Time, I can has more?

Hardly wishing to neglect my blog, it just seems as though there has been a lot going on or I have otherwise not been motivated to talk about all the interesting things I want to report.

But here I am, I find myself with some time to address this issue.

As most of you who know me and have heard me talk about music, you will likely be aware that I have quite the obsession with Bloc Party. I would go as far as to say that they are my favorite band and have been so for quite sometime. For the longest time I’ve thought that I had a rather complete collection of all the tracks that they had released, though today I find that this is far from the case.  I was looking around Itunes today and realised the extent to which Bloc Party songs have been remixed. I have quite a few amazing remixes of what are already fantastic songs, but I stumbled across a whole bunch I’d never heard and instantly loved.

I find that when you have a music obsession like the one I do, you want to collect everything you can. Part of it is so you can compare the extent of your fandom to other fans.The other part of it is that you adore everything that said band has ever released (regardless of it’s quality) which also means that any new song you can get is the new thing you can thrash as you’ve already well-thrashed everything you’ve got.

Recently my Sassie pointed me to the music blog Tympanogram. I’m glad I came across these guys as they seem to have some similar preferences to my own and I suspect it’s going to be another successful way for me to expand on my musical tastes. Recently one of the authors wrote an entry on some Bloc Party rarities which included a couple of available files. I had already accumulated these tracks through various means, but I left a comment mentioning the fact that I had not been able to find the track Cavaliers and Roundheads. In response to myself and another commenter, I now have the trackCavaliers and Roundheads so a big shout out to Tympanogram, thanks dudes.

I know now that I have a lot of collecting to do, which is a good thing, as it still means there is plenty more for me to experience. As a parting note for this entry, I recently learned that the music video for one of the latest Bloc Party singles One Month Off is a homage to the early stop-motion nursery rhyme projects of Ray Harryhausen.

I will provide you with some links to check these out yourself: Mother Goose Stories. Now compare this to Bloc Party’s One Month Off. Very cool.

More from me soon.

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My Mention Of The WC Project

Today it was quite difficult to get back into the swing of work. Usually I’m fine on a Monday, but I wasn’t quite with it today. I guess the last couple of weekends have been without a great deal of rest, not really allowing for me to catch up on anything resembling reasonable amounts sleep. I didn’t sleep very well the Friday night just passed and I had to get up before 7:00am for the second consectuitve Sunday in a row. I’ve had shooting for the Winding City Project these last two Sundays. Yesterday was especially trying as it was a lot of concentration and having to keep your energy up for the better part of 10 hours. Not an easy task by anyone’s standards.

I’ve had an interesting experience on the project so far. Intially I had anticipated playing the otherworldly, and more enigmatic Kaellos. However, it became appparent that the project was without two of the major characters, so I took on the role of the slightly more mundane Bram. There were a couple reasons why I favoured the Kaellos character over Bram:

Kaellos is a smaller part and so I felt I would be more confident in being able to achieve what was demanded of me. I also didn’t really have a very clear idea of what Bram was about as he is far more complex and a lot harder to fully come to grips with. I was also concerned about whether I would even be able to faithfully play a character that has a gay romantic plotline.

The primary reason I took on the Bram character was that there was no one else to do it by the time it was planned to get shooting underway. I mean the opportunity to get back into acting would never be dismissed, so it wasn’t like I did it reluctantly.

After 3 relatively successful full days of filming, I’m really glad I have had the challenge of playing Bram. It took a while to even get comfortable with the idea of playing this role, let alone trying to come to grips with portraying a character who, if attempting to sum up briefly, could be described as uncertain. I don’t want to talk about it too much about it for fear of revealing too much about how events and the plot unfolds, suffice to say it’s not been an easy character to try and bring to life.

Which is why I guess it’s been rewarding. I’ve been out of my comfort zone for three whole days and it wasn’t till the end of the Sunday just passed that I actually feel like I’ve achieved something rewarding. We’ve still got a quite a bit to get in the can but it feels like, at least for me anyway, that the really hard yards are over. I’m looking forward to the remaining shots that I have to shoot and trying to be just that little bit more anamated and interesting each time. 

Just wanted to quickly say, the green screen set was really awesome, I liked watching myself and Elliot move around in front of it. Mainly because what you get on camera looks nothing like what you are experiencing standing in the middle of an apartment lounge (where the screen was set up).

Obviously, I will have more to report on the project in coming posts, what with all the shooting and rehearsals being full of fun, memorable moments.

No luck with the audition

So I found out recently that I wasn’t considered for a role in the production of Midsummer Night’s Dream that I auditioned for. It’s not entirely unexpected, I was by no means amazingly good and their were lots of people auditioning so they could easily fill the roles.

The only reason it bothers me is that I wasn’t even considered for a call back. But that’s all one, I guess I feel this way because I actually felt good about the initial audition for a change. Still, it’s not really about whether you can do it, or how well, it’s about whether you’ve got the right look and feel for the director putting the show together.

The producer rang me up this week and asked me if I wanted to be involved in any other capacity on the show, as I had indicated that I had other skills which might be of use. She wanted to put me in touch with the costume designer to work with in a creative capacity. I’m not sure of a name, but I was told that she has previously worked with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, so it sounds like they’ve got someone with experience on board.

It’s by no means an immediate commitment, so I’ve got some time to consider whether this is the kind of thing for me. I’ve done a bunch of costume design previously and have otherwise been encouraged by directors of shows I’ve been in, telling me (where I’ve taken it upon myself to assist in costuming) that I have an eye for detail. 

At least that’s something huh.

In other news, I’m undeniably white 🙂

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com

It seems like there is a lot going on…

It seems as though there have been a lot of events and various things that have happened since I’ve posted last, though I’ve not mentioned any of it on here. So I will cover various things that I’ve meant to write about in slightly less detail.

After the Star Wars game that I mentioned in my previous post, Giffy and an entourage of friends came down and picked me up to take me up to Waiterere. I stayed over the night and enjoyed the small amount of time that I had with my friends and my Sassa. The highlight for me was swimming in the ocean for the first time this summer. It was kinda overcast when we went out, but thankfully I was peer pressured into it. I love ocean swimming, but mostly only when the beaches are unpopulated by other people, except friends. So while I was a bit skeptical at first, the crashing waves and the presence of friends made it really fun.

I also celebrated my first ever Valentines this year, which turned out to be a relaxing and very lovely affair. In every previous year, I’ve been single come valentines day, so it was a real novelty for me. I’ve never really had anything against the occasion like many do, generally I didn’t even acknowledge it as it’s not really an event that single people get much out of. I mean sure, you can spend time with friends, give a valentine to a secret crush etc, but ultimately the kind of expressions and feelings associated with the day are most rewarding for those in an existing relationship.

I enjoyed being able to do a whole lot of little things to treat my special lady. And not big surprises all at once, but things that would reveal themselves over the course of the day. I also received some very sweet presents too and as I had no prior engagements that weekend, it was nice to be able to relax. It was the same weekend where Jenni linked to a page on http://www.asofterworld.com, which is the first time I’d come across it and I spent a couple of hours browsing through all the old posts. There’s something about the images that makes me really fond of it, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly at the moment.

I’ve auditioned for Stagecraft’s upcoming production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s easily my second favourite of Shakespeare’s comedies, after Twelfth Night, so I thought it would be fun to put my monkey back in the box that is stage acting and see what happens. It turned out that the Director was running group audition sessions which meant that I actually had *fun* at an audition! Usually auditions are tedious things where you need to prepare a random monologue and perform it cold in front of a scrutinising panel maybe consisting of director, producer and stage manager etc. This archaic form of auditioning is not really conducive to finding people who are best suited for a particular role, so I’m glad it was different.

I was a bit rusty at first and the passgaes chosen were not cut in any form, meaning they were fairly convoluted in places. I still had a lot of fun, especially since Grant and Regan were auditioning at the same time as me. Apparently they have 80 or so people lined up to audition for the show, so the director indicated that no one is guaranteed a role. This was also quite daunting as our audition group were talented, animated and as a whole, competent stage actors. That being said, there is still some hope for me getting role, as only about 20 of the 80 people auditioning were male, which means I’ve got better odds for being offered a role 🙂

We’re going to be trucking through the remaining filming of Winding City, starting this Sunday. I’m a bit nervous about the whole thing and while the projects’ been pretty cool, I’m looking forward to these first episodes being over and done with. The reason being is that we started in November when I liked my hair, but since then I’ve wanted to get rid of this long, annoying, and frankly unattractive do for a long time. I was a bit miffed that all 4 episodes of the show have been written as occurring on the same night, so I need to wait till all the filming is complete before I cut it off :/

Finally, here’s the intense awesomeness that is White Lion (maybe they are just called Lion?) doing the theme for the original Transformers movie. It’s a must see and must hear for it’s amazing hair metal-ness:

Dawn of Defiance

For over a year now, I’ve been involved in a monthly game of D20 Star Wars, Saga edition. We are playing through the Dawn of Defiance campaign as it’s being released, which is being facilitated by Luke (not to mention, being re-written as the adventures are often a little bit lame).

Because it’s D20 and because it can be quite fun, Luke puts a lot of effort into creating the various encounters, utilizing the many miniatures that our group has between us, as well as the library of floor tiles that Luke owns.

Our most recent game ran on the Saturday just past and our characters at this point were level 13. We’ve all been looking forward to the main encounter of this session for a long time as Luke was able to break out his AT-AT figure. It’s to the same scale as the other miniatures, so it’s absolutely gigantic. I share with you the map just before our characters erupted into the scene.

ATAT

The Imperials didn't think we would be crazy enough to attempt a resuce of our ship if they stationed an AT-AT nearby!

It was a proud moment to have my Jedi character redirect one of the ordinance like laser blasts straight back at the thing. 🙂

The whole session was fun and the spaceship combat that ensued after this particular scene was badass. 🙂

Reptilian Complex

Generally speaking, I don’t often recall my dreams much after the point where I wake up and prepare for any given day. I did have a dream last week which I recall part of relatively vividly.

I think for the most part it was inspired by having watched Almost Famous the night before at Movie Night. I was the new drummer for The Strokes and we were touring around bars. The rest of the band were really laid back and really supportive in showing me the ropes. I already new all the new songs but was still learning the old repertoire. Suddenly some kind of conflict broke out with another band present and it was decided to resolve the situation by having a rock off (naturally). Unfortunately, we had to play the old stuff so I stood back as the vocalist took over the percussion too. To be honest, it’s pretty weird, considering the fact that I’ve no idea what any of the band are like and only a rough idea what they look like.

I must say that it was a pretty sweet dream regardless, but it’s a perfect opportunity to bring up the fact that I recently added Room On fire, to my Strokes collection.

It’s the second Strokes album and was released (ages ago in October 2003). It’s an important album to mention as the single Reptilia is what sold me on the Strokes. Many will attest to the addictive quality of the killer guitar riffs that erupt from the beginning, right the way till the end of the track. The energy of which is matched by the steady but powerful rhythm section, the raspy, seething vocals give it an amazing edge that completes the package.

All that being said, I also love the other singles that were released from this Album at the time, 12:51 and The End Has No End.

I think what impresses me the most is that The Strokes have an amazing consistency of quality across all three of their album releases. I would like to say that Room on Fire is my favorite album they’ve released, but that’s only because it’s the one I’m listening to at the moment.

The Strokes

Looking at Is This It, I loved the tracks Take It Or Leave It, Hard To Explain, and Soma. Listening to First Impressions Of Earth, A whole bunch of tracks stand out (You Only Live Once, Ize Of The World and Electricityscape). I’m always impressed with a band where it’s hard for me to decide which album is the stand out, usually a band’s style is so liable to change as they are taken in different directions by new influences.

Not so with The Strokes. Far from stagnant when it comes to variety, it really goes to show that their is no point in changing a good thing, especially when that good thing is a rock styling which seems to span generations of fans.

Nothing is too OTT for Muse

We were listening to Muse at work and I proposed to my workmate Adam that nothing was too over the top for Muse. Because their songs are always so uncompromisingly epic, any ridiculous scenario that you put the band in seems plausible. Quotes from this conversation include:

“I feel that Matt (vocalist/composer) and the guys from Muse should inhabit a mansion located on the moon”.

Muse would enter their gigs in any of the following ways:

“rickshaws carried by giant  robosapiens.”

“Individually, but by various different jet-packs.”

“Horse-Drawn carriage, but instead of horses, the carriage is drawn by beautiful women in faux Victorian outfits riding motorcycles.”

“Out of the Tardis.”

Muse, live in concert.

Muse, live in concert.

Nothing is too OTT for Muse, if they could arrive by a single bolt of lightning I would not be at all surprised if they did.

 

Currently Listening- Why don’t you guess 😉

Character Creation

I’ve got a few things to catch up on in reporting about, including my account of Kapcon 18. Recently  though, I’ve been thinking about the various scenarios that I’ve written for Kapcons’ past and how I create characters for those scenarios.

When I go about creating a scenario for Kapcon or the SDC, I typically start with a system that I want to run or a genre that’s really got my attention at the time of my inspiration.  What follows is a basic arc that I would ideally want the plot to follow; this is usually broken down into 3 or 4 acts.

At this stage, it’s an incredibly rough outline as when I sit down to create the characters, their personalities and histories are integrated into the plot. For the most part my previous games have been pretty superficial, by that I mean the characters and their relationships are built separately to the plot and tend to operate that way in play too.

At the moment I’m writing a scenario where hopefully the characters histories are going to be a little more immersed in the overarching plot, which should hopefully be a bit of a change of pace for me.

What I wanted to discuss though, was the way that I come up with characters for my scenarios. It’s actually rather simple, I tend to steal any character concepts that I’m exposed to at the time of writing and if their basic concept fits, I mold them into the scenario. I won’t take a concept that won’t fit, but if I can find parallels in the world I’m writing in, then stealing the character is fair game. After I steal 3 key concepts for characters, the remaining 2 characters usually full into place as necessary for group dynamics to work, or interesting elements that link the plot to the group. This is assuming I’m writing for a 5 player game (which is my preference :))

For example: Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of Supernatural (which I totally love BTW) and totally love the Winchester family. At the same time I was thinking of the characters that would inhabit my Cthuhlutech game, and loved the dynamic of the two brothers, Sam and Dean. So what do I do, I steal the basic concepts and begin to mix them into my scenario with incredibly promising results.

Obviously, a lot of my games have directly taken characters in their entirety (Super Stir fry Samurai, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Pizza Cats are examples), but the above principal applies even for characters that I play in long term games.

What about you? How do you create characters for your scenarios or other forms of writing? I’m interested to know how others approach the creation of a roleplaying scenario, more specifically, how you build characters in?

Currently listening: Boy Kill Boy- On My Own

A New Beginning

If you’re reading this, likely you know me or I’ve pointed you in this direction some how. Welcome to my new interweb space, the reasoning behind it being that I wanted somewhere spiffy and new to talk about any creative endeavors I’m currently involved with or anything cool and interesting that I wanted to share.

I will still be keeping up to date on my Live Journal activity, but I like this forum as it’s pretty and will encourage me to talk about anything that I’m currently working on or share reviews on rad music, TV/Movies or games that I’ve come across in my travels.

So please, watch this space my dear Honchos 😀

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