Friday, November 6, 2009

Jumbotron On Your Laptop

After some technical difficulties, I have finally been able to upload all four of the Big Ten Network Commercials I shot about a month and a half ago (and first mentioned here).

You can see them full quality on YouTube, on my website, or in little blogger videos below:

#1) First Rule


#2) Email

#3) My Hero


#4) Silence

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hunting & Gathering tonight @ Walkerspace

Very excited to be reading Astor in Brooke Berman's Hunting & Gathering with No Name Theater Company tonight at 8pm at Walkerspace. Producer Jay Spece and director Michelle Tattenbaum have pulled together a great crew, including Gideon Banner, Emily Vaughan, and Maren Langdon; it should be an enjoyable evening.

Walkerspace is located at 46 Walker Street, NYC
between Broadway and Church St.

Take the N, R trains to Canal Street;
A, C, E trains to Canal Street.

Admission is free; details here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Ten Network commercial

Recently shot a series of cable commercials for
with Tallboy Films (casting by Adrienne Stern Casting).

Should be able to post them here in a few days, but a buddy of mine who was at the Vikings/Cowboys game at the Metrodome told me it's already played on the Jumbotron there.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eye of God - Director's Vision

As Director of Communications for Theatre East, I shot and edited this short clip.
Director Lisa Devine talks about what the play means for her and what she hopes to give to the audience.



Had a great rehearsal last night. Tim Blake Nelson attended and seems energized about this production. He is even going to be giving us some cuts/rewrites!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Playbill & TheaterMania

Tonight is the first night of rehearsals for Eye of God with Theatre East. Check out the write-ups in:



and



Also check out Recession This! to figure out which Metrocard to buy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Headin' East with Theatre East

I have not been posting much in the past month because I have been keeping really busy with Theatre East. First I was just bouncing ideas off of them (and vice versa) but then they made me a full-on company member and now I am on staff as Director of Communications.

I was also cast in their inaugural production, the New York premiere of Tim Blake Nelson's Eye of God. Mr. Nelson will be directly involved with the production and is even writing new material for us! (I guess he has wrapped up post-production on his new film, Leaves of Grass with Edward Norton.)

Rehearsals start next Tuesday under Lisa Devine's direction -- more soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 12 "The Actor Whisperer, Part 2"

Girl got deep into her method training for Football Princess 2. The gang brings in the Actor Whisperer to talk her down. Does it work?

Bill - William Franke
Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Alexis - Catherine Nicora
AW - Dan Truman

Directed by William Franke
Written by William Franke, Sean McCormack, & Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rokamic (ccMixter)
"Montage" by Kevin MacLeod

Monday, July 27, 2009

Goldman Sachs Can Suck It

from Working Families:

"It seems for some people, the economy isn't all that bad.

Goldman Sachs, which took in billions in federal bailouts, is back in the black. Last week they announced profits of $3.44 billion in the last quarter alone. Now they're planning to spend $11 billion in bonuses to celebrate - about $770,000 per Goldman employee.

It's enough to make the average taxpayer's head spin. Now there's another outrage: the Daily News reported yesterday that Goldman-Sachs could soon receive up to $321 million in city and state taxpayer dollars as part of an incentive program to keep their offices near Ground Zero. That's on top of $1.6 billion the investment firm has already received in publicly backed bonds and tax breaks for its shimmering new downtown headquarters.

Enough is enough. With the economy down and the city and state budget strained, now is no time for corporate welfare. I just joined the Working Families Party's campaign to stop the public giveaway by sending a personal to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Will you join me in asking him to publicly pledge he won't take more public subsidies now that his company is back in the black?

If enough New Yorkers speak out, we can embarrass Blankfein into doing the right thing."

Thanks,

Franke

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 11 "The Actor Whisperer"

Girl gets a sweet role in a kids' movie. Training goes a little too well.



Bill - William Franke
Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Alexis - Catherine Nicora

Directed by William Franke
Written by William Franke, Sean McCormack, & Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rokamic (ccMixter) "Montage" by Kevin MacLeod

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remove the Trojan Horse from Global Warming Legislation

the following is from a CREDO petition I just signed:

Dear Friend,

Your representative is about to vote on legislation designed to stop global warming. Unfortunately, members of the House who answer to the worst polluters have succeeded in including a Trojan Horse at the heart of the legislation - a prohibition on Obama's EPA being able to use the Clean Air Act to take additional action on CO2.

This little known, almost secret provision actually guarantees that the United States will fall short of doing what the scientists tell us must happen - a reduction of 80% of CO2 emissions from their 1990 level.

Mr. Obama ran for president on a very strong global warming platform which achieved the 80% reduction, launched a cap and trade market without giving away free permits to polluters, and set strong standards for boosting clean renewable energy. Special interests are warping his pledge almost beyond recognition.

But the worst and most important compromise - and the one most secret and hidden from view - is the crippling of EPA's powers. This is precisely what Newt Gingrich and the Republican-controlled House of the 1990s did to President Clinton's EPA from 1995 on. They simply prohibited EPA from enforcing many laws. We cannot let the House strip President Obama of his most powerful tool to stop global warming.

I just signed a petition to tell my representative to stand up for President Obama's best weapon to fight global warming - the EPA. I hope you will, too. Please have a look and take action.

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/trojan_horse/?r_by=4609-1476850-gZvO7Qx&rc=paste

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SmartPower Ad - Jason vs. Frank

Another one of [nod] films's entries for the SmartPower commercial contest.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SmartPower Ad - Time Machine

One of [nod] films's entries for the SmartPower commercial contest.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Generosity in Tough Times

This post is a shout out to some generous friends of mine*, to my niece** and to my uncle, Ron.

Last year, I rode in the 150-mile MS150 Bike Ride in Minnesota to raise money for multiple sclerosis research & support with my niece, Allison.

Not only did she ride the whole 150 miles, but she's doing it again next weekend!^

I realize times are tough, money is tight, and many of you have already given to other worthy causes, but if you could donate even a few bucks (I believe you can do it anonymously, too) it would be awesome. Alli is halfway to her goal of $2100, so if you can find even $5 or $10 to give, it would go a long way.^^

The MN MS Society put together a video of people living with MS and how they cope with this disease:

Alli's great-uncle (my uncle) Ron is her personal reason for riding; you can watch just his portion of the interviews here (and scroll down past the video to
read his story in his own words):


"My name is Ron Franke. After four months of symptoms, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in April of 1983. The next 13 years were a struggle, but I lived a relatively normal life. I walked, drove and worked full time. But the walking became more difficult, and during the last week of November in 1995 I took my last step. Over the next nine years my arms steadily became stiffer and weaker until they were gone. Just like the ocean waves continually pound the shoreline into sand, so did the waves of MS pound away at my mobility. But just like the ocean waves could never catch the wind, the waves of MS could not catch my attitude. Even though my legs and my arms don't work anymore, I wake up every morning with a smile. I have a great deal to be thankful for. I am a happy man. I am a lucky man.
Rather than reminisce about times gone by or dwell on my lost abilities, I choose to revel in my new life and all that I still have. I believe that people with disabilities and able-bodied people alike are often trapped by their own fears. Back during the November week when I quit walking, I was initially gripped with the fear of my loss. But soon I experienced the elation of my newfound freedom and the removal of the shackles on my withering legs. I have released myself from the prison of my fears. Now I am free. Now I can fly."

Thank you,
Bill Franke

* Specifically Alison, Andi + Hamish, Carolina, Lara, Tim, and Uma (in alphabetical order).
**And the rest of my family who is riding in the event again (I am not because it's in Minnesota and it nearly blew out my knee/IT band last year).
^My Dad, sister, and brother-in-law will also be riding again. I think this year marks my dad's 12th ride!
^^
If you are able to donate (I won't harass you), just tell Alli that you're a friend of UB's.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Der 'Stache

A [nod] film with an international flair.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 10 "Bill's Game Intervention"

Bill takes his hockey game a little too seriously. Gray and Cal intervene.

Note from Kevin Tor, the writer/Cal: That is not my hand on Bill's upper thigh. It is an unfortunate screen capture.



Bill - William Franke
Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Soon On Stage Twice

Over the holiday weekend, I learned that I booked two gigs that I had recently auditioned for. I am happy to report:

In June/July I will be playing the part of Russell in
Modern Dance For Beginners
by Sarah Phelps
with Cake Productions at the Cherry Lane Studio Theatre.
This play premiered at London's Soho Playhouse in 2002.

Owen consummates his marriage but not with the bride. Julia's handyman won't do the job he's paid for. Russell might be the grandmaster of the squalid, meaningless one night stand but all he wants to do is hold hands on the London Eye. And Frances, Frances isn't looking for commitment. Not now, not ever.

A series of encounters linked by a liaison in a hotel bedroom, Modern Dance for Beginners is a cruelly comic play about love and sex.


'Sarah Phelps's marvellous [play].... a shocking take on La Ronde. This is a play for today, and well worth catching while you can'
Metro ****

'Foul tempered, acid tongued and dripping in bodily fluids... sexy, snappy, sharp witted, dynamic and aggressive'
The Times

'Phelps certainly has a gift for sharp, fast dialogue'
The Guardian

'Raw explicit talk and personal tenderness. Highly recommended.'
Independent on Sunday



- and -

In September/October I will be playing Les in
Eye of God
by Tim Blake Nelson
with Theatre East at the Kirk Theatre on Theatre Row
This play premiered at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 1992.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back in Action

I have been back at the acting thing (not that I ever left) with a vengenance the past few weeks. Here's what I am working on recently/right now:

Animal Planet: shot a day for their upcoming Parasites miniseries (I play a doctor, not a tapeworm).NoBuddies: I know we are a little behind, but Episode 10 should be edited and up soon!
Karen Kohlhaas Directing Class: Ms. Kohlhaas, a co-founder of the Atlantic Theater Company, is teaching a Directing Class. For me it's a free scene study class, with the opportunity to audit the class on those days that we're performing our scene. I am having a great time working on the final scene from Days of Wine and Roses by J.P. Miller with Katherine McDonald and direction from Keri Seymour.

Auditioning: In addition to the seven (7) auditions I did for the above-mentioned directing class, I have gone to two EPAs for the Summer Play Festival. I've also read for a History Channel show, a Columbia student film (called back), a Stride Gum commercial and a Canon commercial. I also auditioned for Cake Productions' upcoming Modern Dance for Beginners. I was called back last night and had just as much fun as I had at the initial audition (which is to say a lot). Counting all those up (and including callbacks), I have averaged about four auditions a week for the month of May.

Proofreading: I gotta pay the mortgage somehow. I have recently begun proofreading and am happily working on my second project for Scholastic Inc.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How to Tie a Tie

Here's another [nod] film I did with Konya. Probably our quickest/dirtiest video, and it gets the most hits. Also the most comments. The positive comments are nice, of course, but what sticks with me is how, amazingly, some people are not afraid to show their ignorance.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mingering Mike

I was catching up on m'News of the Weird and saw this classic:

"...a Washington, D.C., man whose love of music led him, in the 1960s, to meticulously hand-make and hand-paint facsimile record album covers of his fantasized music, complete with imagined lyric sheets and liner notes (with some "albums" even shrink-wrapped in plastic), and, even more incredibly, to hand-make cardboard facsimiles of actual grooved discs to put inside them. "Mingering Mike," ...His 38 imagined "albums" were discovered at a flea market after Mike defaulted on storage-locker fees."

I had to Goodsearch that and found Mingering Mike's web site. Please. Check it out.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pulp Fiction

Found Thomas Allen's online gallery thanks to Very Short List. I think this one is my favorite:Also check out today's Recession This!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Obnoxious Groundhog

Found this on Travors.com (from the guy who does Garfield Minus Garfield*) and thought it was pretty damn funny (sound required):


*check out what Garfield creator Jim Davis thinks of Garfield Minus Garfield - pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dracula vs. Santa

Just found this online comic, Dracula vs. Santa (also here) via Medium Large (current favorite cartoon is Friday, May 1st ). Only 8 pages so far, and I can't wait for the rest.

Considering how awesome both Iron Man and Elf were, I think Jon Favreau is a natural to direct the inevitable Hollywood movie version.

Monday, May 4, 2009

If Teens Can Do It

This is not a post about how I am going to start being a curmudgeon soon (though I have picked up my dad's penchant for phoning in noise complaints).
Rather, I would like to highlight my pal Nicole's top-notch work on the Live Green section of the
Teens for Planet Earth web site.

Check it out; as they say "...you can't do everything. But if each person does even one thing, it all adds up to something pretty amazing."

[Photo by Kimberly Faye]

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Fitness Tips + Extra Work

My pal and Chief and 3-time (so far) marathoner, Erica, is rebooting her blog Run Like A Girl. And now she has personal trainer Coach Abby offering free fitness tips. Check it out.

And for a really astute account of what it is to be an extra (amazingly from non-career extra Kevin Tor), check out this blog post.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Walkable NYC = A Liveable NYC

This past weekend I stopped by the Earth Day Green Festival at Grand Central and picked up a brochure about vision42 - a plan to replace traffic all along 42nd Street with pedestrian zones and light rail transit.

This sounds a little bit like Bloomberg's plans for Broadway (read about those here and here).

Granted, I no longer own a car, so I may be biased towards pedestrian-centric city planning, but the thing is: it works. According to this article, "...when planners in Seoul tore down a six-lane highway a few years ago and replaced it with a five-mile-long park, many transportation professionals were surprised to learn that the city’s traffic flow had actually improved, instead of worsening." [via VeryShortList]


For more about this kind of stuff, check out these articles from GOOD magazine's latest traffic-centric issue:
And check out today's Recession This!

[Photo by Randy Levine]

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Free Earth Day Book at Grist.org

Check out this free book download from Grist.org. Register with Grist for free and get tips on how to live green every day.

Not only will you get the free e-book, but you will also be registered for a free trip to Bonnaroo '09!

And check out Recession This!

[Photo by SouthernPixel]

Monday, April 20, 2009

Design This List

Not that kind of list.

A while back Very Short List featured Listropolis. While it could just be another huge time-suck, quick browsing of today's front page yielded these interesting - yea, even useful - lists:

22 Most Used Free Fonts by Professional Designers (for design geeks)
7 Big-Ass Holes in the Earth (note the placement of the hyphen)
Top 100 Productivity and Lifehack Blogs (of course, it seems kind of counterproductive to sift through 100 blogs to be more productive)

All right, that's only three, and only the first one is (questionably) useful. But if you're in a rut, it might be a good place to jump start something new.

[Photo by Brittney Bush]

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quid Pro Quo

This image is from Lost In Transit collective's photostream on flickr. I found it when I was looking for a quid pro quo image for yesterday's post, but didn't use it, lest people thought it was by the Medium Large guy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Medium Large

Today, I'd like to tell you about Medium Large, a great web comic strip by Francesco Marciuliano. I first heard about this site from Kevin Tor and think you'll like it too. No really, I'm not just saying that because he linked to NoBuddies yesterday. It's not a quid pro quo; the stuff is funny.

It looks like he's running some classic strips this weekend, so it's the perfect time to catch up! A recent favorite of mine was "Godzilla's DVD Commentary" on April 6.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Periodic Table

Though a geek, I am not enough of a science nerd to know much 'bout chemistry. And yet, the Periodic Table of Elements holds a vague fascination for me. A while ago I came across this series of videos that show what each element does, via science experiments performed by people who sound like Monty Python and have hair like Phil Spector. Although I would like to do the experiments myself, I am A) too lazy and B) reluctant to destroy my kitchen, so these will have to do.

Check out the Gallium Beating Heart. And also check out these WNYC Radiolab shows (this one and I think this one too) that feature the Periodic Table.

[Photo by denn]


For other non-chemical Periodic Tables, check out Mental Floss. And check out today's Recession This!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 9 "Don't Mess with Taxes"

It's the day before taxes and if you don't have yours done by now, what's another 3 minutes or so going to do for you? Take that time and watch our new episode. It's tax-riffic! (This one's a personal favorite of mine, though I couldn't say why...)



Tax Day is upon us and Bill is starting to feel the pressure. Cal does nothing to alleviate it.

Bill - William Franke
Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Alexis - Catherine Nicora

Directed by William Franke
Written by William Franke & Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Scavengerjo Art on Exhibit at the Central Park Zoo

My wife, Jody, has been asked to exhibit her found-object art at the Central Park Zoo as part of their observation of Earth Week. Jody will be there all this week from 12:00-3:00; it's $10 to get in, but well worth it in my opinion. Plus, you can see monkeys.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Turning Out the Lights


I actually saw a Mythbusters episode* about this a while back, but now here is Concrete Proof from the Internet: It is almost always better to turn out the lights when you leave the room. "Start-up" energy surges are not that huge, certainly not enough to justify leaving the lights on. There are differences between traditional incandescents, fluorescents, and compact fluorescents; read the full skinny here.

As always: don't forget to check out Recession This!

*for the record, I am not as huge a fan of the show as my pal, Kmack.
[Photo by Jago Pauwels]

Monday, April 6, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 8 "Pregnant Girl -- Part 2"

SPOILER ALERT: Watch Episode 7 first before going any further.

The second part of the pregnancy episode. Will Cal do the right thing and be a father to Alexis and his baby? If you've been watching NoBuddies at all, you know the answer is no.



Bill - William Franke
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Gray - Sean McCormack
Alexis - Catherine Nicora

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Push, Week 2

All right, I know it's only April 2nd, but I started early on my vow to do 5 auditions per week for the month of April.
This week I have done three EPAs (Dorset Theatre Festival, Naked Angels, and Adirondack Theatre Festival) and thought that was going to be the end of it. But then my agent called with a voice over (VO) audition for Grey Goose tomorrow. That brings me to four! Very close. I know I said I would can it with the whole universe thing, but...I am putting it out to the universe to get me another audition before the week is out. (And to book tomorrow's gig. If that's not too much to ask.)

Actually, I think I might call it 4.25 or 4.5, since I am doing a grad student film at Columbia and, in today's class presentation, the professor asked for our head shots.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 7 "Pregnant Girl"

From NoBuddies writer Kevin Tor:
Have you ever had a pregnancy scare? All those emotions. All those evil thoughts. Never attaching a pronoun other than "it" when discussing options. We've all been there. Come with us on a two-part journey. It was so much to present that we needed 2 episodes. Part 2 is coming soon.



Will there be a NewBuddy in the apartment 9 months from now? Gray is pulling for no.

Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Gray - Sean McCormack
Bill - William Franke
Alexis - Catherine Nicora

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Callback from the Universe

All right, I will stop with the whole universe thing, but shortly after Sunday's post, I got a callback for Metropolitan Playhouse. If this keeps up, the missus won't have to find a new job! (She is one of the many victims of the recession -- and of a boss who is a colossal dickwad.)

The Buitoni shoot went well last night, if late. A nice group of people though and, while waiting to be filmed, I heard a lot of crazy interesting stories from the Venezuelan dude playing the sculptor.

[Photo from NASA - copyright free!]

Buitoni Booking from the Universe

Right before getting karate-chopped in the crotch by a prepubescent in a unitard (well, maybe not right before, but earlier in the week) I decided that I would step it up and go to five auditions a week for the month of April.
I didn't think I was going to make it, despite going to two (2) EPAs*, which both went well (one for Pennsylvania Centre Stage and another for Barnstomers Theater); (3) an appointment at Metropolitan Playhouse for their upcoming production of It Pays To Advertise; and, finally, a (4) Saturday appointment for Jeffrey with The Play's The Thing.
I was going to be just one shy, when my agent called me Friday with a last minute audition at Stark Naked Productions for a demo commercial for Buitoni. That makes five! I'm not one to believe too heavily in asking the universe for a new car and getting one, but I have to admit I had put it out there and voila! got five auditions. And then I even booked the Buitoni gig!

In other great news: Kevin Tor, the writer and co-creator of my web series NoBuddies got some recognition from Z100 and NJ's 106.3 for "Butterface," his parody of Lady GaGa's "Pokerface."

*EPA = Equity Principal Audition: open auditions required of producers by the stage actors' union, Actors' Equity, whereby any member of the union can sign up for an appointment and be seen (and, hopefully, considered) for the play(s) the producer is casting.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Z ROCK Redux

Now I know why in showbiz they say you should never work with kids or animals:
Because kids are animals. And they will karate chop you in the nuts without even blinking. At least, that was my experience over the last two days. Being surrounded by a bunch of little kids was exhausting. I have renewed respect for teachers. [And I wish I had read this article before going on set.]

I can't say much more without spoiling the episode's plot. But I will say that, from what I saw, the guys in the band are genuinely good with kids and the crew was a great bunch of people to work with.

Z Rock Season 2 starts June 7th. I appear in the 6th Episode, which should air Sunday, July 12.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Electronics Recycling Is Also a Pain

You can now recycle your old electronics at Best Buy, rather than sending them to a landfill by putting them out on the curb. If you are recycling monitors or TVs under 32", they require you to buy $10 worth of stuff at Best Buy (i.e. they charge $10/item, but then turn around and give you a $10 gift card). Check their website for locations and items not accepted.

On a related note, check out this grim photo essay from TIME Magazine.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bloodthirsty Sarah Palin

I guess former vice presidential candidate [shudder] and current governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was a caribou in a past life, given her relentless vendetta against Alaska's wolves and bears. Not only does she promote aerial hunting (not just allow - she offers a freakin' bounty) she is also planning to gas pups in the den.

Joe Cocker Captioned

This ain't mine, but my pal Brian sent me this hilarious link. If you got four minutes to kill, you could do worse.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Z ROCK!


I just booked two days next week on Z Rock, which airs on IFC Channel; season 2 starts in June.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gimme 5 (Recycling's a Pain)

In New York City, the only plastics they recycle are #1 and #2. The rest = landfill. Recycling's a pain. I realize this. Ideally, municipalities would make it easier to recycle, so you could throw your soda can or water bottle* in the trash and it would end up recycled**, not in a landfill.

There is an alternative: Gimme 5, from the folks at Preserve.

Granted, you still have to collect your #5 plastics and bring them somewhere else (in this instance, Whole Foods), but at least you won't have that stomach-turning feeling when you throw a #5 yogurt container in the trash. You can also recycle the Brita filters you are using to filter the water you're pouring into your reusable bottles (see below).

More tips for hard-to-recycle items coming soon!

* Actually, I would recommend not drinking bottled water in the first place - it's a scam! Get yourself a reusable bottle from Sigg or Klean Kanteen. If you have multiples, you can fill them in advance, leave them in your fridge, and save yourself some money on your energy bill (not to mention the money you are saving on bottled water).

** I also realize that very few things are actually recycled, but rather are only downcycled: that #1 Poland Spring bottle doesn't become a new water bottle, it becomes some weird carpet or parking lot barrier. It's still going to end up in the landfill eventually, leaching toxins into the ground and water table. Ironic, isn't it? how the bottle of water you drink today because it's "pure" will poison your water tomorrow?
[Landfill photo by D'Arcy Norman]

Friday, March 13, 2009

Teach a Man Not to Overfish

It's Friday in Lent, and that means fish. That brings us to overfishing, which is catching fish faster than they can reproduce.

Help one meal at a time (even if you're not Catholic but rather are just a fish-eater) by referring to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

If you have an iPhone (and who doesn't these days, besides me?) you can download a free app to get up-to-date recommendations of fish to avoid. (Non-iPhoners can check out the pocket guides at mobile.seafoodwatch.org.)

If you're really old school, you can print out a printable PocketMod-like version here.

[Photo by ezee123]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 6 "St. Patty's"

From NoBuddies writer Kevin Tor:

"This is our St. Patrick's Day episode in time for...yeahhhh. If you watch it, you might learn something new about St. Patrick that you can use to impress your friends as it slurs out of your mouth on the 17th. Who doesn't want to bring up a factoid to buy yourself some time before you have to drop that shot glass into your fifth pint of Guiness? We, at NoBuddies, are looking out for you."



Bill finds the gang getting a head start on celebrating St. Patty's Day.

Bill - William Franke
Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White
Alexis - Catherine Nicora

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Rush Limbaugh Is Still a Big Fat Idiot (And He's Not Alone)

I don't think I will get political too often on this blog, but this is a quick video that bears watching (besides being a little creepy).

"Despite the hysterics of a few pseudo-scientists, there is no reason to believe in global warming."
-- Rush Limbaugh [not a scientist of any kind]
It astounds me that there are still those that would deny the effects of global warming or the steps we could take to reverse it. And that some can't see that green jobs would only be a boon to the economy is flabbergasting.



Send a message by signing the petition here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 5 "The Fan"

As Kevin said:
"We're starting to get into the groove. The new episodes are indicative of the show we are trying to make. I hope you will continue to check them out and pass them along."

In this episode...
Cal makes a new friend in the form of a fan.



Bill - William Franke
Alexis - Catherine Nicora
Cal - Kevin Tor
Gray - Sean McCormack
Girl - Sue White

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spent

Dude, it was all I could do to post to Recession This! So you'll have to check that out.

And check out my updated website.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 4 "Moving Into Girl's"

After losing the house on eBay, everyone moves into Girl's. Bill's not happy with the setup.



Gray - Sean McCormack
Bill - William Franke
Cal - Kevin Tor
Girl - Sue White

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Phone

Another favorite [nod] film:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Living in Captivity - Pilot

Can't believe I haven't posted this before. Living in Captivity is a pilot that was an official selection of the 2008 New York Television Festival, written by my pals Uma, Erica, and Nicole, directed by Erica and my other pal, Todd.

It's a full-length pilot, so you'll need about 22 minutes of your lunch break or on the weekend to watch it. It's funny stuff (though I'm partial to the action around 20:15).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 3 "Hate & Switch"

Bill plays a trick on Cal and Cal gets even...sort of.
Runtime: 3:12. (See, I told you they would get shorter.)



Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor
Bill - William Franke

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rockamic (ccMixter)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Phonoharps + Koto

Saw this article about Walter Kitundu in the January/February issue of the Utne Reader.
This guy takes turntables and incorporates them into stringed instruments of all stripes.
Check it out on San Francisco Public Television via YouTube:


At about 5:24 he plays something that looks like a koto. I first heard the koto in my student days at Augustana College. Jeff Wichmann was a senior my freshman year, and he still plays it and the trumpet combined with loads of other instruments; check out his MySpace page.

Also check out today's Recession This!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cracking Up

Here is a favorite [nod] film of mine that I did with Konya Hood:

Friday, February 6, 2009

NoBuddies Episode 2 is Online!



Click here for the official NoBuddiesTV web site. Enjoy the premiere here if you haven't already and and tell your friends!

This is the last of the longer ones! Shorties from this point on! Thanks for watching!




We learn Cal and Gray's ritual for getting ready to perform. Bill needs everyone's taxes to get done. Girl shares a little secret about her childhood.

Bill - William Franke
Girl - Sue White
Gray - Sean McCormack
Cal - Kevin Tor

Directed by William Franke
Written by Kevin Tor

Music - "Flow is Special" by rokamic (ccMixter)
"Montage" by Kevin MacLeod

Monday, January 26, 2009

18,000 Bhat Fine + Maintenance + Thanks

I did not receive the fine pictured here and I am not even sure what country it is from (Thailand, maybe?) but it looked interesting, so here it is, world.

Also:
Updated the Golden Globes post with Ricky Gervais-sanctioned video [thanks to Tim N. for pointing out the original was down]. Also added the poster for Suddenly Last Summer to the puppets post.

Mainly, thanks to Tim N. for letting me know that someone is actually looking at this blog from time to time.

Check out Recession This! for links to making your own ringtones for free!

Friday, January 23, 2009

One Hit Wonders of Sundance


Being an actor, I thought it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the new prodigies coming out of this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Then I got an e-mail from Sundance listing the 25 Top Directors Who Haven't Done Anything Since They Were All That in Park City (or something like that).

On the one hand, this justifies any laziness on my part; on the other, it's a little saddening.

Also: don't forget to check out Recession This!

Photo by Pedrojperez via Morguefile.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Machinima + Mommy's Not a Pole Dancer, Sweetie

More Machinima
I made some corrections to the Señor Nugget post, since GamePlay HD is no more. It now has a link to the YouTube page where most of the sketches ended up.

I see machinima everywhere now. Even my pal, Kevin Tor, is in on it. Check out this video someone did of his comic version of Hey There, Delilah (though I still like Tom Jones's version better):

And here's Kevin's original video:


Mommy's Not a Pole Dancer, Sweetie
Alright, when I started this I told you (you = the one or two friends of mine actually reading this blog) it was going to consist of other stuff I found. (I'm not lazy, I'm busy. No, really.) Anyway, I found this hilarious post on Non Fat Venting With Whip (which I found because she also follows Kevin Tor's blog).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yes He Could, Even Then


President Obama is foregoing the brush-clearing in Crawford, TX and instead heading right into the brush-clearing in Washington, DC. My sister made me aware of these college photos of student Obama. [via Time]

Also, check out yesterday's Recession This! blog post.
Photo by kakisky [via Morguefile]

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NoBuddies Pilot Premieres Today!



Click on the logo for the official NoBuddiesTV web site. Enjoy the premiere and tell your friends!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Puppets for Grown-ups




















I don't know anything about this guy, but I just learned Dan Hurlin will be doing a puppet show at St. Ann's Warehouse about "portrait photographer Mike Disfarmer, who for decades shunned his family and neighbors while operating the only portrait studio for miles around Heber Springs, Arkansas."
It looks intriguing, and reminds me of a show I did in Minneapolis years ago with Broken Mind Theater, a company formed by Sesame Street on Ice puppet builders. We did a production of Tennessee Williams's Suddenly Last Summer and I played Mrs. Venable via a bunraku puppet. It was a great experience.

It's not funny or anything, but to get a feeling for Hurlin's work, check out the video:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Senor Nugget


My pal, Tom, is the creative genius behind Señor Nugget [formerly] on GamePlay HD [R.I.P.]. You can check out some episodes here, or check out his genius Machinima Rock Opera Breakaway.

Oh, I drew the logo. So it's still about me, too.

Watch for a new webseries I'm in and directed coming out Thursday.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Golden Global Tacos

The wife and I had some of the Urban Tribe - Queens contingent over for Taco Night and to watch the Golden Globes. It was actually more entertaining than I had expected, especially Ricky Gervais. I am not a slobbering RG fan, but his impromptu bit as a presenter was pretty hilarious. The only video I could find is kinda crappy and does not include the whole bit, but it gives a taste:


[thanks to Tim N. for pointing out the old video was down]

Also, check out Recession This! to learn how to get the latest book from Suze Orman for free.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Face on the Wall

This is a picture I took at the Smith & 9th Streets G stop (get your mind outta the gutter).
I think it looks like a shadowy, sinister drawing of a man's face peeking out from behind the peeling paint. But it's just paint/mold in randomly occurring patterns.
Consider your mind blown.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Puppy Dogs & Energy Savings

Check out this funny video about the sequel to Marley & Me by Kevin Tor on YouTube. And, to make up for his heartlessness, here's something so cute your spleen will rupture. (I am posting cute clips on my 2nd blog post. It is the beginning of the end already.)

Kevin and I will be shooting more webisodes this Saturday, and the first episodes will start posting later this month. Watch for them.

Also check out the Recession This! blog that I contribute to for some simple tips for saving money on your energy bill.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Alarm Bells & Wacky Germans

All right, new year, new blog. I'll try to keep them short and hopefully you will find something of interest in each one, whether they're my thoughts or (more likely) things I find interesting to link to.

Like this one. Foreign Policy magazine's "Think Again" section is a pithy dissection of popularly held beliefs on various topics. This issue's topic is one important to me: Climate Change. Read it -- the parts about the Arctic ice melt that is decades ahead of predictions, the coming wars for food and resources -- and you won't think we can sit on our hands any longer.

On a lighter note: even though I studied German and speak it and like things German, this New Year's I was surprised to learn of the German tradition of watching Dinner for One on New Year's. Go figure.
picture © Nicolas Raymond