Thursday, January 29, 2004

Just for fun...get a job

This is my last week as a full-time employee of Apex. I have until May 1 to figure out exactly how to compensate for the loss of income. Tony n Tina's helps, but right now its only part-time. I requested to go full-time there, and they said, " soon as a position opens up." That could be next week or next year...

It looks like I should be getting an agent, which may help some. But there is still a missing link. I have felt all along that God has been promising to let me make my living via storytelling in one way or another. It's that strange balance of trying to figure out when to be patient and when to go "make something happen." If TnT opens up before May, that will be enough for us to survive (barely). If it doesn't, I need to find a third way to generate some scoots.

Some days the whole puzzle is fun to put together. Other days it is scary. Mostly, I hate thinking about it all...I had no idea how much security was generated from a weekly paycheck. I feel like everyone either sees what we are doing as too risky or not risky enough. I don't care, so long as we are faithful. If you pray, we could use a little help in discerning the details of our life...

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Dude, Where's My Inter-planetary Rover?

There's a freakin' remote control robot on Mars taking color pictures and zapping them back to earth. When my great-grandfather was my age we couldn't fly an airplane, take color pictures or even fathom remote controls...weird.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Why we hate "it"

Life is just people dancing around and with various institutions. People give some institutions more power than others. Some people give some institutions power that some other people do not. (The institution of Tony n Tina' s Wedding means nothing to most of you...but I have given it power because it gives me money, enjoyment and some measure of meaning.) At the end of the day, its just a bunch of people dancing around a label. Your work is that too. Your church probably is too. Your nation, your political party, your band, your playgroup, your softball team, your school, your neighborhood, your volunteer organization, your heritage, your bar, your ministry....just a bunch of people dancing around and with labels...that's all. But you and I have given them power. We give the power a name and make it divine. We worship it, serve it, love it and hate it. But "it" is only as real as we make it. Most of the time what we are calling "it" is really Paul, Molly, Nikki, Tim, Enoch, Ryan, Will and Sue...but we call them "it" so that we can make "it" better or worse than "us."

Remember, our battle is not against flesh and blood (people), but against the powers...

Saturday, January 24, 2004

...and all the ships at sea

I have been listening to the BBC on NPR on my way home from the RIO....that was an attempt to see how many three letter abbreviations I could get in one sentence...but RIO is lame...its not an abbreviation at all.

The point is this: In the UK the liberals are pro-war and the conservatives are anti-war. In the US the liberals are anti-war and the conservatives are pro-war.

I just found it made me realize that those labels are very subjective based upon the perception of history in a certain culture.

I'm tired.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


If someone loses 25 pounds, that someone's ability to hold their liquor deminishes. I celebrated my friend JP's 24th birthday last night and now I have a headache.

Love you Mom...glad you read my blog now...

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


I've never bothered to learn how to archive my posts, so they vanish after about 8 months. The one below was about to go, but I wasn't ready for it to leave...nor am I ready to learn how to archive. So I copied it for can read it if you want...i guess that's the whole point of this thing...

Friday, May 16, 2003

Eli's Questions

Two weeks ago Eli, my three-year old, asked me what water was made of. I was rather distracted trying to get him into his car seat so I answered without thinking. "Hydrogen and Oxygen." He said "What's hilgrigin and oxelgon?" "Basic elements," I said as I closed the car door. His question haunted me that day. More acurately, my answers bothered me. I am such a materialist...such a modern...such a practical atheist...a fact junky. What is water made of? I am convinced that every pre-modern culture that has ever existed has a damn good answer that involves a beautiful narrative of one of their own recieving water from the Divine. We think that we have the right answer...H2O. H20 is BS. Its a lie that we created to forget the story of what water really is. Water is made of love and life. That's the truth. It's a gift not a formula. I made a vow that day that I would try to answer the next difficult question as a spiritual being instead of some organic computer.

The next question came about four hours ago. Eli and I were on our way home from Walmart when he noticed the eclipse. (I knew it was happening but had forgotten to look.) "What's wrong with the moon, daddy?" "It's an eclipse, Eli." Crap! Here I go again. "What's an ekilps, daddy?" It was all I could do not to explain planetary rotation, natural satellites and the moon as a reflective body. I searched my brain for a story...nothing came to mind until Eli spoke again. "I think the moon has a moon-blanket on cause he's cold." I said, "Sounds good to me, buddy. It is really cold on the moon right now." "Yeah...and the moon is far away...farther than Memaw and Papaw's house, huh?" "Yeah, really far," I answered.

We arrived home about five minutes later and Eli told Mommy, "The moon has a blanket on." She stared bewilderingly at me..."There's an eclipse tonight." I had to translate truth into fact for her. Now if I could just learn to do the opposite for Eli.


I've never really worried much about money for two reasons: 1.) I really don't seem to desire lots of expensive things in my life and 2.) I've always had a steady job that paid me enough to not have to worry about having the stuff that I do like (namely a house, a car, copious amounts of coffee and a few trips to IHOP every week.)

This year I have thought about money more than I care to admit. Many of you know that I am preparing to cut my hours with Apex in an effort to pursue acting and storytelling vocationally. It has made me realize that I am probably going to make a lot less money or a lot more money than I would have had I been content to work within the church system my whole life. I was on the fast track to 45k/year until Jesus comes back, but not anymore. Most actors work their tails off to make half that. Some actors make ridiculous amounts of money...I don't know which option worries me more.

I just want to continue be faithful. I want to continue to live within a Kingdom ecomonic. And I want to make the car payment this month and still be able to fork over some bills for Eli and Aidan to step into some pancakes this weekend. These are my financial goals.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Get Well

Loredana (Doug and Cheryl's little one) is sick. She has been admitted into Summerlin Hospital with some sort of bronchial (sp?) infection. Cheryl's due in a few weeks, so they could use your prayers and whatever else you might be willing to offer up...

Eli has a similar thing going on, but not at all as severe. He went to the doctor today and got some stronger medicine..."not the yucky kind," he says. Gabriel's been pretty sick too, so its a good time not to visit our house...

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Stuff I Think About

So I have this unwritten policy. (Generally I don't like policies, but if you are going to have them you should probably write them down...) Anyway, I tend to erase my blogging friends from my site if they haven't blogged for 3 or 4 months. I erased Joe P and the next day he i was gonna put him back, but then he quit can see my angst.

All of this to say that I erased my wife's link. Then I felt bad. Your wife should get at least six months. So she's back.
Write me blog, you're the piano man...

Last night my household rented The Pianist. It was pretty much what I expected out of an Academy Award winning movie about the holocaust...painful. It was a great movie and Adrien Brody deserved his award. I hate holocaust movies though. Here are my thoughts the day after:

1. Hitler was a really bad man. I mean, come on, dude was evil.

2. The Pope is cool. (The movie is set in Warsaw where Karol Wojtilla, our current Pope, helped lead the underground movement to protect the Jews back when he was a priest. He's not in the movie, but I thought of him often.)

3. Somebody right now is going through the exact same amount of pain for political reasons beyond thier control as the Jews did. (Think Iraq, the Sudan, parts of SE Asia.)

4. WW II is so modern to feel so far away. 60 years ago the western world was heartlessly killing people for their heritage. This wasn't the time of Hannibal and Caesar...this was the time of Katherine Hepburn and Joe Dimaggio.

5. The Jews must really be God's people because historically they have been as mistreated as God himself.

6. The Jews have always desired a home, but have always been wanderers.

7. Being free means being free to create.

8. Historically speaking, every generation should expect unimaginable evil. It's a pattern.

9. I'll never know if I'm really a pacifist until someone tries to kill me or the people I love.

10. Adrien Brody's nose is out of control. It makes Owen Wilson look normal.

Monday, January 12, 2004

"I'm an Actor"

If I keep saying it to myself, I might believe it more.

This week I'm getting new headshots and meeting with a potential agent. I guess I'm finally putting that Bible college degree to good work? I have no idea how this has all happened, but I'm enjoying it.

Debbie has been so supportive...thanks for letting me change so much over the last nine years. Thanks for not giving up on me and for somehow always liking the new Joe that seems to emerge every so often.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Michael Just

I play Michael in Tony n Tina's Wedding. I have been Michael for 2 or 3 months now. Michael is a recovering alcoholic and the ex-boyfriend of the bride. At first you play a character as if you were pretending to be someone play him from the outside looking in. In the beginning of being Michael I had a constant mental picture of what everyone in the audience saw Joe doing as Michael.

It's hard to tell whether it is all talk or not, but the director of our show, who lives in NYC and is hardly ever around, told us to play it totally real. That's the secret to deep comedy, I think. I was glad to hear him say that. "No gags that aren't in the script...if people love you they will laugh or cry...and since they think its a comedy...they will choose to laugh." Makes sense to me. That has been my only focus as an find a real Michael Just.

All of that to say that tonight I hurt for the first time. I couldn't look at Tina. I felt empty. The only person that I ever loved just got married. I wanted poor Michael to leave the hide in the do anything...until my first drink. Then it all left. My old friend had come back to help me. Tonight I discovered that Michael, my Michael, doesn't drink for fun. He drinks because he's empty and needs filled up. He drinks because he's lonely and misuderstood. And Tina was the smoothest, most powerful drink that he had ever had. She loved him. But even she couldn't fill him. She couldn't love him through his emptiness. I had always called Tina my soulmate...turns out Joe and Michael share a soul too.

I was surprised to find Michael's emptiness return tonight just before getting kicked out of the room. I saw Tina as drunk as me and it hit me that she was in pain...and I was still empty. For the first time ever I walked up to her and said, "I'm sorry." She was too drunk to hear me. I wanted her too. If Tina couldn't hear me maybe Molly who was playing Tina could. So I screamed, "I'm sorry!" No response from Tina or Molly. So I took my shirt off, sang Baby Got Back and left.

I walked out into the cold air shirtless and Joe Boyd returned and replaced Michael Just in my body. I didn't want a drink. I didn't want Tina. I didn't want anything but to go the dressing room and come home. And I wanted to be Michael again. To meet him at 7:00 next Wednesday and share a body with him for two hours. Maybe he needs me as much as I have needed him.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Almost Homer makes me a Polytheist...not really, but he's pretty cool.

I used to read too much. From 1999-2002 I probably read close to 200 books. 198 of them were pretty serious and heady. Last year I lost most of my desire to read. I read Fight Club, a few Joseph Campbell books, a book about storytelling, The Artist's Way, and 3 or 4 acting books. That was it.

Today I picked up Thomas Cahill's new book about the Ancient Greeks. So far, so good. The Greek myths are groovy.

I'm thinking it would be a good idea to pick up an acting class. I'm eyeing one at the local community college that I hear is pretty good and not too expensive. So I'm reading and thinking about going to school...the more things change...

Tuesday, January 06, 2004


The new Apex Site is up. Thanks Ramon.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

New Year, New Hope

I have two tattoos. The first one, a pair of sandles, is on my right ankle. Early Christians used this symbol to indicate that a traveling teacher was coming to town. The second tattoo, a bow, is on my right wrist. The Greek philisophers used the bow to explain the meaning of logos to their students. My take on logos is that it represents the universal perfect story. St. John claimed that Jesus was the logos.

In a moment of mysticism this time last year God "told me", whatever that means to you, that I would make a living from telling stories. And that I would plant churches wherever my feet took me to tell stories. I didn't get it until tonight....exactly one year later.

I think a church might have started tonight at the Rio. It's far too early to see the state of the soil...but the seed has been scattered.

Pray for me.