Tag: health

Health, Decide & Love in 2014.

It is the start of a new year and so time to pick three new words I’m going to attempt to focus on in my life for 2014.  This is a practice I picked up from C.C. Chapman‘s book Amazing Things WIll Happen.

Last year my three words were Create.  Rebuild.  Live.  I would say out of those three I hit Create the hardest.  I certainly was not wanting for creative projects to occupy my time.  The Live focus also got some attention this year, but not nearly enough as I would have liked.  The Rebuild portion was a hard one.  Rebuilding relationships often takes more than one person and, despite efforts, I was not always successful in this arena, though small steps were made.

But those were the words for last year, it’s time to focus on the words for this year.

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 4.28.15 PM

Health. A lot of people make the old Heath resolution in January and it falls by the wayside weeks later.  Back in October, I focused on health for 20 days and it worked.  Not only that, it was easy.  But then I went to Toronto and instead of keeping going it all flew out the window.  Any gains I made were lost.  And then some.

So for 2014 I have a goal of taking better care of my self.  Yes, this includes eating right, exercising and losing weight, but it means more than just that.

Sleep.  My sleep in 2013 was horrible.  Most nights I’d go to bed after 1am then I’d be awake at 5am or earlier and just be completely unable to fall back asleep.  Usually because my brain starts going a million miles per hour.  As part of the word ‘Health’ for 2014, I need to discover why this happens and work on ways to make sure it stops happening.
Health also includes mental health.  Over the past year I have been, semi-regularly, seeing therapist.  I’ve been to two different ones over the course of the year looking for one that works but neither seem to. I’m realizing that it might not be the thing for for me.  I’ve found that a drive, late at night, on the freeway with the windows down and music blaring will usually make me feel better than an hour (or 50 minutes) of therapy.  If that’s true, I need to find other things that do the same.
I turn 40 this year and though I believe you can always make a change no matter what age you are, I feel this is a turning point and if I develop the proper habits right now they’ll last me for however long I have left on this planet.
Decide.  Despite having a lot of professional work in 2013, time spent working on projects I was truly passionate about was few.  I’m not ashamed to say that there were several moments in 2013 where I was pretty much convinced that, for my sanity, I had to get out of this business.  That being the business of attempting to land something at least minimally life supporting in the creative arts.
I spent a large part of the year angry.  Angry, jealous and bitter.  I was at an audition a few months ago and bumped I to a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and as we talked I got off on some sort of rant about something or other in the entertainment world and he said, “Yeah, but you don’t want to wind up a bitter old man do you?”   That clicked in my head.  Was I just becoming this bitter old guy?   Were the years of trying to ‘make it’ grinding me down that much?  Was obsessing about people and projects I perceived as much less talented or creative than me who got big breaks making me a ‘bitter’ old man?
I think so.
So 2014 is all about deciding.  I need to decide on the best ways to continue in this business, if I am going to continue.  Sadly, the ways I’ve been trying either don’t work or, I think more likely, are not working anymore.  Instead of becoming more and more frustrated with how little traction my Saturday Morning Media projects get, I think I have to find a new way to go about presenting them.  I need to decide how I am to deal with the ups and downs of this business.  I, actually, used to be pretty good at it.  I need to find my way back there.
I need to decide to pursue projects that will make me happy.  Not just pursue projects ‘because I need the money.’  Unfortunately, this one is already broken for 2014, because I committed to a project I’m just not feeling but I needed the money.  At least I know that and will attempt to avoid avoid that mistake further on in 2014.
Love.  This one kinda goes hand and hand with Decide up above.  I need to find a way to Love more.  Love the life I have, love the people around me.  Love how things are going in my life.
As I mentioned above I spent a lot of 2014 angry.  Angry for the things I didn’t have or the things people did to me.  I need to learn to love what I have.  I need to learn to, not love, the people who wrong me, but cut them out of my life so I can keep focus that love elsewhere.
I have it pretty good.  I get to do things a lot of people would PAY to do.  I need to remember that.  I need to learn to love that.
I wrote in my Annual Review yesterday that there was a moment on stage in Toronto where I just broke out into a big smile.  I was so happy because I was loving exactly what I was doing at that moment.  I need to start finding that feeling in all other aspects of my life and if I don’t love what I’m doing or who I’m with, I need to stop.
I think finding more of the things I love will also help with the whole health thing too.
In his book, C.C. Chapman suggest posting your three words somewhere where you’ll see them everyday.  I didn’t do that last year and, perhaps, that is why I didn’t get as much progress on them as I wanted.  I’m going to give it a try this year.  Post them at home, in my office, and anywhere else I can find to put them.
Okay, here we go!
Soon…Goals for 2014.
Tags : , , , , , ,

2012 Year In Review

Goal Setting times 100,000,000 is what’s on tap for me as I start 2013.

As I mentioned before after reading the Art Of Non-Conformity and Amazing Things Will Happen I’ve decided to try some ‘radical goal setting’ for 2013.  This is apart of that whole thing, an annual review.  A look back at 2012.  Below are some of the Highlights/Lowlights from what I’ve written in my journal about the year gone by.

2012 was a very, very rough year, so let’s start with the bright spots…

The most popular dog on Tout.com
The most popular dog on Tout.com

2012 – THE GOOD


  • I performed in a string of Stuffed & Unstrung shows on the east coast as both puppeteer and host.  This run of shows was highlighted by two very incredible events.  The first being that Joel Hodgson came to see one of our shows.  If you’re a reader of this blog you know that I’m a huge fan of Joel’s and to have him come to a show I was in was a treat.  The other amazing thing was that Brian Henson told me after one show that his dad really would have liked one little bit I had done in the show that night.  He said, “…my dad loved clean, simple, gags and that [bit] was just clean, simple and perfect.”  Truly amazing.
  • I puppeteered in a YouTube video for Nerdist and The Jim Henson Company annoucning the launch of the Nerdist YouTube Channel.  The video featured special guest star! “Weird Al” Yankovic.
  • Made a trip to New York City to help Leslie Carrara-Rudolph mount her show Wake Up Your Weird!.
  • I was asked by The Jim Henson Company to host a special Q&A session with Jane Henson.  It was a great evening and Jane was absolutely magic.  The evening was recorded, but Henson seems to be dragging their feet on releasing it.  Hopefully it’ll get out there someday.
  • I shot a puppet ‘sizzle reel’ for Vin di Bona Productions (America’s Funniest Home Videos) called Whoops!.  It was a lot of fun and I played one of the lead characters.  Unfortunately, this one seems to be stuck in development hell so who knows what’s going to happen.  I haven’t even seen the footage we shot.
  • In August, I Touted for the first time with a puppet character named Uncle Interloper (pictured).  By December 31, 2012, Uncle Interloper had over 4500 followers on Tout.com and he’s starred in three episodic Tout Series.
  • I was asked to create an original audio drama piece to support the release of the book Empire State by Adam Christopher.  The piece is called The Adventures of Johnny Ironclad.  Special thanks to Mur Lafferty for making that possible.
  • Produced & Released Throwing Toasters Favorites on CD and Digital Download.
  • Produced & Released The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd – The Complete Season 7 on CD and Digital Download.
  • I tought a few How To Podcast classes at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank as part of their Flappers University.
  • Continued to work as Associate Producer on Cinematic Titanic.
  • Continued to work as an interviewer for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and moved into a ringside interviewer position.
  • Relaunched my old internet radio show Fill In The Blank on DementiaRadio.org.
  • Recorded and edited the first couple episodes from a new audio drama project I’m working on.  Keep an eye on SaturdayMorningMedia.com for info.
  • Celebrated the 10th anniversary of opening Grant’s Advent Calendar online.
  • Continued performing as Throwing Toasters, The Unusual Artistry of Walter Hanley & His Mother Radio Ventriloquists and with Improvatorium.

– TRAVEL 2012 –

  • Great time traveling to the east coast with Stuffed & Unstrung, visiting Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. & North Carolina.
  • Spent a week at the O’Neil Theatre Center in Connecticut and then 10 days in New York helping rehearse for Leslie Carrara-Rudolph’s show.  The O’Neil is an amazing place and I love the energy it has.  As for New York, It was the longest time I’d ever spent in the Big Apple and it was truly a wonderful time.  I enjoyed putting on the show, seeing the sights, going on walks and just chilling out on the couch in my room…er…I mean apartment that I subleased for my time there.
  • Got to make it back to Klamath Falls, OR with my parent to visit with my mom’s side of the family.
  • Made several trips to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my parents.


  • Saw Cinematic Titanic Live
  • Went to an amazing Spike Jones retrospective that was moderated by Dr. Demento.
  • Saw How The West Was Won in full CINERAMA.  It was amazing.  I was crying after the first few minute of the Overture.  It was just TOO MUCH GOOD STUFF.
  • Got to see Joel Hodgson speak twice at Cinefamily.  Both events were immensely inspirational and fired up the creative juices.

There’s a lot of really good things in the above list but the first thing on the list below really took all the wind out of my sails for most of the year.


2012 – THE BAD


  • I have to start with the Health section because on June 18, 2012 I fell and fractured the humerus in my right arm (pictured).  An injury that took me out of doing…anything.  Puppets, guitar playing, even driving.  On the good side, I didn’t need surgery and I was able to get my full range of motion back but it wiped me out.
  • Coupled with the break I sort of delved deeper into (self-diagnosed) depression than I’ve ever been and this means I start eating!  When you’re eating a lot and can’t exercise due to an injury, the pounds just magically appear out of nowhere.
  • Even now, completely healed, I just can’t seem to avoid pigging out on the worst food imaginable.  This has to change. It has to.


  • The broken arm didn’t help things but 2012 had me feeling the worst about my professional career than ever.  Every category: comedy, puppetry, writing just seemed to stink.  Because of the broken arm, all my jobs dried up in the summer (usually when I get the most work) which left me scraping by at the end of 2012.  Concerted job finding effort is underway, but it’s been very slow going.
  • This year several times I had people ask me for ideas or I pitched ideas to people and they’d run with them and effectively cut me out of the loop so they got the glory and I got…nothing.  Unfortunately, this has made me a little more reserved in giving my ideas to people.

As I look back I think that it’s sort of silly to have one event (broken arm) outweigh all that good, but that break hit me pretty hard.  When you’re unable to do…anything.. it really packs a whallop.  There is a lot of good and by the end of the year things were marginally looking up.  I just didn’t end 2012 thinking, “Man that was a the best year ever!”

The good news is that 2013 can only be better by default.

Okay, that’s it for now.  Stay tuned as soon we’ll have a look at my goals for 2013.


Thanks for reading this far.



Tags : , , , , , , ,