We are doing things on the YouTube Channel!

We’ll be posting new videos every week now on the YouTube channel! See the video below for details:

If you want to get all the videos as soon as they are released please visit the channel and subscribe:

What kinds of videos do you want to see us do? Tell us in the comments!

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Filed under Operation: Television's Curtis Andersen, video, videos, YouTube

First Oregon Acting Workshop: Improvisation at The Red Octopus Theater Co.

Now that Rene and I are a little more settled into our new city I’m starting to do workshops, classes and coaching again. The first workshop will be held August 5th at noon in Newport, Oregon. It is an adorable resort town with a thriving theater scene.

Details can be found on the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE and just in case you don’t use Facebook here are the basics down below:

Those of all skill levels are invited to come experience the crazy, creative world of “Improv” in this fun-filled workshop, led by television’s Curtis Andersen.

The event will include a broad range of topics, exercises, and games, including (but not limited to): building trust, warm-up games, how to listen, building a scene, ending a scene, comedy improv vs. dramatic improv, and more.

Curtis Andersen spent the last decade as a member of the nationally-acclaimed improv troupe Improv Shmimprov, performing live improvisational comedy on Friday and Saturday nights. He also conducts a seminar titled Think Fast, which trains business professionals to use improvisational techniques to increase their performance and solve problems creatively.

Andersen has guest starred on many television shows, including That 70’s Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Party of Five, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Veronica Mars, The Gilmore Girls, and Feud: Bette & Joan. He has had recurring roles on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, 7th Heaven, and is often recognized as Gordie from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

In addition to his television work, Andersen can also be seen in many films, including The Rules of Attraction, and Michael Bay’s Oscar-winning film, Pearl Harbor.

Red Octopus Theatre Company is excited to welcome Andersen to Newport. For over a decade he has helped artists do the work that has lead them to network television shows and major feature films – in the form of private coaching, or in his role as head of faculty at the McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts.

This event is appropriate for those aged 13 and up, and is free (however, there is a $5 suggested donation.) The Newport Performing Arts Center is located at 777 W Olive Street in Newport, Oregon.

The Red Octopus Theater  runs workshops all the time and if you’d like more information on them please visit their Facebook page HERE.

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Filed under education, Facebook

Acting 101: Serve the Story

There are some fundamentals that are always worth revisiting. Film, television, theater, even commercials are all forms of storytelling. They all have a beginning, middle and end. They all have characters that go through changes. They all have a conflict and resolution. This applies to all consumed media and you notice if any of these things are missing – that’s when we call something a “bad movie” or show or book or whatever. Storytelling has been around for as long as humans have  smeared berry pulp on cave walls and not much has changed about the process except the technology and number of people telling the story.

Working in the modern entertainment industry, both old and new media, requires collaboration. The story needs a writer. The director is there to interpret the writing. The actor is there to give life to the story’s characters. None of these jobs can tell the story alone, they all need to work together to create the final product. Yes, there may be differences in status between the roles during the course of creation, but in the end all participants at all levels have one job: to serve the story.

Speaking on actors specifically, we end up being the primary face (literally) of this process and therefore we are the focus of a lot of the scrutiny of a final product. When we do our job well even the most ridiculous stories can seem “good” and be enjoyed by the audience. And if we don’t do our job well even the best material can suffer. Serving the story is the most fundamental requirement of all entertainment professionals. Yes, technique is important but those who can serve the story will always win against those who only focus on technique.

And I guess “serving the story” for many would be considered part of some people’s technique, but I think you get what I’m saying so let’s not quibble on technicalities.

To serve the story it is important to realize what your character’s place is within the story. While in the real world we are all heroes of our own stories, in a script each role is laid out clearly and deliberately. There are our leads, the protagonist and antagonist. There are the supporting players, their friends and associates. And there are the atmosphere, the extras that make the scenes feel “real.” Just as there may be differences between the status of a writer, director and actor there are also different strata for the actors with leads on top and extras at the bottom. It’s important to remember that while their status may be different on set all of them are required to effectively tell the story. Each one is a cog that must work with the rest to make the machine operate correctly.

In that working together it is important to maintain the function of your place in that story. It’s an issue that I see most often with actors that are new to the business. Often that are coming to it with stars in eyes and visions of fame in their heads. For them any role they portray is a chance to be the star of the show, even to the detriment of the show itself. Here’s a good rule of thumb, if you are doing a show to perpetuate your own glory then you are working against the show and you are not serving the story. Worst of all, your attempt to shine actually draws the wrong kind of attention to you and will tarnish your reputation making it harder for you to achieve your initial goal in the first place.

What the naive actor does not realize is that the best way to shine is to do your specific part the best that you can within the parameters of the role. This is demonstrated regularly in the characters that we fall in love with who may not be the overall “star” of a piece. Characters like Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday in Tombstone or Jennifer Coolidge’s Paulette in Legally Blonde. These were supporting characters that stood out, in a very strong way, in films that were not missing plenty of star power in general. They did not make an effort to steal the show, they were just doing what they were hired to do so well that the quality of the work could not be denied.

In my personal opinion, and I’m confident that I’m not alone in this, this is what we as actors and performers should strive to do. All stories are bigger than the single performer. We all have our place, some larger than others, but when everything works together, when the collaboration is effective, then we get the kind of art and entertainment that people not only enjoy but return to over and over again – a classic!

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments.

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Filed under acting, actor 101, actor stuff, behind the scenes, career

Discussions Video: Priorities, Hobbies & How to Make Money

Dan and I talk about hobbies and how we find the time to do them and how we might monetize them, if we want to in this episode of Discussions:

What are your opinions? Do you have any hobbies you want to monetize? Let us know in the comments!

For those looking for a writing tracker, I found this blog with some handy links! I have not tried any of these myself so please use caution when downloading any programs: TracyLucas.net

And if you want the one I was talking about here it is:

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Filed under video, YouTube

Should I read the Dark Tower Series this Summer?

That’s the question, so I got some of my best friends together to try and figure it out.

What do you think? Leave your opinions in the comments.

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Filed under Uncategorized

I Finally Peeled a Wrapper Off A New New York Seltzer Bottle!

Waaaaayyyyyy back in July of 2015 I received a gift from the people over at Original New York Seltzer. They responded to a blog I wrote about how the Black Cherry soda was the first new drink I had when we moved to California. It was very nice of them and I made a video about it that you can see here:

I talked about the foam wrappers in that video and how fun they were to pull off. Now, nearly two years later, I have finally done it and I put it on video for you all to see!

Like/Subscribe and all the other good stuff.

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Filed under drinking, fun, general, video, 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!

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

We’re Moving To Portland!

No reason to bury the lead, Rene and I are moving to Portland, OR in May and we’re really excited! We’ll be blogging and videoing and maybe even Snapchatting the process, so make sure you follow us on all of that (links below).

Here’s the announcement video:

Social media links:
Curtis Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CurtisAndersenFanPage/

Curtis Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/curtisandersen/?hl=en

Curtis Snapchat: TVs Curtis Andersen

Rene Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReneBordelonFanPage/

Rene Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/renesrevolution/?hl=en

Rene Snapchat: Rene Bordelon

 



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Filed under adventures, in real life, moving, rene, travel, update, video, YouTube

This, this, all the this!

If you are a creative, this video will sounds very familiar – but it’s a universal message. Lord knows I’ve been down this road a few times. Determination, persistence and touch of naivete is usually enough to win the day – it’s just the “day” in question usually lasts for years.

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Filed under actor 101, actor stuff, art, artist, behind the scenes, commentary, doing new things, education, fail, failure, filmmaking, friends, fund raising, general, getting fit, getting started, happiness, how-to, inspiration, jobs, learning experience, making movies, productivity, projects, REVOLUTION, social commentary, video, videos, YouTube

New Movie Trailer – East of Jesus

Last summer Rene and I shot a movie called East of Jesus.

It comes out this spring! Here’s the first trailer:

Like it, share it, enjoy.

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Filed under acting, career, shameless self promotion, trailers, video, YouTube