinion as I love my home town and the dance community there rocks (go to the "5 Spot" on Monday nights and check out the "Jump Session" on Friday Nights at Nashville Swing Dance Foundation!).
 I know them, I know how most of the follows move, and I was doing it at least once a week.  Here everyone is so technical.  I had one girl get frustrated with me and just started muscling me around and leading herself which threw me off.  It is a different vibe here and I am still searching for my place in the swing community.  Also, I feel as though I have plateaued and need to finally take some lessons to move over this little blockade.  I need some new moves in my repertoire, and, while most of the ones I know I have stolen, the ones I want to know now I need to really focus and learn if I ever want to know how they work.

At any rate, it was a fun night all in all and I'm happy to have checked out the dance community there.

So that has been my week.  Busy like the words in this post.  I will hopefully stay busy all this week.

Christmas is fast approaching and I'll be back in Nashville soon.  I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends and family for sure.  Its hard coming home to an apartment and thinking you'll call someone up only to realize that they are literally thousands of miles away.  But that is how it goes. At least I'll get to see them over Christmas and the new year!

Til next post!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 5: Suppositions on Settling In

I'm not completely settled obviously. I'm staying on an air mattress next to the front door of an apartment where one of my roommates works at 5am and the other til midnight.  I've not had a decent nights sleep since I left Nashville all those many days ago. I'm mildly miserable with a peppered dose of adventurous spirit.  These will all be funny memories down the road... I hope.

My week has been much more reserved than previous weeks.  I am attempting to settle into these new environs and have successfully bought food from a super market.  That is cool.  I've made some good things, like a pasta with Italian Sausage and Pan Seared Brussels and Italian Sausage with toasted Sour Dough (Sausages were the Manager's special. Can't say no to them prices).  I've also failed miserably with this horrifying concoction of a can of condensed french onion soup, rice, and lentils. It may be possible to make that edible, but you'd need more knowledge of cooking and more tools of the trade than I have at my disposal.  We won't talk about that any more, it was a sad meal.

Also on food, I've not made one in a long time but I've reverted back to my college days and made my "famous" Heart Stoppers.
This is what it is. Feel free to make them in your own home if you are tired of your arteries not being clogged!
HEARTSTOPPER (Not fried yet)

Kevin's "Famous" Heartstopper

     2 Slice of Bread (Your choice)

Fry the bacon in a pan.
Fry the bologna in a pan.
Fry the egg in a pan.
Fry the toast in a pan.
Slather on mustard an mayo.

Die a little

Feel free to use that recipe any time, any where, and always give credit where credit is due. (Unless no one will know, then take the credit yourself. You didn't earn it, but who is gunna know?!)

This week I also met up with some friends of friends from back in Nashville.  One of those relationships where "I know someone out where you are going to be so you should both meet up and be friends because we are friends then we have more friends" type things.  BUT! wtf else was I gunna do?

I met up with them in Glendale at The Hermosillo, a brewery thing there, and we had a good night drinking beers and chatting about this and that.  I've noticed a strange thing here in this city, and maybe this is just me, but there are two types of relationships that start in the city.  

Friends of Friends of Friends
1.You have the people who meet you and keep their distance. Maybe they already have too many friends, maybe they hate you, I don't know.
2.Then there are the people who welcome you into their lives with open arms.  Its kind of like meeting up with an old friend and catching up, except you need to catch up on their entire lives because you just met.  

Number 2. is the majority of people I have met here and its been overwhelmingly nice to have so many new faces in my life. In particular when new faces are basically the only thing in my life.

Of course, perhaps these people are always like this, perhaps its my perception, perhaps its just me (I'd like to think I'm personable and nice and approachable).  Whatever the case, its been fun meeting all these people who genuinely want to find new, fun people to hang out with.

I have again invaded Corey and Emily's home, my surrogate Thanksgiving family, for Emily's Birthday.  This was last night, it started at 8pm, I left at 5am. It was a romping good time.

Party Party Party
Man of house. Birthday girl.


I had a bit of a hiccup this week.  I came out here because I am an actor (IMDB can be quoted as stating that fact) and there is work for actors out here.  Sure, there are already a lot of actors out here, but I happen to be a well above average individual when it comes to that skill, so I moved.  I suspected it would be hard, intended to not have an easy path, and set my teeth and came.
I've had an overwhelming amount of success since I moved out here.  I've been in 4 films with speaking roles, 2 of which I was the lead,1 supporting, and one featured, and I've been on 4 more sets as an extra.  I feel like I am making strides in the right direction.  Well, maybe not "strides", perhaps waddles, or like... inches, but I've felt like I have been working and doing things, and I've had more auditions in the past month than I ever had in the entire time I was in Nashville which makes me think I've made a good decision. (I still miss you Nashville)

I have had 3 major auditions/roles since I have been here that I was very excited about. One of them was the Nightwing Webseries I believe I mentioned where they left and never informed me so I didn't get to audition. A let down but a short hurdle to jump. The next was a student film that I am still waiting back to hear about and hope I got.  If I get it, I will have sweet telekentic powers (mind bullets) and that just sounds fun.

The last exciting audition/role, and most sour of defeats, came this previous Tuesday.  I placed my name in for a role in a film, a featured extra role on a SAG/AFTRA pilot.  I figured If I got it I would have only 2 extra things left before I became SAG eligible.  That would be optimal.
That night I got an email stating that they wanted me for the PRINCIPAL boyfriend role, and that they would Taft Hartley me, which means I would be SAG eligible basically as soon as the shoot day was done.  This was unbelievable.  I was thrilled, ecstatic, and ready for that to go my way.  I promptly responded with the all clear that I was available, then gave up 2 auditions for paid work that would have been on the same day as the shoot.

Wednesday rolled around.


Thursday night and I've got no script, no shoot schedule, no information, and a slowly, sinking suspicion that I've been duped.

Friday was a rough day.  I'm usually pretty good about picking myself out of the mud of self pity, but this time I had sunk pretty deep.  Took me pretty much all Friday to pick myself up and feel decent again.
Its not that I was depressed about not getting the role.  I was, of course, but the major defeat was suffered psychologically.  I came out here with the full knowledge that 3 years minimum was going to be my run time to get even close to where I want to be, 5 years more likely.  

But! To have the carrot of success dangled in front of your face so early, then to find out its actually a gilted turd wrapped in a bow with the words "Eat shit" all over it... thats a heavy defeat.

I wanted that so bad. I thought I had it.  That was what got. That was what was difficult to shirk.

My father poignantly stated when we were watching the World Cup:
"If you aren't willing to cry when you don't get what you wanted, you didn't want it bad enough in the first place"

I suppose to be defeated so hugely, to take that hit so hard, I wanted that role desperately enough to feel it.  I'll take it as a win.  At least I know my wants are directed that way, now its all about setting to my conviction and sticking with it.

I will get to where I want to be. I won't take anything less.

What could go wrong?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 4: Friends, Fridges, and a Big Dead Bird

I've been around this city a month now.  It has been a lot of fun and supremely expensive.  I'm getting closer to settling into some style of routine and I'm both thrilled and scared of that. I'm excited because I look forward to finally feeling like this is a place I'm going to be staying.

On my trip here, Tio, one of my kind hosts, told me I wouldn't feel like I had totally moved away from home until I had found a routine in my new city.  This is apparently true. I'm getting closer and closer to finding that routine.  I've just signed for an apartment and I'm so close to getting my own space. I feel like that is the first step.  Then (hopefully) some income.  I don't know how. I'd prefer to just do extra work and all that but most likely I can get a job at a brewery somewhere.  (Hire me Golden Road) I figure if I'm not working in my passion I should part time in my other one.

I'm also frightened by this prospect of sameness.  I like to feel challenged and different.  I like new things coming my way.  If I find a routine then I'll get comfortable with it, settle in, get a job and start adulting... hard.  But I will have to work doubly hard to maintain some type of interesting things to keep me sane.  Its so easy to slip into routine and realize four months later that you have done nothing interesting with you life, always waking up, going to work, and spending all your money going out with friends on a specific night.  I want to maintain that sense of adventure, and routine, while it helps alleviate stress of my daily life by giving you a map, it also can trick you into never deviating from that map.  Its a dangerous game and I know me.  Gotta stay on it and keep interesting things happening to me.

Of course, in a city this weird its hard to miss out on weird stuff.  One of my crowning moments was getting to see Harry and Libby again after a 2 year stint of "kinda keeping up" on facebook.  You know, a 20 something friendship.

Two years ago in the fall of 2012 I cast aside my American bonds and rode a plane over the ocean to spend 3 months "Studying" in the UK.  I traveled to the University of Kent, Canterbury and thought I was prepared for all the festivities that awaited me. 
Turns out, as a senior at a well to do party school in Tennessee, I WAS prepared, and had a romping good time.  
However, I wouldn't have been as successful at it had it not been for my flat mate Libby and her boyfriend Harry.  Libby me to Harry the first night we were there at Uni and Harry and I were inseparable after that!
(If you have ever heard any story from my UK trip, Harry was most likely involved)

We had discussed meeting up in California as I planned on moving here and he was going to study abroad in San Francisco, so as I left I always kept that in mind.  Now, years later, that thought has come to fruition.

I met up with Harry and Libby on Santa Monica pier. Upon their arrival, I heard them and had forgotten what a "proppah" accent was, and they reminded me that I sound VERY American.  We walked the pier, rode the Ferris Wheel, and I had the pleasure to introduce them to their first funnel cake.

After Santa Monica we scooted down, at the sun's sinking, towards Venice Beach and watched the skateboarders be generally awesome on in their cement jungle gym.  It was a great reunion and I'm happy to say I got to see them.  Harry and I have made plans to meet back up and Libby will just have to wait!  I'll be back over to the UK soon.

Thanksgiving was swiftly approaching though you'd never know it.  When people say the Holiday "Black Friday" I find it so repulsive.  Every Fiber of my being is opposed to Black Friday.  The only thing Black Friday is good for is showcasing the shit of humanity and creating a "Holiday" for other countries to use as fuel against America.  Its a disgusting display of avarice and consumerism that has taken over our other, slightly less disgusting, Holiday where we eat ALL of the food and say #blessed. 
We had a Hoiliday where we ate beyond our capacity for the sake of celebration and said....
"No, they still don't hate us enough for having all the food... we should kill each other for XBoxs.... that'll show 'em!"

While I do HATE WITH A PASSION Black Friday, Thanksgiving is still a grand Holiday.  People joke and say its about us killing the Native Americans but its actually about family.  Hokey as that sounds, Thanksgiving in my family is important. I adore the food and the company and the kitchen as people tell me to "GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!" Its such a loving, tender environment.  And ssitting around a table and talking about things is just wonderful and I missed my family this year.

Luckily, I had a surrogate. Corey, a friend here in town, invited me to spend it with him and his Framily (Friend-Family) this Thanksgiving.  People who have been here, know each other, and probably got their shit together so the food will be good?  Sign me up!

The bulk of the guests arrived at 4:30pm and the festivities began.  We drank (I was in charge of beer. I did not disappoint), we ate, there was music, we ate, no one danced, we ate, everyone else was done eating, I ate.  It was a great time and I was, in fact, #blessed, to be invited to the Thanksgiving festivities with Corey, his wife, and all their friends.

Capping off the evening we played Heads Up, which I do believe EVERYONE else played on thanks giving as well.  Its a sily game where you put a phone on the head and people try and tell you whats on the screen without SAYING whats on the screen.  There are videos taken, hilarity ensues. "You coulda beena contenda" was the line of the evening.  It was a blast.

Thanks for the invite Corey!


Post Thanksgiving I spent more time with my roommates.  As I am not paying rent I do my best to be useful.  My usefulness, and by my I mean my car's, can be measured.  That measurement is 64x28x29.5

It happens to be my credit score... bad joke.

It happens to be a fridge.  Guess what. It fits in the back of an Envoy.  NEWS TO ME!  But it was a lot of fun minus all the hard work.  Sarah had a friend come and help us, and she commandeered a dolly for use in the fridge's exodus from its home to its new resting place, which was very useful. 

I think, the moral of the story is that if you let me stay for free, I will be sueful to you... keep that in mind my friends... keep that in mind.

Until next week!
What could go wrong?