Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review/Analysis: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

I am ashamed to admit that I did not know much about Steve Martin prior to reading this book. I mean, I knew he was a well respected person in entertainment, but I didn't know why. My memories of him are from the film, "Father of the Bride," which I really enjoyed when I was younger. Then a few years ago, a classmate did a review about his career and spoke about how great of a comedian/performer/actor that he was and I was intrigued. Of course, life got in the way and I never got around to watching any of his old films or reading any of his plays or books... but ironically, life getting in the way correlates directly with this book. As an actor, it was such a delight to read because Steve Martin's dedication to his "craft" is inspiring. He didn't let life get in his way, he made his magic and comedy routine his life and made the right connections through his hard work and perseverance that eventually led to his success. The book was an easy read that lead me through his early days as an entertainer. I found myself laughing when he made references to his material and reading the book has inspired me to add many of his films onto my Netflix queue. More importantly, it motivates me to reorganize my priorities towards my career choice. Was this book a Nobel Peace Prize winner? Probably not, but the simple person that I am really enjoyed reading it and I am happy for all of Steve Martin's success and can't wait to build my own successes towards my dreams with the fascination and fun that Steve Martin had.

Reading Next: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Review/Analysis: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

A fiction about two friends who meet during childhood and alternates between World War II ("the war years") and 1986.

I'm certainly no book critic so I'm going to blog about whatever comes to mind. It's the first book that I've finished in a week in a very long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me how easy it is to forget the atrocities that the U.S. government committed throughout its history. It also reminded me of how cruel people, especially kids, could be. It made me upset at what parents put their children through sometimes, in the name of wanting a "better life" for their children. Parents don't always know what's best and I think only kids realize that. Sometimes when kids become parents, they forget that too. I really felt something for the kids, Henry Lee and Keiko Okabe. Innocent children who found something wonderful during an ugly period in history. I'm not going to lie, I wanted the story to end differently, but I guess I've always got my imagination. The author references a lot of Jazz music, which I was already interested in trying to "get in to," and reading this story only made me want to even more. What I got from this book was friendships should be cherished. They are these little moments that we share with a friend or a loved one that can last a life time and no matter where your friends may be (especially with all the ways to stay in touch now-a-days), friendship can last a life time. Again, there's also the cruel reminder of our shameful history... hopefully we can learn from it and not put others through the same ordeals.  There's also the simple fact that if you treat those with respect that you will get respect in return. This is one of my favorite lines in the book, "Henry, this isn't about us. I mean it is, but they don't define you by the button you wear. They define you by what you do, by what your actions say about you. And coming here, despite your parent, says a lot to them - and me. And they're Americans first. They don't see you as the enemy. They see you as a person." I feel like this book has made me a better person. As corny as that feels, I'd like to think it did. And even though they're fictional, I wish Henry and Keiko happy lives while I wonder what could have been.

Currently Reading: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

Monday, September 27, 2010

Scatter brained!!!

I'm trying to read too many damn books at once it's driving me crazy!!! So much good stuff out there that I can't focus on one book... must focus... one fiction, one non-fiction... finish, then move on dammit!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

What have I been up to...

November/2010 Performing in a Hereandnow production in Wichita, Kansas
October/2010 Filming "Night Shift" by Christopher Kurose from USC
September/2010 Taking classes with Deryn Warren
September/2010 Table read for "A Love Like This"
September/2010 Invited to join Hereandnow Theater Company
August/2010 Taking classes with Killian McHugh's Commercial Workshop
August/2010 Taking classes at the Brian Reise Acting Studio
July/2010 Cast in Boba Stories with Hereandnow Theater Company
June/2010 New head shots with John Arrington
June/2010 Signed with Angel City Talent Agency
May/2010 Table read for a Matthew Barry & Nick Cassavettes project
March/2009 Booked an Apple print job

Friday, August 13, 2010

How life goes on... remembered.

I wrote this almost two years ago when my good friend was gone... I am posting it here to remember him and my feeling about how we live our lives. My half brother recently took his own life. We weren't close, but he was always a kind person whenever we would see each other. Celebrate your loved ones' lives by living yours to the fullest.

Published October 8th, 2008:

"I'm at an age where I have all the friends in my life that I need.  My experiences have taught me who my friends/family really are and how to simply tune out the rest.  By this, I don't go around and hate or mistreat others, but there are relationships that I kindly maintain and more importantly there are the relationships that I cherish.  So one can understand how much my friends/family mean to me and why I would almost always choose to spend time with them rather than be anywhere else.  The only unfortunate thing is that within the small circle of friends, everyone enjoys different things so we can't always all be together... because if we could, my life would be complete.  I have been lucky enough to experience this on limited occasions and on those memorable days, I am grateful.

This week, my circle of friends has gotten smaller.  I lost someone I cherish to an act of hatred that reflects the world that we live in.  The reason why does not really matter to me because nothing will bring him back.  What does matter is how it has affected those that knew him.  Of course, there are those who hate him and those who love him.  For those who hate him, they probably could not care less and their life goes on... that is, until they are affected by the loss of someone they love... at which point, they will then be in the following group, those who love him... those who love him will mourn the loss of a good brother/friend/son/father/lover... they'll remember all the good and bad times they had with my friend and it will affect them in such a way, that they hopefully, will improve their own lives and relationships to improve the world in which we all live.  Then there will be those who love him and in the name of love, they will go out and enact their hatred towards those who killed him.  Who knows?  They might succeed and feel good about themselves... but wait... the loss of this person will restart the vicious cycle that was continued by the slaying of my friend.  When does it end?

My point is this:  Take this tragic event and use it as an opportunity to improve your kindness in the world.  I'm confident that if we choose to be kind to those around us that we can promote harmony that will spread.  Just think of 9/11 and the opportunity that was missed by that tragic event...

There's not much I want to say about my friend... those memories belong to our circle of friends.  Just know that he always made us laugh, always slapped us on the back of our necks, he indiscriminately mooned everybody and took pictures of it at their expense and for his benefit, he was a big kid, and most importantly he himself was always smiling and laughing.  I will miss my friend, Taine.

Please let his loss affect you positively... because I'm certain that's what he would want.  Remember to be kind, it just may prevent something like this ever happening to someone else."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Official

I am officially a college graduate!!! I never thought I'd see the day, especially since I actually planned not to finish college. It's a long story, but basically, I wasn't interested, nor did I believe that having a college degree was necessary. I spent some years trying to run my own clothing company, then I worked full-time (again) where I had the good fortune of meeting Tom Trobaugh. He planted the idea that college wasn't just about some stupid degree, rather, it was an opportunity to learn new things and possibly about the world around me. Not only that, but it was a life lesson in gaining discipline, getting organized, having the determination to finish, and so much more. It was crazy how simple he made it seem compared to the way I viewed it before. I decided to take one class during a semester, then two, then three, then the big decision had to be made. After some time contemplating whether I should quit and pursue school full-time and an acting career, I decided to make the "big leap" (for others in the acting world, the big leap was to move to Los Angeles... but since I was born here...). After 3 memorable, stressful, long, short, life changing years... I graduated with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Theater. I can admit that I am a better person for it. I feel like I know so much more about the world around me... or at least I want to know more about the world around me. I am now an advocate for finishing school if you want to. I now look forward to pursuing my acting career and having finished college... I feel like I can do anything!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dream Come True

Inception was such a refreshing movie to watch... twice. Roles and films like this only come around every once in while since films in Hollywood right now are being dominated by sequels that never meet expectations, remakes of 80's TV shows, or films from overseas.

I'm sure I missed a lot of the details even though the second time around was much clearer and even more enjoyable. But the film leaves you thinking about the world you live in and why we're each here. The seeds of ideas completely direct your life, whether in a positive or negative way and the way I look at it, it's how we perceive things. Of course, this is going to be different from person to person, but for me, it just confirms that I want to be a performer... on stage or on film... or wherever. And a film like this sparks the imagination within me and pushes me in a direction that is uncertain and exciting. Please go see this film. Please, please, please... and I'll be jealous... until I own it.

Monday, July 12, 2010


*Sigh of exhilaration!!! I feel renewed, refreshed, revived... not that I wasn't looking forward to my acting career before... but I am now inspired... I am going to take charge of my career and work at being the best actor that I can be. Look out remainder of 2010, Paul is here.

- Officially graduated with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Theater from CSULB
- New agency
- New head shots (being finalized)
- Signed up for commercial classes with Killian
- Refocused on my priorities and ready to kick butt

I will keep you updated blog!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where now?

I just got home from taking (hopefully) the last final of my college "career!" I can't stop smiling. It's been a long time coming but the day has finally arrived. There's some paperwork I need to take care of with the community college I attended before and if everything goes smoothly (hence the hopefully), I will be officially done with school. What does it matter? I really don't know... a sense of accomplishment for me, I guess. Many years ago, I decided that college was not something for me and I focused my attention on running my business, Infrared. That didn't go so well and I found myself working at a full-time job in the motorcycle industry (Vance & Hines) which I quite enjoyed... not the office part, but the traveling across the country part. It's funny how things work out, because if I didn't get the job there, I would not have met my friend Tom who guided me into deciding to go back to finish school. It was tough because I had a good job at V&H and I was comfortable... but that's what I guess I didn't like, being comfortable. So I decided that acting and school was what I wanted... the life of having no money, total insecurity, no secure job... but that was exciting to me. Three years later, I'm done with school. I've learned a lot about myself and the world since I left to finish school... and I'm glad I did it. Now I can move on to work on my acting career. To some, it's an unrealistic dream... but I don't think so. There's something about not knowing that is exciting for me. I'm not trying to be famous, I just want to perform and have fun taking on different roles, different characters, being in different worlds... even if it's only for a few weeks. It beats sitting behind a desk for the next 50 years. Will I have a big house, fancy cars, and all sorts of "cool" material things to show for it? Perhaps not, but I feel like that's not what I'm here for. I'm here to learn about myself, the world around me, the world far from me, and everything in between. I've got some personal projects I want to work on and mostly, I look forward to performing. I hope to see you all there! I want to thank everyone who stuck by me from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to being with all of you for the rest of my life... you can count on it.