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Saturday, August 30, 2003

"A Heart for Baseball"

I'll be honest, I'm a tried and true baseball fan -- without a doubt my favorite sport. I eagerly watch it. I've played it. I anticipate it each winter.

The truth is, I grew up loving it. Some of my favorite memories as a child were attending home games for my favorite Major League Baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers; ....seeing Robin Yount's 3000 hit, in person; ....enjoying my many trips with my father to the old County Stadium in Milwaukee; ....recording the games in the scorecards (of which I have a large part of a bookshelf reserved for); ....playing countless games in my backyard with my two younger brothers; ....and, secretly dreaming of playing in the 'Bigs' some day. .... Hey, I even played the sport in high school!

So, I suppose it doesn't come as a surprise when I say that today, while I was enjoying some unexpected time about the city with my friend Scott, I picked up a copy of the Disney film, "The Rookie", based on the true story of pitcher Jim Morris.

I watched it late tonight. It's definitely a great movie -- one that the baseball heart inside me beat happily for. I'd been unable to see the film in the theatres, but was told by many that it would be one I particularly would enjoy. So, seeing a good deal, I added the film to my collection.... and it's going to be staying there for quite a while!

Watching it this evening though, reminded me of how great a sport baseball really is. Forget the rich guys calling the shots and turning the game into big business. Forget the million dollar contracts. Forget the politics. It's the game that I love. It's amazing how much love one can actually have for a game involving the hitting of a small tightly stitched ball with a wooden stick, and then running around the circumference of a square. .... There's strategy. There's suspense. There's a game of wits and skill. And there's luck. It's a thrill, a challenge, and, it's our American pasttime!

Long live baseball! I may not be on the road to the "Bigs" anymore, but, everyday, I make a point of bringing the "Bigs" to me in some way, and following my love with wide eyes and an eagerness reserved for only the important things in my life! I'm a baseball fan, and I'm not going anywhere!

Oh, and incidently, my Milwaukee Brewers unfortunately had their unexpected winning streak ended at ten games on Friday. Sad, yes, but a thrill the entire way. The season's not over yet. I predict we'll be seeing some more good baseball in the games to come. Lookin' forward to it! :)

Well, I'll be sleeping well tonight. Baseball on the brain is usually a pleasant experience. :)

Have a blessed weekend all, and, as usual,

Your happily musing actor friend,

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Friday, August 29, 2003

"Men can cry too."

If there's one film that can get me choked up, it's definitely "The Green Mile". Oh, without a doubt, there are certainly others, but this evening, it was this one. Powerful, emotional, and thought-provoking. Enough said.

Your ever-musing friend,

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

" Online Store: Improved."

My online store, featuring my artwork, has undergone a major remodeling project in the last week or so, and is now online and ready for business. I've also added a lot more items and a few more art pieces, with more to come. Feel free to check it out sometime, and support an up-and-coming actor/artist. Enjoy... and thank you! Online Store


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"For the simple glory of it."

There are three dream film roles I have. You may think them odd upon hearing what they are, but don't kid yourself, one man's simplicity, is another man's glory.

See, if ever given the chance, I'll gladly audition for and accept speaking roles. Hey, come on, isn't that every actor's dream! But I'm simple at heart too. Sometimes there is equal honor in the smaller roles -- the background roles.... The roles most overlook. See, my work on "Mr. 3000" though extensive, was one of those smaller roles. I was but my own character, and I had a blast, contibuting greatly....

But, if given the chance, three dream film roles come to mind, be they speaking roles or not:

1.) First, I would like to play an American Civil War soldier. Yes, I've played that role in the past for about ten years of my youth as a Civil War reenactor. I was Southern. The field musician. The drummer. But I'd like to be in a film someday.... In a film as that soldier. It's history. I have a love of that period. I crave the honor of a 'death' nobly in battle. In fact, I've already 'died' in battle numerous times.... but it wasn't the dying that captivated me.... It was the honor of dying 'for my country' -- for something I 'believed in'.

It's that soldier I will someday resurrect on-screen. .... And you know what's ironic? That soldier is the closest I ever intend to get towards actually fighting for my country in real life. (There are other ways too of supporting one's country). Ironically, outside of reenacting, I'm not the modern-day soldier type. Ironic isn't it.

2.) The second character I would like to play on-screen, is that of a crewman onboard a Federation starship in a Star Trek franchise film or television series. Why? Because I love Star trek so. But why just a crewman, and not one of the higher ranking officers?.... Well, like I said, I'm the simple type. It's the service that appeals to me. And yet again, in real life, Naval service does not appeal to me. Go figure.

3.) And thirdly, on-screen, I would love to play the role of a Major League Baseball player, particularly on the Milwaukee Brewers. Why? Hey, I grew up a hardcore fan of the Brew Crew. I followed them through the hard years, and I still root for them, even when they play in last place. Someday, I plan to be one of those Brewer ball players. Perhaps when the sequal to "Mr. 3000" comes out, right! Ha, I'm there! But, you say, there's no glory in being the little guy -- the non star player. Ah, but to someone like myself there is. One man's simplicity is another man's glory.

So, why, you ask, do I mention these three dream roles? Well, the answer is simple. This evening, I again watched one of the best Civil War films there is -- "Glory" -- and I was reminded once again of the simple glory of fighting for and pursuing that which you believe in. I believe in many things, but it comes to what I love doing the most, there is one that keeps kicking me, begging for attention.... The desire to become successful as an actor, and to do so with simplicity, heart, perseverence, and a dream.

So, what does a simple Civil War soldier, a Star Trek Crewman, and a non-star baseball player have in common? A dream. A simple dream. A dream to be more, to fight for their beliefs, or just to do what they do becasue they love it so, or it gives them meaning. They are the simple ones -- the ones often overlooked. They are the ones I wish to emulate. Not the powerful and well-known leaders. No. Just the simple ones in the background driving onward and upward. They are the true heroes. They are the ones we should all want to be more like -- the ones trusted with the simple glory of it all. Quiet and unknown. Simple and persistant.

I'm going to keep at it. Someday, before I die, I will have had a chance to play those three dream roles, and I will have been those simple characters. That's my dream.... and dreams are meant to be fought for.

Good night all. I wish you a blessed Wednesday, and until the marrow,

Your happily blogging, and always dreaming, actor friend,

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

"Eight Games and Running!"

Congratulations to the Milwaukee Brewers for winning their eighth (8th) straight game -- a feat not matched since the 1997 baseball season! Way to go Brew Crew!!!

Could this mean things are starting to come together some for the struggling team? .... I hope so; my fingers are definitely crossed! Here's to number nine and a continued streak of good fortune!

Your happily blogging friend,

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Saturday, August 23, 2003

"Jon Baas on"

Yep, that's right.... I am now listed on The Internet Movie Database.

I'm still awaiting the addition of my three remaining acting credits, but for now, there's one presently listed, some links to puruse, and a little biographical trivia. Feel free to take a look, and, if I'm missing anything, you are more then welcome to add or update it. Enjoy.

Your happily blogging actor friend,

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Friday, August 22, 2003

"Fantasy Football Anyone?"

This fall, I'm commissioning a non-fee fantasy football league if anyone is interested. It's hosted on Yahoo Sports. The Live draft is on August 28, 10:20am CDT. - (Sorry, that's the best time I could get. You can pre-rank, and autodraft in your absense if you wish.)

If you're interested, all the information, rules, and prizes awarded are listed on the league information page. There are nine total spots available. First come, first serve. .... I look forward to the competition! :)

Your happily blogging friend,

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Thursday, August 21, 2003

"Blech... It's a warm one."

Earlier this afternoon I returned from a trip outside, and man, it's pretty warm out there -- mid-90's actually. I had to run a few errands, including some library work on campus, and walking was my mode of transportation.

I, of course, took my trusty water bottle full of ice water with me, but by the time I arrived at my destination, the water was already warm. .... I can definitely agree though, water is indeed much more enjoyable to drink when it is cold. When it's warm.... well, not so enjoyable (unless, of course, it's tea in wintertime).

I arrived on campus to find things abuzz. School is starting again, and come Monday, everyone will be back in class. Not me though. I'm an alum. I'm educated; a professional -- and making the big bucks. ... Yeah, I wish. The "educated, professional" part, sure, but the big bucks, well, I have yet to see those! .... [grin].

On my way home again, and before leaving campus, I decided to stop up in the technology office and say hi to my friend Scott (a fellow alum). He was lucky enough to assume the job his sister had until midway through the summer when she traveled out-of-state on vacation. However, aside from filling in for his sister while she was gone, he too is unemployed. He's happy for the summer paycheck though, even if it was only for a month and a half. Unfortunately, with school starting again and students back on campus to fill all the jobs, tomarrow (Friday) is his last day.

When I ran into him, he was on his way to lunch. So, I decided to join him to chat, happy to remain indoors and enjoy the air-conditioned campus center environment, now brimming with college students. It brought back memories for me though -- memories of my four August months preparing for another year of collegiate study. .... Ah, even now I kind of miss it all. .... It seems so long ago that I was still in college, but, in reality, it's only been a year and a half. .... [sigh].

After lunch, Scott returned to an afternoon of helping solve tech problems for those moving into the residence halls, and I returned home, accompanying another friend (and college student) who lives along the way. Again it was a warm walk back, but this time I had a friend to chat with, thus taking my mind off the warm humidity. When I returned home, the cool shower felt good. Luckily, last weekend, my roomate, Noah, and I had finally decided to take the air-conditioning unit out of storage, and install it. On a day like today, there's nothing better than returning from a muggy twenty-minute walk, and being blasted with cold air when you enter the front door!

....Ahhhhh.... Thank God for the intelligence of the guy who invented air-conditioning! Sir, you are much appreciated!

So now I sit here quite comfortable, while just beyond the wall next to me, the sun bakes the neighborhood. Man, I really am spoiled aren't I. .... [grin].

Well, it's back to work for me. I must continue my nearly-completed art projects, and reap the paychecks pending their completion. If I make good progress, perhaps I'll watch another film tonight, courtesy of my campus library.... "Glory" sounds pretty good!

Well, I'll catch you all later. Until then,

Your happily blogging actor friend,

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

"The Swordsman Inside."

I've been witness to a lot of swordplay recently, and I've enjoyed every minute of it!

.... First there was the wonderfully exciting swashbuckling in "Pirates of the Caribbean", which I saw in the movie theater this past weekend. And then, this evening, there was "The Count of Monte Cristo", which I checked out earlier on DVD from the library. Through it all, there was an edge-of-my-seat excitement that, honestly, might be fun to try sometime.

I took the opportunity to watch one of the special features on the Monte Cristo DVD that documented the efforts to stage the sword fight scenes. As the fight choreographer noted, "The goal was to create fight scenes that looked real and dangerous, but with the complete safety of the actors in mind."

That goal was very cleverly achieved. The actors looked desperate in the fight, apparently were having great fun, and, save one slight wound to Guy Pearce in the final fight, were as safe as could be. What 18th century swordsman would have been able to predict that such a weapon used with deadly finesse in his time, would, 150 years later, become a prop for entertainment, containing a severely blunted tip, a dulled blade, and the utmost in caution. My how the times have changed! :)

I got to thinking though as that feature came to an end, I really should take the time to learn a little fencing. It's crossed my mind many times before, I've just never really jumped at the chance. Granted it would just be for fun, and the experience of it all, but beyond that, who cares.... It just looks like both a good workout, and an excellent lesson in history. (Good thing Zorro didn't hear that! .... [grin]).

.... And, the truth is, the historian in me is always excited to take a walk into the past, no matter what the perspective.

Ahhh..... good movie -- no, make that TWO great movies --, ....and some excellent swordfighting. Yeah, I think I'll definitely sleep well tonight! :)

Have a blessed Wednesday. I'm off to sail the high seas and swish my sword in the direction of unsavory fellows. Until later,

Your always musing actor friend,


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Monday, August 18, 2003

"Film: Bound to Come Around - Trailer Online."

As some of you may know, back nearly a year ago, I was originally cast in a small supporting role in the independant film, "Bound to Come Around" (a romantic comedy), shot mostly around here in the Milwaukee area. Dick, as my character was then named, was the car mechanic friend of one of the other major characters in the script....

Unfortunately though, despite being all hyped up to participate, and waiting nearly a year to be actively involved, I was then cast in the Bernie Mac film, "Mr. 3000", which happened to be a paying gig. When the day came that I was called and asked to film my scenes for "Bound to Come Around", I was already previously engaged in the Mac film. Since I was unable to work it that I be at both shoots at the same time, I had to sadly bow out of "BTCA".

Thankfully though, I knew the production staff and they understood my dilemma. As it just so happened, my role as Dick was small enough that a backup actor could be plugged in without too much trouble. As far as I know, filming went off without further trouble, and, shortly after, the film wrapped production. Currently it's in post-production and on the editing table.

Though no longer a member of the cast, I thankfully do still get to be involved, and it's due to my art training. Officially, with the completion of a few in-works creative projects for the film, I am now credited as the Visual Effects Artist, which, in itself, I think is a really cool job to have! But then again, as an artist, I am probably a little biased. I just hope my artistic contibutions work out as well as planned.

Of course, now that all the footage has been shot, enough actually exists of the film for a promotional trailer. If you're interested in getting a taste of the story, feel free to give it a watch. And, of course, you are certainly more than welcome to leave any comments. I'll be sure to pass them along to the director. :)

Theatrical Trailer: "Bound to Come Around"

Enjoy, and have a blessed Monday everyone. Until later,

Your happily blogging actor friend,

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Saturday, August 16, 2003

"Friday: Movie = Pirates!"

In the afternoon on Friday, I happened to catch Jessica online at work, and through the course of short emails of correspondence, it was decided that we would go see a movie. She worked until 3:30 pm, so a matinee of "Pirates of the Caribbean" was the film of choice.

Both she and Dave had given high reviews of the film, and I had not yet seen it, so, we went. My review?.... Go see it! It's an excellent flick, and well worth the ticket price! I can now fully agree with Jessica and Dave.... Very entertaining!.... Very involved.... Edge of your seat sometimes.... A captivating adventure story set on the high seas and involving a deep-rooted pirate curse.... Oh, and see if you agree with me, Johnny Depp's portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow is highly enjoyable -- HIGHLY enjoyable! Without a doubt, my favorite character!

If you haven't seen the film yet, go see it. If you like pirate adventures, this one certainly lives up to the category. And I must say, some of the special effects are very well-done as well! Two thumbs up all around!

After the film, Jessica and I walked the mall a few times, chatting. ... We indeed have a lot in common. Most intruiging is the fact that she too grew up a small-town kid! Alright! Way to go! I always love meeting fellow small-town folk. There's just a certain kinship among those of us raised near the corn and the cows -- a kinship that never really disappears, even if you've lived in the big city since then. :)

After an excellent movie, enjoyable companionship, and a fun little evening, we parted ways for our respective apartments. The suggestion was mutual.... We'll have to do stuff like that again sometime. :)

Well, t'was a good Friday! Let's see what comes of Saturday!

Have a blessed weekend all.

Your happily blogging friend,

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"It's not the getting.... It's the GIVING!"

In the later evening on Friday, when the day had already become Saturday by a few hours, I, as usual lately, was still awake.... by choice. As I was awake, I decided to put in a movie, sit down, and watch a good story unfold before me. I enjoy good movies. My selection of choice -- "Patch Adams" starring Robin Williams.

Watching the film though, got me to thinking again on a line of thought that has crossed my mind often, saddening me in the process. Our society these days is so much about getting this, getting that, gaining this for ourselves, or going out of the way to have the best of that. We seek money. Power. Notoriety. Fame.... But where's the giving. We always want, want want. When was the last time you let your competetor have that promotion. When was the last time you sought hapiness while choosing to give up that powerful new status in life. When was the last time you stopped to help that guy with the stalled car along the side of the road? Most of us probably can't recall that time.

But watching "Patch Adams" only reinforced that thought. It is indeed better to give than to recieve. Happiness is better shared. Laughter is the best medicine for any ailment. Joy grows with the sharing. It expands and multiplies when we stoop from our high pedestal to the level of others less fortunate and choose to stay there. Hey, let's face it, we're all human, and we all started out at the same place -- a hospital bed, in the arms of our mothers, unfamiliar with this world outside of our mother's womb. How then are we any better than the person next to us?

Some of us have since risen to greatness. Others have chosen simple lives. Still others have been less fortunate. So, why is it that when we rise to greatness -- in any capacity -- power, wealth, or presitige becomes more of a friend than our own fellow human being? Patch Adams (yes this movie was based upon a true story), decided to help others at the risk of his own skin. He faced struggles. He triumphed because helping others was something he believed in, and so others learned to believe in him.

You can grab power, and step on others to do so, but trust me, you'll be lonely at the top. I will be one of those less likely to be your friend, and honestly, I could care less about you and your need for power. I can find other friends among those willing to give of themselves. And, as much as I hate to say it, I'll probably end up with a greater base of friends than you. Power is not a loyal friend. A loyal friend can only be found among those you willingly give of yourselves, just because they want to.

I am always frustrated with politics, high-level business positions, careers of power, influence, and prestige. Most people in those fields love giving the orders. They also tend to be married to their work, at the expense of family and friends....

You know, since I am a Star Trek fan, an episode of the Voyager series comes to mind as an example. It's one of my favorite episodes too....

... A man discovers a way to alter time, and sets his efforts to correcting the things that, in his mind, went wrong in the past. He seeks to expand and grow his species territorial boundries, when in reality, they are small and peaceful, and not in need of change for the better. Possibilties however, exist for greater power, wealth, and dominance over enemies. So, this man begins to change time around him, seeing relative success. However, he also becomes so engrossed in his efforts that he alienates his wife and family. He shuts them out of his life, seeking to right what never went wrong. ....

Then, one of his efforts to grow his species' empire, results in the death of his family he was begining to forget. He realizes what he lost, but too late. He becomes obcessed no longer with the power or the greatness, but rather, reclaiming the family he had ignored. But, despite his years of calculating the perfect remedy, the past can never be fully corrected. He lives out the rest of his life, coming so close to fixing where he chose wrong, but always failing in his attempts.

Now, what would have happened, had he not decided to seek that greatness? Odds are, his life would be simple, spent among those he knew. He would be happy, in a home with his wife and children. His original discovery would remain undiscovered, and his simple life of giving would have enriched both himself and those around him.

Live a little.... Choose to be simple. There's nothing wrong with it; success does still come to the simple of mind and heart. Be willing to love. Share. Learn to trust others. And most of all, remember, it's in the GIVING, not the getting that true happiness and contentment are found. Power is enticing, but love and family, are rare. Seek them out. The sweeter success will follow.

Too bad only a small minority in the world realize this.

Your always-thinking blogger friend,

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Friday, August 15, 2003

"A Day at Wrigley; An Evening on the Lakefront"

Wednesday was an excellent day spent down in Chicago. My friend Dave had invited me to join him for a Cubs game. So, Wednesday morning, he came up to Milwaukee, picked me up, and we returned to his home just to the north of the Windy City. The plan was to join up with some of his friends and spend a day out at historic Wrigley Field.

When those that were meeting at his house were gathered, we hopped into his family's mini-van and drove into the city. To avoid the parking hassles (of which there are many in Chicago), we found a park-and-ride along the interstate freeway, parked, and crossed over the fast moving lanes of traffic to the nearby "El" transit station (which for those of you unfamiliar with Chicago, is the abreviation for "elevated train", a recognizable transportation feature in the city of Chicago).

See, the cool thing about the "El" (at least for myself, a non-citizen of Chicago), is that it's both a subway train, as well as an elevated train that runs above the city at about the second or third floor level. When I was a kid, I would always marvel at the many transit stations I would see just outside the car window as we drove through the city. I had always thought it would be cool to ride the "El", but until Wednesday, I had never had the chance.

The ride on the "El" itself was quite enjoyable. The first few miles into the city were in the center median of the freeway and above ground. However, after a few transit station stops, the "El" became the subway as we went underground for most of the remaining trip. I was intruiged to experience the 'subway experience', watching too as we paused briefly at the below-ground transit stations. After a good distance traveling under the city of Chicago (including a transfer to another line), we then rose above ground and began traveling the rest of the trip at the second and third floor level, looking down upon the streets. For someone such as myself, it was quite an experience.... But then again, I am amused by the simple things. :)

When we arrived at the Wrigley Field station, the now packed train emptied out, and our little group of six friends made our way down to Wrigley. We already had tickets, so we entered the ballpark and made our way through the crowded concrete pedestrian ramps up to the upper deck third base side. Here, we had an excellent view of the the field and the game.

I did have to marvel though at the historic feel of the ballpark. Here we were, watching the Cubs play in their 90 year old home stadium -- the same stadium baseball legend Babe Ruth had called his famous homerun shot in the 1932 world series! There was a lot of history and charm to the experience. Most modern baseball stadiums capitalize on advertisments all over the place.... Wrigley does not. Nearly all modern stadiums have huge state of the art color video scoreboards.... Wrigley does not. (In fact, Wrigley still has the old *original* scoreboard -- the one with the guy inside who changes the scores on the board manually! That, though certainly not 'high-tech', was very cool to watch!) And many modern stadiums have retractable roofs.... Wrigley does not, rather retaining the original 1914 construction.

I will have to admit though, I think I am a little spoiled by the modern ballpark of my favorite (hometown) team -- Miller Park. I'm still in awe of the butterfly retractable dome, the large expansiveness of the place, and the general state-of-the-art features of this massive ballpark. When I was at Wrigley, everything felt extremely cramped, walkways were narrow, everything was concrete and compact, seats were closer together, and smoking was allowed in the stadium (something that greatly annoyed the non-smoker in me). But, on the opposite side of the coin, seeing the ivy-covered outfield wall framing the *original* field Babe Ruth played on, or the rooftop bleachers of the old apartment buildings just beyond the outfield walls, made the whole experience worth it! I still think the new Miller Park in Milwaukee is my favorite stadium, but, nothing beats a visit to the past -- a past when baseball was a much simpler experience!

The other cool thing about the game was the win awarded to the Cubs! Yes, the Chicago Cubs are doing very well this year. Following their marvelous win on Wednesday, they moved within 1.5 games of the first place Houston Astros (whom they just happened to be playing)! Yes, it was a wonderful win, witnessed by nearly 40,000 fans... (I still don't know *how* that many people fit into a one-block ballpark, but somehow it worked.).... and I was there to cheer on perhaps my second favorite MLB team of late -- the Chicago Cubs. It was a day well spent. :)

After the game, and a crowded exit from the ballpark, our little group eventually made our way to our original blue line "El" transit station (our original transfer station. We decided to forgo boarding the crowded train at the Wrigley station). After our return to the park-and-ride outside downtown Chicago, we all returned to Dave's house via minivan. It had been a wonderful visit to the expansive, somewhat compacted city of Chicago, and we were all begining to yawn from a long day of excitement.

That evening, I stayed at Dave's family's house, rather than have him return me to Milwaukee two hours to the north. I appreciated his family's kind hospitality. They're very nice folks!

Thursday afternoon, after sleeping in, and then returning to Milwaukee, Dave and I met up with Jessica, another wonderful friend from filming in Milwaukee, and we had dinner at a Texas-themed restaurant. The dinner experience was somewhat marred a bit by less than exciting food, but it was a wonderful time for the three of us to enjoy each other's company nonetheless.

After dinner, and a period of discussion over what we should do next, we decided on a genius suggestion by Jessica -- we would visit a classy coffee shop/cafe on the Milwaukee lakefront....

"Alterra", as the place was called, turned out to be a very lovely and trendy little cafe just along the beautiful Brady Street that runs down the attractive Milwaukee lakefront. The building itself that housed this coffee shop seems to have been converted from an old brick power house (mill) from historic Milwaukee. It was a beautiful little building, and on the outside was surrounded by a cafe patio, beautiful trellis', paths and park benches. Being that it was at night now, the garden lights lit the cafe area up quite attractively. For an hour or two, Dave, Jessica, and I sat on one of those park benches, enjoying our beverages and chatting. It was a very serene atmosphere, and one that I enjoyed greatly. I can also say this, I think I certainly will make an effort to get down to the that area of the lakefront more often.... especially now that I know of good friends who enjoy it as much as I do!

A little later, after a thoroughly enjoyable evening walk along the lakefront, the three of us returned to our cars, bid each other a fond good evening, and returned home. Dave dropped me off in Milwaukee, and then drove down back down to the Chicago area.

I will say this though, I really enjoy Dave's company. He and I have a lot in common. We'll have to make a point of keeping in touch. Although there is almost a two hour drive between us, when it comes to frienships, where there's a will, there is certainly a way. I am blessed to have run into him that day at filming in Miller Park. I find it ironic that we didn't really know each other in college, yet, since graduation, we both have become great friends. It's interesting how things work like that! :)

Likewise of great interest to me is staying in touch with Jessica. I greatly enjoy her company. Conversations including her also tend to be highly enjoyable, and something I really look forward to! And, since she does live here in Milwaukee as well, opportunities to get together certainly exist. Surprisingly I find she and I have a lot in common.... Perhaps sometime some of those common interests may turn into even more enjoyable activities. :)

I am definitely blessed to have met both Dave and Jessica out at Miller Park. In more ways than one, working on the film, "Mr. 3000" has become an opportunity providing wonderful memories and even better friendships. It's an experience I am likely not going to forget!

But, the day is now Friday. I've had my fun (!).... now it's time to get back to work, run a few errands, and take care of some less than exciting tasks. Considering the enjoyable nature of the last two days though, I think I can handle a little less fun.... [grin].

Take care all, and have a wonderfully blessed weekend.

Your happily blogging, and always musing unusually-unusual friend,

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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

"Rehearsal: Married... But Separated Till November."

Well, fate and time -- great friends apparently -- have stepped in once again, and adjusted things a bit.... But I'm cool with that. :)

"Second Honeymoon", the alumni theatre production I am currently cast in, needs to be rescheduled until mid-November through sometime in January 2004. Unexpected kinks on the overall end of things (all three one-act plays) have come up, and it seems to make sense that a rescheduled date be arranged. Some additional planning is yet to be announced, but the decision has been made that the show not be produced in the end of this month of August.

The plan is to keep the same cast for the later dates, and for those of us (all three plays) that are not available 2-3 months from now, we will likely have to see their roles recast. As far as I am aware though, and as I shall plan, I get to retain my role as Herbert... (which is cool, since I am already off-book!). This just means, however, that I have a few extra months to know my stuff/character! I suppose can handle that! :)

The decision was made following my rehearsal last night and an all-production meeting this evening, from which I have just returned. Further details are pending, but, the decision was unanimous -- "Let's roll with the punches, and go for a mid-January set of performances." We'll see what happens. .... [smile].

I'll note more here when I hear it, but officially, this means I can ease up on the "Second Honeymoon" work, and look to more present things. Though relatively unexpected (for all of us), I'm sure this news will go well with some of my artisitic "clients" becasue, for the time being, that means I have more time to dedicate to their projects.

...Ah, the ever-exciting 'schedule dance". Hey, it keeps life interesting though, right?

Tomarrow, Wednesday, I'll be heading down to Chicago with a friend to hang out and attend a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. It's been ages since I actually went to a game there, so needless-to-say, I'm a bit excited. Besides, it'll be nice to see Dave again (Dave from "Mr. 3000" filming here in Milwaukee). I'll be sure to note a little about my adventure when I get back, but, until then....

...Have a blessed Wednesday, and let's hope the Cubbies win! ... [grin].

Your happily blogging friend,

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Sunday, August 10, 2003

"Sunday Rehearsal: Happily married .... for three weeks."

Today was a typical Sunday for the most part.

In the evening, however, was the second rehearsal for my play, "Second Honeymoon." -- Fun stuff! And I do always enjoy the rehearsal process! .... But, the biggest challenge, however, is that I will have to significantly outdo myself in terms of any acting I've preciously done.

"Why," you might ask?

Well, see, my character, Herb (35 y/o), though happily and lovingly married to his wife Gladys for twelve years, is still a guy, and, as such, is still quite interested in 'enjoying' his second honeymoon with his wife. ... [wink, wink]. ... (Yes, for those of you not catching my drift.... I am referring to sex.)....

.... Of course, being 'unattached' and single in real life, as well as quite happily a virgin, does present for me a bit of a quandry. It makes my task of connecting with the character all the more interesting, especially considering my tendancy to oftentimes resist baring that much of my heart and soul on-stage. There is certainly nothing racy about this particular play, don't get me wrong, but the truth still remains.... I have never been married to anyone -- let alone for 12 years! ... And my one real dating relationship, well, it lacked a certain reality to it....

...So, needless-to-say, I suppose I will have some interesting character research ahead of me, and, certain things will have to be .... creatively left to the imagination! :)

But even with this interesting challenge, I do find myself, once again, enjoying the process of becoming someone else. Perhaps that too is why I am enjoying the realization that the character of Herb is much more of a stretch for me than I originally thought. .... As an actor, though I suppose my truthful response to the challenge would have to be simple, "Alright then, bring it on!" :)

Ha! Anyway.... Alright, musings conluded. Carry on. ... [chuckle].

Your happily musing actor friend,

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Saturday, August 09, 2003

"Say Anything."

Not much to say of my Friday....

In the evening though, I did sit down and watch the film, "Say Anything." That's become one of my top favorite romantic films, and everytime I watch it, I find I can draw parallels to certain things in my own life. Great flick. If you haven't seen it yet (it was a 1989 film!), I highly recommend it.... Very well done!

It stars John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, and John Mahoney, all favorite actors of mine. The romantic female lead is played by the lovely and talented Ione Sky. Check the film out sometime.

Well, tis early Saturday morning. I'm off to bed. Have a blessed weekend all! :)

Your happily blogging friend,

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Thursday, August 07, 2003

"Do what you love, the success will follow."

I couldn't sleep last night, at least not beyond the 1-2, maybe three hours that I was in and out of slumber. I'm starting to wonder just how much I did put myself out of sorts working on "Mr. 3000." The strange thing is though, I'm not all that tired, and I certainly have no qualms whatsoever about the hours I pulled out there at Miller Park. Just saying I had a blast probably doesn't even do the experience justice!

I suppose I did end up sleeping during most of the afternoon on Wednesday though, maybe a few hours or so. Perhaps it's not that I'm not sleeping enough.... Maybe I'm just on a 'sleep when I'm tired' kind of schedule.... [shrug].

Anyway, early this morning, I got up from my restless slumber, and worked a little on my character and lines for "Second Honeymoon," the two-person, one-act stage show I was recently cast in. It looks like a lot of fun. Not really a big stretch for me character-wise, but a lot of fun nonetheless. I'm really looking forward to it. My first rehearsal is this evening... The show then goes up later at the end of the month.

When I came to a point where I set the play down, I got to thinking.... And, somehow my thoughts went back to my time spent on-set working on the made-for-television film, "In the Net." I didn't have a speaking role in the film, but I was heavily involved, popping up as different background characters all over the place. It was a very enjoyable experience, but then again, that can be said of nearly all of my acting opportunities thus far. :)

So, this morning, as I lay on my bed thinking, I decided to pop my taped copy of "In the Net" into the VCR and watch it again. For some reason I really enjoy this film, and not just becasue I was involved with it....

"In the Net explores the lives of two college students… different races… different likes and dislikes… different attitudes, friends and activities. Their first chance meeting is physically and emotionally explosive. What follows challenges all they've learned, thought and believed. Trey is an African American basketball star with a full scholarship to the university. When Trey gets into a fight with Josh, a white student, his arrest puts his scholarship in jeopardy. But Trey's advisor is determined that he will not become another dropout statistic. ....

To teach Trey the meaning of humility, responsibility, discipline and the value of teamwork, he is suspended from the basketball team. To keep his scholarship, Trey must join the all-white ice hockey team. Tension builds as Trey and Josh meet again and are forced to work together in a struggle for acceptance, understanding and mutual respect."

It's a good story. I recommend it to anyone interested. It's definitely well worth seeing. Check out the production 'company' website sometime....

But, you know, as I think back upon my work in "In the Net", or even "Mr. 3000", there's just a certain satisfaction in being part of something good -- a good effort at storytelling. Maybe that's what draws me to 'playing pretend' so much. I just love the opportunity to be someone else for a while, and to create a story, or be part of a story, that looks at the lives and conditions of the human mind, interaction, and spirit. Especially lately, I'm finding within myself, a real strong desire to learn more about others, a passion to tell their stories, and a love for the process and effort.

But I've also been giving a lot of thought to my love of art. And when I do sit down and think about it, the little voice inside me always seems to start reasoning...., "Jon, you're good at art -- very good, but why aren't you out there knocking on doors, seeking out those opportunities to act -- to tell stories? I know you enjoy art. I know you have a passion to create. But don't kid yourself, I see how much you love acting too. If you ask me, maybe you have more of a love for it than you do of making art your career. Seriously. I see you struggle to remain motivated with some of these art projects you've been doing lately. You want to get out there and pretend. You want to move, keep busy, learn, grow, expand your skill. But you hold back sometimes. Why?.... You know success will come in what you love doing most. Don't hold back. Grab that passion by the reins and get moving!"

But it's not that easy. I have two passions in my life -- art and acting. I'm good at both. But the more I keep thinking about it, the more I wonder if I really can combine the two into ONE career? I don't really want to keep doing artwork for the rest of my life. I'm not even sure I want to be a graphic artist anymore. But I certainly have no intention of giving up my artwork,... maybe it would be better secondary to something else....

Hey, I'm good at art, sure, won a few nice awards and a lot of praise at it too, but I usually seem to just sit still in art.... And there's not a lot of change. Doing art, I'm one thing -- an artist. As much as I do love it, I don't want to be just an artist for the rest of my life; I don't really want to sit still.... I want to try my hand at a little bit of something else. I want to be Mark Twain... or that bad guy... or the romantic guy struggling to love.... or even that explorer seeking out something no one else has yet discovered. I want to be more of an actor, but sometimes I feel my art holds me back. And I don't really know why.

Hey, I could care less about landing a role that could net me the big money. I could care less whether the role is a lead or a supporting character. Obviously I already love the small stuff. And beyond making a simple living, I could care less about the dollars. Seriously. I'm not interested in just the fame. I don't want a million dollar house or an 'unlimited' bank account. What would I do with all that? I just wanna act, plain and simple. Sure I want to make a living, but not an extravagent living. ...Unfortunately, the true opportunites are few and far between.... Especially for someone such as myself, who's resume does not yet include big-time Shakespearean shows, or Spielberg-like directors, or even the big-names in theatre.

When it all comes down to it though, my dreams are big, my spirit ready to run, but I don't know where to go. I am an unknown. And, who really notices the unknown?

Ah, well, I guess it'll just be the eternal question on my mind. Act, or Draw. Which suits me better. To pursue one, and lose the other, would hurt greatly. To combine them both continues to prove an endless struggle. I guess I keep doing what I love -- balancing both of them -- and hoping, the old saying is true.... "Do what you love, and the success will follow."

All I can do is keep trying, right? God will handle the rest....

Well, enough thinking out loud. Have a blessed Thursday. :)

Your always musing friend,

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Wednesday, August 06, 2003

"Mechanical Inaptitude."

Hmm, I just figured out why I was only getting two channels on the small television in my room, the one my friend Scott gave me.... I had the antenna hooked up wrong.

Ha, now I feel stupid. :)


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"Tuesday's Musings: Interesting People."

My part of town has been bustling these past few days. The Wisconsin State Fair is in town.

I won't be going this year, but it is interesting to see so much life in my neighborhood. Pretty much every company or building that has a parking lot puts out the ole "Parking $5" signs. It 's kind of funny actually, but I suppose a clever money-maker.

...Hmmm... yeah, I want a parking lot! ... [sarcastic whimper]

But yeah, anyway [lol], a lot of people in my neighborhood for the next few days. Kids, flatteringly dressed young women (what, is the Fair a popular guy hotspot?!), lots of families, people who have taken the day off from work, and lots and lots of cars parking the lots and streets full.... Ha, yeah, if I were to go to the State Fair, parking wouldn't be an issue. Yet, I'm not all that interested in going. I must be odd. I guess, though, I just prefer the smaller county fairs. Less people, and more of a country appeal.

Today I traversed the busy pedestrian streets for a meeting with a fellow WLC alum who works for a financial planning company. He wanted to inform me about the company he works for. He's a nice guy, and gave a very intruiging presentation. I'll be honest though, I'm not really in need of a professional financial planner myself, I'm already pretty common-sense about stuff like that, but I figured I'd give him a hand with his networking. And who knows, I may actually know of a few people who might enjoy chatting with him, so task achieved, right. :)

I agreed with one of the statements he said though, "Businesses grow more effectively through networking and referrals." We're all so set in the business world, of utilizing the most up-to-date methods of advertising, that sometimes the 'old-fashioned' ways are ignored for the 'coolest thing everyone else is doing.' I'm a bit of an old-fashioned guy. Networking works for me!

Well, off to other things this morning. Until later,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Tuesday, August 05, 2003

"Back to the Norm"

Well, it's Tuesday morning already, and I'm up and wide awake. I'm not usually up this early in the morning unless I've stayed up all night. Last night I didn't. I actually went to bed at about midnight.

My guess is that my internal clock is still a little off. Spending all my waking hours out at Miller Park probably became more habit than I thought. It may take me a couple more days to get back onto a regular schedule again. But hey, if anything, I can nap in the afternoon if need be. Especially since I am still self-employed/unemployed, and work my own hours.

The weekend wasn't really all that exciting. After Jessica, Dave, and myself went out for breakfast Friday morning (after our last night on the set of "Mr. 3000"), I ended up not going to bed. Instead I ran a number of errands that had been put off due to filming. Nothing too special. I did get a nap in the early evening though, so I guess all was well.

After the nap, I ended up catching a few episodes of the "Bernie Mac Show" on tv. I was especially interested since I had been working with Bernie Mac on "Mr. 3000". And you know, I really enjoyed the show. It was both entertaining, and family-oriented. I liked that. I may even become a fan, who knows.

On Saturday, the only notable event of the day was the DVD I watched in the evening. Since our (free) cable has been unexpectely, and probably unknowingly disconnected, we're temporarily back to 'antenna programming'. As a result, we only pick up maybe 5 stations, and not all that clear at that. Both Noah (roomate) and I have been watching a lot of DVD's and videos as a result. In the evening I popped in "Sliding Doors" staring Gweneth Paltrow. It was an enjoyable romantic story of divergant realities resulting from a single event playing out two different ways. Very enjoyable. I recommend it.

Sunday, my friend Scott called up and invited me to go pick some cherries with him. His aunt has a cherry tree in her yard, though rarely makes use of it. She invited Scott to feel free and pick some. His grandmother, whom Scott lives with, wanted to make a cherry pie, so he agreed to get her some. I went along and brought back a bowl of the delicious red fruit myself. Good stuff.... There's just something about freshly picked fruits and vegetables, that most people these days don't take the opportunity to enjoy. It's shame actually.... picking the cherries was fun. :)

After acquiring the cherries we wanted, Scott and I returned to Milwaukee and stopped in a used book store. While there, I decided to splurge (something I have not done in a while) and picked up a new computer game for $10 -- "Superpower." Unfortunately, I stayed up a little to late into the night playing it. Oh well, so much for trying to get back on a regular sleep schedule. The game was very enjoyable though.... [grin].

Not much to note from Monday. I spent much of the day working on various projects in my apartment, then went to bed by midnight. I did add a new feature section to my website though:

"Fifteen Days in Hollywood" is a collection of all of my journals regarding my time spent on the set of Mr. 3000. All of them are organized nicely for easy reading from the begining. Feel free to take a gander. Surprisingly my weblog has been gaining a lot of attention becasue of those fifteen journal entries. Feel free to join the hype. :)

Alas, however, it's now Tuesday, and I must return to my projects for the day. I'll catch you all later on though.

Have a blessed day, and until then,

Your happily blogging friend,

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Jon Baas

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