I’ve had a number of things going on in my life recently and I thought I’d bring your attention to them. I have even more things going on than what I’m listing, but here are some of the things I’m really excited to note.
In March 2010, I officially launched Stand-In Central, a helpful resource for the TV and film stand-in. A lot of my work is as a stand-in, a job that is to some degree shrouded in mystery. Not only is it a mystery to the average joe not in production, but it is also a mystery to the person hired to work as a stand-in. On the surface, standing in is a rather simple job; however, standing in can be a very demanding job, and I’ve found that knowledge is power when it comes to standing in.
For this reason, I created Stand-In Central. On the website, I outline the job (see What Is A Stand-In?), I edit a blog (see The Stand-In Central Tips & Tricks Blog), and I offer a section for stand-ins and potential stand-ins to ask questions about the job (see Ask Stand-In Central).
I update the Tips & Tricks blog weekly with content of interest to the committed stand-in. I have interviews with professional stand-ins (see my interview with Sara DeRosa, and my forthcoming interview with Sarah Brynne coming out midweek), give instruction (for examples, see “Adding a Stand-In Job to the Internet Movie Database”, “What to Watch in a Marking Rehearsal”, and “Analog Movement vs. Digital Movement”), and offer concepts for success (for example, “The Concept of Family”). Starting next month I will have my first additional contributor to Stand-In Central.
Stand-In Central is largely a word-of-mouth endeavor I’m trying to get better ranked in Google, so if you see a way to link to it, I would greatly appreciate it, as would the people who are searching for information about stand-ins.
Off the Map: Notes on the Territory
A Blog about General Semantics
Since February 2010, I’ve taken a liking to blogging, particularly on the topic of general semantics. I created Off the Map: Notes on the Territory for that very reason, and I’ve contributed to it thusfar much, much more than I expected I would. Off the Map has prove to be a great outlet for my headful of interest in general semantics, especially since deciding to close the General Semantics Discussion Forums I moderated on the Institute of General Semantics website. Today’s post traces the ideas of general semantics founder Alfred Korzybski back to engineering ideas expressed similiarly by H.L. Gantt, and correlates Korzybski’s interest in human productivity with Gantt’s similar interest.
That may make you go “Huh?!,” but give it a read and I think you’ll like what I write in Off the Map. The blog is a fun, stimulating project that keeps me writing and focused on general semantics in the pursuit of making general semantics more easily understandable to the layperson. I’ve found that over time general semantics has become a bit hard to relate to and understand, and I believe that simple rewordings of more complicated concepts can yield a renewed excitement in the powerful field that transformed my thinking when I stumbled upon it in the library when I was in college. Today I sit on two boards related to general semantics (the board of trustees for the Institute of General Semantics and the board of directors for the New York Society for General Semantics), webmaster both of their websites, have a forthcoming feature in the journal for general semantics titled ETC: A Review of General Semantics, and webmaster the general semantics website of Milton Dawes.
In writing Off the Map, I’m learning the balance of working with general semantics organizations to promote general semantics and promoting it on my own. I hope you’ll follow it and discover the tremendous benefits general semantics offers in problem solving and the pursuit of personal excellence.
O’er the Hills: Ben’s Running Blog
As if I wasn’t already doing enough writing, I keep a blog about my running called O’er the Hills: Ben’s Running Blog. Primarily I keep it as a log for my marathon training. This year I am setting my sights on running the New York City Marathon, which I’ve run thrice before. Currently, I am also weighing the possibility of running the Philadelphia Marathon, which I ran last year and is about two weeks after the NYC Marathon. In 2011, I am also setting my sights on running the Boston Marathon, which I qualified for last year with my Philadelphia Marathon time of 3:07:32.
Essentially, in beginning pre-training this month, I am already beginning nearly a year of marathon training. It will be a test of time management, energy management, nutrition, health, capacity, and productivity, not to mention a measure of my current ability to achieve my goals against many odds. Of those odds, I have an erratic work schedule that competes for time and energy, and I have a body with a few issues that could spell injury if I’m not cautious.
The blog also features something I’ve never used before: Running stats provided by my sophisticated sports watch, the Garmin Forefunner 405CX. This GPS-rigged sports watch is able to measure my routes, times, paces, and more, and can even measure my heart rate. I plan to incorporate its heart-rate monitor into my marathon training this year, in the quest to shave off time and race better. Already I’m using the watch to track my runs, which I upload wirelessly to an account and display in my running blog. You should follow my blog to check my progress and see what statistics my Garmin provides (like replaying my runs!). It will probably excite you to watch as I accomplish running goals and achieve personal records. That is, presuming I don’t succumb to an injury.
After more than a year spent dedicated to making a living as an actor, I accomplished that goal and continue to be very fortunate in that endeavor. However, there is more I am aiming to achieve, so I am restrategizing my time as I endeavor to land smart, committed representation in the effort to secure auditions and land more principal work.
My goals include starring in television and hosting television programming, not to mention landing film and commercial work. My past year has been a tremendous education in film and television to supplement my degree in acting and years of theater and performance experience.
These days, it is not easy to land auditions given the use of the internet to put out casting calls and the extraordinary pool of talent vying for those jobs. I’m looking at more successful ways to skip the audition process and enjoy a more privileged place in casting, yet getting to that place takes time, reputation, and an amount of luck. I am lucky in a lot of respects, and I hope that my luck continues to forward me in my career. To follow my progress, simply watch my website, and specifically this news blog that I keep, which I update almost daily with information about my career as an actor.
These are but some of the things that occupy my day these days. I’m left with not a lot of time, but despite the lack of time, I still get a lot of things done. Feel free to follow along with any of these endeavors or pass them on to someone you know whom they might interest.
Thanks for reading and following along yourself.