Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Arrogance, Cockiness, and Self-Promotion

My man Richard Cheese posted up a blog about how he got some backlash regarding him promoting the hell out of his products, CDs, and appearances via MySpace. In it he candidly discusses his financial situation, his health, and life as an independent artist. It was very refreshing because I can relate with a lot of what he had to say.

"Perception produces reality" is what I recently told a peer group of mine. We anonymously wrote down the good and not-so-good about each other. On the good stuff, there seemed to be a consensus on my talents, drive, and professionalism which I was very grateful to see. On the things needing to improve, I was perceived as cocky, arrogant, and a bit distasteful in the personal appearance area. Of course, I took these things in stride as things that I've been working on my whole life and will continue to work on. Unfortunately, they weren't the first group of people to tell me about my behavior. The same words have been used in the past to describe me and for a long time I was definitely proud of it. Now a days, yes, I revel a tiny bit in it but not when it impedes my ability to work with others.

I've received some comments about the promotion machine that is the V-Zine. In case you didn't know, it's a periodic (sometimes weekly) email I send out to about 300 email addresses I've collected over the years promoting my personal life, shows, and music. It started out as a labor of love straight out of my Yahoo inbox and has now grown to a graphically designed juggernaut that's managed through a sometimes weekly subscription service where any user may subscribe or unsubscribe to. I moved it to this model as I kept hearing things like

"Your emails are annoying."

"All you do is talk about how great things are going for you and rubbing it in my face."

"Hey, I've got your millionth email about your shows!"

"I don't even read them. I trash them automatically."

In the past, I used to send multiple emails out for shows, call and beg people to come to shows, and text remind folks. I would take it really personally if no one came to the show. It took a long time to realize that people ultimately will do what they want to do, thus, strong arming them into coming is useless. Also, I don't ever want people to come to anything I do out of obligation but rather genuine interest in what I'm performing in. I figure putting out a sometimes weekly notice with what's going on in it is very reasonable. If no one shows up, cool! Just don't ask me for free tickets/comps to the big shows down the line .

When promoting myself it seems that it feeds the notion that its something that an only an arrogant person would do. Like Dick, I feel that if I don't promote myself, then who the hell will? I really would like to make an awesome living at this. At a minimum I'd like to achieve lightweight respect and fame directly from the creative efforts I jump into. I truly feel I am no better than anyone in this grand scheme called life. Although I do enjoy having my ego stroked and inflated, ultimately, I'd be known as the guy who does good work, and shows appreciation to those who have helped along the way, because I don't know of any artist that did it all by themselves .

I am going to identify when I'm being overbearing or just confident in what I'm doing. I cannot control people's reactions to what I do, but I can at least be a bit cognizant of their issues and decide it is truly me or them.
Currently listening :
Rock the House
By DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Release date: 25 October, 1990

Sunday, October 28, 2007

And This One Time At Band Camp...

I was watching "When Metallica Ruled The World" On VH1 Classic yesterday and I kept seeing commercials for a Rock n' Roll Fantasy Camp. It piqued my interest in that I kept having Simpsons flashbacks of when Homer and the guys go to their own rock n' roll fantasy camp with Lenny Kravitz, Keith Richard, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, and Mick Jagger. I thought it was just a cool idea in the cartoon but perked up when it became a reality.

The idea of spending $10K to do it is a bit daunting but if it wasn't on my dime, I sure as hell would. I would like to attend a RnRFC with councilors such as Billy Corgan, Brandon Boyd, a resurrected Dimebag Darrel, Brian Setzer, Jimmy Chamberlin, Paul McCartney, and Tom Morello.

Currently listening :
How to Meet Girls
By Nerf Herder
Release date: 07 March, 2000

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Funding the City of Chicago

I just paid over $1000 in parking tickets for my cars today . All this in response to trying to get payment for work done previously. The net profit form this will be about $800. What a dumbarse!

Currently listening :
Another Ticket
By Eric Clapton
Release date: 10 September, 1996

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On-Screen Sadism II:The Reckoning

I got home from Static Republic rehearsal and was in a good mood. little did I know that it would get even better. The wifey was watching Jimmy Kimmel Live and he did an entire section of his monologue on the same exact Maury Povich show I wrote my blog about! He even highlighted the same points I did about the Jello and the chickens! WTF?! I've decided to take it up with the show directly:

Dear Jimmy Kimmel writers,

Please resist the urge to read my blog and incorporate it into your show. I would be more than happy to take a position writing material for Jimmy to perform for a salary no less than $115K/yr. Feel free to check out my resume online.

Incredibly arrogantly and egotistically yours,
Nelson V

As Hannibal says, "I love it when a plan comes together."

Currently listening :
8 Mile
By Eminem
Release date: 29 October, 2002

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On-Screen Sadism

I know that the best writers and producers are employed by the Maury Povich Show. They feature the best that society has to offer such as men and women trying to figure out who are the fathers of the countless of bastard children are out there, exploiting overweight children by dressing them up in clothing that features how fat they are, and my personal favorite, phobias.

Today's special tagline is "I'm terrified of gum, crabs, and balloons." I just watched a woman run in "horror" when a bowl of Jello was brought out. Call me cynical but I don't believe that anyone on these shows truly have the phobias since they're able to "cure" these phobias in the span of a 3-hour taping. The best part is that they show footage or sounds of regarding each phobia trying to have their guests confront their phobias. This one lady was scared of chickens, so, when they confronted her, they had live chickens around, buckets of friend chicken, played chicken sounds, and even had guys dressed up in chicken costumes surrounding her.

Talk about cruel TV.

Currently listening :
This Left Feels Right: Greatest Hits With a Twist
By Bon Jovi
Release date: 04 November, 2003

Note: This was originally posted on Myspace with comments at:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Can I Get an Encore? Need I Say More?

I tried out for Encore Talent Agency this morning. I got called back 4 times into the audition room for different things. I was offered a contract to sign on with them. I'm evaluating my options but this is a good sign of things to come.

Currently watching :
Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete Seasons 1-4
Release date: By 01 November, 2005

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ship-Wrecked Mexican

In light of Nas naming his next record N*gger, I'm naming my new record Ship-Wrecked Mexican. Since I've been mistaken for a one my whole life, I figure this would be appropriate title in perpetuating racial slurs in popular culture.

I'll be interested to see how well Nas' record sales do once he puts the record out. I doubt Walmart, Best Buy, et cetera will carry the record as-is. I wonder if they'll black sleeve it or not even print the name on the case. I have a feeling because of the controversy it's definitely going platinum. He definitely caught a lot of people off-guard with Hip-Hop Is Dead with a bunch of people trying to fight that notion. I wouldn't be surprised if the next slew of records coming out will follow suit to try to capitalize on controversial names. Here's a list of ones I thought of:

1. Cubs Win The World Series!
2. Hip-Hop Jihad
3. A WineHouse Sober
4. Stay Poor...While Trying
5. XXX-Rated Girls! - Sponsored by McDonald's!

Well, Nas, let's see where this goes.

Currently listening :
Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics
By Matt Stone
Release date: 23 November, 1999

Friday, October 19, 2007

Day 7 In San Diego: Sweet Home Chicago

I woke up at 4:30 AM PT to get on my 6:30 AM PT flight to land in Chicago at 12:30 CT. The flight was full and I got a window seat At least I caught some z's and worked through my lines a bit on the flight. I got home, the wifey and doggey picked me up form the airport, and we hit the chain-loving, unauthentic Mexican join Uncle Julio's Hacienda for some good food! I got home, slept a bit, then went to a Static Republic rehearsal.

It was a great trip. We spent a bit too much money there, but, hey, it was worth it overall. I can't wait for the next journey!

Currently listening :
Sweet Home Chicago
By Lonnie Brooks
Release date: 05 June, 1992

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 6 in San Diego: I’m On My Own

Alone I am once again in the town of Diego the Saint. I woke up and worked on my lines for the upcoming show in the morning. I had to coax myself to get the strength to go into the water again. Luckily, the world provided an impetus by allowing the sun to shine on through the patches of clouds.

I hit the beach a few hours later and rented from Ray's Rentals again. I suited up and got into the water to get used to the sensation of coldness trying to creep its way into my wetsuit. The waves were crashing more frequently than the previous days so I figured I would have plenty of opportunities to get up on the board.

I spent about 3.5 hours on the beach trying to get up. I got up a handful of time, a definite improvement over the last few days. The waves were weird as they came frequently but didn't seem to have any real power to push me anywhere. I sat out a couple of times hoping the situation would become a bit more palatable to my goal. It didn't really come but at least I got a lot of sun and darkness out of it .

I then returned to the hotel after my day at the beach. I ordered some Papa John's, ate, and went to bed.

I'm going to look into wave pools in Wisconsin and Illinois. I want to keep my skillz up!

Currently listening :
Night Ripper
By Girl Talk
Release date: 09 May, 2006

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day 5 in San Diego: Get On Up!

On this morning I said to myself, "Oww. I can't move!" My muscles were tight as hell and I've been showing signs of wear and tear. I've got bruises all over my arms, legs, and chest along with cuts and scrapes on my hands, feet, and elbows. I told the wifey she better stop beating me up while sleeping.

We hit the beach again and rented our boards and wetsuits. The waves, however, were pretty wacky where they were breaking way out in the surf, thus, they were just little pushes of white foam by the time I got to them. I did get up an additional 2.5 times up on that board! Whoo hoo! I ended the day on the longest ride of the week of about 15 feet. I was a happy boy!

We got out of the water and back into our day clothes and tried to shop a bit for the fams. Hey Jaqueline, this is for you: We ate a local pizzeria called Filippi's Pizza Grotto...and the food sucked! that's what I get for not going chain. I really wanted Papa John's but we were out for the night, thus, we ate locally. Never again! I eat chain because when I hate paying for sh*tty food. At least at a chain, I know what to expect.

Afterthat, I took the wifey to the airport, came back to the hotel and crashed. It was awesome.

Currently listening :
Hotel California
By Eagles
Release date: 25 October, 1990

Monday, October 15, 2007

Day 4 in San Diego: Keep Him Off My Wave!

Play This Track While You Read The Blog

Yesterday was an occasion where another life milestone was met.

I woke up early to go over my lines for the this weekends Brownco show while the wifey sept in a bit. I got a bit of breakfast and worked my lines over in the lobby. Two elderly ladies watched me talking to myself for a good hour until the wifey showed up for breakfast and pulled me away. They asked me if I was studying for a test or something. I told them politely "No. Actually, I'm an actor and I rehearsing my lines for an upcoming show." They laughed and said they enjoyed watching me talk to myself and act things out.

We then packed up the rental car and hit Mission Beach again. The temperature outside was great and it was clear and sunny. We stopped by Ray's Rentals and got ourselves wetsuits, a surfboard, and a body board. After putting on my suit, we got to a spot on the beach where the waves looked good, and dropped all of our stuff on the beach. It took us a while to figure out how to properly put on the wetsuit. I have a propensity of putting things on backwards . I hit the perpetual 65° water and tried out my wetsuit. I was warm! Whoo hoo! Well, until the water got over my head adn down into my suit. However, it wasn't too shocking unlike the day I went without one. So, lesson learned: Do not go into cold water without a wetsuit if you can help it otherwise you'll get hypothermic and want to snuggle up with a radiator!

In the morning I had watched a set of pretty decent how-to surf videos online. They prepped me for the day's activities. Time to put those lessons to good use. I plopped my board on the sand and got used to laying on it and popping myself up like I had learned in the video. Here's a good action shot:

After a few pop-up trials, I figured that it was time to try it in the water. It was a harrowing experience! The amount of strength and dexterity that one needs to fight the waves to get out to where they are, then to turn around, and ride the waves back either on or off the board is tremendous. I was constantly out of breath or strength the whole time . This was the usual type of scenery with me on the board riding it in:

However, after many trials and tribulations that day, I did manage to get up 1.5 times on the board and ride the wave! Whoo hoo! I've always wanted to do that and got to do it, finally! No pictures of the historic moment, however, I'm going back out today to try to snap some up.

At the end of the day, I was really tired and bruised up but happy that I finally surfed.

We got out of the water around 5:30 PM and returned all of our rental equipment. We headed back to the hotel for some R&R in the hot tub to warm ourselves up and massage our weary muscles. After that, we zonked out at around 9 PM PT. We're party animals!
Currently watching :
Legally Blonde
Release date: 06 November, 2001

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Day 3 In San Diego: Boogie Down Productions

We hit up the downtown area yesterday morning and viewed a number of ships they had tied up to the port there. The HMS Surprise, which was the featured in the movie Master and Commander, was there so we spent a lot of time trying to document it for the father-in-law who's a regular sailor and digs looking at these kinds of things. I even designed my own flag for my future head flagship of my fleet:

We also went aboard a decommissioned (or at least I hope it was ) Russian submarine the b-39. Being on a Russian back in the day would've sucked! It's tiny, hot, and a lot of work. The design of the sub was based on the old U-boats of WWII, thus, of course, they feel a bit bassackwards.

We went aboard a few other boats and finally decided it was time to hit the beach (after feeling a bit seasick). We went back to the hotel, got lotioned up and hit Mission Beach again. Once we got there, we rented some bodyboards to try to ride them 6' waves. I got massive amounts of rash on my chest and other areas while doing this for about 3 hours. It was a lot of fun and I think it prepped me for the rigors of the ocean for my future surf lesson.

We also experienced what it feels like to by hypothermic! YEAH! The water must've been anywhere from 60-65° F the whole time and the air temperature was about the same. We were in the water the entire time without bodysuits, and for a while, it was warmer in the water than out of it! No matter what we did to stay warm, we were freezing. I felt lethargic and everything was a chore to do. My hands were numb and I was getting the whole pins and needles feeling in my left arm while driving. It wasn't until about 3 hours later at Chevy's Mexican restaurant where I finally felt somewhat better.

We hit the hotel and tried warming up afterwards. I was zonked out and sore. More later!
Currently watching :
Garfield - A Tail of Two Kitties
Release date: 10 October, 2006

Friday, October 12, 2007

Day 2 in San Diego: Justifying My Purpose

The Things They Make For My People

I woke up yesterday at 5:30 AM to write the previous day's blog entry. Apparently my body likes to be on Central Time still . My email inboxes were checked, and I took care of some of early morning bidnez.

I then went to the airport to pick up the wifey so we can enjoy our first vacation in almost a year. I'm glad she's with me because as much as I like to be adventurous and be on my own, it's always fun to share it with someone you care about.

We napped for a few due to the time difference and just plain exhaustion of the previous day/night. I had to get to my convention to hang out with others from my workplace (although I didn't know any of them), so, we decided to drop her off at Sea World while I kanoodled with the executives. It was a 10 minute drive from the hotel and near Mission Beach which made it incredibly convenient to kill some time...until we saw the exorbitant ticket prices of $57 a ticket! We decided to forgo that plan and instead decided to go together to my meeting.

Once we got there, the resort/meeting area was right next to the mall I had gone to look for a boardshorts previously. The wifey decided to go the mall and hang out while I attended my meeting. The meeting itself turned out to be just a small get-together with about 50 people from all over the country talking about their job roles, families, and the future of the company. I felt I made impressions on folks with jokes and hopefully engaging conversation. an hour and 45 minutes, I was outty!

We then hit up the hotel on the way to the beach. Once we got to the beach, I slowly approached the water remembering the 65° needles going into my legs the day before. I had my watershoes on and noticed that the water, for whatever reason, wasn't as cold as I thought it should be. As I approached the rolling waves, my body acclimated to the coldness and eventually I was completely in! Whoo hoo! I watched a lot of surfers trying to ride the waves and I learned stuff about the waves and what I will run into during my surf lesson (like wear a gawd damn body suit to keep your arse warm! )

I did receive a call from a corporate improvising company looking for a fill-in for a gig in Myrtle Beach, SC in the beginning of November. I was recommended by a good friend of mine in the community, thus, they're taking a chance on me (or as I see it, a sure bet ). I actually had auditioned with the guy talking to me on the phone and he remembered my audition telling me that he felt I was one of the top people there. I was incredibly flattered and humbled. He had an awesome audition as well and I felt he was a shoe-in for the positions we were both seeking. It's awesome when you have mutual, artistic respect going into a hopefully fruitful relationship!

We then went to Olive Garden and ate some din-din after the beach. We walked out and saw there was an accident scene. I blurt out my usual "Dang, somebody got shot" comment when I see lots of flashing lights. I got a flurry of dirty looks from people watching the scene. I guess it was an insensitive thing for me to say. It's something I say in Chicago all the time because every 10-15 minutes there are sirens and flashing lights going off in my 'hood. If looks could kill...

We hit the hotel and went to bed! Whoo hoo! More love to come.
Currently listening :
By Soundgarden
Release date: 08 March, 1994