Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chronicles of the Dead - First Draft Issues

I wrote the first draft of the first episode of Chronicles of the Dead's season two. It wasn't complete crap. I was able to cram in every single thing I needed or wanted, but as John pointed out, the dialogue is off.

Characters rarely say exactly what they're feeling because real people don't either. I can't even count the number of times I had a thought and kept it to myself. But why? What keeps us from saying what we really feel? I can only think of two reasons.

1.) Telling the truth could mean hurting someone. Then you have to deal with having that on your conscience. People don't like to feel guilty or cause pain, so it's easier to say nothing.

2.) Once something is said, it can't be un-said. There are no take-backs. Plus, speaking the truth will force everyone to acknowledge whatever it is. Ignorance is bliss.

So I have fix the conversation Vanessa and Omar have. 

The only reason Vanessa was with Omar was because she wanted to hurt Winston back for all the times he cheated. It worked. She hurt him, but she hurt herself too. She doesn't share the same feelings that Omar has and she's responsible for leading him on. Thinking about what she did makes her sick and she wants to end things.

In the meantime, Omar is in love. He thinks that he can be the man Winston wasn't. And although he probably could, Vanessa won't let him. He feels used and it hurts him more than he'll admit.

In this episode, the world is falling apart because we open with a death. The characters are guilty and feel responsible for each other's pain. Winston is forced to choose between living under Roman's protection or death. Vanessa is shown a world she didn't know existed and Omar is forcibly dragged to the dark side but later realizes he likes the dark. 

The characters have to change and grow and develop. They are my clay. I must mold them.

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Get off Your Ass and Get Shit Done!

I need to make a video but I haven't done it yet. I was supposed to do it yesterday, but I let Resident Evil 6 consume my day. I also work six days this week. Today is my only day off.

I was supposed to do the video today but I've been putting it off. In fact, I should be making the video right NOW, but I'm writing this blog instead. I'd rather be doing a million other things than making that video. I think I've been avoiding it all day. I can imagine a conversation between me and my camera...

CAMERA: Hey...are you gonna make a video today? It's Thursday.

ME: Uh, yeah sure. I haven't forgotten. I just need to do some other things first.

CAMERA: Like what? I know you have the day off. 

ME: I'm just tired, ok? Let me rest for a while.

CAMERA: Tired? From what? You haven't done a single stressful thing all day. You just watched a stupid movie that you didn't even like just so you wouldn't have to look at me. I feel like you're avoiding me.

ME: I'm not avoiding you...I'm just working on some ideas.

CAMERA: Oh, so that's it. You don't have any ideas and now that you've waiting until the last minute, you just want to bail. You can't bail.

ME: I'm not bailing! Relax!!

CAMERA: You want me to relax? No! That's why you're in this mess in the first place. All that relaxing has finally caught up. You made a promise that you would make a video EVERY SINGLE THURSDAY and you're screwing it up.

ME: No one will notice if I skip a week. Nobody watches my videos anyway.

CAMERA: And with THAT attitude, no one ever will.

Ouch.

This conversation never happened, of course, because inanimate objects can't talk. But if they could, I bet people would be in a LOT of trouble.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What "Chronicles of the Dead" taught me

Lovely actors from our pilot: Christopher Gutierrez, Kasia La'Rae Smith and Gabriel Tanguay
I don't know everything there is to know about film or making a web series...but that's the fun part. No amount of books you read or classes you take can prepare you for the real experience. It's all trial and error. Here is an incomplete list of what Chronicles of the Dead taught me.

1.) People who care about your project as much as you do will never let you down. I was fortunate enough to work with some of the best people ever. 

2.) Rewrites are a must. Sometimes I watch episodes and cringe at the dialogue. Gee wiz...did I really write that?

3.) Kill your babies! I think that's how you say it. Anyway, you can't allow yourself to become attached to an idea or a scene or anything. Everything can be improved. 

4.) There's never a bad time to say thank you. So many people have helped us with this project. Everyone from the actors, to the people nice enough to let us into their homes to the staff writers from newspapers who interviewed us. I appreciate every single person.

5.) You don't have to be perfect. Although we wanted to be. Perfection shouldn't always be a goal, but we wanted to create something new and different. Something that people could enjoy. 

I know what mistakes I've made and I'm fully ready to face season two head on! John and I are working on the rewrites now and we want to film in the summer of 2013. Wish us luck, we need every drop!

And if you still haven't seen Chronicles of the Dead, SHAME ON YOU! Click here.     

Friday, September 14, 2012

My 2nd Job that Doesn't Pay

I got a nice surprise today. It seems that a zombie blog has featured our article from the local newspaper AND liked our page. Awesome. You can check it out here.

Next up, my novel. I haven't worked on it except a few notes. Enough said.

Next, videos! I have a few in post production right now and a few new ideas that I cooked up. Tomorrow I get to do a book trailer with Witness Pictures, which should be fun. And maybe I'll even get the chance to snap some photos! Maybe.

I found an inspiring story on Yahoo today (they are few and far between!). A young girl on YouTube who used to get bullied and felt insecure about her acne is now modeling. How cool is that? I had seen her video a few weeks ago and I didn't know who she was and no she's walking runways. That's awesome. Read it here.

Is anything else cool happening? I don't know. Will anything else cool happen? God, I hope so!! In the meantime, I've got vids to edit. Watch Chronicles of the Dead and I'll be back later! 

 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Inspiration & Validation

Today should be a happy day because a lot of great things are happening. We just released Episode 3 of Chronicles of the Dead, a new m0bRYa video is out,  I work a FULL shift tomorrow and I get to do a little film work on Saturday for which I will be paid. Awesome.

 
I've been browsing Twitter a LOT lately and I found some interesting people to follow. One of those people in Dallas Travers. This woman is an Actor's Advocate and she gives great advice to people like me who want to make it in the acting world. I've been watching her videos and reading her blogs and she gives a lot of tips and inspiration. She doesn't ask for money in return which I can appreciate. I'm sick of casting directors and other people who are less qualified to teach than my college professors asking for big bucks. Check out this video where casting director Billy DaMota puts the crackdown on shady casting agents and pricey workshops that do little for an actor in the long run. 

The saddest news I have is that I didn't write anything last night. I sat down with my laptop with every intention of writing, but as I said before it's a struggle. I couldn't organize a single thought for my life! It was awful. I can take comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one. JK Rowling had a TON of issues as far as being suicidal, but look how things turned out for her.

I always get a little dose of reality when I see someone on YouTube who reveals a ton about themselves in a video, whether they meant to or not. When I was first getting started on YouTube, a girl came to my channel and left a comment. It was basically a small gesture saying that she liked my videos and she wanted me to check out her channel as well. I did just that. Although they were a little weird at times, I could see that she was really trying hard to make something of herself and she really did. Then, she posted this video a couple of weeks ago and it kind of made me sad because I can relate to it. It's nice to get a little reminder that everyone is still basically human.

That's all I have right now but there's more coming later!
 

I Struggle to Write

Have you ever watched a mystery movie? You get pulled in right from the start and before you know it, you're trying to piece together all the clues to figure which character committed the horrible act. 

I feel like my novel is swimming around my head like that. It's a big mass of confusion. All the clues are telling me where to go, if only I could get there. I have everything I need, I just need to organize it in a way that would make sense to a reader. 

I've read plenty of books that ended in ways that made me want to curl up and die. How did those people get published? I used to whine to myself about it. There's obvious weak parts and everyone can see them but somehow they go on to be best-sellers and blockbuster hits! 

This is the part where I stop and realize I'm jealous, and why wouldn't I be? I'm perfectly capable of putting a story together just like those other people, but I just have to do it. I get my motivations from one scene in Limitless. Bradley Cooper has just taken the drug and after cleaning his apartment, he sits down and writes his novel. The. Entire. Novel. All in one sitting. That scene blew my mind.

I don't want to take drugs. I've learned from my dad how bad they are, but I do want to be able to get out of my way and tell myself to shut up and do what needs to be done. I would love that.

So I'm going to work on it now. Yes. At 2am, I am going to go write and see how long I can go. I'm going to work until I can't work anymore. Fuck sleeping. I'll sleep when I die.   

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Updates & Reflections

We are nearly done editing Chronicles of the Dead. The first two episodes have already been released and you can watch them here. The next three episodes have already been uploaded to YouTube and are patiently waiting for their "go live" dates. The finishing touches to episode six are being added as I type.

For me, this isn't just about getting something done and sent into the world. This is about creating something that I can have forever. No one cane take this experience away from us. Everything we've done until this point has been carefully documented and signed with our hard work and dedication.

I would like to do season two but we have a lot of work cut out for us if it's going to go anywhere. I've been doing lots of research, trying to figure out where we can submit it or where we can get advertising and it's tough. There are so many talented people out there and it seems like everyone is trying to stand out with loud colors. Well, what do you do if your colors aren't so bright? You outwork them. If we prove that we're dedicated and that we have staying power, stamina and longevity, we will win out against those who popped up overnight to claim to the spotlight.

Right now, I have about three projects going. My novel, this webseries and my own personal channel. My comeback has been a slow one but I have to give it enough time. I've brainstormed a lot of different video ideas and I'm trying to keep up with the same characters that got me noticed in the past. With an entire year off, I'll have nothing but time to figure out what works and what doesn't. I may even make two videos a week instead of one and never pass on the opportunity to do a good response when I get the chance.

YouTube has approved me for custom thumbnails which is pretty awesome. I make them in Paint because I don't have Photoshop, but it works just as great! Now if I could only make some decent money at work, I'd be set! It's sad that jobs don't even pay livable wages anymore! 

Oh well, I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing, trying to progress and take an inventory of my situation in about six months. Until next time, shine on you crazy diamonds!

Want more of me?
YouTube
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Third Draft Hell

My boyfriend took this pic because fuck you!
I'm writing and thinking. Then I stop writing to do more thinking. After I've thought some more, I get up and drink some coffee. Then I look at Facebook, then back to writing. I write a sentence. I don't like it. Delete. I'm in third draft hell!

I've also discovered that I'm not funny. Although my boyfriend says I'm funny, I know that I'm not. I'm only funny on accident. When I'm not trying, I am. When I try, it's a disaster. No wonder my YouTube channel is sinking faster than the Titanic. I'm single-handedly running it into the ground.

Sad? Yes. Fixable? Yes. 

In the meantime, what's wrong with making videos about my hair? Let's face it, there is a serious lack of black haircare in the mass media. Everything I know, I learned from YouTube so why not give back? I'm going to do it, but the actual doing part is what I have trouble with. Also, my style is a bit quirky and I'm not your average "black girl." Sometimes I feel like a poser...but that's another blog post all together.

I'm going to have to suck it up and do the thing that scares me. Write my third draft, be funny or die and for God's sake share my hair!

Friday, August 24, 2012

I Finished the First Draft of My Novel, Chronicles of the Dead!

It's only just begun...
I just completed the first official draft of my novel, Chronicles of the Dead. It's in terrible shape. The characters are flat. The dialogue is boring. The plots all have holes. The action isn't very action-y. my grammar sucks. And I'm pretty sure I added things that didn't need to be there and left out a bunch of things that did. In short, my novel is a hot mess. 

As it stands, I have 164 pages and 47,411 words. I think the second draft will be a lot a longer but for all the right reasons. I can't believe I finished after all these years. I started writing this story in 2009 when I was plagued by nightmares about the undead. To cope with it, I jotted down a synopsis that eventually turned into a novel. Later that turned into a web series. 

I'm really excited about COTD coming out next Thursday and what better way to celebrate than to start making the second draft. I would love for this story to get published. I've planned for it to be a trilogy, but the first book can stand alone. I don't want to rush myself because it has taken me a long time to write this but I do want to get moving on it. I'll have plenty of time so there's no excuse.

I suppose before I jump head first into rewrites, I should take some time to flesh out my characters and find out who they really are. These people are important and I'm the only one who can tell their story. Every one of them serves a purpose and every single one of them needs to be given their equal chance. Even if you hate them or don't agree with them, you have to understand why they do what they do. 

Character bios anyone?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sex, Gore and Foul Language

I know what I like
John and I attended a writer's workshop yesterday. The woman leading the class is old enough to be our grandmother. We were the youngest people in the room besides one other girl who appeared to be there against her will (or at least that's how it looked).

The point of the workshop is to bring your work to get critiqued so you can write better. However, when the subject came up of content, things went south.

There we were sitting in a room full of conservatives who were sensitive about politics and the word pussy. How am I supposed to read Chronicles of the Dead to these people? They're aren't going to be able to give me valuable feedback if they can't get over the word fuck. 

Excuse me for growing up in a house were vulgarities were the norm. I like to say fuck and shit. I like sex and nudity and lots of it - gratuitous or not. When I'm reading a book and the sex is hinted at, that's fine. It's like flirting. But you can only hint at something for so long! As Winston Porter says, "Give me the meat. Give me what I came for!" Yeah, no shit.

The opening monologue to COTD is filled with fucks. I counted. Before we even know the setting of the opening scene the main character says fuck, bullshit and cock two times each plus the word sex. 

Of course, there are tactful ways of omitting the raunch and if I were writing a YA novel, that's exactly what I would do. Writing for adults means you get to say whatever the fuck you want to say. I can describe blood and guts. I can talk about wet pussy and hard dicks. I'm free to describe the sensation a woman feels when her partner enters her from behind.

Is this too much for you? Does it bother you if you're reading a book and a character gets his eye gouged out and the author takes an entire paragraph to describe it in vivid detail? Yes, the world has become desensitized to violence and gore thanks to video games and the Saw movies, but that doesn't mean I need to sensor myself because the grandmas and grandpas of this world can't handle it. Everyone has stuck their hands in their pants and fondled their own genitals before so enough judgements!

   

Monday, August 20, 2012

Conversations With Myself

Monica: I'm going to be successful. I'm going to work hard and accomplish everything I ever dreamed of.

Acinom: Eh, you might accomplish a few things, but let's face it...you're not going to do anything remarkable. Hard work doesn't amount to anything if you're not smart about it.

Monica: What do you mean?

Acinom: You know EXACTLY what the fuck I mean. Think of those ten long years you spent slaving away at KFC...and for what? What did you get out of it? What does it all mean? All that time you spent trying to "make it" trying to "be someone" and you ended up with nothing to show for it.

Monica: ...

Acinom: Yeah, what have you got to say for yourself now? All you've got is a pile of bills and a car you can't pay for. Take your hopes and dreams to the bank and see how much they're worth.

Monica: You're wrong. All that work I did wasn't for nothing.

Acinom: Oh really? How so? Please tell me because I'm dying to know.

Monica: I gained experience that no one can take away from me. I know how to deal with people. I learned a lot about running a business and even more about myself as a person. How many other 29 year old people can say they worked somewhere for ten years? Probably not a lot. It shows my dedication. People are always impressed by it. The one thing I can take away from all those years at KFC is knowing that if I can work that hard for someone else, I can take twice as hard for myself. You're just jealous because you can't do what I do.

Acinom: I'm not jealous of you. I pity you. You actually think you're going to accomplish your dreams. In a year, you're still going to be facing the same problems...maybe even worse. You couldn't even pass a stupid math class and now you have to sit idle while everyone else goes to REAL college - without you! 

Monica: Everything happens for a reason.

Acinom: The universe must hate you.

Monica: So what if it does. That isn't going to stop me. I know what you're trying to do and it's not going to work. I won't quit and I'll never give up. I've come to far to listen to you and believe your lies. You can say whatever you want about me, but I'm going to keep moving forward with my head held high. I'm going to get what I want and you can't stop me.

Acinom: That's what I wanted to hear. I'll be quiet...for now.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

5 Tips on How to Hang In There When You Really Just Want To Quit

Never give up!
I've done my fair share of giving up. I have started and quit so many things that my failures just about equal my triumphs. It's hard to continue something when the odds are against you. Whether you're looking for a job, trying to finish school or stuck at a really tricky part of your novel, don't give up. Giving up is too easy and the fact that you're reading this means you're still fighting. Here are five tips (tried and true) to help you stick it out. I should know because I do them all the time.

1.) Take a break: Everyone needs time to recharge. Even machines break down so don't try to run yourself like a robot. Focusing on your task with renewed energy will also help you make better choices. Have you ever tried to do something while you were sleepy or hungry? Yeah, it probably didn't go so well. And don't worry about losing any time. If you make a mistake because you overworked yourself, you'll still lose time correcting the mistake.

2.) Ask for help: I am an only child so I'm used to doing things by myself. Sometimes I'll need help with something and I won't even realize it until another person points it out. Never underestimate how much your family and friends can help you out. Stop assuming no one will care and just ask. 

3.) Have a good cry: I'm serious. Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the pressures of life and you need a way to release it. You could do some intense exercise or go for a walk and that's fine too. If you're like me, you'll have a good cry. Crying releases serotonin into your bloodstream and it acts like a painkiller. Once you're done, you'll feel better. 

4.) Appreciate what you have: Sometimes we get so caught up in what we want that we don't realize what we have already. I would love to have a million video views on YouTube, but I have 189,575. I have 1,933 more views than I did last month. Learn to celebrate those small triumphs. Whatever it is that you're striving for, you can achieve it. Just hang in there and don't stop.

5.) Remember that the only failure is if you quit: Have you ever heard of someone who entered a contest and lost but the contest opened up another door for them? True failure comes from inaction. When COTD comes out, people may hate it, but there's no telling what kind of opportunities we'll get to take part in because of it. Keep your dreams alive and don't give up on them for anything. 

In this day in age, you have to prove that you're serious about what you want. A lot of people may want to give you a chance, but they want to be sure that you're for real. There are a lot of people out there wasting time and taking up space and it's hard to distinguish the serious people in that crowd if they give up too soon.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Pro & Cons of Research

Love it or hate it but you will do it!
Any time I want to know anything about anything I do research. I'm sure you all do because you're smart and you want to make sure you don't fuck up.

Remember those days in high school when your teacher would make you do research papers on bogus topics that you didn't even care about? And that was back when we actually had to use those clunky things with pages.....books? You dragged through the assignment praying that it would go quickly. Well, over the years I've learned that research is your friend...but it can also be your worst nightmare. What am I talking about? Here are the pros and cons of research:

PROS:
* You learn stuff you never knew! That's a great thing!! Research helped me reconsider joining the armed forces. Of course there was also that pesky gut feeling I had.

* You get facts to back you up. Reading a lot about a subject and knowing a lot about it can help you help other people. Plus, you get to pull out facts and look smarter...unless you find an untrustworthy source.

* Research makes you smarter when looking for credible information. If you ever found yourself researching your research, you know exactly what I mean.

* It helps you fill in the blanks. Sometimes I have all the pieces I need, but I'll be missing one key thing. Doing a little research can help me find out what it is. Google is my best friend.

CONS:
* There are too many opinions out there. When you're doing research, it's best to stick to facts as much as possible. Opinions are like ass holes, everyone has one. What worked for Jane might not work for you. Be aware of all the conflicting information you'll receive too. Sometimes, you may just have to rely on what you feel inside.

* Depending on your need, there may be no information out there for you. I once wanted the lyrics and English translation to a Spanish song...this was about seven years ago. A few times a year since then, I'll do a search and there still isn't anything. The name of the song is "Soltera" by Cordero, in case you know anything about it.

* People can be douchebags as I covered in my last post. You can go read it in case you missed it.

* Sometimes your research can leave you more confused than when you started. I hate when that happens but it happens a lot. I'll watch a video that's supposed to teach me how to do something, but the steps will be so vague or ambiguous that I'm confused all over again. 

That concludes my rant...or, was this a rant? Whatever, it's over. If you have beef with research, tell me about it!

 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WORLD PREMIERE - August 30th, 2012!

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things..."

LIKE THE RELEASE OF CHRONICLES OF THE DEAD!

After 30 million LONG hours of hard work, we're ready to show you what we've got!

On Thursday, August 30, 2012 at NOON Pacific time, we will be uploading episode one of season one!!!

There are six episodes which equals six weeks of fun! Subscribe to our channel now and spread the word far and wide! 

I would like to extend a special thanks to all the cast and crew and bands and homeowners who helped make this project possible. I'm so grateful that we were able to do this and I will love everyone forever for helping us out.

As for a season two, who knows...maybe we'll get lucky one more time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Douche-Bag Advice I'm Tired Of Hearing

I've been on the internet A LOT lately. So much that I've hurt my wrist manipulating the mouse and I'm currently wearing an ace bandage. 

We're still hard at work editing Chronicles of the Dead and we're halfway through episode 3 now! That means we're halfway to being finished and ready to pick a release date. 

I've been looking up festivals to submit our work to and I haven't found anything yet. If you know of anything, leave me a comment and a link!

Anyway, what I have come across is a lot of douchey advice when it comes to the wrongs and rights of making a web series. It seems like everyone wants to give their two cents. I'm really glad for that, but a lot of people are just plain mean and short-sighted. Here is a short list of douchey advice that I'm sick of hearing...

1.) Get Great Equipment - First of all, do I look like Stephen Spielberg to you? All the know-it-alls out there boast about getting great film and editing equipment. What they don't realize is that the normal people in this world don't have the money for such expensive gadgets. Do you think I would be making videos on an HP if I could afford a Mac? Would I be filming with a JVC camera if I could afford a Canon? Of course not! Everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you have a cheap digital camera (like I used to film with) go out and do it! Don't let anybody tell you that you can't. And by the way, Steven Spielberg used to make home movies on a Super 8.

2.) Get Great Sound Quality - Although you should be searching for the best sound possible, don't let those douchebags tell you that you have to go out and buy microphones that cost hundreds of dollars that you don't have. There are ways around everything. Play with your locations and find places that don't have a lot of wind or echo. Even if they do, film some audio separately in your car (because cars are great sound booths) and sneak it in places where the audience won't be able to tell the actor isn't really talking. Film a lot of "over the shoulder" angles and sneak the audio in. Be creative. You don't have to go broke to go viral.

3.) Get Great Actors/Crew - I'm all for having the best of everything but sometimes you have to take what you can get - especially if you aren't paying! Unless you're trying to win an Oscar, you should stop complaining and appreciate the people who were gracious enough to help you out. And ask yourself this, is it the actors that are bad or is it the writing? A crappy script can suck the enjoyment out of a film faster than a bad actor can. Unless you're producing a SAG/AFTRA film and you can afford to pay your actors, don't be picky and mean! Appreciate everyone and treat people with respect!

4.) Pay for Bullshit Services - I've read a lot of asshole advice written by people who are trying to convince me to buy some product or subscribe to some service that will shoot my project to fame. Blah fucking blah. Nothing comes that easy and anything worth having is worth working for. Do you really want to go broke trying to buy your way to the top? What happened to hard work and dedication? Don't buy into this lie. Don't believe someone when they say they can get you this or that if you pay X amount of dollars. It's crap. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. The old saying rings true that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

I hope every one of you reading this is out there making your dreams come true. No one is going to knock on your door and hand it to you. You have to go out and make it happen. Don't think that just because you're not as rich or popular as someone or because you don't have the fancy equipment that someone else has that you can't do it. You can and if you really want to, you will.

"...do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Make Promises To Yourself

Keeping it together is tough!
I'm going to lie...

I'm the messiest and most disorganized person there is. I can't keep things in order unless I know the consequences will be severe.

For example, I have to work (most likely two jobs), write and produce a video a week. That may not sound like much. I don't have kids to take care of (thank god), but I still have issues getting things done.

I like to waste time doing nothing because it makes me feel good. Is that weird? I like movies and video games but they do very little in helping me achieve my goals. Should I write for an hour a day or thirty minutes? How creative and involved should my videos be? Should I ask for certain days off work or should I just cram everything in between the days and times I'm scheduled? I don't really know.

I think what's really happening is that I'm freaking out because I won't be in school this fall and I'm scared I'm going to have too much time on my hands and I'm going to waste it. If time and money are the same, they get wasted the same.

People always say what they would do if they had X amount of dollars but probably wouldn't do ANY of those things if they actually got the money. I can't count how many times I've said, "If I had time, I would do this and that." But if actually given the time, I would probably play games, watch videos online and watch movies that I've already seen a million times. I scare myself.

How does everyone stay on track? How did I do it in school? No one made me go. No one held a gun to my head and said, "Finish MSJC or I'll shoot." Somehow, I did it all by myself. I made a promise to myself.

I hate breaking promises, especially ones I make to myself. I've done it before and I felt like crud afterward. I think back to the time I was flirting with the idea of joining the Army and the recruiter was like..."Drop out of school, you can go later." But his 'suggestion' became a mandatory order and it didn't feel good. He wanted me to break a promise I made to myself and I couldn't do it. If I can't keep my own word, how could I swear to my country and be trusted? I walked away.

So I'll do that. I'll promise myself that I won't waste time. Here and there is fine, but I'll stay productive for the coming year. 

How do you keep yourself in check?  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What If It Was A Novel Instead...?

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing, right?
My first love was writing. Before I ever picked up a camera, played with an editing program or gave the stage a second thought - I had a pen in my hand. Every time I thought of an idea for a story, I thought of it as a novel first.

Lately, writing novels has been the last thing on my mind. I decided to give them a break because that was my default option. Now I'm thinking about how a story would unfold as a stage play or a screenplay, or a web show. I get the visuals in my imagination and I want to turn them into film or live performances.

But I'm starting to have second thoughts about Undead Again. Everything that is wrong with it, I'm beginning to see is wrong with the overall feel of the story. I'm realizing that it's not as dark as I'd like it to be. There isn't enough grit for me. I really want it to shine in certain areas and I don't really know how with a screenplay. I feel like I need to start the story again as a novel and that will help me write the screenplay.

Am I crazy for doing this? A lot of people may say yes. Maybe I'm making unnecessary work for myself, but how can I tell a story properly if I don't even know how it's supposed to be told?

What do other writers do? Do you choose if a story would be better told as a novel or a screenplay or stage play? Have you started one road and then later abandoned it for another? 

I'm going to do it anyway and see what happens... 

New & Slightly Improved!

I love trying new things. 

I never understood how something can be both new and improved...
This morning, I've uploaded my first official sketch of my comeback. Check it out and please subscribe for more!

 I have tons of ideas and I'm crazy enough to pull them off. I was thinking about doing a few tutorials on things I learned how to do better like green screen and stage makeup. I have a ton of makeup and I should use it for something!

I also want to throw a little more of myself into my videos too. Skits are great and I love when people dress up as characters, but I also like skits where the person plays themselves in a funny situation or even when they just sit down and talk. As long as they have something interesting to talk about. 

I usually do all my talking here on this blog, so I have no idea what the hell I would talk about in a video. I guess I could think of something. I want people to see my creativity because I was born with a surplus.

Today, we will continue editing Chronicles of the Dead. And just in case you were wondering, when I say "we" I'm talking about my wonderful boyfriend, John

Neither of us have been working on our screenplays. We've been writing skits for my channel and video editing. We want to give ourselves a real break so we can go back in strong. Right now, when I even think about my script I cringe a little bit. There are just so many thing wrong with it and I want it to be good. I take comfort in knowing that all the best movies took years to write. You can't just shit out perfection. Sometimes though, I wish I could.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm Excited By Simple Things

Today has been  especially eventful. We're practically done editing the first episode of Chronicles of the Dead, I got an A- in college algebra and filmed another video for my m0brya channel.

In case you're wondering, I pronounce it "mo-brEYE-yuh"
Anyway, maybe this whole being-out-of-school-for-a-year thing will go pretty smoothly. I've already racked up like six projects to work on so I definitely will not have room to get bored. Not to mention the fact that I'll be working my day job, maybe two.

My room was a messy disorganized train wreck but then I cleaned it up and my mood changed. I was suddenly happier. I think that research holds true. Being in a clean environment really helps you focus and feel better.

Tonight, we'll be finishing episode one and starting episode two. I'm excited because I never thought we'd actually get this far. Pretty soon, we'll be uploading and premiering it to the world and I hope everyone watches. Even if they hate it and think it's retarded, I still hope they watch! Maybe we'll inspire people to go out and make their own web shows. That would be pretty amazing.

I'll be back later with a better post and I'm thinking about doing a tutorial on green screening! Don't forget to check out my vid tomorrow and every Thursday thereafter!!!!

 

 

 

Monday, August 6, 2012

This Is What They Mean When They Said, "Fake It 'Till You Make It!"

Happiness...

It seems so elusive but maybe it's not. Maybe it's really close and I'm too busy absorbed by my "depression" to really take advantage of it.

OK.

Here's what I'll do. I'll pretend I'm happy and maybe I'll become happy through default. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

So, I was on YouTube earlier and I realized something I hadn't noticed before. I'm a Partner. How did I not know this? The short answer is I'm stupid. The long answer? I applied a few years back and YouTube said I wasn't quite ready to be a part of their program. Fast forward to today and I'm just realizing that I'm a Partner. Yeah...I'm slow.

They've given me a lot to work with. I can monetize videos and really put myself out there. It depends on how far I want to go and how much effort I want to put in. I keep saying that. I repeat myself a LOT, but it's only because repetition works. You only have to do something seven times for it to become a habit. I want to make entertainment my habit, my career, my future. I tried to escape it many times and I've come to accept the fact that I MUST do this.

I'm trying to enjoy the journey but it's hard when there's a bunch of pot holes and dead ends. You can't enjoy the journey if you're not sure where you're going, can you? 

I was really hoping that I would have something enlightening or intelligent to say but I don't. It's just the same old crap I always give you and I hope you suck it down with a tall glass of "oh well, she tried." I really am trying...even if it doesn't look like it.

I'm in the process of getting my sh*t together and it's not glamorous at all. Perhaps I should sleep on it and try again tomorrow. After all, it is 3am...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Warning:

You know those warning labels the government made companies put on everything?

"May cause this...may cause that."

"Warning!"

"Read before opening..."

I think people should come with those labels too. My parents for example. Even though they are great people who gave me life and a place to live, I've beginning to feel like I need to go. The sad part is, I'm trapped here.

And there's my warning label. I come with baggage. I come with repetitive complaints about things I have little control over. I get sad a lot. I cry. I can't help it because it started when I was twelve. One day, my friend Kent came over. He was ten. We played with my Barbies. We always played with them but this time something was different. We put everything away and he went home. I got sad and I couldn't explain why. I didn't want to touch the Barbies anymore because I thought he'd get erased. It would be like he was never there. He was going to move soon and I was scared.

It's because everyone leaves. No matter how much you care about someone, they always leave in the end and you'll be by yourself. There's an episode of Buffy where one of the villains points out the fact that everyone Buffy ever loved has died. This made her cry. It made me cry too. It's the same for everyone but I take it to a dark place because I've done that since I was twelve.

Once in a while after that, I'd get sad for no reason. Sometimes there IS a reason and at those times I'm lucky because I can recognize that. I guess I was sad because I knew I would always be. 

"Caution: Subject doesn't smile for real..."

I don't expect you to understand. I don't expect anyone to understand because I don't understand it. I've been trying since I was twelve to "get" it and I just don't.

Whatever.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Right Time Will Never Come

I always hear people say stuff like, "One day I'll do this," or "Someday I'll do that." We all know that usually means they're probably never going to do anything.

I've found myself saying those same things. It all leads back to the fact that I'm still sad about not going to college this fall. I don't try to hide it. Everyone who knows me knows that part of me is completely devastated. But every day I wake up and the sun still shines. The world moves forward and I have to do the same.

The only reasons I want to go to college is so that I can move, get my BA in Theatre, make connections, and start working in the entertainment industry as an actress and writer. 

But who said I can't do those things now? Why do I have to wait an entire year before I can get what I want? Who says I can't write and act right now? Nobody. If I wait a year, I'll be waiting forever. Because guess what, next year something will happen and even if I get to go to school, I still may have to wait for something else before I can really kickstart my dreams.

So what have I done? Have I been writing? No. Have I been recording videos? Some, yes. Have I been studying? Trying to. I watched a video the other day. It was interview with Larry Moss and even though it's an hour long, it's filled with valuable information for people who want to act. Here it is if you want to check it out.





Every occupation is hard and acting is no different. This is something I've decided to dedicate myself to but not because I wanted to - I had to. This life chose me, or at least that's what I tell myself so I won't go crazy. Now that school is over and a fresh week is approaching, I really need to get some work done. After all, this is my full-time job that doesn't pay...yet. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

You Don't Have To Watch, But You Should!

Today is a day to celebrate!

I was so busy looking at all my July failures that I forgot about all the stuff I accomplished. I guess that shows how hard I am on myself. I really need to lighten up!

First of all, I completed my summer math 105 class. Today was my last day. I walked in there, took my final, and I'm pretty sure I got an A in the class. Here's hoping! I'll take a B, but I know for a fact that I didn't fail again.

Second, I haven't had any soda or fast food in a month! With the money my boyfriend and I saved on eating out, we bought a PS3!! We needed a reward for all the hard work we've done. 

Third, I've officially relaunched my channel! I uploaded my first Thursday today and you can check it out here. Of course I had to plug Chronicles of the Dead too, it's my brainchild! In between shooting and editing videos, I'll still be working part time and refining my screenplay, Undead Again. I'm giving myself a break from it because there's no way I'll do it justice by forcing words out.

I wish everyone as much happiness as I feel today and more. Get out there and make your dreams come true!   

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Farewell July 2012

As I reflect back on this month, I think about all the goals I set for myself and how I've fallen short. I learned a lot about myself.
 
It's the last day of July and I'm spending it being as productive as possible. I took a math test today (which I hops I passed) and my final will be on Thursday. I'm two days away from never having to set foot in a community college again. It feels awesome.

Next on the agenda is my YouTube channel. Today I bought a green screen...which is actually just a green sheet and put it up with my boyfriend's help. I ironed it and everything, it looks really good. We're even working on some skits I can do.

My main concern is coming back strong. I don't want some weak introduction that doesn't interest anybody. I want to come back and blow everyone away...or at least make them interested enough to keep coming back. Is that a tall order?

As for big kid college, all I can do it wait. It's sad, so I try not to think about it. I really got bummed last night but that happens sometimes, even on good days. I'm going to work my butt off to make this work. If I succeed, I'll tell you exactly how I did it. If it doesn't, I'll tell you anyway so you won't make the same mistakes. See you in August!!
 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Distractions Can Be Therapeutic

I sat down the other day and wrote myself a plan. School is coming to a close in three days and I'm going to be left with a LOT of time on my hands.

As I said in an earlier post, I'm going to re-launch my channel. I'm not going to have a lot of help besides my boyfriend so I'm looking at doing a bulk of the work by myself. In between working and writing my script, I'm going to produce one video a week. I'm thinking of doing it ever Thursday.

I want to be an actress and a writer and in my mind, I already am. I have to convince everyone else that I can do it. I decided that no one is going to discover me on accident. I have to get out there and make myself known, right? Maybe that's a lot harder than I think it is, but I'm going to try. 

I'd rather try and fail than not try at all. That would just be a tragedy. I've been under a lot of stress about college and how I don't get to go. I really wanted to go and I felt ready. Every time I think I'm ok with not going, I get in that mood where I just want to cry. I don't think anyone wanted to leave more than I did...I just didn't get to. 

You're probably wondering how long I'm going to whine about this. Well, probably for the rest of the year. That's right, I have to wait a full twelve months before I can set foot on a college campus. I can't even apply for two more months. What am I supposed to do? I can keep crying, or I can find something to do to pass the time.

I can go back to YouTube. I miss it. I miss the attention and the fun of it all. I miss running around my neighborhood and the park with a camera and having people stare at me like I'm crazy. I miss meeting people for the first time and having them say, "I've seen your videos." Maybe a constructive will numb the pain I feel inside for being a huge failure. 

I didn't mean for this post to get so dark. I came here to talk about my videos and all the cool things I want to do. I wasn't trying to kill anyone's good mood. I'll be back tomorrow with nicer things to say. In the meantime, whatever.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

3 Things I Learned About Writing or The Sad Truth About Writing A Screenplay

Some of you may or may not remember the blog post where I declared that I was going to finish the second draft of my screenplay by July 15. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, you can read it here.

Surprise, I'm not done. BlueCat is a mere two days away and I haven't even reached the climax of the second draft. Shame on me. So what have I learned from this situation? Three things:

1.) You can't write a GREAT screenplay in a month: Sure, you can try but mostly likely you're going to produce a misspelled mass of watered-down plot and dry characters. Unless you're already finished and only need to check your grammar, don't beat yourself up if you can't get it right in a month. Just research any of your favorite books and movies. Authors can take up to ten years getting a story right. I'm not saying it will take you ten years, but it might.

2.) You have to give yourself a break: Looking at your script with fresh eyes is one of the single most important things you can do. Don't believe? Ask anyone! All of the advice is the same. Put your script away and give your brain some time to recharge. Don't even think about it. When you finally sit down to write, new inspiration will come cascading out of you like a bloody nose.

3.) Read: This last one seems like a no-brainer but everybody knows that all great writers read A LOT! I have to admit, I haven't been reading. Blogs, magazines and emails don't count. I'm talking about sitting down with a novel or a screenplay and losing yourself in the story for a couple of hours. Reading keeps your brain active and working. Think of your brain as a car engine. You wouldn't drive a car without gas or oil, would you? Then why would you try to pump out page after page without giving your mind anything in return? It's a game of give and take, so start giving!

I hope this advice helps my fellow writers as much as it is helping me. I'm pretty bummed that I can't enter the contest but I would feel worse wasting my money and everyone's time.

 

 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Should I Re-Launch My Channel? Of Course!

I do. Do you?
I started YouTube in 2007 as a way to escape the horrors of my fast food job. What begin as a pass time quickly turned into a new passion.

Sadly enough, I stopped making videos regularly when I went back to college the following year. I found myself with little time for the shooting and editing that YouTube required, not to mention the fact that my computer just wasn't advanced enough to handle the HD camera I bought.

Since I went to school to act and write, it makes perfect sense to go back to YouTube since I've graduated. I keep reading articles that say if you want to be successful, you have to take matters into your own hands. YouTube has created a way for many people to do just that. Plus, since I can do whatever I want, there's nothing stopping me. I have the camera and the editing capabilities, but I also have the drive. 

I spent the whole morning thinking of creative ways to re-introduce myself and I'm excited about it. I can brainstorm new ideas and re-invent old ones. Even though I didn't care too much for the recent Spider Man movie, it taught that old ideas can be made new again.

Speaking of new, we're getting close to release of Season 1 of Chronicles of the Dead. Don't think that just because I haven't mentioned it in a while that it's not happening anymore. Check the channel out and watch our cast and crew interviews!

It's true that I'm in for a LOT of work, but in little over a year I was able to obtain 930 subscribers with videos that I made on a digital camera...
Can't afford an HD camera? Get this baby!
 ...this camera to be exact. It has one of the best video recording features of any digital camera I ever used. Plus it was dirt cheap at Walmart! I can't wait to put myself out there again. :)
 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Do What You Want!

As a recent graduate of MSJC, I've been asked that fateful question many times over:

"What are you going to do now."

My answer? Whatever I want!

Seriously though, I want to act and write for film and TV. I wrote that in the header of this blog for God's sake!

Anyhow, there's a neat website that helps you discover careers just by picking out your interests. Click here to find it. 

Some of the best advice I heard all year was from Charles Evered who came to speak in a theatre class at my school this past Spring. He said that us "creative types" used to get slammed because we chose careers where you couldn't make a lot of money. Since the economy crashed, no one is making any money; the playing field is level again so you may as well do what you want. I'm taking that advice.

A while back, a friend of mine didn't get the part she wanted in a musical. She was devastated. After a two-hour rage and a crying fit, she announced that performing arts wasn't her calling and she should find something else to do with her life. 

I had to set her straight.

There's competition EVERYWHERE. You can't get away from it. I don't care if you want to pour concrete for a living. There's always going to be that asshole who thinks he pours it better than you. You might frequently find yourself in the running with other more qualified people to do simple jobs like flip burgers. That's life. You might as well pick something you're good at. Pick something that you don't mind competing for because you know that no one could do it better than you.


Do What You Want!

 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

If You're Thinking About Killing A Bunch Of People...

...DON'T DO IT!

Seriously, get some help. 

I think that society has suffered enough tragedies like this one. If you came forward and said there was something wrong with you and you're thinking about killing people...it would be taken seriously. Someone will care about you. Someone will do something. You don't have to shoot a theater full of people to get your point across. 

Life isn't always easy or fair. Life has become about competition and getting ahead. Teamwork has almost become a joke. It's one man for himself. It's a dog eat dog world and sometimes you want to stab the son of a bitch that cut you in line - I get it.

But killing people, even killing yourself should never be your final answer. There's no coming back from death. You get one shot and once it's gone, it's gone forever. I don't know what led this guy to do this thing, but he wasn't stupid. He had college degrees. He was studying neuroscience...maybe in hopes of understanding his own self...I don't know.

Every assumption has been made about this young man. People say that he wanted attention. People say that he was just crazy. Maybe he was. I just hope this doesn't happen again. I would hate for the people I care about to end up the victims after someone decides to snap.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

10 Lies About Blogging

In this day in age, any idiot with an internet connection and a decent vocabulary can be a blogger. Some people were successful and went on to make tons of cash while others fell by the wayside. Why does that happen? I'll tell you why.

LIE #10 - Anyone Can Do It: Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in life works on a first come, first serve basis. If you're the first person to do something, it doesn't matter how shitty it is. People will flock to a new idea in ravenous hordes and milk it for all it's worth. Then you'll have a bunch of other asshole know-it-alls step in and try to codify shit. After that, people will accept the new standard making it harder and harder for the low man on the totem pole to move up while the fat bastards on top soak up all the sun for themselves.

LIE #9 - You Can Get Paid To Blog: Unless you're working for a company that requires you to blog as part of your job description, the chances of this are slim to none. Think of everyone you know, right now. How many of them work at the mall or restaurants or on campus? Probably all of them. Now how many people do you know get paid to blog? Probably none. Even if you were lucky enough to land a gig like that, you would NEVER get to write about anything that interests you. You'd be married to a list of topics that you're not passionate about.

LIE #8 - Provide A Service: So you want to write about investment banking or relationships. Maybe you want to write about cars or the best ways to save money. That's all well and good, but guess what - there are a million other people already writing about those things and they do it better than you. See lie number one if you've already forgotten what I said. Don't waste your time trying to "out-do" someone else. You have no idea who that person blew to get where they are so save your jealousy for later. If you still want to waste time writing about a topic that has been done to death...go ahead. I won't even say I told you so.

LIE #7 - Post Regularly: Honestly, you're a nobody. No one is going to care if you miss a day or two. Post as frequently or as sporadically as you choose. The sun is still going to shine. And don't be so hard on yourself either. People have better things to do than hang around on your blog, jerking off, and waiting for you to post something. If anyone is that obsessed with you, you have bigger problems than blogging.

LIE #6 - Communicate With Readers: I suggest you never talk to anyone, ever. Some of the most popular bloggers never respond to their comments. They let the comment section fill to the brim and never give it a second glance. If people find out that you're just a normal human being like them, they'll lose respect for you and go somewhere else. If people start complaining that you never respond to comments, just write a blog and respond to everyone all at once. Use terms like, "you guys" or "ya'll" if you're southern. Readers will be satisfied. Make sure you thank them too, but not individually. No one deserves that much attention on a blog. That's what mothers are for.

LIE #5 - List Things In Steps: The word on the street is that people like lists. This isn't true. Lists remind people of work and work makes people sad. Why the fuck do you want to write a blog that makes people sad? I mean, hey, if that's you're goal by all means go for it. Dream big! Life can't be broken down into steps. We always have to multitask. That's why God gave us two hands. Steps give the illusion that you're doing things one at a time but you're really not. Just be up front and tell people how life really is.

LIE #4 - Blogging Will Get You Work: Will it, really? Do you actually believe this lie? I've heard this SO MANY TIMES and read it SO MANY TIMES on so many different blogs and I'm here to tell you, this is bull. People always say they use their blog to get jobs. What jobs did they get? Honestly, what job could you possibly get from blogging? Is someone going to come here, read this, and go....EUREKA! Lets give her a job. We love her snarky bipolar demeanor. She's a shoe in! Ha....no. Don't get your hopes up, kid. Money doesn't grow on bandwidth.

LIE #3 - Entrepreneurs Need A Blog: No they don't. There are plenty of successful business owners who launched their start-ups without hashing out every single detail of their journey on a blog. Those are the kinds of juicy details you want to keep to yourself. It's a struggle to start a business. Some people start with nothing and end up with everything and then people want to PAY them to know how they did it. They certainly aren't going to give away a details for free on a blog. Blogs are meant to supplement and validate people's egos...that's all.

LIE #2 - Writers Who Blog Get Published: Of course they do...every time they click that orange "publish" button. If you're talking big leagues, you're wrong. Publishing companies have no idea how blogs even work so their chances of finding you are nada. If you want to get published, send them a query letter the old fashioned way. If you wait to get discovered, you're just plain stupid.

LIE #1 - Anyone Can Blog: This isn't true either. It takes a certain kind of twisted narcissist to become a blogger. I mean, you really have to be fucked in the head to think that you're so special that you should publish your mind-shit on a daily basis. Yes, I said MIND-SHIT. Take a look at bloggers. They are some of the most pompous assholes around. We're almost as self-centered as actors. A humble person can't blog. They'd be too modest in their posts and they'd gush about how no one reads their blog and they'd fish for compliments. Fuck. All. That. I'm here and I've got shit to say so listen up! 


Are you ready to blog? If you read all the lies above and you still want to blog, congratulations. You're a true blogger. What are you waiting for?

Fuck School :)

I'd love to just drop out of school, but that only works for white males. You've never heard of a woman or some ethnic person dropping out of school and becoming a successful anything. The world doesn't work like that for the rest of us.


Now that the entire world knows that I suck at life, I'd like to give you advice on college. Have you ever gone to the casino and gambled away your hard earned money hoping that you'd hit the jackpot? College is the same way. Each year, people all over the world go to college to "learn" and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars that they don't have in exchange for a degree that isn't worth the paper it's printed on.


When I was little, growing up in the 90s, everyone boasted about staying in high school and getting a diploma. I was told that a diploma would set me apart from those "other" people who dropped out. So I stayed in school. I got all the way up to high school where I told that a diploma was no longer good enough. They told me I had to go to college too. Well, that's four more years of school and I needed money, so I went to work instead.


I advanced as far as I could at my job and I got valuable experience, but I went back to school in 2008 finally ready to get that college degree. Only now...college degrees are like assholes - everyone has one! Suddenly having a BA means very little. Even if I wanted one, I can't go to college for an entire year. What now? Work?


I tried to get a housekeeping job at the Hilton. Basically the job consisted of emptying trash, cleaning toilets, making beds, and other housekeeping duties. I applied for the job, sent my resume and waited. I got a response saying that I didn't meet the minimum qualifications for the job. 


What????


I used to be an ASSISTANT MANAGER at a restaurant...and now I can't even get a job scrubbing toilets? What has the world come to?


I think I know what's in store for me....