Previously, I’ve written about getting back on stage and doing more acting than I did last year. It’s been a slow start for that side of my artistic careers this year as my focus has been mostly on music, but today was a step in the right direction and it was a fun, hilarious and laid back step to say the least.
I’ve recently become part of a team dedicated to the creation of a series of side-episodes related to a Sci-Fi series’ universe and story lines. It’s kind of like the extra features on a Blu-Ray where you see featurettes based in the universe of the movie, but not necessarily directly tied into the main storyline of the movie itself. It can relate to main characters of the story, main events, and even known locales, but it’s the kind of content that if it didn’t exist or if you didn’t happen to watch it, that wouldn’t take away from the main series. But if you do watch it, it can add a whole new (awesome) level of depth and layers to the main season.
I’m not sure how much more I can say about it other than that at this point, but I can tell you how good it felt to be creating material in front of and behind the camera. It was great. It was funny. And at times it was surprising to draw blanks in my mind when trying to come up with clever lines. I know it’s because I’ve been out of practice with my improv skills, but I just need to sharpen that comedic blade, shake the rust off, and keep it going so that I can get my flow back once again. This was actually the second opportunity this month to get some time on camera, but I think I was feeling a little more pressure than the last one because this material will actually be cut together and presented, whereas the last session (with a different team) was more of a screen test and workshop for the creators. Both were a lot of fun, but with this one having higher real-life stakes, I could feel a bit of that excited-nervousness pop up now and again.
I think I could have been on top of my game more, but now I have something to look forward to and to improve upon for when we next meet. I’ve always liked making movies, even as a kid. I figured how to use my Dad’s big and bulky VHS camera when I was really young, and when my Dad upgraded to a better camera, I would use the old VHS camcorder to make my own silly videos. I was a huge fan of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from the first North American episode, and I realized that some of their “special effects” were simple camera tricks involving starting and stopping the camera while characters were in mid-jump to make it seem like they would disappear and reappear. Now, of course, I was the only one in the house making these videos, so I would play both the villain and the hero and the camera man, disguising myself in a cloak and a “faceless” halloween mask and changing my voice as the villain, and using retractable two-sided lightsaber-esque weapons as the hero. And while this session was more “professional” it had that same playfulness that I miss from my home-made movie career. (Which in the end, had an audience of one: myself.) It helps that the team I’m with are some of the funniest characters I’ve worked with in a while, and it definitely makes me want to step up my game for the next round.
And just like the other recent dives into my creative side, today reminded me how much I love what I do and how important it is to me to never stop working for that successful career as an artist and a performer.