Saturday, October 27, 2007

Incubation LA

There was a fire this week. A big one. I was oblivious. Living without cable or a subscription to the Times does that to you. I went jogging on Tuesday. When I came home I felt like I had been sucking on charcoal. Then, after receiving countless "Are you alright?" inquiries I picked up a paper and to my surprise all of SoCal was currently ablaze. Out of the hundreds of counties that make up greater Los Angeles, about 10 were struck. Malibu being the most known. Thousands of evacuees. Thousands of homes burnt to a crisp. If that doesn't tell you how huge this town is, nothing will.

Two people my school live in Santa Clarita. Both of them were evacuated. They were strangely cool about it. Apparently this has happens quite often. Both of them being from wealthy families, they were aware of the risk when they bought their houses. "The place is great, but it might burn down in the next six months". Make no mistake about it - LA is as dry as a nun's gusset.

Since I'm obviously a novice on this subject I'll let the keen photographers of the LA Times say more than a thousand words with these unbelievable shots:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Farmer's Market, place of hedonism.

Sometimes you hafta eat food. It's right there at the ground (and apparently peach colored) floor of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. See:

When I feel insane hunger and my wallet's burning a hole in my pocket I visit the LA Farmer's Market. It's a cultural clash of foods, exploding in color and taste (Oooh, it was simply marvelous). In a perfect world - armed with an insane metabolism and cash to last me five lifetimes I would go there to binge until I dropped. They got it all, I mean'aa... Crepes, hours d'oeuvres, coffee, buns, enchiladas, kebabs, moussaka, tortellini, finger sandwiches - I don't know - draped in mustard. You name it - they got it.

Make no mistake about it, this place is pricey. The veggies and fruit will set you back for months if you go on a spending craze. But it's worth going just to have a look and to dust the exhaust off your shoulders. Celebrities even pop by once in a wile. I was two feet from Jeff Garlin (The fat dude from Curb Your Enthusiasm). When you see that guy, you know you're at a smörgåsbord.

Trivia: Did you know that corn was originally many colored!!! Looks kinda like unprocessed poop.


More about school you ask? Of frigging course.

As the weeks progress I find myself more and more confused. Am I doing anything right and am I really getting this method thing? The sensory work is the mind boggling culprit. If you don't know what the hey I'm talking about let me elaborate: it's the technique in which we try to get in touch with years of bottled up emotions, stored in the body, in order to convey a sincere and truthful reaction. By building up a toolbox of these emotional reactions, I will HOPEFULLY some day in the future be able to incorporate them into the characters I'm playing. At this point however, when I try to put it to work on stage I feel like a freshman medical student who attempts to perform a myocardial biopsy a month into his study. I find myself constantly hitting the wall and not feeling anything when I'm supposed to. I HAVE to concentrate, which is hard when stuck in ADD mode. I shared my frustration with a fellow student to which he replied: "It's hard, dude". To which I said "Yeah".

Thankfully, not everyone at school is that short on info. I'm getting to know a Mexican guy who seems to understand the concept quite well. He told me a fascinating thing. The original Latin meaning of the word remember is based on remembering stuff with your members AKA limbs. Not to be confused with remind, which is remembering stuff with the mind (duh) AKA noggin. In the Spanish language they apparently also have a word for remembering things with the heart. Now that's beautiful, innit? The hole Re - member thing is pretty much spot on, in terms of what we're trying to achieve. To release muscle memory.

Sounds pretty new age, right? 'Tis! 'TIS!!! For at least 10 hours a week I am in a chair going Aaaaaaaaahh (sometimes even "HAH!!"), getting rid of tension. This is a core part of the method. Apart from being a method actors' tool it has also proven to be quite therapeutic as I've been able to rid myself of everyday bullshit, sadness and frustration, giving me better focus on the task at hand. As I get more and more into it, however, I feel I might be a bottomless well of snot and tears. Who knows? That might come in handy if I'm ever asked to play Edith Piaf or Slimer from Ghost Busters.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Crying Game

School's tough these days and doubt rears it's ugly head quite often. The last two weeks have been weird - emotionally, and I've ranged from feeling like shit to feeling like The Shit on and off. Had a little breakthrough on Tuesday. That's right Esseh. I finally popped my cherry and cried on stage. I wept like a five year old who finds out there is no Tooth Fairy because daddy's an alcoholic and spent his entire salary on corn holders (for some reason that escapes me). Felt good to be on stage, but I have to keep in mind that this is school and not the real deal. It's about the work not the applause. Besides, the real deal can be pretty ugly over here.
Wednesday night was industry night at the institute and a chance for some of the senior students to show off their skills. The result was a one hour play full of nudge-nudge humor and stereotypes. It was many things, great was not one of them. My biggest concern was the lack of method, which we are being taught. When there is such an emphasis on bringing realness to your performance in class, it was sad to see that thrown aside and replaced by caricatures for the sake of amusing the two casting people that came. Tsk tsk. When asked what she thought of it, our teacher replied: "I fucking hated it".

I'll admit it's easy to get on a high horse about these things, though I will probably find myself in similar situations in the future. Sometimes you just suck it up and smile. In the meantime I can practice being a pussy and let the tears do the work!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Chemical Romance sucks ass in hell AKA Your garden variety rage fit

My chemical romance... The name says it all. You would need to administer Prozac rectally after hearing this filth.

Last Saturday I woke up to the harshness of reality after an unintended Friday night chug contest at La Cita - one of Downtown's cheaper waterholes. "Oh, the harshness of reality - how can I go on", I pondered. Failing to get up, I reached for the remote - you know, the thing that turns the TV on. "Mind-numbing escape is what I need"! From the depths of my pillow, unbeknownst to the horror that was currently airing on everyones favorite channel : Music Television I witnessed the apocalypse as brought forth by 5 white kids from New Jersey.

The band that spewed out these hellish whines (this is getting pompous, sorry) bore the name My Chemical Romance. Or as I have so cleverly named them "My Hemorrhoid Retards". (Yes, I am in fact 25 years old. Sad really.)

I shuddered, yet somehow I could not turn away - the The spokesperson for this fantastic quintette had put me under a spell. He was the handsome and brilliant Assface McShit.

This guy :

(LOOK! He's thinking.)

He looked like he had been injected with concentrated Jim Carrey leftovers. His facial poses shifting at a rate of which rabbits mate (No rhyme intended). I believe the dramatic term is "presence". Though the urge to move into the forest rose within me, I felt it was my responsibility to witness this degeneration of mankind, so that I could one day tell my grandkids. And so I did...

What was that!? I'm an asshole.. sry sry (sorry sorry). I'll bet those guys are really awesome in RL (real life). And when they're not fitting each other for cups and trying out new hair colors, they probably enjoy a nice stroll down the boulevard of broken dreams and wake each other up when September comes as American idiots. (See what I did there?! I used the song titles of another shitty pop-punk band to diss them. WOW. Pulitzer candidate anyone? I suck.) Luckily they have enough money to get me killed. At least there's some justice in this world.

Katharsis complete

Friday, October 5, 2007

The DMV And Other Acronyms

If you have a green light, but traffic is blocking the intersection, you should:

Go bonkers and feed on the souls of infants.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is easily on the list of the more unpleasant locations I've been to during my time here. One good reason could be that the people working there basically hate humans, and for some reason it doesn't help when you're a foreigner. After having my passport scanned an uncomfortable number of times I was told that I in fact don't have a student visa. When in fact I do. Which brings us to multiple choice question number two.

You have just argued that you in fact do have a student visa - in response you are asked "Sir, are you telling me that I don't know how to do my job"? For which the correct response is-

No mam.
No mam.
Yo man.

Wow. For future reference. Keep mouth shut. Anyway! After an hour of tedious standing in line I was finally photographed and given a pamphlet no thicker than a bees' penis. This grail of conduct contained the well kept secrets of driving in California which apparently is different than anywhere else. Having been chauffeured around for a month and getting a feel of traffic I can tell you first hand that the these laws look a lot better on paper than when put to use. People ride like effing maniacs over here. Understatement much?

I returned a week later having read up on things and passed the test with flying colors. Thank you me. When bragging to Jonathan he simply stated "Congratulations, you are not retarded". So you can imagine, as multiple choice tests go, this was no Rubik's Cube. OR IMPOSSIBALL!!!!

I promised acronyms, didn't I? Then I will try to retell this entire post for those who speak the language. Here goes: LOL @ DMV. ASL VISA IMBA FFS MOB AGGRO. BRB EMO. OOC ASAP. OMFG MILF. WTB CAR FTW. LTW AA.
God I suck... some of that might have been 1337 speak. Now who's the geek?!

Well that's enough for now. Are people actually reading this blog? I hope you are as this is my only vent to the outside world. Until next time schmos! I love you all!

"Smell me said the man - and so they did".