Experience Is Everything: My Final Days in SF

After a year and a half (more or less with the exception of being home for Christmas and part of summer vacation), I am a mere 15 days away from returning to Miami and intending to remain there and complete the rest of my Graduate program online. That being said, I want to make perfectly clear that my experiences here have been unlike anything I could have possibly imagined and I am so grateful for each and every one of them (the good and the bad) and I believe I’ve become a much better and more complete man for it.

This semester (Spring 2010) has surely been the fastest-moving, busiest, and most experience-filled semester of my academic life… EVER! And, the last month and change of the semester seems to have become the most action-packed and luckiest month and change I’ve had in a long time, if not ever. Where do I even begin?

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that I had to move out of campus housing and moved into a shoe box of a place in the worst part of the city. I have no Internet, TV, or even furniture. (Not even a bed!) Well that all changed when I found a chair that one of my neighbors threw out. After inspecting it to make sure the legs hadn’t been devoured by termites and that the leather had no sharp objects sticking out of it, I gingerly carried it into my room, soaked and wiped every sq. inch of it with 409 and claimed it as my own. I finally had my first piece of furniture and it only took 3 months to find.

My old roommate and now neighbor Trent lives a few floors up from me now. His girlfriend, who works for a certain video game company hooked me up with a brand new released game for FREE! I haven’t even opened it yet because I obviously don’t have my X Box 360 here but rest assured when I get home I’ll be playing the crap out of it!

I’ve been asked to do A LOT of acting this semester. I guess my reputation now has preceded me of being good for three main things: voices/impersonations, martial arts, and looking scary as shit. Mu-Ming, a director and good friend of mine asked me to play a British doctor. It was a cool experience because the entire crew was Chinese and they all obviously communicated with each other in Mandarin and then had to repeat everything to me in English. I was so proud of myself for understanding about every tenth word.

One of the most amazing experiences was acting in an experimental film. My friend whom I met this semester Marianna approached me with a very stressed and desperate demeanor. She asked if I could act for her experimental that was going to be a music video and prefaced by saying, “No dialogue and I need you to look as scary as possible.” DONE!

On the day of the shoot, well actually, I got the days mixed up and woke up at 5:30 in the morning and got ready… a day early. So on the real day of the shoot, I was told I would be picked up at 8:00 AM sharp and we would start shooting at 9:00 AM sharp. The shoot was in a warehouse in the middle of nowhere in Oakland. I had no idea who the person was who was going to pick me up, all Marianna told me was that he was given my phone number and address and would call me when he was arriving to take me to the set. 8:00 turned into 8:20 and then 8:50, I didn’t get picked up till about 9:15 and didn’t get to the set till after 10:00. There was a lot of confusion and things getting lost in translation between Marianna, the DP from Cyprus and the driver whose name I couldn’t even pronounce from India.

Well I finally got there and was just amazed. The warehouse was HUGE but the set that was built was maybe 200 sq. feet. It was so simple: all black walls, one light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and a simple wooden chair. As this post is being written, I still haven’t seen any cut of the film and neither has Marianna and I’m so curious to see how it turns out. I was given one main direction: “Look Scary!” The name of my character in the script was, ‘Evil.’

I also ran into an old acquaintance from last semester and we haven’t really been separated since. She asked me the other day to help me out as an electrician on one of her friends shoots. I spent 14 hours in a beautiful house in San Leandro shooting a comedy and whenever we weren’t shooting, I was getting attacked by the most adorable Vietnamese children I’ve ever seen.

Ana and I also got to go to a Giants game and see Tim Lincicum pitch.

Lastly, but not leastly, I had auditioned for a parody/ straight for YouTube series of Batman and Space Ghost. I originally auditioned for the Joker. I didn’t get the role but I was offered another minor roll and assist in fight choreography for the fight scenes and stunts. It was a very simple shoot with some of the funniest people I’ve met since arriving in SF.

Well I guess that’s everything… so far. Miami-bound in 15 days. Thank you San Francisco!

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