Much Love to Bret Michaels and Support the “Ear Candy”

4/27/10

Just a quick note to remind all the musical folks out there to send a positive sound vibe to Bret Michaels tonight. He’s run into some health issues and whether you’re a fan or not – he’s got the rock-n-roll spirit. Let’s put our musical love together and help lift his inner-rocker back to its recent glory.

Also, if you’re a Phoenix Coyotes fan, like the desert or just plain believe that any kid, any where should have a chance to play an instrument – then help out Ear Candy Charity. Arizona gets the least per person funding for education in the country. It’s the norm in the U.S. to cut funding for the arts first. These kids deserve as much chance to explore creativity they can get. Someone, somewhere has said “Music is the weapon of the future”. I chose mine and even wrote a song about it. What’s your weapon? If these kinds don’t touch or play with one – they will never know and this world will be a sad, sad place.

Share the musical love forever – Rock On Bret Michaels – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

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I Gotta Go Grammar Police on “Prison Break – The Final Break” and How a Movie Gets Made

… drive down all the long-winding roads and break all the world’s most difficult codes. Smile on a passing favor and find thoughts with which to savor. Laugh while hoping things get better and put all your dreams in a handwritten letter. Know the demons that from within arise and catch your future with the element of surprise…

7/29/09

Aloha! Last Friday, while watching my dearest friends’ dogs, I watched the “Prison Break” movie (or two episodes squished together into 90 minutes) known as “The Final Break.” I was very happy that certain aspects of the show were concluded in a relatively neat fashion. I got a bunch more “T-Bag” (played by Robert Knepper) lines to use at work for S’s and G’s, such as “my pro quo to your quid” and “how’s it going Five-star?” (or something like that). Although, I should be careful – I do occasionally run across a 5-Star General or two and if I called that person “5-Star” in public, it would probably go over about as well as a “terd in a punch bowl”, as one of my co-workers just loves to say.

Before I go all “Grammar Police” on the final scene, I’ll mention a conversation I had with my friend Todd last week. (yes – just a friend – no other strings attached – to answer a rather curious e-mail from someone named “JumbOLie-ya”) Todd and I wholeheartedly agreed that one of the worst things to happen from a television-viewers perspective is a show getting cancelled and that’s it – all gone – never to be heard from again. It really is a bummer when one gets invested in a character or plot or some other aspect(s) of a show and then the show just goes off the air for good. Well, as a person who values time more than money, I totally feel shafted (or bent-over, if you like) when a show I enjoy and for which I make time simply disappears. Thankfully, the “Prison Break” folks got a chance to tie-up some loose ends and finish out the last season. Hurray for that!!

As I wrote a few blog entries ago, I spent some time reading the IMBd Wentworth Miller message boards. (at some point – I concluded that I just couldn’t look away – I was captivated entirely – but I will deny it fervently;-) ) Somewhere I read a few “spoilers” and because of that I pretty much knew what to expect in “The Final Break”. I wasn’t sure how “Scofield” bites the dust and I was interested in the fate of Theodore Bagwell. I have read that many “Prison Break” fans were disappointed in “The Final Break”, but I appreciated the closure, so there won’t be, but one, complaint from me.

Which brings me to the final scene in which Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Link (Dominic Purcell) are watching Michael’s(Wentworth Miller) last video to his family. It does not escape me that I’m probably one of the very, very few who noticed or even cared about the extremely poor grammar spoken in Michael’s video, but because of it (the poor Grammar), I had to rewind the last few minutes and re-listen to Michael’s departing words. He speaks about his “child”, which is singular – however, he then refers to “them” and “they”, which denotes a plural – or children. I was briefly confused by Michael’s reference to “them” and “they”, so I did rewind and determined that he was actually refering to one child. I suppose I tend to pick-up on “the little things” more than “the average bear”, so if bad grammar is my only real problem with “The Final Break”, then I recommend that all “Prison Break” fans be sure to check it out. (yeah – I’m a geek/nerd/dork – no need to remind me!)

I have also mentioned in a recent blog entry that I have volunteered some of my time in an effort to assist in the making of a movie. To bring you up to speed – this movie has been in “production” since 2005. Once a year, someone will contact me and tell me that the movie is “back on” and most of the same group of people get together again and work toward the movie’s completion. I won’t get into all the drama and specifics (most of which I’ve been lucky enough to miss anyway), but the people who own the equipment needed to film and the people who spend the most money and supply most of the talent, have two different ideas on how this movie should take form. This causes a tremendous amount of friction, that eventually creates a big enough rift to halt production for many months each year. I have a full-time job and anything I do regarding this film is strictly on the side and so far, I have not made a single penny. I have pretty much done everything but direct so far. It’s been a hard-road for all involved – yet it has allowed me to see how a movie gets made and I have learned more than I could ever have expected. Most of the shooting has been done, but because we lost a high-profile actor between this year and last, we have to find some creative way to fill the void. I even get to “appear” in this film now.

I have had some fun over the last month or so and I won’t lie and tell everyone that it isn’t fun being in front of the camera, but the experience has mostly just solidified my position on anonymity. I prefer being involved with film/tv/video production from the back-end, or sidelines. I doubt it’s a question of talent or “will”, as much as it is a question of me being me and not having to cultivate a “PR” image that will most likely just piss me off in the end and create a situation where I have to compromise more of myself than is pissible to give. I’m difficult to package-up nicely, so it’s best that I just do my thing away from the eyes of those who might find me interesting. It is a foregone conclustion that I am not really meant for public consumption.

The main goal of those who created the premis for this film and who have overcome nearly insurmountable odds is to get the film to certain film festivals. I allow myself to get pulled back in simply because I respect and admire the fact that no one, on any side that matters, will call it “quits” and let the movie die. I can frame a shot, run a camera and I’m a super-fast learner, so I figure I won’t be a party to the “politics”, but I won’t be one of the may who have given up and dropped out  either. Technically I’m a “rookie”, because I have not been to film school, but most of the people involved have thus far been patient, helpful and understanding of my ability to “learn on the fly.” Plus, I have been around enough through the years to not be a completely green.

Personally, I am finding myself becoming half-way excited that this thing may actually be complete and ready to go by early 2011. I also find myself quite thrilled by the fact that some of the local “crew” have been given permission to use a rich guy’s pool all summer, whenever we want. I don’t need to be paid – I just need a free pool that comes complete with a poolside grill and a fridge that is ALWAYS stocked with steak. Considering I am a water person all the way and considering I love me some grilled steak – it would be one dumb idea not be involved in whatever way I can with this particular project. Not to mention the rib-cracking laughing fits that accompany a long weekend of trying to get out “rag-tag” group from one location to another with no food, no smokes, no caffiene and hardly any sleep.

We have had to take another break so the two writers can hunker down in solitude somewhere and come up with more lines for my character and change part of the ending to explain the disappearance of another character. I think there are some other issues, but I am not privy and I feel I should let the others “play” on their own for a while.

I am forced to blog about things that happen outside my regular work day, for the most part. I work for Homeland Security and just like in Las Vegas, what happens in the office, stays in the office. For those in the “Prison Break” know – my life is absolutely nothing “Agent Don Self’s” life. I doubt anyone’s life is like that.

I’m off to figure how I’m going to get places with a vehicle that has no working fuel pump – just when I thought I was gaining some headway on saving – ahhhh crap.

Rock on movie makers – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

Meet a Baltimore Artist and a Languishing Theater – NYC Starbucks Saves the Day!.

7/24/09

Good afternoon all! I have had a fun-filled week  that included a very spur of the moment trip to New York, a visit to an artsy friend and an endoscopy. The endoscopy was rather routine and there were no complications, so that’s all I have to say about that. I only mention it because I needed a person to drive me to a fro. I don’t have family and most of the people I know are many hundreds to thousands of mile away from me, so I gave my friend Todd Conway a shout, knowing that he is an “art-bumb” during the summer when he is not teaching art in Baltimore City. Of course, he’s a good guy, so he happily gave me a place to crash and took me to the hospital.

Todd has done a lot of work that has been featured in Baltimore, MD and Maryland in general. He has managed to do what many cannot – he gets paid to do what he loves and he has time-off in the summer to explore new creative ideas. I’m very, very happy for him. His house draws a lot of attention and he hit the jackpot on location.

Todd did me a major “solid” and I appreciate that given how difficult it is for me to rely on others. Since I had a few minutes to get to the blog this afternoon, I decided to do some blatant “Todd Conway” promoting. He’s been working on a graphic novel for a very long time and I got to see him working on it while I was recovering at his house this week. It’s absolutely fascinating watching the artisitc process in action. Plus, I think I might be able to convince Todd to help out with a movie that I’ve been working on for free for a while. I met some very ambitious local film people a while ago and they just love to intice me with project. This time around – they got me. I just couldn’t say “no”. But, there have been a few snags and I think it’s time for big “Todd Conway” to sit down with me so we can brain-storm.

Anyway, I think if you need something wholly Baltimore and you need it done right – got see “Todd Conway“! Now, this brings me to a more sobering portion of today’s entry. I work in Downtown Baltimore and every day I get to see something that makes me very sad. 1/4 of Charles Plaza consists of the building that once was the Morris Mechanic Theater. I saw several plays there while the Mechanic was still open. Now the theater is partially boarded-up and much of the glass is shattered. The Mechanic went lights out after the Hippodrome was finally refurbished and opened. There has been very little done to preserve or modernize the building. The City of Baltimore has determined that the theater does have historic value, so permits would be difficult for a mulit-use facility.

It makes me want to do something – anything – when I walk by the Morris Mechanic every day and see the same Bobcat and construction equipment sitting in the exact same place on part of the roof. One of my co-workers tells me that the Bobcat has been sitting up there for at least two years. I realize that some people don’t like the architectural style of the building and I understand that there are more modern venues for theatrical productions in Baltimore, but if I listen closely enough – I can almost hear the echoing sound of hollow culture flowing out of the delapidated, unique form. Maybe I should get crackin’ hmmmm – Now where to begin?

On an unrelated note – I’ve been helping some independent filmakers do their thing this month. They have made several films – only one of which you have probably seen. They appreciate my creative and rather, well, enthusiastic spirit, so upon request, I offered up myself to be IN FRONT of the camera, instead of behind the scenes, where I feel much more anonymous. To get to the meat of my point, I had to take a quick trip to a very busy New York City neighborhood this week. It was all quite last minute, but I made it in enough time to have someone make me up and then toss me into the mix of things for a total of about 10 minutes in front of the camera. The experience was a rush in a few ways, but if it were not for Starbucks Coffee, I’d have not made it home again.  There are no Starbucks close to where I live. I used to live within walking distance of a Starbucks. I got my hands on some Starbucks in NYC and things just seemed a little – better.

You most likely will not see me coming to a theater near you, even though, my role just expanded. This particular film is having a lot of trouble trying to “find its legs” as one of the producers keeps telling everyone. Given the fact that several people involved are volunteering their time and services (a lot of both actually), the film will most likely be finished. But in what condition? That remains to be seen.

Anyone have any ideas on how to go about saving a theater? – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

Brining Baltimore to life since 1967 – http://www.toddconwayarts.com