Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Oh Well...

I thought I was all done with Santa Clarita. Yesterday, I went in to drop off a brochure -- my last connection with it all. Had on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, too, as if thumbing my nose at it. But then I got a call while having lunch at the food court in the mall.

"What? You want me for another month or two?" I gasped.

Fortunately, I hadn't driven home yet, because they wanted me in right away. Even in my shorts and T-shirt.

Seriously, I thought I was done with the gig. I wanted to end it. But it wouldn't let me go. And so I made the emails to the appropriate parties saying I wouldn't be available. How long? I don't know, but for a while.

I realize it's going to be rough for the next month or so, driving to and from Magic Mountain land. I'll have to avoid going home right after work because of the Hollywood Bowl traffic. And I'll continue to spend about $9 a day in gas doing the commute in my damn SUV.

But I don't know what's going on with my life right now. On the one hand, I like it that someone needs me so bad. On the other, I'm sort of abandoning everything I've known. All my passions, all my enjoyments, and everything familiar.

Yesterday, someone said they'll try to get me to stay longer and longer until I've been there so long, I'll just stay out of habit. My resistance will be worn thin and then I'll just give in.

Sure, this gig provides plenty of my personal needs, but long term, is it really what I want? No, I know what I want long term and this isn't it.

But in all practicality, I should probably just drink the Kool-Aid. Give in. And slowly lose all sense of myself, my being, and how I thought life should be.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Can Never Have Enough

Today, I met an older guy at the office with short white hair and matching beard. Of course, I had to say it: "You look like Ernest Hemingway." It wasn't the first time he heard it, but I said it before he knew it was coming, which must speak for something.

Ernest had been on vacation for a week, so I hadn't seen him around. A few of us welcomed him back by joining him for his favorite lunch at the Soup Plantation. I had the requisite salad, some chili and a bowl of chicken noodle soup. I think the Asian salad would've sufficed had I known there was chicken in it. It wasn't bad tasting either.

After we were sitting there, digesting our food, I mentioned I avoided eating wheat products but still had a few beers every now and then. Ernest spoke up. "You can never have enough beer," he said.

It was deep enough to silence our little table of four.

I then began to reminisce about one afternoon in Ellensburg, Washington, where me, Curt and Rick went out on the Snake River in Rick's boat with three cases of light beer. The day was hot and we proceeded to drink two of the cases of beer.

That's the funny thing about beer. You can just drink and drink it and never feel that one more wouldn't be such a good idea. One more is always a good idea when you're on a boat with the fellas and the air is hot and the water cool enough to make it all right again.

Of course, while you're in that water, you might as well release the pressure on your bladder. Ahhh, just like that. That's better. And if you're wondering what else you might do in the water, well, as Rick said it, "Fish do it." In fact, he proved it could be done about an hour later.

You make this plunge into the water about once every 5 beers or so. Rick got tired of climbing back in the boat and just plunked it out and let 'er go over the side. Frankly, I think he just enjoyed seeing how far it would go before bending down into the water.

"Used to be I could shoot for 10 feet with this thing," said Rick.

"Used to be your momma changed your diaper till you met your wife a couple years ago and she took over," said Curt.

Actually, he didn't say that, but up to this point, Curt had been pretty quiet, so I gave him a line.

It was getting later in the day and we still had a case of beer left. "You want any more, Curt?" asked Rick.

"Nah, I'm cool." And actually, he did say that.

"How 'bout you?"

I waved him off, so he started packing things up and we headed back to the boat launch area. We all sat in the truck after the boat was hitched and headed back to Rick's house in South Seattle when we started to smell something fierce. Actually, I can't smell, so it was left to Curt to bring it up.

"What the hell is that? Did you crap in your shorts, Rick?"

"Ah, shit! I did! I didn't take off my shorts! I knew something was wrong." He turned off the road, jumped out the truck and flung his shorts into the back of the truck. "Hey guys, I could use some help," he said, holding up a few cans of beer.

So, for the next 15 minutes, we proceeded to douse his fat ass with warm beer until it was clean and clear. That wasn't such a great way to end a pretty good day out in the boat, I'll tell you that much.

We all laughed when we got back to Rick's house and he explained to one of his sons that he crapped in the water but forgot to take off his pants first.

"Fuckin' fish do it, right Rick?" I said.

"Yeah, shut your fuckin' trap, you asshole. My kid's right here."

"Oh, sorry."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Got Schooled

At the ID party I went to, I introduced Garrett Wang to an acquaintance named Carl Bressler. I could look up the name on IMDB but I'm feeling lazy. He's a producer of some sort, one of the movies being Smoke Signals, which is why I introduced him to Garrett. Garrett kinda looks Native American these days and he knows it!

Mr. Bressler may be a producer, but to me, he's some sort of philosophy guru. The first time I met him, with very little introduction, I asked him a pretty deep question: What's more important to success — adaptability or persistence?

To some, the answer seems obvious, but to me, it's a toss up. I mean, Bruce Lee and the Chinese philosophers all talked about the oak tree being too rigid and breaking in a storm, while the bamboo bends and sways and continues to thrive.

Mr. B said persistence was the key to success. To which, I nodded my head enthusiastically and thanked him for his wisdom.

At the party, Mr. B was talking to Garrett about his acting career, which Mr. B knew nothing about until I informed him of the Star Trek gig. So Mr. B asked Garrett what he wanted to do. He said, "I want to be the first Asian contract player on Saturday Night Live."

Mr. B said, "Why don't you write Lorne Michaels and ask him then?"

"I don't know, I never thought of it before," said Garrett.

"Always give opportunity a chance to say 'yes,'" said Mr. Guru.

I, of course, fawned and danced in circles for all the people at the ID party to gawk at. I must've looked pretty silly, now that I think about it. But it was pretty good "the secret" kind of stuff to hear, at precisely the right moment. And so I said, "Whenever Carl and I have a conversation, he always gives me something pretty amazing to think about."

The previous time I met Mr. Guru, it was at a restaurant on Melrose. I was with my ex at the time, and I probably introduced Mr. Guru to her as some kind of guru. Plus, it seems others have become accustomed to asking him for worldly advice as well, and so I asked him if he had opinions about "The Secret." He said, one, it was a nice repackaging of what has already been written. And two, he said the woman who wrote the book and did the video actually interviewed him a few years ago. This shouldn't surprise me but it did.

Anyway, I explained to my ex that I asked Mr. Guru what was more important, persistence or flexibility. Mr. Guru forgot what he answered, so he asked me what his answer was.

I should've made him answer the question again, but I told him what he said.

"That makes sense," he said, "because it allows for both answers. With persistence, you get flexibility as well."

Monday, July 09, 2007

ID Party

This past weekend, I went to an annual ID party held in Hermosa Beach and ran into an old acquaintance, Garrett Wang, of "Star Trek: Voyager" fame. He seemed out of place there and confirmed it when he mentioned it was his first venture to the house.

I probably shouldn't talk about what we discussed but there's something I feel like addressing: If you had the opportunity to do a TV show for a minimum contract of 5 years, would you do it, knowing ahead of time that anything you do after, your name would forever be associated with that show? And, once that show ended, what if no one really considered you a so-called "star"?

When Garrett was going through the process of 4 producer/director meetings with the Star Trek corporation, I hung out with him occasionally, and even interviewed him for a magazine story. He said the whole process of getting the job was intense, and yet he expressed reservations about actually wanting the job. After all, he was a budding young actor with much promise as a dramatic film and TV actor. He "gave that all up" in order to be a contract player in the Star Trek enterprise. (Yeah, bad pun, but it's what I meant.)

What I'm saying, essentially, is that Garrett knew exactly what he was getting into and what to expect after it was all said and done. He knew he'd get financial security for life, but when it came to career security, he didn't know if he was committing career suicide or opening up future doors to superstardom.

If you look at Garrett's face, you can get a pretty good read on his conclusion. But I did give him one piece of advice, for all it's worth: Do a bunch of independent films and don't worry about making a living. I told him it's what I'd do; and well, I also said that if I didn't have to worry about money, I'd move to Palm Springs, work in a bar and write novels for the rest of my life.

It wasn't very enlightening advice that I had given him. But at this point in his life, "light" is kind of hard to come by. Anyway, it's what I'd do.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Effin' Hot Out Here

I'm in Santa Clarita right now for work and, yes, it's hotter than sheiss out here. Excuse the German.

I got an email from that G Living Channel. Didn't make the cut. In fact, didn't even make the callbacks. Oh well... not the end of the world. I did think I was wasting my time with the audition tape, however. Glad I didn't go out and purchase a camera for that. I do some rash and idtiotic things sometimes, fyi.

The office I'm in isn't allowing me web access on my laptop due to some IT restrictions. So here I am, on my lunch break, using the connection at the Coffee Bean. Fortunately, I have a subscription to their system.

Just checking my email and whatnot right now. Did I mention it's effing hot out here right now? OK, time to go back into the AC'd office now and cool down.