Posted in Comedy, Filmmaking, Writing

The Correct Answer Is…

All my life. As this is not Jeopardy, I’ll give you the question: How long have you been acting? As I’ve touched on before elsewhere, I’ve fully embraced the Shakespeare quote, “All the world’s a stage…” etc.

Whether you’re in the industry, or even the business we call show, or not, it’s imperative that you embrace the fact that you are indeed for the most part, acting. You could be acting up, or out, or even re- but make sure you know that you are in fact, being observed.

I know this may sound like morning pages, as opposed to mourning pages, however, one, it’s the afternoon, and B) I’ve thought a lot about this today, based on these are the words you are reading, put in some semblance of order, and extemporized here for your pleasure.

Now, what brings you here, and more importantly, me here today is the need to acknowledge that I may have more experience in my areas of expertise, simply because I’ve been on the planet longer, and we have roughly the same level of ability to accumulate information at similar rates. This may be why I started in the industry as an actor, however, I’ve added writer, director, producer and even magician to my resumé.

I inherited that last one, but that’s probably a story for another time, on an entirely different blog.  Image

I’ve achieved various levels of success, which can be read about at my site devoted to all things 168 Project. If you go there, be sure to come back and comment here as well.

This may goto the part where people believe they can be only one thing, however, as someone that I respect once told me, you can be more than one thing at once. Which is why some may refer to me as a filmmaker.

I made a choice this 168 season to put myself in front of the camera, simply because I believe that’s where I was led. This may create an article at the aforementioned site, that I linked to previously.  Not sure yet.

I’m not sure that I’ve hit my artificial word count yet, so, I’ll continue. A magician is truly an actor, playing the part of a magician, and the converse may be true, as all of the above disciplines goto the art of illusion. Some of my older readers may remember the logline for the original Superman movie, “You will believe a man can fly.” Lot’s of visual effects work later, we did. This includes the various incarnations of Superman as a live action TV series, as well as the sequels that came and went.

Unless they’ve been able to hire an actor that can fly that I don’t know about. In any case, how many remember the TV series from the 50’s, when the villains would attempt to shoot Superman? The bullets would harmlessly bounce off, and when they ran out of bullets, they’d throw the empty gun at him.

And then, he’d duck!!!

Doesn’t make sense, does it.

All I know is, that most superpowers have been demonstrated on screen, or in print, and there’s a VFX guy out there that can reproduce them.

However, you have to be able to imagine that they exist, by writing about them first.

Which may answer another question entirely, that I’ll put to you: If you could have any superpower imaginable, what would it be, and why?

 

 

Posted in Comedy

9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward are being ported! —

After the chilling and thrilling conclusion to the Zero Escape Series Zero Time Dilemma it has been announced that its first two chapters are being released on other devices. 999 which previously released on the Nintendo DS and later IOS is presumably being released on Steam. I would also assume that Virtue’s Last Reward will […]

via 9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward are being ported! —

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Posted in Comedy

Magic is Everywhere

As I proceed to create 5-7 minutes of dynamite stand-up magicomedy, I find it almost impossible to do so, as I have a repertoire of conservatively 2 hours that I could perform if I had the wherewithal.

Elsewhere you can find that there are four types of legerdemain, however so that you don’t have to go away never to return;

  1. Closeup
  2. Parlor
  3. Stage, and finally
  4. For Camera

The last is the kind you see on your everyday TV shows, movies, YouTube videos, etc. wherein you say to yourself, “How’d he do that?”

As someone whose a little more familiar with magic than most, I can elaborate on the other 3 forms in order to further explain my dilemma.

Closeup

An intimate gathering of friends and family get together and someone asks The Magician among you to perform. In this case, that would be me, and I do  have about 20 or 30 minutes of cards and coin magic that I could perform. I was once put on the spot by a good friend who asked me to perform for his company as I was there in a client capacity. Don’t let this happen to you! One coin trick in that atmosphere would probably be sufficient. You’ll probably be in front of no more than 20 or 30 people in this case.  If they don’t have to move around to look over the shoulder of those in front of them, you probably should be performing in the

Parlor

Wherein the next size up of illusions is required. You’re still the same magician amongst the crowd, however in this case you’ve probably been asked to perform ahead of time. You’ve brought your props, and maybe the size of the crowd has even doubled or tripled.

On several occasions I’ve been asked to perform in this capacity with a larger crowd of about two to three hundred.  Understand that depending on the location and the audience, you’ll be able to get away with most of what you’ve created for this type of act, however, they may want to see the big illusion that takes place on a

Stage

Here’s where it gets tricky, no pun intended.  You’ve probably seen the bigger illusions performed on TV specials in the past, and it is those that you may even be able to perform, however storage of the large props is an issue. Don’t let this become an entire subscription. If you’re capable of performing the large illusion, you’ve probably already figured out how to do it, and where to store the various and sundry props involved, and how to get them from point A to point B, and back again.

An aside about musical accompaniment: If you’re in a foreign country performing, you have this.  You may not speak their language, and surprisingly the converse is also true.  Don’t let your Harvard education goto your head.  If no one understands you and what you’re doing, maybe they’re at least listening to the music in the background. For yourself, you may also time your routine to the music in order to make the magic either more dramatic or funnier.

For Camera

This is the 21st Century as of this writing, and you’re going to be recorded both visually and audibly whether you want to be or not.  You may ask the crowd to not take pictures or use flash photography, however there’s always one in every crowd that will ignore you, and if you’re in a venue, there’s probably video surveillance as well.

As a professional magician, I’ve solved most of the above problems. They say that a magician is an actor playing the part of a magician, however, no one knows who they are. Well, I do, but I’ve written about them elsewhere.

I firmly believe that an actor is a magician, playing the part of an actor. I’ve solved my above problem stated at the beginning while writing this missive, therefore I ask you the home viewer, studio audience, or whatever you refer to yourselves in the 21st century:  What do you think?

Hope to see you tonight!

Posted in Comedy

Clean Jokes for Toastmasters

What do you get when you cross an atheist with a Jehovah’s Witness? Someone who knocks on your door for no reason…. I plainly admit that I stole that one, however I had the writer’s permission….

Joanne Guidoccio

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Comedians are master public speakers. I am amazed at how they smoothly transition from one funny anecdote to another, using no notes or lectern. Definitely worth watching for inspiration and hopefully, some imitation.

At your next Toastmasters meeting, consider using one of the following jokes.

**************************************************************************

A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer. He looked upward and spoke out loud, “Lord, grant me one wish.”

Suddenly the sky clouded above his head and in a booming voice the Lord said, “Because you have had the faith to ask, I will grant you one wish.”

The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii, so I can drive over anytime I want to.”

The Lord said, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking: the supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific, the concrete and steel it would take. I…

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Posted in Comedy

Tip of the Day #29: Hall H and the Wristband System

I’m adding my thoughts here. I’m still trying to get into Hall H for the first time since it was built. What are my odds?

Crazy 4 Comic Con

Wonder WomanWiththe official return of the Wristband Systemfor Hall H announced yesterday, attendees have been planning and plotting how to ensure their entrance into Hall H. Probably one of the most common questions that I am getting inundated with is how to guarantee gettinginto this room! By now you should have been able to go over the procedure of the wristband distribution as stated on the CCI Toucan Blog. If you were here last year, the wristband system was quite the change to the normal ‘running of the bulls’ associated with lining up (and camping out) for Hall H. Overall, I think the additions made to this system are good. I haven’t heard nearly as much groaning as last year and I think fans are pleased the the process is getting more streamlined. However, with any system there comes challenges or more questions. Here are some of my suggestions to…

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Posted in Comedy

Should telemarketing firms warrant getting onscreen film “credits”?

I may be doing this to finance something on the current slate.

Finance topics, trends, & specific term sheets

Has anyone ever heard of telemarketing firms being in the screen credits for a feature film? Me neither. And yet telemarketing firms have been instrumental for the financing of independent films for decades. You rarely ever hear about this unless one is involved with fraud or headline news like this one promising 1000% ROI in Burbank in 2011; http://SinCityFinancier.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/posterous-jeff-shares-a-web-site-with-you-72496

Here is an example of a Florida Film Fund that was telemarketing “kick-backs”; http://SinCityFinancier.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/no-1-in-stock-fraud-so-florida-busts-net-1-7b-since-2010-include-film-fund-kickbacks-to-hedge-funds-from-south-florida-bus-journal.

Film producers also hold hotel seminars orientated toward senior citizens. Here is what the Hollywood Reporter says about one film producer that used this approach to market to a large audience; http://www.HollywoodReporter.com/thr-esq/not-forgotten-lawsuit-ponzi-scheme-paz-vega-372735.

Fact is telemarketing is still the primary means to sell to large audiences including; private placement memorandums (PPM’s), or debt to equity conversion debentures (bonds), or EB-5 foreign investors marketing campaigns that can take a year to complete. Regular (DPO’s) direct or initial…

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Posted in Comedy

Reading together – three suggestions

I’ve been in this play, and worked a spotlight for God as well. 3rd time, who do I play? Not sure I could memorize 40 pages of script😦

300 words a day

The other day I talked about reading the Bible together. I thought I’d offer some places to start.

The immigrant. 

Ask a group of four other people to read Ruth with you, meeting once a week for six weeks. Eat supper first. Talk about your week. Then read Ruth out loud. Talk about how her life reflects difficulties people you know are facing: immigration, widowhood, in-laws, physical danger for women.

Write down all the things that you don’t understand:

  • What’s the writer referring to?
  • When is this being written?
  • What does that mean?

Take a week. Spend the week looking for answers. The next week, come back and read the whole book out loud again. What answers have people found in their living this week? What answers have people found in their digging in Scripture during the week? What have people found in conversations with people? What answers…

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Posted in Comedy

European $150M film finance fund seeks qualified film production companies or independent film studios

If Bruce Wayne weren’t Batman, etc.😉

Finance topics, trends, & specific term sheets

A European film fund is now offering short to medium term loans and debt, mezzanine and 1% pm bridge finance to a portfolio of US and UK film companies engaged in production of feature films with ‘A’ list talent distributed globally across theatrical, TV, and other platforms. Loans are secured by pre-sales contracted ‘receivables’ and government-backed tax credits and rebates discounted from 20%.

The film fund prefers film budgets between $5M and $20M with firms with a track record. The fund does not invest equity and takes no box office risk for senior debt capital. Loan facilities are set up for draw down to fund production based on approved cash flows. Terms for senior debt is 12-18 months. The Film Fund also offers 15% preferential debt capital (mezzanine) based on discounting of future sales.

Risk is mitigated though a 3rd party completion bond company engaged by the fund to monitor…

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Posted in Comedy

Batman-Superman Titled ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’

Or, how to make the Justice League movie, without calling it Justice League. If the Aquaman casting rumor turns out to be true, you’ve got five of the seven members of the league appearing in this film. Kudos to DC Entertainment for allowing the Nolanverse to rule the day.
I’ve always said, “Treat these characters with respect, and they will treat you the same way.”

Stay sane, my friends.

The rest of you now know what you must do.❤

Posted in Comedy

Praying with open eyes.

More thoughts o’ the day from Jon Swanson. Enjoy, and discuss. Thanks!!!

300 words a day

The king was up early, before the rest of the household. It was an old habit from years of living in caves and in fields. He couldn’t forget being watchful of sheep and soldiers, watching for wolves, both animal and human.
He slipped through the building and out the door, nodding silently at the salute from the sleeping sentinel. He sat on the portico, in David’s chair. He looked east, across a valley. The top of the hill, in later years to be known for it’s olive trees, was tinged with pink.

“Bless the Lord, my soul.”

It’s how he started every day. A man who spent his life giving direction to others, regularly gave direction to himself.

O Lord my God, You are very great;

This wasn’t one of his best mornings. “God you are great.” It reminded him of the little children’s prayer. God is great, God…

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