Monday, May 6, 2013

In Which I Apologize Profusely To Logan (Among Other Things)....


Hello again... so nice to see you again! And yes, I can, in fact, see you... the latest version of Google Earth is extremely powerful! You need to floss, by the way... a little piece of lettuce between your #7 incisor and your #8 canine... it isn't the most attractive look for you, no offense...

Speaking of flossing, holy mackerel... since getting braces on, flossing has become such a complex production, I'm thinking of turning it into an off-Broadway one-man show. And I only have braces on the top teeth at this point! On the 23rd of this month, I get them on the bottom teeth as well. And then, o buddy, it is ON. Man, they're hard on the inside of my lips... whoever invented 'braces wax' should get his/her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Or at least a hearty handshake and a clap on the back.

You know, normally I don't like to talk about bracism, but lately I've been seeing bracists everywhere. I mean, come on, people! What decade are we in? We should be well beyond this by now! People are people, regardless of the condition of their teeth! We need to end bracism NOW.

And now, here to share more on the subject... Mr. Foster Brooks...



OK, fine, that was a little off-topic, sorry...

What am I reading lately, you may ask? Well, I'm about 20% through Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay. I'd never read anything by Kay before, and he's one of the revered names in fantasy, so I decided the time had come. The writing is solid, no nonsense, well crafted. The premise is fascinating, and the far east setting a fresh change of pace from the traditional medieval "swords and dragons" setting (not that I mind that too much to begin with). I've hit a lull in the action, however, and it's dragging a bit... but I anticipate it picking up again soon... I hope... I'd hate to bail out on Mr. Kay, after having waited so long to give him his day in the sun...

In other book news, I misunderstood the way Good Reads displays its information, and spoiled Red Country for blog friend Logan... it was an honest mistake! I thought it said he'd finished the book and rated it three stars, like I did! And I've been dying to talk to someone about the book since I read it last year... but the rating was actually my rating, and the "finished reading" mark was about MY having finished it! Not Logan! So I sent him a message with some spoilers in it, by way of initiating discussion. Ouch. Man, there's nothing worse than that. There's no more trying way to push a friendship to the breaking point than to spoil a long-anticipated book for someone, unintentional or not!

That just means I'll have to be extra generous with him when Christmas comes around this year. I figure by that time, he might be speaking to me again...

On my Kindle at the moment, I have 30 full books, 31 "free chapters" samples, and 7 non-fic books on writing/acting craft, all vying for my attention. Authors include: Martha Wells, Mike Vasich, Neal Stephenson, Matthew Stover, Ken Scholes, Brandon Sanderson, Naomi Novik, Jeff Salyards, Paul Kearney, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Glynn James, Hugh Howey, Robin Hobb, Richard Ford, David Gemmell, Alex Dain, Orson Scott Card, James S.A. Corey, and Bradley Beaulieu, to name a cross section. I could read for a year solid and not cover all of the books and samples on my Kindle...

Hey, speaking of artists named "Bradley" (nice segue!)... remember that time on the Inside the Actors Studio that featured Sean Penn, when a then-student Bradley Cooper asked Sean Penn a question during the Q&A section at the end? Remember?



That was in Season Five. And in Season Seventeen, Bradley was the guest himself! See? See how cool life is, eh?

I've seen Bradley Cooper in other early episodes as well... he has like a two-second spot in the Robert DeNiro episode, where the camera randomly cut to him (like it does throughout each episode periodically, grabbing random faces).

Speaking of the series, I've been making my way through the episodes again, as I mentioned previously, taking notes. There have been some surprises... mostly of the disappointing kind. Certain episodes, like Benicio del Toro, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis and Martin Sheen were shockingly lacking in actual craft talk... instead, they spent most of the time retrospectively covering careers, which is interesting in its own way, but when you're watching with an eye toward gleaning practical, applicable acting advice, it's disappointing.

The funny thing about Benicio and Johnny Depp... they are both obviously skilled A-list actors, capable of remarkable performances... and yet it seems to be mostly instinctual for them... they couldn't really explain how they did any of it. There were a few nuggets I had to reword a little to get them to make sense. Johnny said that "satisfaction is death for an actor", which is definitely something to chew on. He also said you need to remember the power of stillness and silence... to communicate as much as you possibly can without words. Also a good nugget. Benicio said that the key is to understand and play to the strengths of the character... what is the thing that your character wants, and why? I can understand that concept. But beyond those nuggets, there wasn't much of substance there.

Another funny one was the DeNiro episode, which was kind of an awkward debacle, since the host, James Lipton was so beside himself with glee at interviewing DeNiro, he tried to get too clever with the leading softball questions, and DeNiro was not having any part of that. It was funny, really, especially since Lipton didn't seem to realize (or care?) that it was happening. He kept trying to lead DeNiro into giving these strong, meaningful replies, but DeNiro wasn't one for being manipulated. It was fun and awkward to watch.

Enough acting talk!


That... is a remarkable photo. Are those walkways along the arms, with people on them? Or is that my imagination? The statue can't be THAT big, can it? Bah, that must just be seams in the statue, where sections are joined... or maybe it's a walkway for maintenance crews or something...

OK, to end tonight's post, here's Noah Guthrie covering "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars...



That's that, eh!

Adios for now,

Dave the Long-Winded

PS Sorry again Logan... O_O

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My parents loved those roasts - so much so, I googled them last Christmas and found a set of them online, but the price was more than I wanted to spend.

Do you ever dislike a person in real life so that you can't stand watching them in movies? Sean Penn.

If your friend can't forgive you for a book spoiler, he's not much of a friend, and having read Logan's post, I don't think you have to worry.

All those books you recommended - collecting digital dust on my Kindle bookshelf. I decided to enroll in three online classes. We can do a book chat after my finals.

BA

logankstewart said...

Dave "SPOILER Alert" Wagner:

You big poo poo breath. I'm rescinding my friendship. Please remit to my home in the southernmost tip of the eastern shores of West Kentucky. Thanks.

But seriously. I'm up for discussion. What did you not like? (Or would you rather handle this via email or through GoodReads?) Bring it!

Anonymous said...

:)

David Wagner said...

Beth: I'd never heard of Foster Brooks before finding that clip recently. It's a funny character. Those roasts look like they were a lot of fun.

Not crazy about Sean Penn "in real life" either, but man, can he act.

I did feel really bad about (probably) spoiling the book for Logan, but I know he'd never hold it against me. For long, anyway...

Digital dust... I like that. Heck yeah, we can do a book chat!

Logan: Hey, I brush my teeth regularly! My breath should be ok. Well, coffee breath, perhaps...

I guess I could discuss Red Country here and spoil it for everyone else! MUAHAHAHA!!!

I guess I'll put it in an email. Look for it soon!

(And thanks for forgiving me...)

Ann: :) right back at ya!