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September 2013



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And so it begins: Our Very First Mission!

Welcome to the very first entry in my blog!

I’ll give you all a moment to contain your excitement. Feel free to indulge in your favorite “nerve tonic” in order to quell the anxiety. Then settle into your seat, head between knees, because we’re about to hit some turbulence!

My approach to writing a blog reminds me of watching a mindless summer blockbuster popcorn flick: I didn’t pay 12 bucks (or 15 by the time you read this) to spend an hour “getting to know the intricacies and subtle nuances of the characters as they struggle with existential themes,” blah, blah, blah.

Hell no!

I want to cram as many cholesterol saturated kernels as humanly possible into my mouth and watch me some splosions from the first frame to the bloated end!

In other words, I’m not going to start off this blog by boring you with my personal history, what my favorite color is, whether I’m an “innie” or an “outie,” etc. Not that that kind of stuff isn’t fascinating (uh..not really), it’s just not…me.

Instead, I’d much rather skip the first three bases and plunge right into home, so to speak.

How do most writers support themselves?

While your initial response might be “Duh, they write and sell their stuff,” I think it’s safe to say that most writers out there don’t have the luxury of concentrating on their writing full-time, much less being able to subsist on it. Despite the Cinderella stories that you hear about on the net ad nauseum,  accent on the nausea, (<giggle>“I got my agent within a week of querying, and went out on submission on a Friday and had 15 bazillion offers on the following Monday!" <squeal>) the truth is, for the majority of us humans, that is simply not the case.

At least that’s how it is with Yours Truly. It’s hard enough having to work an eight hour day only to come home, sit in front of a different computer, and hope you can regenerate enough zombie brain cells to type something coherent on a blank screen. Looking back on the three novels I’ve written, starting with Darius Devine and the Necromancer’s Curse, continuing through Dagger, and most recently The Torch Keeper (Yes, shameless plugs all, but it’s my blog so deal with it), I can’t comprehend how I did it.

But imagine my shock when, recently, I found myself another statistic of the economic woes plaguing our country. That’s right. Just a fancy way of saying, I was laid off. Those bastards!

So now, with the bills still coming and all this free time on my hands while I’m searching for my next Indentured Servitude, what to do?

The answer was clear: Go Hollywood, Baby!

Thanks to a tip from my fellow writer and SCBWI Aventura Critique Leader Stacy Davids, I became a paid Extra for an FPL (Florida Power & Light) commercial, which will air in Florida on April 4, 2011. So what if it was a thirteen hour day and didn’t pay much? It’s all about the life-experience, right? After telling myself this for the first five hours of the shoot, wherein we were confined to the dingy waiting room in a sports stadium, I changed my tune to “Screw this crap!”

Filming this commercial, though, led to making new contacts, and new gigs have been coming my way, left and right. Just two days later, I got to play an Undercover Cop in the new Charlie’s Angels pilot currently shooting in the Miami area! I actually got to flash the crowd (with my police badge, Naughty Readers) and go down on an Angel…uh…I meant take an Angel down. But, alas, I didn't get Touched by an Angel. And all it took was seven hours!

Since then, I’ve auditioned for a new reality show set on South Beach (oh, the ironies), where I got to improvise a scene in which I threaten a fruit thief with a baseball bat. Trust me, I’ve never really acted before, but it wasn’t difficult summoning the frustrations of the writing world and channeling the appropriate feelings for this part. I think that’s Method Acting, right? However, it does beg the question, just how real are these reality shows when they hire people to play characters? Hey, as long as they pay in real money, I’m not complaining.

Next up, an appearance on USA Network’s Burn Notice, where I get to be part of a CIA Extraction team. Hmmm. Sounds like a show about receiving rejections on publishing house submissions. Method Acting to the rescue yet again!

In addition to the acting, I’ve decided to branch out into the creative world through short story and article submissions, as well as entering writing contests and collaborating with my fellow writer pal, David Case, on a comedy pilot script. This is an exciting time for me, especially while I prepare to debut my new website and gear up to tackle my next novel. All of these projects are not only fueling my creativity and providing fresh and exciting fodder to write about, but some are also helping me earn a little extra cash. I guess you can say I’ve found the silver lining of being “full-time employee challenged.”

I’d love to hear stories from others out there and how you’ve had to whore yourself out for your craft!

Until next time, where the hell’s my close-up?


Welcome to LJ!

And good luck with Burn Notice. Working with Bruce "The Chin" Campbell ... *swoon* My friend's father is the director of photography for that show, actually.
Thanks, Amanda. I wonder if your friend's father will be on the set? We're filming at Metro Zoo!
Don't know--his name is Bill Wages. He won't know who I am though, I just know his son.

Have fun!!
Hey, baby, nice blog! :)
Thanks, Jodi!
Great post, Steven! Welcome to LJ! Maybe you will inspire me to get off my tush and get back to blogging more consistentlly. Very cool about the extra work. When I was in the biz, I believe it was three extra jobs that qualified you to apply for SAG, if you're needing health insurance, etc. Are you going through an agency?
Glad you liked, Debbie! I'm actually going through different agencies for all three gigs. I did hear that in Florida, SAG might not be a good idea as most of the work down here is not union, so you would be severely limited in what you could do. This whole thing is so new to me, I don't know what's what!

Wide Open

Your blog is great: if anything, you should write a humor column...but I'd stick with the acting gigs as long as they're coming in. (Who knows where that can take you, right? And then you can whip up your columns at night. Easy enough. :D) Sounds like you're making the best of what could have been the worst times. Gotta love it! [Roll footage of you living in a van down by the river wondering what this chick is talking about.] BTW, I haven't had time to "whore" myself out for the craft (yet), so no suggestions for you there. (I plan to "get my life" back this summer and do more writing then.) In the meantime, I hope to enjoy more of your literary musings!