Category Archives: Randomness

My random thoughts that I just decide to post. Most likely coming in fits of sleeplessness in the middle of the night.

Saying Goodbye to Matt Smith as The Doctor

mattSmithThankYouThere is a part of me that wants to say, “Big deal! He’s just an actor leaving a show.” However, I decided to write a post about what I’ve appreciated most about Matt Smith as The Doctor because I’ve never been a fan of anything before. Not like I’ve become for Doctor Who. This is the first regeneration I’ll get to see when it happens. I’m new to Who and have done a lot of binge watching over the last year and a half to be caught up (and then some). And most of all, sometimes it is good to appreciate the little things in life so that they are that much sweeter.

He’s Physical

DoctorWho-lkh

Some of you know that I’m an improviser. When I see photos or videos of myself I’ve often compared myself to a block of wood. But watching Matt Smith play The Doctor has inspired me. I’ve been inspired to study up (via books and video) on mime, stage movement, Charlie Chaplin and more. I often hear Matt Smith compared to Patrick Troughton for reasons associated with his physicality but it is a large reason why Sylvester McCoy is my favorite classic Doctor. Somehow Matt’s physicality lives in a quantum state of being both over the top and subtle. I often find myself thinking I should practice one of his scenes just to get practice at the movement. One day (perhaps later tonight) I’ll start doing just that.

I’m thankful he inspires me to better move while I’m on stage

He has a keen fashion sense (not)

MattSmithBowTie

The quote, joke, meme with Matt Smith is that “bow ties are cool.” I hate to break it to you but they are not. Or at least they weren’t until he started wearing them as The Doctor. They still aren’t if you aren’t a Whovian. Then there is the fez, another joke of fashion he has inserted into the show. From everything I’ve read he had a large part in choosing the look of his Doctor and I think he made a great choice. For such a young Doctor to choose articles of clothing that are often considered “your granddad’s clothes” [INSERT MACKLEMORE REFERENCE HERE – OK MAYBE NOT] was a perfect fit. I honestly never wanted to cosplay his doctor. I’ve never done any cosplay but I had thought maybe the 10th and definitely Captain Jack Harkness. Then The Bells Of St. John and that purple frock coat happened. I love purple and that coat was not classic but classic made modern. The bow-tie finally looked, not goofy, but stylish.

I’m thankful he had such good fun with such dorky clothes. A fashion crime I’ve taken part in many times but never as successfully.

Conclusion

Doctor-Who-Time-of-the-Doctor-Matt-Smith

There are many more things to like about Matt Smith’s time in the role of The Doctor. His emotionally charged scenes. His general joy and goofiness. His beautiful delivery of lines that will make you laugh the second time you watch an episode. I appreciate it but I am well prepared (thank you BBC) to move on now to the next Doctor. What will I love about your Doctor, Mr. Capaldi? I can’t wait.

Social Network Conundrum

What does one do with all the social networks? I’m not sure but in an effort to organize my online social life I wanted to create rules for myself around what social networks and this blog will be used for. Consider this an experiment. What falls away will fall away, everything else can stay.

Below are the ways I think of each social network and what I plan to post there.

Facebook

Main online presence where I will share most things I want my friends and acquaintances to see.

  • Videos
  • My upcoming events – I am an active guy
  • Thoughts

Twitter

Another major online presence but a great place for just random short thoughts

  • Bad jokes
  • Programmer thoughts – most of my friends on facebook don’t really don’t speak gobbledygook
  • Events as they happen
  • Psuedo-conversations with fellow twitter users.

YouTube

  • Videos I take
  • Hangouts – I have some ideas for themed ones.
  • Videos saved from ustream

Google Plus

I like G+ still but it is so hard to post. I’m just going to turn it into the place to post stuff that is easy to post there. Turns out this is mostly Google related links.

Tumblr

I don’t put much content here but if I do it will be.

  • Stupid photos
  • Longer random thoughts that only people who really opted in will want to see. By longer random thoughts I mean longer than the 140 character limit of twitter but not deserving of a full blog post.

UStream

  • This is the place for behind the scenes video of my life.
  • There is a possibility I could start JAMM live broadcasts again in the future.

Pinterest

I must admit, this one is dying quick. I haven’t

  • Silly pictures
  • Memorable videos

What about this blog?

Articles that well thought out will go in this blog. I want to write better so I will do my best. However, I have been wanting to write a lot more and trying to be to clean and neat usually keeps me from writing so please bear with me as I get better at first and second drafts.

Conclusion

There are too many social networks but being an inhabitant and creator within the social space I feel it is necessary to check them out and see what works. What works for you? I know my list is small. Should I be trying something else? Is there something else a reader of my blog would like to see me use one of these services for? I’m open to ideas and comments. Thanks for reading.

What to write, what to write

It has been a while since I have written in my blog. How many of my blog posts start with this or something similar? It’s not like I don’t have anything to write. I’m up at night all the time because my mind is racing. Here are some of the things that keep me up at night pondering and that I have plenty to write about:

  • Male/Female interactions – gender studies
  • Attempting to learn French
  • Magic
  • Programming
  • Raising Kids
  • Being a husband
  • Identity
  • Improv
  • Wrestling
  • Stand-up
  • Random cool stuff I want to learn or am pondering
  • Cool people I have in my life
  • Politics

So if I have all this stuff to write, why haven’t I? I have a few theories that might be why I have blog writers block.

I’m keeping myself quite busy

While this is true, I have quite a busy life, I have also been spending a lot of time at home doing what amounts to very little. In order to increase my nerd cred I’ve started watching Doctor Who. I have spent many nights watching 2-3 episodes over the past few weeks. I guess I could reduce that to one. Then there is always the dreaded Facebook refreshing. Even though there isn’t much there I keep thinking I’ll get a notification any time now. So if I’m not keeping myself so busy that there is not extra time, what else is there?

I’ve limited my blog

A couple years back, in an attempt to get myself to write more I created a schedule for my blog. This spawned Just Another Magic Monday, Wednesday Warrior, Flash Friday and Sunday Funnies posts. At first, this worked. Then I stopped. Perhaps I don’t want a specific schedule, perhaps I just need a check in. There are no hard and fast rules saying I can’t post whatever and whenever I want so once again I have an excuse without weight. Any other stops?

Social media makes posting easier somewhere else

I am definitely an oversharer on Facebook and other social networks. I think this is part of the reason I have a Klout score that currently ranks around 60. The fact that I even know that is a sign. It is easy though. Take someone else’s content and just share it. Maybe I can add a one sentence opinion. This works but it still leaves my mind full of more flushed out thoughts and opinions that need to be refined and written down so as not to keep me up at nights. In fact, I think it even adds to my list. Especially during a presidential election year such as this.

What now?

I’ve pinpointed some beliefs that might be keeping me from writing. How can I use this knowledge to write. I can most assuredly only watch a single of Doctor Who (or any television show) to one episode a night. I’m a smart enough individual to know that those Facebook notifications are at least 50% game notifications and can wait until the next day. Nothing too pressing there. There are no hard and fast rules on my blog so I should work towards a schedule of writing anything once or twice a week rather than a schedule of writing something specific that never gets done. As for social media, I need to realize that is a consumption and sharing setup and doesn’t really fulfill my creative needs.

It is time to write! Now, what to write?

My ‘Journal’ Entry

A postcard for 'The Journal' and a white russian.Here I am, with less than a week until my first performance in a long form improvisational comedy show. The show I’m in is called The Journal and parodies the tragic romances of Nicholas Sparks. I’ve had a weird experience with this show so I thought I would share it.

Warning: Logic does not apply

My experience with The Journal is based in my subconscious and the inner workings of my brain working against me. It is easy to apply logic and wonder why I had any issues. Shush! Logic does not apply here! Though it did finally lead me to the proper solution I was not being conscious of the way my emotions were leading me around.

Finding out about The Journal

Since moving back to Seattle I had decided to really focus on performing improv, rather than just taking classes, a reality. This led me to auditioning for Jet City Improv and ComedySportz Seattle. I had a lot of fun at the auditions but I didn’t even make callbacks for either. I talked a positive game afterward but, especially for ComedySportz Seattle I felt really bummed. I learned my improv chops through ComedySportz San Jose and really wanted to be a part of it here in Seattle.

Near the end of my Long Form Essentials class that I was taking through Jet City Improv, our teacher Mandy, sent out an email telling us all about upcoming auditions for The Journal. Also, she sent me a follow up email telling me that she put in a good word about me with the producer. This made me feel good because I think she is an awesome improviser who’s style I’d like to emulate in many ways. So I was riding high knowing I had made an impression with someone who I respect. That is, I was riding high until auditions.

Auditions

For Jet City Improv and ComedySportz Seattle auditions I felt that I had done pretty good. I had a feeling I wouldn’t make the cut but I still felt I had done well overall. For the first audition to The Journal I had actually studied Nicholas Sparks movies and even watched The Notebook right before the audition. It seemed like a more serious piece so I was doing the serious thing of studying (something I never did much before). After the first audition I went home thinking I was in over my head. I felt some of the other improvisers did much better at long form theatrical improv and I had no chance.

To my surprise, I got called back! That good word from Mandy must’ve paid off, either that or they could tell, and appreciated, that I had recently watched The Notebook. In my mind, “Thank You Mandy!” There was no way I had made the difference there. I was there and I felt I had done a really poor job.

NOTE: Logic doesn’t really pertain here, as I said above, but logic says that when you do an audition you have no idea what the people running the auditions are looking for so do your best and then don’t worry about it

At the callbacks I realized only 1 or 2 others got called back and the rest of the people there knew each other from Seattle Experimental Theater‘s (SET) previous show Where No Man Has Gone Before. I had an inkling of feeling special but then I saw the people work together who knew each other. They were really connected with each other and were funny without even trying. I left that audition feeling worse about my performance than the last time, but hey – at least I made it to callbacks this time.

NOTE: If you’ve never done improv, you may not know that knowing your fellow improvisers helps so, so much.

Funny thing about how I felt about my performance, it didn’t matter. They offered me a part in the show! Thanks again Mandy! I obviously had nothing to do with it.

First Rehearsals

So off to rehearsals I went and this is when stuff really got weird for me. I didn’t act like my improv self at all. I’ll explain by going back in time to my educations at ComedySportz San Jose. I once asked my improv teacher Michael, what he thought I needed to work on to be a better improviser. For the most part, he said I had good instincts and I was never afraid to jump on stage first and try out an idea. The main thing he said I should work on is letting others take the spotlight and learn how to add to their ideas. Jumping back to rehearsals for The Journal, I was definitely attempting to practice giving others the spotlight but now I was timid and afraid of my ideas.

Things all came to a head one day when I was called in early by myself to work on my breathing while talking. Before I got there I was walking with the producer and explaining to her how I was getting something out of being in The Journal because I usually just jump on to stage and don’t do as much support. Her responses, “I really don’t see that from you”. Also, I did the breathing exercises with the Stage Manager and she realized that I was having the problems when I was second guessing myself. A mini lightbulb went off in my head at that point but I was still timid for the rest of that rehearsal. It was later that evening that I did some brooding (my form of soul searching I think) and came to some powerful realizations.

The realizations

The first thing I realized was that I put a lot of pressure on myself because I didn’t want to let down Mandy who had stood up for my talents. I felt that if I did poorly, I wouldn’t just let her down but make her lose credibility as well.

It was then that I remembered something she said in class that I never thought I would need to do myself. She said that when she performs she actually gives herself permission to mess up. I took it a step further and decided to take a bigger risk and have since been saying to myself, “I give myself permission to fuck things up!” Funny thing about improv when you trust your fellow improvisers on stage, you can not break a scene no matter how hard you try.

I also realized something I have been hinting at a bit in this article, I was not giving myself enough credit. The rest of the cast were pretty much set before auditions even happened as they all knew each other from before. However, they asked me to join them and be a part of their show. They had other talented people try out but they chose me. Whatever the reason, they felt I would be an asset to the show and yet there I was acting like I didn’t deserve to be there. No more! I bring a certain energy to the table.

Finally, looking back at my previous auditions for Jet City Improv and ComedySportz Seattle I realized that I hadn’t given myself explicit permission to make any mistakes. Perhaps next time I audition for either I will give myself that permission and see if it helps. I may not make it (there are some amazing improvisers in Seattle) but at least I’ll feel that I put it all out there at an audition.

Now on to the show

I’ve only had a few rehearsals since the revelations, but I have felt so much better about each of them. The first day I was still a bit timid but I kept reminding myself that I give myself permission to fuck things up. Not only have I felt that I have performed better, but I have had more fun and been more connected with the rest of the cast. I’m not completely over the illogical self deprecating thoughts that are in my head, but by being conscious of them I can make choices without listening to them.

Only 2 more rehearsals until a dress rehearsal in front of an audience and then it is opening night. We’ve got 4 shows and I can’t wait to see what the audience brings each time. I know we are going to do great with whatever we are given.

Conclusion

I was thinking of holding off writing this until after the show, but I don’t see why I should. I can’t break the show, there are too many talented people working on it. I just hope that some other entertainer will read these words and get some insight for themselves. At the minimum, I will read it some day in the future and be reminded that I have permission to be bold.