Category Archives: day in the life

The Creative Storm: Prioritizing the Mess In a Creative Brain

Since Rene and I have moved to Portland we have been so excited to follow all the creative endeavors we felt we could not pursue while living in California. And we have been! The things that have been made public, like the current projects on the YouTube channel, are the easiest things to make and get out but only scratch the surface of what we’re hoping to do.

There are lists.

Normally I like lists. They help me keep track of things. You can check stuff off of a list. But when your list gets too long it gets hard to keep up with everything, so you have to prioritize. This is where I break. I’ve been accused of having a “yes” disease where I will say yes to doing things because they sound fun and exciting. I can’t deny that. I’m an enthusiastic person. If I am pitched an idea and I like it then I will want to do it and really commit to it. This can lead to a lack of focus and overcommitment and I’m feeling that right now.

The reason I write about this stuff is to help other creatives and people who are starting out by talking about how I solve problems common to creative people, but this is a tough one for me. So rather than being able to rely on my multiple decades of experience to help figure this out, you’ll actually be on the journey with me as I go – warts and all.

When problem solving the first thing to do, and one of the most important steps, is to figure out what the problem is. Fortunately for us I have already spend time figuring this out:

Lack of Focus.

That’s pretty broad. That’s not going to help. As with acting and performing, specifics are key; so what am I not focused on?

I am not focused on what creative endeavors I want to pursue.

Better. Probably not specific enough, but it’s better. So next step, if I am not focused on the endeavors I want to pursue then the next logical question is what are the those endeavors?

I want to make a living as just an actor again.

Woof! OK, tall order. This is not the easiest time to want to do that and now that we live outside of a major market, like L.A. or NYC, it’s even tougher. Also, this requires a few different steps to do efficiently and effectively:

  • Getting a local agent in the PNW.
  • Probably time for new headshots.
  • Regularly check the breakdowns and submit myself (currently happening)

So, that being said, even though there is some progress on that front I will need to drop this goal down the priority scale…

OK, wait a minute! Why is this – the giant overall goal – getting dropped down the priority scale?!?!?!?

Good question, here’s the answer: Paying Bills

I hate this answer. I hate it sooooooo much. If I didn’t have to pay bills I’d have so much money (#sarcasm). But rent, electricity, food, internet, etc. all of it requires paying someone and it is impossible to stay focused on your craft and your goals if you are constantly worried about whether or not things are going to be ok at the end of the month.

Thus thusly and therefore, since I cannot rely on acting money to cover said bills at this time, since I am in progress on that goal in a way continues to move it forward even if it is at a slower pace than I would like, I can move it down a few positions and still feel confident that I am not abandoning the goal. #justification (This can be debated in the comments.)

OK, so what’s next…?

I want to generate more content for the YouTube Channel.

OK, again not quite specific enough. I am generating content for the channel. We do LIVE Discussions every week (#shamelessplug) so I need to drill down deeper.

I want to do more sketches and scripted videos for the YouTube channel.

There we go, that’s something that can be a goal! When I look at the channel analytics the things that do best are things that are funny and either scripted or follow a narrative of some kind. Even though I’d love to be a creative person’s guru (I want to share knowledge!) or be able to do “talking-head” pundit style stuff (they are soooo much easier to make) that is not what people come to the channel for they want me discussing Pokemon Battles, Rene singing about the fall, and our niece using Bloody Mary to murder her brother. I want to provide more of these things, but they have been a little tougher to get done. So what do I need to do to make this happen? I need:

  • Ideas – We have a bunch of these, a bunch! So what I really need to do is focus on which ones to do first. (Check)
  • Time – This is the resource that is completely under my control and I don’t know that I’m parsing out very well. If I really want to do it I can make the time. I find time to do other things and so I know I can do it – I just need to really hanker down and commit. (Check)
  • Money – For some of the ideas I need to get stuff:
    • Music Rights
    • Props
    • Specific Equipment
    • Crew

Money is rough to discuss because that needs to be prioritized too. Let’s not forget the “Need to Pay Bills” part – so that’s in first position priority-wise. And that takes up most of the funds. Rent, food, car (payment & insurance), health insurance, Frankie (food & meds),… It all adds up, there ain’t much left after that. So when it comes to making these things that do cost we need to find a way to pay for them. YouTube Adpocolypse  really affected small channels like ours so we can’t rely on that. Rene and I have started a Patreon account but I understand that in order to grow that we need to have more of the content people really like to watch (see links above). So, if one of the big things holding me back from creating is funding for these projects then I need to raise those funds.

So, in order to do more sketches and scripted content for YouTube I need to raise funds.

There we go, that’s now in a top priority slot.

I’m not going to write about next steps on this in here (I gotta’ keep some mystery about things) but this does help point me in a direction. If you’d like to help get things moving a bit faster don’t hesitate to sign up on our Patreaon #shamelessplug. Or click on the ads, that always helps too!

Is there something you’re working on? Things that you need to prioritize? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Leave a Comment

Filed under actor 101, actor stuff, business, career, commentary, Curtis Andersen, day in the life, Hollywood, in real life, Operation: Television's Curtis Andersen

LIVE Discussions & Patreon – We’re doing things!

We have been hard at work on all of our new stuff and while we’re are still working on things like sketches:

And things like Rene’s music parodies:

The thing that seems to be taking off is our series of LIVE Discussions. These are weekly (Sundays at 11am Pacific Time) and recorded live on our YouTube Channel. We have a topic of discussion (usually arts or creativity related) and I assemble a panel of friends, co-workers, and contemporaries to talk about it for at least 20 mins (although lately we’ve been going longer). Once a month we do a Feature Discussion with a bigger panel. Feature Discussions last for at least an hour and I do a follow-up video of just the highlights after the fact. Below is a playlist of all the discussions so far:

Please check these out, feel free to click on any of the advertising (wink).

Rene and I have some big plans for the future, especially as we continue building our own content. We can do a lot on our own, but we could use some additional financial support to help raise the bar on our activities. Everything we’ve done thus far has been done on a shoestring where we beg, borrow and steal what we need to get a project done. This has worked pretty well, like with The Chili and Bloody Mary:

But with a little bit more money we can do a lot more!

Please consider joining our Patreon page. We’ve set-up some good starter rewards and I’m very pleased to announce that I got some of our art proofs back this morning for the merch that we will be releasing (actual release date TBD, but it’s coming!!!).

If Patreon isn’t an option, please don’t be afraid to click on the advertising links you see here and on the channel. I try to make sure that all of the ads presented are appropriate for the page and they should be set-up so that the items shown are things you, as the reader/watcher, would be interested in.

Thank you all for your support! We have seen the page jump in activity since we started – and we’re doing very well for only being about 4 weeks into this new effort! We’re really looking forward to what’s next!

Leave a Comment

Filed under acting, Andelon, awesome, behind the scenes, blatant plug, Bloody Mary, business, comedy, creativity, current events, Curtis Andersen, day in the life, directing, diy, doing new things, filmmaking, Frankie, fund raising, getting started, making movies, marketing, money, new projects, new shows, news, producing, productivity, projects, rene, short film, social networking, state of stuff, update, video, videos, YouTube

New State, New Start

Rene and I have been in Portland for about 3 weeks. We are moved in (almost) completely. We have taken the time to get to know our neighborhood (at least a little), and now it is time to get to the work that we (partially) made this move to do.

Ever since we got here my brain has been blasting like a fire hose. With fewer day-jobs I have actually had time to do a lot of things namely sleep, go to the gym, read, and cook – you know, like a normal human person. I’ve also started planning to do all the things I’ve wanted to do for months (years in some cases) but didn’t have the time or energy to complete. Working on this blog is one of those things.

When I first started it, this was a public place to talk about things. It was a real-time incubator of ideas and updates for anyone who may have cared enough to stop by. I think that it will probably do best to keep it that way, but I’d like to structure it a bit more. I’m not sure how yet, lots of ideas – not a whole lot of focus just yet – but that’s what I want to do.

On the acting front Operation: Television’s Curtis Andersen is obviously changing. Not only has the original target been met, but by moving to Portland that definitely affects what type of work is available. That will be an adventure all on it’s own.

I’m also going to keep doing the Acting 101 posts, especially as I learn to navigate the new market here in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Then there’s the geek front: I have had time to indulge in my hobbies again and since my D&D group is back in California and we haven’t decided on a remote way to play yet, my energies have been focused on Games Workshop games and the new Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition. Woo! It looks cool! I’m thinking of doing a series of articles/posts about my rebuilding of armies and painting progress. Would anyone be interested in that? Let me know in the comments.

Project: Iron Man is on hold. I left my comic books in California for the time being until we move to a more permanent home. I know they are popular so as soon as it is possible I’ll start that up again.

Then there are the possibilities of doing some lifestyle posts. Portland is a great city with more than a few places to visit. Rene and I have always wanted to do travel shows, maybe now is the time. People have responded really well to what we’ve posted about our move so far, maybe it’s time to expand on that.

And of course we’ll be making more videos! Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of those.

What do you want to see more of? Let me know in the comments!

Leave a Comment

Filed under adventures, creativity, day in the life, diy

Christmas Eve… Oh, wait it’s already Christmas!

I’m sitting in our living room watching The History Channel learning about the gospel of Judas.  I’ve already seen most of it, but I’m not tired and can’t sleep.  I wish I could say that I was all jazzed for Christmas morning and that was why I can’t sleep but I feel like I’m too old for that and really my mind is just full of mud, and I feel inspired to write. 

I bought myself a Moleskine journal, the same kind that I got my groomsmen.  They’re supposed to be the same kind of journal that Hemingway used and I like Hemingway and I wanted a fun new book so I got one.  When I was a teenager I used to keep journals all the time.  When I look back at them they are basically diaries with all the embarrassing emotional ramblings that you’d expect to see coming out of a upper-middle class teen, but I never thought of them as diaries I always called them “blank books” and usually  bought new ones when I found one with what I thought was a cool cover.  The first one was bound in burlap and is still my favorite. 

This Moleskine journal is pretty neat.  It’s small, pocket sized, and comes with an elastic strap to hold the book closed.  There’s a ribbon book mark to hold your place and an expanding pocket in the back to hold things that are just a bit bigger than a business card.  The inner cover has a spot to write your address so that it can be returned if lost and, in a wonderfully pretentious turn, a line that says, “Reward if returned: $______”.  I don’t think I’m going to fill in that last line.  All the pomp and circumstance makes it feel like whatever I write in there should be important like notes for a travel journal or government secrets and so I find myself dying to jot in it but not sure what it should be.  Whatever it is I’m confident that I’ll avoid the emotional ramblings of a thirty-something.

Next week starts the editing process for the new sets pf shows that will be featured on Wiggy Webs.  I’ll be posting on the Wiggy Blog and Twitter as those new shows go up – I’m very excited!!

I’m yawning now so I’m going to go to sleep.

Merry Christmas to all!

See you tomorrow!

Leave a Comment

Filed under adventures, business, day in the life, rambling

Project 365 8-31-2010 Razor Burn.

*NOTE: I know these are SUPER late!  Rene & I moved & it took forever for us to get internet up & running.  So between here and 9-13-2010 these entries are going to be brief.*

It is a little known fact that my skin is pretty sensitive – especially when I shave.  It’ the major reason why I do my best to only shave once a week and probably connected to the very reason I can have only once a week and not look like a mountain man – I grow facial hair like a 4 year old.  So I used a less than fresh razor and my face looked like this after:

Here’s hoping it heals quick.

See you tomorrow!

Leave a Comment

Filed under body issues, day in the life, medical, project 365 2010

Project 365 7-26-2010 Where productivity meets stagnation?

Today was a very productive day.  We figured out details for the wedding venue, I was able to construct the “to do” list for this week, Rene and I were pointed to a way to save $695 on our wedding, I was able to find some new funding options for CMD!, I did laundry and I was even able to squeeze in a workout!  Sounds like a good day, right?  Yet I’m sitting here looking at the “to do” list and it is remarkably not checked!  I went from feeling accomplished to feeling like I didn’t do enough!

That’s the funny thing about me and lists.  When I make them it is usually to remind me to do things or buy things and when I do it’s because I know I have a limited time to finish it.  It also usually means that there are other things that are getting done taking the place of what is on the list.  I think I was a victim of “working off list” today. 

Oh, totally forgot, I also went grocery shopping:

Don’t mind the wine.  I’m house sitting for my parents.  These things may have been off list, but they were definitely important and the fact that I’ll have underwear tomorrow is all the proof I need that the day wasn’t wasted.

See you tomorrow! 

Leave a Comment

Filed under day in the life, musings, project 365 2010