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Archive for February, 2009

I just read the post from Pink is the New Blog that Miley Cyrus is being sued by a Southern California woman for the pic seen below. Guess how much? 4 Billion. 4 freaking billion dollars.

In my original post on this story (also below), I stated my feelings that people were getting overheated about the antics of an immature girl. Teenagers are dumb, and yes it’s racist. No, it’s not worth a whole organization publicly attacking Miley, or is it worth 4 billion in damages.

The case will probably be sided towards Miley. Even though, she is a deserving idiot. What’s your guess?

Original Post: (Feb 3, 2009)

miley-cyrus-asian-racist-photoWe’ve got to give the 16 year old a break. But first…

Let me catch you up on the situation. That’s Miley Cyrus in the pic. Her and her friends are pulling their eyes to look like Asians. Racially offensive?

The OCA seems to think so. They’re an Asian-American advocacy group. They want an apology from Ms. Cyrus because they believe her behavior will encourage other youth to be racially insensitive.

Now, what’s the difference between hate and goofin’ off?

That seems to be the age old question. Can we tease each other about race without offending a whole organization? If the OCA gets its apology, will the Asian-American agenda record it as progress. Think about that, in the scope of Asian history:

Tuesday February 3, 2009 the Asian community finally took a stand against immature 16 year olds! They have long oppressed us with their “Me Chinese, me play joke” hate speeches, but we can proudly say we have struck a blow.

Yes, Miley is a role model. And yes, she’s a retard who eats ketchup alone. But we know that lessons on race sensitivity begin in the home. The parent passes their views to the child, and the child chooses to accept them or not. They’re constantly learning. They are always looking and listening to our examples. Don’t attack the insensitive and the immature; Shine the light on more Asian role models. After all, there is a reason why the Asian-American community is proud and strong. Don’t let Miley fucking Cyrus hurt that pride because she’s acting like any dumb kid.

Pick your battles. And Miley…goddamn, WTF…

(And, for the record, I don’t think it’s offensive that I used the word retard up there. People, stop being so sensitive!)

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This is a quick post. I just saw the coraline commercial, and the reviews, while good, sound like they’re bankhanded compliments.

“Best film of the year…”

when it’s only been a month…

“Best film in 3D…”

But..not a good film compared to normal ones?

It’s a sloppy commercial. The plot isn’t clear, and the audio always sounds off. Seeing Friday the 13th made me want to see Jason slash Coraline in half with his machete. Now, that’d be a good commercial.

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3188163429_a6413ace8bLove is in the air, and it’s that passion that leads to tagging something public.

You see, romance is an old friend of graffiti. Love bird kids have been scraping their initials into trees for the longest time.

Here are some of my favorite Valentine’s Day related graffiti.

(more…)

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picture-12Improvisational theatre in performance is a challenging art form. Not a bad statement, and it’s something I fully back. I come from the thinking that theatre is accessible to everyone. Not always easy when audiences want amazing productions for low ticket costs. In fact, I think improv can do better. It can offer an amazing experience for a low cost.

Improvisers believe the Harold is a sacred art. Oh, we love it. Long form is an athletic and mental feat unlike any play. It takes guts, stamina, and ingenuity to make a golden egg from nothing.

Improv is both a reliable and terrible way to make some moolah. I’ve seen both sides of the commercial spectrum. On one side, I’ve been an audience member. I’ve paid $20 to see an hour and a half show which was full of quality improv. I’ve also paid $2 to see students, and that was fun too. On the other side I’ve done shows where we performed for free (and got a tip of $20.) Plus I’ve done high-paying private shows. We’re talking $1000 for an hour and a half..

Now the most impressive number is the production cost: $0. Now, yes, that number can go up. One could pay for props, marketing, and space rental. However, it’s feasible to produce a high quality show for $0. Be crafty, make deals – er, be like any artist without a budget (see below for tips.)

So why aren’t there more improv troupes? And I’m not talking scarcity. There are a fair share of improv groups across the country. I’m saying, why not more? It seems like a great starting point for artists. You learn the business side of the arts with a lower risk (though, god, there is always a high risk with the arts.) Plus, as Conan revealed in his “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” improv teaches writers and performers to throw it all out there.

And no one’s good at the start. It’s too freaking scary to be good at the start. But everyone gets better, more comfortable. Instead of making bad jokes, all improvisers learn to be more natural. They learn to rely on each other.

I see so many new theatre companies from college students and post-grad (after all I started one.) From that, I learned that a theatre company needs so much energy, time, and funding. It’s one of the most difficult endeavors to start a theatre company, but they’re popping up everywhere. But a lot of theatre companies fail thanks to artistic and funding pressure.

In improv if you put on a bad show it’s hell. You’re scared to death already, and the pressure of ticket buyers sits right on top of that fear. That’s hell, man. I’m talking stress. Though, I’ll take it over a theatre company.

Actors and the improv troupe’s business can recover from those early, amateur performances. And the low financial risk allows you to develop your talents professionally, in front of an audience. These troupes need to develop with audiences because acting in your garage won’t develop you.

And again, with some time and commitment you’ll start to see audience members fill up those seats.

I don’t mean to just make a case for actors to start an enterprise. I also hope the entire performing arts community will welcome these efforts.

Improv isn’t that respected, but I think that needs to change. Any theatre professor will tell you about Commedia dell’Arte, the old grandpappy of improv, still cherished in Italy’s theatre community. It has a proud tradition, and I think it should have a promising future. But the arts community has to see why it’s worth those $20 tickets, those $1000+ bookings.

Sure it’s sometimes dirty jokes and silliness, but improv should be seriously considered as medium for new projects. It’s already a developmental process behind the scenes of several popular TV and movie comedies. New playwrights are leaving room for actors to wiggle around the text. On top of that, dramatic improvisation has unexplored territories.

Prominence leads to pioneers. Advance the art by creating a business. It won’t pay all your bills, but it won’t leave you in ruins. Start a troupe.

Start a troupe.

Learn, build, apply.

Here are some resources and ideas:

  1. The improv encyclopedia at humanpingpongball.com. You can jump into some online articles, peruse some games, and learn about nationwide improv troupes
  2. Books: Truth in Comedy, Improvisation in the Theatre by the mother of improv Viola Spolin, and Impro (my favorite.)
  3. See a show. I’m betting there are at least 2 improv troupes near you.
  4. Talk to artists about improv. Ask if they’re interested in projects that might implement improv into the process. It could be an ensemble-driven play, or it could be a film project that uses treatments rather than traditional scripts.
  5. Talk to artistic directors at small theatres; see if there’s interest in teaming up for a project – “Improv Tuesdays” $10 tickets, split the tickets amongst your group and the theatre company. (Yes, when you need experience, it’s okay to take $3 and give them $7. Sound like bad business? It’s not. You’re gaining money – though smaller than you’d like – to gain important experience.)
  6. When you’re ready to jump into your own place, start at a community center. Bargain. Negotiate. Try to rent a space for 1 hr at 100 – 200 dollars. $10 tickets mean you only 20 people. 4 people in troupe, everybody market to 5 people. If you can’t find a place that cheap, keep searching. It’s not easy, but you’ll find a place. A coffee shop, a place about to be torn down, a community college or high school.

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x1ul7Holy cash cow, Batman… Er… I mean, crap, I’m not good at this whole comic thing. Batman has nothing to do with Marvel, but I couldn’t think of a good attention getter with a marvel character. “Slashing adamantium, Wolverine!” uh…” Thrashing thor”…

Okay, I’ll stop being lame.

According to Appleinsider, Marvel and iTunes will be a dynamic duo. (Shit, another DC ref.) You will be able to download some “motion comics” from the popular online media store.

Look, Stan Lee and Steve Jobs want your money. You can resist, but I bet you’ll end up spending money. They are good at getting people to spend money…

Now what is a motion comic? Eh, I really don’t care, but it’s a comic that combines their artwork, some animation, sound, and character voices… Sounds great, guys…

Nerds, imagine it. Next time you’re out of the house (Does that happen? Do you leave your homes?) you’re not bored because you’re experiencing your motion comic on your iPhone or iPod Touch. All your nerdgasms will be fulfilled by the rich digital color and sound of – crap I’m running out of superheroes – the Hulk smashing some crap.

Sound cool?

jump to Appleinsider’s post. They’re nicer….>>

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picture-31Yesterday Facebook added the Like feature (as seen next to the comment button in the pic). The button mimics Digg and other social sites, allowing users to show their support of a user’s action without commenting. It saves some time, but is it really necessary?

As someone in awe of the Twitter movement, I’ve got to compare the microblog to Facebook. The former is blissful simplicity, and the latter looks like a blob engulfing other site’s ideas. Facebook is now a cocktail made from Twitter, WordPress, Digg, Flickr, and Hulu. It’s all those services centralized. The problem is centralization doesn’t equal an effective user interface. It can, but how do we define Facebook now? It used to be defined as “a place where we caught up with distant friends.” Now, the definition is convoluted.

Our Facebook accounts are cluttered with so many interactions, and it seems Twitter has focused those interactions into 4 primary means. Twitter isn’t just simpler, it’s more conductive. Our interactions on Twitter happen with ease. Let me show you.

Let’s say I want to talk about “In the Beginning” at Dallas Theater Center on Facebook:

  1. First, I choose how I’ll talk about it. I can make a status update (probably the easiest); I could write a note (more lengthy); I can go to a theater group (reach a target audience who cares about what I say); or I can comment on Dallas Theater Center’s page (people definitely care.)
  2. So let’s go to the next step in the interaction for each one (sigh). I write a status update that I enjoyed the show, and people can write their comments agreeing or disagreeing as well as pushing the new like button. Easy enough. Writing a note. I will get out my full opinion, tag some friends, and in return they can comment on the note. Theater group. I can start a discussion group and post the first comment, and people can continue the discussion with their own comments. Bonus: I might reach people who aren’t my friends. Dallas Theater Center’s page. I can comment on the page, and maybe someone from DTC will respond to my review as well as friends and new people.

Okay….wow….that was a lot. Now let’s look at Twitter. If I liked the show, I can tweet:

I ❤ @dallastheater‘s new production “In the Beginning.” It’s brilliant, riveting; acting = superb #theater.

And…I just did everything that Facebook can do in my 1 tweet. I got my review out in the same amount of characters as a status update, people can respond to me with the @reply, my hashtag will reach theater people, and @replying DTC will let them know about my review….

Thus, I rest my case that Facebook is becoming more cluttered than effective.

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picture-21Obama is at his second town hall meeting in Fort Myers, Florida. He’s talking with people there about his recovery package.

The Senate has just approved their version, which includes more tax cuts than the House’s bill.

It’s obvious from the town hall meetings that several people love Obama, that several people want to see Obama, and that several people want to speak to Obama. (The crowd cheered when he announced the Senate’s passing of his bill – so obviously these are Obama fans.)

But my question is whether he’s the best salesman for this job. I’m only concerned because it opens him to attacks from his critics that he’s a better campaigner than office holder. The buzz from the critics is that Obama must be ignoring some pertinent business in the oval office.

In defense of President Obama, he’s done his work. He’s talked to economists and advisors, he’s planned out his vision, and he’s met with representatives and senators. He hasn’t met with the American people. What are the American people’s fears and concerns? Think about it. Most presidents tell us they know our feelings when they only know through statistics and news stories. Now when Obama says he understands our problems, we can look at these town hall meetings as evidence.

There has always been a bubble around our presidents, and Obama is trying to break it.

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