Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stupid Thing of the Week

I recently auditioned for a role in an audio drama. I do that from time to time because I like acting, and because I've got a microphone I paid good money for, and why let it go to waste?

I guess I got the part, because the script for the first episode was sent me (not to mention and email that told me I had gotten the part), and my lines were highlighted and a deadline given me to have the lines done.

I recorded those and the guy said, "Wow, thanks! Here's the script to episode two." That's cool. I like it when people are on the ball.*

Before I could record those lines, however, I got a new email that said, "I got a guy to do another character I was going to voice, so now I can do your part. Don't bother sending the lines. Thanks for everything."

Dude, this is so not cool.

I may have to explain that people volunteer to do voices in internet audio dramas for no pay, and with the knowledge that they're just doing someone a favor, for no compensation ever. It's something you do out of friendship (if not fun), and if you've got a podcast/audio drama/fan film/etc., you need to let your voice actors (or artists or producers or slush readers) know you appreciate them.

I'm probably not worthy to cast the first stone, here. I've been editing a story a guy sent us last year, that was actually supposed to hit the air before 2010 was out. I do feel bad that it hasn't been finished yet, but I have hours of work every week for the show, and it's hard to make time beyond that for my own production.

I agonized recently over a part that a guy did for us for that story. I hoped he wouldn't be upset that we didn't use his lines, but they just didn't work for the story as a whole (he did them in a sort of imitation of a famous Al Pacino movie), and he'd already done a different character in the same story. I felt bad, and considered leaving it in, even though it sounded a bit silly. Ultimately, I called Big and asked what he suggested.

He said that the story has to come first, and if it doesn't work, then don't use it, and that the guy'll understand. But I still feel bad about it.

I feel worse now that my work for this other show has been tossed. I don't want somebody to feel as unappreciated as I did when I got that email.

Look, I've got way more free time than ninety percent of non-homeless Americans, and yet I really felt like I'd wasted it with this guy. Of course, there are always extenuating circumstances behind just about everything, and maybe I really did a lackluster job or he found out I despise cats (and cat lovers) and had to make a stand like Zack what's-his-name did when he refused to work on HANGOVER 2 if Mel Gibson was going to be in it.

All I know is that it made me want to treat people better, and let my people (ie the ones who work for my show for free and very few shout-outs, and even fewer sexual perks) know that I'm grateful to them. Even if I don't know their names. And pretend I've never met them when we're standing in an elevator or at a urinal together.

The long metal trough kind. I really hate those.

So, on with the countdown. I could be a better collaborator. I could be a worse one. I recently got an email from someone working on the "Green Lantern" podcast that said she really loved my Sinestro and was sorry to hear I was going to die alone. Maybe I should do the same for my team.

Heck, I'm gonna do that now.

Rish "The Boss From Heck" Outfield

*Although it does make me feel like something of a slacker. Which I am.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bonesaw is finally ready

So, Randy "Macho Man" Savage passed away. Sad, I suppose, especially since it was a car accident, which sucks.*

I wasn't a Wrestling fan growing up, and I'll never be one. However, I did work on the first SPIDER-MAN movie in the wrestling scene, where Macho Man was an actor, playing Bone-Saw McGraw. He was an odd and forehead-vein-throbbingly-intense actor. No exaggeration, I watched him do the "Bone-Saw is reeeeeady" line twenty or thirty times, delivering it in an almost painful way every single take. While he and the stuntman went through their moves, he laughed and interacted with the audience, and yes, told everybody to slip into a Slim Jim at least twice.

Also, he was somebody's dad. So I figured I'd say something here.

Rish "The Flying Dutchman" Outfield

*Guess the guy had a heart attack, which caused the accident. He was fifty-eight.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Finally, space is black enough

I'm not sure I have the words to describe how cool this is.

They should've sent a poet.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Never Was There A Story of More Woe . . .

People say that fish have a memory of, like, fifteen seconds. Maybe that's just goldfish. Or Dory.

Last week, two fish I'd had for a long, long time died. They were a pair I'd gotten on the same day, and had tripled in size during their stay in my tank. One of them changed colors sometimes, and I never really understood why it did that (or why the other one didn't). But one day, one of the pair went belly-up. I gave it to the turtles (circle of life, Simba), and was a bit disappointed, but having fish has taught me that everything dies, baby, that's a fact. You get used to it.

But the next day . . . I got up and went to feed the fish, and the other fish was also dead. It had (somehow) jumped out of the tank and was dried up and motionless on the floor. After a burial by turtle, I went to the pet shop to buy some replacements. The guy at the store said "Oh, that happens all the time with mated pairs. I don't really know why."

Neither do I.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Stupid Thing of the Week

I was at a store today, and I paused to look at the t-shirts. There were several Marvel and DC-related shirts, and it occurred to me that if someone went to school wearing a Green Lantern shirt in 2011, they'd be admired rather than called a fag and tossed in a trashcan. But ah well.

And then, I saw a shirt that gave me pause. It had only words on it, in big blocky letters:


I smirked when I saw it, and then realized (to my horror) that it was saying the opposite of what I initially thought it said.* It wasn't telling me the shirt's owner would prefer to speak with them face to face, it was telling me to go fuck myself.

I dwelled on this shirt for, oh, I don't know, five minutes maybe. It's a bummer that something like that can exist.

You might think it made me feel old, or out of touch. But no, it made me feel angry. I would probably punch someone in the stomach if they were wearing that shirt, and then say, "Oh, sorry. Guess you better text the police."

Rish "Vex Message" Outfield

*I was reminded of a sign I saw at a Los Angeles costume shop back in '02 or '03 that said, "We would be happy to serve you after you've completed your cellphone call." It struck me as tremendously bold and admirable. Of course, the owners of the shop were later reported, detained, and put into camps.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

West Chide Story

Okay, I finally had to return the WEST SIDE STORY DVD. I stuck it in the mailbox today, only a quarter of the way watched. And I guess that makes me weak.

It would have been something to watch it through to the end, but it's two and a half hours long, and I knew in the first five minutes it wasn't for me. I might have gone back to it, but it wouldn't have been today. Or tomorrow.

It took me a long time to send the movie back, though. I wanted to be able to cross it off my list and never, ever go back, in the two months I probably have left to live.

Also, I hate it when people tell me that a movie is terrible, but they've never seen it. Or, slightly less irritating, when people saw the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" version, but claim to have seen the movie. If you really want to bash something, and not sound like an ignoramus, you have to have watched it/read it/tasted it/fondled it/etc..

But I had a lengthy conversation with Jeff, where he talked about how many books are published every year (in addition to all those previously published), and how you can't read them all, even if you read a book a week for the rest of your life. So, if you only have a limited number of books you can read, why not just read the ones you are interested in or will enjoy, instead of slogging through one that is poorly written or you aren't liking?

He related it to movies, and said that even though GONE WITH THE WIND is the biggest movie of all time, he's never going to see it, because he knows it's not something he would enjoy, and there are many, many, many other movies he could watch in its stead that he has a chance of liking.

And even though one guy said I'd like it (and the critics say it's great, and it won a bunch of Oscars, and it's got a song--I didn't get to--in it that appeals to me), I just had to give up on that one, and walk away. A man's gotta know his limitations.

Rish "Quitters Inc." Outfield

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Worst Side Story

So, a few days have passed. I watched a couple episodes of "Monk" and an entire disc of "The Twilight Zone." But there was that WEST SIDE STORY disc, still sitting there, still rented out, still unfinished, mocking me.

As I predicted, Jeff asked me why I bothered trying to watch WSS. He said I was under no obligation to watch it through, and if I dislike it that much, why not return it and get something I might actually like?

And he's right. I rent movies (for the most part) for entertainment. And if I'm not enjoying the movie, why continue?

Well, I guess I look at it like exercise. Nobody hates exercise more than I do.* I hate exercising a hell of a lot more than I hate being fat. But I'm not thrilled to bursting with being fat either, and every once in a while, I get off my puffy white arse and go for a run. I run for a little while, or I run until my body is heaving and I taste blood and wish I had never been born. Because . . . well, I guess there's no reason for it, really. I'd have to do it every single day to make a dent in my lifestyle. And really, what's it all for, Jimmy?

And people will tell me, "But don't you have a great feeling of accomplishment after you've exercised? A happy sensation of both burn and pride?"

No. Never. I feel that way when I've written a story that I feel doesn't suck. I feel that way when I edit something on the podcast that makes me laugh. I feel that way when I sing along to a song I haven't heard in a long time. I feel that way when I get an idea for a cool script I will never, ever write.

So why do I exercise? I guess it's out of some silly, stupid fantasy that I'll feel better and look better and people will like me and girls will love me, and life will improve. Funny, that.

Watching these movies is, for me at least, pretty much the same thing.

Years ago, I rented a certain mini-series (that will not be named) that literally everyone with a vagina absolutely adores . . . and I hated it. I'm using the word "hate" here. It was interminable, baffling, hypocritical, and made me so angry I can still sometimes call on that ire to upset me or keep me warm all these years later. But I slogged my way through, my brain kicking and screaming, the the eventual end (which was the absolute worst). Why? Because I felt I had to. To be able to talk about it. And maybe because I thought it would get me laid, who knows?

And it didn't. Oh, quite the contrary.

So that's why I haven't returned WEST SIDE yet. Simple insanity.

Rish "Benny and the Jets" Outfield

*And if they do, they're probably in a wheelchair right now, even though their legs work fine.