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Sunday, September 30, 2007

"What Brings You to Vegas?"

So you wanna know what made me pull up stakes and head for Las Vegas? Well if you don't already know the story, or even if you do, you may enjoy my somewhat comical take on the storm that destroyed my home in Carol Stream, Illinois.

This is the footage I shot right after the storm hit our building. I find it funny that I never went back and took any photos or videos in the daylight and captured the aftermath.

Just looking at this video you'd never expect that the entire building was ruined by Mother Nature. I didn't even see just how bad it was until I saw footage on CNN late that night.

Bear in mind, I am making fun of the fact that I was a total moron for staying in the building for as long as I did just so I could capture the moment
on videotape. Had anyone been severely injured or killed in that disaster I wouldn't make light of the situation at all.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

MMMmmm...Hickory Smoke SPAM!

You know if a scan of a new flavor of SPAM is on the old blog,
then surely there must be a new episode of Podcrapular
hitting the world shortly.

Could this be the return of both Andy Land AND Podcrapular?

Is it possible that I am simply too dumb
to think of anything else to post?

Perhaps I am just a big loser with some sort
of salty, canned pork addiction.

Indeed, all are possible, if not completely likely.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Just Don't Know

I wish I did,
but I don't.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Some Fun

I really can't comment too much, but let's just say that Kim, Krissteen, and their respective hubbies, Jeffy & Kevin are all way cool people.

That's all I've got to say about that.

Thanks for all the good thought and well-wishes. I have a job interview for a completely NON-entertainment-related, but decent-paying 9 to 5 type job on Wednesday. Not exactly my "dream job", but then again neither is my current job.

I am thoroughly enjoying my job at Houdini's, but I am not altogether certain I'll be able to pay all the bills on the pay there. I'm also not all that eager or ready to take on a management position (which does pay pretty well
) there so I am kind of sending out the old resume' and seeing what sticks.

no idea when I'll get to restart my marketing push for the entertainment industry, but maybe it is time I just fade away from that scene anyway. It never did me much good in the long run.

Until then, I eagerly await the contracts from the TWO jobs I do have for the remainder of 2007 to come in. SIGH.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'll Take, "Complete Waste of Time" for $1,000, Alex

The mall marketing job I'd mentioned a few days ago, the one where the person somehow didn't get my resume via e-mail nor did she feel it necessary to reply to any of my voice mails & follow-up e-mails explaining she'd not received it - that job was filled.

Apparently, even while she was out and about at meetings and not receiving any e-mails nor returning phone calls, much less interviewing anyone for the job we kind of agreed I'd get to interview for, the position was suddenly and finally filled by someone within the company who'd only recently decided he or she wanted the job.

Am I angry? Kind of. Am I bitter? Fuck yeah, I am!

All my worry and anticipation over this could have been avoided if a simple phone call would have been returned. I did my part and I'm not the one with the cushy job with the cushy position allowing me to take several meetings and hire people. I e-mailed the resume as promised, and followed up with multiple phone calls IMMEDIATELY. if she didn't receive the damned thing she could simply have checked her voice mail and called me back. Instead, weeks go by and I'm stuck without the prospect of a 35K/year gig and plenty of fake vomit and trick decks of cards to sell.

That's how my day started. "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you...I filled that job that was going to save your life."

Next, the prestigious event planning company where I had scheduled a meeting with the owner on Wednesday, the place that was not only supposed to be talking to me regarding potential entertainment work but also about the prospects of my working in the office - they gave me the total brush off in every way.

Sure, I'm "in their system" now, but that was not at all what this meeting was to be about. Yes, I want my promo in their files and I certainly want them to call me for work. That being said, the person who brokered this meeting billed me as as a fantastic agent/producer/office worker as well as a kick-ass entertainer and THAT was why I went after the contact so hard.

When I got there, not only was the owner (the person whom I'd made the appointment with) completely unaware of my appointment and uncertain as to why I needed to speak to her directly, but the prospect of my working there as my "day job" was not even discussed. I was made to fill out their lame paperwork that explained everything that is in my press kit and DVD, interviewed by some flunky that had no intention of talking to me for more than 5 minutes IN THE LOBBY, and I had the pleasure of meeting the owner and speaking with her for all of 30 seconds.

I took the day off work for this shit? I could have been paid to hate my life a bit more than just doing it for free.

Yes, I am closer to actually getting booked by this group than I was before (assuming they don't read this and figure out I am talking about them). That's the good thing I suppose. Of course I still have more crap to send them...because my press kit (overly abundant with information and photos) doesn't seem to have just enough info for their cookie-cutter roster of talent where all the comedians and jugglers are in the same pile as the actors, the models, the musicians...

I have just about had it with Vegas! If I wanted to live in a place where entertainment is everywhere, but nobody answers their phone, nobody talks to you, and nobody treats you with any respect I'd have moved to fucking New York or L.A..

I can't even try and give it all up and move back because we just got here and we're so broke I'm probably going to have to get a second or third job...assuming anybody will return their fucking calls, read my damned resume, and actually be there for the interview.

Hey, Universe...the same Universe that facilitated this move to our dream home in a far away land? I'm still waiting for that justification for all the crap to arrive. I know these things take time, but the bills are not stopping and the few gigs I've booked aren't going to really cover them. I can only do so much, especially when this was supposed to be "fate" and "divine will" and all that crap. Some of this is on YOU.

I can't stop crying from the disappointment today. Even the 20-40 mph winds today couldn't provide a gust to fill my sails.

I have been so depressed today I couldn't truly enjoy the wetlands park nor the pinball machine museum we visited today. I even turned down sex because I knew that wouldn't cheer me up. ME!

The worst part is, I know what "bottom" feels like and I haven't even grazed that yet, but I can see it from here. The end is near.

Have a great day.

Oh yeah, Kimmy, hubby, and friend will be here soon. I can't wait to put on my happy face and pretend I'm a fun person to be around. I really am looking forward to meeting them (honestly I am), but I'm too miserable to get up in the morning. This overly persistent cold isn't helping either.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Today I go in for a meeting with a prestigious meeting & event planning company. I am hopeful that this is a meeting to not only discuss how I can be utilized as a member of their talent roster, but also an interview for a position within their office. We'll see.

It would be ideal for me to find a job within the organization of such a company. That's what was doing back in Chicago for the last 7 years or so and it was most excellent. All my money I made came from some aspect of the entertainment business and I rarely had any conflicts from my day job when I had to take off for a gig. Plus, when you're the guy answering the phone at an agency you tend to pick up a lot more bookings. So you can see how much I would love to make this happen.

Until then I have been placed on the roster of a new entertainment company, Premiere Event Entertainment, and was contacted by them almost immediately after hitting the Vegas area. The good news is that they helped in getting me one of my first local bookings. The bad news is that they've edited my promo for their site somewhat, making it a bit less clear what I do and how well I do it all. Not a big deal. It is not the first time someone has edited my work to fit their idea of what sells.

I am also going to be listed in the tariff book of a very well known and extremely high profile destination management company, USA Hosts. This is a big deal because this catalog goes out to all potential and past (hopefully REPEAT) clients and is being offered as one of the new, exciting show selections. Specifically they plan on pushing the plate-spinning act, which is just fine & dandy with me (lots of big bucks for that as a corporate training tool and so on), but I will also be considered for their many other events. Aside from that, I am certain that once the book hits, many of the local competing businesses will take notice and perhaps take a good look at my promo again. If one group is pushing me then they all fee as though they're missing out and then more folks will want to book old Andy.

I met with someone from Sandou Productions recently and they were very helpful and friendly. At the very least they are open and honest about the press materials they receive and they actually look at everything, file it appropriately, and tell you if you are someone they can use down the road. Refreshing and all too rare qualities among the companies in this business. We'll see if it pays off.

As I am writing this I am waiting for the contracts to hit the desk for a couple of gigs. I'll hold off on telling you about them since I don't have the contracts yet and they are kind of cool gigs. Here's hoping there are more to come.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Long Post. Deal With It!

I finally have a moment to myself where I am not overly exhausted nor extremely anxious AND I have the time and the interest in posting a blog post. Here goes...

I've been working at a "real job" for a couple of weeks now. I am presently a salesman at the Houdini's Magic Shop at the MGM Grand. This is the job that I have described as kind of, but not really show business-related. I spend my day selling self-working magic tricks and gag gifts to kids and tourists. The pay is alright, but time will tell if I can actually live on it and get bills paid. There is a nice bonus program which has provided some extra scratch, but once again, I've no idea how well I'll be able to live on this job. It is fairly stress-free and even though I was only supposed to work weekends, they have actually had me in a hell of a lot since I started. I've no doubt that I can manage full-time hours while trying to get my entertainment career back on track (if that ever actually happens).

The job hunt out here has been as odd for me as it was for April. Vegas has far too many jobs and even more idiots taking these jobs, making life difficult for the people who do the hiring and firing. It also makes life difficult for the people trying to get those jobs.

Jobs for which I was tailor-made, such as the position at Gibson Guitars (entertainment & events liaison) I applied for never even called me for an interview. Jobs I applied for but didn't really want, such as the manager of a Piercing Pagoda (the job that would have paid me a ton of dough, but caused me to kill myself in a month or so) wanted to hire me on the spot.

One job that I interviewed for and really wanted, a job at a Time Factory watch outlet, offered me the job at a tad less than I'd hoped (but more than Houdini's) one day and then found out that they couldn't start me at the rate they'd offered the next. This was all after getting along brilliantly with who would have been my boss, found out I was PERFECT for the job, had more than enough experience, and would likely have been taking over that store in a few months anyway.

The same day I turned down the Time Factory job (even the manager said I'd have been a fool to take it for the money they offered) I got a call from someone at a different mall wanting a marketing assistant, a job which would allow for me to pursue my entertainment work to a reasonable degree and pay 35K a year. I got along wonderfully with the gal on the phone (a referral from Barry at the Mustard Museum) and told her I'd be forwarding my resume immediately. I knew she'd be out of town on business for a spell so I couldn't count on an interview or an offer just yet, but I was certain this would be the answer.

I sent off the resume, left a few follow-up calls and waited. No response at all for a few weeks, until today. I found out she'd been out almost this entire time and was just getting to her e-mails. As it happened she had not even received my resume and assumed I'd changed my mind about the job. I am guessing my e-mail ended up in her junk mail folder by mistake, but who knows? I have no idea if the job is still available, but a new copy of the resume has gone out along with additional follow-up. Keeping fingers crossed because the cash would be very good, even if I had to slow the entertainment marketing a bit.

Another interview with one of the MAJOR casino companies here (I won't mention the name as I still may get this job (but really...who the hell knows?) went extremely well. I had applied for a few different positions from being something of a tour guide for their Strip attraction, to a box office gig. I even applied for a spot in their special events division, a job I know would be GREAT for me and my line of work. Let's face it. If I can't make a living as an entertainer here I can certainly live with myself as someone in the casino entertainment business.

It ended up with me being told I'd be much better suited for the special events job than any of the others, but I could c
ertainly fit in those positions as well. We left it with me being told my resume would be forwarded to that department and I should hope for a call. If I hadn't heard anything in 10 days to two weeks I could call the first gal and see what's what. Not being able to wait that long without money (I had to borrow another $1,000 from mom and there is no money available from any other family anywhere. YIKES!) I took the Houdini gig and have been hoping for the phone to ring.

I'm about to send in the follow-up e-mail hoping to hear that they indeed would like to talk to me about the special events gig, but am thinking that since I haven't heard anything I was probably being politely brushed off. Until I know for sure I am still happily selling trick decks of cards to people who want to do some silly tricks, wondering if I'll be able to make a living at it and being less convinced I'll ever restart my entertainment career.

Of course there are come calls for gigs. However, since this post is already too damn long I'll talk about that later.

Oh yeah, Kimmy is coming to Vegas and it looks as though we'll finally meet. That should be fun. More on that as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Still Tired. Still Sick. Still Working.

Very hard to get well when you're working every day. Only had one day off, which will be good for the old pocketbook, but bad for the old sinus/cold thing I've got going on here. No matter. More on the job when I get a chance.

Good news is that I may have a cool gig to report on soon. A one-nighter, but what a Knight is could be.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Working. Sick. Tired.

I swear I'll have some updates and more fascinating posts one of these days. Until then, just know I'm working, I've got a cold, and I'm tired.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Bass Master

No this isn't a post about fishing.

In the interest of trying not to be so dour and pissy about things here as I have been of late, I thought I'd share a couple of photos that make me smile.

These are two snapshots of a much younger, and certainly more alive version of my dad (click them to enlarge). He's pretending to play bass, something he did with a band back in the day (that day being somewhere in the 1960's). They needed his voice more than anything and so he got to fake playing a bass, make the band look cool, and sing well. Somewhere there are great photos of the whole band looking mighty sharp. Maybe I'll get to post them some day. I believe the band was called The Town Criers. I would KILL to have that jacket.

Lifelong family friend and fellow band mate,
Bruce Goldflies (the real musician), had this in his files. His son (also my web designer), David (another real musician) sent them to me.

I don't have any great stories to share, but I think the photos say a lot. Moreover, they make me smile and feel good. Given that I have been not feeling all that good about anything lately I'm sure you can appreciate them as much as I do.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Frustrating (More Updates)

I'm trying not to completely lose it, but it is becoming apparent that I may have made some grave miscalculations.

Job interviews...One went extremely well and they offered me a job which I then had to turn down because the money she offered me mysteriously disappeared after she'd already offered it. Much LESS money and even she was angry about the situation. She even told me, "I wouldn't take the job if I were you" and she works for this company.

One job, some kind of marketing gig (which was likely a scam) didn't pan out at all.

The other interview went well, but nothing came from it.

So, I was about to call up the place that offered me a job that was somewhat, but not really entertainment related when a phone call came in for a real marketing job, one that would probably pay pretty well and give me some much needed flexibility. We spoke on the phone, she asked me to send her the resume and wait out the Labor Day weekend for a scheduled interview. I did and nothing happened. No phone call (yet) and not much time left.

Some positive responses to press kits starting to happen, but no gigs in the immediate future. So no money.

Regardless of the situation I turned down the high-paying job that I would hate (and hate myself for taking) simply because...well I'd end up killing myself for taking it, even though it was THE responsible thing to do.

Today, an interview with one of the casinos for a mildly boring, average-paying job. At this point what the heck, right? Interview went VERY well. So well that they reviewed some of the other jobs I'd applied for at the same company (one of which being in the special events department...could be the right fit AND a worthy "real job" in case I never really work again as an entertainer). It was determined that while I could work the other jobs, I would "be a valuable asset" in the special events department and she was going to forward my resume to the appropriate person. GOOD NEWS! Of course, it will likely take 10 days to two weeks to get a response, though it could be much sooner. BAD NEWS!

I'm going to call the place that has a standing offer for me. The one that is sort of, but not really entertainment-related and see how quickly I can start working and start earning.

I'm OUT of cash officially this week. I just put in another humbling request for money from mom and I am thankful she can help. I'm probably going to have to ask April's mom for some cash as well because, as April pointed out, it may take two weeks before I get an actual paycheck. All the while, I will hope that the casino special events gig comes in and hope even harder that it can pay some bills. I don't want to take a job and quit a few weeks later, but I have no choice but to take a job (assuming that standing offer didn't sit down by now).

So, if you're keeping score...I'm about to break not one, but two mothers financially because I didn't just take a job right away. I'm no closer to any entertainment work, at least nothing tangible other than some nice comments and hearty handshakes. I've upset my wife by unnecessarily putting this kind of monetary pressure on us. I was happy about the prospect of working, only to find out I'm not working, only to again be given the hope of working, only get the idea. I was just as excited about the potential casino gig this afternoon so I called my mom and asked for a loan to cover the possible two weeks worth of waiting, only to realize that I may not have asked for enough cash AND given how the job thing seems to go here in Vegas...I really shouldn't be excited at all.

So...while I know that I'll look back on this one day as a minor inconvenience and I know that this move is still the best thing we ever did...I'm miserable realizing that I am much more of a failure than I once thought. I mean, we're not here three or four months yet and already I'm thinking that I'll be bankrupt before Christmas. And I want to buy this house? I can't even keep the plants alive!

Yes I know...I'm overreacting and being overly dramatic. You don't have my bills and you don't know how much it kills me to let my wife down so please, as always, bear with me.