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

Monday, October 12, 2009

Networking is hard

Recent events have me reflecting on current skills.

One of them is networking - at which I'm wicked good. It's hard to talk endorsements for my skills in a blog post without it coming across as arrogant or self serving.

But suffice it to say that I regularly get comments and compliments about my networking and self-marketing when I show up at events, meet and greet, and explore joint opportunities, pay-it-forward moments, and poke at tipping-point(ish) shenanigans.

Easily one-half of those folks who follow up with me after these events (which is fractional compared to the number who should be following up -- with everyone, at every event) contain some version of, "Wow, you're really good at networking."

So, there are two points that I want to make.

First (to get it out of the way), I really try to make sure I'm not engaging in any sort of usury. I've written a lot in this space about "genuine networking", and my desire to build relationships, and not engage in the professional version of Pokémon (the "gotta catch 'em all" mentality of some network builders who don't realize they're an untrusted cartoon).

Second (and the message I really want to get out), is I work freaking hard at networking.

Seriously, I bust my hump so much on the networking front, that I'm surprised I have any sort of hump left to bust (hrm ...).

Anyway, there are people for whom networking comes easily. Some of these are good, amazing people, building relationships, connecting the dots, and making big things happen, regardless of whether they're involved. Others (while maybe also amazing), are less "good" -- the equivalent of used snake oil salesmen who may have a great memory and can capture names and minute details, but are using info to their own benefit, relationships be damned.

I am neither of these guys. I am a guy who has to work so ridiculously hard to go to networking events I know I need to go to find those people who may have my next gig (acting or toy job), even if I would rather be doing something else, like spending time with my family, going on a run, working on a screenplay, or any of million things for which there isn't time in the day or my life to do. (Saying "yes" to something is saying "no" to something else.)

I work to remember names and go say, "hi" again. I work to introduce people I've met to other people I meet where I think there could be a business or personal relationship connection. I work to make sure I don't spend "too much time" with people I know and like at these events, so I can make sure to meet new folks and explore new opportunities. I work to go talk to the person sitting in a corner who doesn't have the social or networking skills to get plugged into the current event (and believe me, some of these people are alone for a reason). I work to connect, because like my acting, for me it's about relationships, about personal and corporate growth, about getting to be more than what I am.

And I share how to do it for other people. Not because I think I'm God's gift to networkers. No, it's because it is so hard for me, but so important, and I know it's even harder for some folks (people who are introverts rather than extros, people who have self-confidence issues, people who are worried about coming across as ingenious, and so on).

How can I be so arrogant as to not share, try to help, and build relationships with these folks so we can mutually do big things together?

There are a couple of specific folks that attend our too-infrequent Triangle chapter IGDA meetings. These particular people hate crowds -- As in, "out-of-their-skin" hate. And, bravely, they're at these things, because they recognize the value of meeting other people. And we pull aside from the crowd, every time, and just chat, one-on-one. Fifteen minutes. Thirty. Forty-five. Who cares? If I was a PokeLinkedIn Master, the "disruption" of not meeting every new-to-me person at the event and collecting their business cards might be maddening.

But when it's relationship building, when it's checking in on another human being and both taking a breather from the chaos and work that is networking, it's a recharge, a reminder of why I do it. And of how they can.


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Saturday, October 13, 2007

My brand ...

OK, I've been meaning to write about this for a while, and a question over on inspired me to jump the gun a bit (shut up; I was going to write about it).

The initiating question was simple (ha!):

Is there one word, a pinnacle, that describes you? What is it? Why?

-if you have a package, show us that too!
First, yes, I laughed at the wording of the second part of the question. But that's because I'm horribly immature. And I just realized I want that on my headstone ("Adam Creighton: He was Horribly Immature").

So how do I respond to a question like this? Because, honestly, it's a hugely important question, and I take an active role in packaging "Adam Creighton" as a brand.

Just one word? How do you even do that? One of my pet peeves is the reductionism of the individual -- none of us can be reduced to one word.

One word? Maybe "Integrity" -- I'm willing to lose a job for my integrity, suffer the slings and arrows of critics, yadda yadda yadda.

Two words (and another facet)? "Professional Creative" -- It's a differentiator for me from many of the folks that are the former or the latter. Not that it's a competition (I've written on that many times before; read the whole post for the "competition nugget").

A "branding package"?

Yeesh / [snicker]. Uh, here are a few:

"Technology Manager. Independent Creative. Llama Wrangler."

"A Voice & Film Actor, living a Mortal life."

"Living a passionate, ecstatic, and urgent life."
I don't like the idea of answering this question, because I don't know how I keep it keep it from coming off as being self-aggrandizing or braggadocio.

But here goes. ;-)

Honestly, I professionally see myself (Adam Creighton) as a brand, and all of the things I do are products and services that are logical extensions of that brand. And I actively and constantly work on my brand.

Notice my site? Are you a regular reader of some or all of my 7 active blogs? Notice my logo? Notice the packaged consistency? Notice all of the things I do (and just wait, there are some bigger, more WTF ventures on the way)?

Do you know me personally? Do you find any common thread there?

Integrity? Professionalism? Creativity? Immaturity?

Erm (again). Very little good comes from late night blogging.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do a still photo shoot of some new toys, and then play some video games. Because I just finished reading a 115-page script I'll be table reading for the Austin Film Festival Sunday.

(How's that for self-aggrandizement?)

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Which new headshots?

This could be a mistake. But I haven't seen any actor put themselves out there and do it -- which, by itself may be reason enough for me to try it out.

It's time for me to get with the times, and attack the acting world with new my color headshots.

Question is, which to go with? Getting good headshots is tough. Picking good headshots after they're taken is probably tougher.

So, in a move sure to raise eyebrows and get comments, I'm asking you to vote on my theatrical and commercial headshots.

Do you know me? Which headshot looks like some version of the actor you know?

Don't know me? What headshot grabs your attention, and is "cast-able"?

Are you in the Biz? What do you like or dislike about each headshot?

Not in the Biz? That's fine -- same question (thought if you're not in industry, hold off on comments or critiques that're likely already taken as a given; yes, these are low-res, and they're un-retouched, and they can all be cropped differently, etc.).

Take a look at the two groups of headshots below, and send me a note (here) letting me know which Theatrical and which Commercial headshot you like. You can also send me comments.


Adam Creighton Theatrical Headshot 1
Adam Creighton Theatrical Headshot 2

Best Theatrical Headshot
Theatrical Headshot #1
Theatrical Headshot #2


Adam Creighton Commercial Headshot 1
Adam Creighton Commercial Headshot 2
Adam Creighton Commercial Headshot 3
Adam Creighton Commercial Headshot 4

Best Commercial Headshot
Commercial Headshot #1
Commercial Headshot #2
Commercial Headshot #3
Commercial Headshot #4

CAVEATS: Property of Adam Creighton. For casting purposes only. Not intended for sale or commercial use.

This isn't reality TV, so your votes won't necessarily determine which mug of mine casting directors are going to see -- I'm just looking for (and value) input. There are other headshots in the running, and other factors such as agency input, preferences of target clientele in the pipeline, and which way the Biz wind is blowing at any given moment. These are unretouched shots.

All headshots are by my photographer, Rhea Willis (

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Monday, July 23, 2007

New voice demo! Studio "wring-out" session!

The voice demo:

Big things are afoot on the acting front!

Besides last week's headshots (the number-one calling card for on-camera talent), I recently cut and mastered my new character / animation voice demo (the number-one calling card for voice talent)!

I'm very happy with this demo, and it showcases how my range and technique have grown since my original voice demos.

I've did a decent amount of pre-production on this, because there were specific things I wanted to accomplish.

Besides obviously showcasing my range and diversity, I wanted a demo that translated my recent film training intensity. The "Luke Cage" piece (from New Avengers #22, yo!) does this nicely (and that's the amazing Howard Shore / Lord of the Rings "Journey in the Dark" swell underneath my vocals).

I also wanted to do a bit of a tribute to inspirational voice actor Peter Cullen, who is the voice of the original (and Michael Bay movie) Optimus Prime.

Finally, as I've grown in my craft, I'm well past the point of creating voices -- I create characters. This adds a depth and authenticity to my performances that isn't commonly found in untrained voice talent. I think that's apparent in the demo, and I hope you think so, too.

So, head over to my Demos page to meet Luke, Eeyore, Optimus, True Brit, GhollimEsque, Panic Boy, and's Hedojo and Fae. Plus a nice little industry button (all in fun).

The Studio "wring-out" session:

I've mentioned Jason Young before, who handled the audio for the Pray with Thanksgiving film.

I'm not sure how to articulate that there's probably not a better example of a modern-day Renaissance man than Jason. Musician, sound designer, sound engineer, composer, conductor, singer, wood worker, and technical geek. And not just dabbling in each -- accomplished in each.

We were "wringing out" his new sound booth -- which he designed and built. It's an amazing, solid, sound-dampened (but not sound "dead" or "sterile"), incredibly well-engineered piece of work.

The wring out session itself revolved around the technical and the physical aspects.

On the former, this involved chasing down sound leaks, buzzes, and the like; adjusting levels, and making sure the studio is ready for professional work, without interruption.

The physical side of the wring out involved figuring out the range of the booth, angles for delivery (clean, muddy, echo-ey), allowable space for physicality (it's a cozy booth, but with plenty of room for work -- and even guitar performance, if it comes to that), sit / stand mechanics, and producer / engineer interaction (both for VO and ADR direction).

I really like Jason's new booth and studio (and not just because I get along so well with Jason). It's on par with studio booths in which I've recorded, and is one of the nicest home studios in which I've every had the pleasure to record. It's certainly got some of the best sound.

The pict below is snapshot after a pretty intense "Luke Cage" read (hence, "the shiny"). For this take, we were also checking the sound on my own MXL-990 mic (pictured) -- which turns out to be a pretty hot mic, compared to Jason's studio setup.

Adam Creighton during a studio wring-out session with Jason Young.

After the wring-out session, I went away, focused on headshots, pulled music and sound effects together, then Jason and I spent yesterday afternoon mixing / mastering / finalizing the demo.

Jason was adept at maximizing the sound (without losing the fidelity), and appropriately prioritized the vocals over the music and sound effects (without making the latter two sound like they were just "slapped underneath" the former).

Like I said, I feel great about this demo. Not just for the finished product, but because I ostensibly self-produced this project (with Jason's spot-on collaboration) -- I feel great about the product and the result -- and it's the demo I'm talking to Comic-Con this week.

Jason's available to do this for you. You should contact him. Or me, if you prefer an introduction.

And there's more to come, because we also recorded clips for my new commercial voice demo. But that'll have to wait until after I shake things up in San Diego.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Networking tools for Biz folks ...

OK, so here's the post I was going to do when I stepped back and wrote this philosophical post instead.

If you haven't, read that post, first.

There are a couple of tools that serve me well on the contact / relationship / opportunity front, and I leverage those tools for my Biz work, too:

The first is a contact synchronization service, and the second is a resume / profile / contact management service. Both have free versions that are pretty robust and useful.

By way of caveats (besides telling you to read the original post first):

  1. I'm not associated with either of these companies.
  2. These are only a couple of the tools I use. I cover my bases pretty liberally with intelligent, safe, proven software, services, and social networking sites.


Plaxo, again, is a contact synchronization tool that makes it wicked easy to have the latest version of your contact's information, and make sure they have the latest of yours.

Ever change your Email address? Switch from using your home address to a P.O. Box for your Biz work? Want to stay "on the radar"? If you use Plaxo, and your contacts use Plaxo, you'll both have each other's most current info. And you'll be notified of any changes.

If you're a Plaxo user, you enter your contact information -- professional and personal -- and decide what you want to share with whom. For example, I share just my business information, and I choose to share it with all Plaxo users (whether I know them or not); my personal (home) contact info only goes to family and close friends.

Then, any time I change anything (like when I switched my business address to a P.O. Box for anonymity), I updated that info, and my Plaxo contacts got it right away.

The beauty of Plaxo is if you (and your contacts) are using it -- and have it integrated with your mail clients. As you add Biz contacts to your Email's address (contact) book, you'll be notified if they're a Plaxo user.

As far as "staying on folks' radar" , if you update your Plaxo contact info (like your "personal message"), and your contacts have elected to receive notifications, they'll get updates about you, too.

It's not perfect, and you have to remember to update your Plaxo info. But it's a good, pretty simple tool.

Oh, and don't be that person who updates they're personal message every day / week / month. I remove those people.


LinkedIn is a professional relationship management site. Sounds wonky, but think of it as a social networking site for professionals, with the tagline, "This isn't networking—it’s what networking should be."

Think an entire site based (loosely) on the Kevin Bacon / six-degrees of separation idea. You use the service to stay in contact with people you know, create and participate in opportunities with each other, and extend your networks to create more opportunities for each other.

With LinkedIn, you can build a profile for yourself, a resume, and a "personal network" of folks you know. You can see folks in their network, and request invitations to them. You can endorse folks. You can get endorsements. You can recommend people for jobs. You can job hunt.

And when you update your profile or other LinkedIn information, if folks in your network have elected to receive notifications, they'll get 'em (think ("co-star, 'Friday Night Lights'").

People use LinkedIn in different ways. Many people use it just to create opportunities for themselves. Others are trying to get as many people in their network as possible, gotta-catch-'em-all Pokemon style.

Not me.

I use LinkedIn to create mutual opportunities. I made all but a handful of contacts in my network personally.

And I try to diligently write applicable, meaningful recommendations for people, and never request or expect an endorsement in response. (As an aside, two folks who previously worked for me were hired -- at least in part -- due to my LinkedIn endorsements, as the hiring companies used my LinkedIn recommendations in lieu of reference checks.)

LinkedIn's not perfect. It only let's you have one profile, though I'd much rather have separate "Corporate Professional" and "Actor" profiles -- right now, my profile is a mix of the two.

If you know me and want to connect, check out my LinkedIn profile. If you don't know me but would like to connect, you can do so via LinkedIn, or you can drop me a note, and we can go from there. Remember, I like to know people as part of networking.

Oh, and check out Guy Kawasaki's blog for details on specific ways to leverage LinkedIn:

  1. Increase your visibility.
  2. Improve your connectability.
  3. Improve your Google PageRank.
  4. Enhance your search engine results.
  5. Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks.
  6. Increase the relevancy of your job search.
  7. Make your interview go smoother.
  8. Gauge the health of a company.
  9. Gauge the health of an industry.
  10. Track startups.
  11. Ask for advice.
  12. Integrate into a new job.
  13. Scope out the competition, customers, partners, etc.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

It is a good moment ...

I was just struck by what a good moment right now is.

I'm sitting here at my desk. To my left is my MXL-990 microphone, because I just finished and sent off a voice audition for a 1940s style voice over sci-fi piece.

To my right is a stack of comic books from which I'm pulling monologues. To the right of that is a light box and kit, set up to finish some stop-motion animation work through which I'm about two thirds complete.

I'm surrounded by amazing toy sculptures, and inspired by my recent brown-costumed Wolverine winning (and since I've finished the VO audition), I'm being "bad" and having a brewskie (funny, in college, the origin of Bane from Batman inspired me to get into a practice of doing a thousand sit-ups and a thousand push-ups; Wolverine makes me drink; this says something about the positive influence of villains versus heroes).

On the couch is a 10 page script I'm memorizing. Next to that is binder of dozens of pages of character descriptions, ideas, and scripts for 28 episodes of "Project X", the trailer for which I'm editing right now on the computer in front of me.

I've been chatting off an on all night with guys about video game stuff.

I'm about to send a resume and cover letter off to a video game company.

I'm looking at a note from Neil Gaiman sitting in my in-mail.

The dog that's still with me is asleep in the hallway, breathing deeply.

The house is totally quiet.

It's not huge. It's not earth shattering. And it's probably more than a bit selfish.

But right now feels like a really, really good moment ...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More ways to share blog posts

I've updated the "Sharing" footer that shows up at the base of each blog post.

I iconified (iconized?) the Digg / / Reddit links, left TinyUrl alone, and added a one-click way for you to add me to Twitter.

This last one is "in theory", as Twitter is a victim of its own success, and is struggling mightily to keep up with ever exploding demand and usage. So, if you get an error page, just refresh, and see if that fixes it.

I am a tech geek actor dude ...

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Google or Twitter should buy

If you haven't discovered TinyUrl, the awesome online utility from the mind of Kevin "Gilby" Gilbertson, you should check it out.

Hate long, cumbersome URLs (those "Web site addresses" that probably should never have been exposed in the first place)? Enter them in TinyUrl, and get back a 24 character URL.

So this:
Turns into this:
Much nicer! Especially for things like mobile and Twitter usage.

Since blog PermaLinks, links to forum posts, links with lots of parameters, etc. are wicked long, think about someone like Google integrating TinyUrl into their services, and automatically converting URLs before display.

I'm not talking just for (I think I'm getting done with them for a variety of reasons), but for all of the other multitudinous efforts Google's got in constant beta -- Google mobile, Google Maps, etc. -- shortened URLs would rock.

And in the Web 2.0 mashup world, I see other opportunities for TinyUrl -- like Twitter. I would so like Twitter to automatically take a posted URL and turn it into a TinyUrl. Makes sense, since TinyUrl is getting so much freaking usage from Twitter users. And it could be configurable, so Twitter users can choose whether they want to convert URLs or not.

In the meanwhile, I've created a "TinyUrl" link at the bottom of each blog post, so folks can more easily create TinyUrls from my posts.

I've found it hard to take my Product Management hat off this week.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Tools for actors: Reversible belts

I'm fashion slow, so I just assumed I was the last actor to figure this out.

Being on a few gigs, I realized I may not be.

I often have to bring a bunch of my own wardrobe choices to auditions (obviously) or sets, so I try to make things easy for me.

For along time, a reversible belt has been one of those things. It's a black dress belt -- but wait! Swivel the buckle, flip the belt, and now it's a brown dress belt!


I'm being a bit flippant, but I do find stuff like this useful. It's one more thing I don't have to worry about, so I can focus on the bigger craft stuff.

And it goes along with shoes that work with jeans or slacks, etc. (and for things like industrials, I'll check to see if my shoes will even be seen, because I find bringing a bunch of shoe options is a pain for me).

I got advice early on in my career that part of the start-up cost of acting is investing in appropriate wardrobe. I run into actors who haven't received the same advice (or have chosen not to make the same investment, which may be valid for them), and they tend to stress a lot more than I do about the "bring some wardrobe options to the set" request.

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Twitter, Twittervision, and life as I know it is over ...

The world moves quickly.

I recently got into Twitter on a lark, and I'm pretty hooked -- even replaced my mini headshot on my acting blog with a Twitter badge.

Just found Twittervision, a real Web 2.0 mashup of Google Maps and Twitter.

Check them out, but prepared to lose a bucketload of time (if you're into this one facet of the future).

I'm not saying Twitter is taking over my life -- just that technology is pretty cool, moving ridiculously fast, and I'm good at it.

Think I'm going to focus on some of my own mashup ideas...

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Digg me, find me ...

I've had requests to make it easier for folks to add me to their Digg,, and Reddit favorites, so I've added links for these three social bookmarking / social content sites to all of my templates.

These are social bookmarking sites, so now you can easily add (or bury) particular posts you like (or don't), using links at the bottom of the respective posts.

For those not familiar with these sites, here's a brief description of each (from the horses' mouths).


"Digg is a user driven social content website. Ok, so what the heck does that mean? Well, everything on Digg is submitted by our community (that would be you). After you submit content, other people read your submission and Digg what they like best. If your story rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of visitors to see.

What can you do as a Digg user? Lots. Every person can digg (help promote), bury (help remove spam), and comment on stories... you can even Digg and bury comments you like or dislike. Digg also allows you to track your friends' activity throughout the site — want to share a video or news story with a friend? Digg it!"

" is a social bookmarking website -- the primary use of is to store your bookmarks online, which allows you to access the same bookmarks from any computer and add bookmarks from anywhere, too. On, you can use tags to organize and remember your bookmarks, which is a much more flexible system than folders.

You can also use to see the interesting links that your friends and other people bookmark, and share links with them in return. You can even browse and search to discover the cool and useful bookmarks that everyone else has saved -- which is made easy with tags."

"A source for what's new and popular on the web -- personalized for you. We want to democratize the traditional model by giving editorial control to the people who use the site, not those who run it. Your votes train a filter, so let reddit know what you liked and disliked, because you'll begin to be recommended links filtered to your tastes. All of the content on reddit is from users who are rewarded for good submissions (and punished for bad ones) by their peers; you decide what appears on your front page and which submissions rise to fame or fall into obscurity."

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

"It's time User Generated Content grew up ..."

I read an the article about 'A Swarm of Angels' crowdsourcing film production, and am hugely encouraged that there are groups pushing new business models in the film making world.

First, unequivocally, the rules and technologies for media production, marketing, distribution, and profit have changed. And (this may sound elitist, but I really need to make a point) I would argue 95% of the world doesn't see that. Things like Web 2.0 are leaving people who don't adapt in the dirt.

I'm an actor. But I'm also a technologist. And a bit of a futurist. And I've been nearly crawling out of skin at the clusterf**** of missed opportunities between technology and media content (which is much bigger that just eye-candy special effects).

Seriously. I've got people that don't even understand what these ancient things called blogs are. And I've even had Biz folks suggest my Website and blogging's "not that critical a part of your personal marketing campaign". I find it very hard to regard those folks. But I do pay attention to (and get a hold of) those production, marketing, advertising and other houses that -- never talking to me -- use my Website and its posts to further their marketing at a grassroots and community level, build buzz, teach classes (at Harvard, no less), and so on. Those are folks who get it.

And while there are these ridiculous baby step battles being fought on the fair use and DRM put-down side of the house, and tepid Web site offerings for film and media distribution (YouTube? Please. That's Sooo 2005), it looks like 'A Swarm of Angels' is doing the appropriate techno / marketing / distribution / fair use leapfrog.

Back to 'A Swarm of Angels', which is the brainchild of Matt Hanson, a UK filmmaker / producer / author. The goal is "to 'crowdsource' the funding, production, and distribution of a $1.9+ million dollar movie" -- putting the principles of open source software to film making.
"The idea is we become a self-sustaining entertainment community with an unprecedented amount of freedom over the films we create."
And there are some other big guns advising: Cory Doctorow (culture advocate and technology futurist), Warren Ellis (writer of graphic novels, short fiction, novels, television, animation, screenwriting, journalism), and Tommy Pallotta (film producer behind A Scanner Darkly, etc.).

To play, you pay a ~$50 non-expiring membership fee (it's in UK pounds-sterling, but PayPal will do the conversion for you), and you then get to participate in the creation and other decisions for the project, created under the auspices of Creative Commons licensing.

At a high level, here's what you get for your money:
"In return for their investment, 'angels' get to have a say on all aspects of the creative process, access exclusive content, and in some cases even become part of the film crew. As the project progresses, the aim is to recruit 50,000 'angels' (hence the million-plus dollar budget). The finished movie will be released under a Creative Commons license so that it can be shared and remixed freely."
But you get other benefits. They'll be building the film crew as much as possible from the membership. You get to influence and greenlight a film. You get media and downloads along the project's way.

And it's totally screwing with the current distribution / revenue model, eschewing it for the chance of a greater creative payoff:
"Our project is about a Return on Entertainment, rather than a Return on Investment. If it's about a capital return then that interferes with creative decisions, and the fact we want to give it away, and let people remix it. My emphasis is on creating a model for cinema that can produce more distinctive creative work rather than being boxed into commercial genres in order that it make its money back."

It's not that it won't make money, per se, but that's not its restrictive goal.

And Hanson's parting shot:

"Here's my big pitch… If you're sick of being sold 'product' by mainstream media, and are serious about the power of the web and social networks to create cultural change then you need to become a member of the project. A Swarm of Angels is a revolutionary process to create the future of film. Join, and you can make it happen."
If you do want to join -- do it quickly. They're getting to cap the first 1,000 attendees with special privileges, and they're near that cut-off mark.

And, yeah, I'm a member.


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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Web heartburn and updates

Regular visitors and subscribers to my Web site and related feeds probably saw an obscene amount of weirdness and activity on my site this weekend.

First and worse, the site was down for most of Saturday, thanks to an outage from my Web hosting company that made my site and domain-related Email unavailable.

This really sucks, because the Saturday after I send out my traditional Biz Valentine's cards is usually a huge traffic day for me. So, thanks, Earthlink -- you cost me marketing opportunity.

The other craziness is I finally built out my sitemaps (XML and HTML) and formally loaded them into Yahoo and Google. They've got some great tools for Web administrators.

Speaking of great tools, I found a free sitemap generator that rocks. It's not perfect, but it's free, and once I figured out a few of the idiosyncrasies, it saved me a ton of time. Click the icon below to check it out yourself.

Sitemap Generator

Doing sitemaps right isn't trivial. I spent a ton of timing cleaning up dead links, republish blog entries that weren't migrated correctly by Google when they purchased and upgraded, making sure annoying stuff (spacer images, etc.) weren't included in the sitemap, etc. This meant there was a lot of republishing of blog entries and related RSS, atom, etc. news blasts. Sorry.

Finally, I added my new blog about toys to the right side "I'm [whatevering]" sidebar, "Blogs" sub listings, and Feed pages.

Oh, and I updated my copyright to 2007. Like you care.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

50,000(ish) served ...

I've been working through my 2006 Web traffic statistics for the last several weeks.

I sifted through all of the data my Web hosting software gives me -- weeding out duplicates and anomalies, search engines and Web spiders, pulling out anything I'm pretty sure is me or family. And so on.

And what I net out with is it looks like I had around 50,000 unique visitors last year to -- not total visitors (that's a whole lot more) -- but unique visitors. Which, honestly, is pretty freaking amazing.

Far and away, it looks like people are coming directly to my Website, with referrals being much lower. This means folks likely have my site bookmarked, are coming from Email or direct market mail, or are typing the address directly.

Second biggest area of entry is from people subscribing to my RSS feeds. Lot o' subscribers, which is good to see. People efficiently getting my info, which is nice, since one of my big goals for 2006 on the Web front was to get away from direct Emails and mailing lists (I'm mostly there). And that's just the people who come to my site from their RSS reader. For most of my blogs, I publish the entire post, so there's no need for folks to come to my site, per se.

As far as referrals go, I'm getting a lot of traffic from blog aggregators, acting biz-related sites, and (recently) links from friends', colleagues', and (recently) some professional Websites.

I'm also seeing some nice, regular traffic from folks. Not to out anybody, but traffic from game companies, production studios, and related industries.

Glad you're looking folks -- now hire me! ;-)

Truly, though, thanks to everyone for looking and listening.

Now, this year, I'm actually going to market the promote the Website and its sub-sites as product. Hang on to your hat ...

(This post is duplicated on both my Acting and Gaming blogs, since it pertains to the whole of

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Send thank-you cards for auditions ...

Thank you cards are key in the Biz. They're a way to acknowledge people who spent time with you on your audition or reading, and keep you on their radar in a non-artificial way.

There's a relatively easy, inexpensive way to make your thank you cards stand out from off-the-shelf thank-you cards.

Here's some secret sauce recipe:

  1. Get a box of thank you cards you like at a grocery or drug store (generally cheaper than a greeting card store) -- you can generally get a box of 12-20.
  2. Get reduced copies of your headshot -- like at a grocery/drug store, Sam's Club/Coscos, etc. You can scan your headshot (or better, print from the CD/DVD from your session), and get a sheet of 16, 2"x2.5" photos. Use a paper cutter (not scissors; better lines) to cut them out.
  3. Get a 2-in-1 glue (like Aleene’s 2 in 1 Glue).
  4. Put glue on the left side of the card (for Horizontal cards) or top of the card (for vertical cards) where you'll put your mini headshot and your business card (you do have business cards, right? ;-).
  5. Let the glue dry first, then put your headshot and business card on the spots glue. They'll stay secure, but are easily removable if your recipient wants to. The reason you put the glue on the card, and not on the headshot/business card, is this is less likely to leave residue on your business card.

    You can also ask you agent if you can have some of their cards, and you can place them below your cards.

Voila -- you have 16, ready-to-go, custom Biz thank-you cards, probably for around $10 and a little effort. Buy a book of stamps and save them just for thank you cards, and you're always ready to say, "thank you".

Is it ever too late to give a thank you card?

Probably, but opinions vary.

Send it as soon as you can -- the day after being best, but at least within a week. Two weeks is pushing it. Besides, you should have at least a couple more auditions by them right?

And if I don't genuinely want to send a card?

Ask yourself why you don't' want to send a card. Do you want to work with the person again?

All good questions, but realize the professional courtesy is to send a thank-you card. If you had a particularly bad, abusive, or otherwise negative audition experience, and (justifiably) don't want to work with the person(s) again, don't send a card. Those should be rare cases.

I've heard people say, "I didn't send a card, because I sucked at the audition."

Get over yourself! Send a thank you card, and acknowledge the person for taking out of their day to spend with you. You're sucking didn't make their sacrifice any less.

I've had other people tell me they don't send cards because "that's not me", or "I don't want to come across as kissing up."

How about coming across as lazy? Because I'd argue that's what's at the root of those excuses.

As an aside, thank-you cards should be rigor de jour for toy job interviews (unfortunately, they're not). Auditions are job interviews.

And I send thank-you cards constantly, and not just for auditions. I am so freaking thankful for all of the amazing stuff that happens to me as an actor, I have a lot of opportunity to say thanks -- "Thanks for the encouraging words the other day!"; "Thanks for offering to do storyboards for my project!"; "Thanks for being willing to trade screen printing services for Web site help!"; etc.

Oh, and is this what I do for cards? Not anymore. But my way takes more work, computer savvy, and patience. And I need to save something about which to write later.

UPDATED: A kind reference to this post from voice actor Bob Souer.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

I set up my audio equipment ...

OK, I'm stoked.

Since I finally got my office walled in, I set up part of my studio audio equipment and laid down some tracks tonight.

The cored of the setup is an M-Audio USB preamp and a couple of MXL-990s with shockmounts.

I'm surprised at how good and clean and warm the sound is, without me having dampened the room yet.

And laying down tracks on a professional grade mic, pop-filter and all?

That feels good ...

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A hard drive for toy/tech geeks

I'm an actor, but I'm also a toy and technical geek.

I found the perfect gadget for at least those two parts of my fractured, fragile psyche:

The 300GB LaCie Brick Desktop Hard Drive
The 300GB LaCie Brick Desktop Hard Drive
It's like a LEGO. Plus it could store tons of game videos.

And, yes, they're stackable.

I wonder if you could actually build stuff out of these. Not that I'm wealthy enough to find out.

Though Fry's does have a generous return policy ...

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Friday, July 28, 2006 heartburn

Apologies for the blogging weirdness the last few days -- Something's wonky with Only 2 of my of my 5 "July 26" acting blog posts were actually supposed to be July 26th -- the rest were published July 24th or 25th, and took a day or two to show up on the Website.

And my July 24th post to my video game blog -- which has my biggest readership -- showed up today. Nice. Glad I look current to the gaming public.

Glad they're free, or I'd be more pissed. Might be time to roll over to the Movable Type blog I've been playing with.

UPDATED: Yikes, take a look at the Blogger "system stability" for the last few weeks:
  • Tuesday, July 18, 2006: "... photo uploading and serving will be down ..."
  • Monday, July 24, 2006: "We've been having some database issues this morning, causing to be inaccessible for some users...."
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2006: "Some users are noticing problems with photo uploading timing out or taking a very long time to respond..."
  • Thursday, July 27, 2006: "Some folks are finding that some of their emailed posts get dropped and don't reach their blogs..."
  • Tuesday, August 01, 2006: "Due to a configuration change made earlier this evening, around 10% of requests made to Blog*Spot will not be successfully returned..."
  • Friday, August 04, 2006: "We are having problems with one of the Blogger databases. Posts and commments to blogs that are stored on that database are failing..."

I appreciate that they're up front with what they're seeing (it's not like they can hide it from their users, though).

So, did just become a victim of its success, or did Google screw something up when it bought them?

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