Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Some of my favorite work days are the ones where I get to be involved in the shoot to promote one of my audio books. Recently, we shot the promo for Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Kent Hayes, an actor in the audio book, also served as an assistant to Garry Morris, Director of the video shoot. Here are some photos Kent took during the outing.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Check out what Gadzooks! Actress Andra Harbold is working on now:
FEAST When: 7:30 pm, May 24, 2014 Where: The Great Saltair, Utah Who: NOW-ID
Founded in 2013 by Choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen and Architect Nathan Webster, NOW-ID is a performing arts and design company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both internationally positioned and reflecting the unique beauty and culture of its western base, the name/logo/brand NOW functions as mission statement and mantra that reflects the company’s commitment to constant renewal and the space of engagement when creating or viewing art. The company is a framework for collaboration between local, national and international artists, designers and thinkers.
Following the highly acclaimed first performance The Wedding, NOW continues its exploration of place and turns its gaze toward the surreal and salty remains of prehistoric Lake Bonneville and the Great Saltair. FEAST will be an immersive experience for the audience, layering dance, theater, live music and design. Once again, NOW-ID is gathering a collaborative force of local and international creative artists. Returning collaborators include Salt Lake dancer Jo Blake and Chicago’s Joffery Ballet’s Yumelia Garcia. New collaborators include actors Alexandra Harbold and Robert Scott Smith, co-founders of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory; New York dancer, teacher, and choreographer Jenn Freeman; and Danish composer and musician Jesper Egelund Pedersen.
With FEAST, NOW-ID renews its commitment to the exploration of place by turning its focus to Utah's austere, unique, and iconic landscape.
FEAST will be a celebration of the place and time in which we live, and the stories that reside here, ultimately on the bed of an ancient, former inland sea. We see the ancient lake bed as our table, and are setting it with performers and audience, for one evening... one moment in an ongoing story. FEAST speaks to palates and appetites, hunger and satiation, tradition and experimentation, shared customs and the private experience. FEAST will be a celebration of the senses, of thresholds and of human gathering.
Through dance, theater, music and installation, we will explore together the possibility of clean slate and pause amongst history and decadence. In body and sense, we will offer a haunting and primal human beauty.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
“I'll never forget the day Rich Gardner donned a wedding dress and rode his skimboard off the lip of the confluence of the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers.” You can count on me to tell that story well into my old age. If I were to describe Rich's performance to promote Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book, I could sum it up in two words: NAILED IT. But why stop there? Rich is a remarkably agile and talented athlete who is apparently up for anything! If anyone ever needs a great stuntman who is easy and fun to work with, hire Rich!
Rich was just one of 10 amazing people who worked on the video for Gadzooks! As is custom with my promos, the delightful Steve Campbell served as the spokesman. Steve is nothing short of charming, both on camera and off. I was especially grateful to Steve this time around because he was in the emergency room until late the night before the shoot, arriving on time the next morning sporting a badly injured leg. Apparently, Steve is takes the notion of “the show must go on,” quite seriously.
Accompanying Steve on camera were three “Sister Wives” played by Kristin Hunt, Melanie Camire and Heather Oram. These gals were good natured enough to tone down their obvious beauty in lieu of bad hairstyles and dresses purchased as “Fuglies Are Us.” The water in the Virgin River on the day of the shoot is hardly what I would call warm, but there was nary a complaint when our Sister Wives took the plunge in leaky rafts!
Behind every great video performance is a whole crew of people working to make the magic happen. In this case, it started with Garry Morris, Director for the shoot, and Kent Hayes, who assisted with every aspect of the production including putting together the costumes and wigs for the actors. Honestly, I couldn't have pulled this off without Garry and Kent. Both guys have played key roles in all of my audio books and the videos to promote them.
Our Video Crew was top notch as well. Lead by Billy Wilkin of Silly Billy Media, the filming went off without a hitch. Billy's assistants, Sheldon Demke and and Sam Perez, were not only totally cool to work with, but had loads of great ideas as well. This group proved they were willing to go to any lengths to get the perfect shot, including Billy's 8-foot jump into the confluence of the rivers to get the perfect image of Rich sailing overhead on his skimboard.
Billy, Sheldon and Sam are all set to graduate from Dixie State University in May. Billy has already been tapped to head up a shoot for a major film and will use Sheldon and Sam as his assistants. Look for these three to go a long way with their film careers!
Thanks again to my fabulous Cast and Crew for a spectacular day on the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers. I'm looking forward to launching our video along with Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book on September 22, 2014.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
I recently had a wonderful opportunity to be a guest on the Going Gray Podcast with Christy Potter. During the interview, Christy and I talked about the popularity of audio books and our ideas to help writers market their work http://goinggray.podomatic.com/
As the author of the award-winning The World Was my Oyster But I Didn't Know How to Cook and The Shiksa's Guide to Yiddish, Christy knows a thing or two about being a successful writer. Her debut novel, Oh Brother, is available at Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=oh+brother+by+christy+potter.
Christy began her writing career as a staff writer for the McPherson Sentinel in McPherson, Kansas. During that time, Christy earned several state and local journalism awards. In addition to her regular assignments with the paper, Christy also penned a weekly humor column titled “Out of My Mind.”
These days, Christy lives in Pennsylvania where she is continuing in her writing career as a novelist and radio hostess, and she also writes regularly for her blog http://christythewriter.com/.
The Going Gray Podcast is dedicated to reading, writing, relationships and the arts. Tune in to hear the discussion I had with Christy regarding how to turn your next novel into an audio book http://goinggray.podomatic.com/entry/2014-04-06T09_44_02-07_00.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
If entertainment news and information is your thing, then It Matters Radio is your station. This is an online production dedicated to music, laughter and open conversation. Hosted by Monica Brinkman, Kenneth Weene, Kerry Hall and Brenda, “Queen B,” artists, writers and musicians have found a welcome home at It Matters Radio http://www.itmattersradio.com/.
As a writer, I was thrilled that not only did I get the chance to tell the listeners of It Matters Radio about my audio books, but Kenneth Weene also reviewed my work and wrote a piece about it for his blog
If you would like the chance to learn about other artistic folks, or simply join in the conversation, tune in to It Matters Radio http://www.itmattersradio.com/#!it-matters-radio-fun-promos/c5ed.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
And so it came to pass that I found myself in need of an athlete to appear in the new video to promote Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Fortunately for all, I was able to hire Rich Gardner, a top notch skimboarder whose sense of humor matches his sense of adventure.
Local skimboarders are well acquainted with the Gardner Brothers who are credited with popularizing the sport in St. George. I met Mike Gardner a few years ago when he filmed and edited the promo for Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGGbatmaDeM and Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPotQyyPsuo&feature=g-upl.
I was more than happy to hire Mike's brother, Rich, to do skimboard stunts for my new production.
Rich makes skim boarding look easy, but believe me, this sport takes a lot of athleticism and finesse to pull off. Everyone is excited that Rich is the one photo bombing the camera for this shoot!
Today, the key players for the new project assembled to scout out the location for our upcoming shoot. New to the line up is Billy W. Wilkin of Silly Billy Media http://www.sillybillymedia.com.
Billy has lots of innovative and interesting ideas for putting together the new promo. Follow Billy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SillyBillyMedia.
Steve Campbell will return as the main character for the shoot. In addition to being the on-camera spokesman for the videos to promote the Quirky Audio Book Series, Steve also served as the narrator for Yikes! and is currently recording the role of Old Doc Pinkerton for Gadzooks!
Garry Morris is directing the new video. Garry has played an integral role in all my productions, voicing the character of Jackie Wu in Jitters, Chet Waterhouse in Yikes! and Joseph Stratton in Gadzooks! Garry also directed the video for Yikes! and helped out with the costumes and wigs.
Last but certainly not least, Kent Hayes is on the scene, organizing costumes, make-up and hair. This is a role he took on during the video shoot for Yikes! Over the years, Kent has wracked up quite a few hours recording in my studio. Kent voiced the character of Randall Smoot in Yikes! and is now recording the role of Scottie Sphincter in Gadzooks!
It's days like today when I feel like I have the best job in the world. I'm so honored to have such a great team of people to work with!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
As a fan of Mike Dooley (creator of Notes from the Universe,) I was anxious to hear Manifesting Change: It Couldn't Be Easier. The audio book begins with a review of material covered in Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life's Magic. I find it helpful to hear things more than once, so this worked for me http://www.tut.com/about/mikedooley/
Then Dooley did something I never expected: he attempted to explain how to manifest outcomes using a matrix system. Since I could never even understand the plot of the movie, The Matrix, I was a bit apprehensive. But low and behold, Dooley found a way to lay out his theory in terms that someone like me could understand. Using a matrix he created himself, Dooley explains the best and most effective ways to view life changes.
Essentially, Dooley says we create our own destiny through our thoughts. “Thoughts become things” is a familiar mantra used by Dooley. In Manifesting Change, Dooley takes this one step further. He asserts that all we need to do to make a change in our life is to picture the end result and then physically move in the general direction of our goal.
In all of Dooley's works, he talks extensively about the “cursed hows,” of achieving intended desires. Dooley asserts that simply by engaging in general actions in support of our dreams, the universe will take care of the “hows” of making them happen.
One thing that did surprise me about Manifesting Change was Dooley's idea about reincarnation. He never uses this specific word, but he does put forth a theory that suggests we are “adventurers” who have the ability to appear in time and space many times. He goes on to explain that there are no accidents and that even bad situations may have been a choice we made prior to our appearance on earth. While I'm personally good with that theory, the thought of having to live another life leaves me feeling a bit exhausted!
The audio book is narrated by Dooley himself who has a wonderful delivery style. While Manifesting Change lacked some of the humor I enjoyed in Leveraging the Universe, it provided me with a better footing on what I need to do in order to make my own dreams come true. Thanks, Mike Dooley, for being so gracious in sharing your secrets to living a successful life!
All in all, Manifesting Change: It Couldn't Be Easier was a great audio book. Listen to a sample and see for yourself: http://www.amazon.com/Manifesting-Change-Couldnt-Be-Easier/dp/1442336439/ref=tmm_abk_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=.