Jan 5, 2016

The end of the year and the beginning of a new one.

In which I didn’t post enough, and can’t possibly write down all of the weird, wild and wonderful things that have happened to me since last posting.

But I have been thinking a lot about how one measures a year in the life.

Inspired by Steven Soderberg’s 2014 list of all the media he consumed (and Rent, of courseI kept track of all of the movies, TV, books and live events that I consumed in 2015. 

The list is not complete. I’m certain I forgot to write down something, but I guess we’ll never know…

Here you go:

WHAT I CONSUMED IN 2015:

82 MOVIES (If I could, I’d see every movie released every year. I love movies. I think this list represents a good mixture of old and new. If I was to do it again I’d denote which movies I saw at home and which movies I saw in the theater, as they are very different experiences. Please note if it’s on this list twice – Star Wars! Jurassic World! – it’s because I saw it twice.)

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32 LIVE SHOWS (Both theater and concerts. I could write 1,000 words about each of these experiences. This list doesn’t nearly do it justice. I also noticed that I didn’t include the shows that I acted in nor where I saw these shows performed. Each one of these was a powerful emotional experience for me, whether I liked them or not. I love live performance, but it’s also the hardest to convince myself to get out for. Most of the time, honestly, I’d rather be at home in my pajamas….but in 2015 I got to see D’Angelo perform, which was a dream come true!)

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24 BOOKS (The list I’m most proud of. I averaged two books a month. Over the weekend I bragged to my Grandmother about this and she scoffed, as she reads a book EVERY TWO DAYS!!! Touche, Grandma.)

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11 HAUNTS (Hmmm….this doesn’t account for the 50 shows I performed in “Urban Death”, or the three times I hosted “Serial Killer Speed Dating”, so consider this list incomplete. Or, at least, limited.)

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125 TV SHOWS (Woof. Also note that many of these shows were binge-watched. In an era of Netflix dropping multiple episodes at the same time it makes it easy to sit down for two episodes of “House of Cards”. Also note that none of this was watched passively. Gone are the days of flipping through the TV to see what’s on. Everything I watched was because of a deliberate choice. I also felt that no matter how much I watched there are still a thousand other TV shows that are “must watch”…There’s simply too much. Admittedly, I don’t like it. I like the self-contained world of movies. I find TV watching to be a bit overwhelming. But, of course, it’s also insanely entertaining, and where I spent most of my media time. Reading this list you can see the kinds of shows that I devoured.)

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Please note that this doesn’t nearly cover all of my media consumption. 

PRINT: I subscribe the the LA Times (Thursday - Sunday), Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Playboy, LA Magazine, Hollywood Reporter and Rolling Stone, and I get NY Magazine and TIME from work. And then there’s the vast swath of internet browsing, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates I consume constantly. 

COMIC BOOKS: I stopped keeping track of those a while back, but I assure you I did my best.

WRITING. Most days I write three pages morning and night, so six pages total, plus any projects I’m working on. I can safely say I wrote 500,000+ words this year.

And last but not least, MUSIC: I listen to music ALWAYS. If I was to keep a list of every song I listened to it would be massive, and exhausting to keep track of. 

But this is my year. A year in media consumption.

I’m proud of myself for writing this list. For keeping track and for paying attention to my year.

In many ways I’m surprised that there are so many titles on this list, as I always feel like I don’t have enough time to sit down and watch/read something.

I’m always trying to find a little bit more time to exercise, visit friends and family, eat, travel, cook, clean, sleep, and most importantly: spend time with Jessica. I take classes in both writing and acting and I work 40 hours a week. Not to mention my commute, which in Los Angeles is famously dreadful.

But, clearly, I do find the time. And this list proves that I did just that. 

I live a wonderful and exciting life that just gets better and better, and if anything, this list reminds me of that fact.

A big year. A good year. Time well spent. 

Here’s to 2016.

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Nov 16, 2015

…in which the photographer took the photo just as the dragon breathed fire. 

In which Jessica and I go on vacation for a week and head on to Orlando for some theme park adventures.

To celebrate the end of the Halloween season.

To celebrate her birthday.

To celebrate us both having jobs to come home to.

To celebrate us.

And so it goes. Back to LA. Gotta head out, soon, before the roads get too crowded, but I felt like writing, if only a little bit.

After a week of theme parking, which is wonderful but also a highly polished, hot, crowded, expensive thing designed to appeal to the masses, we headed home.

She went down to see her parents for the weekend and I found myself home alone.

Yesterday I went to see “The Peanuts Movie”, which was as warm as a blanket and a hot cup of cocoa on a snowy day. Pitch perfect and gentle and friendly, hitting all of the notes it needed to. 

In many ways it reminds me a last year’s “Lego Movie”. We live in an age where computer animation can show us ANYTHING. So to have a movie that celebrates what one can do with a limited palate (LEGO blocks or Charles Shulz’s simple illustrations), and really works hard to tell a good story, I can’t help but fall in love.

Later that night I journeyed back to ZJU. It wasn’t intentional. Really, what happened was that I was stuck in a parking structure (Hell, by the way, is an LA parking structure) and by the time I got out I knew that either I could head home for the evening or go see a play.

I opted for the play. Wanted to go and see my friends. Wanted to enjoy a little black box theater after a week of Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter, Snoopy and all of their big-eyed friends telling me to forget about the world’s troubles for a while.

The show, “Telenovela” was a joy. A silly little slice of melodrama, overacting and bad Mexican accents.

I loved it. I loved it.

Because it’s always a slice of magic. Because there’s nothing else quite like live theater, in which the actors are right in front of you, breathing the same air. 

After dragons, after fireworks, after roller coasters, after sights and sounds and spectacles to come home and be surrounded by friends and loved ones.

Simply perfect.

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Nov 1, 2015

…and done. Year Three. Most popular show in theater history. Beating last year’s show, which beat the first year’s show. Amen. Goodnight.

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Oct 19, 2015

In which an idea was conceived, crafted and then executed.

In which my friends came together to help out in any way they could. In which one of my co-stars in the haunted house, Jennifer, asked if her daughter Kathryn Soo-Jin could come and photograph.

“Sure,” I said, because I wasn’t going to say no to a photographer.

In which a bar thought the idea was good, but was hesitant about us staining their walls with fake blood.

In which tickets were sold.

In which there we so many women that signed up I had to start turning them away.

In which so few men signed up I had to cut my prices in ½ to get them to come.

In which something went from idea to conception, with me buzzing in the center of it all. 

In which I put it on my birthday, my 32nd, because it felt right.

In which I beamed the whole evening, because I created something awesome.

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Oct 9, 2015

Last night Jessica and I went to The Sinner’s Soiree opening night party. 

I wrote a review of the haunt here: 

http://horrorbuzz.com/the-sinners-soiree-the-devil-is-in-the-details/

It was so cool to be in that room, surrounded by my peers. I passed out fliers to Urban Death and told people to get their friends to sign up for Serial Killer Speed Dating (I need men!).

I’ve written about this before, but there’s this part of me which simply cannot believe that I BELONG. I’m such a fan of this stuff that for people to look at me as a creative mind within this industry makes me feel like a million bucks.

The article had an immediate turnaround, so that it could be published the next morning, so after a late night out we came home and I wrote it quickly. Re-reading it again this morning I’m thrilled with how well it came out.

A fun night.

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Oct 9, 2015

Big ups to Steve Biodrowski and Hollywood Gothique for writing a stellar review of URBAN DEATH:

http://new.hollywoodgothique.com/urban-death-tour-of-terror-2015-review/

Steve has championed us for years, and it’s always flattering to get a positive review from him.

Also…this is the first time I have seen the press photos…holy crap…we look professional :)

My best friend Mike called me up to tell me a story yesterday: He was in the car with two of his coworkers and one was lamenting about how there aren’t any good haunted houses in Los Angeles.

The other turned to him and said, “Have you seen Urban Death? It’s incredible.”

And Mike sat there and listened, not saying a word, as these two men talked about how great of a haunt Urban Death is. How unique and interesting (and cheap) and truly, genuinely scary it is.

Three years ago I had an idea….

Wow.

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Oct 5, 2015

Haven’t even had time to watch it (nor have I ever seen the outside of the theater for the show)…but this is what it looked like on opening night this weekend.

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Oct 5, 2015

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