Blog Archives

Picture Yourself


Many times we make our first impression, not in person, but online.  It’s a static image that doesn’t have the charisma of your animated self.  We need to maximize the impression that this image makes.  Does it put you in your best light while still looking like you?  Does it give clues to your personality?  When they look into your photographed eyes, do they see a sample of your soul?

If we work together, the answer to those questions will will be YES.  Are you read to Picture Yourself?

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My PureView of the Hollywood Sign Hike


Last week, I was in Portland and the change of scenery was great, but you gotta come home, right?  My friend John reminded me that we often forget how interesting the place we live can be.  With that being said, I decided to share one of my favorite hikes in Los Angeles.

In my pursuit of entertainment fame and fortune…or just the ability to pay my bills by doing what I love…I sometimes need perspective.  It’s the kind of perspective that tells you that your awesome even when you can’t get a meeting or a referral or an audition.  Yes, perspective feeds the ego and shuts out negative talk because OBVIOUSLY “they” are the one’s missing out.

OK, enough of that (for now).  Let’s get to the hike.  Every picture was taken with the Nokia Lumia 1020.  Most were taken with the Nokia Camera app, but some were taken with Fhotolens and 4Blend HDR apps.  Finally there are some panorama shots taken with the Nokia Panorama app.  I’d like to say that this was a sponsored piece.  Seriously, Microsoft, Nokia, etc…I’d LOVE to say that this is a sponsored piece.  How ‘bout it?

Yes, there’s the hike.  The picture above is on Beachwood Drive which takes you to the trailhead.   Much like going to the movies or watching TV, the sign reminds you of your destination for the entire journey.  Keep reading past the break to experience the journey with me.

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Headshot Photo Shoot: CC

CC - Raw Beauty copySometimes a photographer is fortunate enough to have a wondrous sight in front of the lens and he gets credit for a taking a great shot.  When my friend Caitlin (CC) called me for a quick, last-minute headshot, I was excited because I know she’s experienced in front of the camera and the lens loves capturing her image.

On this day, the weather worked against us.  It was HOT and the sun was pouring down harsh rays.  I don’t have a studio, thus I work with natural light and it was giving us a challenge.  I had to improvise.   What you are seeing in the collage are raw pictures that were not edited at all.  She looks amazing right?  We’ll talk a bit about the process, a bit about CC and show you the final image that she used.  Ready??

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Take Control – A JD Rant (with video)

WP_20130617_008Slogans have meanings, my friends.  I can tell you that breakfast CAN be the most important meal of the day, but this is not a blog about nutrition.  This is a blog about taking control and motivating yourself to move forward in your career.  It’s all about the #NoExcuses mantra and with this video, I’m not just taking about it, I’m being about it!

One of my motivations was my friend Jenna who I know because she runs a group for on-camera hosts on Facebook.  Proactive, right?  Well, today she took it another step.  She was asking for suggestions for a new DSLR camera, so that she could use that tool to take control of her own career.  This is in the rant, but if you want to follower her awesomeness on Twitter, I got the hookup for you.  Get thee to Twitter and follow @jennatimetweets.  Hit her up with some #NoExcuses props…you know, after you finish with this blog! 🙂

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Jessica Chastain & #NoExcuses

1_14_2013 PM_jpgI saw Zero Dark Thirty the other day at a SAG Awards screening.  The big bonus was a Q&A with Jessica Chastain hosted by Janelle Riley.  I was always a fan of Jessica’s work, but now I am a fan of her general process of approaching life.  Before she was famous, she didn’t JUST take class (although, she is Juliard trained) and she didn’t wait around for people to give her work.  She created work for herself.  She didn’t get discouraged. She embodies what we’re talking about when we say #NoExcuses and #NoRegrets.

I shot this quick clip at the the start of the session and she gave us some great inspiration.  Obviously, this was taken with my Nokia Lumia 920 – a Windows Phone 8 device. Smile

YouTube Acting School With Ricky Gervais

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Look at that picture of me.  That’s me doing some fine acting in the short film “Textually Active”.  You can, of course, read about that in my earlier blog entry JD: The Gifted Director.

I have been at this acting thing for quite some time now and it was interesting to have a chat with someone recently about all of the training we do.  We spend a LOT of time, energy and money trying to get back what we did naturally as kids.  When we were kids and played cops and robbers, we believed that we were the parts we were playing.  When my sister had a tea party, she WAS the fancy hostess.  It was play, but we committed to it.

As grown ups, we have that playing squashed out of us, so we ‘study’ to try bringing it back.  It can cost a lot of money, but now we all have a chance at learning from a leader in his industry.  We can learn from him and his guest lecturers for free and even without their knowledge.  I have collected clips and provided commentary so that you can learn from the Unofficial Ricky Gervais School of Acting’s (RGSOA) YouTube Campus.

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I haven’t quit acting…

IMG_8402I was having a discussion with a friend the other day and it came up that since my last agent quit the business, I haven’t looked for another.  That prompted her to ask me “Did you quit acting?”.  I responded that “No, I haven’t quit acting…but I have stopped auditioning”  That’s an over-simplified response, but it felt right and most closely articulated my current perspective.  She didn’t get what I was saying and thus she doesn’t really get ME.

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SAG AFTRA Merger–Don’t Know, Vote NO

IMG_9156The establishment of the SAGAFTRA, “One Union” merger have been pulling out all of the stops during this attempt of guild blending.  Well, by “all of the stops”, I mean they are parading celebrity pleas for “YES” votes and ignoring critical questions.  I had questions and was directed to call or email the people at  It’s been weeks with multiple attempts and I still have no response.

They’ve held online meetings, one of which I viewed, and in person meetings and they’ve sent out slick mailers, but have failed to answer any of the questions that I’ve had.  It was extremely frustrating not being heard by the people purporting to represent my interests.

THEN I see SAG-AFTRA post this Lewis Black rant:

He must be right…he’s yelling and talking down to me.

Besides being another celebrity who has NONE of the same needs that I have, this is just downright insulting.  Those of us who dare question this merger need to “think for once”?   The ONLY thing funny about this clip is that he rails on people for clinging to a slogan but only really offers slogans in return.  Oh yeah, he gives the “guy working on two cartoons at once” scenario, because that happens to a majority of the membership on a regular basis.  Other than that, he’s just spewing establishment talking points, in a really loud voice.

There are lots of things that I Don’t Know about this proposed merger and that’s why I’m leaning towards no.  Here are the major ones: Read the rest of this entry

DalyDose of….DANGER in L.A.

WARNING:  The following contains the depiction of a scenario that could be downright scary to some.  You’ve been warned.

Last April, I recorded what I called a “blogalogue”.  I just fired up the laptop and used the webcam to record my raw thoughts on a very personal subject.  No fancy HD…no lighting setup…no audio equipment.  It was just me opening up, sharing and telling the story that needed to be told.

I didn’t publicize that video very much.  Maybe it was too personal.  Maybe it was too soon.  Maybe the devastating effects of the events were too much.  Maybe, just maybe, I was protecting you.

I now know that these things need to see the light of day.  The release of this video is not only a warning to you, but it is therapeutic for me.  I’m…sorry, I can’t type anymore and I better just embed the thing and hit publish before I change my mind.

If you have a reaction or a similar story to share, please feel free to comment.

DalyDose of…Switchover

“Don’t Freak Out”

Remember this past June when there was a minor buzz going on about the digital switchover for antannae based television viewing?  Well, my friends over at Stormmaker Productions thought we should make some PSA type of things in honor of the occassion.  There were three versions made and here is the one that I acted in. 

Here is the link to Stormmaker’s YouTube channel where you can watch all three:  There are some pretty amazing editing and greenscreen skills on display so even if the DTV switchover meant nothing to you, you should check it out.

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