Bad Accents and Crazy Dreams

The job hunt continues with few fruits. It’s gotten to the point where I’m all too familiar with all of the Craigslist job scams. To those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of sending more job applications than you have hairs on your body, allow me to educate you.

The Craigslist job scams are a variation on this: “Hi Jon, we reviewed your application and good news! You’re one of our top five candidates! To complete the application process, we need you to fill out a form on this website.” Blah blah blah, so then I go to that website, jump through those hoops, until it takes me a to a page telling me I have to get a credit report to give to my employer. I start to get wary. They tell me I can use whatever service I want, but that they recommend this one, and that it’s totally free. So I go there, still feeling as if I’m walking into a lion’s den, and then hit the next page on my creation of a new account. The top has a blank for my social security number, and the bottom has an area for my credit card number. But don’t worry, they say, we won’t charge you! It’s just for security!

Where’s my security, creepy credit report site? After Googling you, I found that a lot of people have been scammed by you. Frankly I’m not sure if I’m more appalled or slightly impressed (but still a little appalled) by the fact that instead of just throwing your credit report scamsite out there, you went through the trouble of posting a job on Craigslist and then sending out bulk emails letting me and who-knows-how-many-others know that we were amongst the top candidates, when really there are no candidates because there is no job. People who take advantage of others while they’re looking for a job deserve their own circle of hell.

Can you tell I’ve been at this for a while?

In other news, I found a cool job in Nashville and have already emailed them saying something too similar to, “I REALLY WANT THIS CAN I HAVE IT?” and, if I continue to not hear from them, I might call them next week and say something along those lines verbally. Yeah, I know, Nashville. Hadn’t planned on it, but Brit kept telling me about it and wanting me to come and I kept thinking that, yeah, it would be nice to be with someone I know (and, I daresay, someone I like), and that it would also be nice to get out of Texas for the first time in my life (even though Perry is spreading the gospel of the Miracle of the Texas Economy, even if his claims are inflated). Austin and Albuquerque were my choices before, and I’m certainly not saying they’re out, but the fact of the matter is that Albuquerque’s film scene is apparently drying up a bit due to film incentive cutbacks and Austin is flooded with newcomers thanks to California’s gasping economy. Nashville, however, doesn’t have a film reputation and thus may be better for me to actually get some hands-on experience.

If it sounds like I’m thinking aloud, it’s because I am. Really none of it matters, though, because if I don’t get a job, I’m not going. Or am I?

I knew a guy at UNT that graduated and hopped in his car and drove to Alaska. He only stayed a few months, but he actually did it, and there was something to be said for that. America’s big and varied, and there’s a part of me (like there’s a part of every twenty-something) that wants to hop in a car and drive endlessly and see who I meet and what happens. This is the land of the road trip, after all, and I’m a young single guy with no babies to get angry at.

I started reading a book called Either You’re In or You’re In the Way. It’s by two twins from LA and it tells the story of how their alcoholic dad died in jail and they vowed to make their screenplay (a recounting of their childhoods with their dad) into a movie within a year of his death. Even though neither had any film experience or had gone to college, they went out and did it. The dream actor for the role of their dad was Ed Harris, and they actually got him. I’ve read the book in about a day, and their sometimes foolhardy determination is kind of infectious.

It’s like when I read Robert Rodriguez’s book and he talked about how he made a super cheap movie look great and sold it to Hollywood for boatloads of money. To raise the money he signed up for medical experiments, and still has some scars to prove it. There are all of these success stories of people doing crazy things and taking huge gambles in order to realize their dreams, but you don’t hear about the failures. The twins from LA signed up for seventeen credit cards so they could finance the beginning of their film, racking up $45k in debt within a few weeks. What if the movie hadn’t worked? They started the book by talking about how they’d slept on floors and had an awful apartment with a roof literally patched with cardboard, so it was clear that things weren’t going well. Then, boom, Ed Harris.

I’m not quite there yet, to the point of medical experiments and seventeen credit cards, and I don’t think I could go quite that far, but the sheer determination is impressive. Or stupid. Or a bit of both. But maybe you need both in order to realize crazy dreams.

Okay, enough on that.

My days in Plano have had largely the same schedule, with me playing perhaps too much Team Fortress 2 and watching a lot of TV. The TV, however, is all very good, so I don’t feel that guilty about it. And as far as the Team Fortress 2 playing goes, I was called a hacker while playing as spy, so that pretty much means that I’m awesome. Then someone said I was the gayest person ever, and then someone else added ten minutes later that he agreed but that I was only the second gayest after Justin Bieber. Victory tasted sweet, I tell you.

Today I officially became caught up on Mad Men, and it was horrible. Not horrible because of the show’s content – it’s consistently brilliant – but because now I have to wait like everyone else until it graces the AMC airwaves again, commercials and all. Being able to watch two episodes a day, one for breakfast and one for lunch, was really nice.

From watching and thinking about and reading about that show, I’ve come to realize that a show can be about anything and be good so long as everyone cares about it. What I mean is that I wouldn’t have thought ad men in the 60s would make for great entertainment, at least not any more than any other work-specific show concept. I can understand why HBO passed on it back when it was pitched to them (though they had The Sopranos and should have thus known of Matthew Weiner’s genius). Historical shows don’t normally do very well, mainly because of exorbitant budgets (and in that area Mad Men’s no exception), but Mad Men has more than that. It’s not just ad men and it’s not just presenting us with the novelty of the 60s against our modern day lives. It made every single character a character instead of giving us an actor and being told that he’s got a life somewhere. They show us, they don’t tell.

If you happen to still be reading, stay with me.

On the left you’ll see Kendra Young, a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kendra is supposed to be a Jamaican vampire slayer who comes to help Buffy out after Buffy briefly dies. The problem is that Kendra has the most godawful Jamaican accent ever put to television. The actress is from LA, after all, and thus can’t be expected to do a good Jamaican accent, but it’s criminal how bad it sounds.

So, my point in this is that Kendra Young is an incredibly flat character. She shows up in Sunnydale, California, talking about how she rushed over from Jamaica because blahblahblah. We never see Jamaica, of course (budgeting issues), but there are several scenes where we’re supposed to empathize with her while she feels homesick or compares/contrasts California with Jamaica. We don’t know Jamaica, nor what it means to her. We don’t know Kendra. Hell, Kendra obviously doesn’t know Jamaica. She was a lousy character.

In the Mad Men universe, no character is left at a bad accent. The same is said for The Sopranos and Lost and most other great television; it feels real because each person has a life that we see and hear about instead of just, “Ah Jamaica’s great, mon!” Life is like that: even the dude holding the door for you at the hotel has a home and a family and thinks things.

All of that is to say that I quite enjoyed Mad Men and will now have to delve into some other show. Shouldn’t be hard, as there are so many good ones around right now.

Last weekend we filmed my second short film, Dr. Nasty, and the music is currently being done, so soon I should have a link of that up. Everything went swimmingly, and Josh made a frightfully natural non-villain. He changed almost every line he had and the editing process was difficult only because of the giggles I had to edit away. I’m sure it will come out wonderfully.

Well that’s it for now. I’ll update soon enough.

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~ by Jon C. Forisha on August 26, 2011.

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