Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What's in a [21st Century] Name?

[My video was taken down for copyright infringement so made this because techmology.]

I love finding out people's screen-names and gamertags. It's like finding out their true names, their real names.

What someone chooses to call themselves says a lot about them. It also makes it easy to sift through the throngs of digital personalities encountered online. For instance, if your name is something like realc00lguy34, then I automatically know you're not a real cool guy. Or if your name is CurtisTiberius or Undomiel, I know immediately that you are most definitely worth my time.

It is comforting, at least, that in this age of online profiles and footprints, of perceived virtual anonymity and emerging digital personas, that we are afforded the opportunity to re-invent ourselves online, starting with our own name. Often, the only thing other users have to judge you on in cyberspace is the content of your comments and contributions, and your name. In the future, your real life and your virtual life will be so inseparable that the name you were given and the name you have taken for yourself will become synonymous. Just do a quick google search for skyspyke and you'll see that the first six pages of results all point to my involvement in various random (and extremely nerdy) online community. After that it starts returning results for "skyskype" and gets a little kinky. Mayhaps someday, though, my true name will be tied to something great. Like a LoL championship. Or the hacker name I use when we break free from the Matrix.

What will you choose to be known by in the 21st Century? Choose wisely.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's no Blessing, It's a Curse!

Wait, no. Strike that, and reverse.

Once every so often, an actor has the opportunity to play a role that seems to have been written specifically for him: Hugh Jackman and Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr and Iron Man, that guy who plays Thor... Nevermind that I only reference superhero movies here, the point is that there are roles out there that you were made for. Willy Wonka was one of those for me.

According to the world-renowned Fairbanks Daily News Miner:

"As Wonka, Skylar Petitt breathes fresh air into the title role, taking it in an entirely different direction than Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp offered in the film versions of the story. Petitt's Wonka is somewhere in between those, with a dash of Jim Carey added in. Petitt is a skilled actor and singer, and blah blah blah."

Now, I'm no superhero (and if I was I wouldn't tell you in order to protect those closest to me, of course), and I'm not saying that I'm the only one who could play Wonka (clearly). After all, both Michael Keaton and Christian Bale play a solid Batman. What I'm saying is that Wonka was one of those roles that Skylar Petitt was designed for. That came naturally to me. That just felt... Right.

And as I look back, I suddenly realize that I haven't played many "normal" humans at all in the shows I've been in. Ali Hakim the wandering "Persian" salesman, Agwe the Water God, the Scarecrow, Willy Wonka... Even Danny Zuko and Harold "The Music Man" Hill don't really qualify as normal humans. They're characters. What's that say about me?

So as I look towards the next show I will be in ("RENT," the feel-good show about life aka drugs and poverty in the 80's), I realize that it's full of normal people (with AIDS, to be fair), and I wonder... How do I play a normal human? What do normal humans think and feel? I'm not sure I'm a good enough actor to sell "normal."

Maybe I'll play up the AIDS part.

 And so, my friend, my fact'ry, 
Continue your routine... 
We'll say goodbye 
For to new worlds I fly! 
That I've not yet conceived, 
 And I've not yet achieved, 
 And it must be believed, to be seen.