Monday, August 30, 2010

Adventures across California

So I have completed this weekends adventure with Greg Wilson and his cast!

Just like every other art form, magic brings all sorts of people together from different sorts of interests and skill sets, much of the joy of this adventure was learning about people in road trip like circumstances.

BUT we'll start from the beginning ^^

Friday I met Greg Wilson at 845 Am to pick up the truck from the rental place. It was nice! it was a Ford 650 double cab, and the trailer was near container sized. So we had plenty of room, comfort, horse power, and trailer wise we didn't have to take down props to transport them, that's a big time saver.

After picking up the truck we went to the Wilson's warehouse and me and bob one of his long time helping people loaded up the truck, it took a few hours, and then I was done for the day.

After returning home I felt a little under the weather, so I took a nap. I awoke around 5pm feeling worse... So I left my room to go eat... Ended up eating at the CSUN living area Cafeteria Geronimo's ... got there just before 7pm and grabbed some chow and talked to my mom on the phone about CSUN and the upcoming weekend for a bit.

Food helped but I was still feeling it... Went back to my room, watched an episode of Master chef on hulu and hit the hay around 10pm... then around 11pm... the parties start. It's the first friday on campus, of course there is going to be parties. The noise was pretty ridiculous, it wasn't music it was just people talking right out my window, and I swear there was a 3 hour long tumbling routine going on upstairs. I did get one laugh in, I swear some one fell down the stairs at like 3am.

Any who the next morning I had to be up by 5am, and at the ware house by like 6am... luckily I can pull that off though.

AND I did, I made it and I met up with the cast and Crew!

Included in our cast:

Greg Wilson, host of the two shows and our magician.

Bob Marino, professional musician and teacher by profession, but for this gig he would be our sound, and lights, and liaison to the theaters we would visit.

Oscar, I can't spell his last name, but be an assistant on stage and would be our leading guy back stage, and driver for the journey.

Emilie Livingston, gold medal winner in Pan Am Olympic Gymnastics and professional dancer, she would be our primary assistant and box jumper through out the show.

Tera Strand, Graphic artist and professional cos play model, she would be also assisting in our show.

(Also along for the ride was Iako, Greg's wife)

Also booked for out show:

Darik: I didn't get a chance to talk to him, but he has traveled tho world doing what he does. Comedy, Juggling, step, and unicycling. I didnt get a chance to watch his show from the front, but I definately heard a lot of laughs.

Chipper Lowell: I met Chip last year at Great America, he's a wonderful guy and a comedy magician who has put him self a great act together.

Back to the action here, this was my house during the day for Saturday and Sunday... Sexy right?

This was the venue in Bakersfield. Amazing! apparently it's the biggest public theater in the entire state of California. The tech team there to greet us were actually 8 girls and one boy all from the theater department of the local high school.

They were a big help, and to me it's always inspiring to see young people so driven, and have such an understanding of tech.

Through out this show I had some costume changes.

Here was part of one of them, Bell hop, before I discovered the hat.
Here was another, the light flashy trench coat of excalabur.

The show went on with no glitches, and no one got hurt. I also got to help out Chipper Lowell with his show, which added to the comedy of his show.

After the show, packing back up and saying our good byes we said good bye to the team at the theater, we drove from Bakersfield to Kettleman city to meet up at Harris Ranch for dinner.

Yes that is a 302 Mustang, sexy new mustang... oh ya, and Harris Ranch.
Here is our team at dinner... Im sorry the picture was blury, I was going for candid and ninja not high quality photographer dude.

After Eating at Harris we got back on the road. I was the Navigator on this one... and fyi I do have an odd way of getting around. I took every one from 5 to 101 to 152 to 680.... and pause here!

I took us from 680 to 880 through Milpitas. And yes I was literally less than an eighth of a mile from my home. Talk about an odd experience. There was this feeling of nervous anticipation that rose and rose the closer I got to my home... then when we got off the freeway going towards 880 instead of my house, there was this feeling of sadness. Very odd and surreal, that I would have the feeling of excitement of going home appear and disappear in moments, and then the feeling of excitement for the rest of my trip would return soon after.

Any way we stayed the night in Union City.

Next morning we were on the road by 830, and got to Castle Rock school's newly refirbished performing art's center by 9am.
Here's the theater, a very different venue than the one in Bakersfield.

We also had a team of helpers in Oakland from the theater, they were very different than the one in Bakersfield... none the less we appreciated them being there.

Show once again goes well, we close up shop, take some photos and say our good byes, and we are back on the road by 3:30pm.

Here is me with Bob Marino, quick side note, he has worked with Harry Blackstone, and Jerry Lewis as a musician and a composer... not only famous, but a great guy.

Here is Oscar! he really a big back bone in our production, he keeps me motivated and I consider him my friend.

Emilie! She's great a true talent and professional...has also met Wayne Gretzky... Im Jealous
Tera! She has a great ethic and work attitude... also super cool and can really strike a conversation.

Any who we return to the LA area (still weird for me to say) around 10 15, most of us say our good byes and then Oscar and I get right to unloading the truck. I get Oscar to his car by 2, and we go our separate ways.

I drove back to where I thought my place was... and then my GPS started acting super weird, sending me in a random direction, and then I'd travel for a long time and then realize the reception to my GPS's satellite is gone, then Id get back on what ever free way I could find and start heading in the right direction, then my GPS would get me to turn around, then stop working again.

Long story short I ended up about 10 miles from my place... I stopped using my GPS and started using my instincts... I returned to my place around 315 am WOO!!!

Long trip, but wonderful life experience that I loved getting!

Friday, August 27, 2010

First week of... Vacation??

Haha naw, but the first week of school is always really laid back, and filled with new faces and adventure.

First off FUNNY!

And yes, notice the vitamin water bottle on top of the blue emergency pole... I put that there.

Alright back on track here, first week of school.

It's rare that I am excited for every single class Im taking...But I am. It seems TV production will be my most challenging class, followed by Political Science, then Communications, and then Art history... TV production being the most challenging, not because the others are so easy, but because TV production is such an intensive course at Northridge. Four Chapters of book reading in the first week. BUT It's reading I like and care about so THERE!

This is the TV production studio... AH mazing... the set wasn't there on Monday, it just happened to show up on Wensday....

BUT THE STUDIO Oh man I could go on about it...

but heres just the specs for allz you interested.

TV studio...
It has it's own Sound control room, full digital every thing, window on the left.
It has a seperate Video mixing room on the right.
It also has seperate from that room specific for CG and patching, in the door next door.
On the other side of the studio (180 from the camera's perspective) There is a scene shop... A SCENE SHOP in a TV STUDIO

Any who these are all rooms just attached to this studio, also with in the manzanita hall there is a film studio, a news room, a green screen/blue screen studio, 7 video editing bays, a surround sound edit bay and a fully loaded film studio.

Did I mention with in the past few years CSUN has had a higher acceptance rate in to filmand TV than USC?

Well I did now.

On to other stuff...


There was a pool party serving root beer floats at the on campus living pool...Well I had to go... there were root beer floats.

They showed hot tub time machine on their portable inflatable screen....

But I decided to swim instead... Female to male ratio was looking great.

It was 110 earlier that day so the pool felt great. After swimming, I returned to the room and chilled for a bit, then around 10:30 I get a call from professional DJ and TV commercial producer Bryan Fagundes, wondering if I wanted to hang out.
I also met his friend Stevo, but I didn't get a picture with him

So I met them at Burbank right next to NBC studios, and they wanted to drive up to Griffith park observatory, unfortunately the road was closed.... apparently they now close at ten, boo... But that's cool. Bryan wanted any ideas, so I sugjested crashing the Roosevelt hotel and looking for Marilyn Manroe's ghost (Like I did less than a week before with Ryan) So we went.

We took some cool photos, Bryan took most of them with his 15 mega pixel cannon.
Here's the lobby (on my camera!)

And CHECK IT OUT, I got an ORB!

So we then got antsy and wanted to find more, so we go to the front dest asking if we could explore room 918... THey were very helpful, They even asked "Would you like to see Marilyn's suite as well?"

YES of course.

Heres a shot from the mirror in the elevator... that is me in the reflection, NO idea why this looks so freaky

So we got to explore the hallways near room 918...(not a ghost...that's Bryan)

AND THEN the inside of Marilyn Manroe's suite...

No official ghost sightings, but we got to explore some hard to get to areas in a really fancy hotel,
View from the 9th floor
This pool.

On to Wensday,

Some secret that Ive kept until now is last Sunday I got a call from Greg Wilson if I could do a show with him... SO SURE!

Bakersfield on Saturday, Oakland on Sunday...Returning home Sunday night... and yes loading up the truck tomorrow morning.

So what's really cool is....

I got to meet Greg's Father and Mother, Mark and Lina Wilson... Mark Wilson one of the most famous influential Magicians of all time. If you had a TV in the 60s and 70s, you were probrably watching one of Mark Wilson's many Television shows.

Also on Wenesday I rehearsed for the show, I am involved in five tricks... but Ive studied so Im good now. ^^

AND ON to thursday...

Thursday was when I got a partial tour in the Manzanita hall on campus to describe the studios with in earlier ^^.

I actually met two TV hopefuls two of the PAs for my class Alex and Andrew.
Andrew just got done PAing the auditions for the G4 show American Ninja Warrior... So instantly relatable for me because I love that show.

Then after class and all, got ready to go to the Ice house to see Ed Alonzo perform along with 7 other comedians. The Ice house is in Pasadena, a good ways from where I am, but it was worth the trip, I had fun!

I went with a girl named Katelyn, who also lives in CSUN student housing I think she had fun too.

BACK TO NOW though... I have a long weekend ahead of me...and I must rest up for my big weekend, which you will hear all about when I return.

Monday, August 23, 2010

campus life DOS

So I'm starting school tomorrow... doesn't feel like it at all, but I am.

This weekend I explored the campus a bit more, and socialized a bit around campus ^^

Firstly, Saturday night was pretty cool. The dorm and apartment area has all these hang out nights, and this was the first one. They had a local DJ playing, and a big screen set up. All the clubs had tables lined up and people were handing out pan-flits. Hot dog on a stick was there giving out hot dogs... on sticks.... and there was a ton of people.

Here are pictures to prove it.

yes there was an Elvis impersonator

Lots of people one
Lots of people two

And there's the big screen, the school played the hang over for all us residents.

Any who fun times, all my room mates are here, Matt, Jordan, and Landon.

Matt and Jordan are both Freshies, but they are total opposites.

Landon and I are both transferring in, he from a school in the central Valley. Landon is 22, and I am 21 for exactly one more month today.

Back to exploring!

Today (Sunday) Landon and I explored more.

There was another party going on at the pool of our living area, I'm hoping every weekend is this exciting at CSUN.

Then I had to print something for my class on tuesday, so I decided to go to the Library to do so.

The Library is HUGE, this is from an indescribable distance away.

The Library is so big it has eight escalators up and down four floors.

Here's the view from the third floor.
And here's the fourth.
Cool framing of the banner I thought
The Library has a DVD section
And of course, a lot of books... PS that's Landon, one of my room mates.
Also there is a fifth floor... a basement.

There were a lot of other really cool things I saw around campus today (sunday)

As promised a picture of the track... this is the view from where the apartments are, there was a fence I was taking a picture through and the track was on the other side of a locked gate.

The track had the works, including a pole vault pit.

Here is the student fitness center... paid membership required, and they just have a lot of weights and treadmills. Allz Ive got to say is Pull up, push up, run, eat relatively healthy and you've got your self a free gym.

Here is the games room,], which is down stairs under the fitness center. Inside is ping pong, foosball, games, the works... but it was closed upon our arrival.
This construction site is the future site of the student recreation center... NO JOKE, in door track, and rock wall to be included... BUT.. it might not open until 2012, when I could already be gone.

Here is the pool by the gym... Ironically there was a life guard on duty, but no one swimming here, yet a pool party going on at the pool in the living area.

Here was a really surprising find, and to me, the second coolest thing on campus. Right next to the library, there is an actual planetarium. AND, they do shows bi monthly.

Here is the coolest thing on campus... A full sized ropes course, and I BELIVE, Zip line included.

So I returned to my room after exploring, went to a meeting about the rules and stuff in the living area... which didn't explain any thing to me because I had already read and signed the waiver... but it's cool I scored a free shirt.

Then I got dressed up all nice, and went to the Magic Castle, and met Chris Mitchell. Who was gracious enough to bring me in to the castle with him. Chris being a professional magician, and a magic castle member, and not to mention a good friend. So I saw Chipper Lowell, Chris Hart and Patrick Martin perform again, along with meeting a lot of new cool people at the castle.

No this photo wasn't taken at the magic castle, it was afterward, Chris Mitchell had some professional musician friends of his jamming at a local bar in Studio City. We caught the tail end of their performance and Chris introduced me to them.

After the night was over, I just returned to my apartment and wrote this blog. Now I'm off to bed, I have school tomorrow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

CSUN exploring

So school starts Monday, and I had yet to explore this huge campus.

So today I explored a bit and found where al my classes are.

First here is one of two very large parking garages on campus.

Next above is the future site of CSUN's new performing arts center, opening spring of next year.

Next above is the bookstore, here they also have a few restaurants.


Next above is the Sierra hall, it's right across from the Book store, and I have a class here.

Next the Manzanita hall... IT IS HUUUGE, notice I the person in the bottom right. I have a few classes here, and apparently this building is where most of the classes in my major are.

Next the Cypress hall, I had a hard time finding this. I have a class here too ^^

I forgot to take a photo of CSUN's huge library, and also where a lot of the athletics are... Oh well future blog maybe.