Tag Archives: performance

Your Fly is Down

As some of you are aware, I work a day job as an actor to help fund and fuel my dream to one day become a waiter. As a result, I sometimes find myself in wacky situations for acting purposes, this was definitely the case for a recent commercial shoot I was on that almost didn’t happen because apparently airlines can just straight up cancel their flights if they feel like it, no big whoop. Below is 31 hours of travel shenanigans compressed into seven minutes of me talking into a camera. Watch it if that’s your thing. If it’s not your thing, go back to eating your high cholesterol fatty foods, you stereotypical American, you.

So there you have it, a day in the life of a sort-of actor. Next time I should just take my personal jet like Clooney does.

Play on,
Dustin

Here is the first picture that popped up when I googled my own name:

if i'd taken senior portraits, i'm certain they would've looked like this.

if I’d taken senior portraits, I’m certain they would’ve looked like this.

 

…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox. Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagramyoutube (new videos every Monday), and my boring personal website. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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The Friday Five: Five Rules for Choosing Your Karaoke Song

“For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and cry out like the ostriches.”

…That verse from Micah (chapter one, verse eight) probably marks one of the earliest references to karaoke in the Old Testament (that’s the first half of the Bible, to all you pagans out there). The simple fact of the matter is that at some point in your life, you are going to have to sing (or at least co-sing) a song in some sort of karaoke situation. Oh sure, I’ve heard all the excuses before “I’d never let myself sink that low” “I’m too careful to end up like that” “I’m a good person”, etc. but the fact of the matter is you can either prepare mentally and spiritually for this kind of thing, or you can just live in denial and be caught totally off guard when it happens to you (and trust me, it will). Bachelorette parties, housewarmings, cookouts, bar mitzvahs…technology has progressed in such a way that karaoke can strike anywhere, at any time, and even if you take every precaution available, karaoke will find you. And when it does, karaoke will show no mercy. Luckily, I’m here for you, and if you follow a few simple guidelines, you can survive karaoke as unscathed as possible…and heck, you might even come out of it with a good story to tell.

Five Karaoke Rules that will keep you from ending up like this guy. You're welcome.

Five Karaoke Rules that will keep you from ending up like this guy. You’re welcome.                                                     (Note: The National Anthem is not a great karaoke song choice)

Rule 1: Know your level of vocal ability.
I always think this one is a no-brainer, but then every year I see a new set of American Idol promos (I haven’t watched an actual episode of American Idol since the Clay Aiken/Ruben Studdard season, I was too hurt after watching Clay unjustly lose to ever go back…plus those types of shows are pretty played out) where an astoundingly high number of people can’t sing. It’s one thing to be blissfully unaware that you’re singing is off-pitch (shout out to whoever was standing behind me in church this week*, but you do you, homeslice), but there’s a special level of pain I feel for people that are terrible singers and have NO IDEA! Like whoever is the Paula these days will be like “sorry sweetie, you’re no good” and the contestant will be all like “Psh YOU DON’T KNOW MY WORLD SON, I’ma take my voice and go out and make a million dollars without your show! I voted green party!” and then we never hear or see them again, with the sort-of exception of William Hung, who is on national TV about as often as I am (AKA not very). The moral of the story is: it may be painful, but do whatever you have to in order to figure out how good of a singer you are BEFORE you find yourself in front of a group of people at a karaoke bar or a panel of Randy Jackson types.

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Dustin Doctor Audition

As a companion of sorts to the piece I wrote yesterday about auditions, I thought I’d give you a real live glimpse into the everyday auditioning world of professional actor, Dustin Heveron. Enjoy, and feel free to share this with anyone who likes to laugh or who needs a “don’t end up like him” sort of warning in their life. (Full disclosure, it gets pretty PG-13 at parts, so don’t say you weren’t warned).

Play on,
Dustin

…If you enjoyed that video, other, lower definition and less funny videos of mine can be found here (Dustin as Son of Santa Claus), here (Dustin’s 100% Real Movie Trailer), and here (Dustin makes a short film from start to finish in a single weekend).

Also, because I’m told people like pretty things, here is a pretty picture I took with my iPhone. If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you’ve probably already seen it. Like the badass you are.

People are always complaining about how not beautiful the ocean is, but I just don't get it.

People are always complaining about how not beautiful the ocean is, but I just don’t get it.

What’s your favorite pretty thing? Leave your answers in the comments section!

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Auditioning

I wish I was this good looking in real life. (Note: this is not my actual headshot).

I had an audition today (it went decently well…let’s hope the casting director thinks it did, too), and it brought up something people ask me about a lot — what an audition is like. Obviously my actor friends already have a pretty good sense for this kind of thing, but for all you non-actors or not-yet-but-thinking-about-it actors, this is sort of what auditioning feels like:

Picture yourself as a car salesman, trying to sell a car to a family of four — except instead of having the entire car lot’s selection to choose from, you only have one car type to choose from (this represents the parts of your performance you don’t have any control over: race, gender, weight-range, eye color, etc.). Now let’s say car specifics like what color it is, whether it has a spoiler or not, tinted windows, etc., represent the elements of your performance that you do have control over (i.e. how you play the character, how well you memorize your lines, etc.). Except instead of asking questions about how the buyers would like things customized to what they’re looking for, you just have to make your best guess based on a vague, one-sentence (or less) description that was given to you a day or two beforehand. And instead of an entire afternoon of discussion with the buyers, you only get about two-to-five minutes of their time to sell them on your best guess as to the sort of car you think they might want. Maybe. And if you mess up your pitch, you may get another chance to start your pitch from the beginning, or they might just tell you they’ve seen/heard all they care to and you’re done for the day. No sale. Now if you do successfully finish your pitch for what you guess/think/hope is their dream car, instead of the back-and-forth dialogue in the car sales office where you make adjustments to the deal so that they have exactly what they’re looking for, what actually happens is the family makes all the important decisions about your car apart from you — you have no say in the discussion and no ability to try and talk them into the benefits of your car over the other cars they’re considering. Or they may decide they don’t want a car after all and go an entirely different direction. Or they may have liked your car a lot but then at the last second lost all their funding and are no longer able to buy a car or anything of the sort. But you won’t be contacted in any of those scenarios, so you only ever hear back if they want to buy your car specifically. And there’s no set time period for their decision making, so they might know within a day or two that they’ve lost their funding, or that they’re getting a horse instead of a car, or that they went with a different car, but you have to remain available for potentially weeks at a time until you can safely assume they’re no longer interested for whatever reason. And you only ever get paid if they choose your car from amongst the potentially hundreds of other options they’ve been presented with during their search. No base salary included here — it’s winner take all, everyone else goes home empty-handed: no runners-up, no consolation prizes.

That, my friends, is what an audition is like.

But don’t let that discourage any of you, it can still be a fun process, and even if you’re not any good you’ll probably make a sale or two every now and then, which is pretty cool.

…And hey, it could be worse, you could be a writer — that’s like car sales except you’re not even allowed in the room to make the initial pitch. Yikes.

Play on,
Dustin

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Outtake Attack!

Good morning, angels!

Those of you who’ve had the fortune/misfortune of stalking me for a long enough period of time will recall that a couple years ago I did a commercial for AAA as the son of Santa Claus, Zak Kringle — the final cut of those commercials have come and gone on tv, and now enjoy retirement on the internet. What you might not know is that for each of those 30 second commercials, there are several HOURS of unused footage that was either too unintelligible or uninteresting or inappropriate  for television (at least for a family brand trying to make a nice tv commercial). While most of it will forever be lost on the cutting room floor of an editing suite, I managed to recover a couple of the bits that were deemed worthy of saving, and through the magic of youtube, am making them available to you.

I didn’t know this is what I was buying when I ordered that beard trimmer off the internet…

So here you go world, the video that absolutely no one demanded,  compilation of Zak Kringle outtakes. Enjoy.

Play on,
Dustin

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