Friday, February 29, 2008
Mostly we just lounged around in our room, took a quick walk to see the fantastic world, and then went downstairs to wait for our bus to the airport, that I reserved at the beginning of the trip, being the smart person I am. 30 minutes after it was supposed to arrive, it came, and we got on, after being a little worried. One of the hotel staff came out to make sure we were okay and called the company - that was pretty cool. They sure do know how to take care of their tourists.
The ride was uneventful, but in another shot of that'll show 'em! I didn't tip the driver, for being a half an hour late, and kind of an asshole on the ride there. What's funny is one thing he said was while we were passing a condo place being built, something like, "If ya want to live there, all you have to do is slap down $700,000!" and the rest of the bus laughed, but Monica and I turned to each other and said, "That's it?" Truly, Bay Area prices have given us an edge when coming to other parts of the world. Certainly we can't afford it, but goddamn if that was a lot more affordable than we thought.
Anywho, driving back was semi revisiting old places, it was fun to see how far we walked and where we went. At the airport we ended with a better meal than we had the night before, at a place called Sting Ray's. It had tacky decorations and everything, but it was cheaper than Horrible Burger, and the quesadilla that I stole from Monica was fantastic. And we got a little boozed up for the flight. Our other obsticle was trying to squish a billion pounds of souviners into two bags. What was incredibly funny was us talking to the ticketing agent, and then frantically switching shit around our bags in the middle of the airport; something I'm very familiar with, but with Monica, it was a little more newer of a phenomenon. It was very sitcomey though, and then we made it with 49.5 pounds. With Professor Layton in hand, the plane ride back was fun and occupied.. very simple. And my mom picked us up! What fun it is to see a friendly face after being on a plane for so long. I love getting out and meeting people at the checkpoint at the airport.
What can I say about the trip? It was amazing. Hawaii is a fucking fantastic place, when you get out of the city areas. But still, even in those areas, there still is a different spirit there, from the free beaches for all to the cheap touristy shit you can see on every corner, to the ABC Stores that are as prevelant as Starbucks... moreso, really! So I want to go back. I want to live there. I do already have a job there... in the field that I love... and maybe I can go to school there... I'm outta here!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Had a cool talk with Monica today about past relationships and shit. She's really an insightful person. I'm glad I have someone who I can bounce ideas off of, and who can calm me down when I'm being irrational and kinda stupid.
Michaele just gave me a piece of tart. Time to eat it.
Been going through other options in case I don't get into an MFA program. I still hope I do, but in case I don't, I still want to try and continue on my career path. I don't know what that means, but I do know it means more than just getting shitty roles in a shitty market for theatre.
Internships are a way to this, I guess. I've only been an intern once, for the costume shop, and I loved it. It was a great job with cool shit to do. The only problem is that I'm not a costume designer, nor am I a tailor. It is a skill set that will undoubtably come in handy, but I don't have that burning desire for it, like I do for acting, or shit, even stage managing. I could see myself as a stage management intern.
I guess it's the same ol thing that passion for the art and drive will not make me successful. It's luck and who you know. And maybe an internship will get me in with someone who would know me. Or maybe an MFA program will pick me up, and then more people will know me. I just want to do the art I love. That's all I want. I shouldn't have to fight to do my passion, I should just be able to do it!
I don't regret going to Truman. I just wish I made a different decision. Even an arts school would have been a better fit for me, and a better thing for my future. But I was blinded by silliness. God! Even staying at Truman for their MAE... I would have a master's now, and be able to teach, or at least be able to say I have a master's. No use for regrets though. All I can do is plug on ahead. No regrets, just frustration. I think frustration's going to be okay.
I just need to get out of this area. I'm glad I moved, but I think it wasn't a step in the right direction for my career, especially if I want to live fully from my art. This is NOT the place to do it.
Well, no time like the present to start changing your life. I'm going to sign up for some classes and see where that takes me.
By the end of the slight grade the path started out with, we were already panting. I'm serious here, I was wheezing at like a 5 degree incline. So out of shape, damn you DDR! You haven't helped me like you should! Anyway, I think it was mostly the whole trip catching up to us; we have been rocking out for a looong time that week. After just putting our heads into it, and seeing that we didn't really have time to worry about wheezing at this low of a grade, we started up the extinct volcano.
I'm a fan of hiking, don't get me wrong, but I have never done something this intense. Yes, yes, my extreme sports friends may laugh, but the most I've ever done was the waterfall walk on Mt. Tam, and that was like 5 years ago, so I am hardly at my peak of hiking ability. I am so happy to say that it was completely worth it. The struggle up the mountain, the constant breaks and splashing water all over myself trying to drink it, because when we got to that first lookout point, we had to go on. I knew we had to keep going up.
Unfortunately, 'up' after that was stairs. Where a grade is awesome, going up stairs is highly assholery from the management. Stairs, through a tunnel, and then some more stairs. Then, just as you think you're done, you enter an old military installation and they kill you, with a spiral staircase. This is at the end of the walk, mind you, where you're already exhausted. Jesus! We exited through an old bunker, up some stairs, through a tiny opening, and out on top of the crater. The reward is spectacular; it felt like we could taste infinity. This was the kind of shit that I wanted to do all along, this nature-iffic anticommercialism stuff. You really could see through all the stupid touristy shit (that Hawaii gets most of its money from, don't get me wrong, tourism rocks), and see the true beauty that is the world.
At the top was a souviner stand, and we bought for $2 a flier saying we made it, it came with an official seal! Rock and roll. There was also a tour guide there, at first I thought he had come with a group, but then I realized that he was standing on top trying to get people to come on a tour tomorrow. He was advertising on top of Diamond Head. It was pretty hilarious, actually, him going through his naturey thing; he obviously has some training when it comes to forestry and knowledge of weather, and seeing all the people ignore him. What a job. Also there was a kid sitting, bored, playing PSP. This is truly America.
The hike down was easier, but we still stopped and took breaks to enjoy the view and keep ourselves hydrated. The problem with downhill for us, though, is that we both have bad sets of knees, so even though we're not climbing, and therefore less energy, we still have to be sure footed; our knees are stupid. Anyway, at the car was some Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwitch makin' stuff. Which I consumed.
Our next goal was to go to Hanuama Bay, which was rated for the best and coolest bay to snorkel. Monica had been looking forward to it for the entire trip, even more than Diamond Head. I was cool with it - but I kinda thought that looking at things in the water would just be kind of a freak out for both of us. I kept my mouth shut though; she REALLY wanted to go.
Unfortunately, the bay was full. Not kidding, the parking lot was full, so we can only assume how full the bay itself must be. We kept on driving on 72 past the bay, tears in our eyes, but hope in our hearts. Sandy Beach rolled up on our left. It looked like exactly what I wanted, some place where I can play in the waves and body surf and a place where the waves could actually get above my waist, unlike the other beaches we visited.
Mixed reviews from the team. I thought it was FANTASTIC swimming, once you get out past this deposit of rocks, the sand is soft and the waves are fun. The problems are, if you are swept off your feet, you may land on the rocks, but that is a risk you must take sometimes. Moncia's review is much more negative, since she did, in fact, get swept off her feet and into the rocks, so we ended our visit to Sandy Beach after an hour or two a little crankier than before. (Well, I was pretty happy, but disappointed that she didn't like it/sad that she got hurt. The sea be a harsh mistress.)
Further north on 72, as we were searching (vaguely) for Kailua Bay - one of the most popular places to swim evar, we passed Waimanalo Bay, and were immediately enraptured at the beautiful light blue water, the island in the distance, and the lack of super high waves. I put my feet in the water, and after an initial chill, it was fantastic and warm and the sand was soft. We briefly debated staying there right away, but then realized we needed to eat, so we went further north, vowing to come back!
We found a lunch plate place called Keneke's, and decided to give it a shot, with Monica's explination being, "This is what the Hawaiian's eat." So we ate. I got the Kuna'a'dfdapgoahrd'sa'f Chicken, or Sweet Chicken and she got the Sanda'rdgasrd'gdasygydsa Chicken, or Not As Good As Sweet Chicken Chicken. Both plates came with fries and rice or some other sides, but that's what I had, and that's all I can remember. It was a long wait, but well worth it, and we sat in the shade of this place's dining area. And in this sense, dining area means jesus area. I swear to god the entire bible was written on those walls. I wonder if they're trying to convert people while you're eating. Well, worked on me! Off to church!
After the delicious lunch, we headed back to Waimanalo Bay where we spent a blissful afternoon playing in the water and pretending there were strong waves. It's funny, just thinking about the waves right now makes me feel them around my body. Odd stuff, the sense memories our bodies have. It was a wonderful afternoon, nothing more to say! The next time I go to Hawaii, I will go there on the first day - that is what I wanted to do the whole time.
After our great afternoon, we drove back and chilled in the hotel room. I started to realize that I was sunburnt, but not terribly so. Just moderately. Checking back at the hotel there was some redness on my shoulders, but I definetly had worse than that in the past. My guess: need to reapply more.
So, our last night on Oahu. We drove over to the Ala Moana Shopping Center and went to the thai place one last time for large Thai Iced Teas, then to Hilo Hatties, where we bought some souveniers, and then to GameStop, to buy Professor Layton and the Curious Village for me. Hey, I needed something for the plane ride back. We managed to do all that before 6:30, and made it to the beach across the street to watch the sunset, which is now the picture on my desktop at work. Beautiful, magical, sparkly, what more can I say?
We returned the car with a few hours to spare and walked back to our hotel. On the way, we passed Cheeseburger in Paradise, a place we saw on our entire visit, and said, "Man, that looks good," but never going there. We said, "Man, that looks good, and went there." Now. I won't give a full review of the restaurant, but the only thing good about it was leaving at the end. Sure there was fun cheap shit on the walls, and the menu was cleverly written, but it took them at least 15 minutes before even taking our drink order, then the food took almost an hour to come out, and his only explination was that they were operating at full capacity. Looking around, we weren't operating at full capacity. There were many tables empty. We could give them the benefit of the doubt here, maybe a cook quit, maybe something exploded. But no. I have never given a tip below 10% before, but this was my time to shine. That'll show him!
(The food was pretty good, when it came. burgers at least.)
Back at home, we relaxed and took in our entire trip; this was our last night, so we looked at our swag, and had a great evening, including delicious burger leftovers.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I also need to reserve a tux for Nick's wedding. I'm still not quite sure how to do that. I think I MAY reserve it in the Lou, and then go get it fitted there; I don't want to be lugging it all across the country. I almost left the 'o' out of country, so you can puzzle what that would have spelled. It made me laugh because I have a strange mind. Strange = naughty.
I think I've come to terms with the fact that I may not get into ANY of the programs I've applied for. Sure, fun and games and shit, and even if I got into a program like UHM, what could I teach? I just learned puppetry for 3 years... who in fuck's name teaches puppetry? And why am I saying I want to teach? I don't really want to do that! Just frustrated right now, I really want my next chapter to start, but grad school may not be for me. Either that, or it might be in another subject, one that isn't governed by programs that only accept one type of actor. Either that, or I can schedule my breast implant surgery so I can get into some schools. Dying the hair blonde is easy, the big step is to get the boobs.
Blah, I'm just getting myself down. I would surperbly enjoy learning more skills. I know I would, I did the first time around, this would be without all that liberal arts bullshit. Ah, I should have gone to an arts college all along. Oh well. Live and learn.
I think my next chapter will start soon. I just need to be more proactive. With many things, like agents too, I've been super lax on that for this whole year. Admittedly, I thought that after my grad school auditions, my path would be before me and I would have an easy year knowing that I have something coming up that I would enjoy profoundly. Boo to that. I just need to start not feeling shitty about myself. This isn't as bad as it was. Truly truly not as bad as it was - I've even upped my workout! I'm so not as depressed as I was feeling this time last year.
So, tonight I might head over to Joanne's Fabrics and pick up some supplies to make duvet covers for the comforters in my life. It will be fun to get back into tailoring. Then:
- A vest.
- More clothes.
I want to rock this sewing machine out, and I've been a bad present recipient and haven't used it one bit. Shame on me. I'll make it up to the world by making duvet covers. I sure as fuck think that's how you spell it.
National Rent A Car (I think that's what it was) was friendly and quick, and promised us a car! Yes! After a few tries of missing the stairs to the basement (My fault really, Monica had us pointed in the right direction.), we headed to what would be the Beigemobile. And a compact car, right? Okay, so space 31! Let's look for a compact car in space 31. Well, here's 15, and it increases as we go that way, so let's keep going. We passed a car that screamed OLD PERSON VEHICLE. It looked like it had enough blind spots it shouldn't be on the road. Huh, 32, we must have passed it. We walked past OPV again. Huh, 30. Then it hit us, and we slowly turned our heads down below the OPV, the darkness and dread filling our hearts. Dear readers, this was no compact car, this was a genuine OPV, but not only that, it was a Weird OPV. Everything seemed either obnoxiously big or oddly missing. For example, no trunk to speak of, but a back area where we can throw things. Swallowing our pride, we got in, made the inspection, and were off. It wasn't terrible. And it had air conditioning. We were set for the day.
Our first stop was the Aloha Fleamarket. There's really not much to say, if you've been to a fleamarket before, you'll know what this is. EXCEPT THAT IT'S LIKE 10 BILLION TIMES BIGGER! It was surrounding the Aloha Stadium, which is big in itself, and taking up, I would say about 70% of the parking lot. Big fleamarket. This is why I waited to get my gifts till Saturday. You could get anything there. Well, anything that surrounds the "cheap gift" catagory. That's being unfair, there was a lot of really cool art, plus some food booths. I even got yelled at for taking a picture of a seashell piece of art! I have that on my hard drive somewhere. I feel like a badass.
Anyway, gifts were bought and I was mostly done with my shopping for people, except for maybe some chocolate covered macademias... but that could be saved for the end of the trip for fear that the chocolates would be eaten beforehand. We already had one box casualty. Poor delicious chocolates.
Presents were bought, and sandwitches were made, and we went off on our new highly mobile journey across the island. We were going to just skip and frolic wherever we pleased that day, our first stop going through the island, north of Honolulu, to see just a little less city; by that point, I was ready to see something else, for sure.
I don't quite know how instant it was, but it was very quick before the city disappeared and we were traveling through suburbanish places, and then through country roads. It seemed almost like the entire midwest squished onto an island (military support and all!). It was a gorgeous day, and as we passed the Dole Plantation, we both were charmed and decided to rock that shit out.
I'm sure if Monica was writing a blog she would write something great about the Dole Plantation. She enjoyed it a lot more than I did. It was just one of those places where you could buy overpriced pineapples and well designed shirts, and lots of foodstuffs with pineapple inside. The pineapple garden was pretty cool, but I was less impressed. Off to the North!
We hit some stupid traffic driving north, but we didn't have anything to do or anywhere to be, so we weren't worried about it, and decided to just stick with it as we passed beaches and really beautiful houses. Turns out the traffic was just getting to a beach. Then I remembered something Cousing Ghandi said about how all the beaches in Hawaii would have public access and would always be open to the public. There was no such thing as a private beach in Hawaii. That simply rocks my world. What a cool modern extention of the Aloha Spirit.
We kept on going, and eventually passed Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, the only place I really wanted to go the entire trip. That was the best, most delicious shrimp I've ever had, yes, everything you read about online is true. It's amazingly delicious. Plus they had a smoothie truck - no smoothies that day for me.. just shrimp. Delicious shrimp.
Since Monica was unsure if she was allergic to shrimp, she had my (equally delicious, but not as flavorful) rice. Then we decided to go get some food for her. A little further north on the island we passed a Taco Bell. Scoff all you want, but we love Taco Bell, and it was cheaper than Bay Area's Taco Bell. Yes. I'm liking Hawaii more and more. OH YES! And then we had some Shave Ice. I think the pictures explained it well. So yummy. So large.
The main goal that I thought we were going to do that day is drive around the island, find a cool beach, go swimming, dry off, get back in the car, find a beach, go swimming, get back in the car, repeat as desired. This was a minor frustration on the Saturday drive, because we never really got around to swimming; we were looking for the perfect beach, and I think we never found something perfect - I mean, come on! Isn't Hawaii supposed to be all perfect beaches and lovliness?
We did stop at a lookout point that was absoultely amazing, of which Monica accidentally turned in the wrong entrance, so we almost were heading the completely wrong way. It was a lot more funny if you were there. So amazing of a view. You could actually see how the land was formed. Really neato.
We decided to head back to Honolulu and spend an evening I think eating somewhere in town. I honestly can't remember. That might be a testament to how amazing the day was, or to how medocre the food was. Not sure at all.
Edit: We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. The food was medocre, but I enjoyed it well enough. We had fruity non alcoholic beverages and our waiter was very obnoxious, but frequent, and fast.
Another terrific day.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
We were being picked up at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, across the street. Now, in my opinion, there's two things wrong with the title of the place. I'll give you a hint, it actually has a relationship with the Hilton, so I'll leave it to you to figure out what the other two wrong things are.
Anywho, the Village sports a pretty cool shopping area where we browsed and laughed at how expensive things were, it being Hilton-ey. 10 rolled around, and we went to the bus area, waiting for the huge dumbass bus that will take us to the PCC. Sparing the boring details, it wasn't too bad until the bus, huge and dumbass and all, came over and our tour guide for the bus showed up. Yes, tour guide for the bus. We weren't treated to a calm bus ride across the island, oh no, we had our friend Cousin Ghandi from SAaaaamoa talk to us the entire time. He was charming enough, but he called us Cousin the entire time, and that struck me as a very Mormon thing. Nothing wrong with Mormons, it's just wild how they influenced Polynesian culture. I suppose without that, though, we wouldn't have the PCC, so that's good. Right?
Anyway, one semi-annoying bus ride later and we made it. Sunscreen was applied, and we opted out of the guided tour by Cousin Ghandi (only $10 extra! how could we pass that up!?) And just when I was thinking, "Man, I could really go for some more of Cousin Ghandi's odd self and other depricating humor, oh well, guess we won't encounter that at all today," we encountered that again, at our first stop of the Villages. We eventually realized that it was a cultural humor. Really hard to explain... it's kinda funny, but then again, kinda not.. just different. I suppose it would take some getting used to.
For the most part, we agreed that PCC was like Disneyland Lite. It was big, expensive, fun, but no rides! Except for the canoe, which was kinda fun. It was more of a living museum, full of people who are working off going to Bringham Young University, and therefore may not necessarily want to be there. So, more like a living museum with half of the pieces of art beautiful and representative, the other just sort of boring and sitting there out of necessity.
- Parade of the canoes. Full of dancing by each culture. On canoes! One of the people steering the boat fell in the water. I think he did it on purpose.
- IMAX showing of a film about the reefs dying around the Pacific Rim.
- Luau, that was the shit. Especially with the Emcee! He was rockin, and had a good voice.
- The show at the end. Dances from many cultures. I (of course) liked the fire dancing best. Oddly enough, it just made me think of Lilo and Stitch.
- OH YEAH! I drank out of a carved out pineapple! Mango smoothie! I just wish it had alcohol in it, because, oh yeah, no alcohol or caffene because their Mormons.
The day went by faster than anticipated, with much ice cream and pig eaten. The ice cream was banana and guava, I think, and was delicious. Monica had an allergic reaction to the banana. Hilarious! The pig was delicious too. It was cooking in a pit. I didn't get up to see it because I was tired; I took their word for it.
The bus ride home was alright, I slept most of the way back, and when we got to the Hilton, it was almost sleepwalking to my room I was so tired. Fun! A good day, a little fakey, but I'm glad I got to do it, and now I never have to do it again!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Needless to say, I'm very frustrated and angry.
Although, any schools that take them will undoubtably not mesh with me and my style.
Then I think stupid thoughts like, "What happened to me, I used to be a good actor."
That's a stupid thought, but I can't get it out of my mind. Goddamn it. If only I was blonde and skinny with big boobs, then someone would put me in their program. Maybe in my next life I can be a cocktease!
Jesus. And I was going to write about the Polynesian Cultural Center too. Too angry to write now. Only to bitch.
And I just got called in to a reading at the Willows. Kind of odd. Oh well, it's this Sunday, and that should be fun!
This weekend I had my callback to The Full Monty at Masquers Playhouse in Richmond. It is a beautiful area, and a beautiful theatre. There are some stupid things - no pay, and when they kept us at the callback for 5 hours, I was a little iffy on whether or not they actually respect their actors and their time committments. Anyway, I was called back for Dave, my favorite character in the show. I think I was the best one called back, but I do have my youth going against me, and the fact that I'm not SUPER fat like what is really called for in the role. Again, my middle of the road fatness is held against me. Sob sob.
Probably a good thing though - after thinking about it, I really don't want to work with a company that wastes time like that. Bah, but then again, I'm getting desperate, so I'd probably take it. But then again... something else they said struck me as strange, "I'm keeping the guys the latest, so thank you for your patience. The reason why we're keeping you late is so that after everyone has left, I want you to go up on stage and take as much clothes off as you feel comfortable with."
Okay. So. You know I'm not a prude. I worked as a nude model through college. Not ALL of college, but still, I'm comfortable with getting naked for people. But. This seemed like bordering on harassment. I mean, if I got the part, I most certainly would get naked. That's what the show's all about, that's what you do at the end of the show. The climax, if you will. But asking that seems a little too much at an already OBSENELY long callback process. I suppose that's just the community theatre of the area. All theatre around here stems from that.
Also, it doesn't pay, did I mention that?
Anyway, that was my Saturday. Oh! I did have breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes) at Bubba's Diner in San Anselmo with Monica. It was delishious, and I really want to go back there. Like, NOW.
Sunday I messed around the computer most of the day, recording my monologues and burning them to a DVD - just all around fooling around with the computer. I had to get in my Cal State LA stuff in like 10 days ago, I missed it... I think it was because of a little thing called Hawaii! They let me apply late, so I'm sending my stuff overnight today. Should be fun. I'm so densensitized to the rejection of schools now anyway, it doesn't really phase me anymore whether or not I get in. The real one I want right now is UHM. I've fallen in love with that place. So I'd be moderately more disappointed if I got a rejection letter from there, rather then the Indifference Shell that has sprouted around me.
More auditions coming up: One for Impact Theatre on Sunday I think... or was it Saturday? (this is why I have an iPhone, folks, calendar time.) And Carmel on Monday. Another day off work, booya! And by Day Off, I mean, cough cough, so sick, and vroom vroom, 3 hour drive. I hope I can con/ask politely someone to come with me on this trip - makes it a lot easier, especially when you don't have a radio in the car. Boo urns to that.
And I SUPPOSE I should take a look at those job things I posted here before, to send off my resume. Shit, it couldn't hurt, even if positions were already filled.
Friday, February 22, 2008
We lolled around for a bit - I had scheduled an interview at 1:30, and another at UHM at 3:30, so the entire morning was still free as a bird. "Lets go to Chinatown," I said, almost on a whim; we had heard good things from websites and people, so we were excited as to what was in store.
One quick bus ride later, and on the stop after the $1 movie theatre, we were in Chinatown. Perhaps we had been spoiled by San Francisco's Chinatown, but it was a bit lackluster. Sure, there was cool markets of fresh fish just filling our eyes and noses, but that was the only difference. There was the same cheap crap that you would find anywhere - except here it was even less prolific than SF. I did find a great Aloha shirt, originally from Hilo Hatties, in just the design I love! I, however, thought that it would look better on my dad, so I only wore it a few times on the trip.
Aside from that, Chinatown was a little bit of a bust. Oddly enough, however, we walked a few blocks out of Chinatown to find a Ross. Easily the best Ross I've found, so I bought two pairs of cargo pants (that fit me! and were very comfortable!) that I will most certainly wear.
Bus back = uneventful. Lunch somewhere.. maybe at Ala Moana at the Thai place again. Mmm mm thai. No, that can't be right. WAIT! It is! We went there for lunch and walked around to kill some time before my interview - that mall has some great stores, and a very well stocked Game Stop.
Interview. Right. Louise is a wonderful woman, very much in the Aloha Spirit. The interview was the best I've ever had, and Monica certainly was a terrific wingman; helping me out and making me look good with stories from HSM and Hair. The conversation meandered many places throughout art and acting and stage management and administrative work - probably the best way for an interview to go is if you're having a blast with the person who is interviewing you. So. If I moved to Hawaii, I would have a job. I don't have any doubt about that. Hell, Monica might even have a temp thing too, it seemed she liked me that much.
After the interview was kinda weird. Monica started acting a little like a girl and we got into a fight about how it was Valentine's Day and I was going on interviews and school tours. I, starting to act a little like a boy, had no idea it meant that much to her; it means practically nothing to me, I do acts of affection almost every day, why would I need another special day just to tell her she's special? She already is special every day. Shit, we were even making fun of Valentine's Day ads.
I ended up not going to UHM for an interview, and decided to just check out the campus on Saturday. (I really just missed it, it wasn't because of a brat attack.) I mean, I see her point now, through further less awkwardly heated discussions, and the moral of the story is always communicate. Even if you yourself think it's stupid, if something means that much to you, then tell someone! Especially the person you care about. We could work something out. The interview could be on a different date. Anyway, that's what we figured out later. It's all good. We both just have to be more forthcoming, even if secretly we actually like Valentine's Day and are afraid to say it.
After all is said and done, we were grumpy for a bit, but then made up, because, you know, we actually are good people and kinda do like each other a lot. So we made up for it by doing what we do best, Shopping! Actually, just shopping for her. I didn't really feel the need to rock out a 15-20 dollar Aloha shirt purchase, but she did find a fucking awesome black dress with blue flowers.
So! We rested for a bit and then vowed to go out that evening to someplace fun, someplace romantic, someplace exciting! The Cheesecake Factory was apparently the winner for some reason. Delicious everything! Take home boxes! Fruity drinks! Two pieces of cheesecake! We were incredibly full, but it was a great evening, and a nice walk back to the hotel afterwards. Plus, we had some extra cheesecake left over, so that was teh awesomez.
Next up, the Polynesian Cultural Center! Or, Disneyland Lite.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Also, I've been reading Jorge Garcia's blog. We're very close to being the same person.
Monica really wanted to go to the Arizona Memorial. I thought that it wasn't a place I necessarily wanted to go, but that I should go, since I was here, and I would be kicking myself for not going. After all, you know how much I like military and such. We found a bus stop and waited for the 20 or the 42, both which take us to the Arizona Memorial, both which passed us by without slowing down.
Let me just take a tangent here about TheBus, Hawaii's bus system. It's a great thing, really it is. But it's kinda like in Firefly where all the planets were sheltered under the Alliance to be ignored completely. Kinda like that.
However, an 8 came by and stopped, and since that was going to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, and we had time/were frustrated, we decided to go. Which turned out to be a Good Thing.
The Ala Moana shopping center is pretty awesome. And when I say pretty awesome, I stand by that statment. We didn't do an amazing amount of shopping that day, but we were very hungry, and there was a flourishing food court. Settling on Thai, we were surprised because a) the food was actually fantastic and b) we had large Thai iced teas. That just about made my day right there. With a delicious drink like that in my gullet, I thought, surely this day could be a little more bearable.
We found a bus, after 10 minutes of waiting/sunscreen application later. The ride was easy, and passing Chinatown, we saw some cool buildings and what looked like pedestrian only walkways with laundry hanging between buildings. Or was that flags? Might have been both. It looked interesting, and we remembered the stop. Rest of the bus ride fun, but uneventful.
At the Memorial, due to a security checkpoint, we had to check our bags with a $3 fee, because, obviously, they couldn't just look through them and see we weren't carrying anything that would perhaps be dangerous to a nonviolent miliatry thing. I guess that was okay in the end; the Memorial itself was free.
We were given a number (21) and looked to see which number was going in (18). We had a long wait ahead of us. We walked around the gift shop, we walked outside, reapplied sunscreen, took some pictures, and I decided to call my job possibility and set up the appointment. I did, and it was cool. I had set up an interview for Thursday. Hawaii! A job in Hawaii! (Maybe.)
Time passed slowly/quickly/whatever, and we were let in to the Memorial tour. The first stop was a 45ish minute movie about the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, going into quite a lot of detail. Then we took a ferry to the other side of the Harbor. We were told, rightly, that it was a solomn resting place. I had heard that before, but the enormity of it had never hit me until we left the ferry and walked into the beautiful structure. There we saw the Arizona underwater. I was moved so much more than I would ever thought possible by a peacelovinghippie like myself. After abot 20 minutes, we got on the ferry and headed back for the Memorial. What happened on the ride back was even more moving: while in the water, a Coast Guard ship passed us, and lined up on the railings were all the Guard, saluting the Arizona.
We retrieved our bags and ran to the bus, making it because of our sprinting abilities. Later that evening we watched the sunset on the beach as I played in the water, and then had some delicious fish and drinks at a restaurant in the Hilton's Hawaiian Village. A terrific day in a beautiful place.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The flight there we had to transfer in Maui. Later on we agreed that this was a Good Thing because the first look of Hawaii was calm, peaceful, and green. And an airport that looks like it hasn't been remodeled since the 70's. It looked wonderful. Of course, we were staying on Oahu. A 40 minute flight later and we were in the city.
It wasn't a bad feeling, just so very familiar. I wanted to go someplace completely different, but then there was just a city, one that looked like the one I could drive across a bridge to see. I was disappointed at first, but then I remembered that I shouldn't be an asshole, so I started reveling the fact that I was on vacation, and farther west than I've ever been. The hotel room was comfortable, and there was a manager's reception the next day with free drinks. Things were looking up.
We bought some essentials at an ABC Store (sorta like 7-11 and Safeway rolled into one), peanut butter and guava jelly, macademia nuts, bus passes, shaving cream, deodorant (important), water, and, after eyeing an Aloha shirt, I decided I'd find a better price later. We then walked along the beach in a vague search for the international marketplace. It was a wonderful walk, a little daring at times when the steps to parts of the walkway had eroded, but that just made everything more interesting.
Tired and cranky from walking far and not finding the place, we randomly turned left towards the main city blocks, and right across the street we saw a sign. "International Marketplace. Aloha!" So there you have it, the first of countless times where Monica's sense of direction comes in invaluable.
The marketplace was terrific! I could have bartered my heart out there if I wanted to buy gifts the first day there (who does that?) or if I needed a piece of flowery luggage. Also, I don't really know how to barter, so that kinda made it moot. Nevertheless, the marketplace was certainly something we enjoyed. Plus, it had food and we were hungry from our walk. Coconut Willy's beckoned.
At the finest eating establishment known to man, there was a band playing classic rock songs with amazing enthusiasm and foggy knowledge of the words. We had fruity drinks and I had a teryaki burger. I forget what Monica had. Probably fish and chips. Good food and good drinks - then came the interesting part. The bill.
I had heard horror stories about the prices in Hawaii. Everyone had told me how expensive things are there. I waited with baited breath. Would taxes have made it huge? Would our own love of fruity drinks have caused the bill to skyrocket? Why don't they print the prices of drinks anyway?! WHY?! OH DEAR GOD. HERE IT COMES! HOLD ME. Huh, that isn't so bad. That's not bad at all. I would even wager that's pretty good. For once, living with Bay Area prices has paid off. The tax there is cheaper, just so you know.
Full and satisfied, we headed back down Waikiki and to the Aqua Palms. Our theory was to maybe go for a swim in the pool or ocean, but I ended up falling asleep at 8:30.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
And as I type with thumbs, an even crummier way to try and communicate
through bumps. I'll try and give a full update on my trip sometime,
but needless to say, it was sparkles fantasmagoric. I am not even sure
what that means, so just take whatever feeling that wells up on your
soul and hold it close; that's the only thing we can do.
I am very hungry. I don't think I've ever been this hungry before,
well except for my time lost in the australian outback. But even then,
I had wild dingos to feast on. What do I have here? Nothing except
bountiful grocery stores waiting to serve me with glowing apathy.
Hm. As if on cue, my stomach rumbled. Then my hunger went away. That
is both a relief from my pains and a slight puzzlement: do I still
have a stomach? Or is it all eaten up?
Grumble. There it goes.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
expecting, but I guess more Lilo and Stitch and less shops, people
trying to sell you timeshares.
Nevertheless, I am giddy about what today will hold; we'll be taking
the bus around to less populated beaches. Woo!
I guess I should start taking pictures with my real camera, huh?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday started with the kind of nervous energy I have never felt before. My gut was doing some amazing somersaults inside itself, and I had not even eaten much that morning. It was my nervousness combined with my empathy of everyone elses'; there seemed to be some rooms worse than others, full of thick nervous energy that took you by the hand, and then stabbed you in the eye. Luckily, my first room wasn't like that. The first audition was on the top floor, next to some incredibly beautiful windows looking out along the city - UCSD had that floor to themselves. (I think they picked the best.) Auditioned, was nervous, did a good job, didn't get called back. Next!
I waited around for a LOOONG time for my next one. UCSD was at 11, and my next, NYU, was at 2, and in that time, I figured it wouldn't be too long. My mistake, it was so long and so boring and even though I did get to see some pals, (hey Arthur) and get to know some other people (hi David), it was pretty awful how if just increased my anxiety and made me want to run away screaming for ice cream.
I did however, take a look around, and I signed up for three more schools (they had walk in appointments available): New School of Drama, NTC, and Moscow Conservatory! So my count is now up to 8 schools if you count ACT last week. It was like a grad school buffet, an overpriced extravaganza where you don't actually eat anything!
2 rolls around. NYU seemed very nice, very professional, and very uninterested in me. I wasn't called back, which "doesn't mean you won't be considered for callbacks in New York." Yeah, I don't think I'll be going there either. 0 for 2.
Saw Heather Gordon, she got called back. For everything she auditioned for. I really need to get me some boobs. Wait, I have those. Time to dye my hair blonde then.
Made some new buddies (hi Sarah, hi Christi) while waiting for our rejection notices from NYU. Turns out Sarah when there for undergrad. She wasn't called back either. I don't know about Christi.
Getting off the elevator, I passed by a Carbon Copy Actor (CCA) and saw what I presumed to be a casting director run and catch up to him. I thought, masochistically, Jesus, this is going to be hell for me, and yet I remained in close proximity in order to hear what they were saying. He complimented him on his acting
3:10 New School for Drama. I had read a little bit about this school online, and heard some stuff about Monica's friends who went there and enjoyed it immensely. Walking in there, I heard "Pull up a chair, Ben, and let's chat." We talked for about 15 minutes about art and how it is a completely selfless art. I am an artist for the audience, I create completely for other people. Everything I've made, I've given away almost immediately. That concept had never really come up before, but it was undoubably something I believe in. It was amazing and a breath of fresh air to feel like someone actually liked me. I did my pieces, and they enjoyed them. It was a great audition. I don't know if they want me, but just the experience was so much fun and made me feel much better about this particular path I might be taking.
4:10 NTC. They're the Denver based one. Turns out, that man was the one who complimented CCA earlier in the elevator. I didn't know what I was getting into. I did my pieces; he didn't hate Edmund (I really need to get a new piece), and he absolutely loved my other piece (Straight Men Can't Camp, Tim Hendrixson). He cracked up! In the middle of my audition! It was amazing. We had a great little interview afterwards, and I left feeling very good and more informed. He gave me a vague critique too, but it was very constructive. "Just be bigger in Shakespeare, that's what people are looking for." I took it and was more successful with Edmund later. (I'm still getting another piece.)
4:40 Moscow Conservatory. I was completely unsure as to what to expect here. But they were very nice, very much engaged with me and my pieces, and we had a really good mini interview after we were done. It was very positive.
- End of day thoughts. I was really happy that every room at ACT had windows with amazing dramatic views of the city. Saying "Thou, Nature, art my goddess... " to a sparkling blue sky was really really wonderful. Learned a lot. Signed up for another audition, University of Washington (bringing auditions up to 9), and called it a day.
Went home. Hung out with Monica. She is so amazingly supportive. It's magical.
Sunday! Monica came with to support. WHAT A COOL GIRL. So much love.
9:00 Yale. There was a Stage Manager at the door. She was so steriotypical, I thought she was an actor playing a Stage Manager. Nope, she was a grad student. They were very polished and nice and they all had a little interview with us. I did my pieces, and was not called back. If you aren't called back at the end of the hour, you don't get in. If however, you do get called back at the end of the hour, you may get called back at the end of the day. That, however, is all moot for me since I didn't get called back. Fuckers. At least Heather Gordon did. Thank god. I was so worried for her.
10:30ish USC. This was the school I forgot to sign up for, but they had walk in auditions! I didn't really know what to expect here as well, but it turned out to be really positive. They liked my pieces and we had a good interview. It was a Good Audition.
11:00ish UW. It was fine. He was kinda reserved; I had heard elsewhere that he's kinda an asshole. He had me sing, so that was fun. Callbacks were posted later.
Mind you, throughout this, Monica's sticking by my side; keeping me company, giving me a kiss or two, playing DS with me, this is one awesome, amazing, beautiful girl.
12:00 (actually 1, but who's counting. I am.) UCLA. Boring, uninspring. I'm not in. My pieces went well though.
1ish somewhere Rutgers. Bringing my audition count to 11, Rutgers was an interesting experience. They had me interview a bit, and that went well. They then completely ignored my Edmund monologue and started to almost border on belittle me with problems with my other one. "So what's he doing in this?"
"He's really just bitching about Shannon, it's more of an anicdote than anything else."
"Yeah, but I didn't really get much from it. I mean, it was charming, but I didn't get anything else."
"Well, he's just frustrated, he's not angry."
"I want to see a better moment before, because that's what's Miesner's all about." (First red flag.)
"Okay, what would you like to see."
"Take it out of the context and just give it more of a fire underneath, because didn't Stella Adler say... [blah blah blah I didn't pay attention because a second red flag came up.]"
I did it with more "fire" and they asked me how it was different. I said he was more angry and made some BS up. They had smug expressions on their faces. I told them...
"This is exactly what I was talking about, this evolution! I want to learn this."
"Thank you, Ben."
"No, thank YOU."
All of that for the low low price of $75 dollars! I'VE NEVER BEEN BELITTLED IN ANY BETTER SETTING!
1:40 - 4 Spent some time walking around outside with Monica. We reflected about the day, and I told her what happened at Rutgers and how frustrated I was with them. We walked around that area of the city, one of my favorites, and ended up at Westfield mall, so we decided to eat at SF Soup. Stupendous Green Chili Soup in a bread bowl. Then Beard Papa puffed pastries. All very very delicious.
4:00 Call Back posting for UW. While waiting for the quiet man to put the list up, I was waiting in the You Can Cut The Stress With A Butter Knife room where Yale and ACT were having their callbacks. I think it was only Yale, it being the end of the day, and most of the people were hovering by the steriotype stage manager. I took a look around the room. Heather was there. Good for her. Then I looked at everyone else. All the girls looked the same (CCA), all the boys looked the same (CCA). It was as if someone took a clone and plunked in a few variables to alter the appearance somewhat; blonde here, tall there, boobs there, short here. It made me angry and frustrated that these schools, the ones we hold so highly, the ones who I thought would be smarter than that... aren't. Kind of a turning point for me. Made me think at least the Name Brand grad schools weren't for me. Oh, didn't get called back for UW.
- End of day thoughts. Went home, cried a bit, and Monica was there. I felt very angry and frustrated, but had so much love in my heart that it was overwhelming. This entire day, she was with me, supportive and amazing. She really is wonderful. Except that we were going to get pizza, and we didn't.
Today! One last audition THANK GOD.
9:00 University of Delaware (A last minute sign up of # 12). It was more like a class than anything else, and it kicked my ass, AND I loved every second of it. The program is rigorous, full of physical activity. We did our monologues after doing a physical and vocal warm up. But this wasn't just like any warm up... it was actually fun and a little challenging. Fuck that mirror game, we had stomping! It looked perfect for me. Um, so yeah. This is my favorite, and I would go there in an instant if it were offered to me.
All in all. Sitting at work right now, I would take 12 auditions over 3 days over working at a job that sucks my soul any day. Even though it was frustrating and made me angry that the future of theatre is all the same person, according to Yale and NYU, the good was very good, while the bad... well, I can go without the name recognition of some schools for now.
And, Monica's amazingly awesome. And I met some great comrades in arms there. There are really good actors out there, even some CCAs are good. I just can't wait for the next page of my life to happen.
Friday, February 8, 2008
In a little over 4 days I'll be on my way to Hawaii. I'm so extremely pleased that this was worked out that the day after my auditions, I go to Hawaii. No matter what happens, I'm still going to be in motherfucking Hawaii. I have a feeling if I go there and do absolutely nothing, I'll have an amazing time. However, I will be doing a lot, so rock and roll!
Thank god for the new season of LOST. It's turning out to be as amazing as I thought it would be. Unlike a bunch of other people, I have not lost interest in the show with all its awkward twists and turns (Although you almost lost me at Mr. Eko's demise... and wasn't he building a church with Charlie? Oh, guess that doesn't matter now anyway.) but I've stayed through it and have been through everything. No other show has made me actually watch it every week, and that's saying something. Well, then Heroes came along, but this was first. It put my faith back into a career that I may have one day in film. If this is the direction Hollywood's going, I have faith that there's a place for me there.
Anyway, I hope for positive energy to be sent my way for my auditions. I will need it.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Today's the last day of [edited for content]. Last time was kinda [edited for content] and [edited for content], but a little bit more [edited for content]. Needless to say, I'm ready for it to be [edited for content]. At least I get to leave work early.
Only 5 more days till Hawaii! I AM SO EXCITED. One more state to add to my list. It's going to be a blast! And I have the number for that interview tour theatre thingy position there that I applied for (and didn't get since I wasn't local) but, hell, it's an informational interview, and that's really a win win situation! No pressure at all!
And in those 5 days I have 5 auditions! I AM SO NERVOUS. I've revised my audition to have Edmund from King Lear and Tim's monologue, simply because people like to laugh, and the mentally challenged dude, while an awesome acting thing, isn't great for the idiots that cast a show; everyone wants to be entertained. However, if they ask for another monologue, I'll do Boy Who Ate The Moon.
And 55 more minutes until I can leave this wonderful place I spend most of my time now. I am so glad I'm doing something wonderful and benefiting the world around me by supporting people in building the tallest, most econonfriendly building in the world in the Vegas^10 place we all know and love, Dubai. What a fucking terrific place I work for.
There is a recycling bin, though, I see it over there. Whew.
Other news: I'm hongry.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Still still still, I need to get off my ass and do what I promised myself to do: better myself and my art. While applying for grad schools and auditioning certainly is a good step in the right direction, my zeal for the big schools left the little ones behind, and I'm now finding some really cool MFA programs at other places across the country that no doubt would have helped me with what I wanted. There's always another year, certainly. I am not worried about my future. If I don't get into these schools, I think I'm finally at ease. I just need to play the game some more. If programs won't let me in now, maybe a year of acting professionally and taking workshops will encourage them, especially if they're from acknowledged institutions. Like I said, play the game. Take a page from Michael Cassidy's book. He and I are both good actors, yet he's getting more work; it's all about the people you know.
Monica has an excellent mantra: 2008 is OUR year. No matter what that entials, grad school or no, this year will not only be one of change, but change for the better. With these plans in my head, I can already feel my life changing around me, and my outlook a little bit brighter. Even at my stinky, depressing, boring 9 hours in my day, my perspective will stay positive and focused on the future.
Oh yeah, and fuck woot.com today. Jesus, the worst sport even infects my favorite site.
That will change tomorrow though; it will be a new day.
warm. There's a mild sense of relief that it's not cold and then the
slow realization that someone else's ass was just comfortably sitting
there a few moments before.
Anyway, I try to think of it positively and think how great it is to
not have an icicle ass.
And how is your day?
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
didn't have to get here till 4. Excellent! Thus! I'm here chilling by
Panda Express with the other SP peeps wondering when we'll actually be
Plusses on all accounts, really. Because of the lateness, that means
we have less time with the actual doctors. Woooooooo yeah.
Anyway. I'm tired of feeling elitest and typing with my thumbs.
Snuggled to all!
Today's been really hectic so far. I'm double checking my auditions coming up this weekend (HOLY FUCK) and was wondering why USC hadn't sent me any confirmation on an audition timeslot. Oh right, it turns out I filled out (and paid for) the wrong application all together, and now, like a tool, have to go and do a walk in appointment (with another fee) this weekend. It's probably going to be Monday, to tell the truth. This is only a slight happiness as to not be in work, it would be that PLUS me waiting there all day for a walk in appointment because, in theory, they'll have more slots open, being a Monday.
In an hour I get off work (woohoo) to go to the UCSF program (boo) and pretend to be religious (meh). I'm happy I get off work, but I won't have much time for eats' I guess I'll have to figure something out.
I also was confused about some of my UHM application stuff not being submittted. But it turns out it had, and now is only waiting for my transcripts to arrive. I even talked to a nice Hawaiian (or work study student) at the school. Rock and roll.
See the difference? LA is weird and uninformative, Hawaii is nice and supportive. That's why it's only SEVEN MORE DAYS. WOOOYEAH.
http://www.sweet-juniper.com/ is pretty cool.
The only thing that's been keeping me really steady lately is the wonderful people in my life. Even when I am rejected and am crying and want to smash someone's face in, Monica's there to hold me and give me a piece of pie. And if I need a little help with music, she's there too! And if I need help with some food, well, we can find that somewhere else. And the new Dinner Club we've created... I'm beginning to have so much fun with those people.
All in all, I'm very stressed but very very happy. I'm glad I have wonderful people in my life.
Except for Drew, he's working on his album so I hate him.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Had a slightly depressing weekend with the rejection from ACT. The realization that I've met approximentally 3-4 horrible to mediocre actors that graduated from ACT didn't give me confidence in my abilities. And the later realization that they only really accept 10 people helped, but not much. And then I got over it, because they're really just casting a show, and they probably have their character actor.
Had a better day after that, Monica came and picked me up from the city so I didn't have to take the ferry in. I was happily crying for a while after the audition, but I was better after that. I didn't even want to go to that school anyway! Well, maybe I did a little. The rest of the day was pretty fantastic; relaxing and full of delicious foods that I shouldn't have eaten because they are too fatty. But what the hell. It was a great day aside from the list. Made me remember the not so good times about school. (Although Arthur Keng got called back - he's an awesome dude who's a good nervous actor, plus he's Asian, so if you're going for a character actor, that's who they need if you are unimaginative. Bitter Ben? A little. Benjamin Pither got in too. He's just a plain good ol' actor who's been around the bay area a lot longer than I have.)
Next day was fun! I got to sleep in a little and had a fun morning. My audition for San Francisco Shakespeare was good as well - probably the best I've ever done Edmund. (Thanks for the help, mum!) Who knows if they'll call me in; just gotta keep trying. If you don't try, nothing will happen.
I think a belated resolution for this year (and the years to come) is that I need to play the game of acting a little bit more. That means a little bit more schmoozing and maybe some business card printing, but it also means that I need to take classes and workshops - I've already thought of this, of course, but I haven't actually worked on bettering myself like that. I think that this is the time to really do it; so even if I don't get into grad school, I can still take a few courses, make connections, and rock shit out. (Hopefully the connections will get me to grad school. Pay it forward and all that shit.)
Dinner Club was fun last night too. It was lacking a few of our players, (3) but we had a great time at Crepevine, where I had delicious Pumpkin Pancakes. Gotta love our friends! Well, except for the ones who didn't show up.
And now I'm back at the grind. Two more SP programs this week; I get out of work early Tuesday and Thursday to do some acting. That's nice, even if the acting if not exactly on track I wanted to be. But that's the truth isn't it? I'm not exactly the person I wanted to be either. That's something I can work on. I want to be proud of myself again. I remember I used to be to the point of cockiness. I should not get to that level... just to feel like what I'm doing is important. Lately I've not been believing myself.