Monday, April 9, 2012

the weekend - a rant

Right, so clearly all things can't go right all the time.  But seriously now, when they do go wrong, why does it have to be all at once?  I had three things scheduled for this weekend, a session and two video shoots, and every single one fell through.  Now, with both the session and the first shoot, the other person let me know as early as possible that something had come up, and we're talking to reschedule.  No issues there; I even got to make it to a very nice no-gi class I would otherwise have missed.  So that was Saturday, and it was pretty well salvaged.

But, oh damn, this bastard who stood me up Sunday.  This is the problem with making wrestling videos, I find.  Guys who will be in them, will show their faces on camera, and AREN'T FLAKY are a rare and precious breed.  On that note, I want to put a big "Thank You" out there to the awesome guys I do work with before saying anything else.  But at certain points you look over your filmography and think, "Man, I sure do beat up the same people a lot.  Maybe a new face...?"  And then you must Take A Risk.

So, Sunday.  A message to this schmuck:  First off, don't contact me saying how much you would LOVE to do this and totally blow it off when you get a chance.  This really stands to ruin things for guys who write in and are sincere.  Second, it does take some effort and coordination to set these shoots up - it involves scheduling with the studio, the videographer, and video sponsors, so being a slinky little no-show screws over at least three people besides me.  Third, yesterday was absolutely gorgeous -- which I noticed as I hurried through the park, not stopping in order to get to this shoot on time.  Fourth, as I sat there waiting for you to show your punkish face, I determined precisely the favorite restaurant and precisely the glass of wine I would need to brush away this irritation.  Then, after giving up on you and trekking across town with ALL my video and costume equipment, I found the restaurant was closed!  Your fault, I'm sure.  And fifth, Second Choice Restaurant really had inexcusably terrible sangria.  ALSO your fault.

Now, that's not to say the evening was a total waste.  My cameraman and I are resourceful and determined.  We took some new close-up foot photos for me.  I've been practicing karate-style kicks in preparation for a new custom video request, and we shot a little gimme of my kicks with me in full gi.  And we experimented with (but had to reject - for now) some POV camera angle ideas I'd been pondering.  Most importantly, we got in touch with a good and trusty video victim and rescheduled the original shoot for Tuesday.  But did it have to be like that?  No.  It COULD have been the shoot it was supposed to be.

OK, vented.  Moving on.  New week...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

judo, L&C, Nashville, and more

A lot to catch up on since my last blog!

The first thing to report is the story of a VERY wild video shoot from last week.  There was one video on the schedule, and it was a very interesting and somewhat complicated custom request -- a judo contest, but with a messy wrestling twist.  The fighters would wear shiny leotards and tights and any time one lost a fall, she would be rubbed and massaged with bread dough while she recovered.  At the end of the match, whoever's shiny attire was still shiny (or at least less messy) would win.  Orlandoe and I were competing, and Indra was to be the ring girl in charge of the dough.

That was the plan.  But another request came through the night before for a lift and carry custom featuring Orlandoe, Indra, me, and a fourth girl.  I knew we had to do it the same night or wait a long time for everyone's schedules to line up again.  So an urgent call went out for a fourth girl who was free at exactly the right time that night.  Only an hour before the shoot we found her; a friend of Orlandoe's could do it.

Now, we often use a public rehearsal studio for our videos -- sometimes they're great.  They store our mats for us, and some of the rooms have lovely theatrical lighting.  BUT.  They've been driving me crazy lately -- getting busier and busier and more crowded, harder to book, and more full of bitchy anti-wrestling yoga and belly dancing personalities.  Not to mention drama-prone drama majors.

So, before the shoot, I'm mixing up the bread dough in the ladies' room.  "What's that?" someone asks.  No problem; it's a theater space.  "A prop," I say.  We film the judo video and it goes quite well (QUITE well -  lovely throwing and athleticism and a great match-up between Orlandoe and me), but it runs a bit late.  So after the shoot, we get the studio manager knocking on the door telling us the next scheduled group in waiting to come in.  What the fuck, little dancing group?  You couldn't knock on the door yourselves?  It prevents making an issue and it saves YOU time.  Like I said, it's the good with the bad at this place.

We sneak into another free room to do the lift and carry video.  This one is two teams performing shoulder rides and having a chicken fight, and the one major request the sponsor had was 10 minutes of continuous carrying -- no breaks or cuts in the tape.  I'd never tried a straight 10-minute lift before, so it was looking to be a challenge.  Turned out to be more of challenge than expected -- Orlandoe's friend hadn't listened to her very carefully about what the shoot would involve, so she'd decided it would be OK to show up a bit tipsy.

Orlandoe was the one carrying her, and I was carrying Indra, and we both had quite a job to do keeping our riders safe while the fourth girl got way too wild and ruthless with the fight -- for 10 minutes, with no break to calm her down!  But we succeeded, and I was quite proud of our strength, balance, and composure!  Then to top it off, the girl says she didn't realize the video would be released and isn't comfortable with that.  This is a terrible waste as it was an impressive feat in the end and deserves to be seen; I swear I get saint points for honoring her request.  Grrr.  But we definitely want to use this scenario again for a video that WILL be released.

Next item - my trip to Nashville.  Let me skip over most of it and hit the biggest highlight.  Saturday night I was supposed to meet up with a big group of friends for dinner and drinks, but everyone was coming from a different place, and no one had decided where we were actually meeting.  Everyone text everyone when you get near, was the dubious plan.  My ride and I show up first; we spot a likely looking sports bar and text everyone about it.  We go in, and honest-to-god the receptionist says to us "I don't recommend you come here.  Really.  Go to the nice place two blocks away."  And indeed, on the inside this place looks like a hell hole.  We text everyone again, and head to the new place.

Of course, they never arrive and quite possibly some of them ended up at the original miserable dive.  But we get a huge comfy booth just in case they manage to show and proceed to enjoy live bluegrass (it was an Earl Scruggs tribute), awesome ribs, and various superb Southern microbrews.  Ever had Bourbon Barrel Stout or Pecan Nut Brown Ale?  Don't wait - find them, try them.  So that was my mini-birthday celebration.  I'm STILL waiting to be un-busy enough for my proper birthday celebration.  This weekend's looking good.  And Orlandoe and Wrecks are hosting a party Wednesday that should make a nice second warm-up ;)

Third and fourth items, quickly - Taxes, killing me.  This was such a huge stressor to me yesterday.  I've gathered more receipts, and things are looking brighter, but this was a blow to my optimism about getting out of the office job this year.  I didn't need that...or, realistically maybe I did.  It's still going to happen but more likely next year.  Sigh.

AND this week's videos.  Yesterday I got to sit in on a match between my friend Hanz and Amazon Eve.  That was quite something to see!  Hanz isn't a small guy (6'-0" and 190 lbs.), and at 6'-8" Eve just dwarfed him.  Their match was for Hanz's site, not for Doom Maidens, so look for it there.  It was fun to compare notes with Eve afterwards -- I'm of course not too familiar with the giantess and height comparison corners of the wrestle/muscle/strength world, and Eve was very keen to learn more technical jiu-jitsu.

Tonight there's a judo and foot domination match coming up between Indra and Thrash, and I'll be joining the fun as well for a judo torture instructional clip.  Onward to more action...