Who Watches The Watchmen?

With the concept of Karma being a real thing, it made my mind go philosophical for a moment.  I did some research and learned a new Latin phrase: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Roughly translating to, “Who watches the watchmen?”

It’s a question for the ages for sure, and Socrates used it in his writings in order to spur the ideas of a tyrannical government.  I was a little surprised to discover that it was actually borrowed from Jevenal, a Roman Satirist, which goes to show that even sometimes the best of writers borrow from other sources.

Regardless, if Karma were proved to be a real thing, I don’t believe that it would change the way I live my life.  I’m always making an effort to make life easier for others, to be a good husband, father, and son.  I know that my life is not my own, my daughters are a constant reminder of that, and many of the principles I live by are based on a passage in the bible:

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. – Luke 9:24

The Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have other do to you – would also work in its place.  And after taking a quick look at the Wikipedia article for it, I see that there is a LOT more to it than just the Christian ideal.

Do I believe in Karma?  I believe that there will come a judgement day, in which we will all stand before God to give an account for our deeds and misdeeds in this life, and that will determine our place in the world to come.  I know that if I am found wanting when that day comes, there will be no time to make amends for the hour of repentance will have passed, so now is the day to live the live you want God to judge.  If that is a form of Karma, then yes.

Do I believe that you are going to get in an accident because you cut me off in traffic?  Not as much.

But I do know that my children will be picking out my nursing home, so I do my best to raise them.




Ask A Pony


I mentioned in a previous post about my passion for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  To give a clearer idea of just how far I’m willing to go for this, take a look at the picture above.  The one on the right – clad in red plaid, red ears, and orange wig – is me in cosplay as Big Macintosh.

Some might jump on me for wearing a costume anytime that is not October 31, and some might further question my masculinity for impersonating an animated, colourful equine.  You might also notice that I’m not the only one in the picture.  This was a photo of the panel group in which I participated that day.  We took on the personas of the characters and answered questions in their manner.  It was a challenge to stay in character and to coordinate with everyone else.  However, most of us had to pay for our own admissions, and therefore we were not doing this for any sort of pay.

We were all doing this for the sheer fun and enjoyment of playing the role of these characters.

This is also the third time the panel has been put on, and the second time I have participated.  While I would love to say that each time has been progressively better than the last, I would be wrong.  This year’s cast was significantly smaller than 2013, but we still have plans to continue the panel.

Improv of this degree is a bit easier for me to handle, since the questions are directed to the characters, and not myself.  Perhaps it’s just my way of figuring how to cope with life by finding a happier, colourful way to express myself.

Even if my character is rather taciturn.

The Art Of Being An Artist

Being a veteran to the stage and screen, I know that there are a lot more roles to be filled in productions than director, producer, or lead actor.  True there is the role of the writer, which gets glanced over, but with theatre, you have the stage manager, assistant directors, makeup teams, wardrobe, technical director, sound tech, light tech, ushers, ticket sales, advertising & media.

There is a LOT more going on behind the scenes than some people realize.  Such that it can get a little confusing how productions are put together.  Take for example animated films.  When released domestically, you can have a big name actor selling the film, because their voice is featured in the marquee.  When it gets an international release, and gets a dub in the local language, then things change.  Owen Wilson was a little perplexed why he was invited to the foreign premiere for Cars, when he wasn’t voicing his own character.

That’s not to say that all voice actors step back for international work.  In The Prince of Egypt, the opening song was sung my the original actress, in every language the film was released.  Sadly, I can’t find anything to back that up except from hearsay from my own experience.  Though Wikipedia states that the director initially laid a scratch track for Miriam singing a lullaby to Moses when she put him in the river.  It was going to be replaced my Sally Dworsky’s later on, but it turned out so well, they decided to keep it.

That was something that happened quite a bit in Shrek.  The crew would lay scratch for the animatics, and when it came time to cast for the roles, they couldn’t find anything to match the level of the previous tracks, so they kept them in.

Mark Walton, who I had the pleasure to meet at Calgary Expo in 2009, also had the same experience.  When they were laying the scratch dialogue for Rhino the Hamster, they had Mark step in and do some recording.  He had experience in front of the microphone for other Disney features such as Home On The Range doing background voices, after all.  But when the time came to cast, they kept thinking back to Mark’s performance.

I really wish that I had access to a video of the following, which we saw at his panel at Calgary Expo, but I have not seen a shred of it since then.

When they had reached the decision to cast Mark Walton officially, they decided to trick him into telling himself.  They took him into the studio to re-record some previous lines, and as he was reading the dialogue, without thinking, he read the line they had sneaked in, “I’m the voice of Rhino.”  When he read it, he stopped mid-sentence, and read it aloud to the director, posing it as a question instead of a statement, “I’m the voice of Rhino?” to which the director replied, “You got the part!”

Mark then proceeded to start jumping and screaming in delight, to which the audience at the panel roared with laughter.  After the laughter had died down, we all found that Mark was STILL screaming in delight off camera!  The audience started laughing again for another good minute.

Though I have done a lot of work on stage in various roles, I have not been the lead actor.  A year and a half ago I wrote, directed, and starred in my own short production, which I would not want to do again.  But one thing I would love to do, is voice acting work.  Just need to get my demo together, as I have had some training already, and I’ll start shopping it out!

Might need an ACTRA membership too.

Regardless, I have another job, and I need to get going so I’m not late for it.

The Nicest Full-time Shipwreck

After reviewing a few blogs for inspiration, my mind was starting to feel very mish-mashed and condensed.  Any kind of sense I could pull from it was coming apart at the seams.

This may be largely due to the amount of sleep I have had over the past week, combined with my workload at my daily employ being more than usual as we have had some people off sick, AND I had to do some serious number crunching to come up with a Business Finance Statement for 2013.

So instead of something deep, inspiring, and witty, I figured it best to throw caution into a bucket of perchloric acid and post a product demo of a ridiculous kitchen appliance.

Good night!  I’ll be funnier and more eloquent in the morning.  Or at least rested.