I feel that the work of a comedian is very similar to the work of a magician.
Keeping your audience balancing on the edge of what is really going on.
Knowing exactly when and what secrets to expose and what to keep a mystery.
Constantly changing where the audience feels they are standing, when they are in on it and when the joke is on them.
The rules and the nature of making dreams come true;
A true dream can only be envisioned by casting off all limitations that this world (or yourself) presents.
A vision that contains an "if" a "can't" a "would" is impure.
It is tricky and takes real practice to begin seeing your true dreams.
Once you are able to say to yourself "...makes me happy. I am..." without those extra ingredients you then can begin to build your own path to that vision.
A vision that contains no barriers this world provides can be reached by your own true formula free of those barriers.
You can write your own rules as soon as you learn to forget the rules.
Work on "The Variety Sho" has once again come into full swing (that means part time swing between working a day job and being too fat.)
I am currently coloring by hand for the traditionally animated portion of the show which contains, currently, roughly 500 paper cells.
I ended up taking an extended two month break that was very necessary.
I was going to fully disclose the reasons for that break and what I learned during that time but nah, the moment has passed for me.
It's not you, I promise, no really.
I am very proud to say that "Coffee Critics" is now officially an award winning short by receiving the title of "Best Animated Short" in the Portland Art Institute's student constructed "Tasty Short's Film Festival" for which I received the first trophy/award in my life.
Soon after that I previewed a short scene from "The Variety Sho" entitled "Restroom Etiquette" which landed me a second trophy for first place at Portland's "Suck my Flick" monthly open film competition.
Sometimes I look at the trophies and smile but most of the time I look somewhere else.
"Coffee Critics" was also selected to show in the three day long Portland 2011 "Northwest Animation Festival."
This was a HUGE honor to be featured in a set of animated films of such high caliber, a truly awesome experience and overall wonderful show.
One more delicious piece of information is that my good friend Jesse Holden has been secretly working on a "Coffee Critics" documentary over the last six months that is almost ready for public release.
I have watched it a few times and I must say it is BEAUTIFUL and masterfully done.
I am very excited and honored to share it.
It should be available on my YouTube channel within the next few days.
Along with the two autobiographical videos I recently posted, there is now a good chunk of supplementary content available for those of you who enjoy that kind of stuff, I am very happy to share it.
Please, keep rocking, life is too short.
I don't know how but I honestly feel I was able to keep myself from aging for a long period of time and I enjoyed that.
I think that I did age mentally, I did learn and grow, but something deeper did not age.
I feel also that physically I did not age.
This year I feel that I have aged about 5 years.
It is strange to me that now as I come closer and closer to reaching the large goals of my life I suddenly would start to have my age catch up with me. (Particularly being that my goals are from my childhood.)
Perhaps it makes sense in some strange way, I am starting to make sense of it at least.
During the ages of about 21-26 I feel I became very stagnant. I started to lose grasp of just how I would reach my goals. (Yet I must note that I never lost faith that I would indeed reach them.)
I think particularly after coming so close to getting the ball rolling in 2002 when the dialog for 'Coffee Critics' was originally recorded and a lot of preliminary concept work was done yet the final steps did not progress into making cartoons.
I think I was a little devastated inside perhaps feeling like I may have missed the "window of opportunity."
In the end I was right and wrong.
'Coffee Critics' eventually was made in 2008 and came out perfectly, so that part certainly never did go away, yet all of the people and the situations did change with time.
I have learned to except that part, feeling as though I had to, in order to continue forward with resources and scenarios which were still available to me, including new ones.
So from about age 21-26 I felt sort of as though I did not get much closer to figuring out the puzzle. I did move forward but I felt it was much too little progress per year.
Upon moving to Portland things suddenly kicked into overdrive. I felt that my rate of progress had not only accelerated but I felt almost as though I had covered so much ground in such little time that I was able to fill all of the empty space of those missing five years as well as the current 3 years.
This, I suppose, is why upon turning 29 I suddenly felt like I had aged about 5 or even 8 years.
Strangely enough it was not only mentally or achievement based but my physical body had suddenly changed as well.
From 1997 to 2009 I had weighed exactly 128 pounds.
I had struggled repeatedly to gain weight and the most I ever pulled off was an additional 1 pound for about two months.
Weighing myself the other day I discovered I had suddenly gained a whopping 15 pounds! (This is the equivalent of accidentally discovering the Holy Grail... well I guess that would be kind of cool, this felt pretty shitty.)
I am hoping that some of the weight is due to hiatus from smoking cigarettes.
So here I am now, feeling as a time traveler, suddenly having aged 8 years over night.
I have never felt this way before... well, maybe when I hit puberty that one time for about two months, then it went away.
I can't help but feel a little melancholy or at least a little thrown while I deal with and figure out this new feeling.
Mostly I want to say that this is all probably really good.
I feel like I am 29 now (instead of 22) and I feel like my work is more at the development stage I anticipated it to be at 29. (Probably back when I was about 23.)
I think that this feeling of being in hyper drive is going to continue, I feel like... I have had the throttle to the floor and my acceleration just went from climbing, to a peak, to shooting down a hill as well... what the fuck am I talking about, I don't know anything about cars, point being that I think it's going to go even faster this coming year.
My project goals for 2011 are larger than I can currently wrap my brain around but they are coming in so fast... it's going to be awesome.
I have been able to eat and digest larger concepts faster and more completely than ever. (wtf?)
I look forward to next year very much, even if I am fat. (See previous comment.)
I think that something huge is going to happen and I think I am going to be ready for it.
I see many of my friends sharing the same feelings and experiences next year.
I look forward to sharing our accomplishments.
Have a happy new year everybody, see you on the other side.
Yes, I am still continuing to work on my upcoming project, although progressing rather slowly the last two months, it's starting to pick up steam again.
The work I have completed looks great, the material I have started is looking promising and the notes for what is next are tightening up.
I still would like to refrain from saying too much about the project until it is closer to completion, there is still a ton of work to be done.
Here is a little behind the scenes shot from the new project.
I decided to shoot a new short and post it being that it is unrelated to the project and being that it has been a while. It felt good to work on something easy and fun, it helped get me back in the groove for working on bigger things.
It occurs to me that often I am offensive to people but I promise that I am almost always trying to do good, my method just happens to often be offensive, it is the method I know and therefor the method I use.
I am a teacher, I am almost always trying to teach.
Typically when I make a joke, which is typically me trying to teach, I receive one of three reactions.
Somebody does not respond.
Somebody is offended.
It crossed my mind the other night that perhaps the ones who laugh are laughing because they know what I am saying and do not need to be taught the thing therefor they can join me in laughing at the thing and I have done my job.
The ones who do not respond are thinking, even if they are thinking; 'that was stupid', 'why did he say that', 'that's not funny and here's why' or 'why is he being an asshole', at least they are thinking and I have done my job.
The ones who are angry or offended are choosing not to think, but, becoming angry or offended quickly leads to the second response of thinking and, hopefully, I will still have done my job.
Since my return from California I have not yet picked back up on the web page design but found myself building a guitar, building a computer, rearranging the house, rearranging my workspace and rebuilding my local recording space. Is it possible I have too many hobbies?
Based on the fact that all peoples involved in the pilot script are not available I also decided to pass once
again on that project. Rather than getting down about the situation I decided I would take all of that creative
energy along with my resources which are available and develop a new project.
Instead of explaining what this new project is I will simply say it will take tons of work over a long period of
time and I am going to do my best not to release any of the material until it is completed in its entirety.
Wish me luck and strength... strength to have shit tons of fun.
I have always felt blessed to have so many creative and constructive hobbies which I enjoy but lately I am becoming overwhelmed. I started feeling like I want to learn how to do 'everything there is'... I guess I have always felt that way but Jesus, it takes SO long to learn everything. Can I really be getting burnt out from having too much fun?
So you may not see much of me for a while but I'm still here. With my hammer. And nails. Bucket.
My journey back home began with myself having two wisdom teeth surgically removed from my inner face. The holes left behind
are disturbingly deep. Somehow the doctor failed to discuss with me the fact that I would permanently have humongous holes
in my mouth.
The first day following the surgery I decided to eat eggs. Soft, uniform, flavorful. Just a word to those that have yet to experience wisdom tooth removal, eating eggs will fill up the sockets from deep to overflowing. They will be complimented with the taste of rotting and healing bloody flesh.
I don't want to eat eggs again for a while.
Two days following my surgery my mother was scheduled to have brain surgery at 6am. Recently we discovered she has been
suffering from an ailment known as hydrocephalus for an unknown amount of time following her diagnoses of Alzheimer's ten
years ago. The shunt operation went well and we also had her taken off of several prescription drugs.
The last time I was able to ask my mom a question and receive eye contact or an answer was over five years ago. On my last day in California I was able to ask her if she could hear me to which she replied "yes."
This may seem insignificantly small but it is a miracle to me.
For the last ten years I have been living a minimalistic lifestyle. Basically I left behind all trinket and novelty items that
didn't serve an immediate purpose. Anything that was just for looking at was left behind. Everything I kept with me was made
to quickly be packed up for a quick move, and I did move many many times.
Living now with Sarah for 7 months has made me so comfortable that I've decided to try and bring in some of my very old novelties. It's a very strange and difficult feeling trying to show myself that I don't have to suddenly pick up and leave.
Before I arrived back home to my parents house I thought for sure I had amped myself up to "just throw everything away" but once I started looking through things I saw so much that made me think "I don't need this but I don't need to get rid of this either."
Now I am back home in Portland with about 600 pounds of old belongings that I need to find a space for. I just don't know if I will succeed at making my home feel more like a home in this way. I realise that I have never had a home of my own before and it's a very new feeling to not constantly be thinking that I have to leave soon.
When I do leave I plan on it being a choice and I hope that choice is made with Sarah and that we leave together to find something even better.
"What's wrong with you" is probably one of the most damaging things you can say to a child.
We always tend to have neighbors above our heads who never sleep. That is pretty crazy being that Sarah and I both are insomniacs and tend to stay up until 4 in the morning yet somehow are neighbors stay up later and are up in the morning before us as well. We hear them clomping around at all hours of the night and they seem to have an obsession with taking showers at 2am yet somehow they get mad every time I play my guitar.
On the third morning we lived here I was relaxing in my new home listening to the Beatles when they knocked on the door and said they couldn't hear their television. From what I can tell they are reaching their nineties and virtually never leave their apartment. I find that pretty unfair of them.
I think that the Beatles are the ultimate 'hope test' for humans/demons. If you can't even enjoy the Beatles you must be undead or some other type of unliving horror. It reminds me of the woman who at my job told me to turn down the Beatles coming from my headphones because it sounded "like scratching." ...Demon.
I have canker soars all over my mouth this week from accidentally biting my checks over and over again and eating toasted shard bread.
We leave for California this weekend and will be gone for two weeks. Unfortunately I wont be able to work on the site until I get back but hopefully I will return with some great ideas.
I've been noticing there is a trend for businesses to put horribly unhappy employees holding signs outside on the sidewalks in front of their businesses. All I can say as a consumer is that these people make me want to do anything but go inside their business. Unhappy frowny faced cell phone texters one handed sign wavers headphones on sunglasses flat lipped expressions frantically waving ugly clashing color banners. Until today, today there was a man in a statue of liberty costume in front of a tax service company rocking the fuck out with metal guitar and amp on the sidewalk.
"Now this place I want to go into!"
The dreams and goals of childhood that seem far away or impossible at the time, if you can hold on and bring those dreams with you into your adult hood, to this body which possesses the tools to accomplish those dreams and goals, you will never grow old but experience the other side of childhood.
After a weeks worth of work (sitting fattily in my computer chair listening to the radio show all fucking day) the Frope it's NOT Saturday section of the website is finished and up.
The aspect I am most excited about is the highlight clips that can be streamed directly off the page. This will give people who have never heard the show or simply do not want to commit to a 2 hour long program a chance to catch a delicious potent slice of show in one sitting.
I am extremely proud of these clips and the work surrounding them. I look very forward to sharing them and helping people laugh and smile.
I hope I catch the ears of some new listeners out there.
I will probably take a short break before beginning on the next section of the site which at this point is undecided. I hope it will be as enjoyable as the 'Radio' section was.
Hueburt was my mouse.
I have been working my ass off on the Internet, trying to make sense of it all. It actually has been way more fun than it
should be I'm sure. I've now taken four video training courses on Dream Weaver, HTML/XHTML and CSS, YAY!!! I find it funny
that most of the work I've done on the site has been hours and hours of re-writing code so that the end result looks
exactly the same.
Sometimes I have adjusted pixels.
So my first major update is coming soon in the form of the "radio" section of the web site. I had a radio show a couple of
I do a radio show sometimes.
When its finished and up you will be able to listen to highlight clips from old shows as well as download entire episodes for free-fun. =)
It's insane how similar my voice sounds to my co-host, Tory, in the original episodes, sorry if you cant tell us apart.
Once again, I've been way too into this website stuff. I've actually gotten up early before cubicle job several times to
work on the site. That's pretty bad considering cubicle job starts at 9am and I go to bed around 4am.
I have never been on time to cubicle job. I get there anywhere between 10:00 and 12:30. I find it amazing that if you set your own rules and boundaries you can be late to your job over one hundred times.
Cubicle job was slightly more enjoyable today for the fact I finally found a way to work on some of my own project while
staring at the screen and pressing a button. Today I listened to old episodes of Frope it's NOT Saturday (my radio show) and took notes on what pieces should be cut out for the highlight clips. Unfortunately they ran out of work and sent me home after only an hour.
At least when I did the math it turned out I worked exactly long enough today to pay for the gas that got me there and back.
I remember clearly only a few weeks ago staring at Facebook angrily then saying to Sarah, "I hate Facebook, I'm just going to build my own website."
We just received a second notice in the mail that looked exactly like the first one but contained slightly different words. It looks like our food stamp power has been turned back on. Hurray for food! They must have changed their minds about us and what kind of lives we were leading.
Today at cubicle job I could hardly contain myself, I was so happy I almost talked to a coworker. There were so many wonderful ideas pouring all over my brain out of my eyes and all over the table. I kept getting great ideas for the cartoon and especially for the web site. Good things are coming soon if I can only put the pieces together. Even when the horribly crippling stomach ache hit me it did not ruin my mood. Even when I got up and went to the restroom to throw up out of sheer pain, not from nausea, I was still kind of smiling.
It looks as though currently Skype will be the best and easiest method of remote recording. It's free, cross platform and it has conference calling. I did a quick rough test tonight with three people and it sounded fine although I'm curious what the bit-depth/rates of sound are and if they can be adjusted. I was too excited all day to be anymore excited tonight. Now I am simply content.
I stumbled across some old audio of Eran Haas, Jesse Holden and myself. Eran was Christmas shopping online for real skulls of various animals up to and including human to mount on his truck. We ended up talking about being dead and having your skull attached to the hood of a car while your body was in the ground and how that would be the best because "you could still rest." It was pretty excellent.
Today we found out our food stamps have been cancelled. They sent us a food stamp renewal information form that we filled out and sent back in. They didn't like the words we put down I suppose so they sent us an additional paper that said we messed up and needed to put down more words. After much fussing we were able to acquire the additional words and with the consultation of a food stamp employee we resubmitted our words form. For the last week we had been on starvation rations and trying desperately to make it to Food Stamp Day when we got this letter in the mail that said they never received our new words or something. Anyway, we are hungry.
In cartoon news I recently, while sitting at my cubicle job under my "I'm invisible now" headphones, decided I wanted to start working on a new and bigger animation project. About a year ago Jesse Holden, Jonathan Watkins, Eran Haas and myself had put together a script for *NAMELESS NETWORK* to make into a television pilot. They offered me a nice small chunk of money, enough to fly everyone from California to Oregon, to begin recording dialog. Suddenly they decided to cut the funding offer by 90% leaving me with enough to buy a few pizzas for everyone upon their arrival after they jogged up here.
One of my concepts at the time was to devise a method of remotely recording voice actors via the internet for our cartoon dialog. Without much further exploration I let the idea go, along with the entire offer from *NAMELESS NETWORK*, in hopes that eventually someday we would all just end up in the same place at the same time with my computer equipment and the means to sit down and record the pilot for our own use. At this point I realise that scenario is pretty much never going to happen and that looking into remote recording is a much better idea. Not only can the four of us work on recording for the pilot but it would also open the door to recording with more voice actors on more projects.
I am currently on step two of about one hundred of working on my biggest animation project ever. If the ideas in my head manifest it should be at least ten times what "Coffee Critics" was in every aspect. If the remote recording idea works well there will be no telling how many side and future projects will spring up as well.
If NOTHING happens it means that I am homeless, again.
I am very very excited right now. I only hope that we can eat and pay rent so that I can maintain a place to make this project happen to its full capacity.
Although I am referring to this project as the "pilot" it is simply due to its original nature. Currently there is no specific goal for the project other than the joy of making and sharing it.
Oh yeah, also, I wanted to say that I have this web site thingy now. I said I was going to "figure out the internet" and this site will be the manifestation of that statement. The main focus for now will be the journal. For those of you who might enjoy watching these things blossom from crap and chaos to less of that thingy... I will try and keep the actual site experimentation all under its own section and provide an obvious link on the front page.
Special thanks to Jesse Holden for making this site possible.