Wednesday, April 29, 2009

film school or theatre program?

I spent the majority of my night searching for popular and high ranking film schools and theatre programs offered in California, and not reading my assigned play and practicing business calc (but the night is still young). ANYWAYS... the results included: UCLA, CalArts, UC Irvine, UCSD, Fullerton, Long Beach, blah blah blah.

I came to the conclusion that ALL are very selective and very EXPENSIVE.

What I want is first hand experience in the field of acting. Here I am at Cal Poly and they do have a theatre program. I don't know how well know it is, but they do HAVE one.

So here's what I'm thinking (in case you cared). If I graduate with a business degree with a concentration in marketing that's a pretty safe bet of getting a job. AND while I'm here if I minor in theatre and psych I will be extremely well rounded. PLUS while I'm here I have now set goals of making the Smile and Nod team and getting roles to act in multiple univerity plays. ALL THE WHILE teaching myself everything I can about acting and writing. THEN if I still want to learn even more I'll pursue a MFA in acting at one of the more prestigious (*cough* EXPENSIVE) schools.

And that's that. I could quote the wise and all knowing Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with one of my favorite quotes that Mr. Will Hunting said in a certain Harvard Bar, but I'll save you the burden of having to hear it again. Instead I'll leave you with this tidbit of information.

Did you know that Edward Norton graduated from Yale with a B.A. in History while acting in multiple productions at the university?

an exciting win, an idea, a dream, and a connection

Watched perhaps the most exciting baseball game I'll ever see in my college career last night! Down by four runs in the ninth and coming back to tie it up and win in the tenth was amazingly awesome! That's all I will say about that, cause I could go on and on, but there's more to say...

I got an idea for yet ANOTHER film to write from something my economics professor said in class today. Want just a little taste? Okay, I give, think Outbreak meets Syriana with a 1984-ish twist. Huh? There's a little bit of producer and agent coming out of me right there. Always trying to find a way to market it. But that's all you get.

Last night I had a dream. It's a little hazy but I was on stage somewhere on the Cal Poly campus, in one of the theaters or auditoriums, I'm not too sure. ANYWAYS... I was performing for Smile and Nod or it was somewhat of a one man show. Either way, it was really cool. It was my first show and my friends were there and I saw them afterward. It was so nice, too bad it was only a dream, and wasn't real... yet.

I wonder if the dream has anything to do with the fact that we were just talking about surrealism and dream-like states in my theatre class and that yesterday I thought up a new scene based on Smile and Nod?

It is all connected.

Monday, April 27, 2009

what's the deal with screenwriting?!

If everyone in LA has supposedly three screenplays in there closet, how come shitty movies get made and people in the industry keep saying that there aren't any good ones out there? Is it just because they all suck? These people think they know how to write but just don't?

I mean if you think about it there is a lot of shit on tv and in the movie theaters, so how bad does something have to be to NOT get made?

Quite the quandary.

They say if you write a good enough movie it will get made. Is that really true? I sure hope it is.

I know it's a combination of talent and formula (not baby formula that, that would just be gross). Otherwise how could people shell out a great screenplay in three months? I feel I have the talent, now I just have to figure out the formula.

Maybe drinking some formula is the formula? No... that can't be it.

the actors

If I could follow a rubric of the film choices to make in an acting career these people would be at the top of the list. Plus this is also a list of the actors whom I most admire and would hope to one day have the privilege to work with. In the case of number three, I waited too long.

1) Christian Bale
2) Edward Norton
3) Paul Newman
4) Matt Damon
5) Dustin Hoffman
6) Clint Eastwood
7) Brad Pitt
8) Leonardo DiCaprio
9) Ryan Gosling
10) James Franco
11) Tom Cruise

Honorable mentions: Sam Rockwell, Harrison Ford, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Robert De Niro, George Clooney, James Cromwell.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

one of those days

Thinking too much today.

Having doubts about the future and other things.

Why can't things just turn out the way you want?

Oh wait, that's life.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

a lie, a play, a writer who wants more time, and a boring episode of a daytime drama

I lied. I said a more meaningful post would come yesterday but it did not. I'm not even going to make an excuse because that's not what I do.


Yesterday I read my third play of the quarter, The Cherry Orchard. Reading the plays have really given me insight into writing dialogue, seeing how conversations progress and just reading plays. I choose to always read them the night before they are due, that way it is fresh in my mind for class the next day, it is read all in on sitting, AND it is as if I am reading a movie script for a part I'm up for (hey I got to practice sometime).

I wish I could write more. I have so many ideas flowing right now. It's really a simple formula I KNOW it. I just need the time...

On the next episode of As Eric's World Turns... we see the most boring episode yet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

sickly hot mess

It's hot here.

I'm sick.

Don't want to do anything really (including homework or writing) which is an extremely BAD thing.

Listening to Mad World right now.

Whatever that means, I just think it's a good song.

Night Night, back tomorrow with I promise a more meaningful post.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

behind the curtain

Last night I went to go see Smile and Nod. It was eye-opening to see how much talent the kids in the theatre department have here. The improvisation they were doing and the switching in and out of characters and voices was amazing. It was the first time I've gone and definitely won't be the last time.

Hopefully sometime in the future I may actually witness it from a different view... the stage. If you know what I mean?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

a second take

I just reread what I wrote a few days ago to see if it still holds up. I gave it a few days for my excitement of writing it to settle and was hoping that when I went back to read it I wouldn't think it was absolute shit.

The verdict: I'm pretty happy with it for where it stands as a first draft.

Now I just have to keep it going.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

another day, another step forward

Today (well technically it was yesterday, but I'm not one of THOSE people so...) I did the first real writing of anything in a long time. It was way TOO LONG since the last time. It was good too, maybe the best thing I've ever written. The writing consisted of only one scene (I did have to study for a calculus midterm today too, which I ACED, but that's a different story), but in the scene was a monologue which was a big step forward. It was the first true monologue I have ever written, and although I still have to go back and look at the different steps that make up a great monologue to make sure it fits that mold, it was definitely great to get the first one notched into the old dorm room wall. Even though it still is only a first draft. But I know I can't be doing this as much as I would like since it is still the third quarter. Writing is what summer's for.

Then, literally TWO minutes after I had saved what I wrote Full Sail University calls and I talked to a very attractive sounding woman on the phone for close to ten minutes about the film school. Oh no! I may have just gotten another idea for a movie! Awh shit, not again. Come Eric, you already have 32, no scratch that 33 current projects, all in different stages of development, there's no use adding a number 34. Or is there? We'll see about this one. I can't guarantee any firm plot points as of yet, but what I can guarantee is that hijinks will ensue.

morning class

Why is it that when I sleep past my alarm, I always manage to wake up TEN MINUTES before class starts, giving me the perfect amount of time to still get there?

If only I woke up 20 minutes into class, then I could just go back to sleep knowing that I could not make it on time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

melodrama = the summer blockbuster

I learned today in my theatre class that EVERY summer blockbuster follows the structural style of 19th century melodrama.

It's really something to think about.

goal for the summer

Finish reading the book Save the Cat, and also read Story and Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay.

Write a complete first draft for my first film.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mr. Norton

Edward Norton is the man. He is one of those actors that could have succeeded in any decade and will continue to succeed, I'm sure. What he talked about here (especially around minute 18 and 20) definitely struck a cord with me. Maybe I do have the natural ability of an actor, and maybe theater is not that far off after all.

a future in theatre...

Talked with the sis tonight which was really nice cause we hadn't done that in a while. Something she said got me thinking. She asked about any school plays that the college puts on and stuff like that to which I replied, "Well if I do end up becoming an actor, I don't really see myself becoming a theater actor" and she said "Well that's where they all start."

Then this really got me thinking. Is this true? Does everyone start in theater first before they get to film or television? I don't believe EVERYONE does theater first, well maybe the school plays when they are growing up but after that it changes I believe. It's not that I look down on theater actors, not at all, what they do is a far different (and I would say more difficult) type of acting than film. They go on stage every night (sometimes for months on end) and play the same character (in the same situations) in front of a live audience. Some people may argue that's what film actors do also, playing the same character for three months or so on a movie set. But there is one, strike that, two major differences. In theater it is the SAME performance and in front of a LIVE audience. I feel this is extremely difficult to do. I mean you have to be at the top of your game EVERY NIGHT you go out there under the lights, and you HAVE to get it right on the FIRST take. You don't have 2, 10, 20, 100 takes to get it right, you have only ONE to convince the audience you are who you say you are.

At least for me there seems to be two kinds of actors: the one's who start in theater and the ones who start in film. The list can go on and on for the actors that fill each of those categories, and it is far too long for me to transcribe here. I'm not saying there are only theater actors or film actors either. An actor can be both, but I'm strictly talking about their background here, where they get started. Especially nowadays in a world where you can be a no name one day and famous the next, at least I feel a theater background is not required. It should be required to know the history of theater and its famous plays but at least for me it is a different kind of acting. Maybe I'm just a stupid, naïve, nineteen year old kid who doesn't know shit about the business, but I don't think so.

This is turning into a much longer post than I anticipated when I first started writing it, thinking I could get a short one in before I turn in for the night and get up for class in the morning.


At least for me I would see myself as a film/in front of the camera type actor as of RIGHT NOW. Theatre (notice the spelling) to me is the PRESTIGIOUS/NOBEL/HIGHEST STANDARD OF ACTING there is and I don't feel like I deserve (I don't know if that is the right word) to be in its presence. I feel like I would need WAY MORE experience before I tackle a theater role. Maybe I just don't give myself enough credit. For me I don't get nervous in front of the camera because I know the camera can't judge and nobody is perfect, but for theater I feel as if being a perfect actor is a requirement.

This went on way longer than needed and it could continue much further but I am going to stop it here.

The bottom line is...

I really don't know what the bottom line is.

I don't see myself starting in theater, but once again, we never know what the future holds...

(Every time I end a post like that I feel like I just finished a Rod Serling episode of The Twilight Zone. But maybe that's just me?)

UPDATE:  6/13/12 Three years and two months to the day since I wrote this post I realize just how little I thought I even knew about what theatre, film, acting, and who I was. This writer seems like an entirely different person than who I am today. Think of everything you have learned and where you have been these last three years. And also where you can go in the next three.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

if you're reading this...

I don't really care how many people read what I write on here. For me, it is more of a way to look back on my first year (and years to come) of living by myself and finding out just who I am. If I go back and read what I have written over the course of the last few months I can see just how much I have progressed and grown up. I feel bad for the people that will not have this opportunity, and may forget about something funny, sad, or life changing that happened in their lives. When it could have only taken a simple word or phrase to make all those emotions come flooding back.

Memories can last for a few brief seconds or a lifetime, but words last forever.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

the final scene

Today in Theatre I got the best idea for a final scene from something my professor said.

This class is already paying off!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Upcoming film by Jeffries in May could prove to be the next tipping point.


This has the potential to be my favorite class of the quarter. I know absolutely no one in the class as of right now (most are 3rd or 4th year majors in theatre or music) unlike my other classes where I know at least a small group of people. But not knowing anyone doesn't make me not like the class, it's actually quite the opposite. So as I sit in the Tenaya Hall study room and listen to the Journey classic Don't Stop Believing I remember what we talked about in class today. Topics ranged from LOST, to John Locke, to Drury Lane, to twitter, facebook and blogging (each of which I have partaken in the last 10 minutes). It really is an interesting class, but we will see if I feel the same way at the end of the year.

Up next: read Woyzeck.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

new schedule

Changed my schedule around a little this quarter. I started with Macroeconomics, Business Calculus, and Managerial Accounting. I dropped the accounting class and added a theater class. So hopefully the theater class will offer a breakaway from business this quarter and just a change of pace. But who knows what'll happen...