Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 Major League Baseball predictions

The 2014 Major League Baseball season begins in a little more than week from now. The first game is on March 22nd in Australia between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks. That's not a typo. The game will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground which is being converted into a baseball configuration just so they can host the opening series. The first game will be televised live at 1am PST. 
MLB has opened the season in Japan but this is a first for Australia. The idea behind this is to get more people in the world interested in baseball. I understand that but it makes for a wacky scheduled for both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. They will be playing two games that count as part of the regular season and then go back to playing exhibition games for about week until restarting the regular season again when all the other teams start their season.

Despite their wacky schedule, I am excited, as always, for the baseball season to begin. Here are my predictions for the 2014 season -

American League West 
Oakland Athletics  94-68
Texas Rangers 90-72*
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 85-77
Seattle Mariners  78-84
Houston Astros 70-92

The American League West is perhaps the toughest division in baseball. The Rangers traded for First Baseman Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers. With the Arlington ballpark now being his home, it wouldn't surprise me if Fielder hits 40+ home runs this season. The Mariners were aggressive over the offseason signing Second Baseman, Robinson Cano, to a lucrative deal and also added closer Fernando Rodney. The Angels will regret trading power hitting Mark Trumbo to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros will not lose 100 games this season but will not be out of last place  yet.  The Athletics somehow made their bullpen even stronger by getting Luke Gregerson and trading for Jim Johnson, who will replace Grant Balfour as closer. With their starting staff and strong relief corps (and their depth in event someone was to go down) the A's should finish atop the West for the third season in a row.


American League Central
Detroit Tigers 92-70
Kansas City Royals  84-78
Cleveland Indians 82-80
Chicago White Sox 76-86
Minnesota Twins 68-94

The Detroit Tigers will win the AL Central fairly easy this season. The Cleveland Indians won't provide as much of a contest as they did in 2013 now that they let pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir move on to other teams.  The Kansas City Royals will be fun to watch  especially if Mike Moustakas carries his hot hitting in Spring Training into the regular season. The Royals still lack in the pitching department though. The Chicago White Sox will look to their Rookie of the Year candidate from Cuba, Jose Abreu, to supply them with some extra power.  Some have said he is the best power hitter to come from Cuba so far.  The Minnesota Twins added Phil Hughes and  Ricky Nolasco to their pitching rotation but it won't be enough to make the playoffs.



American League East
Tampa Bay Rays  95-67
Boston Red Sox   93-69*
New York Yankees 89-73
Baltimore Orioles 84-78
Toronto Blue Jays 78-84

The AL East division could end up in any order and it wouldn't surprise me. All the teams in the division are filled with talent. The Rays didn't trade David Price like many expected them to so there is no reason why they can't win the East with their pitching. The defending World Series Champion Red Sox won't make winning the East easy though. Grady Sizemore is hoping to have a comeback year with the Red Sox as there are talks he may win the center field job out of spring training. The Yankees, as they so often do, went out and signed a handful of players including catcher Brian McCann, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, outfielder Carlos Beltran, and Japanese pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka. While I am not picking the Yankees to make the playoffs, it wouldn't surprise me if they do. If they do, prepare to hear a lot more talk about Derek Jeter who is retiring after the 2014 season, his 20th with the Yankees. Baltimore will need their starting pitchers to step up to make a run at the playoffs and as of now, they still have questions regarding their closer. They initially signed Grant Balfour during the offseason but didn't like what they saw with his phsyical so they backed out the deal. As of now, it looks like Tommy Hunter will be the Orioles closer, but how effective can he be when pitching back to back games? The Toronto Blue Jays will put up runs without a doubt but can R.A. Dickey repeat his CY Young ways when he won the award with the New York Mets?


National League WestLos Angeles Dodgers 90-72
San Francisco Giants 85-77
Arizona Diamondbacks 80-82
San Diego Padres 72-90
Colorado Rockies  71-91

The Los Angeles Dodgers have become the big spenders in baseball. Last year it didn't seem they were even going to click together, but eventually they did and there was no stopping them from winning the division. They rewarded their CY Young award winning pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, with a seven year, 215 million dollar contract extension. They played most of the 2013 season without their star centerfielder, Matt Kemp. The Giants kept most of their 2013 team in tact for 2014. The most noticeable person missing from that team will be Barry Zito. Taking Zito's place on the roster is his former Oakland teammate, Tim Hudson. Hudson is coming back from an ankle injury but was a nice pickup by the Giants for their rotation. I expect starter Matt Cain to have a bounce back 2014 campaign as well. Do the Giants have someone they can turn to in the rotation if Tim Lincecum can't seem to find his way back on track? Can first baseman, Brandon Belt, produce numbers for a whole season like he did last September? It will be interesting to see. The Arizona Diamondbacks added Mark Trumbo who they got in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Trumbo should end up with near 40 home runs playing in that hitter's ballpark in Arizona, Chase Field. The San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies will battle for last place. The Rockies will wind up in the cellar, just one game back of the Padres.

National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals 96-66
Cincinatti Reds    89-73*
Pittsburgh Pirates 87-75*
Milwaukee Brewers 77-85
Chicago Cubs 65-97

The St. Louis Cardinals have no reason to not win the National League Central again. Adam Wainright leads a great starting rotation, the bullpen has flame throwers like Trevor Rosenthal, and their offense added shortstop, Jhonny Peralta, even though he doesn't know how to spell his first name. The Reds lost a couple key names from their 2013 team but rookie Billy Hamilton should steal near 90 bases this season and will be one of the most exciting players to watch in baseball. I've seen him play in person before and his speed is amazing. The Pittsburgh Pirates didn't make much noise during the offseason in terms of moves but the bats of Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, and Starling Marte, should still keep the Pirates in contention. Why the Milwaukee Brewers signed starting pitcher, Matt Garza, to a deal,  is a mystery to me. He should have a fun time fielding more bunts in the National League. The Chicago Cubs are still a year or two from putting it all together as they have some prospects that are not quite Major League ready. A Cubs player to keep an eye on in 2014 is Junior Lake.

National League East
Washington Nationals 93-69
Atlanta Braves 85-77
Philadelphia Phillies 81-81
New York Mets 78-84
Miami Marlins 71-91

What I expected to be a close race for first place in the NL East a week ago has suddenly changed. The Washington Nationals added starter Doug Fister to an already impressive starting rotation. The Atlanta Braves, on the other hand, had two pitchers (Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy) go down with injuries in Spring Training recently and both look like they need Tommy John surgery which would likely keep them out all season. The Braves did recently sign starter, Ervin Santana, to help ease their pain, but unless Santana found out somewhere how to be consistent then the signing won't be much of a gain. The Phillies may be old but they do appear to be healthy for the first time in a while. The New York Mets also have a pitcher lost for most of the season in Matt Harvey. The Mets hope that signing Bartolo Colon, who has a great 2013 season with the Oakland A's, will help fill the void left by Harvey. Colon will likely hurt himself midseason running the bases, perhaps crushing an infielder in the process. That's just the Mets luck, right? Unfortunately for the Miami Marlins, 2013 Rookie of the Year winner, Jose Fernandez, can't start every day for the fish. Christian Yelich could become the Marlins next All-Star everyone talks about.

Playoffs:
 
Wild Card Games:
Texas Rangers defeat Boston Red Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Cincinnati Reds

Division Series: Tampa Bay Rays defeat Texas Rangers (3-1)
Oakland A's defeat Detroit Tigers (3-2)
St. Louis Cardinals defeat Pittsburgh Pirates (3-0)
Los Angeles Dodgers defeat Washington Nationals (3-2)

Championship Series:Tampa Bay Rays defeat Oakland A's (4-2)
St. Louis Cardinals defeat Los Angeles Dodgers (4-3)

World Series
:
St. Louis Cardinals defeat Tampa Bay Rays (4-1)

 
Awards:
AL MVP: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
NL MVP:  Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
AL CY YOUNG:  Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
NL CY YOUNG: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
AL COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cory Hart, Seattle Mariners
NL COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giants
AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays
NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Matt Williams, Washington Nationals















Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Comedy Olympics

Last week, the Winter Olympics were wrapping up in Sochi. I must admit I did not catch much of the Olympic games on TV but it didn't bother me too much. I have a hard time watching sporting events that have been tape delayed. I would likely find out the results on Twitter, Facebook, or on the radio before I even started to watch.

While the Olympians were working hard on their goals, I was hard at work on mine. I had been booked a few months ago for a gig in a small town of Selma, CA on February 22nd. The gig was a fundraiser for the Selma Public Education Foundation. I was asked to emcee the show and was offered pay and a hotel room for the night. I was excited for the gig but knew that I had to knock off some rust and get myself "game-ready" so to speak.

For almost the whole month of January I didn't do any shows because I had been sick so I made it an effort to get in as much stage time as I could before the February 22nd show so I would be ready.

There are some comedians without day jobs who are able to do numerous shows during a week and not get tired. I work a 7am-4pm job Monday thru Fridays though so I knew I would be pushing myself a bit.

On Monday the 17th, I went to Woodham's Lounge in Santa Clara, CA for an open mic which is ran by fellow comedian, Pete Munoz.

It turned out that 4 (3 ladies, 1 guy) of my co-workers decided to go to Woodham's that night and they ended up being the center of attention. That may not have been the best thing. The women had been drinking for a bit before I had even arrived. I then signed up on the open mic list and was slated to go up 7th. The other comedians there quickly found out that these people were my co-workers and said, "Thanks a lot!" Most of the other comedians decided to just talk to them since they couldn't get them to shut up. I thought the whole thing was funny. These are the kind of things that happen at an open mic.

It got even more interesting when one of my lady co-workers (April) ended up getting sick before I even took the stage. I think she now holds the record for consecutive time spent in the bathroom at Woodham's.

Fellow comedian, Hannibal Thompson, was on stage when Melissa (one of my co-workers) got locked outside. For some reason, Melissa thought Hannibal was the one that locked the door so she started approaching him on stage and getting in his face. Hannibal handled it well and got a kick out of it. 

When my turn came up, I did about 5 minutes of mostly older material as all I was trying to do was re-establish my timing. It didn't bother me that barely anyone was paying attention.

Another lady co-worker, Cami  thought comedy looked easy so decided to sign up for the open-mic herself. She got booed off stage. Haha. I went up to her and said, "pretty easy, huh?"  Hannibal  told her a few pointers then took a photo with her and Melissa.

Around 11:30pm or so, it was time to drag April out of the bathroom and head to our respective homes.

On Tuesday the 18th, I went to Agave Restaurant and Bar in San Jose, CA, which has a Tuesday night comedy show run by Melanie Bega. This show is an open mic which has to be signed up for in advance. I opened my set with a joke I had just came up with a few days earlier where I compare comedians to musicians. Unfortunately, I messed it up as I mixed two jokes into one. I told the audience I was going to try it again though because I needed to work out the kinks. When I wasn't on the stage at Agave, I was eating their food. I love their Carnitas Burrito!

On Wednesday the 19th, I was booked in a show at Station 55 in Gilroy, CA and run by comedian Sam Meeker. Sam is the same guy who now runs the Morgan Hill Playhouse show that I had produced until the end of last year. I had asked Sam a week before if I could get a spot so I could prepare for Saturday and he said it wouldn't be a problem.  My good college friend, Cecily, and her husband, Dan, ended up coming to the show with another couple. Also, some audience members who would frequent the 9 Lives Club shows when I did shows there, were also in attendance. This time I nailed the opening bit about comparing comedians to musicians. I was really happy with how the bit went over.  The rest of the lineup was great as well, which included Matt Curry, David Burger (first time meeting him), Daymon Ferguson, and headliner Rachel McDowell.

I visited with Cecily and Dan for a bit after the show then decided to go down the street to The Longhouse Restaurant and Bar for an open mic.  I hadn't been to The Longhouse before but the word I got from other comedians was to go up early as the crowds get really drunk and rowdy.  When I arrived, there weren't too many people there. I waited around for a while and the open mic eventually begins around 11:30pm... This isn't a comedy only open mic, but the guy who went on first was also a comedian. I then went on next. I was feeling really tired at this point but still went thru some bits as best as I could. I did my joke about Vegetarians and how I saw a billboard that said, "Becoming a Vegetarian solves 80% of Global Warming" and then a lady from the bar yells "That's true!" So of course I responded to her and proceeded to say that Vegetarians are stupid. 
(note: if you're a vegetarian, this is just a joke, relax, you're not all stupid)

I get off stage then head to the bar and talk to a couple sitting there. The guy tells me he went to San Jose State so we talk for a bit and then I called it a night.

On Thursday the 20th, I was on a pre-booked open mic at The Blue Lagoon in Santa Cruz, CA which is run by comedian DNA. I picked up my friend, Brian, from his work and he went along with me to the gig. As we usually do, we went to 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall before the show, which is right down the street from The Blue Lagoon. Brian's dad met up with us as well. I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger then asked myself why as I only finished half.

After a couple beers at 99 Bottles I then went to The Blue Lagoon and downed another beer. That was probably a bad idea and I ended up messing up the comedian/musician bit yet again. It started off really well  - I just didn't execute it properly.  The drive home seemed like forever and I couldn't wait to get to sleep.

I thought about getting another set somewhere else on Friday but decided to just take it easy and rest.

On Saturday the 22nd, I left San Jose around noon for Selma. It was about a 2 hour and 30 minute drive. I left early so I could get the full extent of my hotel stay - check in as early as possible and leave as late as possible. Perhaps it doesn't seem like a big deal, but this is the first gig I've been booked for where I have been paid and provided a room to stay. While I hope it happens again soon (and I do think I am at point in my career where I deserve it), I still wanted to enjoy it to the fullest.

I reported to the venue around 5:30pm. I had been told there would be a welcoming committee that was taking the comedians out to dinner but apparently that fell through. I was okay with that though as I don't like eating too much before performing.They still had some nice complimentary appetizers for the comedians also for the paying customers.

The outside of the Selma Arts Center is pretty neat and the inside of the theater is beautiful as well.

Look at Selma Arts Center from across street.

 View of stage from balcony.

I was told that the show had been sold out. It turns out that while it was "sold out" about 1/4 of the people who bought tickets did not show up. They likely just wanted to donate to the cause which is a bit of a bummer for those who were still wanting to see the show.

I was emcee and the other comedians on the bill were Karen Rontowski, Jason Love, and headliner Kabir Singh. I have worked with Jason once previously and Kabir many times before this show. I ended up meeting Karen just seconds before the show.

Since it was a fundraiser for public education, I started with the joke I thought best fit. My slow children joke. I phrased it a little different for them. "I'm glad that Selma is having this fundraiser for education. You would never see something like this in San Jose. I drove by an elementary school the other day and saw a sign across the street that said 'Slow Children.' I thought 'well, what the hell is the school there for anyway? It's supposed to fix that problem!' I was so pissed off I sped right through the zone." The joke got a great response.

There was one guy in the audience that definitely wanted attention... yelling from the moment I stepped on stage. It seemed like it was his first time in public. I also hear he tried to sneak beer into the theater and ended up spilling some. I ignored him though as I knew Kabir would take care of him when it was his turn to take the stage. Kabir would later say something to him along the lines of  "You're Indian? You look more like a Mexican."

Karen Rontowski, Jason Love, and Kabir Singh all had great sets. Afterwards, all of us but Karen, who had to leave early, stood outside to talk to people and sell some merch.

We were then invited to an after party at a place called Spike N Rail which shared the same parking lot with the hotel so that was very convenient. Kabir and I went to the after party and we were basically treated like rock stars. I never paid a dime for any of my drinks. The people of Selma were all really nice and appreciative. I wish I had asked for the girl's name who bought me my second drink... she was cute.  The Indian guy was pretty much on Kabir's nuts the whole time, haha. I was asked about my TV credits by some people at the after party. (Karen has done Letterman, Comedy Central - Jason has been on HBO and Last Comic Standing - and Kabir will make his Comedy Central debut in April.) I told them all I had were local TV credits at the moment and was still waiting to be "discovered" in that way. They seemed surprised. Kabir and I were the last ones standing at the bar before heading to our respective rooms. It was also good to just chat with him though I don't remember everything we discussed.

I was then really hungry. I wanted pizza. It was almost 2am. I went online to see if anyone was still delivering pizza because obviously I was too messed up to drive. No luck. I ended up going to the Taco Bell across the street and made it there just before they closed and brought the food back to my hotel.

I left my hotel at 11am and decided to stay in the area for a bit. I took about a 20 minute drive to Fresno to see the Fresno St. Grizzlies baseball team play Nevada. I had seats 3 rows behind home plate. It marks another stadium I have gone to that I can scratch off my list. Fresno St. ended up winning 11-9. 

I then headed home after my eventful weekend.

To top it all off, I'm being told the show in Selma is getting nothing but great reviews from those who went.






Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - In a Nutshell

The year 2013 provided many memorable moments for me personally (comedy shows - my favorite baseball team, the Oakland A's winning the AL West again - my favorite football team, the San Francisco 49ers being in the Super Bowl - to name a few) but also some moments I could have done without (moving back in with my parents...ugh) - WHAT'S UP, LADIES?!? ... but overall, 2013 was a pretty good year.

I decided in the beginning of the year that it would be my last as host/producer of the monthly comedy shows at 9 Lives Club in Gilroy, CA and the Playhouse in Morgan Hill, CA.  I started hosting/producing comedy shows in Morgan Hill in the Summer of 2006. In 2009, due to the success of the Morgan Hill show,  I started producing another show in Gilroy at The Gaslighter, which in 2010 became the 9 Lives Club. I booked the same talent for both shows. The Gilroy show was on the last Wednesday of the month and the Morgan Hill show was the following night.

Why did I decide to stop now?

When I started running the comedy shows, my goal was to provide comedians with a venue in which they could get some valuable stage time. This meant each comedian would get at least 10 minutes which is more than the 3-5 minutes a comedian would get at most open mic nights. I wanted audiences that expected comedy when they walked into the venue. While open mics in bars are great for building your routine, it is hard to judge your material when not everyone there showed up expecting to seeing a performance.  Finally, I wanted to pay the comedians and hopefully make a little money myself. With help from some great sponsors, I was able to establish all of these. I had accomplished everything I had set out to do. I even recorded and produced my first comedy album, Slow Child.

I felt that not only was I ready for the change but so was the audience. While I appreciated all the regulars, I could only imagine what it was like to hear a lot of the same jokes over and over each month. While I did try adding new material to each show it wasn't always a success.

Finally, I plan on moving. As mentioned in a previous blog, I am hoping to move to the Sacramento area soon. So I figured it was best to have a set date for my last show instead of just leaving randomly.

Here is a look at the comedians I worked with in Gilroy and Morgan Hill in 2013 -

January 2013 - with Griffin Daley (center) and Michael Mancini.

February 2013 - With Liz Grant, Kate Willett, and Danny Allen.

March 2013 - With Harmony McElligott and Sammy Obeid(center). Brendan Lynch was also on this show but photos of him are rare.

April 2013 - With Eddy Jayson (left), DNA, and Dan St. Paul (right).

May 2013 - with Anthony Hill, Melanie Bega, and Matt Gubser (right).

June 2013 - with Mark Pitta (center) and Norm Goldblatt. Paul Green was also on this show but not pictured.

July 2013 - with Dave Burleigh and PX Floro-Carrasco. Jesse Hett was also in this show, but not pictured.

August 2013 - with Bryce Druzin, Marc Yaffee, and Mike Betancourt (right).
Marc Yaffee recorded his comedy album in Morgan Hill.

September 2013 - with Milt Abel (center) and Pete Munoz. Sean McKenzie was also on the bill but not in picture.

October 2013 - with Dan Mires, Sam Meeker, and Cory Robinson (dressed as Mike Tyson). Butch Escobar was also on the bill but not pictured.

November 2013 - my final show as host/producer with fan favorites - Michael Mancini and Huck Flyn



After the conclusion of the November 2013 show in Morgan Hill, I was shocked and speechless when the Mayor or Morgan Hill, Steve Tate, came up on stage to present me with this Certificate of Recognition. 



Even though I am moving on myself - hopefully I will start another show in the Sacramento Area - I knew that this shouldn't mean that the shows in Gilroy and Morgan Hill should just end because I was leaving. Unfortunately, 9 Lives Club in Gilroy ended up losing their lease but the show in Morgan Hill will continue and Sam Meeker is the guy I chose to take over my duties as host/producer. I know he will do great.


Here is a cool flyer for the first show where Sam is the man in charge - should be great!











Friday, August 16, 2013

Checking in with friends from San Jose State

I've been meaning to make this blog entry for a while now but as if I was still in college, I procrastinated. Now it is on my mind and it has my full attention. It is only midnight so it is a good time to start as any. I think best at these hours of the night/morning.

I am now 31 years old, no longer a kid, but never sure I will consider myself an adult. Through my school, work, and everyday life I have met a lot of amazing people. Some people I keep in touch with better than others. Some people simply disappear whether you wanted them to or not.

With this entry, I want to share with you some of the amazing people I met at college at San Jose State University. These are some of the fellow students who have at some point worked with me, inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry, and just made life more enjoyable. While I don't talk to them or see them as much today as I would like - they've definitely played big roles in who I am today. They are all amazing talents and I suggest you give their websites and/or facebook pages a visit. (Again, this is just a sample of some of my amazing fellow students from college - and definitely not all of them!)


Netta Brielle - I knew her as Aquanetta in Theater History class but had also seen her perform in Stage Productions at SJSU. I remember her having one of the most amazing singing voices I have ever heard so it is no surprise that she is a recording artist now for Atlantic Records! She has worked with many other great artists including Oakland's own Too Short. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @nettabrielle. You can check out her website at www.nettabrielle.com and check out her latest music video "More To A Kiss" below -
                                   
Ali Hoffmann -  I'm not sure if Ali remembers or not, but she once brought up the question to me. "What if for some strange reason we were to get married? How would we spell our last name?" It's true, she does spell her last name wrong, but she is still a very talented person. I had the pleasure sharing the stage with Ali my first semester at San Jose State in a production of The Crucible. She played the lead role of Abigail Williams. I played a smaller role with 2 lines. My character's name was Hopkins. I actually remember one of my lines. It is a part where I (Hopkins) touch Abigail (Ali) and say, "She's cold your honor, touch her!" 
Ali Hoffmann
Ali is definitely no longer cold. Ali recently appeared in an episode of Major Crimes on TNT. She also played Mystique in a commercial promo for the new Wolverine movie. Even more recently she booked a gig shooting a commercial for Scion. You can check out Ali Hoffmann's website at www.alihoffmann.com. Also, check out this video short Stunt Double that she stars in that was just uploaded last week. 

Ricky Marshall -  Ricky is an amazing actor who I had the joy of sharing the stage with at SJSU in the production, Of Mice and Men. When Ricky was in character - he did not break that character until completely off the set. In Of Mice and Men, he played Crooks, and I remember that even during set changes that he was still moving around in character. One of the nicest guys in theater I have ever met, Ricky deemed with the nickname "Shaq" since I seemed to show about as much excitement as Shaq when he would ask me a question.
Ricky Marshall
Ricky, who is a member of the Screen Actor's Guild,  recently finished filming  for the movie Against The Grain in which he plays a Street Thug. He will also be appearing in a YouTube series called "Cuffing Season" with fellow SJSU Alum, Maurice Hines. Check out Ricky's IMDB Page.  Also follow his on Twitter @kingrafique

Josh Marx - Talk about a presence on stage, I remember sharing many great moments with Mr. Joshua Marx. I remember many an after party drinking with Josh. He is a tall 6'3" and would stretch out his arms and say something like "Wes! Come here..." (and that was before the drinks!) Just an overall nice guy. He is the type of actor that I could see getting Knighted one day and be in the same class as Sir Ben Kingsley. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage at San Jose State with Josh for the production of Big Love.
Joshua Marx
Since the SJSU days, Josh has graduated from Rutgers University with his MFA. He recently directed his own immersive adaptation of Frankenstein called "The BEING." He also recently finished portraying Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night  at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, New Jersey. He now lives the dream of a New York actor.  Check out his website at at www.j-marx.com

Havish Ravipati - I met Havish at San Jose State also while working on the production Big Love. I see a lot of myself in Havish. He seemed like a shy guy in the beginning but then before long he is turning heads with one liners that nobody expected. 
Havish Ravipati
Havish has appeared now in numerous short films including "Goyin on the Roof" in which he plays a "Bar Thug." My favorite short that Havish is involved with is The Chick Magnet which also features my old buddy from the Easily Distracted Theatre , Jon Chapman. Jon was a terrific actor in his own right but sadly is no longer with us. I'm sure he would be excited to see all the work Havish has done since, as am I. Check out Havish's IMDB Page as well as his website:  www.havish-ravipati.com

Cecily Ryan-Trujillo - It is no understatement when I say that Cecily is one of the most amazing people I know. One of my favorite actresses from my time at San Jose State, I first worked with her when I was taking a costume class and had to help her change into different outfits offstage. Fortunately I didn't creep her out, and I would actually get to share the stage with her in the production of Big Love where she played the leading lady. 
Teaser Trailer for "Hunting Journey"

Cecily started her own production company called Black Gem Productions. Check out the website, here. The the project is a web series called "Hunting Journey" which debuts this month. So be sure you continue to check out the YouTube Channel and subscribe so you do not miss it when it debuts! Also, you can follow the Web Series on the "Hunting Journey" Facebook page. You can also check out Cecily's IMDB Page. I suggest also watching her in the feature film Cheer Up, Sam with her now husband, Daniel Trujillo. That is, if you can find a copy of it somewhere. 



As for me at the moment, I have come full circle in life as I am now currently living with my parents again. I am trying to find work in the Sacramento Area and relocate there. I will continue to do stand-up shows whether they are here or there.

Next weekend, I will be recording a podcast with 2 other SJSU Alums, Nick Ruiz and Lance Voellger. You can follow Nick on twitter @badhole1 and Lance as well @LVoellger. You can check out the website for their podcast at www.bedfellowspodcast.com





                            


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Open Mic caught on Camera

Last week I was in Santa Cruz working on some newer material and refreshing some of my older bits and noticed someone was filming me... that someone has posted my set online. Yup, these are the sounds of an open mic... and you will also see my shitty fashion choices.

Enjoy... not sure how long I will keep this video up. This is for you fans. Haha. Let me know what you think.
WATCH ME IN HD! Haha


Saturday, March 23, 2013

My 2013 Major League Baseball Predictions
It is almost time for my favorite season. Baseball Season. The first game of the season is on March 31, 2013, as the Texas Rangers and the now American League rival, Houston Astros, face off against each other in the only game of the day. Like any other season, there are a lot of unknowns. Will the New York Yankees be able to overcome age and lot of injuries? Will the Giants be able to compete for a 3rd World Series in 4 years? Will the Los Angeles Dodgers spending spree help them into the playoffs? These are just a few of the questions to ask..... here are my predictions on how things will end... 



AL WEST 
Oakland A's  95-67
Los Angeles Angels  93-69*
Texas Rangers 87-75
Seattle Mariners 80-82
Houston Astros 60-102                                        

The Oakland A's, who surprised the baseball world last year by winning the division on the last game of the season will find themselves winning the division again. Their success will rely hugely on the pitching staff which will need a healthy Brett Anderson for a full season. The Los Angeles Angels have a great team on paper but their starting rotation leaves something to be desired. The pickup of Jason Vargas from Mariners was good (but bad for the Mariners) but Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton will need to prove they were worth the gamble. The Mariners will have more pop in their lineup with the return of Mike Morse to the organization. They will also need second baseman, Dustin Ackley, to rebound from a dismal .226 batting average in 2012. The Mariners have had a hard time getting wins even when ace Felix Hernandez is pitching. They'll get about five more wins this year but it won't be enough.  The Houston Astros make their debut as an American League team and will have a hard time not losing 100 games. 

AL CENTRAL
Detroit Tigers 96-66
Cleveland Indians 84-78
Kansas City Royals 81-81
Minnesota Twins  74-88
Chicago White Sox 72-90

The Detroit Tigers shouldn't have a problem winning the AL Central again in 2013. The Tigers added an experienced Torii Hunter to their outfield which will help lead them to more wins this season. Manager Terry Francona will have the Cleveland Indians playing some exciting baseball this year and the additions of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn should help the Tribe obtain a winning record.  The Kansas City Royals traded for an Ace Pitcher in James Shields who will help save the bullpen from being used in many games. After Shields though, the rotation is questionable. The Royals have a lot of talent in their system though and should compete for the playoffs within another year or two.  The Minnesota Twins looks to have a healthy Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer back in the lineup this year. In the heart of the order along with Josh Willingham, they should provide plenty of RBIs. Kyle Gibson should fare well as a rookie starting pitcher but the rest of the staff will have to surprise or Morneau and Mauer will be left just looking up to the Heavens and hoping for better things to come.  After good debut year in 2012 as manager of the Chicago White Sox, Robin Ventura, will have a tough time in 2013 and I wouldn't be surprised if All-Star Pitcher, Chris Sale, struggles this year after signing a big contract extension.

AL EAST
Tampa Bay Rays 92-70
Toronto Blue Jays 88-74*
Baltimore Orioles  87-75
New York Yankees 83-81
Boston Red Sox 77-85

The AL East should be very interesting in 2013 in a way that hasn't been seen for a long time. The Yankees and Red Sox could very possibly finish 4th and 5th in the division. The Tampa Bay Rays traded away pitcher James Shields to the Royals but got a nice hitting prospect in Wil Myers. Jeremy Hellickson is one of the guys that will have to step up to help fill the shoes of the departed Shields. Their rotation is still plenty good to win the division in my mind. I expect Desmond Jennings to step up his game as well now that BJ Upton is no longer with the club. It has been well documented about the Toronto Blue Jays and their many offseason acquisitions. On paper it looks like they are a team that can't be beat. Their lineup looks unstoppable. Will R.A. Dickey be able to come even close to repeating his CY Young year he had with the Mets? Josh Johnson has struggled recenly with injuries. Rickey Romero had a tough 2012 and hasn't looked great so far in Spring Training this year.  The Orioles were a surprise playoff team last year but will fall just short of the playoffs this year. They have one of the better bullpens in the majors with Jim Johnson racking up the saves but the starting pitching leaves something to be desired. The New York Yankees have already suffered many injuries going into the 2013 season to guys like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson - none of them look like they'll be back anytime soon either. They will possibly make or a trade or two but the injuries and their overall age will be too much to overcome. Getting rid of Manager Bobby Valentine won't bring winning back to Boston right away. The Red Sox picked up some nice veterans in Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino but it won't be enough to contend.


NL WEST
San Francisco Giants 91-71
Los Angeles Dodgers 86-76
Arizona Diamondbacks 80-82
San Diego Padres 74-88
Colorado Rockies 70-92

The San Francisco Giants should be the winners of the National League West again in 2013 with their dominant pitching led by Matt Cain. If Tim Lincecum gets himself back on track too then they will practically be unhittable. It will be interesting to see if Sergio Romo can succeed as a closer over the course of the whole season. The Los Angeles Dodgers will be a lot like the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League. They have a lot of star power but can everyone click together? Can pitcher Josh Beckett return to his dominant pitching days and can outfield Matt Kemp stay healthy? Centerfielder Adam Eaton of the Arizona Diamondbacks would have been my pick for NL Rookie of the Year in 2013 but it was announced today that he'll miss 6-8 weeks with an arm injury. The San Diego Padres have decent starting pitching and it shouldn't be much of an issue in the pitcher friendly, Petco Park. Their Gold Glove third baseman, Chase Headley, will miss the first month of the season with a thumb injury. Unlike the Padres, the Colorado Rockies play in a hitter friendly ballpark, and are at a lack for pitching. It will be nice to see a healthy Troy Tulowitzki again at shortstop where he makes many incredible plays. First time manager and former Rockie, Walt Weiss, will have a tough first season. 

NL CENTRAL 
Cincinnati Reds  93-69
St. Louis Cardinals 89-73*
Milwaukee Brewers 83-79
Pittsburgh Pirates 82-80
Chicago Cubs 68-94

The Cincinnati Reds have announced that Aroldis Chapman will not be converted from a closer to starter as originally planned. This is best thing they could have done. To have a guy like Chapman come into the 9th inning and throw 100 mph to wrap up a win is a thing of beauty. Shin-Soo Choo should have a fun time in hitting friendly Cincinnati after he came over in a trade from Cleveland. Not that far from making a big impact in the majors for the Reds is speedster, Billy Hamilton, who had  a record 155 stolen bases in the minors in 2012. The St. Louis Cardinals will be without Chris Carpenter yet again this season (possibly for his career) and they've also lost Rafael Furcal to an injury. Rookie Shelby Miller should help fill in for Carpenter.  A battle for third place should take place between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates will finish over .500 finally but will fall a game short of the Brewers. The Chicago Cubs will be missing the Houston Astros and will own the cellar all to themselves. First Baseman, Anthony Rizzo, should be selected to his first All-Star game for the Cubs. 

NL EAST
Washington Nationals 98-64
Atlanta Braves 93-69*
Philadelphia Phillies 86-76
New York Mets 65-97
Miami Marlins 63-99

Will the Washington Nationals repeat as NL East Champs? Ask Bryce Harper and he will tell you "that's a clown question, bro." Harper should put up even better numbers in 2013 and there is no plans for the Nationals to shut down ace Stephen Strasburg this season. The Atlanta Braves will look different without the now retired Chipper Jones, who was in a Braves jersey from 1993-2012. The Braves did acquire brothers B.J. Upton and Justin Upton who should both make a big impact in the lineup. The Braves have been studying hard this past season to find the true meaning of the Infield Fly Rule. The Philadelphia Phillies have some concerns about the lack of speed on Roy Halladay's pitches. Starter Cliff Lee will be happy to see a healthy Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the lineup and hopefully get the wins he deserved last year. The New York Mets and Miami Marlins will have a very unexciting battle for last place and it wouldn't surprise me if Giancarlo Stanton ended up getting traded from Miami to a contender for the right price. 


PLAYOFFS:

Wild Card Games:
Los Angeles Angels defeat Toronto Blue Jays
Atlanta Braves defeat St. Louis Cardinals

Division Series:
Oakland A's defeat Tampa Bay Rays (3-2)
Los Angeles Angels defeat Detroit Tigers (3-1)
San Francisco Giants defeat Cincinnati Reds (3-2)
Washington Nationals defeat Atlanta Braves (3-0)

Chanpionship Series:
Oakland A's defeat Los Angeles Angels (4-2)
Washington Nationals defeat San Francisco Giants (4-2)

World Series:
Oakland A's defeat Washington Nationals (4-3)


AWARDS:

AL MVP: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
NL MVP: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
AL CY YOUNG:  Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
NL CY YOUNG: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Bruce Rondon, Detroit Tigers
NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
AL COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers
NL COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
AL MANAGER OF YEAR:  Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays
NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR:  Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds


Well, there are my predictions for 2013... looking forward to an exciting season!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Foresight starting to be less fictional... ?

Back in 2006, Ruben Grijalva of the Easily Distracted Theatre, brought to life a play he wrote called Foresight.  I was fortunate to have a role in that production.

I'm the third one from the left.



 In 2010, Ruben brought the play back with new technology and new actors for a run of shows in San Francisco. (review of SF production here).

One of the features in the play was the introduction of Web Johnny - for a little sneak preview at Web Johnny, take a look - (clip is from Easily Distracted Theatre's vimeo page) -



Web Johnny Commercial from Easily Distracted Theatre on Vimeo.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the play, the idea of Web Johnny is then used to prolong the life of Victor Martinez, who has died, but with the technological advances, he stays around in virtual form. 

Why am I bringing this up? Today, Ruben Grijalva posted the following quote and link on his facebook page -

"Web Johnny has arrived. I don't know whether to be thrilled or file an intellectual property suit."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21827631


I think this means Foresight should go on tour in the UK