Sunday, December 28, 2008

Monologue Monday - Henry V by William Shakespeare

For this edition of Monologue Monday, I'm doing an easy one. One that I don't have to think much about. As it is, I'm still at home and recovering from Christmas. I think we'll probably have more on that in the next post, since I've been thinking a lot about New Year's Resolutions. For the record, write more on my blog is not one. I tend to get very reflective around this time of year, as, I imagine, others do, and I'm looking forward to unpacking the soul searching I've been doing over the last week.

But, until then, here's Williams from Henry V by William Shakespeare. He's my favorite part in the entire play, no joke. It was one of my monologues from UPTA last year, and I'm sure I'll have it bouncing around in my head, but it isn't going to be what I show people. For that, I've got a couple of choices. All of which, I'm sure you folks will become familiar with.

But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath
a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and
arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join
together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at
such a place; some swearing, some crying for a
surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind
them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their
children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die
well that die in a battle; for how can they
charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their
argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it
will be a black matter for the king that led them to
it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of

See you on the other side.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Monologue Monday* - Hurrah at Last by Richard Greenberg

* From now on...I'll try to do these on a Monday. I just couldn't turn down the alliteration.

I've made a vow with fellow actor, Dennis Frymire to post a monologue that I like once every two weeks. Granted, these will probably tend toward monologues that I could do, but who KNOWS what will show up here. Maybe I'll be able to dig up 24 monologues that I like, maybe not. At the very least, it'll give me some food for though and hopefully expand my repertoire as I see what Dennis puts up there.

Also, naturally, if you like the monologue, I strongly encourage you to hunt down the play. The more stuff like this is seen and passed around, the better it is for all involved. And, I feel weird saying this, but if you happen to be a copyright holder for any material I use on here and you take offense, just let me know and I'll take it down. Weird.

The first one I'm going to use is from a play I recently discovered, called Hurrah at Last by Richard Greenberg. In this, Oliver (a playwright and occasional screen writer) is telling his friend, Laurie (a novelist) why it is going to be difficult to adapt his novel for the screen.

Oh darling - of course there's nothing wrong with the way you write. For a leisurely paced chronicle of rumination your style can't be beat. It's just that...well...your book is like the novels those English ladies write- where two hundred pages later they've poured the tea. I mean, it's virtually adaptable. You see, it comes down to the differences between the media. You've got Theatre, where I toil, which is totally irrelevant. Then you've got novels, which you do so magnificently, which are totally irrelevant as well as completely archaic. Then there are movies which, for the time being, people are still going to and, therefore, unlike those other media have to have some vitality. And I'm thinking that if I can just trump up a really strong opening shot, it'll trick people into thinking something is going to happen in the story. Which, of course, it does not.

I'm going to try and keep it around the minute / minute and a half line. If anyone else wants to join in, help yourself! I'd love to see your monologues on Monologue Monday, which won't always be on a Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What I'm grateful for

There are times when I question why I do Kidstuf. I mean, I gotta get up so early.

And there are times others question me about why I do Kidstuf. In some ways, it's theatre, in the same way that one would call a Kaiser Permanente show theatre, but it's not what one always envisioned when going to school. I know I figured I'd be getting paid six figures to do Cherry Orchard somewhere by now.

But when I ask myself that...or someone else asks me that...I can always point to this.

For this month, one of the "props" we're using is called a Grati-journal. You write down something you're grateful for. We got an e-mail with this in it...

If you can't tell, the text is, "I am Grateful for Church" with a drawing of the Kidstuf stage underneath.

To be doing something constructive. That is what I'm grateful for.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Forcing a post

Hey folks.

I really don't feel like posting today, but it's been a while and I have ample free time during Part 3 of the Henriad, so I thought I'd make myself do one.

I'm two sentences in and, already, it isn't my best work.

After the show closed on Sunday, I had to rush home to deal with some stuff. It worked out as well as it possibly could have, though, because I got to see Godspell at my alma mater. It was good, even though they were just starting dress rehearsals. It's always nice to sit in an audience and forget about life for a little while.

I'm contemplating a sequel to the Jacob York World Tour of 2005, but, this time, head from place to place auditioning. Any one want to come?

I'm pretty actively searching for something to do this summer. I look at the seasons of theatres in the Atlanta area, though, and I just don't see much there for me. UPTA and others, here I come!

Man, I am greatly anticipating December.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Red Rose

Tonight, we open the First Part of Henry VI at the Shakespeare Tavern. It's an incredible undertaking. To sit in the house after our preview last night, you would have thought we had a small audience. We were spread out a bit, but there's just a lot of people involved in this project.

I'm happy to be one of those people involved. I'm enjoying my time as Somerset. He's very different from anyone I've played on the Tavern stage, so it's good that I'm not getting plugged into a precise slot just yet. Unless that slot is "Hot Young Lord" know...

After the show opens tonight, there's going to be a party. I'll talk more about that at a later date, I'm sure. I have few goals for this party, but I at least want to play some Rock Band and watch Paul Hester dance.

It's been pretty quiet on the audition front, which isn't bad, exactly. I'm still looking around and trying to be as available as possible. I actually got to hand out one of my cards today to someone who came into my day job! Only 485 left to go.

If you haven't been able to get out to the Tavern to see my stuff, but you would still like to see me make a fool out of myself, you should go check out the Kidstuf website. I'm at the Buckhead campus, if you want to delve in. I'm even in the opening page video now. I find that when I don't have a script to follow, I dance a lot.

Come see Henry VI! My unofficial diagnosis is that, IF you can only see one (which, it goes without saying, you should try to come see all three), I think you should come see Part II. Just my opinion. Also, I fight in it. Yay!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crogan's Vengeance

Also, I know I've got a link over there on the left, but you might have not had an opportunity to check out the work of my buddy Chris Schweizer. He's got a series of comics coming out from Oni Press, and the first of the whole is about to come out, entitled Crogan's Vengeance. I would strongly suggest all you comic book fans out there drop the $15 and pick it up.

Chris is a guy I've known for a long time. In fact, I shot a terrible parody of Se7en entitled 8te, of which, hopefully no footage still exists. To see him find his passion has been a pleasure. Plus, before I lived here, he was the guy I stayed with while I was auditioning. So you have him to thank for me. Thank him with monies in exchange for goods.

Recent non-acting related happenings...

I just got back from Florida. It was phenomenal. I went down, ostensibly, to attend the wedding of a good friend, but it was just as much to hang out with my ex, Leva, who is still one of my very best friends. Not to mention she got custody of the cat in the divorce, so it's an excuse to visit her as well. She slept on my chest when I stayed in Leva's guest room. It was pretty heart warming. I miss her.

The day after, we kicked around at Universal Studios and Halloween Horror Nights and I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel. Pretty swanky, all in all.

The wedding was beautiful. The days spent there were amazing. It's one of those times that make me ache to go back. I know there are people who think I'm ridiculous for loving the area (Hi Mike and Carolyn...), but it's so ingrained in me to want to be there. It's the first place I found a truly rewarding non-acting job. It's the first place I really lived away from home. It's where, for lack of a better term, I sorta became an adult. I love it...

I came back and immediately drove to a huge Halloween party with Tavern people. Followed that up by going to see Weezer. Followed THAT up by getting up at 5:45 to go to Kidstuf rehearsal. I've been going non-stop since I got back, but I wouldn't trade it.

On one acting related note, I've got an audition coming up tomorrow, which is the last one that I'm going to stress about for a while. I actually had a dream about it while I was in Florida. I don't know if that means good, ill, or doesn't mean anything. Either way, it's been on my mind pretty heavily. Keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spreading It Around

So, a little late, but I'm able to let you folks know that I accepted the part of Larry Drayton in Stage Door Players' production of the US Premier of Spreading It Around by Londos D’Arrigo. Larry is the son of the main character. He's sort of a douchebag, for lack of a better term. Actually, there are better terms, but I'ma refrain from using them on the blog. I haven't gotten hold of the script yet, but I'm excited about the prospect of working somewhere new. I first met Robert Egizio, the director, was at his yard sale when I bought the ill-fated weights, but I'll try to let that unfortunate event not come to taint our relationship.

I've got some exciting auditions coming up. Next week and the week after, there's two that I'm really looking forward to. And, there is also A Little Night Music.

Not only that, but in a week's time, I'm going to be in Florida. How very exciting!

Monday, October 13, 2008

WM Seeking Agent for long walks on beach...

I've sent out a communique to several of my friends, so I may as well open it up here. I'm trying to find some representation in Atlanta. I'd like to do commercial, industrial, etc. work. Anyone have any tips for me?

It's weird to think that I've been in Atlanta for a year and haven't even really thought about doing this until recently. It just occurred to me, out of nowhere, "Hey...there's work out there to be had!" Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to hustle my way to parts or plays, but there's only so much I can do with my limited means in all of the respects that an agency would assist me.

So, you know, if you have an agent, know an agent or are an agent looking for a tall, goofy looking dude, let me know.

I had to start memorizing a song for "A Little Night Music" auditions at the Tavern. I think I'll use this to launch me into an entire post about singing for auditions and the fear I've got connected to that. Some other time, though. Not tonight.

Also, I won't say it tonight, but I might have some interesting news tomorrow. As always, I wait until I've accepted it, so you'll just have to wait until it's final.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What you hear is not a test...

I've been on the road a lot recently, blogfriend. Let's discuss it.

KG, a former apprentice, and I hit the road on Thursday night to go audition at the American Shakespeare Center. It was a pretty long drive from Atlanta to Staunton, but hardly the longest I've ever driven for an audition. Plus, the company was good, so it didn't seem quite as long as it could have.

But, that isn't the interesting part. I got there and was in a group of six others, five women and one man. We all did our monologues. I didn't have time to show off and be all, "Well, actually I memorized a monologue for each of the four shows you're doing next season." I bounced back and forth between Ford and Hotspur. I ended up, of course, on Hotspur. Ford would have afforded the ability to make more contact with the audience, but Hotspur know, Hotspur. I can't help it. He had me approach it from a different standpoint and do it like Romeo trying to impress Juliet. I thought I had a cute little lame moment on, "God's me, my horse!"

After that, we read some scenes. I was paired up with a short haired blonde girl whose name I cannot remember to save my life. Eh, anyway, we did Beatrice and Benedick with a couple of different permutations. I only stole one thing from Moe (the scratching motion on "predestinate scratched face.") and, frankly, it was a pleasure to get up there and do Benedick. It's a dream part, but I've got a couple of years to play it.

The big moment came at the end, though. The artistic director said that anyone who wanted to sing, may sing a few bars. I sat and watched in abject horror as every single other person in the room got up to sing. Not just sing, but sing well. I'm not much of a singer. I can carry a tune, but I'm not what you would call...umm...a soloist. The artistic director even made a comment along the lines of, "Oh, wow, it looks like everyone is going to sing." After the last person, he looked at me and said, "Well, are you going to sing anything for us?"

A beat passed and I said, "No, but I can drop a phat rhyme for you."

Bemused, he told me to go ahead and do it. I got up and said, "If I could (Ed. Note - although KG SWEARS she heard me say "F*** it.), I'd like to get everyone to clap their hands." I got them to clap a beat and busted out the first verse of Rapper's Delight.

Yeah, that's right. I rapped at my Shakespeare audition.

It was a high, because if I'm going to fall on my face, I'm gonna fall going for the brass ring. It wasn't a stunt. It wasn't foolish...if I was BAD, it would have been foolish, but it was tight like the night, baby. I like to think I showed them three very different facets of my personality, between Benedick, Hotspur, and Wonder Mic.

Chances are that I won't get in, just by playing the odds. They only hire something like eight non-eqs, but here's hoping they'll remember me. After all, I'll see 'em at UPTA.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A short, off-topic message...

Seriously, Atlanta...let's get this gas thing together...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Apostle of Hustle

The amount of breath wasted on auditions is huge. Not merely the auditions themselves, but the discussion of auditioning. Go into any bookstore, and, no matter how small their drama section is, chances are you'll be able to find titles on auditioning, a book of monologues, and some Shakespeare. Shakespeare is obvious, but monologue books are synonymous with audition booklets. Why would one peruse a book of monologues unless it is to find one to audition with?

But, that being said, it is a topic that has been on my mind more often than not recently. I've got several auditions coming up, some of which I would even venture to call important. Not necessarily because I'm banking on getting them, but because they're big and, for the most part, they're first impressions. They're the first opportunity I have to show people what I can do. Which is exactly why I'm so excited about them. I had a friend mention to me the other day, "I don't see how you can do it. Constantly putting yourself out there for auditions has to be exhausting." And, yeah, it's tiring, but it's an opportunity for more work. Why wouldn't I be excited about that? Why wouldn't I want to give it my all. Especially when I'm auditioning for such high profile places.

As of right now, the Henry VI project is the last thing I've got on my plate. After that, I'm no longer a working actor, and back to the world of the day job. I can't have that.

One of the best parts about this job is getting the job. And to get the job, there is one attribute more important than any other. Not talent, not luck...but one of my favorite words in the English language. Hustle. I may not be the best actor out there, and I'm certainly not the luckiest, or the one with the most special skills, but those are things I can only control to a point. What I can control to the fullest extent, is my intensity when pursuing a job.

It's like the man said, "Definition of the hustle, is mind over muscle."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I've never had it so well...

What's going on in my life?

- Actin'! I just wrapped the official, final Much Ado last night. It was a weird sort of epilogue. I was acutely aware of our final day at the Tavern and treated it as such. By the time we got to the show at McIntosh, I think a lot of people were sort of done with Much Ado. BUT, that isn't to say we gave a poor show. With all of the impediments in the way, I think we gave the same kind of performance we would have given for anyone, which speaks well of us, considering there was a group in house left for the first act that simply would NOT shut up. If any of them happen to be reading this, thank you for leaving at intermission. If we're not your thing, that's fine, but there were a LOT of people in there who were enjoying what we were doing.

Also, there is Twelfth Night.

- Memorizin'. I'm fairly off book for Benedick and Hotspur, but that's to be expected, now isn't it? Ford and Marcus are coming slower, but I have no doubts that I'll have them under my belt soon. I'm really excited about going up there to audition.

- Kidstufin'. We gave what I'm considering a Kidstuf preview at the announcements at Buckhead Church the other day. It was a trip. Singing Bon Jovi to a packed church house is an interesting experience. Literally, every day I am involved in Kidstuf, I am happier that I was their second choice. I KEED, but I am RIDICULOUSLY happy that I'm involved.

- Reminiscin'. It's my birthday today and I'm listening to United States of Electronica. It always makes me happy, and always makes me think of days gone by. I miss people. I miss my friends. I miss Kentucky and I miss my family. But, like I said about the end of Much Ado last night, it's more sweet than bitter. I've never had it so well...never had it so well...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Call For Advice

I'm still not convinced that anyone besides Ry, Redd, Robbyn (woah...weird...) and, potentially, my dad read this blog. But, regardless, maybe you guys can help me out.

In a few weeks, I've got an audition in Virginia that I will not name until it's over and I can take a breath. I might have talked to you about it in the past. If not and you're super curious, feel free to grab me on Facebook or Twitter and I'd be happy to tell you. For the time being, just be satisfied that it's Shakespeare and it's under my "Places I Want to Work" bookmark heading.

Anyhow, for this audition, I need "short monologue(s), preferably from the plays we're casting (5-10 lines is plenty)". So, I figured the best way to go about that was to memorize four new monologues for the four plays that they've announced.

Here's the problem. I'm a little bit over on some. Literally, a line or two, but I'd be loath to say, "Ah, screw it. It's just a couple lines." I'd be much happier if I could cut it down to the bare minimum. The only problem with THAT is that I'm so close to it, I can't quite figure out what to cut anymore. So, if you guys could do me a favor and take a look at my monologues, I'd sure appreciate any input you could give. Plus, you know, not only cutting advice. Anything you might be interested in saying.

We'll talk in the comments!

Hotspur from Henry IV Part 1. (11 lines - Not counting "Away" as it's own line, and counting "have with me? Come, wilt thou see me ride?" as one, as it comes out to nine syllables.)

Away, you trifler! Love! I love thee not,
I care not for thee, Kate: this is no world
To play with mammets and to tilt with lips:
We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns,
And pass them current too. God's me, my horse!
What say'st thou, Kate? what would'st thou
have with me? -
Come, wilt thou see me ride?
And when I am on horseback, I will swear
I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate;
To-day will I set forth, to-morrow you.
Will this content you, Kate?

Marcus from Titus Andronicus (7 lines. I like it. It says a lot in a short time span and it completely different from Hotspur. I like that about all of my monologues. They're very different guys.)

Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Writing destruction on the enemy's castle?
O, none of both but are of high desert:
My hand hath been but idle; let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from their death;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.

Ford from Merry Wives of Windsor (15 lines. What I've DONE and started to work with is a cut that starts right after "damnation together." That pares it down to ten lines. If there's anything before it to cut, I'd be open to listen. I'd also be open to listen to anything that would allow to me keep the last five lines. I REALLY like this monologue. I think it might work it's way into my regulars.)

Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any
thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them.
Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile, as
easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve
score. He pieces out his wife's inclination; he
gives her folly motion and advantage: and now she's
going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. A
man may hear this shower sing in the wind. And
Falstaff's boy with her! Good plots, they are laid;
and our revolted wives share damnation together.
Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck
the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming
Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and
wilful Actaeon; and to these violent proceedings all
my neighbours shall cry aim.

Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing (11 lines. I've done Claudio, I've done Leonato, I've done Don Pedro, and ANY of those would have been easier, but this monologue has just called out to me. Any cuts would be appreciated... This one in particular feels like if I remove any from the middle, the whole thing falls apart.)

She told me, not thinking I had been
myself, that I was the prince's jester, that I was
duller than a great thaw; huddling jest upon jest
with such impossible conveyance upon me that I stood
like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at
me. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs:
if her breath were as terrible as her terminations,
there were no living near her; she would infect to
the north star. I would not marry her, though she
were endowed with all that Adam bad left him before
he transgressed: Come, talk not of her:

So...waddya think?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

No, Al, you haven't gained an ounce since the day you were born...

You know, I rarely talk specifically about auditions on here, but, I dunno, I'm just pretty disappointed in my OnStage Atlanta audition. Of course, nothing they did. They were super nice. I was just thrown off by some stuff earlier in the day, and was trying something new with this monologue. I was trying to show this guy at almost a loss for words, which probably isn't the best audition idea when these people don't know my acting.

On top of that, I'm not sure if I like this monologue. I mean, that's not true. I know I like it. It's broad, but funny (I think) and shows a character that I rarely get to do. I just don't want that character to be "sexist dude". It's a monologue about a girl thinking she's fat, and how ridiculous the guy thinks that is. I always get uncomfortable before doing it. I mean, I like it, but I know insecurity is such an issue, it might just be a better idea to send this monologue into early retirement and call it a day.

But, you know, the people were nice. That was cool.

Whatever the case may be, I KNOW I need some new contemporary monologues. I've never been particularly good at picking them out. Anyone have any suggestions?

BUT, no time to settling into actor's favorite pass time, which is self-doubt. I've got a C-Lod to be tonight!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Hey, I went to go see Lord T and Eloise the other night like I said! What a fun time.

I actually purchased their album recently off Amazon music as mp3s. I rarely purchase music, so I think that is a testament to how much that band has taken over my mind frame.

Aristocrunk isn't as good as Chairmen of the Bored, but it's still pretty darn good. It's just worth it to me, though, to have their entire oeuvre.

That shoulder is still giving me problems. I've been threatened with physical violence if I don't get it looked at if problems continue for more than a week. I think that's counterproductive, but whatever.

It's a weekend full of auditions! How fun! The one today was quick and easy. In and out, and didn't even have to pay for parking. Plus, it was a good excuse to try out a brand spanking new monolgue. (King John, "Am I Rome's slave?") The one tomorrow will be interesting, just because so much of the stuff on my resume recently is in a classic vein. I still wonder how people who do primarily contemporary stuff will react when they see my resume.

UPTA and SETC registration is coming up soon. I'm absolutely going to UPTA, and PROBABLY going to SETC. I imagine going to SETC will be ridiculous and liberating, just because of the tension that is related to it in the past. At my school, there was so much importance placed on SETC, for good or for ill. I know that while I was there, it felt like it was made out to be the ONLY option to get a theatre job while in college. It wasn't until I started seeking out my own auditions in the world, that I even began to have any success.

Basically, every year at SETC, I was so nervous because it had the air of finality to it. "This is your only chance, so don't blow it." I'd do the most broad, scatter-shot audition I possibly could, trying to appeal to everyone, not satisfy myself, and end up getting called back by the same places anyway. Obviously, I can't harp on SETC too much, as I do think it's a good option, and it did bring me to The Lost Colony, for which I am grateful for. But, man, SETC and UPTA is just night and day. I, actually, can't wait to go to UPTA again. So well organized and so much more actor friendly. SETC feel very college theatre to me. So many people out there who are going to get their first professional gigs. It's wonderful. But UPTA feels more...grown up? That works.

Anyway, SETC is going to be fun this year, come hell or high water. I'm going to give myself permission to do exactly what I want, because it ISN'T the be all, end all. That's my 1:00 of time, dammit, and I won't apologize for a second of it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So, yesterday was an eventful day! I'll get to Tavern World Picture Day in a bit, but first...

I was over at a friend's house watching some Sopranos and decided I wanted to bring some of my new dumbbells over to her place so that I could finish up my workout while still being social. Toward the end of my workout, I decided to do some... I dunno, laying down tricep extension things. Essentially, it looks sorta like this, except I was laying on my back with my arm in front of me, as opposed to over my head. Anyway, I was apparently more tired than I thought, or I misjudged the weight in general, because the weight plummeted to the ground, taking my arm with it. My shoulder made a noise not unlike ripping celery in half. My first reaction was a sort of terrified laughter. I couldn't stop laughing, I was so shocked. I was worried and scared, but it didn't hurt. Like, at all.

Since then, it has started hurting. I've been alternating ice and heat on it since then, as much as possible. I bought these weights at a yard sale. I personally blame Robert Egizio.

So, anyway, by the time I got to Tavern World Picture Day, my shoulder was feeling sort of weirdly loose. However, the set up earlier in the day was so much fun. There's just something about checking in with where the Tavern has been, and in such a short time. Also, it's nice to see all of these pictures now that I actually know who some of the people in them are.

It was nice to meet the new apprentices (apprenti?). They seem like a good group. I'll wait until later to pass judgment on all of them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I just got my schedule for next week and it slows down considerably. Artistically, I'm just doing a Kidstuf shoot and my shows, along with an audition on Saturday. And, of course, Tavern World Picture Day for all of the incoming apprentices.

I still remember my Tavern World Picture Day so clearly. Having never seen the space before, it was a revelation to walk in there. Whatever anyone has to say about the Tavern, no one can deny that it's an incredibly interesting space. It has a certain magic to it that is difficult to quantify. The only place to have a better reaction on first glance is The Waterside Theatre in Manteo and, come on...just look at the place. Both places still have the power to take my breath away, which is especially useful when I find myself forgetting how lucky I am to be able to make a living in the arts.

The apprentices are in for a heck of a time. If they take advantage of it, it's going to be one of the most beneficial moments of their artistic lives. If they don't, hopefully it will still be eye opening. But, if nothing else, they'll get that first day. The first time walking into the Tavern and greeting their new home. It's beautiful and liberating and terrifying all at the same time. I feel I'm rambling. Suffice it to say the Tavern is a pretty special place. If you want to know more of how I felt, check the archives over at the Shakespeare Tavern's blog. I wrote a couple of entries for them during my time. I sort of wish I could go back and do my apprenticeship all over again.

I'd just like to get paid what I get paid now. Seriously.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns...

I just wanted to record this moment when I had the chance.

For one of my auditions coming up, I've started to memorize a new piece of Hotspur text. It's the scene with Lady Percy and I just think it strikes right to the heart of that character. He and his wife are, bar none, my favorite couple in Shakespeare. They have such limited interaction, but their relationship is so clear and well defined. And, man, they just love one another so damn much.

As I was going through, reading the speech to myself aloud, I got a little tingle. This little shot that went up my spine and ended up somewhere in my chest. I love this character so much. I just love this character so much.

EDIT: For the record, I will rarely comment specifically on auditions that are coming up. BUT, in regards to Henry IV Part 1, I will ALWAYS mention when I am auditioning for a place performing it. I've only done it once before, and I was offered a different part. Boo to that. It's Hotspur or Bust!

Although, to be fair...maybe not necessarily in this case.


Ahhh...the worst is over. Things are slowing down for the upcoming week (only 58 hours of stuff to do this week as opposed to 66!) and I don't see me having a week as hectic as that for a bit. We're about to slow down on Henry rehearsals for the month of September and when we come back to it in October, I won't be doing the rep. Not to say that I will be happy to NOT be doing the rep. I'd just as soon get paid for acting as often as possible, thank you very much.


Speaking of Henry VI, we've rehearsed and blocked Parts one and two. It's really amazing how quickly we work at the Tavern. The idea of putting up three plays with ABOUT two months of rehearsal is daunting, but in a good way. I like for us to do stuff that's phenomenal like that.


I've got some audition opportunities that I'm really excited about in the next month or so. All Shakespeare! How thrilling! I'll let you know more as more develops.


Thanks to the unending generosity of Mr. Jeff Watkins (castmemore), I'm going to be able to head to Florida at the end of October to attend a close friend's wedding! Man, I love that state. I know it's silly, but I'm just crazy about that fake Disney aesthetic.


Hey, I'm on Twitter, and like all social networking gadgets, it's not very fun until more people are on my "Following" list. So, you know, add me. I'll add you. It'll be good.


I'm going to try REALLY HARD to go see Lord T and Eloise tonight. Also, I'm just crazy about the most recent Mates of State album.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Let's call this halfway...

At the end of a long day at work, nothing quite like settling down to listen to some Bonnie "Prince" Billy on a rapidly deflating air mattress and blogging to keep you folks updated.

So, the update...

- We shot the stuff for Kidstuf! I just realized I'm going to be MORE busy with them than I initially planned, but that's great. I actually really like everyone I've been in contact with. I hope my cast is a great as all of the regulars I've been working with so far. We shot a couple of scenes for the show and one for the website. I don't want to ruin anything for anyone, but I will say that one involved about two pounds of candy corn and is, literally, the grossest thing I've ever done in the name of performance.

- We also had the first of a couple of big rehearsals for Henry VI today with another coming tomorrow. I was knocked over a bit when we changed characters in medias res. I'm no longer playing Iden in part two. It appears I'll just be playing Somerset throughout. Which ain't bad. I like Somerset. He's got a...clear vision. BUT...I'll probably go ahead and use the resumes that I've already printed out...

It's going beautifully, though. I'm so proud to be a part of it.

- While my girlfriend was in town, we went to Center for Puppetry Arts, since the little lady is a big fan of Jim Henson. I'm sure we'll go back once the Jim Henson wing opens properly. Anyway, saw the Ugly Duckling while we were there. Super cute. And, you know, educational. The museum was interesting too, but the room filled with puppets that would randomly set sort of a weird, foreboding mood for the rest of the time in that area. Creepy, in it's own right.

Tomorrow we've got another big, long rehearsal and, wonder of wonders, my first chance to go work out! I'm so happy about that. I miss working out when I go too long without it.

"When you get your flock together, please take me along. Lord, I'm too weak to travel. I'll be glad you're strong and I'll lean on your arm."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I apologize for my absence...

But my girlfriend is in town. I will get back to "regularly scheduled" postings as soon as things calm down, but when will that be, exactly? Here's a sketch of my next week. All times are approximations and include lunch time when, really, I have to be in the vicinity of the place anyway...

Next week...
23 hours at the day job.
25 for Henry VI
9 for Kidstuf
8 for show
1 for an audition.

Not to mention trying to find a place to work out and keep a social life somewhere in there.

I'm in costume about to reprise Claudio, though. I wouldn't trade it for a week off...

I'm busy and it's tiring, but how blessed am I to be so busy?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I won't feel no fear, 'cause I'm not really here...

It's been a busy week. An incredibly busy week, actually, between acting and my day job. For the record, if you're standing in a store while the power is out to wait twenty minutes to buy a 1 cent pencil sharpener, you're wasting precious moments in your life. Just saying.

- I had Kindergarten Konfidential first at Buckhead Church, which was my first basic exposure to the world of Kidstuf. It was a good time. I was confused at first, trying to find out where to go, but it ended up being a good first experience. Everyone was super nice and accommodating. Those kids are a tough crowd, man. I don't know if my subtle political satire is going to reach them. I think they liked me enough. But, for the record, there's nothing more intimidating than a five year old standing alone at the foot of the stage, looking at you like you're a total idiot.

- We also started rehearsal for Henry VI. What a huge project. There were twenty four people in the room. We will, of course, have more people join us, including apprentices and folks in the later plays. A couple of people brought up that it felt like the first day of school. I know it felt that way for me. After being gone for a month, it was good to be back in the building. Also, as Somerset, I love that, in my time on stage, I'm going head to head with Maurice Ralston. Seriously, he's such a great, sharing actor on stage. I couldn't be luckier in that respect.

- The next two weeks are going to be busy. The girlfriend is coming into town, we're reopening Much Ado and Twelfth Night. On top of Kidstuf video shoots. On top of Henry rehearsals and learning lines. On TOP of other auditions (Yay for later in the year calls from Unifieds!). I feel like a busy little actor right now. Always down to be busier though...

- There's actually an audition up on Atlanta Performs that I would LOVE to be able to be involved in, but it conflicts with the remounts, and I'm not giving up any chances to play Claudio. It's a call for Edmund in Long Day's Journey and, man, what a pleasure that would be. Plus it's in Florida, which, if you didn't know, is a place I've lived before and want to live again. Granted, I'm more of a fan of Central Florida, but still... I've actually been listening to the new song by The Streets quite a bit because it reminds me of my time in Florida.

- On a personal note, I'm ridiculously excited about many of the games coming out in the next couple of months. I mean, there's the sort of higher concept stuff like Fable 2 and Fallout 3, where decisions have consequences and life can change in the blink of an eye, and then there's the ridiculous sports stuff like TNA Impact and Blitz: The League II. Fun!

Friday, August 1, 2008


Not in any of you lovely people, of course. In myself. In the last week, I've had two situations dealing with auditions where I've made stupid, rookie mistakes. More than that, they are mistakes that I could have easily corrected.

First, in one audition, I went up on a monologue. That never happens to me, and I can make excuses all day about how I didn't have time to memorize something new on my way back from Kentucky or I was thrown off by this or that. The simple truth is that I could have cobbled together the time to focus on this monologue more and deliver the performance I know I'm capable of giving.

On top of that, I completely missed an audition yesterday because I got lost. I know, right? There's no excuse. But that doesn't change the fact that I was wandering around North Highland all night trying to figure out where I had made a wrong turn.

These are basic slips of the mind that I simply can't afford. Every audition I'm not able to make is a lost opportunity. Every monologue I go up on leaves a mark on a casting director. If anything, these events coming in such quick succession are good for me. If they were spread out over time, I could write them off as aberrations, but so close to one another means something. I'm not going to allow silly stuff like this to keep me out of the running anymore. If someone doesn't want me for a part, that's fine. But I'm not going to allow my unpreparedness be a reason ever, ever again.


On a side note, Lord T and Eloise are premium.

Lord T's in the house. All other rappers, pay your rent.


Hi Redd.

I'm going to have Mike add a link soon, but until then, I advise everyone go to Redd's blog about finance. I don't know that I can drive any real traffic, since I imagine Redd is my only reader, but it's still got some great common sense advice.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Return...

Well, what a nice way to come back... But, first thing is, of course, first.

- I had a wonderful time at home. Between being able to see my family to the marriage of two of my best friends, everything was beautiful from the time I crossed into the Bluegrass state until the time I left. I saw The Dark Knight twice and I saw WALL-E twice. I got to eat at Belew's and stand barefoot in my backyard. I got more love in two weeks than I can possibly count, and for that, I am grateful.

Home is just...there is something about it that simply cannot be matched. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am a country boy at heart. You can say what you want about the city and all of its trappings. You can keep 'em. Just give me a bright orange sun setting over my Granddaddy's farm.

But, one has to return to the real world. And, when I came back, I had some interesting events happen.

- First, I know the masses are wondering, "When will we be able to see you act again, Jacob?"

And, to that, I would say, "We discussed this before, masses. I'll be back in Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing in August and September. Duh."

And, to that the masses would say, "But we saw you in every performance of those! We want something more. Something new! By the way, you were great as Valentine."

And, to THAT, I would say, "Hey, thanks. I appreciate it. And, if you want to see me in something new, you may want to come out in November to the Tavern. We'll be doing Henry VI, Parts 1 - 3."

Yeah, folks. I'll be in History Extravaganza, Part Duex. You'll be able to check me out as (primarily) Somerset in Parts 1 and 3, Iden in Part 2 and, (secondarily) Offstage Warder 1, Officer, Servant, Gentleman, Soldier, Westmerland and Rutland's Tutor! It should be fun. I'm a huge fan of the histories, so I know I'll be in for a heck of a time.

- I also went in for a second callback on Monday for Kidstuf, out at Buckhead. I didn't really have any concept of what I was coming in to read for, but I must have thought on my feet well enough, because I'm going to be the new Comic Host for the Buckhead location. Awesome! I'm actually getting really pumped about it, especially after seeing some of the stuff we'll be doing. It's got a slightly off-kilter sense of humor that I can work with. Thumbs up. In fact, I'll be out at Buckhead this Sunday for Kindergarten Konfidential. I'm still not entirely sure what that is either, but I'll roll with the punches.

- So, it's good to know I've got a gig for November! Although, for the record, I am still available for October.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Communique from The County

I'm still not ready to resume daily posting, but here's a heads up to tide you over, blogfriend.

- I'm back in Kentucky. It's great. I miss it terribly. I've been able to see most of the people I needed to see so far, which is good. There are few things in life as pleasurable as driving through the back roads of my home town with my windows down. Being able to stand in my back yard at night is a simple pleasure that I take for granted when I'm here. I'm very happy to be here.

- That doesn't mean that I'm spending all of my time at home. No no... This last weekend, I went to Nashville (Cashville) to participate in a bachelor party (AKA Project Hedonism). Now, I say Project Hedonism, but there wasn't much of it, really. The best moments of the weekend were seeing the Watchmen trailer on IMAX and hitting up Kentucky Lake with a bunch of friends in a boat.

- I'm trying to work on a monologue for an audition I've got the day after I come back to Atlanta. It's difficult to pull myself away from people, though, to take the time to memorize it.

- The wedding I'm in is this Saturday. I will be returning to Atlanta on Sunday. I'll be back working / auditioning Monday. Back to the grind. But let's not think of that right now. I've got a date tonight.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Comp rant

I've got nothing else to do. Let's go ahead and talk about comps for a second.

So, I'm going back home this week, right? When I go home, I'm going to go see a production that a friend of mine is in at a community theatre that I've got a lot of connections to, right? Now, you won't hear me complain about this theatre in many respects. For instance, the changes that the current managing director has put in place have rejuvenated that theatre, making it a viable choice for the college students in the area. I've done some of my best work there, in fact. Outside of a couple of speed bumps, I've had nothing but great experiences there.

But...that being said...

Especially at the community theatre level, I feel it's completely inexcusable to not offer at least one comp to the participants. They give their time and expertise to a theatre and ask for nothing in return. Is it really too much to ask that they be given the ability to get someone in for free? Believe me, I understand that, more often than not, the audience is filled with family members and friends, rather than patrons looking for you to elucidate on the meaning of life. That's still no excuse to nickle and dime an actor out of what they earned. Often times, you're at the theatre, giving them three or more hours of your time, every day, for four weeks or so... Granted, the work itself should be the reward, but is one single comp really too much to ask?

I'm out of here tomorrow morning, blogfriend. Wish me well!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Love me, already

I'm getting to the point where I'm counting down the hours... Hedwig was sort of my one highlight for the week. Now, I'm down to one more shift at work and hanging out with some friends, and I'm out of here.

I'm feeling more encouraged about finding the next part, just in general. I think I just need to put myself out there more, frankly. I've done a lot of e-mailing in the last couple of days, so hopefully something will come of it. At the very least, I'm making contact with people, which is good. Working at only the Tavern feels very insular sometimes. I want to keep getting out and seeing shows and taking advantage of industry nights. I want to meet more people and get out there in Atlanta more. I'm thinking about staying in Atlanta for the long haul. I need to get to know people. And, hey, I'm doing it! Hate networking. Can't think of it like that. Networking feels so cold and calloused. I just want to get to know people... more day to figure out stuff to write...then I can treat myself to a couple of days off. Maybe I'll rant about comp policy tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lift up your hands...

Tonight, I went to go see Hedwig and the Angry Inch out at Actor's Express. Pretty great show. I've got no real complaints about it, which is a huge accomplishment, given how close I hold that show to my heart. Everyone was top shelf.

I'm bound to be a little bit hard on Craig Waldrip since he played a part I've yearned to play for so long. Granted, you may not know this if you don't read certain high influence local arts blogs, but Hedwig is one of the two dream parts I claim. And, granted, if you were to take a look at me, you might not immediately think Hedwig. But it's such a beautiful and complex role to play. Especially to take the setting of the show, which is the opening night of Hedwig's "world" tour. At what point in the show does Hedwig begin to completely deteriorate? When does it become not merely an act playing upon her recent fame? Essentially, when does this become something special, and not just something that happens every night? That's one of the most interesting questions posed, from an artistic standpoint.

I love Hedwig because of the universal theme. I've said it a thousand times before, but one might look at Hedwig, this "slip of a girly boy from communist East Berlin," and say, "Wow, that life experience is so far removed from mine, there's no way I have anything in common there." But it's completely untrue. It's not about Hedwig. It's about loneliness. It's about trying to make contact at whatever cost. It's about sadness and hope and failure and inadequacy and everything in between.

I would love to play Hedwig one day, but I don't think that day will ever come for me. Sadly, I'm not a singer and I don't claim to be a great singer. That being said, though, I don't know that you even need to be a great singer to play Hedwig. You just need to attack the role with complete abandon. Just rest assured...if I did ever get the chance to play it, I would throw myself into it with fervor. After all, this is the best way that I've found to be the best you've ever seen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Give Me a Beat

Alright...daily blog material...

I still don't know why I'm trying to do it daily. I think it's just a good practice to make myself write. THOUGH, that being said, I hold to no such schedule when I'm at home. The next two weeks (starting Saturday) may be pretty sparse.

I'm just going to toss some random stuff up here and call it a day.

What bands am I listening to right now: Black Kids, Girl Talk, Architecture in Helsinki, The Format, Self

What I'm working at the gym today: Chest and shoulders

What I'm most tired of in my 9-5 job: Formatting a menu.

What game I'm most amped for: Chrono Trigger for the DS

Show I most want to be cast in for the typical 08-09 season: Oh man...I'd really like to be in Glass Menagerie at Aurora, but having a solid part in Romeo and Juliet at The Tavern would be great as well.

Thing that I'm most excited about from my apprenticeship: We're all working, by God! Mark is in Hedwig, which I'm seeing this week. Carol is doing something with puppets in Vermont. KG and I just wrapped up Much Ado. Tiffany and Stephen are about to start up with Midsummer. Derek will probably be in rehearsals for Don't Dress for Dinner at Stage Door Players when he gets back from Ireland. Josh just got cast in the next two shows at the Tavern. Look at all these working actors... Good job, compatriots!

What I miss about home: Besides everything? Besides girlfriend, family, friends, pets, fresh air, clear streets, solitude, memories, and the field out behind my mom's house? Probably the food.

Place I've always wanted to work: Alabama Shakespeare. Since I've loved Shakespeare, this is where I've wanted to work...

There's something about a Shakespeare theater that I just agree with. I mean, it's not just that they do plays by one of the world's greatest writers, but there is a sense that all plays done at many "Shakespeare" theaters are, either, enduring classics or something that their audience will identify with closely. It just feels right. Some of the best examples, I think, are Shakespeare Tavern's Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's The Bald Soprano and even this year, with Orlando Shakespeare presenting a play called Wittenberg, a premier about Hamlet taking classes from Dr. Faustus. A classic is a classic.

Ok...that's enough.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hence, the quotes...

Well, here's the moment where I become less of a "professional" actor, and more of an "unemployed" actor.

The final show last night was a lot of fun, but, now that it's over, the panic is setting in a bit. August and September, I'll be back on stage, but after that...?

I question if I should even be posting stuff like this. You know, is it too personal for a so-called business blog? Eh, I dunno. It deals with performance, so I judge it's alright. You won't hear me whining about trouble with my girlfriend in this forum.

Either way, I'm sure all will be well. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of performances this week! First, Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Actor's Express and then, maybe, Valhalla at Essential Theatre. There's even something out at Push Push I want to see this week. THEN, off to Georgia Shakespeare as soon as I get back to see either Merchant or All's Well. I'm so happy to be getting out and seeing stuff

But, I am panicked. Call me in to read for something. It'll be fun.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Silence is the perfectest herald of joy.

I were but little happy if I could say how much.

Seriously, though, that's one of the most romantic lines in all of Shakespeare. Nevermind what he does later.

Tonight is my final performance of Much Ado About Nothing at the Shakespeare Tavern. I'm hoping it's a good one because I'm going out on it.

But, you know, not really final. We'll be back in August and September, ready to rock again. Right now, though, tonight is my focus.

Claudio really is a great character. He's a hard character to get into. A cursory look at the text might lead one to think he was just a stupid, easily swayable guy of, frankly, suspect moral character who rails at a poor little defenseless girl at her wedding. He can be a screaming, mercurial jerkoff.

But ain't that just the simple way to play him?

I've done this play twice before. Once as Leonato, in college, and once as Don Pedro, at a community theatre. Each time, Claudio has been a big point of contention, but I never looked at him in the same light. First, as Leonato, he appeared to be the aforementioned screaming, mercurial jerkoff. We played Leonato as old, but still very physically fit, so the challenge was visceral. There was no question as to whether or not Leonato could give Claudio a fight. Then, as Don Pedro, he was like a puppy that I had to look out for. It certainly helped that Claudio then was a quarterback type guy who was played with a quick temper. As one of the old guys in that cast, it was easy to sidle into the role of Don Pedro, trying his darndest to guide silly little Claudio to a good ending.

Now that I've actually had time to delve into him, though, as is often the case, I see so much more. He's just as tore up about the Hero situation as anyone, which I think gets lost in the shuffle. It's an anger brought by extreme pain. I know I've been in situations before where I've lashed out at someone I cared for, only to regret it immensely later. To call Claudio out for that is to be hypocritical about any huge fault we've made it our lives. He's got a problem with trust, and might be naive, but he isn't flat out stupid. The fact that he's from Florence would have carried weight with an Elizabethan audience.

To play him as a railing miscreant is a disservice to the character. Anyone with a line that beautiful isn't an all out dickhead. And it's the simple path to take him that way. It is an interpretation, but, by God, it ain't my interpretation.

He isn't that easily swayable jerkoff. He's a human who reacts strongly when he thinks that the woman he is going to marry has betrayed him. I think he's a lovely young man, and it's a joy to inhabit that place for a couple of hours a night.

See you at the Tavern tonight, hopefully! Then, in August...whoo!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

With no regard for're such a brute.

So...daily blog posts. Let's try this.

For instance, I have nothing to really note today. I've been doing the beginning stages of the Bas Rutten MMA workout, and that's been GREAT! I feel awesome after I get done with it.

They just called fifteen minutes...

Oh, I'm backstage before the second to last performance of Much Ado About Nothing. I'm excited to do it today. I'm gonna miss C-Lod when I get done, I think. He's just a super flawed, but basically good man. Young man. Very young.

I just had an incredibly unsatisfying shave. Oh well...I don't have to put a razor to the face until I clean up for a wedding!

The new album by the Black Kids is pretty darn good. When are they going to come to Atlanta again! They just live in Jacksonville!

I spent all day cleaning up my apartment.

They just called ten. I'm going to go get into character and shove some girls around.

I joke. He's hurt. Shut up.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy July!

Please note this post is from when I started to take a stab at writing in early June. I wrote it in July. Fer serious.

Hey folks,

You may be wondering where I've been the last few (?) weeks. Well, let me tell you where!

April - Wrapped up the apprenticeship! You can read all about that at the Shakespeare Tavern's blog! I will link to it when I'm not at my place of business and can access the Tavern's website!

May -
I dutifully portrayed Tragedian in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at The Shakespeare Tavern.

The Tavern will be a recurring theme. Just a heads up.

It was a great experience, all in all. Jeff McKerley was a fantastic director. Hope to see him around more. Also, it was a fun experience to be working with my fellow tragedians (Mike, Daniel, Joe and, of course, sweet little Doug.) We developed quite a'll know what I mean if you saw the show.

We also had, generally, really receptive audiences. When I told people I was in the show, I can't tell you how many people commented, "Oh, that's one of my favorite plays! When is it? I'll be there." I never knew R & G struck such a chord.

June/July -
Guess where I'm at this month! The Shakespeare Tavern. We're currently in the last weekend of Much Ado About Nothing until it comes back in August and September to be a part of the August and September Shakespeare Repertory. Come on down and you'll get to see me reprise my role as Claudio, ALONG WITH (shill) Twelfth Night, King John, A Midsummer Night's Dream AND The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). That's more Shakespeare than you can shake a stick at.

Anyway, Much Ado has been fantastic. I never thought I'd be getting such a heavy role right out of my apprenticeship, but I like to think I've risen to the occasion. I'm loving my camaraderie with Matt Nitchie and Maurice Ralston. It's just a pleasure to do it every night. We're in the last weekend of it and I'm still finding things out about C-Lod.

Anyway, next week, I'll be heading back home to celebrate and be involved in my best friend's wedding, which will be fun. I'm going to try to update this more often, even if it's just with little nonsense posts. I know that getting blog posts from me is, often time, like getting blood from a stone, but we'll try to make it happen.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

A useless and personal first post

So, alright. I'll catch people up on my professional life soon enough. But, for now, I've got important things to do. Like, songs I am fond of.

My buddy Dennis over at Carmi Neighborhood Watch threw down the gauntlet to make me name my ten favorite songs. Well, Dennis, I'm your Huckleberry.

A couple of years ago I made a list of, basically, my top fifteen songs. I'm still pretty proud of that list, but there are some changes I'd make to it. I won't be making those changes today, as it would take forever, but I will repost my top 15 to give you a basic idea of where I'm coming from.

15. Less than Jake - Never Going Back to New Jersey
14. Add - Let It All Burn
13. REM - Strange Currencies
12. Wedding Present - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
11. Jeff Buckley - Corpus Christi Carol
10. Dave Matthews Band - Crush
9. Hank Williams Jr. - Hog Wild
8. Goldfinger - Superman
7. MC Frontalot - Mountain Kind
6. House of Pain - Jump Around
5. Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way
4. Mos Def - Miss Fat Booty
3. Peter Eldridge - That Which Can't Be Explained
2. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Me and Mia
1. 50 Cent - In Da Club

Since it is so time consuming to make a list like this, in the way I want to make it, I am simply going to update my Top Ten singles of 2007 from Facebook. Ready? Here we go.

10 - Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
I don't know if the whole EP is any damn 8.4, but this track is undeniably catchy. I've been describing it to people as The Go! Team meets Morrisey and I still think that's pretty appropriate. I can't wait to hear a full length album from these guys. Plus, they're from Jacksonville. Come on, Mike. Why didn't you know about them first?
Stream or download the song here.

9 - Little Brother - ExtraHard
I'm not going to act like I wasn't disappointed in "GetBack", the most recent effort from LB. I think going separate ways with 9th Wonder will hurt them more than help them, but Phonte and Big Pooh can ride a beat as well as anyone. Plus, this song has the distinction of having one of my favorite lyrics of the year. It hopped right up and knocked me on my ass. "'It'd be so nice if you wasn't an elitist.' Bullshit, homie, I'm a grown ass man. Just call it as I see it." Everybody say praise the Lord.

8 - The Shins - Australia
What, you thought I would forget about these guys? It might not be very popular to still like this album. After all, when other people know about indie music, it sort of ceases to be indie. But I'm not going to forget having this in my ear during all of SETC. It would probably still be my most played song on the ol' iPod if it wasn't for a reset I had to do before the summer. "We come in doing cartwheels. We all go out by ourselves."
The video is here. Check it.

7 - Okkervil River - Unless It's Kicks
What a great recent discovery! I know, most people would go with "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe", but this treatise about art and the healing that can come from an appreciative audience is too great to ignore. This is one where I have to tell you to just go look at the lyrics. "What gives this mess some grace unless it's kicks, man?" So good.
A live video, with pretty good quality.

6 - Justice - D.A.N.C.E
I was sort of late to the party on Justice. I love Daft Punk, as my Top Albums list will attest, but I just couldn't see any reason to snatch this. I like a lot of the album, but D.A.N.C.E is really enough of a reason to buy this. They took a lot of the best parts of Daft Punk and...well, that's really it, but isn't a great ripoff still pretty fuckin' great?
If you look at one video on this list, make it this one.

5 - Kanye West - Good Life (Feat. T-Pain)
The first song to grab me from Graduation and one of the two songs I listen to every time I return to Atlanta, if for no other reason than that he name drops it. I had some trepidations coming into Graduation after hearing that "blonde dyke" line, and I still attest that Kanye isn't the greatest lyricist in the world. I am saying, though, that he MIGHT be one of the best producers of all time, not to mention he smartly drafts T-Pain's cybernetic assistance.
Ok, maybe you need to watch two. I love this director.

4 - Burial - Archangel
Trying to describe Burial is pretty hard, so I'll just save that for the Albums list (OMGZ - spoilarz! They're on it.) I heard someone refer to this song as the sound of walking on a rainy city street alone at night. That's as good a way to describe it as any.
Stream it here.

3 - R. Kelly - I'm a Flirt [Remix] (Feat. T.I. and T-Pain)
THIS IS MY JAM! There is no greater tribute to stupid pop music than this song. I'm here dumbstruck to defend why I love this song so damn much. There are many reasons to, but I think the main reason is Kelly's unmitigated conceit. To flirt is all it takes. It will have the desired outcome, as far as he's concerned. It doesn't matter who it is, either. Kels is pure guilty pleasure and I just don't care.
I love T-Pain.

2 - Jens Lekman - Your Arms Around Me
I dare say I'll listen to this song more in the successive years than the top song on the list. One of my greatest discoveries of the year is, without a doubt, Jens Lekman. I can thank OiNK for Jens, actually. One of the funniest, one of the most touching, one of the best songs from one of the best albums by one of the best artists of the year. Simple enough.
This is a very, VERY different version of the song. I STRONGLY suggest you seek out the album. STRONGLY.

1 - UGK - Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You) (Feat. Outkast)
I haven't really paid much attention to Outkast since "Hey Ya" which, while undeniably catchy, was one of the most overplayed songs of the last decade. For that matter, my only real connection with UGK came on a Dizzee Rascal song. So...why this? From the sample (I Choose You by Willie Hutch), to Andre's energetic, but chill flow ("Hate to see y'all frown, but I'd rather see her smilin'") to the story told (various arcs of relationships) to the lyrics ("We pilin' up the paper on the dining room table / 'cause you able to realize I'm the truth and not a fable."), it is just the best produced, catchiest, not to mention most soulful song of the year.
UGK holds their own on the track, which is a testament to their talent. It's sad that Pimp C isn't here to enjoy the success more, but is there really any better way to go out than with a total masterpiece?
We got yo' back like chiropractic.

That work? Close enough?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I make no promises on how often I will update this.

But, here's a placeholder for Mike.

Hi Mike! Thanks for doing my website!