Category Archives: money

LIVE Discussion – Day Job vs. Dream Job

Being a performer, or any kind of creative, isn’t always the most lucrative job. Most creatives have some kind of day job to keep the lights on. In this LIVE Discussion we talk about balancing the two and how to decide when your Dream Job can replace your Day Job.

Panelists:
Curtis Andersen
Tony Robinette @TonyRobinette on Twitter and Instagram
Dean Ethington
Anne-Michael @AnneMichaelS on Twitter and Instagram
Books that we covered today:
The Hollywood Survival Guide for Actors: https://tinyurl.com/HollywoodSurvival
The War of Art: https://tinyurl.com/ybq85me9
Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business: https://tinyurl.com/y73sqwla

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Filed under actor 101, money, video, YouTube

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!

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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

Op Ed: The Future of Entertainment

Image from MediaBistro.com

Image from MediaBistro.com

The entertainment industry is changing faster now than it ever has before. The last decade has seen an exponential change in how audiences consume content, where content is created, how content can be monetized, and what that means for the people who create all of this content. I see this from the perspective of the “working class” trenches: no development fund, need to maintain employment, still keeping up a hustle. For people like me (and there are a LOT of us) we have seen this change in a very real way for a long time and, as much as I hate to admit it, haven’t been as proactive as we probably should have been to be on the front of that wave.

Instead the younger set, those without the idea of “this is how things work” found their place. YouTubers are doing very well for themselves and Hollywood is taking notice, ready to monetize on their popularity. Fan films get national attention and have their own festival circuit. The biggest name in horror for the last seven years has been Paranormal Activity – a series that started with a movie made for about $11,000 in a dude’s house with After Effects.

For those with vision and a camera the future is open and ready…

…that being said, the old model is far from dead.

A lot of talk happened the Monday after the Golden Globes when Netflix and Amazon both walked away with coveted trophies about how the nature of television is changing and that the very business is already inexorably changed. And it is, but not completely. Not yet.

Here are two articles that, for me, were kind of the yin and yang of the future of the business, at least for the next few years especially in the context of wide public distribution, like television.

A Few Caveats About The New World Of Television from Monkey See from NPR

The Golden Globes Tell Us Everything About the Entertainment Industry in 2015 from IndieWire

I’m a “new model” guy who’s ready for the wild west, but it’s hard to pass up the money that can come with “old model” companies.

What do you think? Comment below.

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Filed under actor stuff, Andelon, business, career, commentary, filmmaking, independent film, insight, internet, making movies, money, news, NPR, pop culture, producing, technology, television, the future, TV, working for a living, YouTube

First of the Year Dash!

Insanity-Wolf-Happy-New-Year

JANUARY FIRST!

NEW DIET!

NEW WORKOUT!

NEW LIFE PLAN!

THIS IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR THAT I DO IT BECAUSE IT’S JANUARY FIRST AND NOTHING CAN STOP ME!!!!!!!

I would be lying if I didn’t cop to having these feelings. Every January is the beginning of a new year, it feels like the slate gets wiped clean, and since most people have time off it is really easy to start new things or try to make new habits. This leads to gym memberships, hobbies, playing musical instruments, writing, the list goes on and on. Just last week I posted a half assed resolution post about getting re-focused (which I’m totally sticking to, by the way).

But here’s the problem, by March a lot of resolutions and plans all fall apart, or at least show signs of cracking. After I wrote that post about focus I started thinking about what that was going to mean for the rest of the year. 2015 is kinda’ spoken for as of now. Fun Size Horror 2015 is going into early prep, there are shows to do, and I’m mapping out my teaching/speaking schedule. That doesn’t even include any acting opportunities that may pop up. If I’m 100% honest with myself, that means that I have very little that I can safely commit to and the new year is just starting. First World problems for sure, but I’m the kind of guy who is going to be upset about having to say “no” even when it’s the responsible thing to do. So I had to take a pretty hard look at myself and what I know I want to accomplish this year and examine why my best intentions in previous years always seemed to drift into trouble.

I am not going to speak on how this affects people in a general sense, I don’t have the qualifications for that, so everything that I talk about in this post refers to me personally. Looking at my past, you don’t even have to go that far back to see good ideas and habits get dropped – perfect example: 52 in 52. Not managing to stick with this actually upset me quite a bit. It’s an idea that I was/am really excited about. I was pleased with how things were going, but a story a week ended up just being too much. To be fair, the things I gave it up for; Fun Size Horror and all the shooting we were doing; were absolutely worth it, but it still stings.

I won’t lie, my gym membership has been pretty useless for a while now too. I just don’t make the time for it. I should (who shouldn’t?) especially since I spend so many hours in a chair, but my discipline is bad when it comes to the gym. And eating better. I still eat like I’m in college. Rene has made some noble in-roads and had some effect, but I still love me some cheeseburgers.

So how does it come to this? What gets in my way to keep me from achieving the desired goals? Goals that pretty easy to achieve in a practical aspect when it comes down to it:

  • Rene is willing and able to prepare better food for me.
  • I have the gym membership – it’s even close by.
  • The work that I do to earn money is both varied and flexible so I can make the time to do the things I want to do.
  • I have an amazing network of friends and collaborators who are willing to help me achieve what I want.

These are not small resources. But then I take an honest look at what gets in the way:

  • Feeling like there is a lack of time.
  • Getting distracted by the “shiny things.”
  • Trepidation at trying something I have no experience with.
  • Lack of funds.

Most of these I can get past. Lack of time usually translates into lack of rest. Instead of doing the things I’d like to do when I’ve completed what I have to do I fall down an internet rabbit hole of YouTube videos and random Wikipedia research because my brain is tired. A quick nap is usually the best fix for this or turning in early if I can manage it. Distractions are tougher, but that’s what this year is about fixing. For example, I should have completed this post hours ago, but I got distracted by an episode of “This Week Tonight” and ended up marathoning about ten episodes. Avoiding distractions is going to take a little practice. Trepidation of trying something I have no experience with, more commonly known as “fear of the unknown” or “resistance” by Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art (which I highly recommend for everyone and have a link for at the bottom of this post) is something that I prefer to face head-on. I find that once you realize that everyone has to do something a first time it’s actually just a matter of girding yourself up and charging forward. The War of Art suggests a lot of great ways to achieve this. I can’t recommend it enough.

Lack of funds – this is the big one. Money is such a sensitive thing. There’s a certain amount of investment that you need to make into anything you do, that’s just an economic reality, but I hate parting with any funds unless I can “see” the return or a way to recoup. This only makes me pinch pennies more when  those envisioned returns don’t show up. If I had unlimited funds (c’mon lottery!) or a benefactor (c’mon mysterious uncle who won the lottery!) I would probably feel differently about this but, put on news announcer voice in these trying economic times, it’s a tough thing for me to get past.

Putting all of these things down on “paper” makes them feel manageable. Putting them out in public makes me want to take ownership of them. Knowing that this makes me vulnerable to scrutiny makes me want to be responsible. Sometimes it takes the possibility of looking like an idiot to motivate you.

…Of course you can always end up looking like an idiot anyway, but if I let that stop me I wouldn’t have had a career.

How are you doing this far into the new year? Let’s talk in the comments.

See you next time.

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Filed under Andelon, art, artist, business, challenge, commentary, Curtis Andersen, doing new things, evil plan, general, in real life, insight, inspiration, learning experience, making movies, marketing, money, musings

Blatant Plug – I’m Working with Amazon.com

Image copyright Amazon.com

Do you buy things?

Do you buy things from Amazon.com?

Do you sometimes want to buy things from Amazon.com while reading my blog?!

WELL NOW YOU CAN!!!

Through the magic of the internet you can follow the links to the images of things I show in the blog or use the search box to the right and buy things directly from Amazon.com!
The best part (for me anyway)? Every time you do it helps me out too! Money made by the blog goes directly into the company funds for things like:
  • New Wiggy Webs sketches and projects.
  • Development funds for future projects.
  • Website updates.
  • Taxes.
  • Employees.
What will it NOT go to?
  • Lavish parties.
  • Whores and drugs.
  • Terrorists.
  • Donald Trump.
I’m not saying you have to do all your Amazon purchasing through me, but every once in a while would be nice.
Also, I have a special offer here for 30-day trials of Amazon Prime! Want to watch movies and TV shows without cable? Already an Amazon user and looking at that Free 2 Day Shipping option? Well why not give it a try?

See you next time!

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Filed under blatant plug, money, shameless self promotion

Project 365 8-20-2010 Great Day &The Dog

GREAT DAY TODAY!  Just great!  It seems like my best meetings happen on Mondays and Fridays and this week totally followed that pattern.

Even better than the business possibilities is the fact that I’m that much closer to achieving my goal of being 100% out of ALL debt in less than five years!  It feels to good to be on this road.

Originally the picture for today was of the Hollywood sign, since all of my good news came while I was in Hollywood, but the picture sucked so I decided to use this:

Frankie loves chasing bubbles and I think that the bubble guns we got for the elopement may be his favorite new toy!

Sorry for not being more descriptive about details regarding work and stuff, but it just isn’t appropriate to list that stuff here… yet.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under business, Frankie, making movies, money, project 365 2010

Missing an office?!?!


So you read that title and you must be thinking, “Curtis has lost his mind! He never liked an office job! He’s been dropped on his head or perhaps been replaced by a pod person! Dear God, the zombie apocalypse is upon us! We must flee! FLEE!!!!”

While a completely reasonable reaction, no this isn’t true.

I don’t miss office jobs, what with their W-2 earnings, regular hours, paychecks and possible medical & dental benefits. No, what I miss is actually having an office to work in. A building separate from the place where I live where I can show up, work, and then go home. It helps to separate work-life from life-life. Right now there is no separation. I wake up and, whether in PJ’s or business suits, I’m working. I end up working until I fall alseep. The breaks that I take are for food and to run errands or when I just need to get out for a while. It gets very difficult to tell just how many hours you are actually clocking when you need to run to target for deodorant or you go see a movie with your lady. There are days, usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when I can literally run my day like a regular office day and seeing what gets finished in those 8 – 10 hours gives me a real sense of accomplishment that I don’t feel on other days – even if I’m technically more productive.

I think it’s a weird socialization that goes along with the modern work environment. I would like to postulate, without being able to back it up with any scientific evidence whatsoever, that we get used to out school days, with the structure and timing that goes along with it, and even college where you may pick up a bit more autonomy but are still forced into particular hours for particular things. There’s a world wide acceptance of what “business hours” should be and so we get used to getting things done in that time. I can tell you from experience that the entertainment industry does NOT operate on a schedule, especially when you need to speak to people internationally, but we all still work on a kind of “business” schedule.

It is now 4pm. I started this blog at 10:45am, but have been distracted by work and phone calls. Even though I feel like I could write more I have to stop so I can get ready to teach tonight.

To conclude, I would like to have an office again.

Thank you.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under business, general, making movies, money

Remembering when income was disposable…

I missed the morning, slept right through it, but when I did wake up and ate a wonderful breakfast made by the lovely Miss Rene I flipped through the weekly Best Buy catalogue and marveled at their amazingly low prices. They really were pretty good. And I drooled a bit because I wanted some new fun electronic toys – and if I had the money I would probably be getting some of them right now – but then reality hit and I realized that I do not have the money and probably wont for a while.

I have noticed that the phrase “disposable income”, once a staple of financial television programs, has become noticeably absent. I’m pretty sure that there are very few people left with it. I know my friends and I certainly aren’t carrying any, although we have plans for it when it comes back. It’s probably why Best Buy and every other major retailer is offering such great deals right now, at least somebody will buy something!

To me there are bigger problems to the financial crunch besides just a lack of funds, but it’s what goes along with a lack of funds. I don’t know about you but when I’m struggling there’s only one thing that I’m ever actually doing – looking for a way to make a buck. It consumes all of my time. I have bills that need to be paid and, unfortunately, they don’t pay themselves. This puts a major cramp on the creative side of my life. There are ideas, business plans and all sorts of other endeavors that, right now, take a back burner as I just try to maintain my regular life. Hell even the creative outlets I have with Cheerleaders Must Die!, the western Rene and I are attached to and other projects are all stuck in a funding void. We even had funding once and then it fell out – that REALLY sucked. I used to think that my occupation was to being creative but if there’s anything that I’ve learned in the last two years it’s that I’m really in the world of finance and every once in a while I get to tell a story.

Still it’s better than digging a ditch.

Now go click on a couple of the ads on this page and help a brother out!

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under money, rant