Day thirty-four

What a weekend!

Jim Short at The Comedy Underground Seattle
Great show, nice crowd. Makayla and I had the pleasure of meeting with Jim, Seth Lazear and Mike Ashby after the show. We pitched The Bloke Show to them and are having further discussions after we send them our completed scripts.

Makayla and I also had a bite with Jim after the show. What a really nice personable guy. I’m really hoping things work out with Jim, he’s a really funny guy he would be a blast to work with. The distance/schedule thing could be a hurdle but we’ll do our best to accommodate Jim – he lives In L.A. and we are shooting in Seattle, but my motto has always been where there’s a will there’s a way. And we have a will.

Seth’s also fab, I hope he doesn’t mind me mentioning but initially he was hesitant, he expressed that he hasn’t done any acting work before , but I’ve seen his video clips and he is very comfortable on camera and quite frankly he is everything I want the character Pete to be ..I know he’ll shine. It was so interesting, he was feverishly taking notes on the script we provided as he read and I was thinking to myself that it takes years of training to get actors to do what he was doing right then. Its clear Seth is an amazingly bright guy and he will contribute a lot to the show. Likewise my fingers are crossed he’ll come onboard. Besides, he used to play Rugby and loves the sport… that says great guy right there.

Mike read through the script we provided and asked for more so he can judge the amount of work involved he sounds like he’s flat out with the post-production work he does on movie trailers. I really want to discuss the shows style with him more..the guy knows his apples and likewise was very positive and helpful.

Great guys all.

Makayla felt the same way and she is really hoping we get to work with them so now its time to get materials to them, start serious discussions and in Jim’s case hope we can resolve any scheduling issues.

Meetup Madness – I did NOT make Emma happy

Never in my life have I been accused of being racist.

I attended a meetup function on Friday night and had a great time. Met some cool people and really enjoyed myself. Towards the end of the night a few of us were having a discussion about cultural differences and I expressed both my loves and dislikes about living in America. Emma the host became really really defensive so I backed off….the last thing I want to do is upset someone, and I thought everything ended on a positive note ,no personal criticisms were mentioned , it always baffles me when people get upset over matters that really aren’t personal in nature anyway. But there you have it.

Then I get an email from Emma – with a thinly veiled threat of expulsion from the meetup group. How would I ever survive?

Where the racist card comes in I have no idea …but Emma really gives herself away with the “passionate dislike of America” line.

Heres the gig – don’t criticize America in any way shape or form with Emma (and people like Emma)- its perfect. Always has been, always will be. Any criticism of America constitutes un-american activity and will result in personal affront being taken this will totally justify whatever action’s necessary to remove the meddling whining foreigner from the golden soil of the USA.

I wouldn’t mind but I really like it here.I like the people and the place.

But accusations of being racist, I take very seriously.

Here’s the email and response –

Simon,

I noticed that you failed to either update your RSVP or show for The Cherry Orchard at ACT his afternoon, so for that reason I have marked you as a no-show. I feel I have been reasonable in posting clear requirements to RSVP’ing to my events as well as taken the time to send multiple emails reminding attendees of the importance being considerate by keeping RSVP’s updated in a timely fashion. Please be aware that in the future, if
you RSVP ‘yes’ to an event I post that has limited spaces, I will require you to confirm your RSVP 24 hours in advance so that I know you will for certain attend. If you are a ‘yes’ within 24 hours of an event I post with limited spaces and change you’re RSVP to ‘no’ under that timeframe, I ask that you send me a reason for your cancellation and be aware that doing so will enable me to reserve the right to move you to the waiting list of future events when there are people on the waiting list willing to attend. I think this is fair.

Additionally, it was brought to my attention that you made a rather insulting remark regarding Asians on Friday night during the meet-up at Bambinos, and while I did not myself hear this particular statment, it was both uncomfortable and upsetting for the other person in question, so much so that they left the event early and are now leary of attending future events with this group. I want you to know that I have nothing at all against members expressing a general opion (such as a passionate dislike of America), however directing comments or insults at a specific race, a particular persons religion or sexual orientation ect. is not acceptable or tollerated and if I hear myself that you say these type of things, it may result in your removal from the group, which woud be unfortunate.

It was a pleasure to see you on Friday but unfortunate you were unable to attend the play this afternoon. I hope you continue enjoy being a member of Urban on a Budget. Perhaps I’ll see you at an event soon.
em”

The response –

Emma,

Hmmm. Boy, this is so disturbing .

Allow me to address one issue at a time.

My no-show – mea culpa, a situation arose that prevented me from attending this afternoon’s performance. By all means mark me down as a no-show. I believe the 24 hour rule you mentioned is more than fair. When you have children circumstances sometimes occur that prevent you from attending planned social events. I do not feel the need to explain the circumstances other than to say it is my fault – I responded yes and I apologize for not turning up. I will be happy to forward a donation to the theatre company in question and furthermore I apologize to any group member who could not see the production as a result of my absence, I can assure you, that I am as disappointed as you are.

Secondly allow me to address the far more disturbing wholly untrue and unsubstantiated accusation of a racist remark that I allegedly made and your equally untrue assertion that I “have a passionate dislike for America” ,as you put it, (herein lies the basis for your correspondence I suspect). I can only assume that any remarks that I may have made have been totally misunderstood, but I apologize unreservedly to anyone to whom I may have caused offense, that being the case. I would appreciate it if you could provide me with the precise details of the alleged remarks/incident so I could address them with the people in question.

Nothing offends me more than racist behaviour. I have demonstrated at anti-racist rallies and I have a long and proud association as an e-activist with Amnesty International. The type of language you have accused me of is abhorrent to me . Incidentally, one of the people from a meetup group (The Seattle Single Parents meetup group) with whom I am corresponding happens to be Asian , we are planning to meet so our children can play together, hardly the typical conduct of a racist.

I did notice that you took personal offense to some of my remarks/observations about America . I can assure you that none was intended to be taken personally. But for the record I will repeat my stated beliefs:

– I believe in universal healthcare , healthcare should not be considered a luxury but a basic human right.
– I believe in free and quality education.
– I believe in gun control.
– I support the rights of all individuals to marry
– I believe that the vast majority of Americans have insufficient vacation time and time allowed for personal leave; including but not limited to bereavement, maternity leave and sick days.

I would wish these things for all people,not limited to Americans, but to all people. If my raising of these issues offended you, so be it. But I fail to understand how these assertions constitute a “passionate dislike of America” in fact to the contrary I love my home and the vast majority of Americans, your outlook, generosity,optimism and never-say-die attitude are amongst many other traits that I greatly admire. I enjoy living here very much and wish nothing but good things for this country and her people. I would not talk about these subjects if I did not care about America.I simply wouldn’t care.

I think free and open discourse about political/social issues is healthy and to be encouraged and I hasten to add that some of my remarks were also directed towards Australia – my homeland.

I will be emailing all who attended that evening with this correspondence just to make sure that whoever I may have offended receives my unreserved apology.

Simon Houghton

Unbelievable.

Anyhow you live and learn. Catcha tomorrow ,

Simon

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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