Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apparently, I'm getting ADHD

... at least, according to the dude teaching last night's VO (voiceover) workshop.

As you may or may not be aware, I'm currently in the middle of mainlining VO training, so I can start seeking auditions and/or representation that will do the seeking for me. I've already done an animation (character) workout, and Voice-To-Picture, and a couple of commercial workouts.

Workouts are set up to record stuff in the booth, with feedback from the other actors and the person running the board (the engineer). Workshops still get you in the booth, but you don't get feedback from anyone other than the "teacher", for the most part. Unless the copy you're reading is restricted, like in the VTP workshop, you usually get to take your recordings home on a flash drive.

So, last night's workshop was all about narration, which covers documentaries, PSAs, museum guide (recordings, of course), and corporate/industrial, but not audiobooks! It was being led by a man who's a staple in that arena, without necessarily being famous. The voices you know you've heard in this arena include Peter Coyote and Morgan Freeman. They are not going to teach a workshop to get you more work in this particular playing field. The guy last night basically told us that there is a ton of work out there, if we're interested in focusing on Narration.

Which leads me to my title. He asked us to introduce ourselves, with a little backstory into our experience to date, and why we wanted to take that particular class. His response to mine was to tell me/us that I'm/we're "probably getting" ADHD, as there are So. Many. Worlds. to choose from in VO, and if I/we've not yet "chosen" which world I/we want to "live" in, it can get overwhelming.

Yes, that. The overwhelm is strong in *this* one.

HOWEVER, I'm loving attending these workshops. Now I just need someone who "knows" me (or at least my voice/range/acting abilities) to give me a nudge in one direction. Which is why I want an agent. But it's also why I need to fine-tune the demos I already have and/or record fresh, new demos. But for which specific worlds?



Also, in case you're wondering how my juice cleanse/fast is going, Stephen informed me today that his leg cramps and my back pain are probably related to the detox, and that we should both be consuming electrolytes in addition to our juices. I can do that. I'm loving the juices, for the most part, and I think I have my ingredients list narrowed down (after doing a couple of massive shops), for next week, at least, when Stephen returns to chewing again and I'm still juicing. I've got access to electrolytes to add to clear water, between "meals", too. So we're good.

If you're wondering what the fuck I'm talking about, you obviously haven't been following along. You needn't go far into the archives to get caught up, unless you feel like it, just for your own sense of accomplishment. So, please. Peruse my archives. They're right there ==>

What fun things are happening in YOUR life these days? #TellMeAllAboutEm

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Day Four, or That Time I Tried Cleansing While On Set

I got to go to work today! First day on set in two months (granted, I did visit Daddy for three weeks, so if you somehow didn't know that, I recommend you rifle through my archives. I think last month-ish just about covers it). NDAs in mind, I'll just say that the work that I did was easy and enjoyable, and I hope to return to that particular show.

But it was Day Four of Thirty for my juice fast/cleanse, so I had to go in prepared. I juiced a lot of veggies and some fruit yesterday, poured it into two large drink bottles (I shan't call them "water" bottles, as I don't ever drink "water" from them), and put those bottles in the freezer overnight. I juiced again this morning, and put my "remainder" in the fridge for my return from set.

Our "holding" area was adjacent to Catering. I managed to plant myself far enough away to not smell the smells, and when the official lunch "break" happened, I stayed put so as not to create any waftiness by walking by all of the delicious delectable chewable wondrousnesses (I'm assuming all of those adjectives). I never even saw what was in those chafing dishes! I'm sure there were beef, chicken, and fish selections, as well as two or three hot veggie choices, in addition to the salads and other cold items, like desserts. Standard studio catering. A lovely, daily smorgasbord.

... and you wondered why I love working on set! HA! It's the FOOD!

... but none for me today. Any time I felt hunger pangs, I drank some juice. It got me through the day. Good stuff.

But now that I'm home, I've finished all of the juice I'd prepared yesterday, and my back and neck are starting to hurt (probably from all of the sitting I did yesterday), and I'm hungry again, but I really don't feel like juicing tonight.

Think I'll just eat a pear or a nectarine (or both), and call it a night. Wake up super-early, feeling like I'm starving, and get up and juice enough to get me through the day I'll be spending at the SAG-AFTRA Don LaFontaine Voiceover Labs. That's right. Tomorrow, I have another booth session and workshop.

So, what are YOU doing tomorrow? Primarily, with what delicious delectables will you be stuffing your face? ;)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Food Documentary Reviews

A day or two ago, I watched Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead and Hungry for Change

Tonight, I watched Food, Inc. and Super Size Me

I still have Fed Up, Forks Over Knives, Sugar Coated, and Cowspiracy to view. I have a feeling I'll drop that last one without watching it, but I may get to the other final 3, because I feel like I'm learning a lot without becoming too PETA-fied.

I could, if push came to shove, give up beef, poultry, and possibly even pork forever. Well, maybe not pork. I know for a fact that no matter what push ever reached my shove, I would not give up fish or dairy. I ain't ever gettin' that PETA-fied. Sorry if that offends your reasons for veganism. I am an omnivore, as are you. My mouth is built for eating all the things.

However, I do understand that my food supply may be killing me, or at least depressing the hell outta me...


Okay, so those day counts are off. I started watching food docs more than a week ago, and I just never published any reviews. So here they are:

Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead: This is a road-trip, life-lessons, personal growth documentary about the reasons to fast, or cleanse by juicing, and the experiences of the filmmaker in his particular journey, as well as a couple other journeys of folks he encounters in his travels. It is EXCELLENT. Highly Recommended, particularly if you've thought about the whole "juicing" trend, and wondered why anyone does it, or HOW anyone does it, or what anyone gets from it. This documentary is the primary reason I am on a juice fast right now, and also why Stephen will be starting one when he has 3 days off to get started (the first 3 days are touted as being the worst part).

Hungry For Change: talks primarily about the food industry from a consumer's point of view. It's not life-shattering, but it's pretty good as a follow-up to F,S, &ND. Plus-or-minus Zero (watch it or don't).

Food, Inc. and Super Size Me are both pretty high on the "gross" factor. Food, Inc., as you may suspect, talks about the horrors of the food industry, particularly on the "where our meat comes from" and the disgusting ways the industry treats both the animals and the workers. Super-Size Me is another road-trip, life-lessons, personal growth doc but from the opposite direction from F,S, &ND. This dude is actually trying to support a legal argument about a specific case where a teen's family is suing McDonald's for her health issues. He does in 30 days what the kid spent her lifetime achieving. It's not pretty. Watch either of these if you feel a need to ignite your "activist" persona.

Fed Up and Sugar Coated both attack the sugar realms of the food industry. I already had all of the information both of these films threw at me, so if anything, they "solidified" my desire to cleanse. I've already completely cut high fructose corn syrup out of my diet, and I really don't consume "that much" other refined sugars. But the cleanse will help my system reboot from any stored sugars, I'm hoping. If you don't know why you're getting "fat", watch these. If you care to ignite your "sugar-activist" persona, these should do the trick. If you're not that interested, these probably won't spark your interest.

Stephen and I (re-)watched Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead to reach an agreement on juicing. Then we watched Forks Over Knives, which was honestly the best companion to F, S, &ND. While I'm already into my cleanse, he's reducing his own intake of animal fats, so he'll be ready for the cleanse when he starts. He's also tasted some of the juices, so he can get an idea of what he's in for. Forks Over Knives promotes a vegan lifestyle without getting too #PETAActivismish. The two primary doctors it documents grew up on farms with dairy cows, and came to their conclusions separately. I've never really wanted to "go vegan" because of all the teeth I have, and because of my love of bacon and cheese and carnitas and ice cream... so we'll see how well the cleanse works for me, and we'll see if I can continue to consume micronutrients (whole, plant-based foods) once I'm done, and if I manage to get weaned from macronutrients (everything the food industry pushes) for good! Highly Recommended

We have, in fact, taken Cowspiracy out of the queue, unwatched. I just really don't want to watch another gross, horrific, painful, #PETAActivismish food doc. I'll probably re-watch F, S, &ND and F/K another coupla times before my fast completes.

And here's a short video from this morning!

... and now I'm hungry, only two hours later. Time for another juice! (Had it - it was great; waited to publish for that video ^ to load).

So. You know where this puts ME. Where does it put you? Will you be watching any/all of these films?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Diet and exercise? Part One of a sporadic Many?

I've been away for a bit. Managed to catch up on the blogs I read, and had started a new post the other day, but haven't (at this moment) gone back to finish it and post it. I will, I promise, soonish. In the meantime, when I came to my site this evening, I noticed that two people had hit this post, so I went back to re-read it (and the comments, of course). It's apropos.

But what I wanted to post here is a vlog I haven't yet shot. Dammit. I keep forgetting which camera Blogger allows me to post from. ^This one was shot using my webcam (although not from within Blogger, because that would make too much sense!) v For this one, I'm using my DSLR camera. Let's see which one Blogger lets us see, shall we?


So there it is... webcam, not DSLR, even compressed. Then again, you may not be able to view even the first one. #ShitFuckPissDammitToHell. Oh, well.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Bow-now-now-now-now-now-na-nuh. (Yes)terday was my birthday!

Thank you, The Beatles, for my earworm yesterday. Thank you, Patrick, for singing it into my voicemail. Thank you, Twitter and Facebook, for reminding everyone who knows me online, to send electronic wishes. Thank you, family and friends in real life, who remembered & said something or decided to celebrate a moment for yourselves, as that is really all I ever really wish, on my annual trek 'round the sun, that those who know me will do something fun or celebratory, for just a moment, remembering that I've made it another lap.

So, yeah. Made it another lap. Go, me!

I've been unemployed too long. Stephen thinks I'm Depressed. But I don't feel the same that I usually do when I'm Depressed, which someone else's therapist actually described better as "COMpressed", meaning, All of the Feelings that we might experience in a given day or week are mashed up together so tightly that we don't feel them at all. I've been feeling all the feels and just living, unemployed. So another friend linked an article about High Functioning Depression, which actually sounded a lot like I feel lately. Since I couldn't easily locate that article (it was in a long Twitter conversation/thread, and if you know Twitter at all, you know that important stuff gets easily lost in those threads), I just Googled it:
There are a lot of articles about it. My doc has referred me to the KP "Depression Team" to see if there's any help for me. His referral happened on Friday the 26th of May, after he used the "quick-and-easy" diagnostic tool for depression, a questionnaire that included things like "to what degree do you ever think about being dead or harming yourself?". I didn't hear from the DT Manager (by phone) until Thursday the 1st of June. HE asked me right away to expound on that question in particular (I often, when "feeling" depressed, think about being dead; I never have any impulses toward self-harm or suicide), and after some in-depth conversation, he told me I'd hear from my assigned social worker either that day or the next.

It's now Sunday the 4th, and it's a really damn good thing I don't have intentions or impulses of self-harm or suicide, because if I did, Kaiser Permanente could be (possibly) held liable for anything I may have done before my social worker finally calls me to talk me off a ledge and see me in person!

Fortunately for KP, I really think my diagnosis is going to be one of dysthymia (the clinical name for High Functioning Depression). What I know about my own Depression is that I've had it for awhile, never been diagnosed, and have always just kept calm and carried on. That's exhausting. I want some help. I'll be happy to get any diagnosis, at this point. I'm tired of being deeply angry or even just a little irate over stupid shit, like the "church" around the corner (appropriating my symbolism) or not booking work (feeling unwanted) or coughing/clearing my throat for no reason (wtf is wrong with my breathing?) or or or or....

Ennyhoo. I have penpals to write to, and pages to color, and laundry to wash, and blogs to read, and VO to record as practice, and furbabies to feed, and lotteries to win (it's My Turn, dammit!), and wine-n-chocolate to consume, and and and and...

... and I get to have a colonoscopy on the 12th! Whee! But for now, continuing my birthday in fine form, this will be me for the next day or two
until the cake runs out, that is...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Crying Jags

Wow. It's been six days since my last post. Where the hell have I been?

Crying, that's where.

So, yeah, apparently, I'm in a bit of a Depression. It's unlike my normal ones, in that I'm not feeling "nothing" or "dead inside"... I actually have noticed a moment or two of joy, where television or a movie will make me smile or laugh, and I've also been crying... well, maybe a lot... um, yeah, that sounds at least a little like Depression.

So what has set me off, you ask? Oh, you name it. Stupid little shit. Or clever little shit. Adverts. Twitter threads about Mister Rogers. YouTube videos. Television. Movies. Life.

Yeah, I've been having crying jags. I guess I'm Depressed.

Yes, of course, I would love to be working, and I wonder whythehell I'm not working. Yes, of course, I feel like I'm doing allthethings to get me back on set, and yet, somehow, I'm not back on set. So that contributes.

But I'm also trying to stay on top of Daddy's health and well-being, and being in California versus Florida means he'll tell me that his outing to the golf course resulted in him finishing four holes before exhaustion (YAY! Almost half of the nine they'd paid for!), and finding out later from his bffs that their squatter reported two holes as the "success" mark... meaning, if I were still in Florida, I'd have known the actual truth on-the-day and not worried over what is likely an exaggeration. I can't really call him out for exaggerating, and maybe the truth is that he was tired after two holes but did, in fact, press on for four? He is a Tough Guy, after all. But is that why he expresses a different truth from what others express? Are both "angles" true? Does it matter?

I dunno. It makes/helps me cry, though.

Last night, Stephen and I didn't know what to watch together, so I looked at our wall-o-blu-rays. I was looking at films that were turned sideways, rather than just filed in their appropriate spaces, because "sideways" is our cue that we haven't yet watched that specific disk, to know whether it's even a "good" copy or has any special features on it.

We landed on
License to Wed, which may or may not be one of Robin Williams' last films. I was a tour guide for Warner Bros. through a Christmas season, and as an employee, I was given access to the video vault on a specific day. This was one of the freebies I was allowed to walk away with. It's probably not a movie you've seen or even heard of, but it stars, among others, Robin Williams, John Krasinski, and Mandy Moore. It's essentially pre-marital counseling BootCamp for this couple, and RW is the generic, non-denominational priest/reverend who wears a Catholic collar but is clearly not Catholic.

So, a romp. I don't agree with most of "Reverend Frank"'s tactics, but that didn't keep me from laughing. Or crying. Yup. I shed enough tears last night that I couldn't breathe at bedtime because of clogged sinuses. FUN!

And today, Daddy indicated that he's fininshed Season 7(02) of Doctor Who, so I sent him an urgent email to make sure that he watches The Day of The Doctor and The Time of The Doctor before he continues on to Season 8 (*** let me just say here that Amazon Prime does NOT  make it easy for you to binge-watch a show like Doctor Who in order, as the Day is called Season 50, episode 8, and Time is called... Christmas Specials Season 2, episode 2... and you Do Not Need To Watch ANY of the rest of Season 50 or Christmas Specials Season 2 to keep up!) #WTFAmazonPrime? Seriously! Why you gotta make it so hard to binge-watch In Order?

Ennyhoo, yeah, I watched both of those episodes, so I can start Season 8. And yeah, I cried during each of them, at various "appropriate" moments.

Now, I don't mind crying. I really don't. Growing up, #InnerHippie was the emotional child. Somewhere along the lines, I gained some empathy, and now I'll cry at the drop of a ... bowtie. And I'm okay with all of that, as long as it doesn't clog up my sinuses and prevent me from sleeping, because That Was A Bitch.

What about you? Do televised/filmed/nonsense things get you crying? Ever? I mean, we went to see GotGV.2 and we both cried (probably me more than he, but still)... Do YOU express emotions for anyone else to witness, or are you pretty much bottling up that shit? Because that's probably not healthy, either. Just' sayin'.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

REVIEWS! ... eventually, this post. Bear with me.

So, I managed to get fully unpacked and all my laundry put away (thanks, unnamed upstairs neighbor friend, until you give me permission to post your name and likeness!), and I'm somewhat back in A "swing of things".

I was on the waitlist for the VO workshop I really wanted to attend, and had booked a solo booth session following it. Twice I received email notifications that there were seats available, and Twice, I didn't act quickly enough. I have the dude listed as a "priority sender" so that I'll GET notifications in my phone, but I ... just didn't ... in a timely manner, at least. #Dammit #TechnologyIsABitch

So I shopped at Trader Joe's instead, and then went to my solo booth session and recorded some audiobook copy, and cancelled the spot I actually had reserved for the evening VO "talk"... jetlag or something else, I was just too tired to stay on that side of the hill into darkness. #IGottaGetHome. But, I did do some solo work, so that's good.

The rest of this week has been an attempt to reacclimate. Yes, I'm calling Daddy daily, to make sure he's doing something. Most days, he does at least make it to hit a few balls. The day he went to the chipping green (?), he told me he hit 15 happy balls. Yay! He's been feeling a bit puny for the past two days, so he hasn't really gotten "out", beyond a Publix run or similar. But the dude who's staying in bff neighbors' house while they're back in Canada, Tom, is a nice fella who has invited Daddy to join him on the front nine tomorrow at 4. The weather should be cooperative, so if Daddy's feeling well enough, it'll be good for him to go. I'm looking forward to that update.

He hasn't been to the pool lately (his weather turned rainy/cold, so I don't blame him), nor has he yet made it to the gym for light weight-lifting. But it's on his agenda! As well as taking apart the porch swing that essentially rusted out on his back "lanai" from the sprinkler over-spray. He's got plenty of time (no deadline, seriously) to make that happen, unless he orders some kind of replacement furniture online and it gets delivered before he's scrapped the rusted swing.

He's mostly kept up in his binge-watch of Doctor Who, but the fact that Amazon did not include any of Matt Smith's Christmas Specials in his seasons made it a little difficult to watch them in order. He finished Season 6 with me, and then finished Season 701 alone, and then watched "Season 1" of the "Doctor Who Christmas Specials", which were three episodes that should have been placed between S5-6, S6-701, and S701-702. Those are three pretty depressing episodes, and when viewed piggybacked on "Angels Take Manhattan", I can see why Daddy wanted at least a day's reprieve from any DW at all. Thankfully, I watched ahead after catching up, because YES, we are "bingeing" this "together", so I was able to recommend S702 E1 (The Bells of St. John) as being not depressing at all, and pretty "actiony", as we've come to expect. So he's now watched that one and the one that follows it, and now I'm behind. It's okay, I'll catch up tomorrow.

And Now For Those Reviews!

Stephen and I re-watched Guardians of the Galaxy, knowing we'd be seeing the second installment in a theater today. GotG (1) is/was? my favorite installment in the entire MCU. I am only a "fringe" comic reader, having acquired all of my knowledge of the best comic superheroes 20+ years ago, when we were dating in college and Stephen was a weekly collector/reader. I do love a good comic/superhero tale, though, and I ain't afraid to spend good money to watch a good flick. I adore Iron Man and Thor, and all of the rest of the SHIELD gang are pretty cool, too, but Guardians (1) just hit ALL of my buttons. So the rewatch was worth our time, and we were both immensely pleased with what we were shown in the Laemmle Theater today (Guardians 2).

IF you are a fan of superheroes/comics/humour/action/aliens/Stan Lee, then you will probably enjoy GotG2. Even though Kurt Russell plays the long-lost father-figure with all the flaws you would get in a "long-lost" character, this is still a fulfillingly funny, fighty, bittersweet tale of ... well, just people who happen to exist in a world where they can "jump" from one world to another without too much damage. It's sci-fi! It's good guys and bad guys! It's a comic book! It's fun!

We ate buttered popcorn for the first (in a long time) and last (probably, yeah, more than likely last) time, and we laughed our asses off. I sang along with the soundtrack, except for those two songs I just didn't recognize (I know, SHOCKING, right?). We each cried a little bit (or maybe a lot, I'm not sayin'). It was an enjoyable experience, all around.

Oh. And for my birthday coming up, I have asked for a completely non-useful item, something that can be just mine, just because... I want a "Baby Groot". Daddy's got a stuffed Minion, why shouldn't I have a Baby Groot? I dunno if it's gonna be one of those little "dancing flower" deals (which seem overpriced on Amazon) or possibly a 6-10" stuffed doll or what, but every time... Every Time... someone onscreen held Baby Groot or perched him on their shoulder or strapped him into a seat or whatever, my heart just melted. He is SO KEWT... and So Fierce... and my absolute favorite Guardian, I need a Baby Groot of my own.

Ennyhoo. Guardians of the Galaxy (both 1 and 2): Highly Recommended

We came home from that and didn't really know what to watch yet. I'd started Kimmy Schmidt (3 episodes) once I'd wrapped up watching Grace and Frankie, and I had Stephen take KS outta our personal "queue"... it just didn't grab me. Whatever. But what should we watch together? What hadn't we touched yet in that queue?

Santa Clarita Diet. OMG, y'all. This show is Too Damn Funny. Just be sure to not watch at dinnertime. There are only ten episodes in the first season, so we're likely to watch the whole thing in five days or less. But seriously. So funny. Just don't be eating while you watch.

And then, we'd also saved The Secret Life of Pets. For tonight? Eh, what the hell. We'd seen the trailers; we're not afraid of animated animals, as long as they are cartoony enough (and not cgi but speaking English real-looking domesticated pets); this will either be really cute or really stupid. If we hate it, we'll likely hate it right away, and we'll shut it off.

We did not shut it off. There was one bizarre acid-trip sequence in a sausage factory that had us looking at each other and asking #WTF?, but beyond that, overall cute and bittersweet and funny and notATallREALISTIC, which was good enough for us. So, if you're in the mood for #JustStupidEnoughToBeGood, this one also comes Highly Recommended.

So there ya have it. Three Good Things to add to your own watchlist (or four, if you haven't seen GotG1), in case you're looking for things to add to your watchlist. Stephen's gone to bed, and while I have no real deadlines for tomorrow (on another VO waitlist in the evening), I'm probably not up too much longer. I've been clearing-my-throat coughing All Damn Day. It sucks.