3/29/11 March has been an extremely productive month in terms of career direction and opportunities I’ve sought out. Ever since graduating in 2009, I’ve had an overwhelming number of career aspirations that I could realistically see myself pursuing and finding some degree of success with. For the last year and a half, I’ve tried to follow all of them, but it’s become apparent that you can’t instigate progress with any of them unless you focus your energy on excelling in a single direction. I realized this maybe about a year ago, but it’s taken me most of that year to come to terms with what it is I really want to pursue as my career–and that’s directing for the theatre.
Coming to terms with that was one of the greatest weight-lifting experiences I’ve ever had. No longer did I need to everyday worry about not having an acting reel, an agent, union affiliation, the breakdowns, my deep inner conflict with selling myself out for brainless commercials vs. acting for quality projects/scripts, not having a parkour demo, fight/stunt demo, stronger IMDB credits, submitting my short film to festivals, etc. All these things have plagued me and I wasn’t taking an active role to fix them. I could have, still could should I choose to, but there was a reason I wasn’t going about it, and that’s simply because it wasn’t where my focus really wanted to be. That DOES NOT mean that I no longer wish to act, fight, do parkour, stunts, or direct film–those things will just become hobbies, rather than my career pursuit. I love doing all of them, just as much as I always have, and I will continue to be open to opportunities in all of those areas, but when it comes down to work vs. play, they all fall under the play category. Which means I do them for fun, and therefore am at liberty to turn down projects that either conflict with a directing project or I deem not fun enough to be worth my time.
That being said, I just had to turn down what I’m guessing was a very professional fight/stunt project I would likely have made a nice chunk of change off of. It was heartbreaking to have to do, but it directly conflicted with my pre-existing commitment as production coordinator for this year’s Directors Lab West during the week of the conference. The fight/stunt project was to take place in Chicago, so there was no way I could do both. Had I not boiled down what I really wanted to do with my career, this would have been a far tougher decision–luckily it came pretty easily.
Some updates–I spent my St. Patty’s Day doing stunts for CSI: NY! That was great to be a part of, made friends with the other stunt people there and even managed to get one of the guys to come out to SFI the following week! Our community grows…
I ran the Super Spartan Race at the end of February and it was a tremendous success and major accomplishment. It happened on SoCal’s coldest day of the year, we had a solid 45 degrees to run in, with a steady rain coming down in the beginning after a downpour the previous night that made all our uphill and downhill paths completely muddy and all the more difficult. But I ran the 8 miles, overcame the 20 obstacles in an hour and 23 minutes, ranking me at #151 out of 1243. Not too shabby.
My puppy Rosco is now 15 weeks old and has been doing great! I can’t express how much joy he brings to my life and just how big of an impact I’m sure he’ll make on both my professional and personal life. Here’s one of the most recent pictures of him. He’s an incredibly smart dog and has a great deal of respect for me, so training him has been just about as easy as puppy training can be. He’s trained to ring a bell when he needs to go out, and knows the commands sit, stay, down, shake, make some noise (bark), lay down (to go to sleep), leave it, drop it, easy (if he’s pulling too hard on the leash or chewing fingers too hard), go around (if he walks on the opposite side of a stop sign or telephone pole and gets his leash caught, he’ll go around and undo the tangle), and a few others. He’s learning jump (if we come across a wall of reasonable height, he’ll climb up and jump off or else just jump over), fix it (if the leash gets caught under a leg, he’s got to lift the caught leg to get it uncaught), and roll (roll over). I also just got him a frisbee and he loves it, so over the next few months we’ll be working on frisbee catching and tricks he can do jumping off my back, over a leg, etc. while pursuing the frisbee.
The Greeter has been posted in the Video section of my site for a while now, but here’s the official update about it. Check out all three parts to see the entire 15-minute short film.
I’ve got a number of different directing-related things in the works currently. No major shows I’m heading, but I am about to apply for an SDC Observership where I’d potentially be selected by an SDC director working on a show in the area and serve as their assistant director, receiving a stipend from the SDC for the duration of rehearsal. I’m looking into more ways I can get involved with some of the LORT theatres in SoCal, and am hoping my next directing project will involve someone else producing this time and me working with an original script by one of my talented playwright friends. We shall see.
My next update will be an objective evaluation of The Greeter, citing things I did with the music videos that were effective, ineffective, and throwing out some ideas of ways I could have better told the story. Depending on how that goes, I might repeat the process watching the videos of my past two fully-realized theatre shows: There is Truth, Love is Real and Betty’s Summer Vacation. Stay tuned!