Sunday, April 27, 2014

Superman/Batman Warner Bros Extras Casting Call in Troy, Michigan!

On a sunny but chilly Sunday morning, I arrived at the Somerset Inn hotel in Troy, MI, answering to the call for extras cast members for an upcoming Warner Bros film being made in Michigan. Unlike the previous two large Michigan extras cast calling for Star Wars and Transformers, the WB people still could not say, the S word or the B word, but we all knew why we were there.

I arrived at 10:20am, and as I would soon enough discover, I was the 716th person in line at that time. With no reliable wi-fi connection, I could not give a minute by minute report to the @HenryCavillNews twitter crew, so I took photos as I progressed in line to document the experience as best I could. Ever since my raving review for Man of Steel last summer, I have been so excited about the prospect of future films with Henry Cavill. But when I learned late last year that the next Superman film was going to be made in Michigan, I knew, I just KNEW I had to be a part of the film making process... or at least write about it while it's being filmed in my home state. And as luck would have it, I was able to drive to Troy to take part of this exciting extras casting call adventure. Here is what I experienced...

The casting call line started at the main entrance way of Somerset Inn (the beige building in the photo). The line spread going back East of the hotel (this line segment comprised of at least 1,000 people). Then the line wrapped up again along Big Beaver road, containing about 1500-2000 people, then went down through the parking lot and developed near the West side of the entrance way. So basically, the last persons in the ever growing and moving line, was at the entranceway, but in a different line and their wait time was a good 2 hours at that point.

The media announcement instructed people not to come in uniform or dressed in character. I took this picture because one guy there was dress in his army uniform. I saw a diverse range of people, a few people in wheelchairs, and some very old people too with their walkers. I was speaking with one guy from Ohio, in fact, a lot of Ohio folks were there, saw many Indiana and Illinois license plates too.

 As me and my friend Elizabeth approached the entrance way (they were letting in 100 people at a time), we read this sign.  In summary, you have to be legal to work in the US, over 18, and the job pays $64 for 8 hours, OT is paid, typical work day is 12-14 hours, and FREE lunch. Groovy!

You see the trash bin on the lower left hand of this photo? The entrance is next to it. The folks across the way are near the end of the line. I will be #716, those people will surely be in the #4000s+. This photo was taken around 12:15pm. They just arrived, I've been there for almost 2 hours.

Almost there. The security guy was going to let me in as I was the last of the 100 group of people. But I decided to wait so that me and Elizabeth could go in together.

The Oakland Press took pictures of the casting call and in slide number 8, at the bottom right is Elizabeth in orange, and me in the yellow jacket. I'm glad I made the 'cut' for the image. :D

Here is my application, see, I'm #716, Elizabeth was #715. As I'm filling out the application, the process is being explained to us. The casting director explains to us in no uncertain terms that this is a JOB that we should take seriously. They are very, very dependent upon extras and people applying for extras jobs should not have pie in the sky aspirations or neglect their family or career obligations for this gig. As serious as people are able to commit to this job, it can be demanding and time consuming. So with that said, she told us to make note of times we will not be available for the job (I wrote down my trips to California and Toronto) to do filming from June to November. So if I get hired, I should be available for any other time. And since the application asked for military experience, I put down my brief Naval Reservist time while living in the Washington DC area. If anything, it should help, I dunno. But it was a simple application.

One important thing I want to add is that the casting director informed us that the director of the film (again, she didn't mention his name or the film), will personally be reviewing all the applications and looking at our pictures. It's so cool knowing that Zack Synder is going to review my pic and application and either give me a thumbs up or down.

Once completed, we line up and slowly approach the desk where they would quickly review our application to make sure it was legible. It is important that phone numbers and email addresses were legible so that they can contact us about the next step, if offered an extras job.

We hand to the guy in the black short sleeve shirt, our application with our bold red number on it. He then writes the number on a small white dry erase board. We are to hold that numbered board up on the right side of our mid torso so that our picture would correspond with the application number. Two photos are taken: a full body shot, and a close up.

And that's it. Considering how many people came, the process was very neat and orderly, and the WB people were all very nice. Once the picture is taken, we exited out the door and are handed this slip of paper which gives us more information about the next steps in being cast as an extra. Over all, it was not a long process. It was windy outside and in the upper 40s - it could have been worse, but everyone was in good spirits and excited about the opportunity to be in the Superman/Batman Warner Brothers blockbuster slated for Summer 2016! I hope I made the cut. If I do, I will be very committed to this once in a lifetime opportunity. It's my personal and professional goal to cover the making of this film in Michigan, and having even just a small part of it will allow me to provide a unique insider's view for my @HenryCavillNews friends

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Casting Call & That Secret Thing

The moment I have been waiting for has been announced! There will be a casting call for extras for an, ahem, unknown block bustery type film by Warner Brothers this Sunday in Troy, MI. This is totally for the new Superman/Batman movie and I want to be in it, even if I'm in a scene with 30 other extras, I want to be a part of this adventure. This will be my first time part of a major film casting call, so I think it will be very busy, and crowded, but a fun experience none the less. I'll go early to find a parking spot, as they frown upon people lining up too early. Wish me luck!

Now some of you may know me to be a level headed semi-intelligent person, right? Well I do too. I have always known about this thing referred to as The Secret, and I have just been too busy and angsty and dealing with all my own issues to investigate it further. However, I had an epiphany of sorts and as the universe would have it (pun intended), I have dived head first into learning more about The Secret, and what I've learned in these past few days have been enlightening. I have to preface what I'm about to write to clarify that one must be a completely open-minded individual to continue reading what I'm about to share. The world is filled with so many negative, cynical people, and this is not for them. I have always been more of a spiritual/enlightened person more than religious per se, and to be completely honest, the basics of The Secret, are really no secret at all.

I have mentioned in the past year and a half about how I play the Mega Millions lottery and hoping to win the jackpot one day. I had a dream in December 2012 that instructed me that I must play regularly in order to win the jackpot, not like twice a year as I have been doing all the long. Playing more regularly would significantly increase my chances in an already perceived astronomical chance of winning. So ever since that time, I have been playing almost weekly (unless I'm out of town), and as of a few weeks ago, I now have two sets of favorite numbers that I will always play UNTIL I WIN THE JACKPOT. Note how I wrote it that: until I WIN. Not 'if or 'hopefully', but much more affirmative and positive - taking ownership of my future. This sentiment and feeling is the basis of the Law of Attraction which means that you attract what you are thinking and feeling. If you really want something, you have to really want it and mean it, and it will come to you. Again, some people may think this is hokey pokey garbage, but really it's not. Think about it, when was the last time you put all your thoughts and feelings and energies into wanting something so desperately badly, and then one day, eventually, it came to be?  This has happened to ALL of us at many points during our lives, but we don't acknowledge that this good will came from the universe which is the source of everything, including the energy that allows our minds to function. We size it up to mere luck, or just a coincidence. Here are three actions that I learned recently that sum up what one needs to do to bring the good fortune and happiness their way:

1. Ask
2. Believe
3. Receive

You have to Ask for what you want. Believe that you earned/deserve it - own this belief now. And Receive it when it comes to you, be it in half an hour, or 30 days from now.

I am employing this concept as of 3 days ago with my desire to win the lottery jackpot so that I can be financially secure and help family and select friends. Some people may know me as a Buddhist and find my desire to obtain money to be materialistic, which goes against Buddhist precepts. But that is not the case. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I have experienced some dark days related to the effects of being laid off from work in recent years as an adult, and growing up part of the working poor class. To this very day, people I know and love are having difficult lives because they do not have the earning potential to meet the demands of life. It's not that they are living beyond their means, but when you have a job that doesn't pay well enough, while life's expenses keep going up and up, you wonder when that person is going to catch a break and find some relief from the financial stress they are suffering from. I have embraced the act of being compassionate towards others from my Buddhist beliefs that it hurts me very much to see people I love under duress due to the lack of funds. I have always said out loud to myself that WHEN I WIN the jackpot lottery, I'm going to immediately take care of those I love who are in the greatest need. I'm always thinking of others first. But, in order for me to help them in the way they need, as well as to give myself the comfort I know I deserve and desire, I must win a substantial amount of money from the lottery. And you know what, the term "lottery" could be synonymous with an even higher paying job that would pay me so much that I could do more for my family. Having financial security is the number one priority in MY life right now that WILL make me HAPPY! And that is what is at the core of The Secret... telling the universe what I want that will make me happy, and me putting all my energies towards that thing to make it a reality. This is a two-way street task!

Thoughts become realities. This is true. Case in point:

I have written about my enjoyment of attending the Toronto Int'l Film Festival for many years now. Since I first started to attend in 2004, it was always a costly venture, and I could only afford to stay in Toronto for 2 nights, and maybe see 2 or 3 films. My jobs did not pay enough to allow me to attend for longer periods, and I did not have the vacation time available to stay longer if I wanted to. As a film buff, I have a complete love for TIFF and there were many times when I just hoped and wished that I could find a friend who lived in Toronto whom I could crash on their sofa for a few nights. I have stayed at some crummy hotels/hostels in Toronto that my finances would allow. It was very stressful planning my visit to Toronto for TIFF, and hoping that during my Friday through mid-Sunday I could see the film(s) I wanted and do some celebrity watching. Then one day, I started to befriend a guy on one of the film review forums who lives in Toronto and also happened to be an actual patron member of TIFF. Our friendship started off slowly and politely until in 2009, he was able to help me secure tickets to some films. After we met face to face and realized that we both liked each other as friends, a most wonderful friendship and TIFF partnership commenced. Since 2010, I have been a guest at my friend Glenn's house, and he has provided me with tickets to films during my six night stay during the festival. Glenn's generosity has saved me literally thousands of dollars and granted me tremendous peace of mind so I can enjoy the festival entirely! This is just one mere example of the power of Law of Attraction! My heartfelt  needs and wants for the ability to enjoy TIFF more leisurely and without the financial stress and restrictions were given to me by the universe.

1. I ASKED for help to enjoy TIFF more.
2. I Believed I deserved to have more pleasure at TIFF because I loved the festival and Toronto.
3. I graciously Received a new friend and lovely accommodations at his house along with his gift of film premiere tickets.

Like I said, this is just one outstanding example of the Law of Attraction. Another short story that is related to TIFF is that back in 2007, I was on a really tight budget and TIFF kind of snuck up on me because I was busy at a miserable job I had at the time. As I went for a long lunch walk, thinking about my money troubles in trying to pay for my trip to Toronto... a crisp $100 bill blew onto my path on the sidewalk. I bent over to pick it up, thinking it was a cool $10 bill because I saw a 1 and 0 based on how it was folded. But when I opened up the bill, and saw that it was a $100 bill, I could not believe it. I immediately checked to see if it was counterfeit or monopoly money, but it was the real deal. I attracted that money to me because I needed it, and I was in the right place to receive it.

If I placed all my positive open-minded energies into asking for, and believing that I deserve and will win the jackpot lottery, I will receive it. I can't wait to write a follow-up story sharing my lottery win. In the meanwhile, I have an Ebay online store idea that I'm working on right now to help usher in more positive energies to the universe to help me and you get what we want to make us happy!

I'll be writing more about The Secret here!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hash Bash 2014

I have been attending the Hash Bash since I was a student at the University of Michigan in the early/mid 90s. The first year I attended was 1995. Only during the five years I live on the East Coast from 1997 to 2001, did I not attend. I think I may have missed one year in the early 2000s when the weather was just awful, snowy, cold and overcast. But weather like yesterday, upper 40s and pure sunshine, bring out the happiest of the Hippies and supporters for decriminalization of marijuana. According to the Ann Arbor News, approximately 8,000 people attended. I think it was closer to 10k - I have never seen it so crowded and with so many calm, cool, pleasant activist and festival goers. I did not see one cop, or police car at the event. Not to say that they weren't there, but this relaxed affair was nothing for them to be concerned about.

Enjoy some select images from my views of the 45th Annual Hash Bash:

Hash Bash organizer Adam Brook

Hash Bash grandfather John Sinclair

Yup, weed is safer than peanuts

The Cannibus providing education about medicinal marijana

Lots of cool Hash Bash merchandise

People congregate at the Monroe Street Festival on the Law Quad
John Sinclair at his favorite table spot at Dominick's

Very impressive crowds

People were smoking, buying, sharing marijuana freely

Duh! Jimmy John's sandwich shop was hoppin' yesterday.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

To BRCA or not To BRCA

Many of you may have learned about the Breast cancer gene (BRCA) breast-BR/cancer-CA, through the public announcement by my favorite actress, Angelina Jolie. She got an expensive gene test and it was determined that she had the gene mutation of BRCA3 which significantly increased her chances of developing breast cancer, or ovarian cancer one day. Since her mother died of ovarian cancer, Angelina educated herself, got tested, and took what some may think was an extreme measure, but I'm sure with her lifestyle and financial position, she made the right decision.

Because breast cancer took my sister's life in 2008, and the year before that, my mother had a mastectomy to treat her battle with breast cancer, something genetically odd is going on in my immediate family and I'm in a preventative health program to determine my chances of developing breast cancer. I have a clean bill of health at the moment, but further tests need to be made and I have already asked my mom to talk to her doctor about having a DNA test to see if she has BRCA3 gene. If she does, my preventative health program will go into a different direction to decrease my chances of being afflicted. I hope this is not the case, but I'm not going to wring my hands over it. I've taken a huge step by getting involved in this health program already. However, if my mother tests negative for BRCA3 gene, I'm in the clear of further preventative testing and monitoring and my chances of getting breast cancer will be in the 'normal' range like the general population.

A few things are indeed on my side: I'm of normal/healthy weight, I don't drink or smoke, don't do illegal drugs, and I exercise religiously -  I have a non-red meat diet and drink green tea daily. All of these lifestyle choices help me keep my chances of developing cancer at lower levels, so I'm on the right track. I personally think that my mother will test positive for the breast cancer gene, and I'm prepared to take the health measures to prevent developing cancer.