I had a pretty decent 2011. I published my poetry, knocked out my first novel, did numerous readings in the city, cobbled together some fun videos and got involved in several movies which were shot right here in Halifax.
But this is still just the beginning. People say that you're more likely to follow through with plans if you write them down, so here goes. It's:
DAVE'S TOP TEN THINGS I WANNA ACCOMPLISH IN 2012
(1) Try Voice Acting Work I've spent enough time around actors this past year to realize that I'm not really all that interested in what they do. Yes, it's kinda trippy to see yourself in a film (I turned up like a bad penny several times in Bag of Bones) but I really don't have any desire to feature prominently in a production.
Seem to me that you've always got to be somewhat self-conscious as an actor. Not egotistical, but just aware of your own appearance constantly. Will that coffee stain my teeth? How disastrous was my last haircut? Why don't I own more clothing besides Chucks, cargo shorts and black t-shirts with pithy sayings on them? Do my eyeglasses really scream mid-2000's?
I wouldn't mind acting in a coupla indie student films just to say that I did it, but my true passion is in the auditory realm. I did a voice acting class in the Spring of 2011 and I really dug it. One assignment was to create three original characters with accompanying scripts. The next day I walked into class with seven.
And here's a small sampling of this through the miracle of "Klick-4-Sound" techmology...
When I sat down to write copy of these characters I had to consciously stop myself at seven. I'm convinced that I could come up with at least fifty distinct characters, accents, impersonations and voices. So my immediate goal in the month of January is do a video featuring these characters for my You Tube channel.
Which brings me to...
(2) Keep Cranking Out Videos I'm really encouraged by the success of my inaugural board game vid, which you can conveniently watch right here. I'd like to feature a new board game every month, pop out a few more travel vids and also a do a couple that showcase my oddball characters, bizarre accents and decidedly warped sense of humor. hopefully someone will notice this one day and give me a job.
(3) Get A Film Crew Gig Although I'm not particularly keen on being in front of a camera I'd love to do technical or behind the scenes stuff. Recently I had a chance to work on a short indie horror film called Hatchet doing background but serving as a sound and lighting assistant. I was there for every aspect of the production and the entire process was completely fascinating to me.
I also discovered that IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) can sometimes have their resources strained when several productions come into town all at once. I've been told that non-union folks can sometimes get work when this happens, assuming that you have some experience and are willing to work your ass off.
Or at least that's the theory. If you keep watching this space, I guess you'll find out soon enough...
(4) Make My Book Available For Kobo Readers At first I was just gonna file this under the broader heading below but this particularly stubborn bugaboo has me resorting to self-flagellation (and I ain't talkin' 'bout the fun kind, yo). On two previous attempts I've tried and failed to overcome Word to ePub issues which is keeping the Kobo version of my book in limbo. This is really starting to piss me off since I've had several people request the book in this format.
Although the e-book industry has exploded, the process of getting your humble Word document stripped of invisible, malicious coding so that it looks presentable on a Kindle, Nook, Kobo or similarly miraculous Star Trek-ian device still seems to be in its infancy. I'll prolly end up paying someone else to do this, 'cuz frankly, I'm completely stumped. Just when I think I've got it fixed I bring it up on my Kobo emulator and it still looks like boiled baboon ass.
I really want to get this done ASAP 'cuz I wanna play around with the pricing for the ebook version of the novel. Halp! I is apparently stoopid. Anybody?
(5) Continue To Shine A Spotlight On Volume One This means monthly readings, seeking more media opportunities, possibly organizing a formal book launch and starting an ongoing campaign to harass traditional publishers. I still have four direct contacts that I intend to pester next month and I'm also hoping to sell the book (and prints of the cover art) directly to folks at our fabulous new Halifax Seaport Farmers Market as part of a local artist collective.
Yes, I know I'm not a farmer but I'm hoping that my words will be planted like seeds in the fertile fields of some potential reader's imagination. Or, at the very least, they'll serve as a cheap bit of fertilizer to spread out all over your own creative lawn to hopefully inspire your own growth as a writer.
I'm honestly not sure if that metaphor worked, but, hey...successful produce analogies are so few and far between these days.
(6) Begin Work In Earnest On Volume Two I'm already half way through the first chapter of Volume Two in the ongoing DeathQuest Saga. I've gotten a really interesting hook on the protagonist and I'm excited by what I've written thus far. I'm hoping to complete a new chapter every week and get it done considerably quicker then its predecessor.
Yes, I know what people say about the best laid plans and their tendency to go awry. But I reason that if I commit to the same schedule that has seen me produce one hundred and fifty seven blog entries to date and almost sixty reviews thus far on my entertainment site, I should be able to pull it off.
Which allows me to segue into:
(7) Continue To Crank Out Blog Entries And Reviews I'm still committed to four Emblogification Capture Device entries and a minimum of six reviews on Entertainment Tourette's per month. Wish me luck, folks. I'm sure these commitments will not, I repeat, will not result in a crippling bout of alcoholism.
(8) Clean House I've always been a collector and this character flaw was exacerbated while i worked at a succession of detestable jobs. I used to buy random stuff for the exact same reason most depressed people do: for that momentary pick-me-up that only retail therapy can provide.
Added to this are all the things well-intentioned people buy for me just because they know that I'm into it. For example the arrested development man-child in me absolutely loves original trilogy Star Wars action figures and vehicles but I hate anything to do with the prequels or childish stuff like Lego.
Hey, look, there are different tiers of childishness, okay?
My own rampant consumerism (and contributions from well-meaning friends and family, bless their generous hearts) have resulted in a room that looks like a comic book shop run by an particularly disorganized lunatic:
Now, since I left my last wretched gig I've barely felt the need to buy indiscriminate stuff and it feels great. The only thing that could be even better is purging some of this future landfill, hopefully giving it a good home where someone will really appreciate it. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish this task via a three-pronged campaign involving local flea markets, Kijiji and Ebay.
So I'm hoping to set up a little cottage industry to pare down some of the crap that I own. If I were to hazard a guess as to what I'll end up turfing, it'll probably include a slew of unwanted board games, DVDs, video gamez and CDs that I can no longer justify keeping under my own roof. Needless to say, there will likely be a disproportionate amount of discarded merchandise bearing the words Episode I-III, Clones, Sith and Menaces that are Phantasmal. F#@$, what was I thinking?
P.S. If you see me at a swap meet/flea market/community hootenanny sometime this year, please don't automatically assume that I'm suddenly on the skids. And please try to avoid the temptation of lumping me in with the sort of people who think they're gonna get rich by selling "collectible" Burger King glasses, pieces of driftwood with googly-eyed sea shells glued onto them or painted Mrs. Butterworth containers.
(9) Travel Again Life is nothing if not ironic. I loathed my last formal job but at least it gave me enough scratch to travel. Now I have all the time in the world to go where ever I want, but not enough inbound cheddar to justify going.
I have to find a way to reconcile these two things in 2012. I went to Scotland and Ireland in 2008 and London in 2009 but I haven't gone anywhere since. Well, I went to Toronto last May, but, let's face it kids...that really doesn't count.
(10) Find A Steady Source Of Income That Won't Inspire Thoughts of Suicide As awesome as
my current creative freedom is, it ain't exactly conjuring up thoughts of early retirement.
Ergo, I'm gonna hafta come up with a supplemental gig. Preferably one which won't assimilate my entire life. Something that will still allow me to accomplish a fraction of what I've listed above.
I'd also like to avoid work environments where I'm tasked to sell something that I don't believe in nor care about. Naturally, I'd like to find something that involves writing, editing, training, research, communication or marketing. I'd like to avoid the plague houses (I.E. call centers) altogether as well as any place that would routinely ask me to take a verbal bullet from customers because of something that my employer deliberately did just to save a coupla bucks.
There you go! I'm not asking for too much, am I? Well, yes, I guess I am...
Viewed collectively, I'm sure accomplishing all of these goals in 2012 is next to impossible. But if there's anything I learned from my past sales jobs, is that everyone needs something to strive for.
Hell, even if I manage to check off a few of these, I'll be happy. In my current situation, 2012 is virtually rife with limitless, unpredictable and downright giddy possibilities...
EPIC TUNEZ Hopefully I won't end up like the sad sacks described in this under-rated, rarely heard early Nirvana gem:
EPIC TUNEZ II ♪ ♫ "It's always better on holiday. / So much better on holiday. / That's why we go to work. / When we need the money!" ♪ ♫
FAIL I've been to a few flea markets that have made me want to flee and then be de-flead.