Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Karaoke King!

Here are a few pics of me and my Musical Improv friends throwing down at Louie's Pub on North Avenue in Chicago.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

*Wiki* *Wiki* *Wiki* *Wikipedia*

Just looking up some information on some music-related stuff and links kept coming up from Wikipedia. I plan to update/create some stuff in there for some Chicago bands I love. What a cool way to make my mark in the world

Currently listening :
MACHINA/The Machines of God
By The Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: By 29 February, 2000

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=11&blogDay=25&blogYear=2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Koo Koo Kramer

f you haven't seen/heard the hoopla over Michael Richards' pathetic response to a heckler during his standup show this week, then you've been watching a lot of Skinemax . As I watched the clip, I was offended - by the fact he became unprofessional and attacked people personally. He had plenty of opportunities to get some jokes in there in between the comments he was making to keep the show going, but he instead broke down and resorted to name calling (and it sucks he had to result to terms that have been become taboo for over 50 years). Just by this clip, I could tell Michael is no real comedian.

Every comedian must prepare himself/herself for some drunk, obnoxious mofo sitting in the crowd. A real comedian would deal with a heckler like a pimp would a mark - he would clock back strong funny hand and slap a fool silly - on the mic and keep everyone entertained while he did it. Michael is a comic, a funny guy that can act, but I see him as no real comedian.

I think most of the reaction people are having is that they loved the Kramer character so much that they cannot disassociate the man from what he plays. Kosmo Kramer loved every race, color, and creed (with arms wide open might I add ). To see the guy who plays him do a racial slur-filled tirade breaks that Seinfeld perception of him which I think truly angers folks.

Comedians have a cool job in that they are allowed to say the things that people may want to say but don't. I've heard this same type of tirade/act go on from comedians such as Carlos Mencia (in Chicago at Zanies), Aries Spears (in Dallas at the Improv), Chris Rock (on HBO...sorry...I have yet to see him live), Dave White, and other comedians out there. The difference is that they may have racist comments/viewpoints to make but they are making jokes all along the way, and typically are poking fun at stereotypes on both sides of joke. The audience seems to give a pass on all of this - as long as it's funny. The second material bombs, they run the line of being considered racist. As Johnny Cash used to sing, walk the line...

I was driving home the day this happened and listened to The Roe Conn Show. Of course, everyone was calling in saying how appalled they were at what was done/said. The owner of The Improv in Schaumburg called up and stated that he had booked Michael Richards 6 months ago where the same thing happened; a heckler got Michael off his material and Michael broke down and resorted to racial name calling and obscenities. The difference here the audience member was white. Does that excuse Michael from calling people "n*gger"? No. Does that give a little bit of credibility to his claim that he's not a racist? Maybe. One thing's for sure. Regardless of who is getting the receiving the wrath of his tirades, Michael is an ignorant man and needs to learn to take it while giving it.
Currently listening :
Brainstorm
By Young MC
Release date: By 13 August, 1991

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thank You!

With the holidays coming up, I'm reflecting on this wild, crazy year and looking back at it as a major success! I'm alive, in good health, have a good family, and a good job. Plus, I've been pursuing, honing, furthering, and enjoying my foray into professional entertainment.

As posted before, I got cast in a musical running next year. Next week I'll be doing some stand-up in Charlotte, NC. There are rumblings that I may be doing Sketchfest in January with Salsation. I plan to audition for the SCTC Level 5 shows when I get back (I did some staged readings for the skits and a few of them I feel I am perfect for) so that should take me through next couple of months if I get cast. My Warped Reality has written a batch of tunes and we're working our craft and having fun. I've laid down vocals for a few new tracks for Courageous Rue (still need to get up on stage to perform them live). Luckily, I have a lot to do between now and February 07!

I don't know how many more ways I can express my gratitude to everyone who has been with me on this journey in making my life happy! THANK YOU! I also give props to myself for sticking with a lot of it and pushing forward regardless of the insecurities or obstacles that get in my way. I know... I'm soooo self-indulgent!

Currently listening :
Live 2002
By Robin Williams
Release date: By 19 November, 2002

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=11&blogDay=21&blogYear=2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Singing At The Gorilla

As I was entering Donny's Skybox Theatre for my Level 2 show tonight, I quickly checked my voicemail, and found I got cast in an upcoming musical at the Gorilla Tango Theatre entitled The Mary Kay LeTourneau Story: A Karoake Musical! Excellent!

I woke up at 7:30 this morning to get ready for my 10 AM audition for the musical. I spent half an hour getting my hair did, got into the shower and got funky fresh, got into my show/auditions clothes, took the dog out to take care of bidnez, and went to the theatre. 15 minutes later (I thought it would take 30 minutes), I was sitting outside the theatre still needing to warm-up my voice and body. So, I walked over to Walgreens and while giving off a vibe that I was looking for stuff, I warmed up in the aisle. There's nothing like hear me sing the notes in a major scale while perusing for items:

"1. 1 2 1. 1 2 3 2 1. 1 2 3 4 3 2 1. 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1. Cool scarf! 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 4 3 2 1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. And matching gloves! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Ooh! Cadbury bars"

I headed to the theatre and got in 15 min. prior to call time. The audition lasted about 45 min., was a lot of fun, and the staff there was really cool!

The Level 2 show was alright. I had a lot of fun in the scenes I was in and enjoyed a few others. There were a couple of people in the other class that were on fire! So, I was very inspired. Can't wait till we get more than 20 minutes up on stage for our next show

Currently listening :
Tarantula
By Mystikal
Release date: By 18 December, 2001

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=11&blogDay=20&blogYear=2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

To Bond Or Not To Bond

I remember growing up in San Antonio, TX watching James Bond movies on ABC KSAT channel 12 (all edited for content and to ensure the image was perfectly formatted for my TV screen). I'd watch this relatively good looking guy kick everyone's arse, kill the arch enemy, and get the chick(s) at the end. And do it relatively with no visible effort. I'd watch in anticipation to see what new cool gadget Q would come up with (of course, the coolest of all the toys they would show in passing as Bond would walk through the laboratory; none of which Bond would get to use), and wish I could be there to help 007 by driving him around in his cool amphibious vehicles or jet packs. What can I say, I'm a big geek for it.

Of course, Bond fans argue over who was the best James Bond. At the top of my list is Roger Moore. C'mon...he got be in a movie about a cat with 8 lives (Octopussy), climb up the Golden State bridge to a tune performed by Duran Duran (A View To A Kill), and fly replicas of the Enterprise space shuttle fully equipped with lazers to dock with orbiting space stations while being chased by a guy who arguably sported the very first grill (Moonraker)!

I know...blasphemy! "Connery was the first" and blah blah blah. Connery is my #3. Pierce Brosnan was a perfect fit. Too bad he got passed up by Dalton which I refer to as the "painful years" .

Now we've go the "new guy" Daniel Craig. I know absolutely nothing about him nor his ability to play Bond. Yet there's an entire website dedicated to attempting to doom Craig's future reprisal of the role. How can these guys hate him until they see the flick? Apparently 3 out of 4 "good" Bonds approve of the casting.

I am actually excited to see the movie. The franchise reminds me of my brother. It's one of the few things he and I both could agree on growing up: DON'T CHANGE IT! JAMES BOND IS ON!

Currently reading :
James Bond. Casino Royal.
By Ian Fleming
Release date: By 01 May, 2003

Monday, November 13, 2006

On The Frontline

Thank you WGBH for putting all the my beloved Frontline episodes online! I've now watched how Rumsfeld fought to get where he was (and assisted in fawking up on the war in Iraq), how Middle Eastern terrorism has moved from being merely a "Western problem" into a true international problem by moving into Europe (and assisted in fawking us up on the war in Iraq), and how during the first year we were in Iraq, how the administration there fought in vain to get stuff done and organized (and continued to fawk up on the war in Iraq).

I've been sending FL links to my best friend to backup political statements I've been making regarding our national politics. Believe it or not, I don't necessarily "hate" Bush. Being the President would be a crappy job kinda like the coach of a pee-wee baseball team. Everyone loves you at the beginning of the season and they expect action to take you to the championship by the end of the term. You take some kind of action and then everyone on the sidelines who doesn't understand what it takes to be a leader comments, bitches, moans, or cheers incessantly about what was done. Of course, everyone could do a better job than you the entire time.

I feel that Bush cannot be blamed 100% for things going right or wrong in this country just, because we are a republic as opposed to a dictatorship. We must hold others in government accountable as well with things we agree or disagree with which is probably why there are a lot more Democrats in the Congress

I've been continuing to watch Sleeper Cell on ShowTime. That show to me is a perfect blend of good writing, directing, and acting. With the stuff I've seen on FL giving me a historical and admittedly sometimes biased view on terrorism, it makes SC stand out even more! I recommend anyone to watch it.

Currently watching :
Sleeper Cell
Release date: By 14 March, 2006

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Get Those Boys Some Women!

Now, I've done my fair share of queues; waiting in long ass lines for tickets to a concert or a chance to meet and greet a favorite band of mine or get a cold Frappachino at Starbucks in the morning. I feel I could always justify those. However, these guys are waiting in line for a chance to grab a PS3. In this point of my life, I would rather wait in line to attend Oprah's show than get a gaming console.

P.S. Thanks to you out there actually reading/skimming these blogs and actually enjoying my musings. All I ask is that if you have thoughts on any of them, please feel free to comment.

Currently listening :
Hustle & Flow
By Original Soundtrack
Release date: By 12 July, 2005

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=11&blogDay=10&blogYear=2006

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Nelson V...Please Report To Duty...Sike!

I needed to make up a missed class over Second City and the only time I can do it is at 11 AM on Wednesdays. So, I got up early, did some stuff to clear my schedule for the rest of the day, hit up my boss for an implicit request for permission to skip out on the middle of my day to only make it up form 2:30-:6:30 tonight, showered then headed out. I drove like a demon to get down there in time to find parking, get to the office to let them know I'm making up a class, and then actually attend it. I got to the office by 10:56 AM to find out class had been cancelled due to the teacher doing a book signing tomorrow and him needing to get prepared for it. By 10:59 AM, I was outside walking back to my car.

I've got class tonight so all is not lost. I am going to end up missing part of next week's class for a for a gig (which I will make up another day). I had some good improv fun with Salsation last night to prepare for the gig, so, I feel okay as far as my amount of improvisation I've done for the week. Tomorrow I've got a jam session with Your Warped Reality so that should be fun. Good times

Currently listening :
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Greatest Hits
By Stevie Ray Vaughan
Release date: By 31 October, 1995

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Kan Ye Be Anymore Arrogant?!

Here's another great example of someone who should be a lot more grateful of the success he's having than unapologetically and implicitly dissing another artsits' video work.

Currently watching :
Sleeper Cell
Release date: By 14 March, 2006

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=11&blogDay=5&blogYear=2006

Friday, November 3, 2006

Kan Ye Shut the Fawk Up?

I am definitely going to continue avoiding giving Kanye West props. I've been hesitating for quite sometime to say whether or not I'm into him like everyone else. I respect his success and how much people like him but I think he's behaves like a kid throwing a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way. He acted a fool in Europe and is continuing his boisterous attitude to the alleged magnificence of his artistry. It's like he feels he convince everyone else he's "the greatest" since he doesn't believe it himself. That's why I got his records for free from other people instead of buying them....ungrateful bastard

Currently listening :
Cry Baby and 11 Other Hits
By Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters
Release date: By 25 November, 1991

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&FriendID=16074757&blogMonth=11&blogDay=3&blogYear=2006

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

My Departure From Chicago

I was in Texas for a majority of last week. I got to visit family in friends from Dallas, to Austin to San Antonio (yes, the ususal I-35 pilgrimage was in effect). Overal, it was a good trip but much too short.

I do have to thank the millions of runners successfully jacking up traffic in Chicago by holding a marathon on the same day I was to leave. Getting to the airport was fun since I had to pick up Jill from volleyball tryouts at UIC which happened to be surrounded by the marathon path. The line of cars to get onto the highway was at least 4 blocks long and very slow moving. So, in my infinite wisdom, I attempted to find a way around the path and use side streets to get to I-55 to head to Midway. That was fun too because we must've been stuck behind every junk truck, slow moving 9 passenger van, and stoplight heading down 18th street. I wondered, "Why am I manifesting this for myself?!"

I eventually did get to the airport in the nick of time. After checking in at the counter, I was 10 minutes passed the board time to get onto the flight! DOH! I hit Security as quickly as possible, scanned my bags, shoes, belt, jacket, and boarding pass (I heard from the Administration there's an explosive paper that can be used by terrorists. I just wanted to do my part to show that ATA was being a good, corporate citizen of the good ole US of A by scanning my e-ticket printout!) in the X-Ray scanner while the attenedant was busy chatting away with a girlfriend ignoring the potential dangers in people's luggage. I dressed again and walked quickly to the terminal to just find out the incoming flight was delayed by 30 minutes which then made my hasty arrival at the gate 10 minutes early. DOH! So, I chilled out, called Jill to let her know I made it in time, and waited.

I boarded onto the plane a short while later and headed to my seat. I noticed there was a rather large man and his family occuping the entire row in which I was to sit in. I then scrambled to find my ticket stub and saw 17D written on it. I've been in situations before where my seat had been sold to two different people so I didn't freak out. I leaned over to the chap and said, "Excuse me. I hate to bother you but it looks like we both have the same seat." The gentleman seated was busy playing with his Treo when I started talking to him. Annoyed, he looks at me through slanted eyes and says candidly, "I'm sitting in my seat. 18D".

Taken aback by the attitude, I said, "Oh, really...I must've been mistaken."

He then proceeded to look up and check the numbers on the overhead bins and he realized he was in the wrong seat. He started fidgeting quickly. Looking down at the floor he said, "I'm sorry. These numbers ain't written quite right."

I then glanced at the fact he had a wife and baby with a car seat sitting the aisle with him. So, I placed my hand on his shoulder and said, "Dude. It's alright. It was an honest mistake. I'll just switch with you if that's alright. It's easier for you to stay there."

"Are you sure?" he asked still trying to get up from his seat.

"Yeah, bro," I replied. He smiled and sat down and now was much more interested in the oncoming passengers to ask them for a switch for the other two seats. I busted a couple of jokes with him to ease the awkwardness of his plight.

The plane took off and I fell asleep to the sweet sounds of my iPod.

Currently listening :
Mirror
By Monte Montgomery
Release date: By 15 June, 1999