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Archive for June, 2009

Travel Heath Insurance

20009-06-30Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada flying to Ottawa, ON, Canada

Yes it’s true that in Canada we have socialized medicine, but if you travel beyond the boarders of your own province or outside of the country it’s probably a good idea to pick up some additional ‘travel health insurance.’ Thankfully I’ve never had to submit a claim on my travel insurance policy and for the most part I’m fairly healthy, but I’ve got to admit that after watching Michael Moore’s 2007 Movie – Sicko I sort of got a really great reminder of why I fork out the cash for travel health insurance every year. Get sick while on tour in the US with out insurance and (if Sicko is accurate) I might find myself in a position of picking which finger I’d like saved…  Ring Finger for $12,000.00 or middle finger for $60,000.00 – Yikes.

As a member of BCAA (British Columbia Automobile Association) a branch of the Canadian Automobile Association I was able to pick up a Travel Health Insurance policy that covers me for trips up to sixty days for less than a hundred bucks and the peace of mind it gives me to know that I’m not totally screwed if some thing goes sideways while I’m traveling is SOOOO worth it! Travel safe and healthy!

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Build your Database

2009-06-29Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

If you want to work chances are you’re going to need to contact potential clients and introduce yourself to them. This is true of just about any market you pursue unless your work of mouth advertising has been so successful that you haven’t actually gone out of your way to pursue additional work. Now, although word of mouth advertising is possibly the best form of marketing, following up with old clients and staying in touch with new ones will likely require some sort of address book or database to assemble all of the contact information in one convenient location.

Years ago I got hooked on a product called Now Contact for this purpose and although I’ve tried a number of other products out there, I keep coming back to Now Contact (available for both Mac and Windows platforms) because I really like the ability to customize how you print addresses out in particular the ability to select which label on a sheet you want to start printing on. The ability to start in the middle of a page means that I can run the same label sheet through my printer a bunch of times and keep printing on exactly the label I want to print on which is great.

Of course the concept of building a database of contacts is simple, collect client information and input it into some sort of organizing software that lets you access it when you need it and likely use it for addressing letters and envelopes. The reality of data entry on the other hand isn’t so much fun, but quite often you can get pre-built lists of contacts that can be imported into what ever contact software you choose to use.

Spending a bit of time getting to know the software you’re using is a great idea and most software packages have the ability to include some sort of indexing systems. Either sorting by a ‘keyword’ or perhaps a ‘category’ that is included at the time of data entry. These come in particularly handy when doing mail outs to targeted markets or if there’s the ability to include multiple keywords or categories you’ll be able to have certain contacts included in multiple groups thus making it easy to include one client in various mailings should you choose to do so.

So why is all of this important? Well I mentioned this a bit in last week’s post about sending birthday cards to possible clients. In today’s day and age of e-business, there’s something particularly nice about receiving something via regular postal mail that isn’t a bill. If you take the time to do a mailing to a target market and do so on a regular basis, the spaced repetition of having your face cross potential clients desks will keep you in their mind and although it may be months or even year’s before you get a response from a given mailing, all it takes is one new job and/or one new client to make it all worth while.

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Steve Martin – Quoted

2009-06-27Where in the world am I today?: Aboard the STAR Princess docked in Seattle, WA, USA

Chaos in the midst of chaos isn’t funny, but chaos in the midst of order is.

Steve Martin, US comedian & movie actor (1945 – )

Addendum…

“I think chaos in the midst of order reminds us that the order isn’t really as important as laughter. Laughter always trumps order.”

–David ‘checkerhead’ Aiken

I’m a huge Steve Martin fan and was really pleased to find this quote that’s been attributed to him. Makes complete sense and is wonderful in it’s simplicity. Contrast builds interest and if done correctly funny and where would we be with out funny?

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Dan The One Man Band • Interviews from the Inside

2009-06-26Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Prologue: Though we both grew up in Ottawa, I didn’t officially meet Dan the One Man Band until I bumped into his show at the Edmonton Fringe Festival around the mid-1990s. I’d heard that he’d been performing in Japan (as had I) and at the end of his show I walked up and introduced myself. He seemed to know who I was which was interesting, but then again I had heard of him and felt like I already knew him too… Our mutual shared experience and mutual friends lead to easy conversation and a quick friendship. One of my fondest memories of working with Dan came at the 2006 PNE. At the end of every day I’d try and give him a hand bringing his props back to the green room. Somehow the walk back up the hill towards Pacific Coliseum seemed important.

STATS

Name: Dan Duguay – Dan the One Man Band
Birthday: August 25
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON, Canada
Started Performing/Working in the Industry: 1990
Discipline: Multi instrumental humourist
Website: http://www.dantheonemanband.com
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiPstGMHKRM
Venues Worked: Street Performer Festivals, Children’s Festivals, Fairs, Fringes, Street Corners, Parks, Pedestrian Malls, Shopping Malls, Boats, Airplanes, Trains, Comedy Clubs, Night Clubs, Theatres, Sporting arenas, Parades.

Hot 10 Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream and why?Tiger Tiger. Orange and licorice together in one hump, need I say more?
  2. Name one movie that would make it to your Top 10 all-time great films.“The Mission” You have to get rid of everything to find what is truly important.
  3. What was your favorite toy from childhood? • G.I. Joe with the kung fu grip.
  4. Who were your biggest inspirations when you got started?Pete O’Connell (aka: Pete the One Man Band), Bert from Mary Poppins, and I do remember seeing Checkerboard Guy in the Byward Market in Ottawa one Saturday afternoon. He had a huge crowd and I watched him collect his money after the show and I thought, “that’s a cool way to make a living”.  Must have been 1984 or ‘85.
  5. From the world of animation what one character do you most identify with or see yourself in? • Woody from Toy Story.
  6. Name something that scares you.Needles.
  7. Apart from the entertainment industry, name one other job you’ve had.Worked for a summer at the Regional Assessment Office in Ottawa.  My mom got me the job.
  8. What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to try? • Ride an Elephant.
  9. What’s your least favourite thing about being a performer? • Being away from my wife and kids.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? • You spent a lifetime making people smile, come on in.

The Nugget:

Pick one nugget of wisdom you’ve picked up from your career in Show Business to share with the World.

Enjoy what you do cause one day it’ll all be over.

–Dan Duguay

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BUSKERS – For Love or Money

2009-06-25Where in the world am I today?: Ketchikan, AK, USA on my way back to North Vancouver

In the last week I’ve watched the Documentary Film “Buskers – For Love or Money” a couple of times. This may in part be because I was working aboard the GOLDEN Princess and had lots of time on my hands, but I think it’s also because I’m a huge fan of trying to capture moments from the world of street theatre on either video or in still photos myself. In my case this has been accomplished by getting people to come and perform at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver and recording their shows there.

Mad Chad Taylor took a different approach on gathering footage. Instead of getting people to come to him, he went to some of the most famous street performance pitches around the world and captured many of the legends of the street in action both on stage as well as behind the scenes. Chad’s piece is a window into the world of street performing and street performers. A collage of images, experiences and stories from some of the most well respected street performers from around the world – from Amsterdam to San Francisco, Key West to Halifax and as far afield as Japan and New Zealand.

I struggled a bit after my first viewing to find the thread that held the piece together. A story line that moved the footage forward because on first viewing I didn’t really find one. I think that’s why I ended up going back and watching the piece again. The film opens on Venice Beach with Tony Vera ‘The Fireman’ setting up his show and ends with a shot of Tony walking away from the pitch after a day of work… Everything in between captures the characters, the lifestyle, the challenges and the joys of what it is to be a street performer. It’s not the story of any one performer, it’s not the story of any one street performing pitch, it’s a snap of venues around the world and many of the unique performers from around the world who can take a street corner and turn it into a stage.

I love that this documentary exists because it brings together so many of the members of this often dysfunctional family into a sixty minute film. Some of the performers featured aren’t doing street shows any longer, so to have footage of their shows and see their impact on this world is a pretty great gift.

Recommended viewing for anyone who’s a fan of the art form.

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The Fine Art of reading a Contract

2009-06-24Where in the world am I today?: Cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord

Wednesdays are usually dedicated to places, venues and or markets where you can track down work, but this week I thought I’d offer one simple piece of advice for what to do once you’ve landed the job and here it is – take the time to read the contract and know what you’re agreeing to.

I got an email recently after receiving a contract from the producer of a summer festival commenting that she thought I was likely the only person to actually read the contract she sent out and ask relevant questions. I figure it’s in everyone’s best interest to know exactly what is being agreed upon so I don’t show up at the gig and get asked to do things that I’m not comfortable with. If it’s in the contract and I agree to do it then I will. If there’s something in the contract I’m not comfortable with I’ll ask about it and often it gets removed from the contract. It doesn’t always get removed, but then at least I know what is expected from me before I leave my door so there are as few unexpected surprises as possible.

Now there can be a fine line between being diligent and being annoying and coming off as a prima-donna. Being too demanding will likely loose you more jobs than it will get you no matter how good your show may be. Now this may not be true for SUPER famous people, but I suspect that if you’re reading this blog in the first place you likely don’t fall into that category. Crafting questions about a contract with a certain amount of diplomacy and/or humor will serve you well and will endear you to the festival producer more than annoy them. Just be aware that the last thing any festival producer needs to deal with is a performer with excessive demands.

If you get a contract that seems to be lopsided in terms of who is benefitting most from the business relationship you’re always free to walk away from the job. If the contract asks for more than you feel comfortable delivering then you don’t have to sign it. Instead consider getting the client to sign your contract. This of course means that you’ll have to take the time to craft a contract of your own, but doing so can be an excellent exercise in making sure the things that are important to you are understood by the client.

I had one friend who went as far as to supply a contract along with a ‘Care and Feeding of the Performer’ document that laid out some simple suggestions for how to make the show look the best it possible could. Documents like this can contain humour and a light hearted spirit, but can go a long way to making sure the performance situation is the best it possibly can be for you so your show comes off looking great which will ideally lead to even more work.

So… Read your contracts and if you haven’t done so already, create a contract for yourself. Having a written understanding of what’s expected (one that you’re comfortable with) before you leave your home to do the job will save you a lot of head aches and ensure that your performances look the best they possibly can.

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Tech Lust… Apple’s New Line-up of MacBook Pros

2009-06-23

Where in the world am I today?: Skagway, AK, USA aboard the GOLDEN Princess

In years gone by (not so many actually) I used to jump as soon as Apple Computers released a new computer devouring the specs and lusting after the new feature set… I’m still a huge Apple Fanboy as I’ve stated before, but when Apple released their latest line-up of Macbook Pros, it took me a very long time to bother to check out the specs and to be honest, I’m not chomping at the bit to upgrade my machine…

I think the turning point for me was when consumer computers started to be able to import and edit video… The ability to edit video on a home computer and then eventually on a laptop so sucked me in that I was willing to part with cash from my wallet at more or less the speed of light.

When laptops came out with Superdrive allowing me to burn my own DVDs I was again more than happy to dig a hole in my bank balance…

In recent years though the lust for the new feature set seems to have died down (at least for me) and my willingness to part with the coin necessary to acquire one of these shiny new toys has diminished somewhat. I’m actually really pleased that I got the computer I have when I got it because it still has both Firewire 400 and 800 ports, the DVI port powers a 30 inch monitor and although it’s not the latest greatest thing on the market it very capably handles all the tasks that I seem to be doing these days…

For a long time I seemed to get about three years out of a machine before I was compelled to upgrade. I had the computer before the one I’m using now for four and a half years and only replaced it because the motherboard was fried from over use. My current machine I bought a year ago, and although advancements in technology continue to make newer machines slicker and cooler, if I could get 5 years out of the machine I’m currently using I’d be very happy.

Now… All of this said, I did wandering into an Apple Store the other day and put my hands on the new 13 inch Macbook Pro, and it is a very sexy little machine and were someone in the market for a new computer it would be really easy for me to recommend one to them. For myself though, I don’t see any immediate need to change anything about my current set up. Maybe it’s a sign of age to show a bit more restraint when it comes to such things, or maybe I’ve learned that there’s more to life than just tech lust. Hard to say, but, as nice as they are, I’m sure I’ll survive with out one of the latest Laptop offerings from Apple.

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Send Birthday Cards

2009-06-22Where in the world am I today?: Juneau, AK, USA aboard the GOLDEN Princess

In this day of email, Facebook and Twitter people will often send a shout out for someone’s Birthday… Heck, Facebook makes it easy with a little reminder about who’s Birthdays are coming up… All you have to do is wait until the day in question, click on the person’s name and send off a quick birthday greeting to your ‘friend.’

Better than just sending an e-greeting though is taking the time to actually send a real birthday card through the mail. These days about the only things that come through the mail are bills and flyers encouraging you to buy stuff you don’t actually need. Having someone take the time to send you a birthday card carries more meaning and will be remembered.

So… Lets say you’ve got a client list of people you’ve either worked for or are hoping to work for. Taking a little extra time to find out when their birthdays are and following up with a actual cards could be the key to leaving a really great lasting impression, that great impression will likely lead to a great interaction the next time you approach that client and eventually will likely lead to more work. Even if it doesn’t immediately lead to another job, chance are your act of thoughtfulness will be remembered and help you out down the road.

A friend of mine who works on cruise ships all the time wanted to say thank you to the staff member who arranges travel to and from the ships. He found out when her birthday was and made a point of sending birthday cards to her. A few years down the line this performer found himself stranded at an airport with no way to get to the ship he was heading towards. He called the emergency number and left a message, but still felt completely stranded… With in ten minutes he had received a call from the employee from the cruise company who he’d sent the birthday cards to. She remembered him and when the call came through that he was in trouble she jumped on the case and sorted everything out. She appreciated the birthday cards so much that she had flagged his name and when the call came in she made an extra effort to help him out.

The benefits of such random acts of thoughtfulness as sending birthday cards often have benefits that aren’t immediately seen but do end up being excellent deposits into one’s Karma Bank.

A helpful way to remember people’s Birthday’s is to set up reminder emails via the Birthday Alarm website –

http://www.birthdayalarm.com/

It takes a bit of time to set up, but once you’ve gotten people’s information into your Birthday Alarm’s Account you’ll get automatic email reminders sent to you at various intervals so you should have the minimal amount of time it takes to put pen to paper to compose a quick birthday greeting, pop a card in an envelope, lick and stick a stamp and pop it in a mail box… The extra effort it takes to do this over just sending an e-greeting is well worth the time and energy.

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Lucile Ball – Quoted

2009-06-20Where in the world am I today?: Aboard the STAR Princess docked in Seattle, WA, USA

I’m not funny. What I am is brave.

Lucile Ball, American Actress/Comedienne (1911 – 1989)

Addendum…

“More is often gained by taking the risk or finding a tangent than by keeping to the script…”

–David ‘checkerhead’ Aiken

It’s a reminder I need to give myself regularly… Being brave enough to take the risk and having faith enough that it’ll all work out somehow is pretty powerful but hard to do for a control freak like myself.

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Rob Torres • Interviews from the Inside

2009-06-19Where in the world am I today?: Victoria, BC, Canada aboard the GOLDEN Princess

Prologue: I’d heard stories of this guy who took a box and put laugher into it, who had skills but in no way relied on skills, a clown, a funny man, a source of laughter and entertainment and finally got to meet Rob Torres at the 2001 Windsor Busker’s Festival. Rob seemed to walk with a slightly different bounce in his step and have a confidence in finding the narrative in a show that allowed him to take tangents that inevitably lead back to the main story-line somehow, or didn’t. If the story of his show changed course though he seemed as happy to follow the new path as he did to steer it back to the standard story line. This enormous faith that everything would work out if you didn’t get in the way of things really impressed me and is something I continue to aspire to.

STATS

Name: Rob Torres
Birthday: September 10, 1973
Place of Birth: Suffern, New York. USA
Started Performing/Working in the Industry: Spring 1990
Discipline: Clown
Website: www.funeeestuff.com
Video Link: www.funeeestuff.com
Venues Worked:
Freidrichsbau Variete, Stuttgart Germany
Grand Theatre, Blackpool England
La Roseliere, Montbeliard France
Nikulien Circus building, Moscow Russia
Costa Cruises
Favros Nagy Circus building, Budapest Hungary
Brick Theatre, Brooklyn NYC
The Comedy Store, NYC
The Palace of Variety, NYC
The Registry Theatre, Kitchner ON
The Waterloo Performing Arts Center, Waterloo ON
Suncoast Casino, Las Vegas
Teatro de La Ciudad, Puebla Mexico
Casa de La Cultura, Hermosillo Mexico
Disney Cruise Lines
Teatro Tanque, Guanajuato Mexico
Sun Plaza Theatre, Tokyo Japan
Tokyo Comedy Store, Tokyo Japan
Diamond Horseshoe Review, Maihama Japan
Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida
Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus, DeLand FL

Hot 10 Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream and why? • Strataccella I like chocolate in my ice cream and the vanilla is creamier and not as sweet. Besides that it’s fun to say.
  2. Name one movie that would make it to your Top 10 all-time great films.Finding Neverland
  3. What was your favorite toy from childhood? • I had more fun building things than playing with toys.
  4. Who were your biggest inspirations when you got started? • Bill Irwin, David Shiner, Denis LaCombe, David Larible
  5. From the world of animation what one character do you most identify with or see yourself in? • Wile E Coyote
  6. Name something that scares you.snakes
  7. Apart from the entertainment industry, name one other job you’ve had. • I worked on a production line at a cassette factory.
  8. What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to try? • Parasailing
  9. What’s your least favourite thing about being a performer? • Hauling equiptment around
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? • Not bad, come on in

The Nugget:

Pick one nugget of wisdom you’ve picked up from your career in Show Business to share with the World.

“Do what you love and share what you can and the other things fall into place.”

–Rob Torres

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YouTube Videos I watched this week.

2009-06-18Where in the world am I today?: In Ketchikan, Alaska joining the GOLDEN Princess

Youtube has become a replacement for TV these days and an amazing resource tool. I’m a huge fan of how one video clip leads to another and then to another… While researching hat manipulations while prepping for a teaching session with Andrew Lee Potts on Tuesday I was checking up some videos that I thought might be useful resources for him to check out –

This first one is of Kris Kremo in action with a hat, cigar and ball routine then goes into his three top hat routine and finishes with his cigar box routine… It’s a classic stuff which may look a bit dated but is still pretty magical.

Kris Krimo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzkoZH1JKmo

I also mentioned how Johnny Depp did a sort of street performance piece in the film Benny and Joon which starts with a bit of hat manipulation… Andrew seemed interested in seeing this, so I tracked down this clip on Youtube for him…

Benny & Joon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBafYlgSCXs

A few years ago now Chris Bliss made a big splash with this video of a juggling routine to a soundtrack provided from the Beatles Abby Road Album.

Chris Bliss – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8f8drk5Urw

This video really seemed to hit a chord with the public, though a lot of jugglers were left unimpressed by the actual technical level of juggling. Jason Garfield went as far as to create the Chris Bliss Diss Video in which he created a routine to the same music but used five balls instead of three.

Jason Garfield – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYUXaYCkv-A

One of my favorite juggling videos in recent years shows off the juggling talents of Vova Galchenko and the video mastery of Mark Bakalor. The video was featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, ESPN, Nightline and more and is amazing!

Vova Galchenko – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEb3YknGUks

One of my all time favorite beginning to end juggling routines has to be AirJazz’s club juggling routine. I got to meet Peter, Kezia and Jon in 1985 while traveling with Holly Greeley, then Championships Director of the International Jugglers Association. Their club is still one of my favorite

AirJazz – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRGk2tb3eJg

Got some favorites of your own? Please do list them in the comments section. I’d love to check them out.

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Working with Actors…

2009-06-17Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada, Off to Ketchikan Alaska in the afternoon.

Got a call out of the blue a while back from a production company that was looking for someone to teach one of their actors some hat manipulation moves. The actor, Andrew Lee Potts, is playing the role of the Mad Hatter in a show that’s taking it’s cues from the Alice in Wonderland mythology and having the Hatter being able to manipulate his hat seemed reasonably important.

Now anyone who’s don’t much hat manipulation will realize from the picture that the hat that they hat selected for the role wasn’t the ideal hat to be manipulated. I got the picture that accompanies this post to help me get a sense of what the actor was going to be working with.

Long story short, I hooked up with Andrew yesterday in his hotel and spent a bunch of time  discussing how the hat was being used in the show and which basic tricks would be good for him to learn. The basic routine went something like – I demo a trick, he’d say yes or no to whether he wanted to learn it and how it might be used. I’d then walk through the mechanics of the trick with him, get him to try it a number of times, then he’d film me doing it both at slow speed and at regular speed and then we’d move on to the next trick.

I figured he’d need about a half dozen moves to pull off the appearance of knowing how to manipulate a hat and by the time we were done he had 5 – 10 things to work on which seemed about right. We didn’t actually use all of the time that had been scheduled for the session, but Andrew admitted to having a bit of a hang-over and after getting what he needed from me, he seemed content to work on the moves himself…

It’s a bit insane to think you can become a master of a skill in one teaching session, but I think the trick for me was to figure out which tricks were going to be easiest to learn reasonably quickly and would have the greatest effect on-camera. Also a lot can be cleaned up in the edit, so hopefully the Hatter will be able to pull it all off when the director calls “ACTION!”

Working as a coach for the Film or TV industry isn’t insanely lucrative, or wasn’t this time around for me, but it was an interesting way of spending a couple of hours on a Tuesday. Vancouver is a hotbed of work for Film and TV production and along with opportunities like the one I had yesterday I’ve also been called and asked to come in and work as a special skills extra on shows that require a circus/carnival sort of feel. My friends Peter Boulanger and Ninon Parent from the Underground Circus often get hired to work in the Stunt Industry which does pay better and often offers really interesting challenges.

So… Depending on where you’re located and whether there are any Film/TV productions happening in your area, getting the word out that you’ve got a set of skills that a production company might need may lead to some time coaching or woring on Set. Just remember to bring a book because the expression ‘hurry up and wait’ is pretty synonymous with being involved in this industry.

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Back-Up, Back-Up, Back-Up!

2009-06-16Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

I heard once that there were only two types of people in the world. Those who had lost data from a hard drive and those that would. I fall into the former group. a few years back now while I was transferring information from an old computer to a new computer I inadvertently deleted all of my digital photos from the 2003 calendar year. I’m USUALLY insanely cautious about backing-up my data and important digital files, but the sinking feeling that I felt when I realized that I’d never get those pictures back made me sick to my stomach. Thankfully I had saved a small handful of my favorite shots and backed them up in a different place, but I literally felt sick to my stomach for about three days. It was horrible.

Now there are far bigger tragedies in the world than loosing digital picture but it still hurt. In a weird way it was good for me to learn that there are far greater things in life than the accumulation of digital memories and spending (read possibly wasting) hours and hours of my life on my computer instead of actually getting out and enjoying the living of it, but I seem to have been wired with a need to document and record things, so I’ve since become far more diligent about backing-up my digital media, especially my photos.

In this day and age when so much of what people do is done on-line or via a cel phone or an iPod or a digital camera, finding a reasonably painless way to back up important files should be a bit of a no-brainer. Unfortunately it isn’t for many.

The image that accompanies this post is of a Western Digital Passport External Hard Drive. I bought a 500 gig version of one of these a while back and LOVE it! It’s not my primary drive for backing up, but for the amount of travel that I do, being able to tack duplicate copies of my music and photos with me when I travel in such a small little package is OFF THE CHARTS great!

I’m a Mac Fan Boy and the latest version of the Mac OS had a pretty slick back-up scheduler called ‘Time Machine’ built right into the OS. I make a point of making sure that things are well and truly backed up before I take off on a trip and then make sure it’s again updated upon my return. Hopefully this means that I’ll never have to face the gut wrenching feelings of loosing photos again.

If you haven’t figured out a system for backing up your digital life get on it. I know it’s something that people say over and over and over again, but there’s a reason for it. Loosing work and memories sucks and it’s so easy to make sure you don’t, so make sure you don’t.

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Location Specific Promotional Goods

2009-06-15Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Very deliberately short on today’s post… Just ran out of time to actually write too much, but thought I’d throw up this little nugget…

While working in Japan I noticed that people were carrying around small hand towels/face cloth in the summer and wiping their brows constantly because the humidity was so intense. I saw this, realized that this was a very location specific piece of promo/merchendise that could be tapped into and designed the mini-hand towel you see in the picture. The towels were made for me in Japan and I was blown away with the quality of the product.

This is a very cool little item that is so regionally specific to the culture and habits of Japan that it would be hard to duplicate the success I had with these just about any where else I’ve performed. Still… If you keep your eyes open it’s possible to tap into regionally specific opportunities that are worth investigating further.

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Homer Simpson – Quoted

2009-06-13Where in the world am I today?: Aboard the STAR Princess docked in Victoria, BC, Canada

“…you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

Homer Simpson, Pop Culture Icon (1987 – )

Addendum…

“I heard once that the secret to genius was to know your limitations and to work with in them.”

–David ‘checkerhead’ Aiken

I was talking to a friend this past week about the fact that I felt like I was meant to be a comedy juggler, like it was my calling, and although I’ve experimented with a number of other interests I keep coming back to the joys of making people laugh while I throw things in the air.

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