Archive for March, 2011


High Profile vs. Hermit

I have to blog about this, because it’s gnawing at me. Something’s been trying to make itself known to me in my brain, and for some reason I couldn’t properly articulate until just a few seconds ago, but to put it in a literary or pop culture perspective, its the voice/s of my own personal Jekyll and Hyde story.

People are always a bit amused or disbelieving when I tell them that I’m generally a very private, homebody type of person. I love curling up and reading, writing, playing on the internet, thinking, creating in my head, all in my home, usually solely in my room. Do I go out? Yeah, quite a lot actually. I like coffeehouses, clubs, concerts, and hanging out with friends. (wow, that sounded like a line from a personals ad) Anyway, the point is, if I don’t also get my solitude along with all that, I go nuts. Little tension knots start creeping their way into my trapezius muscles, my neck starts to bunch up, oftentimes headaches threaten and materialize, and finally I get angry or panicked. I just must have time to myself. Sometimes more often than others. It depends on many variables, like so many things in life.

So what’s been crawling around in my head is this idea of being a rather high profile person, who likes to keep a low profile.

Now, what do I mean by high profile? Well, in my case, I can point to the fact that I have a Wikipedia entry, dozens of videos of me on youtube(taken by others mind you), an IMDB page, about 3,500 people on my facebook, and am ridiculously goggleable. Apart from that, I would estimate I’ve signed somewhere in the number of 40-70,000 autographs in my time on the con circuit. I’ve met lots of people, who know more about me than I do them. That’s what I mean by high profile. Also, people recognize me from theatrical productions I’ve been in. To top all of this off, I’m not Artistic Director of a soon-to-be-announcing itself to the world theatre company in the fourth-largest city in the US. Not exactly a low-profile gig.

Ask me where I’m going with all this, and I’ll tell you I don’t have much of an idea, except for I feel it’s my own brain trying to parse out or break-down what it is that allows me to act as these two different people, and to ask if these two different people are really different at all. Logic tells us, of course, no, we are all just multifaceted individuals, capable of bending in the wind and changing colors when and if the occasion calls for such behavior. But sometimes it truly does feel that there are two of me. One acts as a public figure, one acts as a privately operating man. Neither are liars about themselves or whom the other is, but both are sometimes unwilling to accept each others identity as two separate individuals. Which is correct, for we’re not. In fact, there is no we, only I. I who am two, or more. I who lead more than one life. Or… I who lead a busy life, and must wear different hats. I have a feeling some people are more skilled at this feat than others. As for me, I’m good at pulling it off, but only to an extent. There is always a breaking point for my public persona, when the private person inside of me starts shouting to be holed up in some small, elegant room somewhere, reading a book or figuring out my next creative endeavor… which will, in turn, require me to be public again.

Hm.

Right now so much is on the brink of coming to fruition. This is that period right before all the fun stuff and the exciting work and the thrills and chills start. This is the grunt work phase, and I’m not a fan. The thing is, you can’t do the fun work without doing the grunt work. And the thing is, I’m not just talking about one project, I’m talking about many. I wear so many hats, and have the equivalent of about 2.5 full-time jobs, so I’m always coming at different things and in different ways. But for everything I’m working on, I’m in the beginning phases, the place where you’re emerging from the sludge and crawling onto the banks and starting to walk upright, but you haven’t quite discovered fire or the wheel… or the joy of sex. You’re just kind of mucking about in a haze. You know where you’re going, and you know what you’re doing, and sort of how you’re going to do it, but you’re still waiting for your eyes to be fully open and your brain to be fully functioning, awake, stimulated.

A quick run-down:

Demon King Daimao, in which I voice the lead, is done recording, for me anyway.

Aeon Theatrix has a meeting tonight, and we will be “freezing” our season. Meaning we will have decided upon it with finality. Of course, we’ve decided to not announce it until June 15th, so sitting on that is going to be tough, but of course there will be much work to keep me occupied in the meantime.

I’ve been asked to play the lead (well only) role in a play, I’m waiting to hear about being cast in another play, and I’m auditioning for yet another play in a week. So, theatrically I’m busy.

Vocally, I’m narrating a 600-page zombie book, then a fairly small vampire romance, then my own book, Scene Immortal, then I’m not sure what. I think I’ll have some commercials to voice very soon.

So, in short, I’m busy, very busy. And I like it. And I hope you’re busy, too!

I’ll blog more later. Right now, I need to go work!

 

 

The first time I drove past Obsidian Art Space, which is right by my house in the Heights, I knew I would love its interior as a space to put on beautiful, challenging, entertaining and progressive theatre. As I entered that very building last night to see Big Head Productions production of Tracy Letts’s Killer Joe, my suspicions were confirmed.

But this isn’t about the space, this is about Killer Joe, currently being given an intimate, no-punches-pulled treatment at Obsidian Art Space, under the direction of Ananka Kohnitz. First, I have to start with the set. Don’t worry, it’s not “the star of the show”, but rather it’s a perfect augmentation to making Letts’s make-believe hell-on-earth seem all too real. The set, quite literally, creeps out into the audience, and is designed in such a way that it gives you a tinge of claustrophobia, and makes you feel as if you are living inside the trailer with the trash for the duration of the piece. And while that’s an unsettling thing, it’s also wildly fun as an audience member. Also, being a bit of a lighting nerd, I have to comment on the amount realistic, and yes even special effect lighting that was done with a very minimal light rig. A realistic thunderstorm pulsates throughout most of the show, and the lights, along with a brilliant sound design, punctuate this point, and subtly drive it home.

The play itself? Come on! There’s nudity, rapid-fire f-bomb dialogue about killing one’s own mother for money to pay off a debt, and enough extreme violence and brutality to nearly make Tarantino blush. All carried out with just the right amount of savvy. Everything teeters on the edge of “not feeling safe”.

Killer Joe is a theatrical roller coaster. We ride roller coasters because even though we know they’re mostly safe and we won’t come to harm, they scare the hell out of us and present the illusion of doing so. We could derail, we could crash, the damn thing could break somehow…then we roll into the station, sweating, smiling, laughing, wanting to do it all again. So it was last night with Killer Joe, but instead of arriving at the station and wiping our brows, the audience simply rose to their feet, to give this cast, this playwright, and of course their director and designer the standing ovation they earned!

Do go check it out!

Killer Joe, playing at Obsidian Art Space, 3522 White Oak, through April 16th!

Schism

Sometimes in life, you are thrown a curve ball that can still be whacked out of the park and turned into a home run. Such is the case of something I’m dealing with now. And I’ve found that in these situations, what we learn about ourselves as artists and creative folk is how adaptive we are, how creative, and how much mettle we have in standing up for what we believe in, but also standing down when diplomacy calls for such action. What I’m referring to is relatively, no quite, private, but still is not all that big of a deal, when considered up next to so many things that have to be taken into consideration within the walls of this particular situation. We find new routes by which to demonstrate our creativity, we find new means by which to express ourselves, and always, we seek to tell the best stories, with the most honesty and in the most engaging manner as possible.

Ergo, schism becomes challenge, becomes new solution.


I woke up unnecessarily early, any leavings of Dreamland falling away from my brain as soon as I sat up in my bed. The heavy greyness of outside told me that the wetness of spring had bestowed upon my neighborhood the first True Houston Spring Morning of the year, perhaps… unless I’d just slept through the others. Possible, but not likely, as I’m an early riser. What is a True Houston Spring Morning? It’s when you walk outside and feel almost encased in a cocoon of humidity. It’s like you’re walking in a traveling, wet-ish sound booth. Also, everything feels hyper-real, maybe tottering on the verge of surreal. Like you’re in a movie. Possibly a dystopic horror flick. The effect this has on me, anyway, is a definite sense of the immediacy of plain reality. This is a situation when my head fills with inanities, only to swiftly purge them to make room for things of possibly greater substance. Today, however, I appear to still be waiting for such an occurrence.

Every other Monday night we (some Thelemites) meet at a groovy little coffeehouse in Montrose, which is a cool, eclectic gayborhoodish type section of Houston.Tonight, we were in small numbers, but we had fun discussing mainly coming events of the week. So, it appears I’ll be going to a blacklite party at the House Ov Discord on Saturday. If I come out the other side mentally altered, do not be surprised.

Friday night, I have a meeting with the set designer for ___ _____ ______ ____, which will be Aeon Theatrix ‘s inaugural production. I have so many ideas and elements that I want to implement and make come alive in a relatively small space, but if anybody can make that happen, this guy I’m meeting with will be the one to do the job. I hate having to almost speak in code about this, but the board agreed the other night that we wouldn’t make an official announcement about the specific show until mid June. So, theatre freaks and freaks in general, stay tuned for that news! However, I’ll go ahead and put this out there:

If you wanna buy tickets blind, as in, you just happen to have faith that myself, and a bunch of awesomely talented, driven people are going to put on a hell of a show this Halloween at a very cool space in Houston, you can go buy them right now by clicking here. Those of you who know me know the show won’t be crap, and that it will be something you’ll most likely remember… for a very … long… time! But, if you want to wait for the official announcement, hell I won’t get mad. 😉

Have a great night!

 

I am so grateful, every day, for the amount of knowledge and quality people that I have in my life. Be the subjects artistic, occult, spiritual, or social, I have a sphere of people who surround me and make every day a song.

Life is rich. With words, with laughter, with tears, with contemplation, with the putting together of puzzle pieces, life is a feast. Life is a grand story. Life is a nightclub in the underworld, and a penthouse near Valhalla. Most people, it would seem, who claim unhappiness as their lot, are the people who choose it. Barring those who have suffered tragedy, or extreme ill  fate, most people just don’t have that much to be unhappy about, and most of what is making them happy is an illusion. The irony of all this, in fact, is that many of the supposed “lesser” or “disadvantaged” among us (i.e., those who have suffered emotionally crushing loss, handicap, illness, etc.) often are more jovial than “everyday folks”, perhaps because of their very situation, and the fact that they see things with a different set of goggles than the wallowing pessimists. I used to be such a wallowing swine. It’s so easy. And yet, what being in that state brings to your life is nothing but difficulty. Like attracts like, as they say. And these people who wonder why they can’t get out of their funk, I wonder, have they ever simply tried shifting their paradigm, breaking down the walls of their own gloomy boxes, or just smiling and laughing for no reason? Probably not. It sounds like such a simple fix, but your attitude really can increase your metaphoric altitude.

So, revel, please, in life. In love, in food, in sex(if it be right for you), in work, in play, but in all things seek to live your True Will. If you do this, you canNOT be miserable, for it is nobody’s True Will to live in misery.

______________________________

Today I will complete narration on the zombie juggernaut No Flesh Shall Be Spared, and should be finding out about some new work as well.

I also am allowed to announce that, even though not yet noted on their site, I will be a guest this late-summer at Anime Festival Orlando. This will be one of my two convention appearances in 2011. I then intend to make one appearance in 2012, and by then will most likely be so busy with Aeon Theatrix, that even the occasional convention appearance will become impossible.

A lot of you seem to be hungry for more Blood Scene, and I promise the second book will happen, it just may not happen as soon as I’d originally planned. So much going on! By the way, if you’ve read Scene Immortal, pop off about it and leave me a comment here telling me what you thought! Reviews should be coming out soon, but I’d love to hear what casual readers of my blog thought, as well. By the way, how about that new cover, eh?! 🙂

Alright, I’m off to zombie-land, and I shall blog again soon.

Everybody make the rockin’ most of their day.

 

Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law

What a busy week I’ve had, from working harder in the booth than I’ve had to in a while, to many auditions, to Aeon Theatrix having our first official meeting, and then capping off the week celebrating the Gnostic Mass with my partner and some new friends and future Fraters and Sorors in my life. I love an experience that can almost petrify me and but five minutes later leave me feeling ecstatic. I should note here that there is nothing, inherently, petrifying about a Gnostic Mass, but the way my psyche chose to resp0nd to certain parts of it did cause quite a bit of stimulation of my nervous system. I felt very alive and connected. An amazing experience. May we all have such life-affirming experiences, in the positive, every day!

I need a drink… of water… well, maybe wine. Maybe… eh, I dunno.

Love is the Law, Love Under Will!

I woke up

I went to the donut shop

No cops there

I had half a Red Bull, as I’m trying to quit

My nose was stopped up

It was sometime before 8 am

The radio was blaring “morning shows”

I finished UR last night before going to bed and it assisted my brain in creating for me odd dreams

I’m still waking up

We need to leave for Austin soon

Into the Not-So-Wild West

RAD and I are heading out in a bit, to go to Columbus, TX, to spend the night with my ‘rents, to then awake and travel on to Austin, where I’ll attend my first Gnostic Mass and a bizarre put on by the Scarlet Woman OTO Lodge! I’m quite stoked about this. My first celebration of a Gnostic Mass will mark another step down the new path my spiritual life has taken, and I believe I will be emboldened and hopefully made more radiant by it. Also, of course, I’ll get to see Austin, my second favorite city in Texas. 😉 Hopefully I’ll get to stop in at my friend’s club, Elysium, as well.

May we all continue steps toward achieving our life’s goals this weekend!

 

love

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