Category Archives: news

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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Happy New Year! Here’s what’s Coming Up!


I am writing this in the last hour of January 1st, 2016. These last two months have been a whirlwind mostly focused on my quest to become a working actor again epitomized by the Operation: Television’s Curtis Andersen series of videos on my YouTube Channel. Here’s the latest one from today:

And here are the links to the playlists for November and December, in case you want to catch up:

In addition, my friend Author Jeff Garvin and I are trying an experiment where we go through and read sections of our old high school journals. Yes, it’s exactly what you think:

Rene and I have big plans for this year! Keep your eye here for all the info!

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Filed under actor stuff, creativity, new media, new projects, new shows, new year, news, Operation: Television's Curtis Andersen, update, video, videos, YouTube

Fun Video Friday – Bye Felicia: The Music Video

Rene and Curtis Bye Felicia Costume Shot


Early in the year Rene and I were invited to participate in a secret music video shoot.

It was for a new television show whose first season was just ending.

The video was for the special features on the DVD.

We were sworn to secrecy…


Above – an image of our costumes for the shoot.

Below- the video itself.

Side note: This is the only thing in history where I purposely have facial hair and might be the only thing that ever does.

Also, my wife’s dance moves are pretty slick.

And yes, that’s her in bed with Matt McGorry.

And I was in the room… watching.

Special shout out to director Charlie Visnic for including us!

Here’s the video:


Filed under acting, actor stuff, fun video friday, news, performing, television, TV, video, videos, YouTube

Op Ed: The Future of Entertainment

Image from

Image from

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

Good News for Net Neutrality?

Photo: Act.Watchdog.Net

Photo: Act.Watchdog.Net

Things are looking good for Net Neutrality.

In a one-on-one conversation with Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President Gary Shapiro on January 7th, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (sometimes referred to as a dingo) has implied that rules governing broadband communications will be based on Title II of the Communications Act – which is what most Net Neutrality activists and I have been hoping for.


But for the TL;DR crowd here are some sound bytes:

“…it became obvious that commercially reasonable could be interpreted as what is reasonable for the ISPs, not what is reasonable for consumers or innovators,” Wheeler said. “And that’s the wrong question and the wrong answer because the issue here is how do we make sure that consumers and innovators have open access to networks. That led us to a more robust investigation of the well established concept of just and reasonable, which is a Title II concept. And as I said, Title II has always been something that was on the table. So last summer we began investigating various approaches using title II as a way to get to just and reasonable because it has the best protections.”

”What’s interesting also is that other ISPs, smaller ISPs, like the rural carriers, competitive ISPs, have all come in and said, ‘we like Title II, we hope you’ll do Title II,'” Wheeler added.

“It just so happens that 20 years ago I was the guy that negotiated on behalf of the wireless industry to establish Section 332,” Wheeler said. “Section 332 says that wireless should be regulated under Title II as a common carrier, except that the FCC is instructed to forbear from onerous provisions and inappropriate provisions of Title II, except for section 201 and 202, which is just and reasonable, and Section 208, which is consumer protection,” he added.

Shapiro summed up, saying, “what I heard you say is, without totally confirming it, is you’re going down the Title II path, [and] that the wireless model is a good model, and the wireless model said forbear by law except for a couple of sections.” Wheeler did not dispute that assessment.

Fingers crossed!

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Filed under activism, Andelon, business, commentary, geek, internet, net neutrality, news, politics, re-post, technology, the future

Sent from Japan

When I arrived in Oregon my friend, Erik, told me about a section of dock that was torn away from its moorings in Japan and ended up on the beach in Oregon.

Yes, that’s what I said, a section of DOCK TORE AWAY in JAPAN and FLOATED to OREGON!

Yeah, I was impressed too.

In my head I pictured something wooden, like the kind of dock you see in a movie about a summer camp, horror or otherwise. It seems easy for something like that to get pulled away in a tsunami and dragged out to sea. This dock in my head impressed me just because I imagined that it was a very well put together wooden dock since Japan is almost 8,000 miles away. It took about a year to get across the ocean to end up in Oregon. It was sad and amazing and I was looking forward to seeing it in a weird way.

After a couple of days getting caught up in training and getting used to a new city, a city that will be my home for the month of July, I kinda’ forgot about the dock. Then we went to dinner at a pizza place that over looks the beach. We sat at a booth near the window and Erik pointed out the dock.

It was massive.

This was no wooden structure, this was cement and rebar and steel. This didn’t hold dingies this was for major boats (crab boats it turns out). And even mostly submerged by the incoming tide you could still tell how big it was. I tried to get pictures from the window, but I only had my phone with me and my phone is dying (more on that another day) so I couldn’t get any of the pictures to turn out. We resolved to go another day when the tide was out so we could get a better look.

We finally went down to the beach just the other day and saw the dock. Here are the pictures I took:

Even this far away you can see how big it is.

Here are people in various planes showing scale.

When it landed it was covered in 1.5 tons of sea life.

This is from on the dock, looking back from where it came.

It was humbling to see this. It’s made of all the stuff we use when we want to make something “permanent” and to the power of the ocean it was nothing.

Tonight as I was writing this Erik mentioned that the local government have set up a hotline for people to report tsunami debris. He also told me that if you find a shoe you’re not supposed to look inside, human remains may still be in them. That’s just a horrifying thought. I decided to look up some news on this and there’s actually quite a bit, a giant dock making it 8,000 across the ocean with no one noticing is quite a story. Here is a link to the NPR story. It gives the dimensions of the dock (66′ long, 7′ tall!) and tells you more about where it came from and what this means for the Pacific coast in regard to tsunami debris.

No matter how impressive our human achievements, nature only needs to flex it’s muscles once to humble us.

See you tomorrow.

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Filed under Japan, jobs, news, travel

Happy New Year!

Hey everybody!

I’m back!

I didn’t actually go anywhere, but I haven’t been posting here and so now I’m saying I’m back, but really if you have been checking out my Twitter feed or my Facebook Page you’ve still seen me – or at least heard from me electronically. In a social media kinda’ way.

This, the first blog of 2012, is coming out dangerously close to January 3rd. In fact you’re probably just now seeing it on January 3rd.

Anyhow, to help celebrate the new year I have the first 2012 State of Stuff for Wiggy VonSchtick Productions right here:

Now I have to go off and drink the little bit of The Stocks red wine that we have left and write some more for the new web series we’ll be shooting this year.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under new projects, news, Wiggy VonSchtick, wine, YouTube

New Vids, Kickstarter, ShmimCast & Noticing a Slowdown

Hello friends, followers, lurkers and stalkers! August 2nd marks the day that I publicly state that I’m going to get back to daily posting. For what it’s worth.

This is mostly selfish. I’ve noticed that since my blogging has gotten lackadaisical I have had a significant dropoff in readers. That’s no good! I like you guys! I look forward to your comments, messages and Tweets so I clearly need to maintain my side of the deal better. I also want to let you know that not ALL my posting will be Shameless Self Promotion and Plugs. There will still be SOME, but I’ll be getting back to what this blog was developed for – writing practice.

But let’s get the plugs and stuff out of the way.

New Story Time with Ray! He’s writin’ poems!

The Kickstarter Campaign! We are making The Cheerleaders Must Die! and we need your help.

The Cheerleaders Must Die! Official Fan Page. Like it!

OK, there we go. Next up!

I have been learning, against my will, how to code websites. It’s like math class in junior high all over again. Except harder.

The coding itself isn’t too bad, it’s logical and as long as you pay attention it’s hard to make any real mistakes, but navigating the different control panels between different companies – especially those where the HELP CHAT IS NOT WORKING – is frustrating, aggravating and, especially for me, momentum killing. So far, as long as I can find the section I need to work on, I’ve been doing alright. I’ve had a great deal of help from friends Scott Sanford, computer genius, and Amy Dallen, a cy-curious genius (get it? CY-curious?! like CYBER-curious?!?! I KILL me!) without who I would be treading the computer equivalent of water. Still stuck on a couple key things – my email still isn’t redirecting correctly (sorry if you’ve tried to send mail there) and our main domain for TCMD! isn’t resolving – but they are getting worked on as I write this.

I should let you know that I’ve been away from this blog for a while. I’ve lost my writing momentum and this is stream of consciousnesses writing to try and get back on track. Not sure that it’s working.

Have you listened to my latest episode of The Shmimcast? It’s gotten some very positive reviews and I think it’s not too bad. totally worth a listen!

I surrender. Here’s a picture of me with a muppet:

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under cheerleaders must die, Improv Shmimprov, new media, new projects, news, rambling, Story Time with Ray, video, wiggy webs

R.I.P. Ken Ober Thanks to the LA Times for the Obituary

I was a really big fan of Remote Control and enjoyed Mr. Ober’s work both in front and behind the camera.  I was shocked to see this news and felt it should be shared.

See you tomorrow.

Ken Ober dies at 52; host of MTV’s ‘Remote Control’ game show

The comedian and actor was doing stand-up when he landed the job of guiding the 1980s game show, which featured raucous question-and-answer trivia contests about TV reruns.
Ken Ober

Ken Ober appeared on “Remote Control” from 1987 to 1989. He later turned to writing and producing TV shows.
By Claire Noland

November 17, 2009

Ken Ober, a comedian and actor who as host of MTV’s “Remote Control” in the 1980s guided the raucous question-and-answer trivia contests on the irreverent cable TV game show, was found dead Sunday at his home in Santa Monica. He was 52.

Lee Kernis of Brillstein Entertainment Partners, who represented Ober, confirmed the death but said the cause was unknown. According to Kernis, friends said Ober had been feeling ill with a headache and flu-like symptoms Saturday and did not meet them later as planned. An autopsy is planned.

Ober was a stand-up comic when he landed the job as host of “Remote Control” in 1987. On a basement set featuring college-age contestants and audience members, Ober introduced categories spanning the universe of TV reruns — beginning with the old black-and-white days of “Car 54, Where Are You?” and “Mr. Ed” but returning again and again to “The Brady Bunch.” If the players, who were strapped into garish reclining lounge chairs, answered correctly, they got to choose the next category. Those eliminated were ridiculed, then pitched backward in their chairs through the wall of the set.

Ober, who grew up transfixed by television, clearly had fun playing the host, even if it wasn’t his ultimate goal.

“I remember the first time it hit me,” Ober said in a 1989 interview with the San Diego Union Tribune. “I was in a supermarket line reading ‘TV Guide,’ and it said ‘Ken Ober, comma, TV game show host.’ And I said, ‘Oh, no, I’m a game show host.’ “

Born July 3, 1957, in Boston, Ober studied communications and education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He worked as a substitute teacher in Boston before performing in comedy clubs in New York.

Ober left “Remote Control” in 1989 to audition for acting jobs, but reruns of the show featuring Ober and other series regulars Colin Quinn and Denis Leary continued to air.

After acting in TV series such as “Parenthood,” “Who’s the Boss?” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Ober shifted his focus to writing and producing for the series “Mind of Mencia” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

Ober, who was single, is survived by his mother, Claire Freeman of West Hartford, Conn.; his father, Burton, and stepmother, Iris, of Palm Beach, Fla., and a brother, Andrew, of Old Greenwich, Conn.

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

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I Thought I was Done Trying to Get into College!

So I was alarmed when I found this article on As hard as getting into Harvard?!?!? Let 2012 come already!

See you tomorrow!

Washington, D.C. (CNN) — The 650,000 jobs created or saved by the stimulus package so far make up only a small step toward correcting the gap between the tens of millions of unemployed people and the few openings that those people are fighting over.

Even the administration’s goal of creating 3.5 million jobs is far below what the economy really needs. With an official unemployment rate of 10.2 percent, the gap between the number of full-time job openings and the number of people who are unemployed has widened.

Since the beginning of the recession in December 2007, job openings declined from 4.4 million to 2.4 million and the number of officially unemployed persons grew from 7.5 million to 15.7 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If the 15.7 million officially unemployed workers were to apply for those 2.4 million jobs, the chance of any one of them finding a job are about 15 percent, or roughly the same odds as being accepted to the University of Pennsylvania.

The official figure only counts workers as unemployed if they have searched for a job within the past four weeks. But, does it make sense to exclude people who have not looked for work in the past month? Probably not, given that statistics show workers are trying harder than ever to find a job and only give up looking after prolonged periods of unemployment.

The average duration of official unemployment — which, by definition, requires that people be actively searching for a job — has increased to 26.9 weeks, or just over a half a year.

But after many months of unsuccessful job hunting, some people do give up hope. And after four weeks of not looking for a job, they are dropped from official unemployment. It is primarily for this reason that since May, the official labor force has shrunk by 1.1 million people.

The exclusion of these so-called “discouraged” workers from statistics means that the official number of unemployed severely understates the weakness in the labor market. If you include these workers, the unemployment rate would rise to 13 percent, or 21.3 million.

If these workers were to apply for the 2.4 million jobs available, the odds of securing a job would be 11.2 percent, or roughly the same as getting into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It gets worse. Another group excluded from the official unemployment report is the growing number of part-time workers who would prefer to have a full-time job. These workers are forced into part-time jobs or are forced to take part-time hours because no full-time work is available.

During the current recession, workers who are “part time for economic reasons” have grown from 4.6 million to 9.3million.

Adding part-time workers to the number of officially unemployed and the discouraged workers, as labor market expert Leo Hindery, Jr., has observed, results in a rise in the real unemployment rate to 19.2 percent, or 30.6 million people.

The odds of any one of these 30 million securing one of the 2.4 million full-time jobs available is 8 percent, the same as the admissions rate of the Ivy League gold standard, Harvard University.

The 3.5 million jobs the stimulus package aims to provide are insufficient. To get the job growth the country needs, the White House should push for sustained infrastructure investment, cutting corporate taxes, and increasing access to credit for small businesses. We still have thirty million workers in the United States who are unemployed, underemployed or discouraged and they face the same odds of finding a job as a high school senior applying to the world’s most elite university.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Samuel Sherraden.

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