Thursday, January 28, 2010

Name Droppers

Stage names are an interesting phenomenon. Some of them work, and just sort of seem right - Elton John sells more records than "Reginald Dwight" would have, for example. However, famous name alterations like Mark Twain, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Cher (not Lady Gaga though...that's a given Christian name) all have a somewhat catchy ring to them, something distinctive that makes an audience remember.

Some Facebook friends of mine have chosen to take this leap.

However, not in any clever or interesting way, mind you. Rather, it seems like a disturbing handful of people I know have chosen to professionally begin going by their first name followed by their middle name, and just CHOPPING their unique, potentially memorable last name. Now, I think this practice would be fine if said middle names were slightly unusual.

Sadly, these pen/stage names are all (ALL) extremely common, bland, and super American. Names are appearing like "Stephen Matthew", "Michelle Ann" and "Susan Ann". Immediately, images are aroused of this name printed below a sleek black and white headshot, being handed to a casting director for a Fabreeze commercial.

Now, if you truly want to distance yourself from your last name, that's one thing. But what a slap in the face to whatever ancestor shlepped onto Ellis Island with a pocket full of dreams (and probably dysentery) from the old country. "F***** you grampa! I'm gonna be a star!" you say. But unless you're a Smith or a Jones, last names are a distinctive label we are given at birth, something that was good enough for the people who made you. Granted, they never did a walk-on role in NCIS, but even if your last name has six Q's in a row, at least people might possibly remember that. "Robert John" sticks with you about as long as a brain freeze. Switch back guys, these stage name changes are like lazy nosejobs.

Plus, here is a series of quotes you will never hear:

"Oh hey, want to go see that new Peter Gary film? I hear he's good in it."

"Yo dawg, you gotta download Cynthia Jennifer's new single. It's phat/tight!"

"Hurry up, we're going to be late for the Greg Eugene concert!"

"I just finished reading Christina Katelyn's latest novel. It had me on the edge of my damn seat!"

I'd say "rant over", but I'm going to continue actually talking about this all week.


Michael William

Monday, January 25, 2010

Two-Thousand Ten = More Like Two-Thousand FUN

"When are you going to update Sunny Side for the New Year?" - No one.

"Come on, we're almost a month into 2010...give us SOMETHING!" - Not anybody.

"PLEASE JUST UPDATE YOUR BLOG! IT'S DRIVING ME BANANAS!" - Chester Alfonso (not a real dude)

Well, the people have clearly spoken, and you know how I am when people say things. I just can't leave my imaginary fans hanging. In all truth though, we have entered a new year, and new years mean new opportunities. Also, new calenders. Guess which one I'm more excited for! (HINT: It includes at least twelve photos of babies dressed as animals or vice-versa)

Though I haven't made any official new years "resolutions", I have a few new years "to-do's". Reason being, I'm much more likely to get something done on a "to-do" list than something that's a grand, sweeping "resoLUTION." Nobody has a resolution to pick up some new socks, but somebody may put "bang seven robot women" on a to-do list. See what I'm saying, America? And parts of Canada?

That being said, here is a portion of my 2010 To-Do List:

- Write a spec script for "24" where the characters get Chipotle in the first ten minutes. I think what happens in the remaining fifty is pretty self explanatory.

- Record an album with T. Bone Burnett, but not as Producer. I want him catering. His name sounds like he'd make a good chef as well.

- Train to watch a marathon. Those things are booooring without proper conditioning.

- Juggle being an everyday mom and a crime fighter by night. What's a girl to do?

- Pitch my idea for PRECIOUS: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire: The Animated Series. Yes, there will be a Junkyard Gang involved.

- Convince the writers at Gawker that if they're gonna try to be witty - COMMIT!

- Make fewer PRECIOUS jokes.

- I'm sorry, but seriously, did anyone see that movie? It was not based on a true story (It was in fact based on the novel...ah, forget it), so while the events depicted are very real and occur everyday. I don't think they ALL occur to ONE person in such a short span of time, as they do to our hero in this film. Precious just can't catch a break. I was half expecting a zombie attack to break out at the end, because that was the ONLY BAD THING THAT HADN'T HAPPENED YET.

- Waste less time on To-Do lists talking about Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire.

- Is Sapphire just a last name? Is it like a Cher thing? And if so, what else has she written? Why should we care that Sapphire has written the book that this movie is based on. Was anyone in the theater lobby undecided going, "Hmm, well we could see 'Up in the Air' or a 'Squeakuel' of there anything playing based on the works of Sapphire? Well slap me sideways, will ya look at that! Playing at 5:10!" I also can't help but wonder if "Push" by Sapphire now has a sticker on it that reads "'Push' by Sapphire - now a major motion picture: 'Precious': based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire'".

- "Precious" would have made a very fine title on its own. Is this titling trend going to continue? Will we see "The Hobbit" be titled "The Hobbit: Based on the novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien"? Or "The Rachel Ray Show: Based on the series 30-Minute Meals by Rachel Ray"? This will not increase book sales.

- Don't immediately contradict by To-Do's.

- Go to sleep right now.