A New Year

I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions. Not because I don’t think there is any merit to doing so, but because I don’t believe there needs to be a specific day in which to make a change in your life. I feel that if you want to make a change or break a bad habit you should do it immediately instead of waiting for the first of the year. That being said, there are some “resolutions” that I have been making in my life over the past month and ones that I need to start working on more. So, in the spirit of the new year, I’m going to write some of these out. Don’t worry, I’ll interweave some photos as well so you don’t get bored.

1. Stand Up Toledo

In case you haven’t heard, I was one of five comedians voted to come back for a second time to perform at Stand Up Toledo! Stand Up Toledo is a showcase of 10 local comedians at the Maumee Indoor Theatre. I was one of the comedians back in 2012 and I had a great time! This year, I am hoping to improve and do even better than last year. Ideally, I would like to be able to perform all new material, but I think that there will be a couple repeats only because I have improved on a couple of the jokes that I have been telling for a while. If you buy your tickets from me, they are only $15, otherwise they are $20 at the door, which opens at 7pm on January 20th. If you’re in the area, this is definitely a show you won’t want to miss! Along the same vein, I want to try to get as much stage time as possible and start doing comedy outside of the Toledo/BG area.

IMG_1040

A painting I did as a Christmas present to my parents

2. Acting

I want to start acting way more than I am now. After all, it is what I want to make a career out of, but I’ve discovered that just having representation isn’t enough, at least not for me. I appreciate the fact that I am being submitted for work, but thus far I haven’t been getting so much as an audition. So, rather than just giving up or waiting, I am taking a more active approach to my acting career. Thus far, I have submitted myself to multiple websites, casting calls, and have sent out countless emails to local casting calls, such as student films and local filmmakers. I want to get my face and resume out there as much as possible in hopes that the right person will see it and decide I’m worth a shot. Until I get cast, I plan on doing as much local theatre and film as I can and build up my résumé, as well as networking where ever I can.

IMG_1031

My roommate’s parrot, Play-Doh, enjoying the snow

3. Working out

Here it is, the cliché New Year’s resolution: Working out. We’ve all thought it or said it out loud at some point in our lives, “I should really work out more.” But hear me out, this has a bit more weight to it, pun not intended but hopefully appreciated. I have fibromyalgia, so working out has always been a point of hesitation for me. I’m not particularly out of shape by any means, work keeps me pretty active, but I want to start building up more of a resistance to the pain caused by fibromyalgia. Ordinarily, working out is a painful experience for me because of fibromyalgia, but the theory is that the more you work out, the more resistance you build against that pain. I don’t know if that has any truth to it or not, but I think it’s worth a try. It really doesn’t have any negative drawbacks to it, aside from being in a bit more pain then usual. Plus, losing weight wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world

Sam wearing his reindeer costume.

Sam wearing his reindeer costume.

Naturally, I have other things that I am working on improving, but those are the top ones at the moment. I hope you enjoyed reading, or at least enjoyed the photos and I’ll be posting again soon. In the meantime, have a great start to 2013!

 

He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool. – F.M. Knowles

 

Advertisements

Steampunk’d: The Eyepiece

Hello all and welcome to the first installment of my Steampunk series! I’ll be going step by step of how I created my Halloween costume starting with the most complicated piece: the eye piece.

It started with an empty pill bottle. I tore off the labels so that I was left with the just the translucent orange bottle. It’s a regular, prescription sized bottle that I am sure many of you at home will have lying around somewhere.


The next thing I did was use Crayola Air-Dry clay to do the mold. In retrospect, I should have used a stronger clay, as the air-dry one was very brittle when it dried, but  in the end it worked for my purposes. I went with it because of how light it was, as I knew that the weight would make a difference when it came to applying the prosthetic to my face. 
Afterwards, I sanded it down to make it smooth and flat on all sides and to clean up any of the dust left over during the drying process. As you can see, as it dried the clay actually cracked on the bottom. Oddly enough, it still held onto the bottle, unlike the top piece which I reinforced with craft glue. I actually ended up having an issue with Play-Doh the parrot where he bit off part of the top, but I was able to work around it and piece it back together. The clay was really easy to sand, so I had to be careful not to overdo it and shrink the size of the piece. I wanted to make a big impression with it and for that I needed it to be the size that I made it.

After sanding it, I gave my eyepiece its initial paint job. I went with copper and gold colors with a silver accent in the center of the eye. I also used black to accentuate the crack in the clay. When things go wrong, sometimes they can work to your advantage and this was a great case of that happening.

After the paint dried, I began adding liquid latex to the piece. I used small pieces of cotton in between the gear spokes to make it look like there was skin and muscle protruding around the gear. I also added a couple of golden clock hands which I submerged into the latex. In this photo you can actually see where Play-Doh bit the clay and cracked the top piece. Later, I find a way to make it work by adding a flat gear to the top, which actually made it look like it could be part of a gas mask.

I had to make sure that I applied the latex on a flat surface that it wouldn’t stick to, so I alternated between an upside down metal trashcan and the lid to an old shoebox. After the latex dried around the gear, I peeled it back to make it look as though it burst out of the latex.

Paint job #2! After the latex dried, I painted it with black and red acrylic paint. I also touched up the eye piece paint and added a flat gear that I got from Costume Holiday House to the top. I spatter painted red on the eye piece itself to help complete the illusion that it had burst out of the eye not too long ago.

And that’s how I did it! It ended up looking really cool though it took A LOT of spirit gum to keep on my face. Next blog, I’ll show you some of the accessories that I made to go with the costume and then a chest prosthetic that I made which features a working clock that lights up. Until then!

The finished product!

“To some, ‘steampunk’ is a catchall term, a concept in search of a visual identity. To me, it’s essentially the intersection of technology and romance. –  Jake von Slatt

 

Decisions, Decisions

 

Hello again,

Now that I’m settled into my new place, I can finally take the time needed to update this!

First off, no longer homeless! I have a great new roommate (Kate) and her lovely parrot, Play-Doh!

Playing with the parrot

Now on to the news. First off, I finally have some copies of my book to sell! Granted, I don’t have a lot, I was only able to get 8 of them, but I have two reserved and have already sold one. I’m hoping to take the remaining ones and use them to network some more and maybe get the book sold at some stores around here that sell local authors.

I am a firm believer in that it is never too early to start thinking about Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. For the past 3 years I have worked as a Screamster at Cedar Point, a job I have absolutely loved doing. However, I may be sitting out a year due to my “big girl jobs” of which I have two with an interview for the third this week. There is a chance that this may change during the season, but I had to make a decision and so I chose the more responsible route. Anyone that knows me well will know how difficult this decision was for me. However, I am hoping to go and see everyone on one of the weekends, but until then “Chick in a Box” will be staying in the box.

My Screamster character 🙂

However, in spite of all this, I am finally able to do a lot of the things I wasn’t able to do last season. For starters, I have entered into the Best in the Midwest Comedy Competition which is in October. We’ll be competing for a cash prize and though I’m not sure that I can win it, it will be my first stand-up competition which is pretty exciting. Secondly, there are a great deal of costume and makeup competitions in this area and with my experience in both of these fields, I want to see if I have a chance of winning any of them. I’m thinking about making some sort of steampunk costume, which is something I’ve always been interested in but haven’t had a chance to fully explore. Naturally, I will have more information on these as they get closer.

Finally, there is a new episode of Already Indie up! This one is part 2 of our 3 part series on how to make your own green screen. We have some big ideas for future episodes, so definitely stay tuned for that.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but there is a lot more coming! Thanks for reading!

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost