Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kung Fu Panda Pwns Me

I am inordinately fond of this photo, despite the fact that the movie this promotional statue is for (Kung-Fu Panda) is probably going to SUUucccCCCCK.

Who knows, though; Jack Black always has the capacity to surprise.

Never Too Many Chances to Wear a 3-Piece Suit.

Huzzah! Another chance to dust off my moth eaten 3-piece pinstripe suit and pork-pie hat; this past weekend there was a Victorian/20's-40's era "ThreePenny Opera" party at a beautiful Victorian mansion in Brooklyn called the Montauk Club. The idea was to dress either in the style of Bertold Brecht's ThreePenny Opera, 1880-1900, or in the style of the era in which the play was written, the 1930's.

The venue itself was beautiful, a lovingly restored and maintained mansion just by Grand Army Plaza, but the crowd was fantastic. The guests had gone all out - gorgeous Victorian-era gowns, women in vintage flapper attire and avant-guard latex-gothic hybrids were all on display, and gentlemen in long coats, tuxedos and three piece suits were enjoying the conversation-friendly atmosphere as a 6-piece jazz band, Grandpa Musselman and his Syncopaters, played a wonderful assortment of period music, from the Charleston to waltzes.

I simply donned my getup from the film noir derbytaunte party I attended several weeks ago and headed on out to join my friends, who were similarly decked out in 30's clothing. Thanks to Dances of Vice who put on the event. Their next soirée is in August (so far!) and if I'm not in Mexico, I'll definitely be going.

(Me and some dame...)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Whoo Hoo! My first $100 from YouTube

Well, after almost 4 months as a YouTube Partner, I've earned my first $100 from their revenue sharing program. It's a pittance, granted - a mere $25/month - but it's a fun little milestone to think about. At least it means I've broken even on the budget for all my videos (beef hearts, smoke machines, rabbit puppets and tape stock cost money!)

It's also significant as it's the minimum amount that Google AdSense will let you cash out of their program. You can't collect on any earnings under $100.

So in another four months, I'll be able to pay my phone bill again! And maybe have a burger!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I May Move To Mexico for a Year

I have an intriguing opportunity before me. A start-up social networking site based out of Mexico City and launching in the US has been courting me for a position as a Creative Director/Producer/Writer to produce videos for their website. They found me through my YouTube videos, of all places.

I'm a bit on the fence, to say the least.

On one hand, it's very little money for the work involved, I don't speak the language, and they're asking for a year committment. That's quite a long time, in my mind, and it certainly takes me out of the running for any acting/directing/writing opportunities in New York. Mexico City, while an up and coming metropolis, is still rather crime ridden and rather polluted. I also won't know anyone - I'm a somewhat solitary person, but as they say, no man is an island; I'm not sure how I'll react to the potential isolation. I suppose I can play Warcraft III from anywhere, but still... Also, and most importantly, it's "Creation by Committee," which in general I despise.

On the other hand, it's an intriguing new experience, and a chance for a very good addition to my rather meaguer business resume. It's a foot in the door to a wide array of different professional fields. Granted, I'm not certain I'm interested in any of them (e.g. advertising), but it's nice to have the option. And if the site really takes off, I could potentially make a significant amount of money on the back end. Plus, I could learn Spanish (which would no doubt annoy my mother that I was learning a foreign language instead of learning Thai). And I could still produce my YouTube sketches in my spare time - especially since I won't know anyone down there.

I don't have to decide now - they're going to fly me down to Mexico City to meet them in person and show me around the town.

Basically, it comes down to: do I stay in New York and continue to gamble on myself and my new YouTube platform, or do I cash in for a year and take this opportunity to get paid (meagerly) for making internet videos?

This would be so much easier if The Daily Show would just hire me...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So There Was This Dame, See...

A whole group of dames, come to think of it. They're called the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, and this past Sunday I went to their Derbytaunte Ball fundraiser to celebrate the induction of their rookie derby girls, one of which was my roommate Luke's girlfriend, Carly (aka: Straight Razor). Luke is on the left there looking very Joe Friday-ish.

The theme of the event, if you haven't guessed from our getups, was "Film Noir." Right up our alley. While we were getting ready, Luke cranked up the soundtrack from Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil," and we enjoyed gussying ourselves up in our Sunday best. I'm always happy to make use of my vintage (and unfortunately moth eaten) wool pin-stripe three-piece suit that I found for $25 in a thrift store in Pittsburgh 17 years ago (::gasp::).

When we got to the Park Slope bar Southpaw for the event, we walked into a sea of fedoras and suits. Fantastic. The music was, unfortunately, clubby - it would have been great if they had been blasting period tunes like we had back at the apartment, but such are the pitfalls of hipster happenings. No Peter Gunn theme for us, alas. At least Night of the Hunter was playing on a big screen on the dance floor.

There were free pickles and relish, and Chipotle was kind enough to provide free burritos (2 hours late), and my other roommate Danaher and I won a trivia contest prize for identifying a line from Maltese Falcon (Danny had just been talking about the line on the train there, coincidentally enough).

"When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it."

Ah yes. I've had entire relationships based on that line. Good times.

So finally the time came for the inductions of the "Fresh Meat." We cheered as Carly was brought on stage, officially dubbed Straight Razor and given her team assignment: The Manhattan Mayhem. Team captain Sweet Cherry Pie clapped her in hand cuffs and shoved her into line with the rest of the new Mayhem inducties. Manhattan has the most new rookie recruits this season due to a mass exodus after last season (Oh WHY did you leave us, Tankerbelle, WHY?), so I'm expecting a Cinderella season from them. No excuses!

So swing your razor wide, Straight Razor! GO MANHATTAN MAYHEM!
(Luke, Carly and my other roommie Rick.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New YouTube Banners!

After a very long delay (I've been a YouTube partner for 4 months now), I finally decided to cross making banners for my YouTube channel and video pages off my procrastination list.

So called up my homies Apache Chief and Black Vulcan, and we headed over to the ol' HoJ for a little photo(shop) shoot.


I invited El Dorado, but he had "plans." If I know Eldo, his "plans" were blond. He's such a himbo.

Friday, April 4, 2008

If I Only Had a Work Ethic

Trying to develop a work ethic at age 35 feels nearly impossible. And I'm sure it's not impossible, it just FEELS that way to my atrophied mental muscles. Every day I wake up and tell myself I'm going to accomplish a whole laundry list of projects and 99% of the time I fail.

The tasks vary in difficulty, from simply folding clothes and making the bed, to writing, shooting and editing videos for the YouTubes. Granted, my time these days is very limited; I'm working full time and by the time I get home, often having had to stay late at the office, I'm just feel drained and find myself staring at the computer screen, not editing, not cleaning, not... anything.

But even when I'm not busy, I'll often just avoid doing the things I know I need to do, the things that I know will make me happier once they're done. I have a really acute self-sabotage mechanism in my brain that keeps me from following the very clear path I know I need to follow.

Ironically, without a consistent work ethic, the only thing that makes me finally get things done is the build-up of self-loathing that gets so crushing I'm forced to finally produce results.

I spent 3 hours intermittantly staring at the computer last night trying to edit a sketch video I shot 3 weeks ago. If it were for a 24-hour contest or some other deadline, it would literally take me about an hour. Instead, I've been dodging it for 3 weeks, opening up the Final Cut project, staring at it, moving stuff around, inching along, and then getting up and doing something else like eating, watching movies or vids, or playing games. And of course I tend to want to edit right when I have to leave for some place.

My brain is severely broken. I've been like this since the 5th grade. It gets progressively worse with each passing year. I've got to find some way to change this.

I'm trying to exercise my brain muscle more as of late. I think the tedious day job is helping, and, silly as this may sound, doing Sudoku every day. I need to get back on my exercise regime and start eating better. And of course, just forcing myself to create, Create, CREATE.

The prevalent theory these days is that the mind needs to be worked as often and as varied as the body does. My mind is a slothful waste these days. Hopefully I can get it into shape.

We'll see how it works.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

When Exactly Did I Start Finding Tina Fey Attractive?

When did this happen? When she first started co-anchoring on Saturday Night Live with Jimmy Fallon, I never liked her delivery - she had a bad tendency to smirk and chuckle after all her jokes. Come to think of it, so did Jimmy Fallon. In addition, I thought the Weekend Update material during that period was really subpar; the new standard having been set by Jon Stewart and Company on the Daily Show. On basic cable. Stewart's crew was churning out 22 minutes of fantastic news-based material every single night, yet SNL, with it's network budget and writing staff could barely manage 10 minutes of quality current events commentary a week. It was sad. Granted, I thought she was physically attractive, but her comedy left me flat on the package as a whole.

Then 30 Rock came out. And I STILL didn't like her comedy. I preferred the wit and perfectly timed repartee of Studio 60 to the "wacky hijinks" of Fey's sitcom, and felt that Alec Baldwin was carrying the entire show on his classically trained shoulders. I'd spent two decades watching various female stand-up comediannes do their "it's so tough for a woman to be single/diet/deal with her mother" schtick and felt the show was just rehashing the entire cannon of double X chromosome comedy.

But I kept watching. At first I told myself it was just to watch Baldwin chew the scenery in every episode, but then I found myself watching Fey. And at some point... ::click::... HOLY FRAK... I'm ATTRACTED to Tina Fey! What the hell?!?!?

I think, more than anything, I'm drawn to her work ethic; I myself have a horrible work ethic (I'm working on it!).

WAIT! That's it! It was her American Express commercial where she's running around multi-tasking!

Well, that's one mystery solved.

Or maybe it's her breasts...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Best Emoticon Ever.

Here, at long last, is the emoticon I've been looking for all my life.

No more will my bad Internet jokes have to die with a whimper! Where have you been all this time, baby?!

Thanks to hprince329 for whipping this puppy up! Great work!