Pleasant Discoveries

These last couple of weeks have been utterly full of pleasant discoveries. One is that I actually have another full month before returning to grad school to teach and take classes. This gives me lots of time to continue reading for pleasure instead of academic reasons (I just picked up, "I Am Spock" yesterday at Half Price Books.), to continue designing my "Intro to Creative Writing" class so that it's exactly how I want it, and most importantly, more time to write.

I've been working on several thesis essays. One is called, "Razzle Dazzle" about my time as a kid completely obsessed with the idea of becoming a Broadway star. Another is called, "Star Child" and it details my mother's fascination with all things alien during my time growing up, and a third is called, "Crazy Fan" about my life in Star Trek up 'till now. (All those titles are temporary.)

But as usual, you can read a few of my thesis essays in progress at www.allaboutmymom.com Or, just click HERE for the link. The site name is kind of a misnomer. It's not really all about my Mom, but she is the framework through which I tell a lot of stories about my own life in memoir format. I also wanted to create a url that was difficult to find for people who might accidentally stumble upon it, as it's a major work in progress that I really only want read by friends, family, and people who already know me or my writing.

The Huey Lewis concert is NEXT WEEK. We'll be in the cheap seats so you better believe I'll be bringing the binoculars and the video camera. I'm sad to report that my getting in contact with the marketing people at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds with my IPR (Indiana Public Radio) credentials didn't result in me getting any closer to Huey Lewis. I was pitching an interview...they must've smelled the "crazy stalker" through the voicemail that I left. (For the record, I really was going to turn it into a story!)

But I am looking for stories this year about the arts and performers. I've made an interview request for the cast of "Spamalot" coming to BSU this year and I've got my eye on all the major theaters. But if you know of any leads, any entertainers or performers coming into town with an Indiana connection of some sort, please email me or give me a call. After interviewing Ralph Winter last year, I'm looking to do more stories on the entertainment business.

But that's all jut business. Let's move onto the pleasant discoveries, shall we?

The first came in the form of an email from someone that I consider to be an old friend. We've only met once at a Disney event two years ago, but Jake and I feel like we know him as he is the creator and administrator of my favorite website www.doombuggies.com. He's good people.

Anyway, he emailed me to let me know that a few of the questions I asked him during an interview (separate segments from that interview ended up in both Geek Monthly and Haunted Attraction Magazine) now appear a book that he wrote. Really, it's just three sentences on my end, but he was kind enough to give me a byline in the book. You can take a look at it, titled, "An Unofficial History of Disney's Haunted Mansion", by clicking on this link HERE. If you're a theme park fan in any way, this book is for you.

Pleasant Discovery #2

The long and short of this one is that Jake and I were actually able to help someone with our knowledge and equipment. This, I can assure you, was a VERY nice change of pace for us. Usually, our equipment is reserved for Park Geeks or short film projects or freelance work. This is the first time we've ever been able to use it for someone else's benefit and not for our personal freelance gain. Not that there's anything wrong with personal freelance gain. But still...

A friend from church, Kerry, really wanted to audition for an internship involving video games with a group called, the Frag Doll Cadettes. The Frag Doll Cadettes are ambassadors of gaming at things like trade shows and public events. They teach people how the games work, give demonstrations, play the games with them, etc. The audition had to have a video component, and Kerry asked for our help. We were both so excited at the idea of doing something that wouldn't involve our being on camera and wasn't for personal gain that we jumped at the chance.

Kerry is tailor-made for this gig and I really hope she gets it. Here is the audition tape we produced for her below. I directed this project and Jake and I edited it together. (You may also notice that yours truly makes an appearance as a hand double and a head of hair.)

The pleasant discovery in this case is that it's honestly more rewarding and more fun to use our talent and equipment to help others than it is to help ourselves. To top that all off, Kerry was a CHARM to work with, pleasant, polite, hardworking, creative, funny, and so much more.

There's a lot going on right now in our lives, some really neat opportunities on the horizon that it's too early to discuss really. But I just want to say how happy I am to be working in the writing/video/voice over industry. It's tough keeping it all up while finishing an MA degree, it really is. But it's also well worth it, and I look forward to this upcoming year, even though it's very likely that it's going to kick my rear end.