Monday, October 26, 2015

Episode 23: Finding My Game UCB

I recently just got back into the improv scene, starting my 3rd 401 improv class with the Upright Citizens Brigade.  I believe I have a different outlook then I previously had with past classes.  I've always looked into getting better and learning but with the thought of "passing" or "success" lingering in the back of my mind stunted my growth.  I still care whether or not I "pass" but it's just less of a concern to me but I really used to depend on that mindset.

This reminds me of high school.  We take classes to get good grades and with those good grades we'll hopefully get into a good college instead of going to class to actually learn something.  Now I'm not saying that EVERY class in high school was a waste of time but everyone has had that class where it's just a means to an end.  

Last night after our "mid-term" class show I had a long conversation with classmates on the topic of "success" and astrological signs but as excited as I was to learn more about astrologic signs I'll be focusing on the former.  "Some of us have spent thousands of dollars on taking classes at UCB and have "nothing" to show for it", was said by a classmate of mine.  She is somewhat right but that all depends on your perspective.  I believe I go to class primarily to learn and to collaborate with other people that have the same interests as I.  Getting onto a house team would be a bonus but it's not my main concern.  There is much that I've gained; my stage confidence from my 101 to now has taken leaps, my understanding of whether or not improvisers are playing the game in the scene or just trying to get a quick laugh is transparent to me, and my questions in class are more in depth into the material.  But along with that there are a ton of aspects I know I need work on; I
want higher energy when I'm on stage, I need work justifying, and I need to play more characters on stage.

We have to stop viewing these experiences as "successes" or "failures" but instead as "learning experience". So let's go.

NEXT SHOW: Graduation Show
When: November 22nd 4:30PM
Where: UCB Franklin

Improv 101 UCB

Improv 201 UCB
Improv 401 w/ Jessica Eason

Monday, October 5, 2015

Episode 22: The Wedding Blog

A week ago I was a groomsman for my brothers wedding so I think this is a better time then any to have my wedding blog!

WEDDINGS, I LOVE WEDDINGS! I am always extremely honored when I'm invited.  To me they're saying, "we want you to be part of our special day, the day we announce that we are taking on the world, together."  Romantic,  I know.

In the movie 27 Dresses Katherine Heigl's character mentions that her favorite part of a wedding is watching the groom watch the bride walk down the isle and I couldn't agree more.  When watching the groom you really see how they're on a totally different world from the rest of the room.  All attention is literally on the bride at this moment which leaves the groom all alone thinking this is it, this is the moment they've been waiting for and it's finally here.  They're in a place where I cannot fathom but can only imagine.  If you can guess, this is the part of the wedding I sort of lose it.

There are just so many moment's that put you in awe;  The bride walking down the isle, their vows, when they're pronounced husband and wife, their first dance, speeches, and the list goes on.  I've probably teared up during most of those event's, but whose counting?

All of this builds up for the dance floor which really makes weddings flippin' awesome.  You're celebrating the "most special" day of your friends while surrounded by other friends ending the night in a heated dancing mess.  I LOVE HOT MESSES!  When I'm on the wedding dance floor you're just surrounded by people you love.

Congrats to all my friends who have gotten married throughout the years!!!

Craig and Maureen Maulden
Waterworks: Ceremony, Craig watching Maureen walk out.
Relationship: Met Craig at Illinois State University Freshman preview and we lived on the same floor Freshman year of college. Maureen and Craig met during math classes and they studied at our apartment occasionally Junior year.
Location: Ottawa, Illinois
Tie: Skinny Black Tie
Say what?! moment:  Random kids pulled me aside to talk to them to help them with problems they were having at the wedding.

Steve and Lisa Huizenga
Waterworks: Reception, their first dance.
Relationship: I played ultimate frisbee with Steve and we were roommates senior year of College.  I've only known Steve while he was dating Lisa.
Location: Steger, Illinois/ Munster, Indiana
Tie: Gold Plaid Self-Tie Bow Tie
Say what?! moment: Someone stole Eric Reynolds

Ryan and Mariana

Waterworks: Ceremony, reading of the vows.
Relationship: Ultimate frisbee teammates.
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Tie: Star Wars Self Bow-Tie
Say what?! moment: awesome Mariachi Band

Kyle and Mallory
Waterworks: Ceremony, Kyle watching Mallory walk out.
Relationship: Lived on the same floor freshman year, math study buddies, got me hooked on How I Met Your Mother, and the man he got me hooked on boardgames.
Location: Lake Forrest, Illinois
Tie: Black Math Equation Bowtie
Say what?! moment: Fresh off the boat wedding

Elaine and Mark
Waterworks: Ceremony,  my Uncle handing walking down Elaine to the alter.
Relationship: Elaine is my cousin.
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Tie: Pink and Black plaid skinny tie
Say what?! moment:  It was in flippin' Hawaii

Kristen and Doug
Waterworks: Reception: first dance.
Relationship:  College friends, started off of friends of friends.
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
Tie: Declaration of Independence print self bow-tie
Say what?! moment: Bagpipes for days.

Tom and Erin
Waterworks: Ceremony, watching Tom tear up as he watched Erin walk down the isle.
Relationship: Ultimate frisbee teammate.  Long late night talks about Christmas and relationships.
Location: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Tie: Skinny White Tie
Say what?! moment: "Teaching" parents how to whip and nae nae.

Honorable mentions
Karen and Brian
Relationship: Was good friends with Karen in High School and went to school with Brian since grade school.
Reason I Could Not Attend: Funding was tight and I didn't have the money to fly out.

Trevor and Michelle 
Relationship: College ultimate frisbee teammates.
Reason I Could Not Attend: Worked on a damn fishing boat!

James and Becca
Waterworks: Ceremony,  reading of the vows.
Relationship: Brothers
Location: Chicago, IL
Tie: Skinny Black Tie w/Tie Clip (Groomsman)
Say what?! moment:  Cousin's MCing the wedding and getting my cousin's kids to dance for the entire night. DAYUMN those late night sliders were awesome!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Episode 21: The Birthday Blog

February has come and gone as quickly as any other month. Fortunately, I reached my goal in raising enough money to pay off my dental bills.  For now, I'm comfortable but unfortunately I over worked my legs running and ended up hurting my IT band so I've been taking it easy lately.

Before I forget; I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes.  As opposed to my hairier and white counter part, Alex Carey, I embrace it.  26, was an eye-opening age and I learned a lot about myself and what hard work truly is.  This past Saturday Fei, Lili, Lu, and I celebrated our birthday's at our apartment.  I cannot stress enough how many good and wonderful people I know.  I can't put it any better then Lili Gu did.

Once again, thank you for your birthday wishes... ALSO WHO MAILED ME THIS ROSE?!


I FINALLY finished all of the Oscar Nominees and I am itching to discuss each and every movie with anyone!   Movies such as The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything brightened my mood. The Imitation Game didn't have the happiest of ending's but it did show hope for people throughout the movie but due to the persecution's of the government it led to a unfortunate demise of our main character.  The Theory of Everything showed the slow physical decline of Stephen Hawking but even through those tribulations he still has a sense of humor and approaches life as normal as he possibly can and accepts his life as it is.

"There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope."

-Stephen Hawking

If we're talking artistic I would go with Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and for sound reasons Whiplash.  Selma, Boyhood, and American Sniper were also good movies but just not my favorites.  PLEASE PM ME SO WE CAN DISCUSS!!


Lately I've been beating myself up but I'm back in the saddle baby!  I've been talking with my friend Joanna about possible idea's/ videos that we could film for our channel.  I'm really excited and think we have the idea's to start our channel out well.  This week I'm spending my time writing and brainstorming idea's!  I am just itching to work on projects so I can get better and start learning as much as possible through the experience. FlatBall Comedy, coming to a youtube channel near you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Episode 20: The Long Month Of February

For the past week I've been pretty stressed out financially.  In mid January I got my California health and dental insurance situated and decided to go in for a check up at the dentist the first week of February.  There I found out some disappointing news about a cavity that could possibly lead to a root canal.  The bad part is that my dental insurance would cover none of it, it only covers cleanings and fillings. The good new's is that there's a chance that I won't need a root canal?  You see, I don't really take care of my teeth all that well so I guess I'm lucky that I have a chance at all.  I had to get a deep cleaning (which isn't covered by my insurance either) these past two days and they also let me know that not just one tooth but two may need root canals.  All in all the bill could range from $320 to $3,200.  I've been weighing my options financially and it looks like no matter what, the month of February and March will be heavy in work to pay everything off.  I'm hoping to pop out two fifty+ hour weeks out of Lyft before my next dental appointment where they'll know for sure what procedures I'll need to get. So if I end up not having to to get root canals I'll earn a good amount of money in the process.

It is what it is unfortunately.  What matters most is how I respond.  LETS GO!!!

While driving Lyft I've been passing out my information to director's, producers, actors, or just cool people that are in the business.  I've been writing my information on index cards to pass out so I decided to get business cards printed so I can easily pass out my information while looking more professional.

I've also started talks with friends to start up a new youtube channel.  So if anyone has any friends that want involvement, please let me know!  I'm still brainstorming as to what our "niche" will be and we'll try to get content on a monthly basis focusing on comedy videos. Hopefully starting in April.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Episode 19:

I've been very productive since the New Year and LeiOut weekend was my "exception".  I quote LeiOut because I didn't work Lyft much that week and focused on making my acting website and finished up my Comedy Acting Reel.  Oh and let's not forget how I couldn't make it to watch finals Sunday because I was a bit indisposed,  let's say I turned up a bit too much during Sunday.

(Here's the link to my website and my Comedy Reel if you haven't seen it yet.)

 I'm also still 22 runs for 22 days since the new year.  Today I ran in Hermosa Beach so I could take advantage of their mulch path to take some stress off my knees.  During the beginning of my run I was passed by someone so I took the challenge and tried to stick with him.  To make it short and sweet, he smoked me.  I went with him for about a mile before he ran me into the ground.  I'm proud that I've been so consistent running everyday since it's starting to become a habit but now I have to start picking it up so I can find my rhythm before I pick up the mileage .  

But I'm thinking of doing the Tinkerbell Half just so I have the excuse to dress up as Rufio but that would mean I would have to wait until May 2016... SO MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE!

These past few days I've been really submitting myself to try to get audition's.  Hopefully a few of them pan out.  Now I probably need to start working on my dramatic reel so I can diversify in my submissions and just put more on my website.  If anyone has any suggestions on what my next project should be with acting, let me know. That can range from what video's I should shoot next or to what steps I should take to just be more successful with acting.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Episode 18: New Year, New Job.

2014 I experienced THE lowest and probably some of the highest points of my existence, which makes 2014 the most defining year of my life.  From my experiences I am truly embracing my priorities.  It has been almost 12 days into the new year and I feel that I have been really responsible.  I've ran everyday, been avidly using my climbing gym membership, working Lyft A LOT, and now getting started with my pursuit with acting since I have a "stable job".

I'm ready to make things happen in 2015! And here's 2014 in pictures!

The morning of New Year's Eve, the day following my return to Los Angeles, I had my appointment with the DMV to register my car to California.  The Monday previous I decided on Geico for car insurance so that left with just registering my car. As unlikely as it appeared, my goal for that day was to get my car registered and be able to drive for Lyft that night.  By 1pm I got that all done and messaged Lyft with my updated information, so it all depended on when Lyft could get that done.  A part of me was hoping they wouldn't because I was a little nervous.  But around 5pm I was approved and I decided to start work at 9pm for New Years Eve.

To the right is the list of the distances of each ride I had that night.  I won't lie, the first ride I was pretty paranoid. After that it was as if that's all I wanted to do.  I started playing scenarios in my mind as to where the best places to go at certain times.  There were a lot of different characters but to my greatest surprise was that no one seemed to be ass holes.  I ended up working a little later then I initially intended but I got into bed by 4am and actually woke up the next morning to work again.  Since I've begun with Lyft I have had almost a grand total of 80 separate rides.

My only worry with Lyft is the wear and tear on my car so I've started to wait for notifications from my apartment instead of driving around wasting gas and putting miles on my car.  If a ride takes me to a place that isn't close to my apartment then I'll find a spot to park and read a book.  If the location isn't busy I'll drive to a location where I think it will be.  If I'm close enough to my apartment then I'll go home to wait for the next notification.

I've realized this job has an expiration date so I really have to be on my game as I'm not working.  My goal by the end of the year is to be able to support myself financially through acting.  That, is an over optimistic goal from someone that has gotten less than 5 paid acting gig's in the past 3 years.  I'm really hoping that this demo reel really starts casting me into roles.  I know it's a long shot but I believe I can do it.  LET'S GO!

Help me out by downloading the Lyft app using my referrel code or link!!

Referrel Code: DON043869