Friday, September 13, 2013

Chronicles of the Dead: Season 2, Episode 3, "The Turncoats"

This is EPISODE 3. Be sure to check out 1 & 2!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Why is Harriet Tubman A Trending Topic in 2013?

"This is our only chance for freedoms."
I don't usually jump on the bandwagon when it comes to Twitter fights, but as a black woman and a YouTuber, I feel the need to voice the opinions swirling in my head.

The drama began when Russell Simmons uploaded a video titled "Harriet Tubman Sextape" to his Def Comedy Jam channel. The video, starring Shanna Malcolm (as Tubman) and DeStorm Power (as a fellow slave), swept over the black community like a tidal wave. 

When asked to remove the video and apologize, he did. But many people feel his apology wasn't sincere. The fact that Simmons also removed the video hasn't stopped it from popping up on other YouTube channels.

Is the black community being too sensitive or was the reaction just as it should have been? Does anyone remember this video uploaded by TheSecondCityNetwork in 2010? "Harriet Tubman: The Sexiest Abolitionist."

 It certainly didn't receive the backlash that Russell Simmons got. And this is my point. Lots of people on YouTube joke about sensitive subjects. They're jokes. I have joked about slavery myself in this video and I wear whiteface in this one. Is it okay because we're not popular? If I had a million subscribers, would I be forced to apologize and take videos down if people didn't share my humor?

There's a deeper part of me that also feels like people use "just kidding" as a blanket. You can do or say whatever you want to another person as long as you tag 'just kidding' at the end. It's wrong, but we all do it, don't we? Can we really point fingers at each other and say who is wrong? Is there a right and wrong way to make a parody? I'll be the first to admit the video wasn't funny, but I can respond by not watching again and not subscribing. Who am I to tell someone who doesn't know me to apologize? Why should I even be offended in the first place? I would be a hypocrite to do so.

I think maybe we need to just pipe the fuck down and stop being so sensitive. Forcing someone, even a celebrity, to make adjustments for you (when you probably don't give two fucks about them anyway) is just stupid.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

When You Don't Have A "Plan B"

A leap of faith
I did it. After all this time. All the waiting and hoping and praying. All the times I failed math and re-took it. All the times I cried and envied other people. I finally moved out of my parent's house to pursue my bachelor's degree in theatre. Finally.

But why do I feel so weird? It's not culture shock because LA has the same shit that Banning and Beaumont had...but there's some other nagging feeling. I walked to the 99 cent store with John looking for hot chocolate when I realized what's been bothering me the last 14 days:

I don't have a "Plan B."

But that's okay, right? Having a backup plan is for pussies, right? If you're going to do something, do it! Like Dr. Frank-N-Furter says, "Don't dream it. Be it."

But those things are easier said than done. I'm a 100 miles away from home, tens of thousands of dollars in debt and I'm hanging by a thread. Or at least, that's how it feels. 

I'm here to learn and create. I'm here to start a REAL career as a writer and actress. I want to do internships and meet as many people as I can so we can help each other achieve our goals. 

I know I'll make it if I just keep believing and working hard like I've been doing. That's how I got to where I am now. I kept working and I didn't give up no matter how bleak everything seemed.

I think another reason I feel weird about it is because it didn't come at a time where I was desperate for it. It came when the time was right. I was watching How to Lose Friends and Alienate People with John last night and a conversation Simon Pegg's character has with Megan Fox's struck me:

Sydney Young: What's it like to be famous?

Sophie Maes: Weird. It's happening so fast. It's like it has nothing to do with me. It's like I'm not even here.

It just struck me. As if...I was always going to transfer and move away from home whether I wanted to or not. Because I wanted it to happen, it did. 

I don't know, that's probably just my weirdo brain being weirdo. Whatever.

The point is, I'm here now. And in the famous words of RuPaul, "Don't fuck it up!"

Friday, July 19, 2013

10 Things Movies Can Teach You

Here's a list of shit that you should probably already know but in case no one ever taught you, these movies will.

1.) If you're going to venture into the wilderness alone...TELL SOMEONE! 

2.) If someone calls you on the phone, says he's a cop, then proceeds to ask you do HIS job...HANG UP!

3.) Don't let your small children walk to/from school alone!

 4.) Don't go to ATM machines at night. OR, if you do go to an ATM at night, don't be a pussy about it!

5.) Don't ever babysit. Get a job at McDonald's if you need money that bad.

6.) Don't write other people's suicide notes.

7.) Take the blue pill.

8.) Don't kill someone's mom.

9.) If you don't love her, DON'T MARRY HER!

10.) Never EVER give up your humanity.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

10 Things Every Only Child Will Understand

Consider having a second child...please!
While being an only child can have its perks, it also has its setbacks!!
10.) Taking the Blame Every Time: Anytime something goes missing or breaks and you did it, YOU did it. No little brother or sister to place the blame on.

9.) You’re Lonely: As an only child you better get good at making friends. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time alone. A LOT of time. Imaginary friends anyone?

8.) People Think You're Weird: Because you ARE! You've spent a lot of time by yourself and being around other people is awkward. You're probably either really shy, extremely introverted, or extroverted to the point where it scares people. Maybe you're all three!

7.) People Assume You’re Spoiled: Just because you’re an only child doesn’t mean you get everything you want. People love to assume you get showered with toys and money and attention but it just isn’t true.

6.) You Could Lose Your Family Name: This mostly applies to girls who will marry and take their spouses last name. Even if you keep your maiden name, your kids will have different last names than you.

5.) More Pressure to Have Kids: If you're an only child and you don't procreate, your immediate family ends with you! It's a sad thought.

4.) If You Die Before Your Parents: Unless your parents are young enough to have another kid or they adopt, that's the end of your immediate family anyway! Isn't that fucking sad?

3.) You Secretly or Publicly Wish You Had Siblings Only to Have People Tell You That You're Lucky You Don't: Sure...maybe I'm lucky at Christmas when all the presents under the tree are for me, but I'd rather have brothers and sisters!

2.) You’ll never be an Aunt/Uncle: Thanks, mom and dad, for ruining my chances of having a niece or nephew. Oh no, I enjoy being all alone. Thanks a lot!

1.) You have to Care for Aging Parents All By Yourself: In the old days, couples would have lots of children so that they had a better chance of being taken care of when got old. Unless they already died or you or your spouse is rich, as an only child you’ve inherited the SOLE responsibility of taking care of your parents in their old age. Good luck doing that if you're poor or have tons of debt. Thanks mom and dad! Thanks a LOT! 

Bitter you say? I'm not bitter at all!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I Think I'm In Serious Trouble

I have a big problem on my hands and I think Emilie Wapnick might be partially to blame. Don't get me wrong, she's a great person, but she's got me thinking I can do everything and that it's okay. The truth is that I've been feeling a little scared for a while and I've figured out why. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE.

There it is. I said it.

I don't know what I want to do with my life.

It's almost a relief that I can admit that. I've been struggling with it for a long time, but it's the truth. It's been coming for a while but it finally hit me just now while I was trying to apply for a job at NBCUniversal. They have a multitude of internships that are open to people like me. The only problem is that my resume is a real piece of shit. I only have three things listed and that's Ann Taylor, KFC and the publicist job I did for the Masqueraders club when I was in office in 2010. 

The next step would be to write a new resume, but what do I put on it? Penelope Trunk says that you should write your resume for the job that you want. Problem is, I don't know what job I want. This is the thing I hate about being a grown-up. When you're a kid, everyone tells you that you can do anything you want. It's only when you grow up that you find out it's all bullshit and you can't do anything you want. What we really should be telling kids is that you can do some things that you want some of the time.

For a long time, I wanted to be a novelist like Stephen King or Chuck Palahniuk. I would spend hours in my room typing out what I thought was the next great American novel. I still have my rejection letters somewhere.

After that, I wanted to be an actress. I would come home from working at KFC and stay up all night shooting and editing videos. I uploaded them to YouTube and people got a real kick out of them sometimes. I thought I'd get famous and have lots of money. Eventually, I went back to college and got too busy to make videos. Besides that, technology was changing fast and I got intimidated by the quality of video everyone else had and I gave up for a while. I still upload videos sometimes.

While I was at MSJC, I studied theatre but somehow got sucked into dance. Dancing was fun and a lot of hard work and it's kind of the little sister to theatre. I ended up double majoring and doing a bunch of plays and concerts and things. I had a great time doing it for fun, but I know how competitive it is in the real world and I don't love it enough to pursue hardcore.

This is getting painful to write. I don't want to give up on my dreams...however outlandish they may seem. I want to write and produce an amazing web series...but where do you get a REAL job doing that? Should I change my major from theatre to communications so that people can know I'm serious? I don't know what to do and I don't know who to ask. I really feel alone and scared.

It's almost silly because I thought that I would have everything figured out by now. When you're a kid, grown-ups seem in control. They have all answers even if they don't want to give them to you because you're too young to hear it. But then you grow up and you find out the truth. Everyone is lost and nobody knows what they're doing. And somewhere far away, deep in a forest, there's a place called Happiness and everyone is trying to get to it.

This shouldn't be this hard. It can't be this hard. Someone please tell me I'm making a big deal out of nothing and that the answer is simple. I wrote a resume for John about a month ago. It was a writer/director resume. I listed everything he had done and all the awards and recognition he'd gotten. I tried to make him look like he knew what he was doing when it came to writing and directing. It was easy. So why can't I do that for myself? Maybe I should ask him what I'm good at. He'd probably say, "Everything, except cooking."

I think I wrote this blog to put off writing my resume because I don't know what to say in it. I really really don't.   


Saturday, June 1, 2013

I'm About to Be 30 Years Old and I Go To College!

I'm watching this on my b-day!
Okay, just so you know, I'm not here to bitch about turning 30. I'm happy to be turning 30 and I hope I get many many more birthdays.

What I'm here to bitch about is people trying to tell me how to live my life. I graduated from community college last year and this fall I'm transferring to CSUN as a theatre major.

Everyone has a fucking opinion. 

"What are you going to do with a theatre degree?"

"College is expensive."

Oh really, asshole?

Let me address the first one. Do you think you're going to get anywhere in life if you just do the bare minimum? A degrees isn't going to do the work for you. A degree gets you in the door but it doesn't beat the competition for you. If all you're in college for is a degree then you're wasting your time. You have to do other things while you're in school to make you stand out. You have to go out and get the opportunities because they aren't going to land at your feet. I fully intend to get involved, look for internships and network as MUCH as I can just like I did at the community college.

And the second rebuttal I get. College is expensive. Fuck yeah it is. If you want something of value, you gotta pay for it. Who wants to cheap their way through life and get everything handed to them? You have to spend money to make money. Besides, what's the alternative? Keep living at home with my parents in this small town and work at the mall? I don't think so. I'm trying to make things happen for myself and it isn't going to get done while I'm stuck here. 

I'm comfortable with the choices I've made. I'm not getting any younger and I promised myself that I would go to school. You don't need college? Fine. Don't go. I'm sick of everyone using Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as examples (more like excuses) to skip college. Bill and Steve were motivated self-starters. The people who say that haven't done shit with their lives but they fucking LOVE to try and tell me something. I work really hard to make things happen for myself and if somehow I create a career out of Chronicles of the Dead, I won't hesitate to leave CSUN and be among those special people who didn't need a degree.

If it's a mistake, then it's my mistake to make.

That's all for now, goodnight.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Post-Performance Depression

No one is immune to feeling sad, it happens, and no one likes it. Avenue Q will be over after this Sunday's matinee and I can't help the feeling of dread and sadness that's welling up inside me.

I think back to where I was last fall and I just don't know what happened. There I was applying to colleges and working. I had to stop by the school to get transcripts and recommendation letters. Every time I was there people would ask me about auditioning for Avenue Q. I just brushed it off at first thinking, they could get some other black person to do it. There are other people in town perfectly capable of doing that role. Why should I always have to play that one black character.

Honestly, I didn't want to do it. 

But when auditions got closer I thought...maybe I need a distraction. I won't be transferring for another eight months almost. What would I do with all that time? Sure i could make videos on my channel or write the nine episodes of Chronicles of the Dead that we need...but I like to stay busy.

I auditioned and got the part. I sang "It's a Privilege to Pee" from Urinetown. I love that song so much because it fits my voice and it's hilarious. 

We went through two Nicky's before finding the perfect one. We rehearsed for months. We helped each other. We got frustrated and super excited. We laughed, we injured ourselves and our voices, but we never stopped believing in our little show. 

Opening night was more than we could have asked for. The audience laughed at stuff that we had forgotten was even funny. We got three standing ovations in a row and local media coverage. Our friends and familes loved us and saw us more than once. 

Soon it will all be a memory. Am I really going to miss this musical that I wasn't even sure I wanted to be part of in the first place? Fuck yeah. But just like the show says, everything in life is only for now.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

PLEASE READ: A Note to Our Supporters

There's no such thing as a "new" idea. You mad, bro?
There is nothing new under the sun...

I've heard this said many times and it has never been truer for us than right now.

Many of you may already know that there is another "Chronicles of the Dead" out there. Before we went live, I did a Google search and there was nothing. Five days later...there was a "Chronicles of the Dead dot com."

What was it?

Another zombie web series.


I freaked out. I thought, maybe we should change our name? But honestly, I had been working with that title since 2009 and I didn't want to change it. So I didn't.

The next blow came with a rude comment on YouTube:

We have all been taught that this industry is small. You never know who is who. You're supposed to be nice to people and treat them well. You never know who you're going to work with in the future. You never know who could hold your career in their hands.

The good people of Riverside County's Chronicles of the Dead do not stand for online slander and bullying. We will not "retaliate" in a hateful or unjust way.

But let it be known: This will NOT stop us. This will NOT slow us down. They can have all their friends give us the worst ratings all they want. Rate us a one on IMDB. "Dislike" our episodes. Do what you will. Just know that we will float to the top with integrity while you sink in your own filth.

I'm not here to play games. I'm here to make a web series. All of those who support us, we thank you.

Sincerely, Monica Louise Bryant

Writer/Director of Chronicles of the Dead   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sometimes It Feels Like The World Is Full Of Shit!

Did I ever tell you about my interview with Saks 5th Avenue in Palm Desert back in late August? It turns out their recruiting department was trolling an old resume I uploaded to Monster dot com some years ago. A nice lady called me up and asked me if I'd like an interview. She was impressed with my resume and thought I would be good match for the company. Who was I to say no?

I was so excited. I thought, finally I'll have a full-time job because they were interviewing me for a management position. I was high and nervous, but mostly high. Nothing could bring me down off that cloud. Then the day of the interview came...

I dressed up in the most impressive outfit I could find and printed a fresh resume on that fancy paper. I was ready. My parents were excited for me and so was John. We drove down to Palm Desert together and were blown away at how fancy their mall was. I could work in a place like that. I could see myself there. John waited for me outside and I went in to do my interview.

The guy seemed nice enough. The first thing he told me was that all the money I'd be making was commission based. No sales means no money. In fact, I could end up owing money. I'd never heard of such a system before. Still somehow I kept an open mind until he asked:

"Why did you choose Saks?"

I swallowed hard. Hadn't they called me? I didn't even know Saks was hiring until I got the call from their recruiting department. I said...

"Saks chose me. I was called here because my resume impressed someone."

He wasn't impressed with my answer. He didn't even look up from his folder. I guess I was stupid to think someone actually saw my talents and wanted me for their company. It was all very misleading.

I felt lower than dirt when I left and I never heard from them again. John said was for the best because there's
no way that job would ever make me happy. My parents said it was ok. They hugged me and they were sorry.

Maybe that job wouldn't have made me happy...but not getting it didn't make me happy either. I know what I want from life and I'm trying to get it...but how can I keep plowing through full speed when I'm so hungry and so tired and desperate for more than just the leftover scraps of life?

I didn't mean to be so negative today. It wasn't my intention.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Adventures In Obscure YouTube Channels and Girls Who Eat Used Tampons

Her name is Giovanna Plowman; aka "The girl who ate her own period blood."

What could drive a girl to do something so deprave? She states in the video several times, "this is disgusting...I don't know why I'm doing this." Yet she does it anyway and proceeds to upload it to the internet where things don't go away very easily. Some say it was fake, but even so, is it worth potentially ruining an opportunity that you may not have even known you'd get?

Fake or not, this girl is desperate for internet fame. Some people find fame through comedy, others with song. Some people make a sex tape...this girl ate her own menstrual blood. It's hard to label her an attention seeker when so many other people are doing different variations of the same thing, right?

The internet is vast and wide. It's not the narrow hole that it used to be. It seems as if a new YouTube account springs up every second. Speaking of which, how do you find new channels? With the recent surge of independent companies and ads, it's almost impossible to find new talent. Luckily, this process has been made a little bit easier with a website I found called VidStatsX.

If you're "YouTube Famous" you can use the site to stroke your ego. I use it to find obscure channels like this one. See, YouTube does this thing where they only promote popular only the popular people get seen. I use this site to enter the "back door" of YouTube and find other channels I might like. It's a great tool if you're sick of the mainstream. I'm not trying to go all "hipster" but if I have to watch another iJustine video, I'll gouge my own eyes out.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stand-up Comedy & Vlogging

I make videos on YouTube on three channels. One is comedy skits. One is about my hair. The final channel is Chronicles of the Dead. 

I feel like I make the same stuff over and over again and it's getting boring. There are things I want to try but I'm nervous about how they'll come off. For example, stand-up comedy sounds SCARY, but I want to try it. I don't have any jokes though, so they might just come off sounding really dumb. I spent a few hours looking up really bad stand-up online and the comedians were so bad that they were getting booed off stage. I don't want that to happen to me, it terrifies me, but I really want to try.

Vlogging is another one of those things I've been dying to try but I don't know if it's going to work out for me or not. Sitting in front of the camera and talking doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I would like to incorporate skits so that I'm talking but then I cut away to acting out what I just talked about and then cutting back to talking. It sounds easy but it's really not.

I realized that I hate my voice. I used to get teased in middle school but then everyone grew up and didn't care anymore. Sadly, those scars haven't healed yet so I still get a little disgusted when I hear myself talking. I think everyone has that though, so I'm not alone. 

Anyway, those are a few things I'm going to try out. I don't know if they're going to work, but I'll only know if I give it a chance. 

Here goes nothing!


Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm Waiting for Life to Start

Avenue Q rehearsals are about to start soon and I can't wait. I'm Gary Coleman. If you don't know who that is, you've lived a sad life. If you don't know what Avenue Q is, get over to YouTube RIGHT NOW and find out.

I'm really excited to be a part of this show, but another thing that excites me is the fact that I'll actually be doing something productive. I'm not saying that I don't do productive things now, but my level of activity has definitely dwindled since graduation. I make videos and I write but I spend a LOT of time watching Netflix and perusing the net. Too much time.

I could have had all the episodes of COTD written already, but I was too busy looking at Eliza Dushku's Instagram. I could have finished my screenplay or even read my friend's book if I hadn't spent so much time watching and re-watching movies back to back.

I knew I spent a lot of time on the internet, but I didn't really realize HOW much time I spent on there until I came across Maude Apatow's Twitter. She talks a lot about how Twitter is sucking her soul. It makes her feel good. It makes her feel bad. It makes her stalk famous people that she thinks she'll never get the chance to actually know. Maybe because her dad only casts the same actors over and over, who knows. 

Anyway, I feel the same and I think a lot of people do. The internet is a great and wonderful thing but too much is bad. Everything in moderation, right? But I'm an American. I don't understand moderation. I want everything fast and cheap. I get antsy if my Facebook page takes too long to load. It's just an issue that we all deal with whether we want to or not.

I can't see an easy solution unless we get rid of the internet and I trade my iPhone in for an early 2000s Nokia. Oh well...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Truth

This is my first post 2013. And who knows, it might be my last. Why? I don't fucking know. Maybe because I'm not good at overcoming my procrastination. Maybe because I'm self-conscious about my thoughts and I don't want to share them. Maybe because no one really cares anyway so why bother? Or Maybe it's because being honest is too hard.

That's it. Being honest is too hard. The truth is, I'm really great at overcoming procrastination...most of the time. I'm not really all that self-conscious about my thoughts either. If I was, I wouldn't fucking be on the internet. People do care about me. No, not everyone I meet but enough. But honesty fucking sucks. 

It's like those times at work when I'm in charge of the fitting rooms. A lady will come out in one of our new outfits she saw in the window. She'll slowly walk over to me, looking me in the eye, and ask in a tiny voice, "What do you think of this?"

That's when I freeze up because what I say will determine how she feels about herself. I can't lie and say she looks good if she doesn't. Most of the time I can avoid the question by replying with another question. "How does it feel?"

That's because 75% of what you wear depends on how it feels. High heels are pretty sexy but they're a bitch to wear. Thongs are sexy but they fucking stick up your ass worse than a dick. If I can get her to admit it doesn't feel, I let her know it doesn't look good either and vice versa. 

Honesty in blogs is hard because there's too much to be honest about. I could go on for days about how broke I am or how my channel is doing or how much I wish I was doing more with my life and it would be great. People like to read success stories because it gives them hope, but people also like to read true stories of despair so they don't feel alone. It's easy to feel like you're alone in a situation when everyone around you is smiling and having a great fucking time.

I was supposed to write every day. I told myself I would because I want to be a great writer someday. To me, a great writer equals someone that people want to read and pay. That's one of my goals. It's a good goal. Is it better than selling the most crack? No, but it's legal and I don't want to kill people with crack.

Anyway, I'm going to go now so I can work on my screenplay. It's really hard to work on it because my ideas are running dry. I don't want it to be cliche but it will probably end up cliche.