Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Imagine if we finished everything

Yesterday, I picked Rod up after he got off work and we rolled to Shantrece's house. Shantrece is the lead in Imagine, the short that Rod Pitts (www.pittstopproductions.com) is submitting to the Lil' Memphis Film Fest. This festival asks for five-minute shorts that contain footage of the Baptist Memorial Hospital Implosion. Rod got a few minor shots and we are wrapped. Then, we rolled over to Keenon Nikita's (Poor and Hungry, The Right Questions) house where we Rod assisted with the editing. I was there for moral support and to hang out and chill. Our conversations normally tend to lean toward the opposite sex and life in general, but it's cool. Sometimes I'm overly sensitive when they start giving me a hard time, but it's "tough love", I guess. Keenon got into the real-life situations that will be dramatized in Just the Two of Us. It was pretty deep. Keenon is very devoted to his daughter Ashley and loves her a lot. It puts things in perspective and reminds me that this is not just to advance our careers. This film is a statement on the love between a father and his daughter. That's something I'm proud to be a part of. Also, for those who have been wondering, we have one more scene to shoot. Keenon and Rod are editing whenever they have free time. When I say whenever, I mean morning, noon, or night. The premiere is scheduled for March 16 at Muvico Theatres in Peabody Place at 7:30 PM. That's a Thursday, people. The afterparty will be at Isaac Hayes also in the Peabody Place building. Isn't that convenient? It's been a long time coming, but I think that everybody will be pleased. Be easy, readers.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Who Am I Playing Again? The Infamous Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday: Chilled out at home. Watched the movie Rize. Cool dance moves, nice documentary about kids using dance to "rise" and transcend their inner-city LA environment.

Had Gridiron Association rehearsal. We actually rehearsed in the Al Chymia Shrine Center, where we will be performing at. Pretty cool. I am now a "background" person in two more scenes. Theater is serious! I will pull it off, though. Next, I met up with Rod Pitts to shot a scene with Kim Skipper (What Goes Around, Just the Two of Us) for Imagine, Rod's entry into the Lil' Memphis Film Festival. We also got clothing items for my Spin Cycle scene the next day. After that, I was called into a gathering at the apartment of Arnold Edwards II to receive my role in Curbside Confessions. That's all I can really say. I signed a confidentiality agreement, so I can't really speak on this film.

Sunday: I woke up around 6 AM, ate, got myself together, and I called Rod around 7 AM. I made it to his place, we proceeded to the Theater Building at the University of Memphis. Nataki Caver (What Goes Around, Just the Two of Us), the female lead in Spin Cycle, met us there. We then proceeded to Comics and Collectibles in the hopes of shooting our scene. Our male lead canceled and we had to call it off. I was disappointed, plus I was saddened by the fact that I can't cut my hair and I shaved off my goatee. After that, Rod and I went to Keenon's house, where he proceeded to tell me I looked 17. Thanks, Keenon! After about another hour of advice and teasing from Keenon, I headed home. I had rehearsals again for the play Waltzing in Memphis. We started rehearsing songs. I will have to cut down on the karaoke singing to save my voice for this show! After that, I picked Rod up from Keenon's, where he was editing Just the Two of Us and we met Jason Dancy and Learyn (The Survivor, Just the Two of Us) to shoot scenes for Imagine. April Hale (The Survivor, Just the Two of Us) also shot some scenes with us. I played Death. It was cool.

I am now anxious to see Just the Two of Us, which is scheduled to be shown on March 16 at the Muvico theatres in Peabody Place, downtown Memphis. Also, I will be in two movies in the Lil' Memphis Film Fest. I am usually hard on myself, but I have to see how everything comes together. Be easy, readers.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another Night of Karaoke

Last night, we were at Flashback's. It was myself, Forrest Pruett (Delusions, Glorious Mail), and our good friends Candace and Eric Pike. Forrest performed Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity", Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name", and Candlebox's "You". He rocked. Forrest requested I perform Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun", and I did pretty good. I also performed Outkast's "Hey Ya" and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild". I came, I saw, I karaoked.

Tonight, we are supposed to shoot Rod Pitts' short for the Lil' Memphis Film Festival. Saturday, I have to meet at Arnold Edwards' house for a hush-hush meeting concerning Curbside Confessions. Then, I believe I have a birthday party to attend. Play rehearsals will also take place. And I think I'm shooting my scene for Spin Cycle. I love acting, but man, I really need to get more paying gigs this year. Can a brother get a commercial?! Be easy, readers.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Random Observations, or Too Much Free Time: 2/23/2006

Random Observation #1:

Last night, while karaokeing (If it's not a word, it is now), I saw a young blond female that had on a t-shirt that had a cigarette crossed out and the words, "There are cooler ways to die" written under the anti-smoking symbol. Just one problem: She was smoking! It was ironic, yet weird.

Random Observation #2:

For a guy with asthma, I am certainly around a lot of smokers. I may have to start sitting at angles because I do have a slight paranoia about cancer from second-hand smoke.

Random Observation #3:

Okay, today was an employee's last day at the old workplace. My supervisor leave and comes back with this gigantic knife to cut the cake. The fact that she has a knife that big is a little unsettling. I may be hesitant the next time she requests my presence in her office. Shoot, I may be like, "Hold up, how about we meet in my office? And come alone and unarmed. And I want the money in small, unmarked bills"....Okay, my imagination started wandering. But it was still kinda freaky.

Again, my thoughts. I had to get them out. I feel better. I hope you do, too.

Karaoke Forever!!!!

Forrest "Lord" Pruett (Deulusions, Forty Shades of Blue) awakened me from my slumber and informed me that the gang was at Grand Station, which has a karaoke on Wednesday nights. The lure of the crowd was too much for me. I slapped on some rags and proceeded to the establishment. By the time I got there, Forrest was already performing "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi. Being the consummate performer that he is, Forrest rocked it. He also helped some girls out on their rendition of "Leavin' On a Jet Plane". I never knew the words to that song outside of the chorus. Now, I vaguely remember them. Lina Fritsche (Divine Manipulation of the Threads, Slow Down You're Dating Too Fast) performed "Adia". As usual, Lina sang the hell out that song! Of course, Joseph Smith (Delusions, Almost Made) and I HAD to deliver our rendition of "Nuttin' But a G Thang". We rocked it! Later, Forrest performed "Silent Lucidity" by Queensryche. Top-notch performance. Forrest and I also chewed the fat about acting and not being afraid to push for better roles. Sometimes I get comfortable and secure playing the oddball or goofy character. I have to push myself. Challenges help you grow.
I have just received a call from Mr. Rod Pitts (www.pittstopproductions.com) and he has informed me that I have been drafted for his short for the Lil' Memphis Film Festival. Oh, yeah, it's on again! Another day, another credit. Be easy, readers.


The stellar independent film Act One by Old School Pictures was #1 over the weekend at Studio on the Square here in Memphis. They have extended the run for another week. So now, Act One will be running until next Thursday, March 2. Here are the show times:

"Act One" Malco Studio on the Square 1:25 * 4:40 * 7:25 * 9:45

Please support local independent films, people. Memphis has a lot of creative artists that should be encouraged. That is all, citizens.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Random Thoughts, or Too Much Free Time:2/22/2006

Random Thought #1:
Is it just me, or does country music have some of the most heartbreaking stories ever? I have read the lyrics to several country music songs on the karaoke monitor, and it's enough to make me wanna turn a bottle up (if I drank). Songs like "When the Bartender Cried", "Thunder Roll", and others are just way too depressing. You should only listen to sad country songs with a friend present who can protect you in case you get too disappointed or lonely.

Random Thought #2:
They are opening a Coyote Ugly Bar on Beale Street. Just like the movie! Well, not quite. Fellas, calm down and remember that Tyra Banks will not be there. The women will probably be attractive, though. I find the prospect of beautiful women dancing on top of bar counters oddly exhilarating.

My Name is Markus, and I'm a Karaokeholic

Last night, my friends and I descended upon the Sports Bar at the corner of Mendenhall and Winchester. In attendance was Joseph Smith (Delusions, Almost Made), Lina Fritsche (Slow Down You're Dating Too Fast, Divine Manipulation of the Threads), and our god friends Eric Pike, Candace, and Dorie. Lina did "Hopelessly Devoted to You" from Grease and "Adia" by Sarah MacLachlan. She kicked butt as usual. JoJo sang "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and an Elvis song...no surprise for those who know him. Eric sang "Grease Lightning" and the karaoke host, his friend Mandy, and myself did the dance moves from the movie. It was corny, but we had fun. I performed way too many songs: "Love and Happiness" by Al Green(okay performance), "The Right Stuff" by New Kids On the Block (pretty funny), a so-so rendition of Blackstreet's "Before I Let You Go", Young MC's "Bust a Move" (okay), John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane"(pretty good), Michael Jackson's "Rock With You", and a not-so-great attempt at Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up". It was pretty cool, but my voice is scratchy from the combination of singing and the smoky bar. Shoot, I feel like I'm coming down with something now. I may have to be out again, though. The film "Last Call Lovin" is looking for extras for a bar scene at Neil's tonight. Might have to show my face and make sure I get a nice spot in their next film. I have to keep busy. Be easy, readers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Random Observations, or Too Much Free Time: 2/21/2006

Random Observation #1:

I watch this music video channel called International Music Feed because, well, I'm hip and trendy like that (sarcasm alert!). So, I'm watching the hip-hop show which show hip-hop from around the world. Some Asian wrapper named Dabo comes on. He's wearing an NBA jersey, gaudy jewelry, and he has half-naked Asian girls dancing. It was just like most of the ignorant rap videos on MTV or BET. To be fair, they showed more thought-provoking acts, but there was a lot of the extravagant bullcrap on display. Nice to know commercialism is universal. Or maybe it's a fair exchange. They give us the videogames that make us fat and lazy, and we give them good-old fashioned, homegrown, United States greed and materialism. I know it sounds cheesy, but can love be imported or exported? When will dignity and morality be put in the same regard as fancy cars and bling-bling? Like the old song goes, "What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding"? Think about it, people.

Random Observation #2:
I noticed that in some cultures, one has to kill himself when he is dishonored. Whoa, partners, aren't we being a bit hasty? Isn't there some kind of honor probation? You know, take some Honors classes, pay a fine, do some community service, a couple of push-ups? I don't think I'd get along well in those cultures. I'd just have to be dishonored. I could live with the shame.

Random Observaton #3:
While I was in Oakland, Tennessee aka the boondocks, I saw a store named Kountry Video. I realize that being a Fayette County resident for several years leaves me in no positon to ridicule, but doesn't spelling country with a K just scream podunk? I mean, do they have a muzak version of the theme from "Deliverance" playing when you enter the building? Do they have cutouts of Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers? Is there a special "Kounry Klassics" section that includes such gems as Lonesome Dove, Roadhouse, Gator Bait, Pure Country and The Gambler? Do they have DVD collections of Hee-Haw and The Beverley Hillbillies on sale? Just wondering.

Random Observaton #4:
I saw on the idiot box (TV) that a 62-year old great-grandmother is pregnant again. I had mixed emotions. On one hand, the fact that an AARP member has a better lovelife than me is, well, the type of thing that would lead me to drink if I wasn't taking pills for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. On the other hand, maybe it gives us something to look forward too. Maybe the golden years are better than we thought. Forget the biological clocks! Just because there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there's not a fire in the furnace. Wooohoooo!

Wow, I think a lot! Oh, well, these are my thoughts. I just had to get them out. Be easy, readers.

Ice, Ice, Baby: The Weekend Wrap-Up (Dead Presidents Extended Mix)


Came home from work, dozed off for a minute, woke up, and rushed out the door to see Act One at Malco's Studio on the Square. Ran into Brandon Hutchison (director, Dollars and Signs) and Morgan Fox. Got to the door, saw that the 7:25 was sold out. Act One's director Brad Ellis was pleading with me to come back for the 9:45, which I did. However, I realized that I had left my wallet at home. So, it was one quick trip back to Cordova to get the wallet, then I made it back to Union. I chilled out at IHOP for a minute, then it was back to the theater. I ran into Arnold Edwards (director, PA Pretender) and his girlfriend Dana Hinkle (Fayette County in the house). Actor/director Bevan Bell (Delusions, Divine Manipulation of the Threads) was also there, as was his girlfriend Christine Connoly and Brad and Anthony from Rusted Suns Films. I also saw Suzy Crashcourse from Sawed-off Collaboratory and chatted with Jerry Kimble, one of the film's stars. I hope to see him in more local films. I also chatted with Edward Phillips and the Corduroy Wednesday crew. The film was great! I need to see it again.

Ice ruined everything! No Gridiron Association rehearsal for Waltzing In Memphis, or as I like to call it, the best darn political satire in all the land! Also, no wrap party for Divine Manipulation of the Threads. This is the second week it's been called off. Bummer. I pretty much chilled in the house...pun intended.

I chilled (pun intended) again for most of the day. My shoot at Comics and Collectibles for Spin Cycle was called off as well. I was bored, and so I ate. I ate most of my brother's Oatmeal Cream Pies. He was not pleased. He voiced his displeasure. I resolved to get back in good graces with Big Bro. I eventually broke out and picked up Bryan Newcomb (Mail Call, Divine Manipulation). We cruised the mall (as usual), and we hung out. I then went back to Bryan's home, met up with my homie Paul Briggs and we went ove my friend Shomari's house for...you guessed it...yet another wrestling pay-per-view. Bryan was dropped off over Shomari's so I could take him and Paul home. On the way to their house, Paul said that he's never seen me do karaoke. We decided to hit up the Bel-Air Bar and Grill, near my brother's house. I performed Prince's "Kiss" in a very high-pitched voice. I believe Bryan recorded it. Later, Paul Briggs and I performed K-Ci and Jo Jo's "All My Life". Hey, we had fun! We'll never tour as a singing act, but it was cool. After dropping Bryan and Paul back off, I fell on the ice in Bryan's driveway. It hurts a little bit, but I am okay. I'm a soldier! UHHHH! Sorry, had to dust off the old Master P impersonation. I told my brother I fell, and he begins snickering and saying, "I'm not laughing at you." Well, you sure as heck weren't laughing with me, big bro!

I tried to go to Harold Ford, Jr's rally. The fire marshall prevented any more people from entering the room by the time I had arrived. They had an overflow room, but I was not feeling that. I got out, went to the mall, called Bryan, picked him up, went to Toys R US on American Way (it's closing, great deals), and eventually dropped him off. I then drove out to Oakland to pick my cousin Anwar up from his job at the local Kroger. Good old Oakland. My favorite store is Kountry Video. Doesn't that put visions of tumbleweeds in your head? I took him home to change out of his Kroger duds, and then we went to Collierville and saw Date Movie. It was hilarious. They didn't just parody date movies. They also poked fun at Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Pimp My Ride, and Rize, of all things. We then got our eat on at a nearby Cici's Pizza. Then, I dropped him off, rolled out to the 'dova (Cordova), and made it home in time for the second hour of WWE Monday Night Raw. Nothing like some good old-fashioned rasslin' to make the day complete. I'm sorry, Mr. McMahon prefers the term "sports entertainment". This is the part where my blog would be complete and I would come with my witty tagline, but today is a special edition of..

Blog Blast!
Young filmmaker Tommy "The future" Kha is put on blast for being a smart-aleck teenager. I'm chatting with Brandn Hutchison, and Tommy comes up talking about some "Who are you?" I think to myself, "Okay, he's being cute, I'll check him and we'll be done". No, Mr. Funnyman keeps it going, talking about "Oh, my god, he's following me". Ha ha hell, Tommy. At some point, you drop the joke and converse like normal people. See if I come running to your next project, buddy. After all, King Indie cannot be spoken to in such a matter! If you see Tommy, tell him we got beef. I'll have to compose a diss rap or something.

Next, I must put myself on Blog Blast. After we finished our delicous Cici's Pizza, I said "Let's book", meaning let's go. Any usage of "book", "jet", or "motor" to mean leave after 1992 is just plain wrong. This is a worse usage of outdated slang than my repeated attempts to reintroduce "funky fresh" into everyday usage. If you could see me now, I'm hanging my head in shame. Or because I'm not the best typer. At any rate, I apologize to the people of Earth for my slang offenses. I'd like to say this is the last time, but knowing me, that would be lying. Oh, well, that' s all, good citizens. Be easy, readers.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Actin' and Sangin' (Singing) Yet Again

Last night, I rehearsed my scene for Rod Pitts' (www.pittstopproductions.com) new independent feature film Spin Cycle. I am once again playing the Film Geek, a character we created in What Goes Around, Rod's feature-length directorial debut. I rehearsed with the two leads: Derrick Engleberg (Hell's Kitchen), who plays Alex, and Nataki Carver (What Goes Around, Just the Two of Us), who plays Emma. We were also joined by Nataki's cute as a button daughter, Angela aka Princess Angela or Angel. She's energetic, but adorable. We had to keep headphones on her while we rehearsed the scenes because they include some naughty words. Rod is taking out some naughty words, though. I think we all need to chill on the profanity. It can be habit-forming. The rehearsals were good, and we had fun. Rod is trying to tone the Film Geek down from the first movie. I'm naturally melodramatic, and I have a tendency to oversell, I can admit that. Admission, after all, is the first step in recovery. I feel pretty good about the pacing and blocking. I guess I exemplify the film geek in Rod and most directors. I make a very weird defense of a universally hated film. Hey, it's not like that hasn't happened in real life. I actually didn't hate Gigli, so I'm convinced I have weird tastes.

Afterwards, I joined my fellow actors Joseph Smith (Delusions, Escort Service), Forrest Pruett (Divine Manipulation of the Threads, Delusions), Lina Fritsche (Slow Down You're Dating Too Fast, Delusions), Sarah Ewell (Shutter, Eyes of a Blue Dog), Juan Corrigan (Mail Call, The Firm), and photographer extraordinaire Janeen Gardner, and Christin Ackerman (Delusions, Chosen). Also in attendance were our friends Candace and Eric Pike. Of course, Joseph and I performed "Nuttin' But a G Thang". As usual, we rocked it! Later, I attempted Usher's "You Make Me Wanna". I was okay. I've been having a little trouble with singing at karaoke. Maybe I'm singing stuff out of my limited vocal range. Oh, well, better luck next time.

Plug Time!!!!!

Old School Pictures is having their movie Act One screened at Studio on the Square starting tonight, February 17. Here are the dates and times:

Act One"Malco Studio on the SquareFriday, February 17 - Thursday, February 23 1:25 * 4:40 * 7:25 * 9:45

They will also be showing trailers of upcoming projects from Live From Memphis, Grade One Entertainment, Corduroy Wednesday's Grim Sweeper (I'm an extra in that), and Rusted Sun Films' Divine Manipulation of the Threads (I play a thug in that one).

Also, the 7:25 Friday showing will be a unique "mini-premiere," where you'll have the opportunity to meet members of the cast and crew. Old School Pictures also plans on having an after party at Bosco's (which is basically in the parking lot of the theater), and they encourage you to join them there to round out the night.

Hip-Hop Show!

Hosted By: IRON MIC COALITION When: Saturday Feb 18, 2006at 9:00PM Where: THE COMPLEX704 MADISON AVE.MEMPHIS, TN 38103
Admission: $5.00

2nd Annual Soul Aid
To Benefit the Memphis Food Bank's Kids Cafe
Sunday, February 19, 2006
The Complex @ 704 Madison Ave
Ticket locations:
The Complex (901.692.9211)
Online @ www.chikuurban.com
Ticket Prices: $10.00/Advance, $15.00/door

Acts include: Iron Mic Coalition, Men-Nefer, Will Graves, Free Sol, Twin Spirit, Nujynisis, Reflectionz, Authentic Life, and Spoken Word Artists Tame, Hannah, and El Hakim

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Gettin' My Sing On

I went out to Moffat's last night with Heather, Candace, and Eric Pike. None of my actor crew showed up. My first song was New Editon's "Can You Stand the Rain". I was okay. My next and last song was Tevin Campbell's "Can We Talk". Again, I was okay. I was stressed out from work and in a bit of a funk. Perhaps tonight will be better.

Let's talk about work. Both of our computer labs went down and I'm on my cell phone, wasting up valuable daytime minutes with talking to the Regional IT person in Florida and she has me running all over the place. Not fun! I kept trying to pull the internet back up, and I kept getting rejected. Kinda like my love life. Or, the way I felt in 5th grade when they picked teams for sports. Guess who was left out most of the time? Also, what's up with computers having attitudes? I tried to shut down one computer and I had to give it a reason? How about because I'm superior, you overgrown calculator! I started to leave a nasty comment in the suggestion box like, "I ain't scared of you, you dadgum machine! We can get it on!!" Okay, I am now arguing with inanimate objects. I need a hug. Actually, a hug from a Swedish housemaid/masseuse would be even better. Okay, that didn't sound too needy. I'm depressing myself. Better stop writing. Be easy, readers.

Plug Time!!!!

Old School Pictures is having their movie Act One screened at Studio on the Square starting February 17. Here are the dates and times:

Act One"Malco Studio on the SquareFriday, February 17 - Thursday, February 23 1:25 * 4:40 * 7:25 * 9:45

They will also be showing trailers of upcoming projects from Live From Memphis, Grade One Entertainment, Corduroy Wednesday's Grim Sweeper (I'm an extra in that), and Rusted Sun Films' Divine Manipulation of the Threads (I play a thug in that one).

Also, the 7:25 Friday showing will be a unique "mini-premiere," where you'll have the opportunity to meet members of the cast and crew. Old School Pictures also plans on having an after party at Bosco's (which is basically in the parking lot of the theater), and they encourage you to join them there to round out the night.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Same As Any Other Night

My Valentine's Day Night consisted of kicking it with my buddy Bryan Newcomb (Divine Manipulation of the Threads, Just the Two of Us). His plans fell through, so we kicked it. We went to Target and he bought a new video camera. King Indie will now resume production. After that , we went to Dixie Cafe and then to the Bartlett 10 to see A History Of Violence. It was good, but I was worn out and I kept falling asleep. Also, director Rod Pitts (The Survivor, What Goes Around) gave me a ring and informed me that I may be shooting my scenes for Spin Cycle Saturday morning. I've been growing my hair out for the role. If I know Rod, he'll also make me shave. They always make me shave! Oh, well, it will be fun to reprise a role. I originated the Film Geek character in Rod's feature-length debut What Goes Around. I've yet to revisit a character. To this day, the film geek is one of my favorite characters, with Tyrone in Arnold Edward II's Third Wheel Date being a close second. I fear being typecast sometimes, but at least it is nice to know that I have a niche, and that niche is goofy, odball characters. Hey, somebody's gotta be the weirdo! I'd love to get the girl once, though. It looks like I may have to write that script. If nothing else, I think my characters are memorable.

Plug Time!!!

Old School Pictures is having their movie Act One screened at Studio on the Square starting February 17. Here are the dates and times:

Act One"Malco Studio on the SquareFriday, February 17 - Thursday, February 23 1:25 * 4:40 * 7:25 * 9:45

They will also be showing trailers of upcoming projects from Live From Memphis, Grade One Entertainment, Corduroy Wednesday's Grim Sweeper (I'm an extra in that), and Rusted Sun Films' Divine Manipulation of the Threads (I play a thug in that one).

Also, the 7:25 Friday showing will be a unique "mini-premiere," where you'll have the opportunity to meet members of the cast and crew. Old School Pictures also plans on having an after party at Bosco's (which is basically in the parking lot of the theater), and they encourage you to join them there to round out the night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

ValenSwine's Day Tribute

My fellow LoveHater Paul Briggs has now weighed in with his Anti-Valentine's Day Piece. Sip on a great big cup of Haterade and enjoy this piece entitled Games

Games (A tribute to ValenSWINE's Day)
By Acydic - http://acydic.bebo.com

When will the madness end?
The game is over before it even begins
the last time
before I turn the big 3-0,
and what do I have for show?
Nuttin' but love in the game of Love
15-0, 30-0, 40-0, point, set, game, match
Love for me is the itch I never got to scratch
I am the team on the bad end of a no-hitter
Every time up, Love pitched me a pop fly ball to deep center
If Love played hockey, he'd be a bad goalie,
Can't defend the shots of haters at all, totally
If Love played soccer, don't put 'em at striker,
A goal will never be scored by this pathetic lifer
Love sucks so much that its got its own pacifier
Don't put 'em on the gridiron, it'll get sacked
More times than David Carr against a Pittsburg Blitz attack
Love is the concussion of life
You know about that Steve Young, right?
Man still ain't married, won a super bowl, that's a story for another day
Last, I heard, Love got beaten at the Kentucky Derby
By a horse that was rode by Pat Day.
The coaches for Love in these sports would be the those who abuses it
Like Uday Hussein, "…sports will be run my way..."
For now on, all the sports I play will be solo
No more will I be duped like a Dodo
Love will never again make me crazy loco
I won't compete against Love, so I won't be so sad like Harlan T. Bobo
And for all my peoples out there, if nothing else, please know,
You never get a second chance at a missed free throw…


A Special Brand of Valentine's Day Hate

This is an Anti-Valentine's Day poem from my good friend, "Angry" Nick Jones
It is the seventh in his I Hate Valentine's Day Series. Hey, it's my blog, but why be greedy? Nick has some Cupid-hating venom to unleash upon the lovesick fools running around with their corny balloons, thorny roses, and stale candy (not that I'm bitter). Enjoy the hate!

I Hate Valentine's Day Part 7

Dear…………..no better
To whom it may concern
Another year another lesson learned
In the game of this thing they call love
I am convinced I will never get a turn
With you it seems everyone gets a turn
I tried to be the best man I possibly can
While you were off with the next man
Guess I was not to be in your long term plans
I could not even get a simple apology
No more proof needed that we not meant to be
See you don’t need to bring me flowers like Ms. Streisand
In case you forgot I am still a grown man
And as a man I can always admit my lack of perfection
Still I try to keep my mind open to the possibility
Only to have it closed by the reality
And the reality is that it’s a cold, cold world that acts so savagely
So in my reality I put a coat on metaphorically for my heart
You may call it having my guard up or even a wall
Truth is I am trying to spring forward and not fall
But in all and complete honesty I have given an attempt to have an open mind to the love thing
Its kind of like Mr. Dream Merchant that’s selling them dreams
You get a hold of them and they are never good as they seemed
So I know my chances are slim
As I proceed through my days with a disposition that’s grim
It doesn’t matter what kind of light you shine on it, still dim
This is not the final chapter
I will continue to write for those not living happily ever after
I never start with a plot, scheme, or storyline in mind
In the end its all the same I hate valentines.

Cupid Must Fall

My good friend "Angry" Nick Jones and I have a tradition. We write Anti-Valentine's day poems to vent our frustration. Hey, it' either this or we start busting balloons and stealing heart-shaped boxes of candy. You don't wanna see us good guys turn to a life of crime, do ya? Didn't think so. Without further adieu, here is my piece, Maybe I'm better off alone

Maybe I'm Better Off Alone

Nobody needs nobody, All I need is me and my dogs...forget all a ya'll
Nobody needs nobody, All I need is me and my dogs...forget all a ya'll

Here we are on another Valentine's day, and here I am...alone again.

But see, this year, I had a realization: Maybe, just maybe, I'm better off alone.

Oh, I admit that I get lonely, I admit that I crave warmth and affection.

Heck, when I was watching the Super Bowl this year, Aretha Franklin started looking good to me.

But maybe, just maybe, I'm better off alone.

See, I see a lot of relationships that are, well, basically, full of crap!

They're false, they don't mean anything; it's just two cowards who are scared to be alone and this person seems like the most likely candidate at the time.

That's not love, it's a relationship by default, and I don't want my relationship to be some pathetic contest where you settle for the participant or honourable mention ribbon.

If I love, I want the first place trophy! The big loving cup...and I do mean loving, baby!

It's gone from "Hey, you're the one I wanna be with for the rest of my life" to " Okay, you'll do", and that's sad, that's weak.

It's also the move of cowards, and God has not given us a spirit of fear.

And see, I may be lonely, but at least in this situation, I'm not a coward.

Many of these so-called relationships are just houses of cards ever so close to tumbling down.

And that, dear friends, is why I say that maybe, just maybe, I'm better off alone.. It's not like I'm not loved, God loves me, my mama loves me, my female friends think I'm...well...friendly, I guess.

But in spite of all that, yes, I may be lonely, yes I may be a little pathetic, I may be close to pitiful, but by God, I'm honest about it, no pseudo-relationships here. Honestly, some of these fakers make my head hurt!

And this is by no means an indictment on those who truly, deeply love each other. This is to the cowards who cling to a love that has long since died like some necrophiliac dry humping a corpse. Dead things go in the ground, people. Call the mortician, get a casket, buy your dead love a fly suit from K&G, call Mamanem, set the date, have the wake, go to the church, have a good cry, drop the casket, and be sure to get a few of those roses from Exxon, because your dead love is not worth a trip to the floral shop.

And it's cool, because I've buried things, too. My hope, my dreams about marriage and children, and those dreams of picket fences, back yards, and a dog named Scruffy, I mean, Killer! Yeah, keep it hood!

But when I see all the garbage, all the settling, and all the drama that people go through for a so-called love that is more like a combination of lust and convenience, I think that



I'm better off alone.

Nobody needs nobody, all I need is me and my dogs, forget all a ya'll

Nobody needs nobody, all I need is me and my dogs, forget all a ya''ll

Monday, February 13, 2006

I Swore I Would Cut Back: The Infamous Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday: It snowed. I stayed in the house.

Saturday: I went to the auditions for Curbside Confessions at 9 AM. Anold Edwards, the director, was in the house, as was his girlfriend, Dayna Hinkle. I saw a lot of my Indie Memphis "Posse": Forrest Pruett (Delusions, Glorious Mail), Tiffany Pemberton (PA Pretender, Delusions), Aaron Jones (What Goes Around, Just the Two of Us), my good buddy Frank Johnson, a newcomer to the scene named Dee, Jeanette Comans (Shutter, Walk the Line), Jon Sparks (Delusions, Across the River), Jason Perry, Miguel Gomez, and I even saw young director Tommy "The Future" Kha. I read for two characters. I did pretty good. It was cool reading opposite Tiffany because we're friends. After that, I went to the Gridiron Association's rehearsal for Waltzing in Memphis. I was given the role of Robert Lipscomb in addition to my role of Ricky Peete. After that, I picked up my road dawg Bryan Newcomb (Mail Call, Just the Two of Us) and we cruised the mall, huung out, and saw Sanaa Lathan's new film Something New.

Sunday: I was at Rod Pitts' house by 10 AM. We made it to the Theater Building at the U of M by 10:30 AM. The male lead from Spin Cycle came in later. Derrick Engleberg (Hell's Kitchen) is a relative newcomer, but he's hungry and eager to learn. He was full of energy, and made the shoot enjoyable. Nazeeh Majeed (What Goes Around, Just the Two of Us) helped out behind the scenes, as did Jason Dancy (The Survivor, Just the Two of Us) and Learyn (Just the Two of Us, The Tank). Learyn is a great makeup person. Just ask Derrick. Of course, we gave him a hard time about it. Rod shot Derrick's closeups on his scene with Val, played by Arnita Williams (What Goes Around, Other Side of the Pillow). Arnita was running a little late, so I had to read him Val's lines. It felt funny, but, hey, we do what we have to. I then dashed off to another rehearsal for Waltzing in Memphis. It was fun, but I have now been assigned the role of Mayor Willie Herenton in addition to Ricky Peete and Robert Lipscomb. Man, theater is no joke! After rehearsal, I dashed back to the U of M. Rod moved the Spin Cycle production to the Tiger Den on the U of M campus. Arnita had wrapped her scene and was serving as line producer. Derrick was cracking everybody up in between takes. Alexis Green (The Survivor, Just the Two of Us) was also in this scene. It was good to see Alexis. We've both been playing hooky from Red West's acting class (My money's tight!), so I hadn't seen her in a minute. She's a registered nurse and aspiring actress. She's good. After we wrapped Spin Cycle, we shot a scene for Just the Two of Us with Alexis. We're multitaskers, baby! Then I rolled to my friend Shomari's house for some wrestling pay-per-view action. Shout out to Denna Greer (What Goes Around) and Wanda For giving me Valentines' candy. Extra shout out to Denna for bringing chocolate-covered strawberries. At least somebody cares about me. I've never had a girlfriend on Valentine's day, and this year isn't looking good, either. I don't care, though...much.

Tonight, I have to read opposite an actress for Laura Hocking and Chris McCoy's feature Eat. They like me, but aren't quite sure where to cast me. Hey, at least I'm wanted. Be easy, readers.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Another night of Karaoke

Me and my karaoke crew descended upon Flashback's last night for more amateur hijinks. Karaoke is like American Idol, but with a lot more alcohol. Okay, alcohol that can be seen. This time, the hopeful singers included me, Forrest Pruett (Delusions, Forty Almost Made), Joseph Smith (Delusions, Escort Service), Lina Fritsche (Delusions, Slow Down You're Dating Too Fast), and Eric Pike. Candace and Marlin Richardson (Almost Made, Forty Shades of Blue) were our audience. My first number was John Mayer's "Your Body Is a Wonderland". Of course, the country/western crowd was not receptive, but I followed my heart. My next number was my oft-requested duet with Joseph, "Nuttin' But a G Thang". Of course, we rocked! Joe performed Garth Brook's "If Tomorrow Never Comes", and Lina did Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" and Sarah MacLachlan's "Adia". The karaoke man himself, Ricky Mac, did a great rendition of Prince's "Purple Rain". During the $5.oo jukebox round, Forrest tried Hoobastank's "Crawling In the Dark". He wasn't pleased, and I know the feeling. Lina paid for me so I could perform Keith Sweat's "I Want Her". Let's just say my recollection of the verses on that song left a lot to be desired. But, it was fun. I think that as actors we take karaoke way too seriously. I had a good time, we closed the bar down. Surprisingly, I wasn't as tired today as I thought I would be.

Now, I just wish that the university I work for would cancel school. It's snowing like crazy outside, and the roads are looking ugly. We all know that Memphis people can't drive when it's sunny outside. Watch your back, people. As we all know, inclement weather tends to bring out the village idiots. I wonder about the auditions for Curbside Confessions tomorrow and my play rehearsal. And, I wonder about my buddy Rod Pitts' plans to start shooting Spin Cycle. Ya'll know how Memphis shuts down over a little snow. This much snow could really shut us down if it sticks. Be easy, readers. And be careful out there.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Gotta Warm up First Next Time

Last night, I went to Willie Moffat's and sang karaoke with Forrest Pruett (Forty Shades of Blue, Delusions), Candace, Eric, and others. My first song was Michael Jackson's "Black or White". I was OK. My second song was Kanye West's "Gold Digger". I did okay, but I was out of breath. Kanye raps at a brisk pace on that song! For my third number, I attempted the obscure R&B hit "She's Playing Hard to Get" by Hi-5. I want to apologize to the members of Hi-5, the writers of that song, their families, and Hi-5 fans everywhere. My performance sucked. I know that's part of the fun of karaoke, but you know actors are always nervous about our performances. I finally got it right with my last song, the Beatles' "Come Together". Hopefully, things will be better tonight at Flashback's. Be easy, readers.

Plug Time!

Support the R&B/soul group GRIP as they present a Valentine's R&B showcase this Saturday, February 11. GRIP includes vocalists Thomas Spurlock, Whisper, and Syreeta, along with keyboardist/producer Paul "P-Dub" West. The showcase will be at the Center for Southern Folklore. The start time is 8:30. The admission is $10.00 at the door.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Who's Hating?

Okay, my film career's been slow for a few days, so it's time for another righteous rant.

I tend to have eclectic, sometimes elitist tastes in music and actors. When I voice my displeasure with someone who everyone thinks is great, whether they're an overrated rapper (50 Cent), or an actor who was clearly coasting by on his looks until lately (*Cough*, Shemar Moore, *Cough*), I am deemed a "hater". Boy, it astonishes me how people who love that mainstream bullcrap love to toss that word around. Why am I a hater? Because I actually make up my own mind as opposed to being forcefed propaganda from the evil media machines, like ClearCrap, I mean ClearChannel? Because I actually like to support recording artists and actors with substance, as opposed to some no-talent, idiotic, flash-in-the-pan, flavor of the month? Because I actually dare to spit in the face of what is deemed "cool"? Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe I could be right? That the millions of mindless drones who fall at the feet of these modern-day idols could be wrong? That maybe I choose who I choose to like because, well, I'm just smarter than you? Yeah, that's right, I said it. My blog, my rules, my way like Frank Sinatra, baby. Spread that news! You know what I hate? I hate ignorance and stupidity. I hate anything that encourages greed and corruption and poisons the minds of the youth. I also hate to see people getting acclaim because they look good. Heck, I can go to the gym, get a face lift, and go out to Hollywood and become the next "it" person. But guess what? Call me crazy, but I'd rather make it because I'm good. Sure, I plan to work out more and maybe get some dental work done. But, I refuse to coast by on my appearance or constantly produce material with little or no substance. Again, I may be a lunatic, but I think that every once in a while, your work should be, I don't know, meaningful. If striving for substance over style, championing the underdog, and daring to go rage against the machine, the norm, the status quo, if going against the grain and daring to speak from the heart makes me a hater, then a hater I shall be. I admit that I'm pretentious, high strung, and hard to please. I have highter standards that a lot of people. Lately, I'm not so sure that that's a bad thing. Be easy, readers. Hate uniformity!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Acting and the Superbowl: The Weekend Wrap-Up


I chilled out. Had to rest up for the next two days' craziness.

Saturday: I got up early and filmed a part in Nazeeh Muhammad's short The Worst Day of My Life. Nazeeh is submitting this short for the Lil' Memphis Film Festival. This festival requires you to submit a five-minute short that includes footage of the Baptist Memorial Hospital implosion. I played a mean landlord named Mr. Monroe and I got to push Nazeeh around. It's fun to play angry! I do it so well! After that, I went to auditions for Waltzing In Memphis. Every year, the Gridiron Association produces a political satire and the proceeds go toward the funding of a journalism scholarship at some university. I was cast as Rickey Peete. The script is funny, and this should be a cool experience. The rest of the day was spent cruising the mall and the hip-hop clothing stores on American way with my frequent partner in crime, Bryan Newcomb (Just the Two of Us, Mail Call). Bryan got some fly fashions, and I was a little bit jealous because I'm broke. Our evening ended at Bryan's watching the hometown Uof M tigers whoop up on Rice. GO TIGERS! GGGGGRRRRR! Alumni represent, baby!


I woke up early in the morning, and discovered that some kid in the neighborhood had egged my car. I bet I know the little punks that did it, too. I didn't think things like this happened in the burbs. I believe that children are our future...until you egg my car! That may lead to them not having a future! Little bastards! I hope they make less money than their parents and graduate from community college after attending for ten years. So there! Anyway, I had to roll to the Memphis College of Art and take part in Jon Sparks' film for the Lil' Memphis Film Festival, Escort Service. Jon had a small role, but mainly directed. We were joined by the GREAT Travis Stone (Ray, Delusions), Jen Morris (Slow Down, Delusions), Joseph Smith (Slow Down, Delusions), and we were also joined by a woman named Nancy. Escort Service is about a spirit trying to get a promotion in her job transporting spirits from one realm to the next. It was very funny, and very well written. Of course, Jon Sparks is a writer for the Commercial Appeal. He writes for a living. Sparky, you knocked it out of the park. I loved my character, Cabot. He was sort of an angel with an attitude. We were also joined by Forrest Pruett (Forty Shades of Blue, Delusions) who acted as Jon's trusty assistant. I also took some pictures on the set.

Later, Bryan Newcomb (Just the Two of Us, Mail Call) and I went to a SuperBowl party, chilled with friends, and had a good time. Go Steelers! Today, I will help my aunt Mary Chambers celebrate her birthday at Ryan's Steakhouse. MMMM, steak! Even King Indie has to make time for family. Be easy, readers!

I Partied Like Friday on Thursday

Last Thursday, I attended a conference on Getting Your Music Into Film and Television at the Media Co-op. I ran into a guy named Terry, who is a memebr of the local band Empty Shell. Empty Shell also includes accomplished actor/musician Travis Stone (Ray, Delusions). The speaker was Kathryn Rachtman, a music supervisor for Hollywood. She has worked on films such as Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Reservoir Dogs, Boogie Nights, Spongebob Squarepants, Clueless, Reality Bites, and several others. She started out as an assistant at Cannon Pictures.

I learned that you have to follow the director's wishes and you cannot just put songs that you think will be great in the film. It can also be hectic getting permission from film publishers and record companies. Rachtman said that the most challenging aspects were trying to put great songs in bad films, the pressure to deliver, and those moments when the director shoots down a song choice that you think is perfect. Rachtman also said that when doing period pieces, you want to use obscure yet memorable songs. For example, the people who owned the rights to the song, "Boogie Nights" were so certain that she would use that song for the movie Boogie Nights. She felt that was too obvious and too easy. She also showed us a secret clip from an animated film called Barnyard. It was written by Steve Odekirk, and Wanda Sykes is one of the voice actors. Local favorites the North Mississippi All-Stars play a band called the Barn Boys.

Scott Bomar, who composed the original score for Hustle and Flow, talked for a minute. Bomar said that one of his friends told him "Don't envy anyone who is successful". Success involves a lot of paying dues. I spoke with him afterwards and he seemed real cool. He said he's busy with the score to Black Snake Moan. I also saw indie director Edward Phillips (Grim Sweeper). He informed me that the Indie-Memphis winning Act One will be running at Studio on the Square starting February 17, and it will have a trailer for Grim Sweeper. That's good for the Indie Memphis film community. Lovers of art and cinema, let's make an effort to see that film. These are hometown people trying to do something positive, and that's always needed.

After that, I went to see Hope Clayburn perform at the Full Moon Club. She was very improvisational, she used a machine that would loop her voice or riffs she played on her saxophone. She started with "Inner City Blues", did a little "Istanbul not Constantinople", and she even started singing "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp", I'm sorry, the GRAMMY-nominated "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp". Bosco of local rap group Tunnel Clones also came up and performed a rap that he had recently wrote. It was good to see Bosco again. Shout out to him and the DJ for Poisonous Dialects. It was good to see my hip-hop friends again. I've been off the scene pursuing this acting, but it's all love, belive me.

I slid out after her first set and made it to Flashback's in time to join my Red West acting school clique: Forrest Pruett (Forty Shades of Blue, Delusions), Joseph Smith (Delusions, Cowboy's Silver Lining), Lina Fritsche (Delusions, Slow Down You're Dating Too Fast), and our friend Candace. Of course, Joseph and I performed "Nuttin' But a G Thang". Our performance is the stuff of legends!

Man, after all that, it's amazing that I made it to work. Fortunately, the threat of getting kicked out by my brother keeps me focused and on the ball at the day job. Be easy, readers.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lovely By Surprise: Playing the Background Yet Again

I was an extra in Lovely By Surprise yesterday. Shout to my agent Forrest Pruett at Actors First (www.actorsfirst.net). I ran into a few familiar friends on the shoot: Tim Sherrod (Slow Down You're Dating Too Fast, Cowboy's Silver Lining), Musician/actor Muck Sticky (Delusions, Divine Manipulation of the Threads), Jeanette Comans (Shutter, Glorious Mail), Arnita Williams (What Goes Around ,The Tank), and Terry Dee Draper (Just the Two of Us, Divine Manipulation). Muck was a stand-in for the lead guy. He had already cut his hair on a whim, and he was wearing "normal" clothes. Those who know Muck know that he dresses rather uniquely, so this was a very different look. I attempted to play Gin Rummy. I tripped out with Draper talking about Star Trek and how Captain Kirk was an intergalactic "ho", and other random conversations. I didn't have makeup, but I was "blotted" to reduce the shining on my face. I told the makeup lady that I wasn't used to makeup, I'm on the bottom level of indie films. We're lucky to get a glass of water...by the way, shout out to Rusted Sun Films (www.rustedsunfilms.com) for the Propel Fitness water that they normally give out. It's tasty! Basically, we were all patrons in a diner. I was reading the Memphis Flyer and occasionally dozing off (I hope it wasn't caught on camera) and looking at the lead actors when their conversation got noisy. I got sent home first around 2:00 PM. It was a cool experience, and I got paid. Shout out to the director, the first AD, and the 2nd AD, Indie Memphis' own Robert Saba (director, Delusions) for keeping the production rolling. I hope Lovely By Surprise does exceptionally well and advances the careers of everyone involved in it. Be easy, readers.

PS My man Scott Lynn has some new beats and songs up on his myspace page: Check them out at www.myspace.com/brosoundzguudx