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Where I Am and Where I'm Going

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My first journal entry here at GDNet. Cool. I think I'll take the time to explain what's been going on in my life this summer, in broad terms. I can't tell if anyone even noticed, besides those at GDNet I talk to a lot, that I've become a lot less active over these past few months. But for any that did, this should inform them as to why exactly, and why I'm back. For anyone else, it's just a cool story.

I've taken this directly from my other journal over on my company's web boards.

What the hell happened to my journal updates? Well I kinda dropped off the face of the earth as far as the gaming industry is concerned when I got involved in my first stunt job back in June. A fellow coach of mine (I coach gymnastics) has been doing TV and movie stunts for some number of years, along with live shows in New York City, Vegas and Disney. He tried out for this stunt job at the local Six Flags park near us, and got the job. He was telling me about it one night at the gym and I was appalled that he never told me he was trying out for the position. I was pretty mad. But he insisted he told everyone, and I guess looking back I did hear him mention it, but didn't think much of it at the time. Shucks.

So anyways I told him "dude, when you go in for the first rehearsal, if they need anybody, call me". And guess what?? Sure enough, one of the cast decided to not show up and couldn't be reached, so I wake up at 11am (I'm still on my programming schedule of like sleep from 7-12 of course) to a phone call. It's another coach buddy of mine. My friend who got the job at Six Flags didn't have my number, so he called him instead. "Dude man", he said "you can't be sleeping if you want to work at Great Adventure". What?? My sleep-addled brain could hardly fathom what he was trying to tell me. "They need someone dude, get down there now"

After making sure this wasn't some cruel and unsual prank, I called up my buddy at Six Flags and he confirmed it. So I quick got dressed, hopped in my car and shot down to GA faster than a speeding bullet! I got there, and my soon-to-be boss picked me up at the front gate and rode me in to meet the stunt coordinator and the rest of the cast asking me questions like "have you had any acting exprience?" uhm, no, I replied. "Have you done any stunts before?" not professionally, I said. "Do you have any special skills or training?" well, I said, I am a gymnast and martial artist. He seemed satisfied at that, which was good, because I was understandably nervous at being thrown into the pot like this.

So we get to where the rest of the cast was hanging out, and I met the stunt coordinator, a short, solidly built guy with crew-cut blonde hair and thin reding glasses that literally bounced around with energy. Todd Lester. What a character. He looked like a special forces operative dressed in high-laced boots, military BDU's and a tight t-shirt. I met the rest of the cast too (my friend was there of course, which was good because at least I knew someone!), tho I suck at names so nothing really stuck that first meet. As a group we sat down and read through the script, then listened to the soundtrack.

After that first day, it would be a month of 6-8 hour rehearsals every day, with the exception of Wednesdays, usually. But not always. We learned the basics of fighting and taking hits, rolling and landing properly from falls. Then we moved on into actually choreographing the show - from the ground up. It was a brand-new $2 million Six Flags production, and we had to conceive the whole entire show from ground zero. Like I said, 6-8 hour rehearsals. In the stunt arena, which was outside, in the sun and blazing heat. I never thought I could lose weight, but I lost about 10 lbs easily. I'd drink an entire jug of Kiwi Strawberry Snapple and not have to take a piss all day - it all got sweated out.

Obviously, such a strenuous schedule took its toll on my game development. I took a sort of haitus to focus all my energies on the show. Even when we finished rehearsals and began the show for the season, we were constantly re-evaluating and changing it to make it better. My entire summer pretty much revolved around Six Flags rather than game development.

But now the season is almost over. Although the show was awesome enough to get us extended into October when the park is open for Fright Fest, it's not going to last forever, and it's time I brought my focus back to game development to hold me over until next summer at least. Although I plan on looking into taking on some TV and commercial stunt jobs during the year, they come sporadically enough that I'll need more stable forms of income. My coaching provides me steady livable income alone, so that's good. I'm looking at game development to be my second-tier of income, while stunt work takes up the top of the pyramid.

Juggling three jobs?? Am I nuts? Well, it seems to be working out so far :) Although I spent the entire summer away from game development, it's understandable so I could get a solid footing in this new industry I want to participate in. Like when I first seriously considered game development as a career, I wanted to quit coaching gymnastics. Now that the initial stuntwork is almost done, I can ease into it more while balancing coaching and game development.

It's gonna be a fun ride I think. We'll see how it goes.
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