Fireside Chat Episode 2 RELEASED!

Over a year ago one of my oldest and best friends, Jeff Garvin, and I sat down in front of a camera and read from our high school journals. It was an embarrassing trip down memory lane. It was in response to this blog I posted: The Value of Journaling but was also something that Jeff thought might be neat for the readers of his novel, Symptoms of Being Human, since it would be a window into his actual high school self. What follows is the stuff we caught on camera after we edited out most of the swearing and inside jokes:

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Filed under Andelon, friends, friendship is magic, funny, video, videos, 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

The Chili Returns

Way back in 2013 when I was still producing I tried to do a number of shorts/sketches in between projects. I really only did one, but it was a good one! Alexander Rossiter (who is recently engaged – Congratulations!) wrote this and it was directed & shot by Zeke Pinheiro. Please enjoy The Chili:

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Imposter Syndrome – A Live Discussion

Yesterday I had a conversation with Author Jeff Garvin, Singer/Actress Rene Bordelon, Singer/Actress Jessica Hayes, and blogger Dan Zarzana about how feeling like we are imposters in our careers has actually helped to be a motivating force moving us forward. You can see the whole video down below:

If you would like to find our panelists online see the links down below:

https://www.patreon.com/andelonprod
http://jeffgarvinbooks.com/
insta: @jeffgarvinbooks
twitter: @jeffgarvinbooks
http://www.bookthump.com/
https://www.instagram.com/bookthump/
https://yoursaddragon.com/

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Improv workshop in Newport, Oregon!

If you happen to be in the Newport, Oregon area on Saturday August 5th come participate in my improv intensive put on by the Red Octopus Theater Company!

Here are the links:

CoastArts.org

OregonCoastToday.com 

And here are the details for the link disinclined:

FREE IMPROV WORKSHOP

presented by: Red Octopus Theatre Company

Starts:Saturday, August 05, 2017  12:00 PMEnds:Saturday, August 05, 2017  5:00 PM

Cost:

FREE ($5 Suggested Donation)

LOCATION:

NEWPORT PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

777 W. Olive Street
Newport, OR 97365

EVENT DESCRIPTION:

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 troupeImprov 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 ShowMalcolm in the MiddleParty of Five3rd Rock from the Sun,Veronica MarsThe Gilmore Girls, and Feud: Bette & Joan. He has had recurring roles on Saved by the Bell: The New Class7th 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 Workshop series allows established and/or new performers alike a creative outlet, and an opportunity to hone their current skills and/or learn new ones. Past workshops topics have included movement, performing Shakespeare, puppetry, audition skills, and short play writing. Those with questions about this workshop or future offerings are encouraged to visit the Red Octopus Workshop’s official Facebook page:www.facebook.com/RedOctopusWorkshop

For more information about Red Octopus Theatre Company, visit www.OctopusOnStage.com

READ MORE ABOUT:

EVENT LINK:

http://www.facebook.com/RedOctopusWorkshop

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Rene & Curtis Do The Big Float!

We are really jumping into the Portland life and enjoying a lot of what our new city has to offer. We regularly use the public transportation, we enjoy the local bars and restaurants, and the creative scene is more than we could have hoped for. On Saturday July 15th we joined in on the annual Big Float put on by the Human Access Project. See the video below:

To learn more about The Big Float and The Human Access Project you can follow the link for more information, but here is a description of what they do:

What the heck is THE BIG FLOAT?
The goal of The Big Float, quite simply, is to encourage people to “get into their river” and support its preservation and healthy development as a recreational resource. And to have a whale of a good time in the process.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the Human Access Project. Open to all ages, TBF begins with, naturally, a parade. Floaters gather at Tom McCall Bowl Beach (where the Blues Festival is held), then carry or wear their floatation devices and march south along Waterfront Park to the put-in point at Poet’s Beach beneath the Marquam Bridge.

Floaters will paddle down river and land on the west bank at the Tom McCall Bowl. Here, Portland’s grandest downtown beach party will be held – complete with music barge and live bands, food carts, beer/wine garden, sponsor booths, and a kids’ activities area.

Human Access Project
Wouldn’t it be great if people in Portland could actually get into the Willamette River? Simply stroll down to the water’s edge, wade out into it, and swim or paddle around to their heart’s content in a safe, public area? It’s time we did something about that. And that’s what our not-for-profit organization, Human Access Project, is all about.

Let’s face it, even if you wanted to swim in the Willamette River in downtown Portland today, how would you do it? There’s no easy way to get into it. It’s like this: if you want birds to come into your yard you put up a bird feeder and plant trees to create a bird-friendly habitat.

The same is true for humans and the river. If we want to make it so people can swim in the Willamette we need to create better access and a more inviting environment. For instance, imagine the Tom McCall bowl area redesigned with a beach instead of the unfriendly jagged rock river edge currently there.

In short, the Human Access Project is driven to promote activating the Willamette River for recreational use that considers all the critters that live and love the water, including humans.
Human Access Project Mission
The Human Access Project vision is simple: a city in love with its river. This grassroots not-for-profit group has three concentric goals:

1) Create a human habitat and more access points along the Willamette River in downtown Portland.

2) Inspire people to get into the Willamette River.

3) Facilitate stewardship of the Willamette River and Watershed.
HAP Accomplishments
Human Access Project (HAP) was conceived in November 2010 when founder Will Levenson began organizing an event called “The Big Float.” The Big Float (TBF) is a group innertube float and after-party on the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon. The idea behind TBF is to get a large number of people in the water in an enjoyable way and make a powerful statement showing Portlanders and our city government that the Willamette is safe for human recreation. In short, to transform our relationship with the Willamette River.

TBF had its first launch in 2011 with 1,300 participants. By 2014 TBF had grown to 2,300 participants. This year, we hope to draw 3,000 participants.

Human Access Project has undertaken three Willamette River beach clean-up, habitat restoration projects which are ongoing. The first is on the eastside of the Willamette River by the Hawthorne Bridge. HAP has to date removed 18 tons of concrete in numerous clean-up events in this area revealing a sandy beach. HAP aspires to create a formal beach in this spot, which we have nicknamed Audrey McCall Beach after Tom McCall’s wife.

The second project is a beach creation effort at Tom McCall Bowl on the west side of the Willamette River by the Hawthorne Bridge. HAP hosted a community kickoff event called UnRock the Bowl in 2012 and has held an annual beach clean-up event every year since. Volunteers move rip-wrap rock from the water’s edge of the Willamette River back to the bank where it was initially installed 30 years ago as bank protection.

The third project is Poet’s Beach (under the Marquam Bridge on west bank) where HAP has hauled out immense chunks of basalt to clear the way for safe access to an existing sandy beach. To bring life to the site, HAP worked with the not-for-profit Honoring Our Rivers and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde to inscribe children’s poetry and Chinook phrases into rocks lining the path to the beach. Hence the name Poet’s Beach. HAP will continue to undertake beach clean-up activities to support its mission.

Our first major advocacy success was in 2013, working with the City of Portland to install “Swim at your own risk” signs at the Tom McCall Bowl and Poet’s Beach .

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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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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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