Chaotic Moon Sponsor from Hell reel for the Moontower Comedy Festival, starring me!

I think I was tweeting a lot last week about how tiring it is to be an actor. I was literally exhausted and became sick with a 102.5F fever after the two and a half days of intensive filming we did putting together the above shorts for Chaotic Moon’s sponsorship of The Moontower Comedy Festival, which is happening today through the 25th right here in Austin, Texas. If you go to the show, you’ll see some of these between the acts. If you’re there Friday night, hopefully I’ll see you there!

Big thanks to my good friend, Ben Lamm, for trusting me to portray him in these, and thanks to Jim Ritts, for being an excellent co-star. Also, great job by Chaotic Moon’s marketing department, especially Chad Darbyshire, who was both writer, director, and puppeteer, and Zack Daschofsky, who wrangled most of the props together.

I have a new-found respect for actors too. I don’t think I could ever do this as a full-time job. You have to be too intense for very short bursts, followed by sitting around bored out of your skull while lighting is being set up.

UPDATE: Check out the raw cut of that maniacal laugh…

Also notice how red my face turns. I totally had a headache after that take. But, hey: I commit to the bit! #comedy

UPDATE NUMBER 2: Check out the official press release…

Here’s the details:

For Chaotic Moon, the festival is a great opportunity to support local and international comedy talent. “It’s also a great event for our clients and let’s us reward our entire organization,” said Lamm. “Our team works very hard, they deserve to kick back and have some fun at the show.”

The videos feature a series of increasingly outrageous exchanges between Lamm, played by Chaotic Moon’s EVP of Technology, C.K. Sample, and the actual Jim Ritts. Among other things, the sketches parody the involuntary tattooing of festival comedians, an attempted blackmailing of Jerry Seinfeld and a menacing taser drone employed to persuade Ritts into Lamm’s way of thinking. The rest of the cast is made up of Chaotic Moon employees, including a cameo by Mike Erwin, Chaotic Moon’s co-founder and CFO, as an annoyed elevator repairman.

Originally, Lamm was cast to play himself, but his heavy travel schedule, due to the company’s rapid growth and new offices in Dallas and Houston, caused a last minute casting change. “I was bummed, but I knew C.K. and Jim would kill it, and they did.”


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Full-blown cowboy at the RMHC Austin 26th Annual Bandana Ball

Saturday night, Kristin and I attended the 26th Annual Bandana Ball, and I got a chance to wear my grandfather’s cowboy hat. It was fun and for a charity that helps families in times of need. We also won a chair in the silent auction that will be a nice addition to the home decor, once we actually arrange to have it delivered.

Also they had a photobooth on site with props!
Thanks to Mark & Courtney for the invite!

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Angry Dad Gamer in Austin recap, a note on acting & the Moontower Festival

I tweeted about this earlier in the week, but this past Monday, I was on Victor’s show, Angry Dad Gamer, playing Halo The Master Chief Collection and chatting. We also announced my bid for the Presidency of The United States of America, but no one submitted the episode to reddit yet, nor has the $5000 been raised yet, nor have I filled out any of the forms to make it official. So, we only have a few days left in the 15 from announcement to get all that filed. Get to work internet!

In any case, in case you didn’t tune in the other night, here’s the video:

Check it out.

It was fun, but then Tuesday through Thursday of this week, I had to do actual acting, as I was playing the part of Chaotic Moon CEO, Ben Lamm, for some comic shorts that will play at the Moontower Festival. This was on one hand fun, and should result in some great funny skits for the show starring yours truly, but man, would I hate to be a professional actor. It’s all high energy followed by boredom followed by high energy followed by boredom, in little 10-30 second loops, and it is exhausting. After we wrapped shooting Thursday morning, I ended up leaving work early, because I was so tired. By the time I got home, I was feeling hot and found that I was running a 102.5 F fever that knocked me out of commission for the rest of the week.

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Making music

I’ve been playing around with music again. For my birthday, I ordered Teenage Engineering’s Factory OP-16 synth, which has been fun to tinker with. Here’s a quick series of patterns I slammed together into a track on it:

I’ve been trying to get it to play nicely with my Kaossilator 2, but they don’t sync, so it’s all upon my impeccable timing to get them totally aligned, which is a little difficult. In addition to this little bit of tinkering fun, a few weeks back, some coworkers and myself rented out some studio space and jammed for 3 hours. It was so much fun, we’re doing it again this Thursday night. I went and got a short in my guitar fixed today at Guitar Center and also got it restrung. The guy working on it was like “ooooh, this is a 78? Nice.” Sometimes I forget I have a really nice, somewhat rare guitar. I was looking at amps, because I need a new one, and walking around and suddenly I heard *my guitar*. I was sort of surprised that I recognized it’s tone across the way once the tech fixed it, but I totally did. Anyway, fun stuff.

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TUAW and Engadget #tuaw4ever

The saddest news about Aol. shutting down TUAW today is that TUAW has finally lost the battle against Engadget.

Don’t get me wrong. Engadget is great. Weblogs, Inc. was built upon the success of Engadget. Engadget was a blogging machine built by Brian Alvey, Jason Calacanis, and Peter Rojas after Jason successfully persuaded Peter to jump ship from Gizmodo and build a better Gizmodo. The audience followed Peter’s star power as an established gadget and technology blogger, Engadget started out-scooping Gizmodo, and it was a success. Weblogs, Inc was a machine of blogs built to feed off and grow the traffic that was contained by Engadget. Engadget linking to all the other sites legitimized those sites in Google’s eyes at the time and those sites all linking back to Engadget made Engadget even more relevant to Google and it started regularly beating Gizmodo and other tech sites in searches for keywords. “Sony released a new Vaio, let me research buying it before I go to Circuit City and pick it up.” User goes to Google, searches for “new Sony Vaio” and Engadget started becoming the first result. That structure, combined with a pack of some of the hardest working people I’ve ever known, is a very brief summary of what made Weblogs, Inc a success and an acquisition target in AOL’s eyes.

TUAW (and Joystiq, in a different way) was different. It was a site that at any moment could become irrelevant and absorbed into Engadget because it was another tech blog and a percentage of its posts were duplicative of posts on Engadget. However, (like Joystiq), TUAW was differentiated by a separate audience. A fanatical audience. People who liked to not think differently, but to think different. It was also not a professional blogging machine. It wasn’t just another tech blog. It was attitude. It was it’s own voice.

It was also farm league for Engadget. Barb was leaving TUAW in 2005 and on her way out, Jason, Judith, and Barb brought me in. As all of you know who know me: I am all attitude. I am opinionated. I am blunt. I am also playful. And so was TUAW. We weren’t chasing the pro-blogger thing. We were the other, slightly less loved kid, who often acted out.

That was unique. That’s what Aol. is killing today. #tuaw4ever

At least that’s my take. Take it for what it’s worth.

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