Saturday, July 30, 2011

Life remains busy

  No, no cool picture. No fun adventure story. Truthfully, life out here IS an adventure- just not the kind I'm used to. I stay so very busy, and yet nothing seems to be moving. Yet. That YET is a very big yet.
  As expected, the life of an actor is difficult. Especially when you're in competition with the whole damned city. You better hope you've got a little something extra, or you better hope you network with the right people, or you hope that a break- even a tiny one- comes your way. Again, none of this is surprising.
  I've hit a couple of workshops, attended some free previews for classes, and I did get the chance to read with a network casting agent. I'm meeting some good people and slowly starting to make some inroads. It takes time.
  Tomorrow, I'm singing in my church choir for the first time, and I'm a bit worked up about that. Worked up in a good way, because it's a fantastic opportunity, and it will help me develop my voice even further. Worked up in a bad way because it's the first time and I've got the jitters about it. Once the first time's out of the way, the rest is easy, right? Right? Hello?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The beginnings of legitimacy

  As promised, here's an update from my new home on the West Coast.

  It's been a couple of weeks now, and things are finally starting to settle in. I'm registered with a couple of good solid casting agencies, I'm listed on IMDB and the casting notices are pouring in. I was invited to come to a meeting at CBS yesterday, but had to turn it down because it was a project I wasn't at all interested in. It's a good feeling though, to see all these listings and auditions filling my inbox. It's a bit scary taking such a leap in life and trying to find enough faith in yourself to know that you can make it. I've come this far, though, so I know I'm doing something right.
  Hope to bring you much more exciting news soon!
  Also note the new Twitter link in the right hand column. Not a fan of it, personally, but I was advised to use it as a networking tool. Follow me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm not dead


  So where've I've been for the past month and a half? Lots of places, friend. To say it's been hectic, stressful, and unpredictable would be a tremendous understatement. Nevertheless, here we are. I'll blog soon about where I'm living now (Los Angeles!) and what I'm up to, but first, I'd like to take things back a few weeks to an amazing adventure I had with my Dad.
  It started with a picture I recently saw that featured a three-year-old me sitting on top of a rock that appeared to have petroglyphs carved into it.
  I assumed, judging by the type of rock and surrounding trees, that it was taken somewhere up on the hill behind our house in the mountains. I asked my Dad about it, and he informed me that the rock was, in fact, near HIS childhood home near Taos, New Mexico. It's about a three-hour-plus drive North of Albuquerque, for those of you unfamiliar with southwestern geography.
  I told him I would love to see the rock in person if he had time while I was still in town, and we agreed to make a father/son adventure day out of it. It had been thirty four years since he had seen it, and before that probably another twenty or so. He and some friends had stumbled upon the archeological curiosity when they were children growing up in a nearby logging camp.
  Well, a couple of days before I blew town, Dad and I finally got our day. We left Albuquerque early and headed toward Taos. Along the way, I got a fantastic tour of history from my Pops, talking all about when he was a boy taking trips around the area with my grandfather, who drove a log truck.
  I had been to the old logging camp with my parents many years before, and was, as a kid often is, unimpressed by the boring patch of empty forest land. This time was different, though, and I really appreciated the fact that my dad grew up there. This was his home. All the cabins and the logging equipment had long since been cleared out by the Forest Service, and all that remained were trees and empty plots.

Click any pic to see full size

Dad was still able to point out where his house had been and areas that he and his friends had played in.
  To my chagrin, we were able to find quite a few relics buried in the dirt where Dad's house once stood: old radio parts, car parts, medicine bottles, and even part of my Dad's old fossil collection.

The logging camp

&nbsp We checked out the adjacent logging area next, looking for signs of the saws, the burners, the equipment that these men used to process the bajillion logs they hauled out of these mountains. Blood, sweat and tears. Men had died here. Now, there was no trace of it, save for some dark ash mixed into the topsoil. Not a sawtooth to be found, unfortunately.

The creek

  We took our lunch down to the creek and sat under a giant shade tree, fueling up for our afternoon hike. Dad was still pretty unsure of where the petroglyph rock was, but I had high hopes we'd find it.

  Finally, we grabbed our gear and headed up the mountain in the general area we believed we'd find our rock. The sun was hot on our necks, and our water bottles began to empty quickly.

Searching for clues

  Part way up, we ran across these crossbones. Either some smartass camper had come up this way, or there was a bear with a good sense of humor nearby. Either way, it was of no help to us.

Do not pass

  Toward the top of the ridge, we found an interesting rock formation, but no sign of our petroglyphs, or the old road my Dad said bordered them. He claimed the road was even very old when he was a kid, so it might not even be distinguishable as a road now. We decided to press on further along the ridge.

  We did find a road, but there was something not right about it, Dad thought, so we decided to head back down the mountain a bit and cross to another ridge.

  During this cross, we got into some much denser forest, and climbing in and out of the valleys was difficult. My old man made ME feel like the old man, though, as I was the one who kept stopping for water and rest. We slogged on, finding nothing. At this point, I felt it was right to say, "Look, even if we don't find it, this has been a great day."
  My hopes were raised soon enough, when we found an old road we hadn't seen before. After investigating further, though, my hopes were just as quickly dashed. We decided to backtrack then, and take one last stab at the mountain.

  Here, my Dad and I split up for some stupid reason, and I headed up a large rock gulley on my own. I say stupid, because the wind had kicked up, and soon, I was out of sight of my father, and couldn't hear anything. With no way of communicating, we could easily have lost each other. A few minutes later, over the wind, I heard the faint cry of my name.

  Making my way toward the sound, I soon encountered what my Dad would later explain was a very old logging road, now barely recognizable.

A road?

I called out "Did you find it?" Dad yelled back, "Yep!" Sure enough, I walked to where he was standing, and his hand was resting on a large grey stone with a bunch of petroglyphs carved into it. They were likely made by the Pueblo Indians who lived in the area hundreds of years ago.


Close up of the petroglyphs

Petroglyphs highlighted in red

  We grabbed a few photos, including an updated version of 37-year-old me sitting on top of the rock. We lamented the fact that we didn't have a GPS with us so we could mark the spot. I mentioned that it would be great to share the coordinates with a university or somebody that could come up here and study the rock and find out what the drawings say or who made them. That's going to be an adventure for another day, I suppose. For now, it remains the knowledge of these two men.

  Since the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge was nearby, we decided to cap the day off by paying it a visit. We'd been to the bridge before, but not in quite a while. Back when Dad was a pilot, he used to fly over the gorge and saw some spectacular views, I'm sure.

  For those of you who've never been, it's kinda like New Mexico's mini Grand Canyon. The Moderate Canyon, if you will.

  After taking a few pictures and trying not to get blown off the bridge by the extremely gusty winds, we headed back to Albuquerque. What a fantastic day of adventure and discovery! It was a great way to spend some quality time with my Dad, too, which we hadn't done in a long time. I'm sure he also enjoyed seeing his old stomping grounds and reliving some memories.
  Here are a couple of pictures of some artifacts I brought back from our expedition.

Fossilized Cryo-stems


  Sorry again that I've been away from the blog so long. Uprooting your life has that effect. I promise many more entries much more often as I embark on this exciting new chapter. Watch out, Hollywood, I'm here at last!