Monday, November 24, 2008

Entourage and Catching a Break

One of my favorite shows on TV these days is Entourage on HBO. I have seen every episode since making its debut and the season finale on Sunday, November 23 was one of the best shows. I think the reason why though is because I could relate so closely to Vincent Chase’s problems.

Finding a job in this economy and in the world we live in is no easy order. In fact, getting an interview alone is close to impossible, a resume is basically a needle in a stack of needles. Chase found himself as a needle trying to get a job...much like me and everyone else in this country right now.

For those that don’t know anything about the show, a quick little summery of the series. Chase left Queens, NY with his brother and two friends to try to make it in Hollywood. Chase eventually landed a roll in one of the biggest grossing movies in history after his breakout roll in an Indy film.

However, Chase recently found himself in down times having worked on a movie that bombed then was fired from another big picture mid production because the director didn’t want to work with him, despite Chase giving some of his best performances and a willingness to do whatever the director wanted.

Chase had been turned away from project after project and was left to just about beg. He even was to the point of auditioning again for rolls but could not even get an audition. In one dramatic scene on Sunday after being told “no” again, he calmly hung up the phone walked around the table then threw his phone at the wall and stormed out of the house.

He had hit rock bottom...been there.

I felt so sympathetic for Chase because I have been in that situation as well in my quest to land a job. From one rejection letter to another, to another, to another, it gets daunting. Just like Chase, you feel if you can just get an interview, you could get the job. So many times in this business you feel like you want to just throw your phone against the wall when you feel like you have done everything you can but you STILL can not get a break.

Chase finally got a break in the season finale on Sunday when his manager (and friend) waited outside a director’s office for five hours and got him to agree to watch clips of Chase in his recent movie (the one that got shut down).

Because a director (Gus Van Zant) actually got to watch his stuff, that director passed on his material to Martin Scorsese who offered Chase the leading roll in his next movie.

All it takes is one person to watch (or listen) to your tape and your life can change. The trick is, getting that person to believe in you and to actually take the five minutes out of their day.

Lately I have felt like getting a job is about as likely as winning the Powerball. So I figure my odds of landing a job are 1 in 195,249,054...

One song I always like to listen too when the chips are down...Frank Sinatra and That's Life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2008 MLB MVP's

So the National League and American League MVP awards have been handed out, let the debate begin. Just so we are clear on what the MVP stands for, this is the definition from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia “The Most Valuable Player Award (commonly known as the MVP award) is an annual award given to one outstanding player in each league of Major League Baseball. Since 1931, it has been awarded by the Baseball Writers Association of America”

The key phrase there is “one outstanding player in each league.” Not the person that was the one outstanding player in each league for a team that made it to the playoffs.

I never agreed with the idea that an MVP has to come from a team that made the playoffs. That is why I thought Mark McGwire should have won the MVP in 1998. That is why I thought Albert Pujols should have nabbed at least one MVP award between 2001-2004 when Barry Bonds won four straight.

Pujols and Dustin Pedroia both are deserving of the award because of what they did for their own team and the numbers they put together.

On a side note, the St. Louis Cardinals now have had 19 MVP’s in the history of the franchise, second most in baseball behind the New York Yankees (22).

I never understood why the Cardinals don’t get a lot of attention from the national media because they are THE team in the National League. They have the most World Series Titles and the most MVP’s in National League history. Second most behind the Yankees.

The Cards have won 17 pennants and have had 16 players go into the Hall of Fame.

That is a pretty long, rich and succesful history. I guess it’s because they are located in middle America and market 21.

- Graphic at the top of this article was designed by Nick Barrale