Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hollyweird; love it or leave it

"eew." "gross!" "nasty!" "Disgusting!""Worldly!!!" These are descriptive terms, and no, they aren't related to me with my shirt-off untanned, these are terms I've heard in the past few weeks to describe Hollywood (aka-Hollyweird). People have all sorts of presuppositions about Hollywood; most of them accurate. It's dirty, it's dangerous, and it's full-of-trouble; again, not terms describing me, but the soon-to-be-city-of-my-dwelling. I've got friends from the northwest that didn't even realize Hollywood was an actual city, but more of a state-of-being, which, when you look at some of the weirdo's down here you may wonder if they think their in a physical literal place or a simple, "state-of-being."

I've spent the last 16 months, 3 days, 6 hours, 24 minutes, and 13 (and counting) seconds living in the 6th safest city with a population of 100,000 or more (according to a report conducted by the F.B.I.). In other words, Santa Clarita is about as dangerous as a box-of-kittens. Whereas Los Angeles has over 275 homicides last year, and that was a fifty-year low! They said it hasn't been that low since, "... the Beach Boys were in peach fuzz and crew cuts has it been so safe to live and play in the City of Angels..." Santa Clarita had approximately 15 last year apparently, which I believe that means that they quit counting after ten, and probably just figured a round-number is a better looking stat.

Either way, it's kind of like moving from Germany to Baghdad; apparently. However, I am not so concerned about these rates. As alarming as they may be, I'm from Spokane, and as many of you may know it is the, "Meth Capital of the United States." Yes, you heard that correctly, they don't kid around in Spocomton; they go big or go home. So, it's not as if I haven't been around weird stuff before, but I must say, Hollywood takes the cake for weridness. And to top all this off I got a graveyard shift working at a Denny's on Sunset Blvd smack down in the middle of the craziness. So, just when I thought I couldn't quite possibly see anything more awkward than a transsexual dressed up like a clown riding a unicycle with a ghetto-blaster on his/her shoulder listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd, I was wrong.

I guess in a lot of ways the weirdness is what draws me. Their is only so much creativity to be found in the 6th safest city; theirs not much mystery to the cookie-cutter people or the somewhat boring and monotonous lifestyle of Santa Clarita people. It's not to say their aren't a lot of phenomenal people in the area, that couldn't be more untrue. However, the majority of that region is happy to settle, and comfortable with the compromises they've made to achieve the lifestyle they have. Good for them. That's what they wanted, that's what they got. The security and safety for the family and the lack of surprise, that's what draws people to a city like Santa Clarita. However, for single 25 year old's it like an elephant graveyard; a land of nothing but married people and kids, which can be somewhat awkward at times.

I know the stigma that floats above the heads of those who attempt to "make-it" in Hollywood. As I go to bars, diners, cafes, laundry mats, tourist shops, and many other stores here in Hollywood they're laden with working actors and comedians. Also known as semi-unemployed 40 year old guys who dress like they're 20, and still want to date 20 year old girls. We have a term for that in America, its called, "a creeper." I am doing everything in my own power to not be like, um, well ,"That guy." So, as I inch closer and closer to a career in comedy I learn to appreciate more upon each step the weirdness of the community I'm in. I officially moved in about 2 hours ago and I've never been more excited about being thrown into a fire.

I know many things are refined by fire, like gold for instance. However, I also know a lot of things are burnt by fire, like my sleeves when trying to burn off the tags of clothes I have on. But, to get to the point, this so-called and highly-metaphorical "fire" isn't going to be quenched by mediocrity but only by holistic abandonment of laziness and genuine pursuit of hard work and utter-creativity. I know that this move is only a mere-shift in the long term need to find the path I was meant to be on; so, as I embark on this exciting new journey my hopes and prayers are that it would be as fulfilling as it has the potential to be.

Monday, January 24, 2011

a transition

So, it has been one hell of a heavenly month; that's about the only true way to some it up, while still adding a bit of grit to the equation. I have made some monumental progress in these past few months to get to where I'm at; and, comically enough, I've only just begun. Life often times hangs in the balance of beautiful and unbearable, its truly somewhere in the middle that I find myself this morning. It's about 4:30 in the morning and I've already driven for about thirty-minutes to get to where I'm at; and, metaphorically speaking, I'm still so far from where I know I need to be. However, I haven't lost faith in the journey; I still believe in the process, the pursuit of this 'dream.'

To clue in the relatively clueless, I'm in the process of moving from the comfortable and quaint Santa Clarita to the polar opposite city of Hollywood. I've never had more people tell me I'm crazy; it is kind of, surprisingly enough, somewhat energizing. My move date is February 1st and I see it as the beginning of a beautiful career doing something I love, something I'm passionate about, and something that not many people think I can do and make money doing. So, for the supporters, bravo. For the skeptics, bravo as well. You may both have your day, just be patient.

I'm trading in this somewhat structured and tragically monotonous life for one much more daring; a life with way more variables, less securities, far less fall-back-plans. It's hard to explain on paper (internet paper?) because I can usually only show my excitement with my happy-hands demonstration. Anyway, in other words, something about this transition has me bubbling over with excitement for the unknown; but not the unplanned unknown. I've locked down a graveyard shift working at a prestigious establishment on Sunset Blvd known to many, as simply put, "Denny's." I know what your saying, but please, it's fine, I don't want to brag.

I've had the unique opportunity over the course of the past few weeks to meet and speak to a man who is a well-known comedy & acting coach here in Hollywood. He has some incredible connections as well as the possession of a deep-well of understanding in the successful methods of comedy/acting. He has taken me on to a 12-week course that will include mentoring & coaching from him personally; I am truly hoping that this will help me to better understand my potential. He is known for his ability to help comedians take it to the next level, I'm so new, any level is a new one. However, whatever I learn in the 12 weeks will most assuredly be invaluable and monumental in my career in comedy.

So, life as I know it is rather exciting to say the least. Dreams of comedy are slowing becoming reality, I'm just "livin the dream."Things that I've always wanted to do are slowly becoming possible as time progresses, as training increases, as understanding is furthered. The move to Hollywood is a bit of a risk because their are most assuredly no guarantees in this industry; but, in all honesty, does a 25-year old with a lot of energy & creativity need a guarantee? I am much more convinced that the hustle and grind of comedy, the requirement to be creative, and the demand to be original is what makes me wake up in the morning and spring into the jumpsuit of optimism.

I'm not taking life for granted anymore. I've come so far in the area of health and fitness these past 5 months, mentally and physically, I've discovered that life is better lived in size 38 jeans that size 46 stretchy-pants. I know that with the help I have from my new mentor/coach that I will be able to reach my own personal best in the area of comedy; that's not a guarantee of success, but more so a guarantee of my achieving the best I'm able to achieve. I hope that my best is enough. I'm truly thankful for all my friends who support me in this new endeavor, your few and far between.

I've received such a vast-multiplicity of texts and facebook messages about this decision. The idea of pursuing comedy is such a shot in the dark according to so many people. But, if following our dreams is described by others as a, "shot in the dark" than so be it. It doesn't offend me, the skepticism, that is. As far as I'm concerned their will always be naysayers attempting vigorously to conform us all to their redundant and infantile monotony. I will live my life attempting to avoid that conformity and do things that maybe most wouldn't even attempt; I guess as much as I am plagued with fear of failure, I endorse it as a method and placebo for growth. I wish you all the best, be good and do good.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

my ratiocinate revoking of your ridiculous resolutions

"Well Laddy' Friggin' Da" as the late-great Chris Farley would have said. An even later-greater had this to say in regards to these resolutions that you've all made so nonchalantly; "New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual" (Mark Twain). I have never made a New Year's Resolution that I couldn't achieve, mainly because I've never made one. Therefore, in accordance to that ratiocinate approach I am currently undefeated in my efforts; yet to be thwarted by progress or the lack thereof.

Jay Leno made this quaint observation: "Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average… which means, you have met your New Year's resolution." I used to love watching friends in high school and college maneuver up mentally these intense schemes and plans to overcome the greatest of trials with mere-resolutions. In all of that time I never saw one develop into full-fruition; they were usually dismantled by a unique concoction of lacking-discipline and overwhelming-frustration. And, more often than not, if the person was at-all overweight their goal was to lose 150lb's in 2-3 months, you know, something reasonable and humanly possible like that. I think they'd probably have to die and decompose before they achieved that goal in the ninety-days desired.

However, year after year people spend all that hardly-earned Christmas money from grandma on personal training sessions, miracle diet plans, and dvd's with Tony Little on them. The gym is the emptiest place in November, but the busiest place in January. It's kind of like watching the biggest loser; it's a bunch of fat people running around and crying in brand new shoes and work-out-gear (I can say that, I've been there). The most comical aspect of this push towards skinniness (not healthiness, they could care less about that) is that after about two-weeks of sweating like Reginald Denny at a South-Central-Stoplight they call it quits. It's funny and sad at the same time. All that hard work blown by unrealistic expectations and severe lacking in the area of genuine accountability.

So, you still want to make some New Year's Resolutions? What are yours? You want to be nicer? You want to save more money? Here is an idea. If you want to be nicer just quit being a jerk. If you're trying to save some money then actually use your check register and track your expenditures; that will be all the reality check you need. So, wow, I just helped you accomplish those goals and you didn't even have to wait until January to do it; but, you did. Now you can't sit back in full-recline on that grungy Cheetos-stained lazy boy shirtless, diggin' out a skittle from the cushions while you complain about how you can't find the channel-clicker-thing. You've got the knowledge and now you just need the motivation.

So, here is the point in the blog where your starting to feel a little risky. Your thinking to yourself, it is the year, this is the year where I'll conquer this seemingly-inevitable poorness, or fatness, or whatever'ness. However, just because you think it's going to happen doesn't mean it will. I thought I'd be an astronaut; and now I carry meat around on a plate for people who don't like to tip. Mere-desire is not the fuel needed to carry anyone to overcoming years of gluttony, poor spending, or any other long-term developed bad habits. Planning. It's planning that will make the difference in the end; "the man who fails to plan, plans to fail..."

Perhaps this blog seems harsh, rude, uncharacteristically poignant, or just flat out mean. Well, the most important question to ask then is this, "Are you offended?"If you are than your exactly where I expected you to be if any of this blog applies to you. Why? Well, it's simple. We are reactionary beings, as well as creatures of habit. So, for those of you fighting the urge to send a bomb to my home or pop-my-mini-van-tires, calm down and slow your role.

I used to get offended easily when it came to people cracking jokes about the obese, the poor, etc. However, then I started realizing that more times then not, it's earned. Not noble or polite, but earned nonetheless. I'm not saying that it's always as such but it is more often than not. Their are rare situations where the economy, or genetics, or hereditary transferring, or something else can be blamed. In those somewhat less-often circumstances then grace is deserved and given; but, for the ones who are eating themselves to death and spending money like MC Hammer circa 1990's, their is no grace here for you.

Happy New Year! I guess I forgot to say that earlier in this blog and I'm not going to revise it or attempt to sneak it in somewhere towards the front of this rant slash motivational speech. I wouldn't want to falsify the overall desired feeling of this excerpt by starting off on a joyful phrase like "Happy New Year!" I have killed myself physically over the past five months to whip myself into some shape; it's still a circle. I have crushed any ounce of remaining offended'ness to drown out the sense of entitlement that once drenched my every part of being. Now, some five-months later, and fifty-plus pounds lighter I've uncovered the real me. I don't mean it physically, but more so metaphorically; under layers of laziness and self-pity.

So, you want a New Year's Resolution worthy of your time and efforts? Ok, get a pen and some paper and write this down. Post this in your rear view mirror, on your bathroom mirror, on your computer screen at work, and wherever else you think you'll see it multiple times a day. It's very simple, so here she goes, "Try." That's it, did you catch it? I'll say it once more for those of you who may have skipped through the writings to get to the good stuff (as if their is any), "Try." I know it seems ludicrous that I would give you that minute-piece of simplistic advice, but I can't convince you enough how much of a game-changer that is.

Their is a minutely-and-intrinsically fine line between motivation and laziness. It isn't some broad valley where motivation is on the east and laziness on the west; the opposite is truer. To be motivated genuinely you have to understand the sacrifice prior to making the commitment. You want to lose some weight? It's not a magic trick. No one is going to pull a skinny bunny out of a fat bunny in a top hat; sorry for that visual. You need to burn more calories than you eat, that is the way to lose weight. You want to save some money? Cut out all the unnecessary (or the majority) expenditures that you currently have; especially the residual ones (xbox live, netflix, etc). So, Happy New Year! Take your resolutions and crumple them up and throw them into the fire, they are meaningless. Make some real resolutions for your life, for the long-term, that will give you the health and happiness that you are seeking.