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Adam Creighton, Voice & Film Actor (Ramblings) (Subscribe)

People, by nature, have some interesting things to say. Here are some of my things. Some about acting. All about living ...

Friday, May 25, 2007

I have arrived ...


I really hesitate to write posts like this, because I semi-worry about them sounding high-horse. But I have beautifully supportive and wiser folks like Bob Souer and Peter O'Connell and Karen Commins and Schnee who say it's good stuff and keep encouraging me to do it. So blame them.

Sometimes, I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. Like when the same thing is said to me three different ways from three different, unrelated places.

And I try to listen to the universe:

"When will you know when you've arrived?"

"What will you do when you've arrived?"

"How much work are you going to do to 'Get There'?"
Oddly, the question(s) aren't hard, and the answers are fairly lackluster:

I already know.

More of what I'm doing.

More than I'm doing.
See, the problem for me with every version "How do you get there?" is it presupposes some definable, achievable from "here" to "there". As if artistic journey is some destination-based road trip that'll let me put a pushpin in a wall map showing I visited the world's largest ball of twine (literal or figurative; just stay with me for a minute).

I'm an actor. I believe I'm part of a lofty creative pursuit that sticks me out there in front of you with nothing more than just this too too sullied flesh to move you to laugh or cry, shout or introspect (yeppers, I just verbized that).

And I think I'm a good actor. Which means I'm not trying to act, per se. Instead, I'm putting myself through intellectual and emotional hell to (in the words of my coach) "get me back in touch with [feelings] we were never meant to have lost touch with in the first place." And it's high cost, believe me.

So I'm not trying to act. I'm trying to be. And I'm trying to be a real, affected human being in a medium that helps you be a real, affected human being by watching me. In the process, I'm hopefully learning more about myself, my loved ones, and humanity. And I'm getting over being emotionally constipated (seriously, arguably many actors are such because it's (again) arguably a version of therapy).

So, I've already arrived. Seriously, I am so blessed to be a part of this lofty vocation already, that just being a professional actor is what it's about. Sure, I'd live to make a life- / family-supporting career out of creative pursuit -- and, God-willing, I will -- but that part of it isn't "arrival" for me. That's gravy.

Which brings us to the second and third questions and answers -- I'm going to keep doing more creatively than whatever I'm doing now.

Understand, I am a wickedly driven human being. But I'm not a "Type A" personality. I think I was. But I think hanging out with and training with realizing I am a creative broke that.

But I'm still driven.

So, whether I'm "here" or "there", I'm going keep working.

Why would I otherwise? I mean, I'm not competing against anyone -- I consider my only competition myself. This is more objective and measurable and honest for me. And I can always try to backstories, accents, emotional preparation, techniques, and so on. And there are so many other creative pursuits I'm pursuing in tandem with acting (comic books, video games, writing, animation) I'm in no danger of exhausting the universe of Adam the Creative in this lifetime.

Oddly, this doesn't at all lead to dissatisfaction with what I'm doing -- just motivation and encouragement.

As part of my recent "Into the Abyss" workshop weekend, I was instructed to a write a "love letter" to myself. One snippet from that letter to me says, "You can never work hard enough, and you're working hard enough."

That's not so much a contradiction as it is a self-acknowledgement that I'm working full-bore on the creative and technical and relationship and other facets of my life. And there's more to do. And the the stuff I'm not getting done already wasn't getting done before I started not doing it. (That's a quotable.)

All this to say I am blessed to be a creative individual, and whatever I don't have or "haven't achieved" doesn't take away from what I do have and have achieved.

Maybe just that last bit should have been the whole of this post.

Great, now I'm high-handed, and rambly. At least I can tag this post for the latter.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

YASA: Make your own "Star Wars" ...

Hey, it's YASA -- Yet Another Sign of the Apocalypse:
'George Lucas, creator of "Star Wars," has never hesitated to protect his
intellectual property, which is why some call him "Lucas the Litigator." But
this week, his Lucasfilm plans to make clips of "Star Wars" available to fans on
the Internet to mash up -- meaning to remix however they want -- at
Tomorrow, LucasFilm will make an initial 250 clips (with more coming) from all six films available to fans to "cut, add to and retool". They'll also be providing Eyespot's easy-to-use editing program, which means virtually anyone can play.

What's happening here is the latest in a cultural shift of big media companies adapting to technology, which lets fans take, modify, and republish their property at will. Companies like Viacom are starting to get this and make similar changes, which allow companies to "keep some semblance of control over intellectual property in the digital age."

Oh, there are still rules, of course (they'd be foolish, like a certain car company, to give carte blanche access to mess with their IP). They'll make sure none of the submissions contain nudity, pornography, or the like (both programmatically and with a team of human screeners). And this is all for fun, as LucasFilm's senior director for distribution and business affairs Jeffrey Ulin points out, "If someone tries to commercialize it, that's where we've drawn the line."

Which, to me, is totally reasonable. I have a serious problem with people making bucks off of someone else's hard won (and expensively marketed) IP.

And this all ties into this week's Star Wars 30th anniversary celebration, which culminates Sunday.

And LucasFilm's being smart. The movies are done, and there's a gap before the new Force Unleashed video game and the animated and live-action TV series (all in which I'm trying to get cast). So, they're continuing buzz and fan engagement.

Oh, and the million-dollar question:
"Can I 'fix' Jar Jar?"
According to LucasFilm promptings:
"Don't be shy. Here's your chance to edit Jar Jar."

(As an aside, this is a leapfrog extension of what has done with its "Photo Masher" play area.)

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Industrial audition today ...

I had a great audition this morning for an industrial gig.

For those unfamiliar with that particular kind of project, an industrial is an in-house (usually non-broadcast) project used to train, motivate, entertain, or otherwise move a company's or (sometimes) entire vertical market's members. Think workplace violence or sexual harassment training videos, understanding the company's mission and vision, and so on.

I felt it was a solid audition, with a very giving reader and specific, follow-able direction. I felt comfortable and locked into who I was in the scene, and I adjusted to notes as they were given.

Again, it was a very good experience, and with new, neat folks.

Great way to start the day...

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Making of PS3 adverts ...

OK, I seriously don't get Sony's EU "This is living" campaign for the PlayStation 3, but this brief "making of" clip is kind of interesting to me from a creative process perspective:
How To Make Confusing PS3 Ads (via
No official word on whether the ads are working; current sales numbers would seem to indicate "not so much" ...

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

NBC renews "Friday Night Lights" ...

OK, I meant to write about this last week, but given the local impact, it deserves a quick blurb, even if it's kind of old news.

Variety reported NBC renewed "Friday Night Lights". And, apparently (not noted in Variety), it's going to stay in the Austin area.

Great news, because I genuinely feel this is a great series (and not just because I was(n't) on it), and if NBC (by their own admittance), can better market it as the full-featured (not-just-about-high-school-football) show that it is, I'm hoping the series will get additional legs.

And keeping it in Austin is big shot in the arm for the local creative community.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Audio and video updates ...

I made some changes to the audio and video portions of my Website.

On the audio side, by popular request, I've added my recent "Comic book demo", which came together from some comic book inspired auditions and personal projects.

On both my audio and video pages, I streamlined information for readability and formatting (I'm sure you can assume the .MP3 and .WMA versions of my Character demo are both 1:08 in length).

And on both pages I added links to my newly launched site -- because there will be a bunch of voice over and video coming from that ongoing effort.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

HB 1634 call to action ...

UPDATED: The Senate passed the bill May 18, with two amendments (one in particular which I felt was needed). Confidence is high the House will concur with the Senate changes. Then we just need the state budget bill funding this legislation. No more calls are needed.

It's time for the next community effort for Texas film and interactive incentive legislation House Bill 1634.

It's time to calmly, courteously, and professionally contact your senator and ask them to kindly consider voting "Yes" to HB 1634.

Contact (the "info" or "legislative" addresses) to get information on the best way to appropriately identify and contact your state senator.

You can also read the text of the bill here.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Off to see Brian Vander Ark ...

I'm off to see Brian Vander Ark (from The Verve Pipe) at the Cactus Cafe at the University of Texas.

I'll be doing a quick stop at Fado's, then over to Brian's show at 8:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there!


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Friday, May 11, 2007

"Pray with Thanksgiving" audio clips ...

I've uploaded sample clips (.wma and .mp3) from the short film, "Pray with Thanksgiving" to the audio portion of my Website (and I've added them to the new media player).

I'll add video once I decide what clip or clips to which I want to edit down and post.

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Resume, audio, and video updates ...

I updated my acting resume with a couple of recent gig and training items, and made some revamps to the audio and video sections of my site.

I added a recent voice over gig as a talking piƱata for Galen Carter-Jeffrey's film, A Birthday Story (I'll hopefully have a copy of the film, which screens this weekend, in the next week or two). I didn't blog about that effort at all, so you didn't miss anything.

I also added my voice credits for my own ongoing SCHTICKFAS animated series -- a recurring, very diverse creative voice over opportunity I've created for myself.

And I updated my training section to include the "Into the Abyss" acting / emotional deconstruction workshop I did with Dan Fauci.

I also enhanced the audio and video portions of my site with new Flash-based players, courtesy of SplashCast Media. The traditional way to get to my audio and video clips is still there, but now there's a one-place, in-page media player for all of the clips -- you just need Flash installed for your browser of choice.

Let me know what you think.

I'll be adding audio and video clips for Pray with Thanksgiving and A Birthday Story in the next week or two.

Updated pages / files:

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good actors, good friends ...

I'll (probably) write about tonight's Meisner class later, but I wanted to write about something else tonight.

Good friends who are good actors.

I mean, I'm blessed to be surrounded by a lot of them (leaving tonight's class reinforced that), but tonight, I had a go-to guy, who will likely be incredibly embarrassed that I'm recounting this.

Aaron Hallaway.

Dude is a buddy. And a seriously talented actor.

And tonight, driving down to class, I needed him.

For scenes or monologues, I improv scenes that are in the script, and scenes in my backstory, or tertiary relationships, or things I might do as that person -- all outside of the script. And Steve's been great at formalizing a discipline around that.

But -- outside of work with my actual scene partner (Nikki, who is so fun and talented), I've been bad about that with my current class scene.

So driving on the way to class, I called Aaron, and told him he needed to call me right back and improv something with me. It was an odd request (details aren't important), and I didn't get to the "why" before he was interrupted by another call. But I hung up knowing he would call me back and be committed to it.

Then I chose to forget he would call.

And he called, which surprised me. And I felt blindsided by the bombshell he dropped on me. In ten minutes, I went from conversational and jovial to yelling, pleading, bargaining, promising, and finally giving up and hanging up. And then spending the next 20 minutes remorse-ridden and looking for a call or a text message from him. Which never came. Which further cemented the remorse.

Aaron so helped me out, because I asked him too, and without him asking why. And he was on his way to his own audition.

I can't put too fine a point on how cool this is.

Don't do this acting thing alone. Aaron helped make me great tonight.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"The Bohemian" ...

Tonight saw the inaugural showing of a new kind of Austin creative showcase from founding members of The Bohemian.

Hosted at The Wave on 6th Street, the showcase was put together and run like a film set, with multiple set-ups and scene changes, and the whole thing filmed, mic'd and PAed.

The sets were a mix of stand-up comedy, original and pre-written scenes (film and sitcom), monologue, and short film, and were diverse in genre (comedic, dramatic, etc.) and tone (all-ages, "R", etc.).

The talent comes from friends and folks who have been studying long-term with my Meisner coach, Steve Prince. And these are some talented folks. (I wasn't performing with them tonight, but they're still talented).

The venue was a bit tough (long and narrow), not least of which was because their was a super-industrial, super-loud ice maker harshing the ambient sound, until one brave soul was willing to flip a breaker that may or may not have been just for the ice maker (we waited for a scene change, just in case). But, it's still totally generous of The Wave to have opened their space up for The Bohemian's maiden voyage, as we look for a new, permanent space for the ongoing effort.

This is a very cool, non-traditional way to present talent. It's a "next-next" way to do what we were trying to do with the (now-fizzled) Austin Callback showcase a year and a half ago.

Look forward to new, exciting happenings on this front. This is (hopefully) only the first of many showcases and related events.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Acting vocabulary ...

Pretty much once a year for the last three years, I've done Will Wallace's workshop when he's in Austin.

And though it was a kick in the teeth to not be with loved ones on my B-Day evening, I am an actor, and doing Will's workshop was a really good thing for me to do.

At the very least, tonight was a chance to meet new actors, watch them work, watch Will direct, and get a good workout myself. And it was more than that.

Something Steve Prince's Meisner class has given me is vocabulary. Vocabulary for acting words and concepts learned from previous coaches and methods. New vocabulary for new words and techniques he's teaching. And exercises for maintaining a discipline for all of that vocabulary.

Because as anyone who knows the power of words knows, vocabulary is not just about words and definitions. Vocabulary is about concepts. About the denotation (stated definition) and connotation (inferred, vernacular, or visceral definition). About the application of those definitions to change life.

Steve's also given me a sensitivity to vocabulary in my acting. Like tonight.

Tonight's word was "opportunity".

In cold read auditions -- screw it -- in any scene, there are "opportunities" to be taken. It's kind of like my note from last week's class: "Where am I playing it safe, and where can I make it harder?"

Will did a great warm-up exercise where we paired up and did mirror exercises to take turns "leading" and "mimicking", with the goal being for Will to not be able to tell who was leading and who was mimicking. That played into recognizing opportunities on the fly from our partner in our scenes.

In a sitcom cold read, where is the gimmick that sets me and your scene-partner apart?

In a comedic film scene, what is everyone else going to do, and what is the over-the-top, ballsy risk that will get the laugh because it's so out there and outrageous, and may be funny?

In a dramatic piece, what's the hook, that piece that turns an expected inward-facing pity party to more painful, this-is-what life-deals-so-it's-OK-I-lost-the-baby that's more poignant, more tragic, more engaging than the former (and caveat: this is in "Stoicism" or "Being an enigma", which are big actor deaths).



Come to think of it, Steve gave us a bunch of specifics about taking big risks after class last week.

Good night. And it all builds on previous stuff and is a massive feedback loop.

And I finally met (and got to do a scene with) Mylinda Royer, in one of those crazy, "You're that Adam / Mylinda" epiphanies.

I feel great about our scene. It was a comedic bedroom scene, and took my overshirt off (I was wearing a T, relax, ladies), mussed my hair, took off my shoes, and we laid out a sheet and put up couch cushions to denote a bed. Really simple, really quick way to set the stage and commit to the role. And Will gave great direction and Mylinda is amazing, so we blew it up the second round. Good times.

Plus I just like Will as a guy. Seeing him warms the cockles of my heart. And reminds me my heart has cockles. They're prickly. But in a good way.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

"SCHTICKFAS" is live!

The teaser trailer for SCHTICKFAS, a stop-motion animation project from my mind and mouth, is now live on the official Website.

SCHTICKFAS is labor of love -- one that I hope gets a long run. There are at least twenty-eight episodes currently written, so if I can keep the typical labor-of-love / life-keeps-happening challenges in check, we're in for a fun ride. And stop-mo takes a wicked lot of time.

But for now, enjoy -- the official Website also has a bit of history and technical details for the trailer.

Oh, and given my recent heartburn, this new site is hosted via WordPress. We'll see if I stick with that (since it's hosted on, it seriously screws up my Web stats).

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Free Comic Book Day!

Today is Free Comic Book Day!

Enter your zip code on the official site, and find a local comic book shop that's celebrating.

If you're lucky, you'll have a local superstar shop like Rogue's Gallery, who in addition to carrying over 40 different free comics, will have industry players like Scott Kolins, Paul Benjamin, and Billy Tan in-store.

If you already like comics, celebrate with your fellow geeks in style today. If you've been wondering what all the fuss is about, here's a low-cost way to check it out.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Self-portrait ...

Conceptual self-portrait of actor Adam Creighton.This is a self-portrait I did as part of my weekend "Into the Abyss" workshop.

I chose to go a wee bit conceptual. Think of it what you will.

And let me know your thoughts.

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Last night's Meisner class ...

Last night's class was good.

Started out weird, with me seeing my scene mate off to the side of the road with a blowout as I was heading to class, so I fixed the flat, we left her car at 24-hour Starbucks, then drove to class.
(As an aside, I and another guy stopped to help her, and she knew him, too. I'm thinking getting a flat and getting help from two people you know is a little coincidental.)

Our scene itself -- a nice, 10-page overlapping dialogue piece -- was more of a technical read, and we did it from two chairs (for those familiar with that concept).

I think this was the first time I was critiqued for making strong, definable choices for my character. Not in a negative way, per se, since it's what we're supposed to do in this process where I don't know my partner's lines. My coach's caveat was I need to explore other equally strong choices and see if I end up at the same place, or somewhere else. Which I totally get.

I was two shakes to the wind ill yesterday, though, so changing the flat, doing a scene, and driving home in freaky weather (which I normally love, but my tires currently suck), really left me spent when I hit home. I got an hour or so of late-night Biz follow-up in before cratering.

Now, a week of improv / paraphrasing practice with my scene before we do it again -- on our feet and full on...

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

John Woo film contest ...

Like John Woo? Think you're the next to inherit the action-packed-slow-mo-blood-n-dove-soaked mantle of movie awesomeness?

Prove it.

Enter "Stranglehold's True to John Woo Short Film Contest", hosted exclusively on MySpace (*GRUMBLE*), and create a 2.5 minute film that's a tribute to Woo.

The grand prize? Subject to change of course, but try "$25,000, a trip for two to Midway's Chicago studios to meet developers and tape an interview for Spike TV, the chance to personally premiere the short film on Spike TV, an authentic "Hard Boiled" movie poster autographed by John Woo, an Amp'd mobile phone with six months' service, and a copy of Stranglehold [the game; I'm assuming in the format you want]."

The contest launched April 30 and runs through June 25, 2007. It's hosted by Midway Games Inc., John Woo, his video game production company (Tiger Hill Entertainment), Spike TV, and Fox Interactive Media.
I already know what I'm doing for the tribute film. Give me a run for the money...

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Adam Creighton: Headshot

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