Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goodbye Theatre Perfomance & Creation at Red Deer College

I have never known a capacity for love and between people that I have known for such a short time until now. I sit in my room, drunk and crying after a long day of performing realizing how much I love people. Most specifically, I love the people that I have worked with over the past 4 months. I am leaving them and they gave me the most incredible parting gift: unrelenting love. Everywhere I turned tonight I was beset by hugs and praise. They may have been a huge bunch of crazy, drunk actors, but I could tell every one of them meant what they said. I was told that they were naming a scholarship after me, and that nobody else that had left the program had ever received such a goodbye. I am eternally grateful for working with these amazing people and having the honor of sharing a classroom with them every day. I love you all to the ends of the earth. Thanks again for these past months of awesome. I will miss you with all my heart.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Me Being an ENTP

I have recently become re-interested in Myers-Briggs Tests, a type of personality test that basically explains how you perceive the world and go about making choices within it. I am an ENTP, which are described as outgoing, inventive, attention seeking, distracted, knowledgeable and argumentative people. That pretty much is me in a nutshell, although after reading over a few descriptions of my type again I have come to the conclusion I am something of a late onset ENTP, at least when it comes to two of the biggest features of the personality: being extraverted and attention seeking.
When I was a kid I was pretty darn shy around adults. I think this came from my big reliance on my older to brother to take charge in situations. He would deal with people (mostly because he just wanted to be the leader) and I would sit back and let him do the talking. If I could call any relationship the defining one in my life it would be the one I have with my brother. When we were kids he and I were close, but a somewhat vitriolic close. He treated me like crap and I made fun. I antagonized him and he beat me up. Even today most of our discussions become arguments. I will even argue with him just for the sake of arguing, something that is very classic for an ENTP. However, my relationship with my brother is what in the end pushed me out of my shyness. I think subconsciously my choice to go into the performing arts was something I did not only for myself, but also just to get under my brother’s skin.
Another contributing factor to my social reluctance is still something I struggle with: my fear of being wrong. I have always been afraid of saying something that is not the right thing in a given situation. So I shut up. That is until a topic came up that I knew a lot about. My family and friends can attest to my ridiculous knowledge of anything I am interested even mildly in. By mildly I mean things I have only spent maybe two or three days looking up on Wikipedia rather than weeks. So if say, the subject of comic books came up, I was all over that conversation like a fat kid on cheeseburgers. One of my most fond memories of such an event was when I just started working at a local hobby store I never talked to any of my coworkers. Mostly because they were frequently old boring dudes, but partly because I just didn’t want to say anything out of line at my first job. Then the topic of palaeontology arose, which led to several ongoing discussions with my coworkers. My quick absorption of knowledge is something that has served me well in school and in my social life. I have in the past gotten A’s on tests without studying while others have spent hours going over textbooks and have barely passed. I know that sounds like me tooting my own horn but I can name just as many times where my lack of studying failed me miserably. But for all this knowledge I had, I still wasn’t exactly a confidant kid.
When I was in middle school I started getting severe migraines and I was out of school for weeks at a time. This was probably the biggest influence on my social growth, or lack thereof. From grade 7 to, about halfway through grade 11 I rarely hung out with friends I pretty much wasn’t close to anyone. I could tell this worried my mom who thought I was going to end up being one of “those kids” that didn’t have any social interaction. By grade 10 I was in a pretty bad place because really, all I wanted to do was socialize. I yearned for it, but had no fucking clue how to do it anymore. It took two choices to pull me out of my shell.
In grade 10 I was offered the chance to take part in a theatrical production that would be taken to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I jumped on my chance to do this, and I still don’t know all the reasons why. I had been taking drama for the last few months of that school year and felt like it was the only part of my day that I truly felt like I was myself. So my choice to go to on the trip to Scotland could have been motivated by that. However, I think it may have been mostly spurred by my constant strive for close friendship, and after seeing how close the theatre kids were (and how cool they all seemed) I thought this was my best chance to accomplish that. I signed up as soon as could (one of many impulsive moves I have come to thank my ENTP personality for), but the rehearsals for the show didn’t begin until the February of my next school year. This left a full nine months before I would be working with my potential new friends. At first I was okay with this, but I soon went to a pretty dark place. Come autumn I wasn’t doing so well in school, something I hated myself for. At this point in my life my plan was to become a zoologist or a palaeontologist, both careers that require good grades and a lot of science courses. I came to realize that maybe this wasn’t the career path I wanted to follow. Maybe, I needed to follow my artistic streak. At the last second I changed my second semester course of chemistry to Drama P (the more…advanced drama course offered at my school). This rapid choice was but another that I thank my personality type for because it finally opened me up to my new life as an actor. During my second semester of grade 11 I was getting a double dose of theatre kids, and I loved every second of it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an immediate change. It took me a while to get used to all these new people, which was something that frustrated me as I am an extremely impatient dude (go figure), but eventually I did bust through my wall of insecurity.
So now, here I am. Eighteen years old, in my first year of college studying theatre and I am completely comfortable with myself and who I am. I have friends I wouldn’t trade the world for and I get to spend hours a day doing something that feeds my ENTP brain, in all its inattentive, impulsive, zany glory.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Language and Girls

I taught myself the America Sign Language Alphabet last night. It took only a half hour which surprised the hell out of me. I really think I have a knack for languages or something because I have always been able to pick up on them quickly, whether it was learning Japanese in karate class or figuring out all the Mandalorian slang in the Star Wars novels I used to read.

I have come to the conclusion that the thing in a girl that I am most attracted to is their brain. Sure, I am a guy so obviously the boobs and butt count for something (although from a physical standpoint the eyes what are truly attractive) but when it comes down to it smart girls are who I am truly attracted to. And I don’t mean “I got A’s in all my high school classes so I must be smart” kind of intelligent. I’m talking about girls who are well and truly brilliant minded and are willing to talk about science or world politics or art and not get bored. I really think that smart girls are totally my kryptonite.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

COLLEGE!!!!

I meant to post as soon as I got here but I didn't have internet access until today. So here is 3 days worth of college blogs!

September 5/2011
I moved into my college residence today. It’s pretty cool, although somewhat crammed, which is to be expected I guess. I live with three other dudes who all seem pretty cool, but man, do they have a lot of stuff compared to me. I got next to nothing. I barely have enough hangers for all my clothes and yet these guys have a dishwasher, a TV, and an Xbox. I feel like poor man. I guess it’s my minimalist way of thinking. I could live on Kraft Dinner and comic books for the rest of my life and I’d be cool with it.
I think I moved into the music part of res. All of these guys are music students and I, the sole theatre student feel somewhat out of place. There are guitars and amps all over the place, one dude beat-boxes in the shower (amazingly well I might add) and there is an organ in the basement. Yes, you heard me correctly. An organ. Why the hell would you need an organ? I don’t know but I guess I’ll find out.
My sister wrote me this amazing letter about me leaving and it most definitely brought me to tears. I read it about a half hour after she and my parents left and I was alone in my room and I totally started crying all over the place. I love my sister. She is the best. I wouldn’t enjoy life as much as I do without her. I’m going to miss her so much I can’t even find words to describe it.
I guess this is the beginning of a new era of my life. I’m finally on the road to my future. Sounds lame but it’s true. I’m staring down the canyon of the rest of my life and I’m ready to jump off with no parachute. A year and a half ago if you had told me I’d be on my way to being an actor I would have called bullshit on you. Back then I was a cynical, antisocial dork. Now I am a stupidly positive (borderline na├»ve) zany nutjob who is willing to jump off of buildings for shits and giggles. What a difference. It’s like I grew down. It’s as if I am just now getting to be an adolescent idiot just as I become an adult.

September 6/2011
First day of actually going to school and it was intense. It wasn’t classes or anything but we were there for orientation and met our instructors and the other students in our program. Holy crap this is going to be a completely new experience. Especially considering how different the dynamic is in this social circle. When I got into my group of friends in high school I was kind of adopted like a lost puppy into a well-established group, but this is starting from ground zero. Even the second years who have already known each other for quite some time don’t seem particularly tight. It’s odd going from such a close community to this disparate hodgepodge of people. I guess it’s only going to build from here, so I’m forever optimistic.
There was this hot, twenty-something year old redhead at orientation and I flirted with her for like, a second but I played up to people that I totally was going to get with her just for the shits and giggles. She was still hothothot hothothot though.

September 7/2011
Classes began today and they seem really legit. Like, this is going to be the foundation of the rest of my life. I’m learning shit now that I’m sure I will take with me forever. One class is basically Professional Development in the Arts on steroids, which is just the craziest thing ever. I’m so glad I took that class last year, because now I feel more relaxed (although still stressed out of my mind) about that class.
We went out after classes to a bar and grill called Bo’s with a bunch of the other students in the program (both first and second years) and it was a blast. I think I came off a little strong and hyper, but I guess that’s just how I am in new social situations. Obnoxious and without a volume control.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Scotter & Apes 2: Rise of the Planet of the Apes









Rise of the Planet of the Apes was fabulous. It is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. I am willing to put it up there as my favourite film of this year and possibly my third favourite movie next to Inception and The Dark Knight. It is an incredible film that portrayed The Planet of the Apes franchise in near perfect form. This is what all those other movies should have been.

Pros:
- The story had more depth than the Pacific Ocean. It was an emotional story that was propelled by character and plot rather than special effects and action. Pure amazing story telling.
- The apes were marvellous. Never have “Serkis folk” looked so amazing. The motion capture in this movie puts Avatar to shame. And speaking of Andy Serkis, the king of motion capture was absolutely amazing as Caesar, as were the other actors portraying great characters such as the wise old orang-utan, Maurice and the creepy chimpanzee, Koba. I sincerely hope they bring back Koba as a potential villain for the next films. Interestingly the name Koba was an alias of Stalin before he took power. Do I smell a Russian Revolution allegory?
- The science in this movie was some of the best I have seen from any blockbuster. The original series wasn’t exactly accurate, but then again, this was before people actually gave a damn about the believability of sci-fi. The use of a retrovirus (a virus that alters the genetic code of an individual eg. HIV) was unexpected but it was exactly what the doctor ordered (oh, the irony). The apes were portrayed with amazing realism, with obvious behaviour differences between the various species seen. My favourite scene was the climactic bridge sequence where Caesar used the strengths of the three kinds of apes to his advantage, commanding the orangs to attack from below, the chimps from above and the gorillas to push a bus as a barricade to the humans’ gunfire. These moviemakers did their research.
- I wanted the movie to keep on going so badly. It just had to. I remember sitting in the theater hoping that it wasn’t over yet. On the bright side, it made a shit load of money and got good enough reviews it probably will get a sequel!
Cons:
- The human actors were not really in it much. Although this wasn’t too bad, it became something of a bummer when I saw amazing actors like Brian Cox and John Lithgow given such little screen time (although Lithgow was great as the Alzheimer’s ridden father of Franco’s protagonist). The chick was almost unnecessary. She could have been cut out and it wouldn’t matter.
- There was a bit of the forcing of references to the old series. The worst was Tom Felton’s “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!” and Caesar’s subsequent shouting of “NO!” This fell a little bit into Narmville (go to TV Tropes and look up narm) and at that moment I was afraid for the movie but it soon rose back up to awesomeness.
- Tiny plot holes. Like, why not bring in the army to shoot the fuck out of the apes? I kind of realized that if the San Francisco PD called up the army and told them that apes were attacking the army would be all like “are you kidding me?” and hang up, so that was my rationalization.

The Verdict?
Acting: ****
Plot: *****
Effects: *****
Truth to Source: ***

Overall: *****

This is the kind of movie I would want to be a part of. This is the movie that made me realize I want to become a film actor just so I can play an ape. I’ve already been a superhero. Now the plan is to be a chimp.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Ode to Humanity

I know, I was going to post my review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and I honest to Caesar typed the thing but I did it in Word and apparently my computer no likey copy paste at the moment. On a different note I've been thinking a lot about how I view the world and come to a conclusion: humans are kind of cool. It seems to me that there are too many people that hate humanity and think we suck. I know that we as a species are dumb asses a lot (take London right now for instance) but I honestly believe that humanity can only go up from here. And by up I mean literally because IMO, the only way to fix just about every problem on Earth is to jet a few billion people the hell out of here.

Anywho, I am of the opinion that people are the coolest living thing ever to arise on Earth. Why? Well, last time I checked bears or sharks or giant squid never made it to the moon or can look at bacteria or create another reality (yes, the Internet is another reality people!). So, in short, humanity rocks. And not just because of all the things we have done. Just at look at what we are. We are conscious beings. For all we know we are the only ones out there. That is kind of scary. And as conscious beings I believe we have a responsibility to all of reality to try and discover as much about it as we can because if we don't who will? In turn we can then celebrate reality. Just listen to Symphony of Science or that Discovery Channel commericial with a the "boom deeyadda's". The universe is awesome and as intelligent, thoughtful and most importantly, emotional beings we have the capability to understand, explore and celebrate reality. No other creature can say that. That is why we rock. Sure we make mistakes, but we are a young species. Lions have been around longer than us. And look at all the amazing things we have managed to accomplish in that time. We kick ass.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scotter & Apes

I love apes. They are most certainly my favourite group of animals along with cats. My favourite Disney movie? Tarzan (tied with The Lion King, but whatevs). My favourite novel? Congo, by Michael Crichton. My favourite documentary? The ape/human episode of Life of Mammals.

I remember when I was a kid I would run around the house pretending to be a mountain gorilla, or a common chimpanzee, or a Bornean orangutan and would only speak to my siblings or parents if they used the sign language I had learned by reading about Koko, Washoe and Chantek and all the other signing apes. I loved it. Every time I see an ape I'm reminded of my freedom when I was kid of just running around like an ape whenever I wanted. And climbing on everything. I miss that. I love climbing on stuff. Any chance I get I will make an excuse to climb. Trees are the best though. Nothing beats climbing a big ass tree to the point where the branches don't even hold your weight anymore.


When I was about 7 I was watching TV at my aunt and uncle's house in Nelson, BC. All my siblings were with me, along with my uncle and we were just flipping channels trying to find something to watch. At this time my siblings and I had very different tastes in television, which is what tends to happen when the eldest child is war-mongering and sports obsessed, the second kid is in love with all things animal/superhero and the two youngest are 5 and 4 year old girls who like...pink things. Anywho, as we were channel surfing I spied that some movie with talking apes was on and immediately yelled "let's watch that!" Everyone else decided they didn't want to watch that crap and my first chance to watch the original Planet of the Apes was quashed.

My next experience with the series was when I was 10 and saw the ending to the Tim Burton Apes film and I thought it was the coolest thing. It was only about 20 minutes of the film and I adored it.


Next came my first chance to watch a whole Apes movie from beginning to end. I saw Conquest of the Planet of the Apes when I was 14 and thought it was some awesome shit. Like, it was the seriously one of the coolest concepts for a movie I had ever seen (by this time I was something of a sci-fi/action snob already, so calling this old film good was pretty amazing) although the low budget for the movie was obvious, it was well acted and well scripted. Then I saw War of the Planet of the Apes and turned it off halfway through because I realized how downhill it was going. I decided to check out the Tim Burton one for realz and see if I would actually like it. Suffice to say it did not live up to expectation, especially after remembering how epic it felt when I was ten. Then again, Batman & Robin still felt kind of epic when was ten, so no surprise there. I felt let down by all of the films but Conquest to the point where I didn't even want to see the first 3 movies.


Now, it's 2011 and I'm 18 years old. I first saw the trailer to Rise of the Planet of the Apes about three months ago and I totally freaked out. I could tell, this was going to be the movie that would live up to my expectations for this series. This was gonna be the movie that all the others should of been. And I was damn right...

Review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes along with my other feelings on all things simian will be posted tomorrow, cuz I am damn tired.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Malarkey Shenanigans


Malarkey Shenanigans is defined as:

"Things you totally should not do but are just too damn awesome so you do 'em anyway".


Malarkey Shenanigans include, but are not limited to:

Running around in your underpants
Drinking...too much
Falling on your face and splitting your chin open
Jumping off cliffs
Climbing on rooftops
Blabbing about Buzz Lightyear while getting facial reconstruction surgery
Burping way too loud
Being too loud in a public place
Running through the streets
Swimming in rivers
Eating a whole box of donuts to yourself
Drinking 3 large slurpees in one day
Climbing stairwells
Sprinting through your neighbourhood in a superhero costume
Making an epic entrance into a room when it is unwarranted
Screaming for no reason
Climbing trees
Quoting movies at inappropriate times
Singing in public
Swimming in your clothes
Trying to climb up stairs on your back (just try, I dare you)
Lyeing on the ground in weird places
Climbing fences
Sliding down banisters
Shooting toy insects around with a slingshot
Watching YouTube videos when you should be doing something else
Using exacto knifes as throwing weapons
Trolling the interwebz
Jumping off things that really should not be jumped off
Climbing on things that should not be climbed on
Running through things that should not be run through

You've probably realized by this point that I may have done one or two (or all) of these things. The list may be changed sooner or later.

"And what kind of malarkey shenanigans--" -Peter Parker

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Green Lantern is Not That Bad




Going into this movie I thought it would suck. Reason being is I always get a preconceived notion after reading reviews and almost make up my mind before I actually go watch a movie. Plus, the trailers I had so far seen were not that spectacular because they kept on showing the same shit over and over again. Depressing. Anywho, let’s get on with it.

Green Lantern was good. I wouldn’t say it is The Dark Knight material, but it’s decent. It’s up there with (some people might hate me for saying this) the first X-Men Trilogy (not a big fan). Let’s first list the pros and cons:

Pros:
-Ryan Reynolds actually was the consistently good aspect of the movie, which is surprising because I wasn’t exactly happy with his casting as Hal.



-The effects were pretty badass. Gotta love thousands of different GL’s that look totally sick and tricked out in their own distinct suits. The Guardians and Oa were both incredible as well.



-Secondary extraterrestrial characters were all perfectly cast. Mark Strong stole the show with his overall 10 minute portrayal of Sinestro.



-The basic story was not that bad. It had some rather random plot deviations, but overall it was pretty generic for a Green Lantern origin story. There’s no trumping A New Frontier with this, but meh. It’s hard to beat Darwyn Cooke in reimagining superheroes anyway.

Cons:
-Parallax was lame. It was Galactus from Rise of the Silver Surfer with a face. Why was he a Guardian? What happened to the epic insectoid dragon of death that possesses beings and feeds off the fear they instil in others. If I ever see a galactic cloud of death replace an epic villain again I will loose all faith in superhero cinema (not really, but it sucks and is old already).



-Hector Hammond….should never have even been in the movie. I didn’t care about him, his ties to Hal were barely explored, his powers were blah, he squealed for no reason, and I just got annoyed with the acting. He was trying to be creepy but instead it was just goofy.



-Random plot points that were shown and then just barely touched on throughout the rest of the movie. Hal’s family were pretty much useless beyond inspiring him to play Green Lantern hot wheels. Hector Hammond, as mention above, was useless. Dr. Waller’s little flashback origin revealed very little and was simply ditched right after it was shown.

The verdict?

Acting: ***
Plot: ***
Effects: ****
Truth to Source: ***



Overall: *** 1/2

Like Brother & Sister





















I was floundering around the interwebz today and found myself landing on the addictive site known as TV Tropes. I have devoted eras of my time to this goofy website and really should never be aloud to read anything on it anymore because I just get glued to my seat the moment the URL pops into the address bar…anywho, this particular visit drew me to a trope called “Like Brother and Sister”. This trope is defined as:



“Sometimes, two characters of the opposite sex are very close - so close that you might expect them to be dating. Except they're not. They admit that they matter a great deal to each other, they would die for each other, and that they can't imagine life without each other. They aren't just any pair of friends. They're as close as family. They're like brother and sister!”

Reason being is that I have two friends who have been ridiculously close to me for the last 2 years and they both happen to be chicks. And I am constantly “shipped” with one or the other all the time, by teachers, family and other friends. It’s actually annoying, especially when I have previously dated one of them (our friendship basically began with us dating). The two girls are as follows:

Crazy Lady: Named because she does insane things that make you think she’s crazy (see trope “Exactly what it Says on the Tin”). She’s possibly the most genuinely happy person I have ever met and basically the most positive person in my life. The twin sister I never had.

Shmoopsie-Poo: Okay, this nickname lends itself to the so called “shipping”, but I don’t care…anywho, she’s someone who I basically just make fun of and she does the same to me. Sounds terrible, but I’m cool with it. Although we come across as antagonistic towards each other we always have each other’s back even when someone else doesn’t. Pretty much an older sister.

As a good explanation of the shit I go through in order to avoid being mistaken for dating these 2 is the time I spent in the room of my (former) English teacher who I will now call TrollFace (for he looks like a Troll Face). I was working away after an exam on this art thingie that I was tasked to work on by my class. I got to talking with TrollFace (who is, BTW, one of the coolest teachers I’ve ever had) and somehow the topic of conversation swung onto my relationship with Shmoopsie-Poo. TrollFace inquired as to whether or not we are “together” and I was all like:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/entries/icons/original/000/005/180/fuckthat.jpg?1302809593






TrollFace told me he thought so because Shmoopsie-Poo and I are never seen around him without each other (hence the “got each other’s back” comment previously) and I told him we were just really close. He then said that in high school a dude and chick that are as close as Shmoopsie-Poo and I usually are dating and so he just assumed. I was still all like:





http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/entries/icons/original/000/005/180/fuckthat.jpg?1302809593

I then explained to TrollFace about how my family had been trying to get me to date Shmoopsie-Poo and how a bunch of my friends thought I should date Crazy Lady and suddenly TrollFace jumped to the inquiry of whether or not I was dating Crazy Lady and my expression finally settled on:

http://vglounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Are-you-serious.jpg

I then had to explain to him that I was just really close with her too. It was pretty funny seeing him conceptualize that I wasn’t dating these people…

While strolling through tropeville I found a quote from one of my favourite Justice Leaguers that pretty much sums up my relationship with these two girls (mostly Shmoopise-Poo).

“She loves me. Seriously, she's like the big sister I never had. Only, you know, short.” –Wally West on Shayera Hol