"Great improvisors are like priests. They are thinking only of their god."
Wednesday, July 13, 2005 NEW BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, everyone who still comes around these parts, I've constructed a new blog. It is www.rebelpilgrim.blogspot.com.
This journal will be archived at this date... posted by Joe | 10:58 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2005 Greetings from Southern Indiana
We are half way through our family vacation and will be traveling onto Ohio tomorrow after spending over a week here in Indiana with Debbie's family. The visit has been good, and seemingly brought about some measure of spiritual healing for me that I cannot exactly explain. (Nothing happened really, just some nice times of solitude and inner exploration.) I also took the time to read Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It's the first Christian book that I have read in at least a year. I loved it. His journey is very similar to my own, while being completely different.
Just to let you know, I'm planning a complete reboot of my blog upon arrival in California in July. I also plan on utilizing it more than I have the last few months, especially since it will serve a greater purpose now to continue to communicate with my friends and family in Las Vegas.
Both Debbie and myself are yearning for a home. I used to desire the nomadic life, but doing this trip without anywhere to call home upon our return has made me realize that wandering isn't nearly as fun without somewhere in the world to return to upon the adventure's end.
Lots of love... posted by Joe | 8:25 PM
Sunday, May 15, 2005 It's Official
Tonight at Apex we announced that we will be moving to LA soon. We are leaving Las Vegas June 8 and plan on arriving in southern California in early July after a visit to see our families in the midwest. I've been waiting until after tonight to breach the subject here.
It looks as though I will be taking a part-time position teaching at a Frinday night church service in Orange County, though our primary motivation for moving is to pursue acting. We had decided to live in Burbank, which is near Hollywood, but now we are reconsidering some places between there and Costa Mesa, where the church is.
There were about five or six weeks earlier this year when I was driving to LA two to four days per week for auditions and work. Things have slowed down in May, but that's to be expected. It feels like the right time to test the waters. Debbie's excited for the adventure as well, otherwise we wouldn't be going. The kids sort of understand and seem excited to live closer to the beach and Disneyland.
We're sad to leave our friends here, but there is no doubting that God has had his hand in this decision. We look forward to how he will lead us in the coming months and years.
It's only 300 miles away. We plan on visiting often, and I will still be working and auditioning in Vegas often...probably monthly.
I have many more thoughts, but I think this gets the facts out. Much love to all of you who have shared the last ten years with us in Las Vegas. It will feel like home for many years to come. posted by Joe | 11:36 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2005 American Idol Spot
A lot of you have asked to see the spot that I did on American Idol. My friend Greg Campbell linked it to his blog. Click here to see it. posted by Joe | 10:18 PM
Sunday, April 10, 2005 I'm 384 months old
I'm older. Yesterday was my birthday. 32. I know everyone says this at every birthday, but I don't feel 32. I always do math equations at every birthday. 32 is halfway to 64. When I was 16, I was halfway to where I am now. Stange. 16 doesn't feel like half a lifetime ago. I've always been a little age obsessed. (Maybe I'm a little death obsessed...calling Dr. Freud...)
I have always felt this overwhelming urgency with life. It's that urgency that makes me try to make things happen before their time...causes me to throw my entire self into whatever seems most important at the moment, often ignoring whatever else is present.
However, its that urgency that has allowed me to pack so many lifetimes, so many versions of myself into my 32 years. Since I can remember I have feared normality...I've loathed the idea of just fitting into whatever the people around me say is a normal life.
As I write this today, I realize more than ever that I'm writing about the very core of myself. So much of an epiphany that I'm tempted to erase it all and move on. My biggest hope is that this urgency for life would disappear. That I could be content in all things as our fathers teach us. However, my biggest fear is that I lose the urgency. That I grow comfortable in a life without adventure, risk and mystery. I want both. Perhaps, for me anyway, that is salvation. To be compelety calm and at peace amidst the urgency of and knowledge of the brevity of our lives. And yet to claim the urgency, for my sake and for heaven' s sake, to live in the mirth and joy and adventure and creativity that this world affords. To be the pacifist mercenary, the violent healer, the insane lover, the beautiful wound, the enlightened fool that I was meant to be.
I do feel like most people don't take enough risks. This from a guy who has never jumped out of an airplane and is afraid of snakes and spiders...To me those things aren't risks...just very odd hobbies. As a poker player, I just feel like we don't go "all in" enough. I can think of several situations where I've gone "all in" in my life. Where I've risked everything for a greater payoff. To date, I can't say that these moves have proven profitable, not the way I had hoped anyway, and certainly not monetarily. But to imagine a life without that kind of risk-taking repulses me. My faith story is one of "all in" risk taking: Abram departing his home childless, slaves leaving Egypt, weaponless soldiers marching around Jericho, a whole nation sending a little boy with a rock to battle a giant...then it culminates in God himself going "all in" to humanity as a fetus and then again "all in" to death on a cross. Who are we to live an utterly cautious life and still claim this story as our own?
So...I'm closer to 40 than I am to 24. I'm the one year away from that age that Jesus died. Six years ago I had a steady paycheck and a house. Now I don't have those things...but I did pick up a couple of kids in that time. I think I got the better of that deal. Ten years ago I had a beautiful wife who loved me and supported all of my risky ideas. Today I have a more beautiful wife who loves me after knowing how hard that can be at times...and who still supports my even riskier ideas. 32 years ago I was born to two parents who loved me and love each other. They called yesterday. Nothing has changed. For all my appearant regret...I wouldn't change a thing.
Who'd have known I'd be this rich at 32? posted by Joe | 11:09 AM
Tuesday, March 29, 2005 This and That
Condensing my thoughts into a workable entry seems much more difficult than it used to be. Overall, things seem to be going well. I haven't worked at Tony n' Tina's four of the last seven weeks. I go back Saturday. More and more of my work is taking me to LA...either for auditions or actual work. I just feel a little mixed up. I did a wedding for a very nice couple at Sunset Station last weekend. And every few minutes I just felt myself being disoriented. I can't truly explain it, except that I kept feeling like I was in some strange city doing something that I had never done before. Maybe it was just being on the other side of town after spending a week in LA, but it was very odd.
Easter was good. It was very nice to teach at Apex. I've missed teaching. I want to do it more often. My faith is "settling" after a few years of quakes and darkness.
Career stuff is just plain goofy. Sometimes I feel like I'm destined to be a real working actor...then the next day I'm looking into real estate, or teaching, or dealing poker...
The boys are growing up and starting to show their talents and desires. Eli is really loving math. Aidan's a natural with a football and a frisbee. It's fun to watch.
I'll end this strange meandering with my favorite films of the year...
1. Garden State
2. Million Dollar Baby
3. Anchorman (I can't help how much I love Will Ferrell.)
4. The Aviator
Overall, not my favorite year for movies.
Later... posted by Joe | 9:09 PM
Friday, March 18, 2005 Me-Vo...or Ti-Joe...
I'll be on your TV set twice this week...or only once if you don't have cable...or not at all if you don't turn it on.
Sunday, March 20: Travel Channel, "Vegas Urban Legends" 8pm and 11pm. (I play the guy choking on a poker chip...)
I also just got word that I will be shooting a spot on Sunday that will air this week either Tuesday or Wednesday. I guess a few people watch this show:
American Idol on Fox. I play the lead in a music video/Ford commercial with the Idols. It's the first thing that I've landed from an LA audition. It's pretty cool. I'm a little concerned about the cheese-factor...but it's my first network gig!
I've already filmed two other TV projects coming later this year: Breaking Vegas (History Channel) and Quake (BBC/Discovery Channel.)
I guess I'm almost an actor now...weird. posted by Joe | 9:28 PM
Sunday, March 06, 2005 Still Alive...
Much has happened since my last post. The film is in the can as they say...being edited as we speak. The whole process was much more taxing than I thought it would be. I've gotten a lot of work lately. Things are good there.
Much is uncertain. When I think about the future I become both excited and frightened. I truly have no idea where we will be or what we will be doing in a year or two.
I have grown closer to God of late. Hard to explain, but I desire him more than I have recently. I feel as though a fog has lifted. My heart is seeking more and I sense a new expression of ministry on the horizon...no idea what that means, but a sense... posted by Joe | 8:19 PM
Saturday, February 12, 2005 Help Needed
We need background actors (extras) for two shots next week for my film. Wednesday (9am - 1pm) we will be shooting a bar scene at Paymon's Med. Cafe in Summerlin. Friday (8am-noon) will be a wedding scene outdoors at the Greek Isles Casino. No pay, but free food and a chance to be in movie. Let me know asap if you are interested.
Thanks... posted by Joe | 10:01 PM
Thursday, February 03, 2005 I don't feel like a Producer...
I've been busy of late producing this short film. I have actually really enjoyed most everything about it. It's everything I miss about my old job: team buidling, vision casting, storytelling, trouble shooting...and all without the existentialist torment.
We are shooting Feb. 15-20. There is a crew of 15 and a cast of 11 plus extras. The whole thing has been a very rewarding experience so far.
If you e-mailed me to be an extra, I should be in touch next week...
posted by Joe | 2:00 PM
Thursday, January 20, 2005 A Good Month
January has been good career wise. I will do my third commercial of the month Monday. This one is for a time share spot. (I get to take my shirt off for a spa scene, so you all know how much I like that...) I wrapped a Bellagio in house spot this morning at 5:00.
I also booked two days next week filming an Apprentice spoof with David Brenner, the comedian. It pays pretty well. We aren't wealthy by any means, but I'm amazed to say that I will make more money acting this month than I used to make in a month at the old job. Who knows if it will sustain, but I hope so. I haven't had to sub teach in eight weeks...which is the greatest gift of all.
My play closes this weekend, with performances Friday and Saturday night. It has been a good thing for my confidence and personal artistic fulfillment, even though it's been rather lightly attended with no pay.
The short film progresses nicely. We are going to shoot either the third or fourth week of February. Funding is coming in...we have raised all but $1,000. Thanks if anyone out there has helped out.
Hope you are all well.
posted by Joe | 8:49 PM
Saturday, January 15, 2005 Boxed In
I opened a play last night called "Boxed In" with the STARK Theater Company. It's actually four one-acts and I play the lead in two of them. It felt good to be nervous again, after doing the same thing every night for the last year and a half. The plays are all original scripts from local playwrites. It's a good project.
It plays again tonight, as well as next Friday and Saturday night. It's at the Jewel Box Theater in the Clark County Library (Flamingo, just east of Maryland Parkway.) Come by if you want. (It would be rated R for language, so if such things offend you may want to stay away.)
posted by Joe | 10:42 AM
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 SAG
I was hired for a commercial last night that never shot because of the weather. It's one of the national "What happens in Vegas" spots. They may or may not reschedule. But after a few hours of waiting they sent us home with pay and my third SAG voucher. This means that I am now eligible to join the screen actor's guild. It's not easy to get, so I'm very pleased. I probably won't join immediately because it costs $1,800 and I would have to stop doing non-union stuff in vegas...but it's a really big goal accomplished.
The film moves along. Thanks to all of you who responded to my previous post. I'll keep you updated.
posted by Joe | 3:11 PM
Wednesday, January 05, 2005 Wanna Help me make a movie?
I have been rather quietly writing and producing a short fim for the Cinevegas film festival this summer. My acting coach, Gerald Gordon, is directing it and it looks as though we have just landed a very talent Director of Photograpy from LA who is also a past student of his.
We should be shooting either the last week of january or the first week of february. It's a married man's love story...I'm looking forward to telling it.
I could use a little help if anyone is interested. It's mainly cast, but we will need some people for smaller background roles in a wedding scene, a bar scene and an opera scene. Also, if anyone wants to work as a PA (Production Assistant) during the shoot let me know. (This would mean being available the week of the shoot to help the director, cast and crew.)
We've had over $30,000 worth of equipment and services donated, but could use about $3,000 to complete it. I'm not asking my poor and struggling friends for money, but if you have some extra cash and have ever wanted to be an executive producer of a film...let me know.
Just Email me if you're interested in any such things... my email is linked in the upper right corner of my blog...
posted by Joe | 10:35 PM
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 Small
The planet hiccups and 100,000 people cease to exist. I've been thinking about 9-11 and how much coverage, fear and wrath followed. This earthquake may do 50 times more damage to life and property.
We are small. Even when we think we accomplish big things (for good or evil) we see that nature is capable of something so much bigger. We aren't as powerful as we think we are.
If God is, then he is even more powerful than that which he has created. Staggering.
posted by Joe | 5:04 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 Me Dot Com
I'm learning that acting professionally is really three or more jobs. Basically, the first job is self-marketing, the second is auditioning and the third is actually acting. The self-marketing part is a little odd for me. It's easier for me to sell something other than me...but I'm becoming more comfortable with it all.
All of that to let you know that I have launched a new website. It's really for casting directors, producers and the like, but I thought you might be interested.
Just a warning, a few of my monologues are linked...or will be soon. There are a few four letter words, so if such things offend you just look at the pretty pictures and call it a day.
posted by Joe | 1:55 AM
Sunday, December 19, 2004 Christmas Thoughts from an Actor
I am a relative novice at the art of acting. However, I am developing a philiosophy that works for me. The foundational idea of being a good actor, for me, is rooted in the incarnation. Allow me to try to briefly explain. The best actors are never acting, but simply being. They are being someone else, true. But, in some mysterious way, they are also being themselves at the same time. It's not like they are 50% another person, 50% themselves, but rather 100% of both.
When I am acting well, I am fully in touch with Joe and with the character Joe has become. One is no more or less real or valuable than the other. At that moment, the two are one...and seperating us would kill us both.
There is some Christmas message here. I'll let you discover it.
posted by Joe | 4:45 PM
Monday, December 13, 2004 About five days ago I typed a very long and meaningful post that was somehow lost. That seems to happen to me a lot. It's very frustrating. I should save them, but I don't. Maybe you should have never known those thoughts.
So, I'll keep this brief and let you know that I was booked today for a TV Show on the Travel Channel. It's a funny spot to air next year. I'm excited about it.
posted by Joe | 11:53 PM
Friday, November 26, 2004 Mr. Boyd, hottie or child molester?
This week was my first as a substitute teacher. I was at a northwest HS, teaching Psych. and Sociology. I didn't like it. I'm going to try it again...but, wow, did I so not like it. The teacher left me no lesson plans and the kids were out of control. The other teachers apologized when they heard that I was subbing for this particular teacher. I have to think that it was close to worse case scenario. I did talk with the theater teacher and gave her my number. I'm going to try it again, but not for a few days.
Teaching has always been the ultimate backup if all else fails for me. I'm not sure that I feel that way anymore. I'm sure that if it was my class from day one I could shape it...but I don't know. These kids were very defiant. (One girl called me a child molester and another stood up and told the class to F--- off...Another girl raised her hand in the middle of a lecture and told me I was "a hottie." The class laughed and I told her that I could get arrested for her thinking that. FYI, I couldn't get a single girl to say that when I was actually in high school, but that's a different story...Another kid watched South Park on his laptop the whole time. You get the picture.)
So...I want to be an actor real bad now. I have two auditions Monday. One for a feature Disney film shooting in Salt Lake...pray that the Lord delivers me.
I miss a lot of you...looking forward to Apex in a few weeks.
posted by Joe | 11:23 PM
Friday, November 12, 2004 Quickly Busy
The last few weeks have held a lot of action. It started with two full days of training for substitute teaching. I was officially ready to go last Thursday, but haven't been able to work yet because of other things going on. I've been to LA twice this week. The first time to duplicate my new headshots and to register with some casting agents and the second time for my first SAG commercial audition. It was for a Desperate Housewives promo spot about a bunch of guys playing poker and admitting that they watch the show. They had me read for the lead, but I didn't get it. I did get to go straight to the callback somehow though...that was cool.
I was booked that same day for a 24 Hour Fitness commercial. I worked two days this week on it. I was in the running for a principal part, but ended up working background. It was SAG and paid well. It also gave me 2 of the 3 vouchers I need to join the Union...which is a very good thing. I had set a goal to be SAG eligible by the end of the year...it may happen.
I was also cast in a play for STARK theater company that goes up in early December and just today I found out that I was hired to be on a "touring company" (almost the entire tour is in Las Vegas) with Nevada Theater Company doing a play about the founding of Nevada (Very Guffman if you ask me...) But...it pays almost as much as Tony n Tina's and almost all of the performances are in schools during the day, so I can do both at the same time.
Still waiting to hear about the western that Gerald is directing, but he is sure it will happen sometime next year. John Schnieder, aka Bo Duke, was interested in the part I was cast in...but it ended up not working out...so those dern Duke boys are at it again.
In my spare time this month I wrote a short film that I really like...more on that later.
Debbie and the boys seem to be doing well. Eli is liking kindergarden and has started reading. We are settling into our new home quite nicely and seem ready for the holidays. Hope you are all doing well.
posted by Joe | 2:59 PM
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Update...
Things are going...I've had a few auditions lateley. One for a SAG 24 Hour Fitness commercial and another with Nevada Theatre Company for a play that will run in the morning in different schools. Last week I did my substitute teacher training and I'm good to go starting sometime this coming week. I don't really now if I will like it or not, but I'm excited to see what happens.
Other than that, everything seems to keep moving along...
posted by Joe | 1:49 PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2004 We're Home
Our trip was great. Three days in San Francisco and three in LA. We were able to sleep in everyday, compulsively overeat and entertain ourselves to death. You know it's a good trip when you are completely ready to come home.
My mom survived the kids and they were very happy to see us return. Debbie will tell you all about the food, so I'll give you a quick entertainment synopsis:
1. The Producers (Touring company) in SF was great. It was opening night and fun to see them fight through a few technical problems.
2. Stand-up Comedy in SF-7 locals. It was OK. One girl was great.
3. Friday Night Lights (movie). I loved it...one of the five best sports movies ever. I think Deb fell asleep.
4. The Groudlings all improv show. The hilight for me. My old teacher, Jeremy Rowley, was in it...along with Jordan Black (who rocks) and the lady who played "Brow" in Austin Powers. The celebrity guest star was the girl from Yes, Dear.
5. Improv Olympics show. Yeah, it sucked. It was worse than the worse comedy I had ever seen before. Bad.
6. Mean Girls (movie). I thought that it was funny. I also think Lindsay Lohan is a real actress.
7. Garden State (movie). So glad we caught it in the theater before it left. We saw it at a really nice theater on Sunset/Vine. Tickets were $14, but everything was great. The movie made me want to be an actor...oh yeah...
posted by Joe | 3:06 PM
Friday, October 08, 2004 Not Much To Say
Sometimes life just moves along. Nothing too exciting. Tomorrow I will end a stretch of 12 days in a row at work...I've played the same part all 12 days and I have to say that as fun as my job is, I'm ready for a break. I will be off work for 8 days starting Sunday. Mom comes in tomorrow to watch the kids while Debbie and I leave for our anniversary vacation next week. I'm looking forward to it.
posted by Joe | 9:43 AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 Nevermind
It's hard. You wait for something, anything, to happen. Everyone is always asking how its going. You can't tell if they are honestly interested or secretly judging the decision to do something seemingly impossible with your life.
I used to have huge emotional swings...not really swings because I never really got too excited. Just huge depressive slumps during the bad times. (This was in my old church life.) I've tried to see this new career more realistically. I will fail at most every audition I do. The problem with that is I get excited when something actually happens. I don't really do excitement as an emotion very well. Since I was a little kid I was embarrassed to be too happy or excited. It's hard to get used to allowing that emotion into my phsyche. It's incredibly humbling when you get excited about something too early...
All of that as a preamble to say that the Travel Channel shoot has been moved...to the week of October 10. The week I'm going to be out of town celebrating 10 years of marriage to the love of my life. I'd rather be there, but damn it, I almost was able to do both.
There's still a chance it will film on a day I'm in town...but they won't work it around me. They'll find some other desperate actor to take my spot, my check, and my credit on my resume.
So there...I threw up on you guys to avoid a depressive slump. Just give me a few days before you ask if I've gotten any new jobs...but then start asking again because if you really care I want to be able to let myself be excited with you. And if you are judging me, stop it because I do it enough to myself. Lots of love.
posted by Joe | 11:28 AM
Monday, September 27, 2004 Short career update
I got a little job on a Travel Channel show that shoots early wednesday morning. I play a parimedic who tries to get a lady in labor to leave the blackjack table. The pay is only a few hundred, but it will be cool to do a national TV show.
posted by Joe | 10:26 PM