70,000 and Rising! Thanks!

70,000

This will be a short post. (The idiot that is my sense of humour, wanted to stop the post there!) A lot has happened to me since I started blogging on WordPress last year. I’ll do a very short recap for those of you who came late to the party.

April last year, I started posting on WordPress. I’d been posting things on Blogger and Tumblr but wasn’t too happy with the amount of views I was getting. I switched to WP and the first article I posted (a review of Stake Land) garnered over 2000 views. I knew then I’d made the right choice.

While I’ve never matched that phenomenal view count on any of my other posts, I’ve reached a lot more people and gotten an amazing amount of folks following my little old blog.

2012 was the year of injury and pain. I got injured at work in February after two lads decided to have a fight at lunch time (it was only with extreme self-control that I did not say “feeding time”) and when I attempted to pull the attacker away from his “attackee” and the officer holding him, we all fell to the ground, with moi on the bottom. Cue two more days of intense agony as I shuffled around work and responded to a couple of alarm bells.

Finally, after a 12 hour shift, I drug myself to the doc’s and found I had nerve damage in my lower back. Enter six months of time off work with me hobbling around like a 100 year-old with arthritis.

I then just started back to work and took couple of weeks off for a steroidal shot (two actually) at the end of the first week. Big mistake. The shots hurt worse than the nerve damage and roughly six days after the shot on 30 August, 2012 I had my heart attack. I’ve written all about it in a previous post.

I also forgot to mention that in between the steroidal shots and the heart attack, I got Freshly Pressed! Despite Tyson’s “gut feeling” that the heart attack was brought on by my getting FP’d, I don’t think they are life threatening to everyone!

It’s now going on 11 months since that “life changing” experience (that resulted in two “emergency surgeries” that kicked my arse) and in that short time, a lot of things have changed.

I no longer work in a job where getting assaulted was a daily risk, but I do miss a lot of the folks who I worked with and still feel like a Prison Officer despite my ill-health retirement.  I now work for a Las Vegas newspaper The Las Vegas Guardian Express as the Deputy Managing Editor and Senior Entertainment Editor.

And I’ve just finished a project working in front of the camera for the first time in years.

Thank you all

I’ve also made some wonderful friends through the WordPress blogging community. Natasha “Tash” Harmer over at Films and Things; Meera Daji over at Meera Daji Film reviews & other interesting posts; Katie-marie Holbrookboosh Penniman Jr over at Katie-Marie Lynch (Film Punk), Fiona Lockwood over at Fionalockwoodyr1; Marilyn Armstrong over at Serendipity; Tyson Carter over at Head In A Vice; and so many others that if I mentioned them all, this post would be, if not novel length, at least novella length.

I want to thank all you folks that I’ve mentioned and whom I haven’t the room or the time to mention. Misty Layne over CinemaSchminema also deserves a special mention, it was through her I got to write (for all too short a time) for Rogue Cinema, thanks mate, your support has been terrific.

But to Marilyn and her wonderful “other-half” Garry Armstrong – who has met and interviewed the world’s rich and famous, among others, I want to really thank as they’ve both been there for inspiration when my days felt pretty damn bleak.

Tash, Meera, Katie, Fiona, I love you all, you helped an old actor discover he could still do it. (I’ve just re-read that and thought of you guys’ references to another type of short film!) And any time you young ladies need an actor for anything, do not hesitate to call me, I owe you.

Now I must stop this long, and somewhat self-serving, post and get busy. I had many days of “too much time on my hands” and I’ve swung to the other end of the pendulum and now seem to have more things to do than time. I prefer the latter. So in closing, I’ll just say that I’m grateful and pleased and a bit shocked that I’ve gotten as far as I have in the blogging world.

I’ll also leave a link to my employing newspaper, The Guardian Express Las Vegas just in case you’d like to see all the articles that I write for them.

I raise my metaphorical glass to you all, “Here’s to another 70,000 views and posts!” Oh, and I lied about the length of the post…sorry!

A little Post about Once Bitten, Twice Shy “Thank You’s”

Thank you all

I am sure that I’ve been this tired and achy before in my life, it’s just been so long ago that I’ve obviously forgotten! I’m also that curious blend of satisfied and yet  really wanting to do it all again;  that part of me that will never be satisfied with a performance I’ve given. sure that if I do it just one more time, I’ll eventually get it right.

I found out yesterday that acting is like riding a bike. You never forget how (not totally at any rate) and while you may be rusty as hell and have trouble remembering your “good” side (Or if you’ve even still got one!) you can still hit the “mark” and act like the professional you once, briefly, were.

If I had a bucket list, and I do have to say I  have a very “half-assed” one, four young ladies who stepped out to do their first professional short film, just helped me to cross two items off my list.

Or maybe three…

After I stopped acting all those years ago, I’d always wanted to get back into it. Like everything else you plan, or want, you just never have the time, or worse, you’ve gotten too timid with the lack of practise in a craft that requires constant practise to be good at it that you know deep in your heart of hearts, it will never happen. But that doesn’t stop the wanting. That would be one item on the list crossed out.

The other item was getting to play a large role in a film. That has always been at the top of my  half-arsed bucket list. For that special privilege, I can only thank Tash Harmer. In my eyes, she took one hell of a gamble. Hopefully one that paid off. She certainly seems happy with my performance (made all the better by the quality of the actors I was privileged to work with) and despite my thoughts of, “If I could just do it again, it would be that little bit better.” I think we were both pleased with the outcome.

The third would have to be, being on a film set again. It was not a huge one, nor was it filled with grizzled old workmen who’ve plied their trade for years and seen and worked with some of the “greats.” No, it was filled with four very talented young ladies who I believe will go on to do well in their, thus far, chosen profession. They had vision, creativity, enthusiasm, concentration; apparent skill; worked well as a team, and they were damned fun to work with.

And I fell a little bit in love with each and every one of them.

And not in an, “”Eeewwwww” way either, thank you very much.

I’ve got a feeling that I will be able to write at least two or three blogs about the day of the filming, if I try very hard, but I don’t want to waffle on. I do want to thank, formally, the great team I worked with yesterday and let them know how much I think of all of them.

Steve Speak, is a brilliant actor. I believe this handsome young man will go very far, I look forward to the day that I can say, “I’ve worked with him!” Sanna Kelly, was also in the realm of wonderful. I have to say that for two such accomplished professionals, they made the old “out of practise” actor feel right at home.

Of the crew?

Meera Daji, delighted and enchanted me. I would kill to get to work with her (with any of the crew) again. I’ve only seen tiny snippets of the “work in progress” and not the finished edited project, but I know that Meera made this grizzled old fella look good!

Fiona Lockwood, another delightfully enchanting young lady who welded a pretty mean boom mic and was entirely unflappable, good-humoured and another young lady that I’d love to work with again!

Katie-Marie Holbrookboosh Penniman Jr., what can I say, your enthusiasm and excitement in the project was infectious and I’ll tell you a secret, if I could have, I’ve had adopted you there and then. You done, “Well good, mate!” 

Natasha “Tash” Harmer, had everything in her head and only had to consult her storyboards once or maybe twice. Kept track of every detail and was the best director that I’ve worked with in ages. She let the actors get on with it, which helped me no end. She is another young woman, along with the other four, who I’d work with in a “skinny minute.”

I also have to mention her boyfriend Scott Connett. Scott is a brilliant chap, also one of the all round nicest fella’s I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. In my list of mentions, I need to include Meera’s lovely parents, who chauffeured the majority of the film crew to the location from miles away and sat patiently for the extremely boring bit of film making.

Meera’s mum, who I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve forgotten her name, cooked a feast worthy of royalty for the cast and crew and it was eaten and enjoyed by all. (Folks who know me, will tell you that if I didn’t have proof of my own name in the form of a driver’s license, I’d forget my own moniker.)

I’ve just realised that I’ve waffled on for almost a thousand words, so I’ll stop now and thank everyone who worked on the film yesterday for making it a day to: remember, enjoy, savour, and if I could; do  all over again.

Just brilliant.

Mugging at Kate!