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neo_skywalker
16 June 2011 @ 10:15 am
All you people in TV land
I will wake up your empty shells
Peak-time viewing gone in a flash
As I burn into your memory cells.

-Peter Gabriel, "Family Snapshot"



I know I have been away for quite a while. But when something like this happens, it needs to be said.

By now, I'm sure whoever comes across this knows about the riots that happened in Vancouver yesterday following the Stanley Cup final. The chaos that ensued when the Canucks didn't win the coveted cup and lost to Boston. I was working last night, so I couldn't watch the game, and I'm actually glad I didn't. I never was a sports person and probably never will be. I'm more of a, what's the term, "bandwagon jumper" when it comes to this kind of thing. God knows, I'm no athlete, but I did want to understand what everyone was talking about during the games, especially since Vancouver rarely makes it to the final.

I can understand that people were upset. I can understand that people were angry. I can understand that people were drunk.

But what I can't understand is how a handful of people can ruin something for everyone.

Whispers at work of riots breaking out downtown following the game. I can only assume that meant that the lost cause of the game had finally hit people. From what I understand, there was beer bottle and fruit throwing at the screen following the Bruins win. Then someone set a car on fire outside the post office. And after that, things got worse and I'm glad I didn't skip work to go downtown to see the game.

I rode the bus home from work with people coming from downtown cramming every nook and cranny of the vehicle. Many of them were still drunk, complaining about the game. I asked of what happened, and several people were more than happy to fill me in on the defeat of Vancouver's hockey champions and the anarchy that ensued following, that was still going on even as we spoke. The sting of alcohol on their breath buzzed their words with a manic excitement, yet depressing undertone. The kind of feeling one can only get borne witness to an event such as this with a considerable amount of liquid bread consumed.

The bus driver was included in these conversations and expressed his disappointment in a more restrained and mature way; very admirable for him especially with riders like this which I'm sure he had to deal with transporting for much of the night. I thanked him for getting me home safe and wished him well for the long night ahead. I hope he made it through alright.

Home should have brought rest, yet my only thought was to turn on the news and see what had happened. The news reporters and camera crews capturing every moment and bringing it to homes far and wide. Facebook and Twitter exploded with disgust from my friends and family who were saddened, frightened and confused at the turn of events. The shock and disbelief of it all flooded my mind for a good hour, as an assault of senses on all sides came. At last, I turned it all off, went to bed and sleep brought relief.

I dreamt a strange dream last night that might not have been entirely unrelated to the incident, but I can't remember what it was about now.

Waking up an hour ago, I called my friends who lived downtown to make sure they were alright. I'm happy to report that they all are, but share my feelings on the affair. All throughout the next few days, I'm sure we will hear more about it as the news continues to comment on this lack of humanity.

It always seems that something like this looms in the background at any major event. We're all thankful when it doesn't happen, but when it does we can't help but wonder what went wrong. We should be able to celebrate or mourn appropriately. We should be able to make more informed decisions. We should be able to act rationally.

Unfortunately, sporting events + alcohol + mass flood of people = this.

And what really disgusts me is how the people who were there purely to start a riot weren't Canucks fans in the truest sense of the word. They were just idiots looking for a good time. Anarchy purely for anarchy's sake. And yet they are seen as representing Vancouver. They forget that their actions reflect upon us all. Not all of us are like that thankfully, but to people around the world watching we might as well be. Now I'm sure people can't help but think twice about Canadian hospitality when the smoke clears on this matter. Thanks to them Vancouver, and by extension Canada, now has another dark mark on its reputation on the world stage.

And what of the children who were down there? Do you know how many of them may well be describing these events to a counselor/therapist/psychiatrist later in life?

Did we have act this way after the Olympics? No we didn't. But perhaps its because we had the world on our doorstep. An event like this that is more closed to North Americans, we forget that the world is watching always. And people never forget. With all the tools and resources we have now, how can we?

There is no excuse for this behaviour.

There is NO excuse.

As we diagnose the damage and rush to repair what has been wrought, I hope we can all reflect on this in the future and think twice about our actions, not just at major sporting events, but everyday everywhere everytime.

Perhaps some good can come of this.

Maybe we can salvage our souls still.

[[Track #65 End.]]
 
 
current whereabouts: quelling the riots at home
feelings while writing: disappointeddisappointed
inspiriation music: "Family Snapshot" - Peter Gabriel
 
 
neo_skywalker
12 October 2010 @ 04:36 pm
So yes, to anyone who cares (AKA anyone who reads this blog), it seems I rarely update this thing anymore. Much like VG Cats and new comics. Tracks are few and far between months. It's not that I don't care, it's that I have too much on my plate to go through to keep updating on a regular basis. That being said, I'm considering perhaps stopping altogether. Not entirely sure at this point. If anyone wants to persuade me otherwise, they should leave a comment.
 
 
neo_skywalker
26 June 2010 @ 01:10 pm
All right, so it's been a while. Been dealing with some personal stuff. On the positive side, I might be working two jobs this summer; double the income means I can finally make ends meet and pay bills and all that. But at the time of this writing, only one I've been confirmed to go in for training. Tomorrow, I go for an interview for the other. If I get both, this means my schedule will be filled with work, which leaves little time to audition or head many voice over projects. And Lord forbid I get a *THIRD* job at the end of the summer, back with the PNE for the 100th anniversary. But I really need to make some money, so I'm willing to drop off the social radar in order to make what I need. Not like I've been very active in that department anyway.

I helped my aunt, uncle and cousins move into a house in my neighbourhood a little while ago. So now on the weekends, my family will look after and play with our cousins. They're both good little kids and I'm happy to play with them. They think I'm a superhero. LOL. Me? A superhero? I doubt it, but hey I'll play along.

Looking forward to Anime Evolution this year. I'm on staff this year and I'll be hanging out with the guests a lot during the weekend. Which is of course awesome, because this year we have The Beautiful Losers as one of the musical guests (lead singer Raj Ramayya has worked with Yoko Kanno, anime music GODDESS), Johnny Yong Bosch returning to AE after five years with his band Eyeshine, LittleKuriboh and Team Fourstar with the Abridged series goodness, Spike Spencer and the usual bunch of Vancouver voice actors, along with a bunch of artists. Great for networking, but at the same time I have to be professional about it. It's all about drawing the line between fanboy enthusiasm and professional courtesy. Luckily, I'm great at both so this is one weekend I'm definitely looking forward to!

Now if only we could install some air conditioning in my room so I don't go crazy trying to sleep at night because it's too hot...

[[Track #64 End.]]
 
 
current whereabouts: preparing for summer
feelings while writing: geeky
inspiriation music: "Deep Breath Deep Breath -Reincarnation Ver.-" - Lotus Juice w/ Yumi Kawamura
 
 
neo_skywalker
01 April 2010 @ 08:23 pm
Wow, April.

Olympics. They were good.

"Up" didn't win Best Picture Oscar. Sucks.

Spring Break. Didn't get one due to Olympics.

Easter. Going to be good.

Voice work. Getting lots of it now.

Job. I have one now.

Friends. I have awesome ones.

Family. Also awesome.

Summer. It's coming soon.

Your expectations for this post. I've failed to meet them.

My response. I don't care.

April Fool's. Whatever.

[[Track #63 End.]]
 
 
inspiriation music: "Ghost Nappa" - Takahata101
 
 
neo_skywalker
02 February 2010 @ 11:56 am
Well I recently found out the news that Disney-Pixar's latest film "UP" has been nominated this Oscar season. But not just for "Best Animated Picture". For "Best Picture" as well.

BEST. PICTURE. OSCAR.

Not quite sure some of you realize how big this is. The only other film that managed to do this was Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" before animated films got segregated into their own category. Since then, whenever animated films have competed at the Oscars, part of me resents that they're stuck in their own little category with no way to get out and strut their stuff among the bigger films that the Academy believes to be superior. Which is almost always a WWII or drama film. Sometimes both. So for "UP" to be the film to finally get animated films back onto the Best Picture circuit does say something.

And yes, I'm aware that Hayao Miyazaki's "Ponyo" didn't get nominated, but it was released in 2008 originally, and only got a domestic release this year. I think there's some rules somewhere that state it has to be released in the previous year to be nominated for this year. As well, I feel "Ponyo" wasn't his strongest work, even though it is very prettily drawn all in good old-fashioned 2D. Besides, "Spirited Away" got everybody into anime and it's done very well on its own all things considered. Epic masterpiece that it is I think that's pretty well done for him and Studio Ghibli.

And Disney's "The Princess and the Frog"? That's a whole other story, one which I won't get into right now.

Now, there are some people who say "UP" shouldn't have been the one to do it, "WALL-E" should've. And while yes, I do agree that "WALL-E" should've been nominated last year, it's thanks to people making buzz that "WALL-E" could've held on its own against last year's nominees that "UP" now has the chance to do the same and (hopefully) be the one to win. Both are good stories that entertain you and touch you emotionally (and sometimes psychologically) in ways you didn't think possible. Heck, I even think "UP" could be better than "WALL-E" in some aspects.

Before you start roasting me, let me explain. "WALL-E" was about a robot who fell in love and how far he'll go to get the robot girl to notice him. "UP" is about a guy who already fell in love and how far he'll go to keep his promise to his deceased wife. The hero of one has everything to live for when meeting the love of his life. The hero of the other has nothing left to live for when the love of his life passes away. Both heroes are lonely and the way they learn to open up and connect with others differ from each other. "WALL-E" has its titular robot, in addition to falling in love with EVE, rallying together a group of malfunctioning robots as a sort of posse that aids him later in the film and help the two save humanity. "UP" has old man Carl bond with chubby boy scout Russell as a surrogate father-figure and dopey dog Dug as a new, kinder master than his previous one. Both are about love when you get down to it and what it does to people; before, during and after the fact. About making connections to create a brighter future. Both films are great pieces of animation and heck, will even get you crying a few times. The guys at Pixar are masters of their craft, no two ways about it.

But in the end, one is aimed at humanity on a larger scale, the other is more personal and involving. I prefer more personal stories which is why I actually like "UP" slightly more than "WALL-E", the sci-fi loving geek in me be damned.

I really hope that "UP" gets its chance to shine and takes that Best Picture Oscar this year. It's time that animated films got their due and I can't think of a better one to do it.

And even if it doesn't, at least it's a step in the right direction for animated films on the Academy's part.

[[Track #62 End.]]
 
 
current whereabouts: going to go see "UP" again
feelings while writing: surprisedsurprised
inspiriation music: "Simple & Clean [PLANITb Remix]" - Utada Hikaru
 
 
 
neo_skywalker
08 December 2009 @ 05:11 pm
Holiday season is here again! But before I can properly be in the holiday mood, I have to deal with paying for classes for next year, finish decorating the house, reconnect with my friends who I don't see for weeks at a time, find a job, audition for a couple more productions, finish some projects, pass my Japanese class, and anything else I need to do before I allow my mind to go marshmallow on eggnog and candy canes and TV specials.

The voice work is coming along fairly well. I've been auditioning more and more, and been getting more and more roles. I've even been tapped to try for some paid commercial voice-work, so this is a sign I'm doing the right thing when it comes to something like this. And next year, I'm going to try for an agent and become more active in the local voice-over community. It helps when you can talk with/learn from/perform with some of the best voice actors locally and internationally, both online and off.

Networking is fun like that.

Film extra work I plan to pack it in for the winter once I see snow falling on the ground. Two reasons for that. One: last year, I recall shooting a DVD movie at 2 or 3 in the morning during a blizzard, dressed as a homeless person on some backlot from the Watchmen movie, repainted for this new one. I was not happy. At all. And two: en route to a commercial shoot earlier last January, frozen roads made driving the Sea-to-Sky Highway fairly dangerous and a couple times my car skirted close to going over the edge and into the frozen sea below. Of course, if it had gone over, I wouldn't be here writing about it now.

I frankly don't think my life's worth $10/hr, non-union. So, putting it on hold once the snow starts coming is a good idea.

Japanese class is good. I've met and befriended some actual students from Japan and it's a great opportunity to practice the language as well as learn more about their culture. A couple of them have already returned there to finish their education, but have invited me to visit them when I make my way over there in the future. Also, a classmate of mine is taking the Momoyama Gakuin exchange I talked about earlier, so he'll give me an idea of what I can expect when taking it. It's good to know I have some friends over there now I can keep in touch with.

Now I just have to register for the final level in January, and decide what I'll do with it from there.

But first, there's no real need to rush. I've got maybe a couple weeks to deal with everything before Christmas vacation. Not to say I'm completely nonchalant about the whole thing, I'm just not going to go into full-panic mode. Just take a glass of eggnog and chill one day at a time. Try not to let it all go to my head too quickly.

So yes, getting ready for holidays. Ho ho ho, and all that.

[[Track #61 End.]]
 
 
feelings while writing: relaxedrelaxed
inspiriation music: "Long Way Down" - Timbaland feat. Daughtry
 
 
neo_skywalker
17 November 2009 @ 05:00 pm
Well my first major role has debuted. I voice Charlie Brown in the Newgrounds flash animation "The Charlie Brown Murders". It's starting to create some buzz there; 2nd in yesterday's Daily Five and now a spot on the front page! For those brave enough to withstand the trauma of watching one of your childhood heroes turn to the dark side, the link is here:

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/518109

^WARNING!^ It's rated Mature for language and violence! Only look at it if you can handle it!

But I'm sure maybe you're wondering what my thoughts are on being involved in this?

Well first of all, the animation is gorgeous. I can't believe I'm involved with something that looks like it'd fit right in with the holiday Peanuts specials. Of course, this is way too dark and violent and would be something you'd be more likely to see on "Robot Chicken". So my tip of the hat to the animators on replicating the look of the Peanuts 'verse perfectly.

I consider it an honour to play Charlie Brown, even for a parody. I related to him a lot growing up, so getting the chance to play him is one heck of a privilege. Of course, my thoughts never quite went that far as to what he was doing in the animation; I was more expecting that the violence would remain off-screen and be implied. So yes, watching Lucy getting decapitated and him dancing in glee is quite squicky for me. I'm perfectly alright with dropping an F-bomb here and there, but the violence was a bit much. One of those moments I wish was wiped from my mind, but alas it's too late for that. A couple of my family members are quite put off by my involvement in this from that one scene alone, so I apologize to them. Maybe I should've asked for storyboards of what was going to be animated in advance...

The feedback from the flash has been good thus far. A lot of people are liking the animation and how it almost perfectly replicates the Peanuts look. But there is also some feedback on the voice work. Quite a few people enjoyed the performances, particularly from the girl who played Lucy, a friend of mine who goes by the pseudonym of "Hnilmik". Believe it or not, I actually recommended her for the role to the producer and I doubt anyone could've pulled off Lucy better than she did. She's amazingly talented at voice work and I see that she'll go far in the industry if she keeps it up. I'm happy to say I've worked with her a few times in the past and look forward to working with her more on future projects if given the chance.

So if you're reading this Hnil, nothing but love and respect for ya sweetie! Even if I did decapitate you. Don't hold it against me. 8-)

And how does my performance rank? Well, some people enjoy it, some people don't. A couple people dig my evil laugh, others are creeped out by it. Maybe one person actually thought my voice suited Charlie Brown, a whole bunch of people think the producer should've gotten someone better. I figure whenever I get critiqued for a role this will happen quite often to me now, so I'd best get used to it. I'll take the good along with the bad; be flattered by praises, ignore the insults, and take advice given on how to perform better. It's the only way I'll learn anything.

To those who enjoyed me as Charlie Brown, thank you. To those who didn't, I'm sorry and I'll do better next time.

And for the record, yes I know its pronounced "Kah-tah-nah", but I mean come on; they're supposed to be eight-years-old and have probably never heard of, let alone studied, Japan at that age. Plus he's mentally unstable at this point; do you want to correct his pronunciation while he's holding a Japanese sword and just killed Lucy?

Again, only check this animation out if you can stand to watch everyone's favourite blockhead snap and have your memories of him ruined forever.

[[Track #60 End.]]
 
 
feelings while writing: accomplished
inspiriation music: "7 Seconds" - Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry
 
 
neo_skywalker
09 November 2009 @ 11:07 am
I'm at the point where I seriously need to think about what I want to do in the future. Okay, truth be told I should've done that during my last couple years of high school, but now its getting pretty urgent.

I have been thinking about studying abroad in the future. Been taking a good look at the exchange program they have at Momoyama Gakuin University over in Osaka, Japan. Looks like it would be roughly for a semester (six months) studying Japanese culture. I believe they provide room, but not board. I'd have to look after travel and living expenses myself. But still, it sounds like an interesting option to pursue so it's as good a place as any to start considering education in foreign countries.

But there's what to do beyond college. Do I want to continue on to university like SFU or UBC? Do I want to instead go to trade school? Where should I go, what should I do? Those places can get pretty expensive, and I'm still dealing with stuff from my one year of film school. Can I afford going to those universities within the next year or so?

The money tank is running low again, so I'm continuing to look for a steady job. Again, film extra work is not something to rely on to pay the bills. But it keeps getting harder, even basic entry-level stuff nowadays requires certificates and courses I've never taken or heard of. It seems I manage to get as far as an interview, but that's pretty much when I hit my limit with them. I'm trying my best, but it doesn't seem to be good enough to merit me an occupation. Am I ever going to find something that'll pay me before the end of the year?

And of course, there's the career aspect of it. Will I stick with the job I'm studying for? Or maybe I'll change my mind and want to pursue something different? Is there any chance for advancement with what I'm doing? Could I travel? Does it have medical and dental?

So many questions I need to think about and sort out. Ugh, why didn't I give more thought to this stuff in high school?

[[Track #59 End.]]
 
 
feelings while writing: worriedworried
inspiriation music: "Wind of Change" - Scorpions
 
 
neo_skywalker
19 October 2009 @ 09:31 pm
Looks like I'm going to get very busy in the near future.

I volunteered to do some radio announcements on an up-and-coming Internet radio station from time to time, so I can now add "radio announcer" to my list of accomplishments.

A crossover parody sketch of two big name mecha anime I wrote a few months ago will be animated for Newgrounds.

I'm directing an infomercial and a Thanksgiving radioplay.

My Japanese class will be coordinating with Japanese ESL students for a big assignment beginning Wednesday.

I'm shooting a TV show Thursday and Friday.

Saw a friend's band's last gig last Thursday and was invited to Kanye their Daft Punk cover next time they play.

I'll be doing narration for a friend's webcomic.

Haven't heard back from the video game gig yet, but I remain fairly optimistic.

And this has all been found out in less than 48 hours.

Man, when it rains it pours.

[[Track #58 End.]]
 
 
feelings while writing: surprisedsurprised
inspiriation music: "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" - Journey
 
 
neo_skywalker
12 October 2009 @ 10:05 am
It's been a month and a half since I went back to school part-time. In that time, I've managed to bag a few more voice-over roles and even managed to make my debut as a vocalist for a club song (sorta). The search for full-time employment continues, and I have gone for a few interviews, but nothing solid has come up except for one possible job I'll be doing on the weekends through to the end of the year. I really hope I get it since I need the money and it by far has the best job description I've ever heard of: selling video games. Keeping my fingers crossed on it.

But lately I've been feeling disconnected. Like everyone is on some other wavelength that I can't reach no matter how hard I try. Now I've never been able to get super close with anyone outside of a select few friends and family, but even now it feels like I'm slipping out. The bonds I've made are being pulled out of my hands and though I'm trying to hold onto them, they keep escaping my grasp. It's made me fairly lonely but I'm certain the feeling will pass once I hang out with some fellow young adults later on this month. It's probably just autumn depression or something.

Other than that, I feel I've been ignoring this little blog. Not quite sure why I have, I'm sure no one reads it. I've just been so busy that I haven't had time to write down about all that's happened and how I feel. Maybe this is a sign that this blog should end soon. I don't know, we'll see what happens.

And this is the end of the entry. You can stop reading now.

[[Track #57 End.]]
 
 
current whereabouts: for once, unknown
feelings while writing: blahblah
inspiriation music: "Beauty Is Within Us" - Scott Matthew