Friday, November 28, 2003

Shall we kill a tree or support a sweat shop this Christmas?

We were supposed to go and chop down our Christmas tree today. (What can I say, I'm a hypocritical environmentalist!) We were about 20 miles from home when Eli tossed his cookies all over the minivan. So...we came home. We just returned from Walmart (what can I say, I'm a hypocritical human rights advocate!) with a $16 fake tree to put in our family room. It's hideously beautiful. It's like an obviously fake replica of the Charlie Brown tree. It's like a fraud print of "Dogs Playing Poker" on fake velvet. Classic.

Anyway, the Citizens are going to bring home a real tree for the downstairs tonight. That's the one all of the guest will see, unless you want to see ours...for a suggested $1 donation I'll get you into the back room.

Thanks to all of you who shared Thanksgiving with us: Kenny, Kelly, Jake, Gabriel, Doug, Chery, Emma, Loredana, Ernie, Nan, Katie, Sabrina and Pops, Flick, Amy, Dougie, Jennie, Greg, Rebekah, Tori, Mike, John, Kristi, Alex, Tommy and Meghann.

Thursday, November 27, 2003


for my wife.

for my kids.

for my household.

for my journey.

for my parents.

for my life-long friends.

for my church.

for my mentor.

for my talents.

for my torment.

for health.

for acting.

for stories.

for the Bengals (6-5, Baby)

for rain.

for my troupe.

for enough money...this week.

for dead theologians.

for Rich's music.

for getting paid to pretend.

for Debbie's family.

for espresso.

for my shattered dreams.

for the ten pounds that I don't have anymore.

for poker, whiskey and moderation, of course.

for my bed.

for loving me.

for being Father.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Next Saga Show Coming Soon

We only have 9 days until the opening of "A Christmas of Convenience", Saga's Christmas show. I am excited about it. If you live in Vegas please help spread the word. Here are the details:

Concept: Five strangers are held up and locked in the storeroom of a convenience store early Christmas morning.

Media: The project contains a short fim directed by our own Dale Neven and a 60 minute live theater piece directed by Gregg Stokes and myself.

When: Dec 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 (Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 pm, Sundays are at 2 pm)

Where: The Nevada Theater Company. Click here for directions.

Cost: $10 or $8 for a group of 10 or more.

Reserve Tickets: Online at or call 702-396-8447

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Happy and Sad

I am grieving with Jeremy and Lori over the loss of their baby. We will be having a memorial service Tuesday. Meanwhile, my strange little life goes on...

Tonight was my first show at T&T's. It went really well. I had lots and lots of fun. My castmates were very encouraging and friendly. I am grateful.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Leaving Los Angeles

My Groundlings classes ended Wednesday. 16 people started the class six weeks ago. 5 dropped out. Of the 11 of us left, only one was cleared to go onto level 3. Guess who? Yep. Minnie. Not me. Minnie is great. She was definately the best in the class. My last scene was with her and it was one of the best scenes that I have ever been in.

I got some kudos from my instructor. He basically said that I'll do two really good scenes and then a really bad one. I need to be more consistent. He said that I was close to moving on and should repeat the class. I made an easy decision that the class was good, but not worth another $450 and another 3,600 miles on the car. It was a good experience. I learned a great deal. I feel very close to Noah. I'm glad I did it, but I'm more glad that I don't have any road trips. I'm looking forward to some more time with my family and friends.

In other news, My first show at Tony n Tina's is Saturday. I'm nervous and excited.

Also, you can buy tickets for Saga's Christmas show online if you want. It is my first effort as a director. I hope that you will come if you can. Click here.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I'm Thankful

God just dropped this Tony N Tina's gig in my lap. It's surreal.

I've been wanting to write about it, but it always feels kind of arrogant. It has actually been a very humbling experience. I can tell that I'm not really supposed to be in that show. You don't decide that you might want to be a (semi) professional actor in February and get a regular paying job in October. That's not normal. You don't get a call back on your first audition. You don't get a job on your first call back. That's just not the way it works. I have only two reasons that I could think of for getting this job so easily: 1. I'm so talented that the entire entertainment industry has just been waiting for me to walk into a room, or 2. God gave me this job. My vote is #2. (But you can feel free to vote #1 if you want...)

The other humbling realization is that as cool as it all is, it is an OFF Strip production of an OFF Broadway show that plays in a converted garage just OFF of The Rio's main building. It aint The Producers on Broadway.

Now that all of that stuff is out of the way: How strangely beautiful is all of this? Last night I walked out of rehearsal through a room of 300 people who just forked over $80 a pop to see the show. I left through the employee exit of The Rio to find myself on the fourth floor of the parking garage, overlooking the entire Strip at night. I saw the billboard for my show between Penn and Teller and The Chipendales. Odd.

As I drove home I thought about how Eli and I were playing/pretending/improvising for about an hour that day. We were playing candy store. He was the manager and I was the customer. His object work, character, and improv skills were perfect. All kids know how to act. They know play. The Rio Hotel and Casino will pay me enough money to pay my share of the rent starting next month. And all I have to do is play and pretend. I am grateful.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Four Unrelated Thoughts

My friend Jeremiah is staying at my house. He and his friend Chris have been a blessing to us.

I have my first rehearsal today for the new show.

We have less than three weeks until Saga's Christmas of Convenience show opens. Please help me spread the word. More info here.

Today is the day I switch from briefs to boxers....please pray for me.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Dear Mom, I'm in a Topless Show.

Well...I get topless anyway...

Rehearsals for Tony N Tina's Wedding begin this week. I should be in the show by the end of November. I went last night and was sized for my clothes (a tux when I play "Barry" and a sloppy sportcoat/slacks when I play "Michael") Most of the cast seemed glad to meet me. I am the only man that was hired, along with one gal whom I haven't met yet.

It is all very odd. It is exciting and a little intimidating. There are moments when I feel as though I'm a poser...and moments when I'm very confident about it all.

Both of my characters end up taking off their shirts before the show is over. Barry does a striptease on the head table and Michael get drunk and sings "Baby Got Back" into the microphone sans shirt. I've been on a bit of a crash diet before exposing the world (paying customers none the less) to my soft underbelly. In the moment I will be so "pretend drunk" or "dead sexy" that I will lose my inhibitions, but thinking about it makes me want to just live at 24 hour fitness.

In some ways it will be my final battle with all of those a-holes who used to pick on me in elementary school for being fat. Its a way to confront a deeply planted fear.

Its going to take a long time before this really feels like my life...but I'm excited about the journey.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Thoughts de jour

I'm busy. It happened accidentally enough. I knew that taking classes in LA for six weeks would be a challange. I knew that directing A Christmas of Convenience for Saga would take time. I didn't plan on accidentally getting a night job at the same time though. The Groundlings classes will be over in 8 days. They have been great, but I'm ready to be done. Throw in an Apex Retreat, and both sets of parents paying visits over the last few weeks and that makes Joey a very sleepy boy.

It's all good though. I'm pretty sure that God gave me this job. It's the only explanation that makes any sense. About once a day I think back to the audition room, where dozens of nervous professional actors were struggling to get any advantage they could. I remember almost leaving because I wasn't even sure I wanted the job. I remember thinking that the only reason I was there was to get used to rejection. Turns out I might have been there to get used to acceptance again.

My friend Sean Critchfield is sick. He has to have surgery again on his kidney. He was in this show that I am directing, so we are trying to figure out what to do. I'm not so much worried about the show. I just want Sean to get better.

My car, that I don't even want, is in the shop. It's gonna cost over a grand to fix it. It seems like the responsible thing to fix it up and hold onto it for a while. I'll have to hold off on my dream of selling it and buying a least until sometime next year.

Noah made a CD to listen to on the way back from LA yesterday. It was mainly Lionel Richie and Billy Joel. It made me realize how much I love my wife and kids...I realize that I do not deserve the family I have been given. Debbie, I love you and can't wait until God makes me the man that you deserve.

Wow...that was very stream of consciousness. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the things I think about every waking second.

Peace to you, reader. Know that you are loved.

Friday, November 07, 2003

It is Done

To have faith means to wake up every morning knowing that The One has made the choice to become evil for us so evil may be destroyed forever. To have faith is to act today on what The One has done and the continuing effects of his sacrifice and love. To know that The One first loved Trinity and that from this trinitarian love he was compelled to love all who wished to choose love.

Thats why The One had to die.

"It makes sense that there is now no Matrix for those who are united with The One. In The One the life-giving way of love has set you free from the way of assimilation and death. What The Matrix could not do, because both The Matrix and people are flawed, Trinity has done by sending her One and Only Love to become Evil to destroy Evil. In doing so, the hope of a new way may be found in us, who are no longer controlled by The Matrix, but by the way of love. Those who continue to live in the Matrix will be controlled by it and die in it. But those who live in the new way of love will have life and peace."

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

God Loves Me

The Apex Retreat was really good for me. I left believing in God, which is cool. I left believing that God loves me and is interested in my life. I left wanting to leave religion behind for the hope of honest friendship with Jesus. I left excited because my friends are all talking about stuff that they used to want me to try to figure out on their behalf.

Ultimately, As I type on this keyboard at 4:57 pm on Tuesday, November 4, 2003, I have hope. It may be brief or flickering, but it is there. Hope for the life that is lived in my Father's love. Hope for my friends. Hope for all of those big and little things that fill my mind and burden my soul. I can see a day where I am whole enough to love and be loved.

Father, love me so much that I cannot help but love from the excess of what you have given me.

Hmmm...Just before I was able to hit "post" on my blog after typing the last sentence I got a phone call. It was from Tony n Tina's Wedding. I got the job.