Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Par is my friend

My best friend recently got asked to write a weekly blog for his local newspaper. He gives advice, tips and commentary on men's and women's golf.

If you would like to learn more about the game that drive's people crazy, click on the link below

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Acting

I've had the opportunity lately to dabble in acting again. Anytime I get a chance to act, funny stories follow. I always say "Live Life." Acting is definitely living life. Life is about relationships and experiences. Some funny and some a little painful.

My recent acting experience became an experience between me and the hard molded seat of a plastic horse.

Last Friday, I was asked to be an extra for a commercial. It was for Major League Baseball. I was playing the part of a person attending a carnival as 2010 American League Cy Young Award winning pitcher Felix Hernandez was being featured.

Felix is known for his pinpoint control. The commercial played up this fact by having him participate in the classic carnival game "Milk Jug Toss." You know the rigged carnival game where you throw a baseball at three milk jugs that are weighted. If you knock them all down, then you win a prize. Needless to say, he won all of the stuffed animals. It should be a pretty funny commercial when it comes out.

People think being in a commercial is pretty simple, quick and a lot of fun. Those thoughts would be right and wrong. I thought the shoot would only last a couple of hours, but it lasted almost 8 hours. Of the 8 hours, most of it was me and other actors sitting around and waiting. You have to wait for scenes to be shot; you have to wait for actors to arrive; you have to wait for the make-up, lighting and camera people to get everything right. There are also a lot of rules. Some of the biggest rules for this commercial were not to take pictures of Felix and his family and don't ask for autographs.

The commercial was shot in a local amusement park. The thought of hanging out in an amusement park sounds like a lot of fun. It can be if you get to ride the "good" rides. The memory of sitting on a carousel horse for almost one and half hours is still a little painful. I could still be dizzy from go around over and over again, or it could be listening to the same music over and over again. I believe me and the actors might have set a World Record for time spent going around on a carousel. People at the park had to think we were crazy. Every now and then, park guests were allowed to get on the ride, as we stayed on. The "Special 50!" The carousel people who never got off. It's a pretty funny image to be honest. Little kids got on the ride and got off. 50 adults get on and never get off.

The good news is, by the end of the night, one of the directors assistants did grab me to be in a scene behind Felix. I also made a few extra $$$$, which are needed to pay the bills. I did manage to sneak a few pictures of the set. When the commercial airs, I'll be sure to post it on here. I'm not sure if you'll see me walking in the background or riding the carousel, but I'll be sure to let all of you know.

Until next time, go out and "Live Life" and remember that you can OD (Over Dose) on carousel riding! =0 )

Pictures from the set

A few weeks ago I was asked to participate as an actor from my friends web series. The episode I am in won't appear until the fall. I had the opportunity to see a rough cut of the production and it looks really good. Nathan is a pretty amazing guy and director. He promised me that he would send me photos and video updates for me to post on this blog.

So, here a few photos of me in my role as a special agent reminiscent of the "Men in Black." Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Professional Speakers Forum

Have you ever wanted to be a professional speaker? Have you ever wanted to improve your speaking skills to a point that you could represent your business or employer in public?

I'm working with a couple of friends to develop an organization that assists professional speakers with the "art" of professional speaking. It's one thing to be a speaker, it's another to be able to speak professionally.

I've put links to our website and facebook page below. Things are in the beginning stages, but be on the look out for more details soon. We are really excited about this project and can't wait to get it up and running 100%.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Inside the Kitchen

I've decided to name all of my behind the scenes speaking adventures "Inside the Kitchen." I thought the name was fun and its says it all. You'll get to learn all the little "inside" details of what goes on behind the scenes and I look to my speaking career a full-time adventure!

My first entry for Inside the Kitchen deals with high hopes and dreams that can change in an instant.

As a speaker you're always excited to receive an e-mail or a call for a prospective speaking opportunity. When someone inquires about your services, you get really excited and you start to think about what you'll do and how you will get there. If you're being invited to a new place or somewhere unique or special, you're mind really gets going. As soon as the excitement comes, it can go away when you discover that the prospect doesn't have the budget, changed their mind or just doesn't call you back. Then it's back to square one as you look for new opportunities to fill your calendar again.

One summer in span of three e-mails I went from having two jobs at a college near my grandparents to no jobs at all. I went from having a contract worth several thousand dollars to having just the loose change in my pocket. Entertainment and speaking is a interesting world.

For every job that you get, you loose several more. This spring has been no different. I was contacted by three different groups about speaking in Dubai, the Bahamas and Las Vegas. You can imagine or the ideas going through my head. I thought of the world travel, a honeymoon for me and my wife and the opportunity to connect with new people. Before you knew things were over. The one group lost their budget, the next group changed their mind and went with someone else and the other postponed their event. Crazy.

So, the world travel is off for now, but several jobs did come in for the fall. Be on the look out for me in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin. On top of all of that, I just got invited to do something more special. I was offered the opportunity to volunteer as speech coach for a young man with a learning disability. My opportunities this fall will be great, but giving back gives me goose bumps!

We live in a crazy world where things change second to second, but it's all part of the experience of pursuing your passion!