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 him 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.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

2013 Major League Baseball Predictions

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... 

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 


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)


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."

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

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hearty Tales

It is a Friday night and I'm up late, knowing that I don't have to go to work tomorrow. I have been trying to slowly quit caffeine altogether but today I caved and went to Starbucks for a Frappacino so that might be another reason why I'm still awake.

I used to go to Starbucks every morning or another coffee shop if it wasn't Starbucks. I've realized this probably wasn't the best thing for me though as I have a heart condition. I have an irregular heartbeat and the amount of caffeine I was drinking probably wasn't the best thing.  I recently saw my doctor and she told me it won't be too long from now (2 years tops) until I have heart surgery. It is obviously not something I like to think about so I usually don't even talk about it as well. The surgery will likely involve getting one of my valves replaced with a mechanical valve. I've know all my life that it was going to happen, it was just a matter of when.  I won't be much different from the Terminator at that point except you should still be able to understand what I'm saying.

Getting up for work in the mornings have been tougher without coffee, I must admit. In the last 2 weeks though, I've only ended up drinking coffee twice which I think is a big improvement. I also haven't had any soda over that time frame. Sometimes if I want that feeling of drinking a soda then I just end up buying a sparkling water. However, I will not drink decaf coffee.

When I first started doing stand-up comedy, I would drink 1 or 2 red bulls before I did a set. I don't have any reason to that anymore. Even on days when I am tired, I always get a natural adrenaline rush before going on stage.

Robin Williams had a similar heart surgery about 3 years ago and he still has loads of energy. I would have never guessed him to have had a heart problem in the first place - he discusses the surgery a bit in this clip -

I think what I'm looking forward to the most is having another scar. Back in 1994, when I had surgery on my stomach, I ended up with a cool looking scar. I hope the next one is just as good. Unlike that surgery, I hope they don't do any extra work while they are in there. (When I had stomach surgery for my gall bladder, the doctor just decided to take out my appendix too with no warning.)

There is probably some material that I get from this whole experience too (like Robin did) so that's a good thing.

While we are on the subject of my heart - I had a show Monday in San Francisco in which my current manager at my day job attended with her boyfriend and another friend. Well, actually, my manager's last day at work was today.

 I had been doing a bit recently where I talk about my manager and how attractive I thought she is and how I did a background check on her (by that, I meant checking the back of her hand to see no ring). I knew that dating the manager at your job is frowned upon so I talked about getting her in trouble so she'd get fired but then having another job lined up for her already so I would look like a hero and she could still buy me stuff....

Now that she was at one of my shows, I asked myself, "Do I do this bit as I have been lately?" I started to go through the bit and said "She's fuckin hot" but then I stopped myself because I felt bad for the boyfriend. I had met him right before the show and he seemed like a cool guy and I didn't want him to kick my ass. Surprisingly, after the show, the boyfriend and her both told me they wanted to hear the whole bit. I didn't share it though. If they read this blog by some chance then they'll know a little more. We all ended up going to a bar after the show for a quick drink and I actually ended up talking more to her boyfriend than anyone else. We mainly talked about baseball...I guess he knew the way to my heart.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tomorrow, February 24th, is the  85th Academy Awards Show which is award to the best in cinema. I try to see as many of the nominees as possible and was fortunate enough to see a lot of the nominated films over the past year (including all the Best Picture nominees). Here are my predictions for the winners tomorrow night. Let it be known that I saw absolutely none of the documentary nominees, full or short. Who I think will win is listed in bold although that doesn't always mean I want them to win so I've marked those picks with an asterisk. 

Best motion picture of the year
“Argo” *
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” 
“Django Unchained” 
“Les Misérables” 
“Life of Pi”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables”
Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
Denzel Washington in “Flight”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” *
Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin in “Argo”
Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams in “The Master”
Sally Field in “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables”
Helen Hunt in “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”

Achievement in directing

“Amour,” Michael Haneke
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi,” Ang Lee
“Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg
“Silver Linings Playbook,” David O. Russell

Best foreign language film of the year

“Amour,” Austria
“Kon-Tiki,” Norway
“No,” Chile
“A Royal Affair,” Denmark
“War Witch,” Canada

Best animated feature film of the year

“Brave,” Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
“Frankenweenie,” Tim Burton
“ParaNorman,” Sam Fell and Chris Butler
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” Peter Lord
“Wreck-It Ralph,” Rich Moore *

Adapted screenplay

“Argo,” Chris Terrio
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi,” David Magee
“Lincoln,” Tony Kushner
“Silver Linings Playbook,” David O. Russell

Original screenplay

“Amour,” Michael Haneke
“Django Unchained,” Quentin Tarantino
“Flight,” John Gatins
“Moonrise Kingdom,” Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Mark Boal

Best documentary feature

“5 Broken Cameras”
“The Gatekeepers”
“How to Survive a Plague”
“The Invisible War”
“Searching for Sugar Man”

Best documentary short subject

“Inocente,” Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
“Kings Point,” Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
“Mondays at Racine,” Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
“Open Heart,” Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
“Redemption,” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

Achievement in cinematography

“Anna Karenina,” Seamus McGarvey
“Django Unchained,” Robert Richardson
“Life of Pi,” Claudio Miranda
“Lincoln,” Janusz Kaminski
“Skyfall,” Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

“Anna Karenina,” Jacqueline Durran
“Les Misérables,” Paco Delgado
“Lincoln,” Joanna Johnston
“Mirror Mirror,” Eiko Ishioka
“Snow White and the Huntsman,” Colleen Atwood

Achievement in film editing

“Argo,” William Goldenberg
“Life of Pi,” Tim Squyres
“Lincoln,” Michael Kahn
“Silver Linings Playbook,” Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

“Hitchcock,” Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
“Les Misérables,” Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

“Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli
“Argo,” Alexandre Desplat
“Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna
“Lincoln,” John Williams
“Skyfall,” Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted,” Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi,” Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables,” Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Achievement in production design

“Anna Karenina” (Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer)
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright)
“Les Misérables” (Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson)
“Life of Pi” (Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock)
“Lincoln” (Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson)

Best animated short film

“Adam and Dog” (Minkyu Lee)
“Fresh Guacamole” (PES)
“Head over Heels” (Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly)
“Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”” (David Silverman)
“Paperman” (John Kahrs)

Best live action short film

“Asad” (Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura)
“Buzkashi Boys” (Sam French and Ariel Nasr)
“Curfew” (Shawn Christensen)
“Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)” (Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele)
“Henry” (Yan England)

Achievement in sound editing

“Argo” (Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn)
“Django Unchained” (Wylie Stateman)
“Life of Pi” (Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton)
“Skyfall” (Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers)
“Zero Dark Thirty” (Paul N.J. Ottosson)

Achievement in sound mixing

“Argo” (John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia)
“Les Misérables” (Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes)
“Life of Pi” (Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin)
“Lincoln” (Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins)
“Skyfall” (Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson)

Achievement in visual effects

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White)
“Life of Pi” (Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott)
“Marvel’s The Avengers” (Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick)
“Prometheus” (Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill)
“Snow White and the Huntsman” (Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chris Hymes - Gone too Soon

Folliwng the San Francisco 49ers win in their playoff game today against the Atlanta Falcons to move onto the Super Bowl, I was full of excitement and joy. The game was intense and emotionally draining.

Then a different emotion occurred. Sadness. I learned today that a fellow friend and comedian, Chris Hymes, passed away yesterday. Far too young for sure.

In 2007-2008, my buddy Brian Salwasser and I started an open mic comedy night at El Patron Restaurant in East Side San Jose. It was shortly thereafter that Chris decided he wanted to do comedy too. He thanked me for helping him as he tried to break into comedy but I shrugged it off since it was no big deal. After all, it was the comedians and myself that should be thanking him for all the stage time he provided for allowing us to perform at the restaurant. It didn't matter if the stage was only a piece of plywood on a couple cinder blocks (it was a Mexican Restaurant, what'd you expect?) because it was valuable stage time. After the open mic came to its end (business got bought by new owner), Chris had met many people through the show and through networking that he continued to perform elsewhere.

Later on, he was no longer in the comedy scene as much but eventually, Chris would have an amazing girlfriend, who also turned out to be one of my friends from Theatre in college. Every time I saw them together it would make me happy because they were happy. Chris had recently lost a lot of weight too and was updating how many pounds he was losing on facebook. It seemed like things were going well for him.
He had just celebrated his birthday on January 11th...

I'll miss you, Chris. Thanks for everything.

Here is a clip of him from Tommy T's in 2008 - his set begins around the 1:35 mark -

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What's News 2

How's it going everyone? That's nice. I'm doing just fine myself. I hit up a couple of open mics this week as I try to get back in the swing of things for 2013. It felt good to be back up on that stage. I was going to hit up another mic tonight as well but I slept on my neck wrong last night which makes driving a real pain when looking left.... so instead, I'm writing this blog. Let's see, what's been happening in the world lately....

McDonald's Restaurants in the United Kingdom have announced that they will be making a change to their Happy Meals by replacing the toys with books. (Article here) By giving away the books with Happy Meals it will make McDonald's the number one Children's Bookseller in the UK. They might as well give away dictionaries while they are at it that include a new definition for the word "Happy."

And then there is the story of Notre Dame Linebacker, Manti Te'o', who had his girlfriend die from cancer during the season. Except wait, she never really existed? Story below...
So like the video states, people now believe that Te'o got Catfished. This is why I have always been more of a dog person. I still don't understand how he could go so long without knowing his girlfriend wasn't even real.   Was he in on the whole story himself? Did he go along with it to add to his legendary season so everyone would say, "Wow, what a strong and courageous man!" I'm not sure but if he was going along with it then I don't know why he couldn't make up a better story for a fake girlfriend. Your fake girlfriend can do anything you want and that is what was chosen? If the Catfish scenario is true then yes, it is really messed up -
but even  this guy recognized something fishy was going on.

With all the recent school shootings and tragedy - it was obvious that something needed to be done in America to help protect our students and staff. Not just at schools too but everywhere. I think we can all agree on that. But  then there was this ad that came out from the NRA that asks a dumb question -

Am I hearing things? Did they just ask "Our Obama's kid's more important than yours?" Why do Obama's kids go to schools with guards? Good question, NRA, but you seem to forget that Obama is the President of the United States of America. OF COURSE his kids are going to go to a school with guards. The school they go to also costs more money. Is Obama going to send his kids to a public school? In DC? Ha, yeah right! I agree that all kids should be safe but asking why the President's kids have it better is like asking why Bill Gates has a better and faster computer than you do.