Day one

Well I guess this is writing a blog…I’m making this as personal as possible as well as professional of course, Ive found the journeys that I have read that are personal, warts and all accounts, have been the most interesting to me , so I hope it is for you. There will be no intentional censorship of ocurences that affect/has affected the making of The Bloke Show. I don’t read blogs so what Im writing is simply a personal account of the process and my personal journey through its creation.

We have a lot to catch up on so this is likely to be a monster posting.

My name is Simon Houghton I am the guy who came up with The Bloke Show concept . I will be writing/co-writing the scripts and directing the production it is my first foray into film/video production as a director, my background is in theatre (acting and directing). I am a 43 year old single father of two amazing boys Baxter 5 and David 3 who are my reason,my purpose and my joy. I’m Australian and came to The States in 2001.I am also your The Bloke Show blogger. I will be uploading new posts daily.

Today is Superbowl Sunday 2010, I have no interest in Football but love baseball so maybe Im half-way converted into full American status – although immigrating as I did at the age of 35 I don’t think your heart ever leaves your homeland. I am listening to the game on the radio, so Im going to give you scoreboard updates as we go along.

At the two minute warning (first half)  its Colts 10 Saints 3. Im only listening cause Im an underdog guy … go Saints!!

I first had the idea of doing this show last year …I was living in Lynnwood, WA in the depths of a horrible and seemingly endless depression of which, as is common when in the midst of depression, I was unaware. Without going into detail, life had not only been unkind to me, it had been downright brutal, as it has for many Americans… and frankly, it has not been any better since …with two notable exceptions . I had an amazing girlfriend who did everything she could to save me from an unrelenting darkness,who enabled me to conceive of – this project – which is the second inspiring, astounding and enduring exception – and the reason I’m writing this blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart – you know who you are.

I hadn’t worked in theatre  (my formal training) for nearly six years, and not professionally for fourteen years.  Fourteen years. When the love of my life had to leave  me,  I discovered that I had left the other love of my life fourteen years ago. It was high time we rekindled our love affair.

When one door closes another opens.

Only two months ago I took to further developing this project with a renewed vigor and passion, with a drive I haven’t felt for a long time . In between long and productive writing periods I’ve spent my time going to the gym  and renewing friendships I had neglected for nearly twenty years. Good theatre friends in Australia,  I managed to contact again through facebook. My  closest friends from my youth greeted me as though not a day had passed since we last spoke, I am moved thinking about it even now. One of those friends  is now the co-writer of The Bloke Show, Bj Kalms. Another friend, Ty Noonan  ( for Australians – of the band George fame) has  agreed to write the shows theme song .I am truly a fortunate man.

As time passed my vision and scope for this project grew, I believed that if this project has brought life back to me maybe it could do so for others.

Superbowl update :Half-time (Hartley?) kicks a goal for The Saints yeah! Colts 10 Saints 6.

The Bloke Show was originally titled Blokes Forum USA (BFUSA) . I wanted to write a comedy  about two guys – common blue collar salt-of -the- earth guys who were simply old -fashioned ; just ordinary guys wanting to pass on their pearls of wisdom and great ideas to other men. A light hearted entertainment, a spoof of forum/advice shows in general. I imagined a project that was to be a small-scale comedy, produced by a few local guys who did film-making as a hobby, done on the cheap…for fun and hopefully; hopefully… we would find an audience.

At the Superbowl : The Who are singing “We wont get fooled again” and before that “Who are you? Who? Who? -Who? Who?”

Superbowl – Second half – The Saints kick-off and the underdog takes a huge risk – they kick short and come up with possession of the ball.

Im off to the gym  it closes at 7pm. So I guess it’ll all be over when I return.

Wow …yeah Saints!!! I watched most of  the second half as I cycled away. A victory of heart and self -belief .

Back to the task at hand. I had written three scripts, and needed to find people with common interests, drive and beliefs.Through my depression I had become reclusive (by nature Im an outgoing guy, many would say too outgoing). I had no close friends in The US.  The vision of the concept had really grown by now. I realized  through facebook that the world was really a very small place  and that great things could be achieved by many people who are geographically separated by huge distances. That a community need not be limited by location. So when I joined a meetup group, three weeks ago, that had an interest in Film production my pitch was to produce a web-vid comedy series that was unique in concept. We needed  a core group of skilled individuals ,the product should be as professional as possible , but that a large contribution would be made by a world-wide community. We would be seeking to involve as many people as we could through social networking sites (Facebook, twitter, MySpace) . The goal  – to produce a truly co-operative production  and in doing so we’d be able to promote  the show and the process of making the show in an attempt to make it viral , before the first installment was even uploaded. Something that ,to my knowledge,  had never been done before. Our true litmus test  then,would  be not  the first show, but the second , our audience would be those involved , and those who loved the show enough to follow us. So the first show needed to be GOOD. We needed to create a buzz and excitement about the new way collaborative art forms could be brought to fruition.I also told them two things – we had no budget… and I mean no budget and I also guaranteed them that this was a project that would be made. I believe that an idea; the belief in an idea  can move mountains. I hasten to add that I didn’t exactly express it to them like that…but they got the gist.

And so armed with three pages of a hastily rewritten script that I had typed at Kinkos that morning (my printer had died – and when I went to print out the full script at Kinkos I discovered  I had saved the script in an unrecognized format – Im a little technically challenged) I met Harold Perry and Makayla Lee , two extraordinary people who, on that very first night, committed to helping me make The Bloke Show.We sat down over a coffee discussed the project and decided we would move on together.

Enthusiasm is infectious.

Harold works at Microsoft but is a guy with many passions , originally he was a sound guy in Nashville. he also loves still photography and biking . He has also set-up this blog and has set up all the social networking sites – it must drive him nuts doing some of the stuff he does at work every day for us. He’s ace.Hes our ADR/Foley/post  guy.

Makayla is a young bright enthusiastic organized  and beautiful young lady. Straight out of school she is our production manager. She is so positive . It is a delight to work with her. I know she is as much driving this bus now as I am. She has roped in her boyfriend Ethan into the project – I know he works at a local tv station , but I havent had the pleasure of meeting him yet, he will be one of our camera guys as will a common friend of theirs – Miguel. Thanks goes to them both too.

Since then I have placed postings on some meetup boards here in Seattle and have two more willing group members Roger Wilson  asst./camera operator and Rajesh Kumar (role undefined as yet). Thanks guys and welcome aboard.

The Bloke Show three weeks after that first meetup meeting has formed a life of its own! Without any doubt its the most thrilling and fulfilling experience I have undertaken. I am meeting and have come in touch with amazingly talented people who are just lovely and fun to be with – people who share a common vision and our passion. Every night I get to laugh myself silly writing with Bj Kalms ( if we aren’t laughing at the stuff we are writing we can’t really expect our audience to!)

We are planning not only tasks we need to complete, but also social get-togethers and larger scale production meetings so we can all discuss different aspects of The Bloke Show that doesn’t necessarily directly involve us. It is stimulating, it is enjoyable …and wonderful. It is becoming clear that production-wise The Bloke Show will be everything we want it to be – a high quality, funny! , web-vid series.

It is a runaway train.

So in three short weeks we have amassed a core group, the beginnings of a brilliant crew , a co-writer, a composer, we have set up pages on FB, twitter and Myspace , secured our domain name and  set up our blog. We have a logo – Thnx Bj Kalms -again! and we have nearly 4 completed scripts.

We will be posting all of our needs in terms of skills and materials on the web-site so just reply to the post if you’d like to be involved and you’ll be communicating with the awesome Makayla!

Who we need  – talent – I’ll be hunting through theatres and comedy venues this week.

– A set designer (pro) – if you are community minded and want to join our mob let us know!

– A web designer (pro) – this is crucial to our success – we need you!

– a make-up person (pro) – one of the scripts is particularly challenging in this regard

– lighting /lighting (pro)

You can contact me directly at houghton.simon@gmail.com

We are on the hunt – and we WILL find you! Anyone interested in joining us – please do – we are loving this experience and we are sure you will too. I’ll speak to you guys tomorrow. I hope you’ve found the blog interesting. More tomorrow. Ciao.

You can contact me directly at houghton.simon@gmail.com

About Simon

Simon Houghton creator of The Bloke Show started life as a baby, going on to become a boy and then a man, at which time he became an actor. As time passed he went on to be a director, later still he became a sales guy, then a business owner. Most recently he regressed and became a writer. Then a driver, then an actor again.
Decisiveness is not one of his strong suits.

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