Coffeegirl63's Blog

The Downtown Coffee Shop Culture August 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — coffeegirl63 @ 4:01 pm
I love downtown. It’s a great place to people-watch. This activity is not to be confused with “watching people.” Watching people can imply that you are a babysitter, a futuristic anthropologist in a duck blind (for example, you’re a member of Star Fleet and you can’t violate the Prime Directive), or maybe even a creeper. People-watching, on the other hand, implies that you are a student of human nature, or at least allows for that implication.

I am sitting in Pike’s Perk (http://www.pikesperkcoffee.com), a coffee shop in downtown Colorado Springs (best coffee ever, by the way).

When I was looking for a home, I wanted to live close to downtown. I really enjoy the idea of just walking around, enjoying the shops and the people. However, my realtor didn’t think I should… another story…

I do enjoy sitting at sidewalk cafes, and I enjoy walking downtown… and people-watching. Thus, you find me sitting here in Pike’s Perk early on a Friday morning. The variety of people walking in and out of the shop, as well as past the front door and side window, are myriad. There are hurried, possibly harried, business people looking for a quick cup of coffee on their way to work. (Does pulling up in front of the store, parking behind a couple cars in their metered parking spots, count as “drive-up”?) There are those of various professions who come in for a quick meeting with colleagues or to network. Some come for a break–to write, as I am now, or to read. There are some whose gender and/or cultural archetypes I cannot determine. I have seen hairstyle and dress fashions that are new to me. Some are quiet, some quite gregarious. I find myself curious about the back story of each person I see.

When you see someone who is different from you, what is your response? Do you judge them for their difference? Do you accept everyone, no matter their differences? Do you attempt to settle differences that may prove problematic? Do you embrace those differences that entice or thrill you? I am not going to pretend that I’ve never judged anyone without cause, or that I’ve always made good choices. I am most proud of myself when I respond with love and kindness to all I see, in spite of our differences.

 

The Film Industry July 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — coffeegirl63 @ 9:41 pm

Something else I’ve learned this year:

I have always been pretty sure that it must take more than a minute to produce a 60-second commercial… but that’s all I knew. Then I met a producer-videographer-photographer. I got to help him on a shoot, and I found out just how little I actually knew. Did you know that it can take 10 hours or more to produce a 30-second commercial? If it’s being shot outside, you are completely at the mercy of the sun and the clouds and their chosen interactions with each other. There are things you can do with lights and reflectors, but if the sun decides to hide, you’re just out of luck until it decides to come out and play.

My daughter was in a 6-minute video (http://tinyurl.com/SweetSlasher) filmed here in Colorado Springs. It took several Friday and/or Saturday nights in a row to rehearse and to film. It’s amazing how many times she had to run down the alley just to get all the angles and shots the director wanted. She also pushed her way through the door and fell to her knees so many times that she had huge bruises on her knees and shins. She was very professional about it, though. I’m pretty sure I would have cried and whined like a little girl. They were also at the mercy of lighting. They had to film with the same light each time. That meant we got together… and waited… and then had to hurry before the light changed too much. Even filming inside the apartment involved lighting issues… because of the light coming through the one window.

Recently, I was cast in a couple short films. I wonder how long they’ll take. Fun, though, huh? Who knew??

Earlier today, J shot a commercial, at two locations, for a long-standing client. I met him at the first location and helped him by doing some gopher duties. I’m good at everything, except I suck at “bending the light.” I know. I wouldn’t have known what that is either. I just know that I was supposed to hold a mirror (tool of convenience, I think, since it was found on the wall at the first location) and reflect the light onto the model’s face, but I couldn’t find the light once it left the mirror. When I was trying to describe to a friend what I supposed to be doing, J told me that it was called bending the light. So, yeah. Evidently, that’s what I suck at.

Currently, J is running down leads, and I’m babysitting his inbox to see if anyone answers his request for voice-over talent for another commercial he’s working on. I’m not sure how his tasks are going, but mine is certainly boring. You know the saying about a watched pot never boiling? Of course, it’s not true, but the point is it FEELS true! Have you ever watched an inbox? Even the cat in the room has forepaws on the window sill, knowing that there must be more excitement than this to be had in the world! Since there are other people in the room (working on various aspects of editing the commercial), I can’t play Pandora. Think I’ll run out to my car and get my iPod… Much better. First song on the list: Johnny Angel. Appropriate since I’m going to South Carolina next week to see Johnny’s graduation from Army Basic Training–we used to sing Johnny Angel when he was little.

People who have a passion about something, see the world through the lenses of their passion. In the same way that I can’t read or hear English without editing it, at least in my brain, J can’t watch a movie without re-editing it in some way–the acting, the lighting, the camera angles, the special effects, etc. I’m pretty sure his passion is more fun than mine. I don’t know what influence I’ve had on J, but sometimes when I watch a movie, I question what I see, wondering why they chose the lighting or the camera angles or movement–not critically, just curiously.

So, that’s my foray into the film industry, so far. I have no aspirations for stardom (no delusions of grandeur–for my travel-size Nearly). However, as I told you in a previous post, I am working on trying new things, stepping outside my comfort zone, and exploring what might be out there that I didn’t even know I love. I don’t think I’ll ever be a model; the camera intimidates me, but I’m looking forward to seeing if I like acting. J says I have natural talent. If I ever want to do anything serious with it, though, I’ll need training. I’m not sure I have enough self-confidence to be okay with being told that I’m no good. I’d probably just cry and go home.