See-sea-seattle.

I think I first wanted to visit Seattle when I saw that Dr. Evil’s headquarters in The Spy Who Shagged Me resided in a Starbucks atop the Space Needle.

evil-starbucks

The motives of a small child are pure indeed.

Since my moratorium on waiting tables to support my habit, I have gotten by any which way I possibly can: promoting brands and products, subtitling obscure Jeff Daniels films, subtitling in general, and assembling and disassembling photobooths for all kinds of events.

I am very fortunate to live in a world where everyone wants to take their photo and blast it out on the internet, particularly fashionable women, middle school aged girls, guys in high school who play football, and guys who work at tech start ups that drink their weight in free bourbon at holiday parties. It is because of these people that my favorite side hustle, The Photobooth, thrives.

The company that I work for sends their photobooths all over the world. Because of them, I have been able to visit Dallas, the outskirts of Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, and now Seattle. They were so kind as to schedule my flight back to LA at 8:30pm the day after the event to give me enough time to explore some of the city.

Also noteworthy of the trip: I got to hang out with Tony Gasparetti – AFTER ELEVEN BILLION YEARS. Not really eleven billion, but a long, long time. Tony and I went to elementary school together in Georgia. I had piss poor social skills as a child, but I remember Tony being very easy to communicate with and he and his friend, Tyler, would let me play with them during recess. Also, his mother was always so nice to me whenever she was at the school. Tyler stayed in Georgia and grew into a person who would fit in well with the Westboro Baptist Church, but Tony moved around the country with his family until they settled in Seattle, Washington. He now works in video production with a cluster of friends. I had searched for him and Tyler on Facebook out of a random curiosity to see what happened to them. As it turned out, he remembered me as well and we would chit chat periodically. Naturally, I hit him up when I landed in Seattle and he and a friend of his met me for a late night dinner and drink after my event.

This is Tony. We went to elementary school together.

Tony!

I really want to find our third grade teacher and show this picture to her! She would love it. Mrs. Smith was always so patient with creative kids.

This morning I woke up and set off the explore as much of the city as I could by foot. I walked to Fremont  district to downtown to Ada’s Technical Bookstore (where I am writing this). I’m about to hop a bus to downtown and take a quick stroll through the market before catching the train to the airport, but I do want to show you this sick picture that a couple of ladies were kind enough to take for me:

IMG_7736

No one side-hustles like me.

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I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for the past month and a half, but I promise I have good reasons. I really do know fantastic people.

My significant other wrote and directed a feature and his fellow graduates from Florida State University rallied and helped knock out principle photography in seven days. Seven long, sweltering, tiring days – but seven amazing days. I feel like I have a better understanding of why so many of them stuck together after grad school, even after they trickled into Los Angeles one by one.

Even more amazing than the fact that shoot went as well as any of us could have hoped for was the fact that we came in under budget. That’s quite a feat when you consider that the budget was a mere $3,800 dollars.

Yeah. $3,800. To shoot a feature. A feature that will clock in at 70 – 75 minutes and look like it cost way more than that. And we came in under budget because our producer was just that good.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.19.33 AMA mock-up poster from the look book that we sent out to people
when we were originally gathering funding.

We were able to shoot so cheaply for a number of reasons. Dustin and Corey (writer/director and writer, respectively) planned the script around locations we knew we could get free access to. We shot for a day and a half on top of a small mountain-hill in El Soreno (below) in the Los Angeles heat. Our producer ran around with ice packs and held them to the backs of our necks so that the cold might circulate throughout our body faster.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 7.12.48 PM

Producer George would drive his superior off-roading vehicle, a 2000 Buick Convertible, up the mountain with water and crafty. Kyle drove a truck full of as much equipment as he could fit. Both wore the hats I gave them all week.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 7.12.19 PM
DP Devin still carted the camera and much of his equipment up the mini-mountain in a red wagon, though. Respect.

We shot a significant chunk in our respective apartments. If you thought the idea of shooting on top of a hill in the LA summer was bad, check this: I live in a studio that would be luxury sized by San Francisco standards, but it’s still a tight fit when you stuff it with 8-10 people, light stands, sliders, and high-powered lighting equipment. If there exists a word besides “love” that describes people who are willing to work in a small, enclosed, PIPING HOT space for 10+ hours to make sure that their friend’s movie happens, then I don’t know it.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 7.13.06 PM

Our DP owns the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, a wonderful little piece of equipment that produces an image that looks like 16mm film (below.)

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 7.12.32 PM
Dem dailies, tho!

Oh, our DP is just the sweetest guy in the world and I assume that everyone who works with him wants to give him things and shower him with gifts. Case in point, of the key grips from Shameless, his main paycheck show, heard he was making a movie and offered to lend us almost ALL of the light stands and other equipment.

It also helped when most of the cast agreed to work for a minimal day rate – if that. A couple of us worked for back-end only. The best part? We get to have our wrap party at The Magic Castle when we finish pick-ups. One of our actors/producers used to teach at FSU and now sits on the Magic Castle board. He’s pretty fantastic.
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In other news, I found out that I am a finalist for this year’s Sundance Lab. I received an email in early September from a woman who works at the Institute saying that she had noticed that I hadn’t touched my application. Apparently they still wanted to consider my script.

I replied saying that I had no idea I was even being considered and that I had received no e-mails or letters regarding the Lab since I first submitted in June. I also tried to log into my account and found that my email had been cleared out of the system.

Apparently there was a glitch. They had originally sent out my letter in August, but I never received it. She then included my original offer to submit the full script and said they were extending my deadline to the 15th of September. How awesome is that?

So I holed up for two weeks and worked on nothing except the script. I don’t expect much to come of it beyond this point, but I welcome any and all challenges. When I submitted, my goal was to get them to ask for more – and they did. For those of you who know me and what this past year has been like creatively/mentally, this was huge. Anything beyond this point is extra. And I’m ready to hit the ground running.

Blammo.

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Post-It! Comics: The Secret Club of GIRLS.

Sometimes, when I’m temping at an office that doesn’t give me busy work to do, I spend my time wisely and work on my serious writing projects that I will hopefully use to further my career.

Other times I make comics out of Post-Its.

photo 3

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Maybe it’s just the times that are changing, but since I moved to Los Angeles, I find myself surrounded more and more by women who repeatedly date the most ridiculous men and then complain to other women about how “there are no good men.” Women will post their horrendous experiences with their men online and say things like, “I know he loved me,” or “He’s acting this way because he’s hurt but I know he loves me,” or some variation thereof. Not so hidden in the details, however, are blatant indicators that these guys never were good news. So here are some helpful tips and hints for ladies who seem to have trouble distinguishing between sketchy males and not sketchy males:

1. If he, in a serious manner, uses the words “friend” and “zone” in this order: “friend zone,” do not date him. If you have to question whether or not he is serious, forget it. Not worth it. Ain’t nobody got time for this jacked nonsense when there are plenty of good men out there who’ll say, “WTF Friend zone whaaaaat?”

2. If he regularly gets a table and orders bottle service and has a ton of girls all up in his business at clubs or makes it “rain” ANYWHERE, do not date him. I mean, I get that people have money, but I don’t understand those practices. Also, I have never met a person that threw singles and shots of Grey Goose at me that made a great impression. I wouldn’t date him.

2a. If he dances behind you and presses his body against yours without permission and you can feel his penis, do not date him. Also: rude. Also, ew. You may think it’s like this:

oldmaninclub But I personally think that it’s more like this:

 Either way, both suck.

3. If he got a big boy job and the first thing he did was buy an expensive car without proving that he could keep said big boy job, do not date him. Who the hell buys a car without knowing they have the financial ability to keep it for more than the time being? Not someone you want to date, that’s for damn sure. bmw
4. If he insists that white/hetero privilege or “the 1%” aren’t “a thing,” do not date him.

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5. If he calls casually women “bitches,” do not date him. If he thinks that pictures like this are funny, do not date him.

tape
6. If he calls you “baby,” or any other super familiar term and there’s no way you know each other well enough to warrant those names, do not date him.


7. If his friends are douchebags, do not date him – even if it seems like he’s not a douchebag. Sorry not sorry; he’s probably a douchebag.

douchebags
8. If he laughs at your accomplishments and says things like, “That’s so cute,” then do not date him.


9. If he gives you the “uh oh” feeling, at all, then do not date him.


I think that this is pretty simple. Indicators and clues are real things. I find that there is a higher ratio of douchebags to these telling details. Besides, I personally feel like you’re more likely to find someone with a heart of gold OUTSIDE Supper Club than inside and you’re more likely to find someone you can engage in a meaningful relationship based on common interests and mutual trust out there in the real world than in the LA party scene.

Seriously. These dudes are only good for hook-ups – if even that. Remember: just because he looks good and you guys danced together while one or both of you both were wasted, you don’t OWE him anything. Just because you guys are hooking up or have hooked up, you don’t OWE him anything. There is no need to keep that going for any extended amount of time unless you really want to and have nothing or no one else better going on. Chances are he can’t connect or communicate well enough to sustain anything remotely worthy of your time. (Or fuck well.)

Feel free to add your two cents.

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Headshot prettiness, everyone.

I recently had some new headsots taken with a wonderful, wonderful lady named Joanna DeGeneres. She loves showtunes and takes fantastic photographs and I had an absolute blast shooting with her. I tend to photograph on the serious side and she definitely pulled some warmth, smiles, and general goofiness out of me. If you’re in LA, I highly recommend her. She’s got the mad skillz.

To see all of the picks, head over the the ACTORING page!

jas_sams_film_3_web

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Today I exercised the shit out of an opportunity to be a real FUCKING lady.

Many of you already know that I live in Los Angeles. Supposedly New York City holds the record for the America’s most unhappy, unsatisfied, bitter-fueled city, but I strongly feel that the chief of that study crunched some numbers wrong. While Los Angeles boasts lots of happy, positive people, this city also reeks of some of the most jaded, depressed, angry, bitter, mean, spiteful, and hateful people that wake up each morning to work the shit out of a high horse made of the grandeur they summoned in their imaging board. Or worse, they still harbor dreams which they are either too busy, bitter, lazy, or unlucky to achieve and constantly take their frustrations out on their loved ones – myself very much included. Yet, despite feeling absolutely worthless and slow, I try, very hard and very diligently, to do others the kindness of at least appearing positive and/or put-together.

Even worse still, though, are the ones who are simply rotten to the core.

I had stopped at a red light on Olympic. The sweat from my back had soaked into the seat, making it damp to the touch. The air conditioning knob broke off some weeks ago and I can’t afford to fix it. Therefore I drive around in the LA heat and I deal with it. That means I make due with my windows rolled down – well, the windows in addition to the back seat passenger window, which is always rolled down except for the times when I force it back up. Sometimes it stays, but most of the time it slides back down within an hour or so. Anyway, it had fallen again, allowing me to hear the man in the truck next to me call out,

“Hey, you wanna sell that car? I’d buy it.”
“You’d have to wash it first,” said his passenger, who, if I had to guess based off of the voice, I’d say was a chain smoking female. I instinctively kept my gaze angled straight ahead. This wasn’t my first trip to the hater rodeo.
“You should be embarrassed to drive around in a car like that,” the higher pitched voice called out, “Why don’t you wash your car, you dumb bitch?”
I continued to ignore them.
“You’re so nasty,” she pressed on.
I gave them no response. I debated on turning up the radio, since the Book of Mormon Slacker Radio station had begun to play “Keep it Gay” from The Producers. What a stereo battle that would have been!
“You’re a fucking cunt,” she said.
I debated on retaliating. I imagined how pathetic I must have looked, all sweaty and stone faced.
Then the light turned green. I turned into the right lane left and them behind.
This really happened.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 10.45.54 AM I did not look at them, but based on factors like accent and vehicular choice,
I can say that this may be an accurate representation of their
socioeconomic place in life.

Here are a couple of things the couple driving that truck do not know about me:

I live on the edge of Korea Town. Korea Town is a sketchy area where two men once tried to kidnap me and my then-boyfriend was knifed. I have lived here for a year during which several cars fell victim to break-ins. Mine, despite having a bum backseat window, hasn’t even been touched. I attribute this to two factors: for one, no one really wants my grandmother’s old Buick. For another, I keep the outside of my car perpetually dirty and dusty. I make sure the inside stays clean – though I will admit that is a fairly new initiative. The outside, though, consistently collects the business cards of various junkers that drive throughout K-town in search of people wanting to sell their cars for scrap. I don’t mind. Unlike my classy neighbor with the Ford Focus, no one has tried to jack Betty’s Buick.

Apparently, though, that doesn’t make me any less of a fucking cunt.

I’m stoked that I’m not God.

This is what would happen if I were God.

————-

INT. HEAVEN

JAS-GOD sits at a table with a councel of other HEAVENLY BEINGS. Before them is a living collage of all of the atrocities happening on Earth.


HEAVENLY BEING #1
It really has gotten out of hand, your Greatness.
I personally feel like thousands of years is enough
time for them to get their shit together.

JAS-GOD
Um, they’ve been killing and violently attacking and
slandering and being general butt-queefing shit rags to
one another for how long?

HEAVENLY BEING #2
Over four thousand years.

JAS-GOD
Seriously?

Both HEAVENLY BEINGS nod in unison.

JAS-GOD
(Pressing the TERMINATE EARTH button)
BYE, FELICIA.

Earth explodes.

END.

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You know, now that I’ve been privy to an entire live set by Iggy Azalea, I have to say that her album is like a Taco Bell. It only has three ingredients strewn about in different ways to make you think you’re taking in a new thing. Except instead of tomatoes, cheese, and tortillas, it’s “NYAAAAA,” “Working on my shit,” and “bad bitches.”

iggy

Like Taco Bell, it seems that Iggy occasionally seasons the same three ingredients with other subject matter. Just like a chalupa wouldn’t be the same without the Baha sauce, no “real” album about hard living would be complete without bits and pieces like, “White Girl like __” or “In tha club.”

Think of them as the new Doritos shell and green sauce, respectively.

Here’s the thing. I don’t really know that much about Iggy Azalea. I know that Salon published an article about how she appropriates another culture for profit, which would seem sketch except no one seemed to really care when Marshall Mathers did a similar thing in 1997. Or maybe they did and the child version of me felt no urge to scour  the internet for politically correct articles on current pop culture trends.

However, I have listened to a bit of Eminem and I’m fairly certain he utilizes more narrative and, well, overall subject matter. Yes, subject matter in the most generic sense of the phrase. Iggy Azalea, on the other hand, seems like she just went to Atlanta and decided to make a career out of rap culture – which according to the Wikipedia entry that I’m scanning over as I write this, she did. Taco Bell takes all the foods that Americans think about when they hear the words “Mexican food” and then passes them off as fast, ethnic food. Apparently, Iggy took the loudest phrases from the rap songs on the top 40 lists and used them to make eleven or twelve new songs about the same stuff: bad bitches and money.

“What does a taco have in it? Ground beef and cheese!”
“What do women do in the club? They spend money and act like bad bitches.”

“What happens when a taco bell taco disagrees with you? It cuts right through you.”
“What happens when a bad bitch disagrees with you? She cuts you.”

I tried to listen for more than just rhythmic spurts of phrases like, “In tha club / yeah we bad bitches,” and I think I heard a song about trying to make it to the top, but she never got more specific.

Anyway, who am I kidding? People love Taco Bell. It’s a tasty, easy meal that you can find on almost every exit of the freeway. I mean, who cares if it’s bad for you? It’s just so fast and so good.

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Furthermore, thank goodness for Fancy. If it weren’t for Iggy, then Weird Al wouldn’t have had such a catchy opportunity to craft a superior version.

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 3.20.37 PM

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Thoughts from Indiana.

I posted something like eighteen or nineteen head shots to my Instagram account the other day. Eighteen or nineteen pictures of my face, just to say, “Hey, look at these pictures of ME! Aren’t they great? Don’t I photograph well? I’m so happy with how they turned out; let me just bombard you with pictures of my face.”

While I was busy posting pictures of my face, my brother and sister-in-law were sitting in a hospital room with their nephew and his mother.

A week ago, their nephew was sitting on the sofa while his girlfriend got him some water in the kitchen. When she returned, she found him in the middle of a stroke.

After two surgeries to allow his brain room for swelling, the problem seemed to have calmed down enough to anticipate at least partial healing. Unfortunately, he suffered two additional strokes, one in the front and one in the back. The doctors put him into a medically induced coma and told the family that the only thing left was to wait for the drugs to clear out of his system to that they could make a final decision on his brain activity. By this point, they had already let the family know that he was most likely brain dead.

They called in a grief counselor for the children and the family.

This morning doctors confirmed that there was no brain activity and Tyler’s mother, knowing that her son was an organ donor, decided to remove him from life support. Seven people received organs today. Tyler was sixteen.

My sister is getting married in less than a week.

There are parts of the world where people are kept ignorant and countries that will never, ever know peace. And I posted eighteen or nineteen pictures of my face while I selfishly worried about my life and and my problems and my depression and my failure to motivate myself to do better. I have been obsessing over things that I have done wrong or didn’t do right. I have let memories and past experiences dictate my the way I relate to people and situations.

I deleted all of the pictures of my face and I feel so, so ashamed. It’s not about me.

Please keep my brother and his family in your thoughts.

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We discuss the important aspects of the craft, like Wifi and hotels.

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Let’s talk Tinder. Let’s talk awful dating habits in general.

I have a mostly hate/love to hate relationship with the hookup app that has taken millennials by storm. I hate that it has become so ingrained into our culture so quickly. I hate that I can’t go to a stand-up night without seeing at least one comic discuss Tinder. I hate that  jokes about Tinder became prevalent overnight and that any and all things I have to say about Tinder are now cheapened by the fact that every comic has something to say about Tinder. I admit that in that regard, my feelings about Tinder stem from my own selfishness; want to the the authoritative voice on why Tinder will destroy the human race long before the sun expands to the point of incinerating the earth. That said, I love talking about how Tinder is destroying the planet, so there we go.

I downloaded the app during a cell phone promotion. Half of the campaign was us standing on corners, begging those who passed by to let us tell them at least one cool thing about the devices we waved in their face. Eventually, we opted to stop bothering the public and pass the hours by downloading apps and playing games.

“Oh snap,” someone called out, “you can download Tinder on these!”

By lunch, we had collectively swiped through approximately one billion* people. Tinder felt more like a game than an actual hookup/relationship facilitator. It’s hard to take a dating program seriously when all the potential partners look more like extras from The Wolf of Wall Street B-roll than actual people. I deleted the account before I left that day.

Tinder is awful for a person like me. I’m not a user, mind you. I’m just the sort of person who would find out that you were on Tinder and would think something like, “You’re on Tinder? Ew, get away from me before I catch it!”

It  wasn’t always like this. The very first time I ever heard about Tinder happened when an acquaintance of mine, who had been single for years, actually found a legitimate partner through the app.
“I’m so embarrassed when I tell people how we met,” she had said, “But we’ve been together for three months and he treats me like a queen. I’m in love.”
That was a year ago and the photographs of their warm embraces still pop up on Instagram, so I assume that the tinder fueled a strong, steady flame. Feel free to use that; I doubt I’ll ever find a story of tinder-grown true love between two normal, sane adults again.

A few months ago, I joined a closed  group on Facebook for women. Most of the members reside in LA, so I figured it would be a great way to try and make some friends and acclimate a little bit more to LA culture and women in general (because I have problems with that.) There are approximately 4,000 members between Los Angeles and New York City. Some days I see some really interesting posts or discussions. Quite often, however, it’s a lot of women who are bringing up no-brainer personal problems – and Tinder. Lots of Tinder. Well, let me rephrase that: lots of dick picks and lots of Tinder.

These are the types of guys I read about on Tinder.

Case 1:

“I had a booty call over the other night. He’s doing me from behind. Except then he stops for a second and when he starts back up again, I know that he took the condom off. WTF?”

My internal response: WTF indeed. She goes on to say that she sent him home. That’s great, sister! You sent him home. But still, this question plagues my brain: how in the world does a scumbag like that weasel his way into your apartment in the first place? Social cues are real. They are real things. The “uh oh” feeling is a real thing. What the actual fuck is happening to women in the upbringing process that renders them incapable of detecting cues that let them know that someone is bad news? By the time you’re 25+, you should have had enough experiences to be able to identify a creep 9 out of 10 times. If someone sends you inappropriate messages after you meet them in a bar, DON’T BRING THEM INTO YOUR LIVING SPACE. If  you have not expressed interest in receiving a dick pic, yet someone still sends you a picture of their penis, DO NOT BRING THEM INTO YOUR LIVING SPACE.

Also, wait. People use the phrase Booty Call? I can’t bring myself to do it. I stick with long versions:
“The person that I sometimes do it with,” or, “This is the person that I make stand four feet away from me when I’m not having sex with them.”

Case 2:

“I’ve been single for less than 48 hrs. For future reference… Is tinder a hook up app. I’m so confused by the awkward msgs from guys about my boobs.”

My internal thoughts: Yes. Tinder is a hook-up app. Also, confusion is not what you should be feeling when total strangers ask you about your boobs. You should be angry.

Case 3:

Tinder Guy: You slut.
Girl: ?
Tinder Guy: In a good way.
Girl: Thank you?
Tinder Guy: No for real though are you
Girl: I don’t know what to say. I’m going to say no.
Tinder Guy: So you don’t like to have sex.
Girl: I don’t see what me liking sex has to do with me being a slut?

My internal thoughts: Burn him alive. Also, you should have given him a what-for the second the slut word popped up. Or sent him a photograph of a severed penis. You can find them easily on Google Image search.

On top of Whitney Wolfe’s lawsuit and the general assumption that start-up culture reeks of bro-tastic women haters who took a break from finance to learn coding and infiltrate the fastest growing industry industry in the world, you have the chunk of population that keeps these kids in business. I don’t understand why women continue to tolerate this kind of behavior. We don’t have to. We just don’t.

We CAN help stop it.

Some of the girls in the group are beginning to realize this. Posts like these give me a little bit of hope:

“I have deleted my tinder. and my OKC.
CAN I GET AN AMEN!?!
…those boys tho…. NOT REAL LIFE.”

Nope. Not real life at all.

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