anobodytoasomebody

Just a guy trying to make it in LA

A Perfect Sunday

English: Diver and juvenile Sea Lions, Anacapa...

English: Diver and juvenile Sea Lions, Anacapa Island, Channel Islands, California. Image taken by Clark Anderson/Aquaimages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, I suck at blogging. I’m going to try and be a bit better at it, but no guarantees. It’s mostly because my extra LA activities usually only happen on the weekend but also because I am lazy. Anyways, moving along…

This past weekend I started my Open Water Scuba Certification course. I’ve been scuba diving in the Dominican Republic and absolutely loved it. Now that I live in SoCal I figure it is appropriate to actively pursue this as a hobby. Something about the underwater world is really enticing. I’ve been involved with swimming almost my entire life so being in the water feels very natural to me.

Saturday consisted of scuba “class” and pool training. I had to do this in the DR so admittedly it was a bit boring. But, these are the basics and necessary for being in the ocean. In the pool you learn what to do if you get water in your mask, what to do if your breathing unit comes loose, how to achieve neutral buoyancy, and how to ascend and descend properly. Neutral buoyancy is interesting because it is such a science. It’s not as simple as breathing in and out, it’s about controlling your breathing so that you move in the water. The last one is especially important, because if you ascend to quickly you can end up with a collapsed lung. Doesn’t sound very fun and I don’t intend on that happening.

Sunday is when the real fun began…with a 7am boat departure from Ventura. We went to Anacapa Island, part of the Channel Island. It is a beautiful island that is (mostly) untouched by man. The boat ride there was very choppy and rough. There was a point where I thought I might get seasick but managed to make it through (I honestly believe half the battle is mental when it comes to getting seasick). The same can’t be said for everybody in my class. Two got very sick and unfortunately couldn’t complete any of the 3 dives. We arrived at our first destination on the North side, called ‘Winfield Scott,’ geared up, and took our first “step” into the water. It’s amazing how heavy the gear is on land but how light it is in the water. In general the water is calm and soothing. A  fun, quiet, and overwhelming place to be. We got to the dive line and down we went. Visibility wasn’t so great, but we explored for 40 minutes before returning to the surface. The underwater world is so vibrant and majestic, nothing like land. While under, there is this moment where you go “holy crap, I’m breathing UNDERWATER.” And that, my friends, is a wonderful moment.

We returned to the boat and were treated to some delicious food. The crew of our boat, called ‘Peace,’ were friendly, and helpful. Our second destination was on the South side, called “The Amphitheater.” This was my favorite spot for two key reasons. The first is because we got to see a pod of dolphins swim by. The second is because a sea lion came to play with us while diving. It’s fascinating to watch the sea lions interact with us, as they like to play games with the bubbles we blow, go behind us, and even bark! This is really what diving is all about, observing aquatic life in its natural environment. I think we sometimes forget how beautiful the Earth itself is, and this was a good reminder of that. Our third dive was on the East side of the island, called “Cat Rock.” Finished with surface skills and underwater tests. Not as exciting as the second dive, but peaceful.

As we were returning to the Ventura Port I thought to myself “Wow, I can’t think of anyplace else I’d rather be.” Can’t wait for next weekend and after that can’t wait to continue my scuba diving experience. My instructor told me I looked like a ‘merman’ underwater, so I guess I’m pretty good at it. Next dive site is Catalina Island! How was your weekend?

Till next time…

True Blood Season 6 Finale – Review

True Blood (season 1)

True Blood (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new addition to the blog will be brief reviews of various movies and television shows. For shows, I’ll just do a review when the season is complete. True Blood finished its sixth season last night so I will start with it. This review will contain spoilers for the entire season, so read at your own risk!

When True Blood first premiered it was fun, fresh, and interesting. Oh, and sexy. It brought back the dark edge that vampires used to be associated with. Not to jump on the hater-train, but Twilight definitely made the creatures look soft and weak. The Vampire Diaries is a bit better, but ultimately can’t be too extreme with its violence or sexuality due to airing on the CW. Airing on HBO, True Blood can be as risqué as it wants. And trust me, it definitely pushed the envelope (for better or for worse). True Blood was never the most thought-provoking show, but it proved to be thoroughly entertaining. What more could a viewer ask for?

Fast forward six seasons and the show has become rather stale. Part of the problem is that the storylines are boring and rarely seem to have any real payoff. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is that almost all of the characters are unlikable.  The cute, innocent Sookie Stackhouse has become overly whiny. Jason went from being a charming idiot to just an idiot. Bill is a douche. Terry Bellefleur’s death was a complete waste. Tara still doesn’t have a real personality. And they really need to stop dragging out this Pam and Eric drama. Speaking of Eric, I really hope they didn’t kill him off in such a lame fashion. I doubt it, but you never know with this show.

Okay, so those descriptions might be a little harsh. There is some appeal to each of them. But, I find that appeal slowly getting smaller after each season. It especially gets smaller when you have Sam hooking up with another girl just days after the death of Luna, whom he claimed to be in love with. I haven’t written the show off just yet, but they really need to redeem a few of these characters in season 7.

Now, the plot(s). An issue I’ve always had with True Blood is that there are too many storylines. So many are going on that very little is accomplished during the course of an entire season. The same could be said about Game of Thrones, but each storyline is so captivating that it doesn’t seem to matter. True Blood? Not so much. I didn’t particularly care for Alcide’s pack issues, nor Sam’s new pregnancy line. I did, however, enjoy the main plot this season- the vampire camp. I thought it had a lot of potential but was cut a bit short. It seemed like a fairly big issue and yet the entire facility was taken down in one go. Luckily, Sarah Newlin, the saving grace this season, survived. Naturally this means she will eventually make a triumphant return.

Sarah’s character was probably hit-or-miss for a lot of viewers. But I personally thought her crazy antics were hilarious and well delivered. The fight between her and the Tru-Blood rep? Priceless. They properly portrayed a character the viewer is supposed to disliked. Anyways, back to the plot…

Warlow. Oh, Warlow. What a terrible, terrible letdown you turned out to be. When he was killed off I felt like I had just wasted my time getting to know this character. Better yet, I felt that everything Sookie did this season was a waste of time. Really, what did she accomplish? She found out her parents were crazy. Great. That’s it. Instead, she spent the entire season falling in love with yet another psychopath and then kills him at the end. Fast forward six months and she is now shacking up with Alcide. Now, I know their feelings have been touched on in past seasons but it felt really rushed and out of place in this one. They interacted for…half a day? I’ll stop before I rant any longer, because I think you get my frustrations.

All in all, the season started off promising. But, it never got its feet off the ground. Instead the season was filled with frustration and disappointment, a similar trait to the past few. Hopefully they can fix it, but they definitely have some work to do in season 7. I’d prefer they stick to a faerie storyline, but it looks like this hep-v will take front and center. So, what did you think of the season? Agree or disagree with my thoughts?

Oh, How Time Flies!

English: The Complete and Entire city of Lagun...

English: The Complete and Entire city of Laguna Beach photo: D. Ramey Logan, please include photographer credit if used outside of Wikipedia 日本語: 完全な、そして全部のラグナビーチ市写真: D. レイミー・ローガン、どうかもしウィキペディアの外で使われるならカメラマンクレジットを含んでください (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past weekend a friend of mine took me to Laguna Beach. Words really cannot do the area any justice, because in my opinion it is perfection! The people, the beach, the atmosphere, just…everything was so picture-esque. Honestly it took me back to the French Riviera, which is definitely a positive. I feel bad for people who dislike the  ocean, because to me it is one of the most calming and cleansing places to be. It’s peaceful, and yet so overwhelming and massive.

In Laguna we went kayaking, and what an experience it was! Unlike Ocean City, MD (the beach I would typically frequent on the east coast) the water was a beautiful blue color, with coves and cliffs for the waves to splash on. Edra (my friend) and I got to see sea lions and seals while kayaking. They aren’t really my cup of tea, but still neat to see wildlife in its natural habitat. We wrapped the day by going to get some rather expensive Fish and Chips. If Laguna wasn’t so far away from work, I would move there in a heartbeat. Perhaps that’s a good thing, because I would definitely go broke.

I also experienced my first somewhat stereotypical SoCal moment in Laguna. When we arrived to the shop we booked our kayak rentals from, nobody was in it. Turns out they were at the beach. So, we went down to beach and were greeted by a Fabio look-alike. We said we had made reservations and he went and got our kayaks. He didn’t check our ID, Names, nothing. On the East Coast this would not fly. They’d be asking for all kinds of ID forms. It’s such a different mentality here, and I have to say I enjoy this carefree attitude quite a bit more. Granted, it is not like that at all in production.

I titled this post ‘Oh, How Time Flies!’ because this experience made me think about when I lived in Ocean City for a summer- just two years ago! I mean, it seems like ages ago but in the grand scheme of things two years is nothing. It makes me wonder where and what I’ll be doing two years from now. I’d like to say I know but the reality is that it is impossible to predict. Life is so crazy. I suppose all you can do is hope for the best, but prepare for the worst (I think that’s how the saying goes). In the meantime, I’ll just have to set more short-term goals. The first? Get back to writing! While I wait for notes on my Keepers pilot I am going to try and plot out a spec script. I have yet to write one, and really it is sort of a pre-req for writing in television. I have an idea for The Vampire Diaries so I think I’ll try and tackle that. If you’re a fan of the show, let me know! I’d love to discuss the idea with you.

Balancing mind, body, and soul.

So, in a previous post I mentioned that I had seriously slacked on the physical side of things in college. In retrospect, I wish I could go back and kick myself in the butt. Those days where I sat around doing nothing? Could’ve hit the gym. Those Tuesday nights I sat around drinking beer? Probably could’ve skipped them (though I definitely do not regret trivia night at UNOs!). Point being, I can’t really complain because I actively made decisions that weren’t beneficial to my health. Now, here I am, post-graduation, and I want to make a change in my life. A healthy change. 

Now, how many people say that everyday? Probably too many. How many actually go through with it? Few. I think the mistake I’ve made in the past is trying to significantly change my habits all at the same time. As great as that sounds, it’s not so easy in practice. So, this time I am approaching the situation a little differently- I am going to take small steps every week and cut unhealthy habits out of my life. I have already done this with soda. Aside from a morning coffee (which, I regret, will probably stay) I stick to water. I’ve also started working out after work. We have a gym so there really is no excuse. 

The biggest struggle, for me, is adjusting my eating habits. This is especially hard at work, where we have SO much food. Specifically, so much unhealthy food. I’m going to chat with my boss about making an effort to order snacks that are on the healthier side.  Instead of indulging in delicious candy, I am instead going to eat fruit.  At lunch I am going to stick to a lighter meal. These probably seem like silly, obvious things. But, to me, these are changes that I think will work significantly in my favor. From there I will continue to make slight adjustments until I am satisfied.

Why now? I couldn’t tell you. I just know I am not really happy with my current image. But, as I said earlier, I don’t want to be the person that complains and never does anything about it. I want to be someone that can take off their shirt at the beach and not have any worries about it. Superficial? Perhaps. But that’s just the reality of the situation. 

In general I want to take this year to really better all aspects of my life. Too many 20-something seem lost and unsure of what to do. I don’t want to be like that. It might be inevitable, but I will do everything I can to avoid feeling inadequate during these years (and hopefully, life).

Also, the zoo was a blast! So big. So many animals. When I have a bit more time I will make a post about it with some photos. Anyways, till next time.

Cheers.

 

Weekend Adventures

Koala

Koala (Photo credit: flyinglester)

So, now that I am working and have a stable income I have decided to go on a new adventure every weekend. I am using the word ‘adventure’ loosely, as it can be anything from attending a baseball game, to hiking, to kayaking. This next weekend I am attending the San Diego Zoo with my roommate Sara. I’m sort of a zoo fanatic (if such a title exists) and I am stoked because this zoo is apparently huge. Not to mention they have Koalifornia. Though, today at work I found out Koalas often carry chlamydia and you can get it from being scratched by them! Not entirely sure if it is all true (I’m too lazy to google it), but I definitely will not be letting any koalas scratch me.

Anyways, the weekend after I have plans to go whale watching, and then after that I’d like to go kayaking in Laguna. I am living in such a great state, why would I not use my time to explore it? To be honest, when I first arrived I didn’t really explore LA as much as I wanted. I was too busy job-hunting, which is really a job in and of itself. I don’t regret that decision, as my diligence was worth it, but now that I am beginning to settle in I plan to make the most of my time here.

Now, about this past weekend…

Saturday night I went and saw The Wolverine. The movie was…okay. I’ll admit that when it comes to the X-Men I am a pretty big geek. I watched the cartoons when I was a kid and read a few of the comics (though not all of them). I’ve always found humans with powers to be an interesting concept in any medium, so naturally I get pretty excited for any X-Men movie (Days of Future Past can’t come soon enough). But, to be honest I am kind of tired of Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine. His story is so one-note, and the movie didn’t have nearly enough mutants. The villain turned out to be a letdown, and in general the story was rather bland. Still, the action sequences were a lot of fun and I still left feeling relatively entertained.

Sunday I went to the Dodgers game. I’m sure for an avid baseball fan the game was pretty intense. Nobody scored until like the last inning. Personally I thought it was boring. Luckily I had some great company so I don’t regret spending my money. Like I said in my previous post, I love the atmosphere of a game. But, I don’t think I’ll be attending anymore. Rather, I’ll just stick to going out to eat because that’s what I do best!

All in all, it was a good weekend. But I am definitely super stoked for the zoo next weekend. I’ll be taking lots of photos. This post was rather…rambly, but since it is a blog I suppose that’s okay. I’ll try and be a bit more coherent in the future (just a bit though!).

Don’t be Aimless, Use your Time in College Wisely!

If you haven’t already, go read this article on Forbes- ‘20 Things 20-year-Olds Don’t Get.’ I’m only 22, but I’ve already seen numerous people make a lot of these mistakes (in fact, I myself have made a few). The most common, I think, is that 20-year-olds believe time is limitless. As the article states, they are wrong. Ultimately I’m of the opinion that this stems from a bigger problem- too many people go through college aimless. Ask any number of graduating seniors what they are doing after college. A good portion of them will tell you they don’t know or aren’t sure. At that point I have to wonder, why did you waste all that time and money pursuing higher education if you aren’t sure what you are going to do with it?

Now, I’m not saying that as soon as you are done college you should know EXACTLY what you want to do for the rest of your life. That’s not realistic, and probably not very wise when you consider how unexpected life tends to be. But, you should at least have some sort of goal in mind. In fact, you should have several goals in mind. If you graduate and find out that the career path you had in mind isn’t working for you, it’s okay. At least you went in with a plan and gave it a try. Now, use that experience to set a new goal.

I also want to stress that in general you should use your time in college wisely. Get involved in the community, join an organization of some sorts, make an effort to better yourself emotionally, spiritually, physically (I seriously slacked on that one), and intellectually. Make sure you do well in school, but also make sure you realize that college itself is more than the classroom. You get what you put in, so if you put in very little you shouldn’t expect to come away from the experience very enlightened.

I read a post on LinkedIn about a recent SU graduate looking for advice on how to go about pursuing a career in fashion. Asking for advice? Great! I highly encourage and recommend seeking out a mentor of some sorts. The timing? Not so much.  Fashion is a pretty difficult industry to break into, so it probably would have been wiser to be doing research and asking questions about it while this person was still in college. Perhaps he or she did, but from the posting it didn’t seem like it. I’m not saying this person won’t be successful. He or she could go on to be some top designer/fashion expert/whatever, but they sure have delayed that endgame by waiting until after graduation to start learning about the field. I’m not trying to be mean, but honestly my (our) generation has become so complacent about waiting for something great to happen. The real world does not function that way (unless you are lucky). Make the most out of your college experience by graduating informed and ALREADY pursuing your intended path. That being said, make sure you also have fun in school.

And…yeah. Read that article and I found myself wanting to elaborate on an issue I frequently saw during graduation. On a different note- working 70 hour weeks is exhausting! I need all of Saturday and Sunday just to get my energy back. But, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I am making strides towards my dreams.

I’m going to a Dodgers tomorrow. Though not much of a baseball guy, there are few things in life better than kicking back, drinking beer, and enjoying a good game with a friend. Perhaps I’ll become a fan…

English: Los Angeles Dodgers

English: Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goodbye Maryland, Hello Hollywood

FLAG

Greetings! My name is Nick and I recently graduated from Salisbury University with a degree in English. A week after graduating I moved to LA in order to pursue a career in entertainment. Specifically, I was looking to work in television. For those of you who don’t know, Salisbury University is located in Maryland. So I literally moved across the country. Though a big change, it was necessary. I have never been the type of person to wait for an opportunity. Instead, I make my own. That probably sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I also didn’t decide to move on a whim. I spent my entire senior year of college researching LA and the industry. Turns out all that preparation paid off.

When I first arrived in LA I immediately went to work finding work. I sent my resume out to numerous production offices and agencies. I also signed up to do background work with Central Casting. I don’t have any desire to be an actor, but I wanted to get on set and meet people.

Hollywood_Sign_PB050006

I ended up doing some background work for a pilot called ‘The Promo Life.’ The experience was awesome. I met a lot of interesting people and majority of them turned out to be helpful (a few…not so much, but that’s life). The key to Hollywood is not just having connections, it is MAKING connections. That’s a tip I learned from one of my favorite blogs- Hollywood University. Seriously I think I learned more from that blog than I ever did in school.

June flew by and I worked on various productions as either a PA (production assistant) or background. I had landed a few interviews. Some turned out fine, but didn’t feel right for me. Some just didn’t work out. To be honest, I was starting to get nervous. I had been told a lot of discouraging stories about people moving out to LA and not being able to find stable work. But, I wasn’t about to give up after just one month. July came and my perspective on that changed.

First, I worked on a pilot for a webseries- First, Last, and Security. I came in to work as a PA but actually got bumped up to Sound Engineer because a guy didn’t show. I had taken a sound class in college so more or less knew what I was doing. The crew helped fill me in on the things I didn’t know how to do.

After that I received a phone call to interview for an Office PA position on a major network television show (my friends know which one but for the purposes of this blog I am not going to mention it just yet). I had sent in my resume a month prior to the call so was completely surprised. Anyways, went to the interview and then the next day I was offered the position. I accepted. Thrilled doesn’t even begin to explain how happy I was. I did it. I came to LA and managed to find a stable (until May), entry-level position after a month and one week.

I’m now three weeks into the job and loving it. The crew is incredible. I had read several horror stories regarding the treatment of PAs (because I am at the bottom of the totem-pole) but that is not the case on this set. Also, we have great food! What more could I ask for? In the long run I want to write. For now though I am just focused on doing the best I can at my current job and learning everything I can.

And…yeah. That’s more or less the introductory chapter to my life post-graduation. I have a bad history with updating blogs but I am going to do my best to keep this one alive. Regarding the job- I will not be posting anything specific to it on this blog. So please don’t ask any questions about it (I say that like people are actually going to read my blog…). That being said, if you have any questions about LA or working in production, feel free to ask! I am no expert by any means, but I can share what I know with you.

More updates to come in the future! Cheers.

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