Sunday, May 20, 2012

My First TV Appearance & Second Blog Post for May!

I committed in my last blog post to write more often so I thought I would sit down this evening and write a post. I was actually all set to write Thursday evening during my allocated time for blogging when Alethea prepared a treat for me. We each had a bowl of frozen yogurt courtesy of Ben & Jerry's. The sugar rush wore me out causing me to procrastinate until today. That is a pretty weak excuse isn't? It is rare that we have any type of snack with that much sugar in it though. I did enjoy it though.

My last two blog posts have been mostly about our participation in the NBC TV Show Grimm. This post will start off on the same topic. I have some good news to report. Alethea and I have both made appearances on TV! Yeah!!! We have appeared in each of the last two episodes. In each episode I make a brief appearance as a crime scene investigator. In the first episode that I appeared in I can be seen in the background talking to someone although you cannot see who I was talking too. I was actually pantomiming of fake talking since during filming we normally could not make any noises that could be picked up by the microphones. A few seconds after my first appearance I can be seen kneeling down going through my CSI kit. It actually had some real CSI stuff in it like gloves, evidence collection tubes, and finger print powder. In last week's episode I can technically be seen three times. However, there is only one scene where you can tell it is me. I am a CSI agent again taking pictures of a dead body just behind the main actors. It was a real camera but I wasn't taking actual pictures. It felt weird to be taking fake pictures but I faked it the best I could :-). The other two times you cannot really tell it was me. In one scene I am in the back of a library listening to a talk. In the other scene I'm running from bigfoot. The camera shows my backside as I and 50 or so other people run out of the lobby of a theatre.

Screen shot of me taking pictures as CSI Agent LaRowe on an episode of Grimm
Listed below are the links and details to the episodes. You can forward to the specific scenes to catch a glimpse of me. You probably will have to watch a few commercials that you cannot skip.

The first episode we are in is titled Happily Every Aftermath (Ep 120, Air Date 5/4/12).
I can be seen at about the 11 min 40 sec mark and then again 20 seconds later. These are the only scenes of the episode I am in. Here is the link from NBC's website. Happily Ever Aftermath

The second episode we are in is called Bigfeet (Ep 121, Air Date 5/11/12).
The only scene were you can really tell that is me is at about 28 min 37 sec & 28 min 42 sec. Alethea can be seen at 29 mins 0 sec and at 29 min 14 sec. Here is the link to this episode from NBC's website. Big Feet

If you are reading this before the season finale airs and you want to watch it then that is great but you will not see Alethea or myself. We didn't work on the last episode :-(. I still plan on watching it to see how it turns out. They haven't started to film season two yet. We haven't heard anything from the casting agency on whether or not we'll be working again as extras for next season. I don't expect we will hear anything for a few more weeks. This is probably the last Grimm related update for awhile. Regardless whether we work again on the show it was a good experience and I am glad we did it.

Next up on things we've been up to over the last couple weeks is bicycling. If you follow my wife's blog Smartt-Adeventures you will know that Alethea recently won a bicycle valued at $500. Last Sunday we put her bike to work at the Portland Sunday Parkways. Alethea wrote about this event in one of her recent posts which can be found here. The Sunday Parkways events occur throughout the summer. The city shuts down a section of streets to cars on a Sunday for a few hours. Last weekend's event was in Northeast Portland. I borrowed a bike from our landlord's daughter so I could join Alethea. I really enjoyed it. We biked over 3 miles to the area that was closed off and then biked most of the 8 mile loop before biking back to our apartment. The weather was beautiful. It was sunny and in the low 80's. Visibility was excellent. We could clearly see Mt. St. Helen's to the north. I really want to get my own bike that better suits me but will probably hold off until I get a regular full-time job although REI is currently having one of their big sales events at the moment. Alethea and I plan on looking at some bicycles this Saturday. I definitely think we'll be doing quite a bit of bike riding here in Portland over the next several months. It is such a bike friendly city.

Me @ the Portland Sunday Parkways event on 5/13

Mount St. Helens as viewed from NE Portland. It  is 50 miles to the north of Portland
Well that is about all from the Pacific Northwest. I'll have some update on the job search in my next post one way or the other. There could be some interesting developments that will play out before too long. I do have one other update. We received our new air mattress this week. This will make it a whole lot easier to host guests. It is a pretty nice air mattress. It is a queen size that is 22 inches off the ground. Time to get ready for bed. Saturday's adventure is going to take a lot of energy. Our plan is to bicycle out to the Clackamas area and visit a REI store, a Kohl's, and maybe a Target. The shortest path is 8 miles just to get there. Should be fun!

Our new air mattress! Bring on the guests!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What's been going on?

I never intended to go two whole months without a blog post but that is what has happened. The urge to write has come to the forefront within the last couple days so I thought I would write about a few things we have been up to over the last couple months.

Since my last post was about my experience working on Grimm, I'll start this post off on that subject. It has been somewhat interesting over the last two months. I believe we have worked on Grimm six or seven times since February. On some days we have only spent a few hours on set while others have been much longer. Sometimes we have been used quite a bit while other times we have not. On one occasion we were on set for eight hours and were not used at all. The crazy thing is we get paid the same regardless of how much we are used. The first episodes that we worked on have just now started to air. So far, we haven't been on TV. We have been in the background for a particular scene or two but haven't come that close to making an appearance. We have a much better chance to be on TV starting with the episode that airs on Friday, May 4th. These are the scenes we are in with the stars of the show.  We just walk or kneel down next to them. We are playing the parts of police officers or crime scene investigators depending on the scene or episode. It just depends on what footage they use whether we'll be seen or not. Sometimes scenes are cut out altogether plus they often shoot the same scene from different angles. They also do not show extras that frequently from what I have noticed. When I watch the show I pay almost more attention to how they show extras versus the actual show.

Officer LaRowe on the set of Grimm
Grimm is on hiatus for a few more weeks before they start filming season two sometime in late May. The last time we worked on the show was in mid-April. If we are not busy with other projects I think we will both make ourselves available to work on the show next season. Overall, I have enjoyed working on Grimm. The work isn't all that glamorous. What I enjoy most is being behind the scenes and seeing what all goes into the production of an episode. It is also kind of neat to watch a show on TV with a little bit of knowledge of what occurs before it airs. Despite working on the show we often don't know how the episode will play out.  We're only aware of just how a few scenes in a hour long episode will go.

Officer Alethea & Greg - My jacket was way too big :-)
What else have we been up to? For starters we have started the volunteering season. Volunteering for us means working at beer festivals! We both have an interest in craft beers and enjoy being involved in the local beer scene. It is also been a good way to meet new people here in Portland. So far we have volunteered at the Spring Beer and Wine Fest and the Cheers for Belgian Beers Festival. The Spring Beer and Wine Fest was held at the Oregon Convention Center which is only a few miles from our apartment. It was a two day festival featuring mostly local food and drink selections. We visited the festival on the first day just to check things out and use our drink tickets since we were working the closing shift on the second day. During our shifts we mostly poured beer for four hours. Alethea and I didn't work at the same booth however. I actually worked at a booth that served beers owned by the conglomerate InBev (Stella Artois, Leffe, Shock Top, etc) while Alethea worked at a booth for a brewery called Good Life Brewing.  I was surprised at how busy I was and how many repeat customers I had considering Oregon is know for its craft beers. A lot of people commented they weren't big beer drinkers or were looking for something familiar instead of something they haven't had before. Alethea and I are the opposite. We go to the festivals to try things that we haven't had before or cannot easily purchase in stores.

I served beer next to this car at the Spring Beer & Wine Fest
The Cheers for Beers Festival was a little different. It was located at the Metalworks Fabrication facility in north Portland. The crowd differed for this festival. Most of the people were there because they enjoy Belgian Beers. Alethea worked the main check-in area while I poured six different types of beers at two work stations. I was pretty busy. The time flew by for me. We did get free t-shirts, a drink glass, a free meal we weren't expecting, several samples of Belgian beer, and we also got to meet some new people. Alethea wrote more about these two events on her blog (Spring Beer and Wine Fest and Cheers for Belgian Beers).

Server row @ Cheer for Belgian Beers
These two festivals are just the start of the season for us. I believe we are signed up for four more additional festivals between now and the end of July. I am also signed up to volunteer at Chris Guillebeau's World Domination Summit in July. I'll write more about that event at a later date. I don't plan on just volunteering at beer festivals this summer either. Alethea and I are both passionate about the environment and will hopefully line something up in that area as well. I actually signed up to volunteer at a tree planting event sponsored by REI but it coincided with the Cheers for Belgian Beers Festival. Beer won out over the trees on that day :-).

My initial workstation @ Cheers for Belgian Beers
It hasn't all been fun and games out here on the west coast. I have been more active in the job search process over the last few weeks. I will not go in to too much detail because I plan on writing more about the process for future posts. I will highlight where I am at and what I have been doing. I have started with the basics. I've re-written my resume and written some basic cover letters. I've actually never written cover letters before. I do think they are helpful and necessary. Alethea has been a big help in the editing department. I created several opportunities for her to use her grammar editing skills :-).

The job search itself is going pretty slow which is kinda of what I expected. It has been awhile since I have actively looked for a job. I think it takes a little time to get in the right frame of mine which I think I am now in. Although a little frustrated I am still pretty positive and hopeful. I have been submitting applications and resumes. I am starting to lay networking foundations. I attended a networking event earlier this week. It was targeted more for people working in or promoting green business. I am interested in this industry but this isn't something I am necessarily looking for at this time. It was still nice to attend an event where I introduce myself and mingle with complete strangers in a city that I recently moved to. Ultimately, I think networking of some type is how I will find a job.  That is pretty much all on the job front for now.

Little surprised to see this truck in Portland. Thought I was back in  Tennessee for a minute :-)
That is all for this post. The goal was to highlight some of the things we have been up to over the last few weeks. I promise I don't plan on going another two months without posting. My challenge is getting started. I think I'll set aside some dedicated time to write on regular basis. I aim to post at least every two weeks. This sounds like a pretty good pace to me. Hope everyone is doing well!