Archive for the ‘Acting Stuff’ Category

The Famed Shark Jesus Sketch

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

иконографияOk, here is one that never went anywhere, and still apparently lives on today as a monument to my own personal failings as a writer. I still believe in this sketch, and people (Read: Today) (Read further: Melissa) still bring this up to me. And I am still reticent to let this one go. You be the judge;

Shark Jesus
By: Ray Stakenas

Alice:
So by my current projections, this zoo will be going under and closing its doors for good within 6 months.

Zach:
6 months? This is terrible, I’ve been working here for 20 years!

Trevor:
I just feel for the animals, those tender, nubile creatures.

Alice:
Yes, it would take a miracle to save our zoo, I mean we are talking act of God stuff here.

(Gordon enters)

Gordon:
Guys, a miracle just happened!

Zach:
Look, unless a panda just won the powerball it doesn’t matter.

Alice:
Seriously Gordon, this zoo will be bankrupt by winter, none of us are in the mood for another one of your miracles.

Zach:
What is it this time? Did a gibbon pee the face of the Virgin Mary into a tree stump…again?

Gordon:
Ok, I know you’ve doubted me in the past. But check this one out. So we have 3 hammerhead sharks, all female, in our tanks here. Now they have not been around a male shark for over 3 years. This morning, there was a baby shark swimming around the tank!

Alice:
Wow, a virgin shark birth. I’ve never heard of that before.

Zach:
Wait, So no shark males were anywhere near the tank?

Trevor: (Looking nervous)
It must be that miracle we were looking for.

Alice:
It could be the event we were looking for to save our zoo!

Trevor:
Are you sure this baby is 100% shark? Just askin’, no human features or anything?

Gordon:
Of course it’s 100% shark, why would you ask that?

Trevor:
No reason, nevermind.

Gordon:
Anyways, I don’t think I need to explain what all this means….

Zach:
That sharks are one of many creatures on this planet who have learned to reproduce asexually, and now we have proof?

Gordon:
That is one way to look at it, but I choose not to. No, I believe it obviously means that we are witnesses to the virgin birth of Shark Jesus.

Zach:
Wait, what?

Gordon:
It is my belief that Shark God sent down his one begotten Shark Son to try and save the Shark People from eternal damnation in Shark Hell.

Zach:
Ok, that’s retarded.

Alice:
Hold on Zach, he’s on to something. If we market our zoo as home to ‘Shark Jesus, the miracle baby’, religious nuts from around the world will flock to us. Spending big bucks just to catch a glimpse of him.

Zach:
Come on, people aren’t that stupid.

Alice:
Gordon, do you still have that baking sheet with the rust Virgin Mary on it?

Gordon:
Sure do, paid a grand for it too!

Zach:
Oh my God you’re right, this will totally save our zoo!

Trevor:
Hey, uh, you’re positive that Shark Jesus doesn’t have anything crazy like opposable thumbs right?

Alice:
Why are you so worried about Shark Jesus being some kind of mutant hybrid?

Trevor:
(changing the subject) Our zoo is saved!

(Everyone has a moment of excitement, yay! Etc.)
(Assistant enters)

Assistant:
Gordon, There has been a terrible accident. A sting ray In the same tank just killed Shark Jesus. I’m sorry.

(pause)

Zach:
Well I better go update my resume.

Gordon:
Don’t be down everyone! Shark Jesus has been martyred! But through death he will be stronger and bigger than ever! Thus is the legend of Shark Jesus, aquatic messiah.

(Lights change, church music plays, maybe a picture of Shark Jesus is put up on the screen)
(scene)

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HELP FULL NELSON!!!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Ok kids, here is the sizzle trailer for the TV I have been working on.

We need to sell it to a network and get Almighty Ray on TV and paid. Both would be awesome.

So, watch this trailer and tell your friends, become a fan/friends on FaceBook, and generally pimp this shit out of this show!!!

For reals, every little bit of pub we can get will help. So let’s plant the seeds of a massive internet explosion of delight for Full Nelson!

Thanks for the help y’all, you know I love each and every one of you!!!

-Ray

Writers

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Ok, so I rip on writers….alot.

However I find it very justified, I want all of them to succeed, but often times am left thinking one of 2 things;

1) How lazy are you?
2) Do you know anything about writing?

This leads me to this post. I put forth a call to arms looking for sketches for the show I run. And got a myriad of really good stuff. I also got a fair amount of things I just plain did not know what to do with. I suppose when you fire a shotgun, you cannot aim where the buckshot goes.

So what follows is one of the ‘scripts’ I got, from a ‘writer’. The e-mail was subjected as ‘Genius at work’. I will not change a letter, but present it to you as I saw it. Enjoy!;

scene 1 interior,

John sitting on table looking at laptop
roomate dave walks in asks john whats he looking at

John: man i m sick of dating im looking for hookers on craig list

dave: thats lame dude, the cops are cracking down on that

John: Im a john looking for some, in this bad economy, it sucks

Dave: hows your job going?

John:im stuck here looking 4 hookers because i got layed off, im going to blow my last check on some poontang!

Dave: How do you get layed off from burger king, are you retarded?

John: Dude, if i was you know i would cash in with disability checks,

Dave: what you going to do, shouldn’t you look for work?

John: Im going to bang a hooker then move back in with my parents after i get evicted

Dave: dude i can cover your half this month

John: I need you to cover every month because im going on vacation is that cool?

Dave: no dude, you need to get another job.

John closes his laptop and walks away.

Best…sketch…ever!

I mean, seriously? What was I supposed to do with that? Is this ‘writer’ like 14 years old? What possible show would actually consider using this? Oi…

So anyways, I’ve read and seen alot of good writing out here, and have much respect for those who can ‘bring it’ on a consistent basis. But then again I see alot of stuff like this, and it gets tiring after a while. So if ever you hear me banging on writers, please understand I’ve probably just been inundated with a pile of scripts like this.

-Ray

10 minutes til showtime

Monday, May 25th, 2009

I run a sketch comedy stage show called Pop Co.

We had a show this past Sunday night.

This was our big ‘coming of age’ show. The theater that puts us up gave us a big chance to run at an earlier time, which is awesome. I can only assume that they were giving us 1 chance to show the world that we are worth spitting on. We accept said challenge.

I gave up directing chores to George, who is a delight. I did this against my better judgment. Not due to him, but because I am wont to cease control.

Through the whole process I feel real fear. I was not given all of the verbage I was used to. I am used to being the guy in charge, and this time I was in the back seat, with idea where we were going. I trust the people I was told to believe in.

We do the tech rehearsal, and suddenly I feel joy. This shit is actually going to work! We have a show! Everyone is wonderful! Let’s do this shit!

60 minutes til showtime, and we are ready to do it up. I get a text; ‘We are swamped at work’. I get nervous.

I text back things like ‘Well, what’s up?’

I get back things like ‘Well, things are really busy at work.’ I start to question life in general, I start to ask legit questions. Things like ‘How long can we hold curtain’ and ‘Oh shit, how much time do we need to learn this scene’ and ‘Why didn’t you take this day off of work like I did’?

We start to plan to stall the show because one of our featured performers is still at work. Oh my God why does my life suck? We have the biggest audience in the history of our show in the ‘make it or break it’ show of our lives, and I have a guy still at work? FUCK!!!

I get a text at 9:30 ‘I just got cut, should be there soon’. Oh thank God. If we stall like I have planned out, we should be fine. So i come up with 3 contingency plans off the top of my head. George (Our director tonight) elects to take plan #2. Hold curtain for 10 minutes, then start with a video.

Now, granted, this video was hinted at during our tech. I had heard of such. But had not seen a whiff of (And still have not seen even since after). So, we opened with this video to give my actor friend more time.

OH WAIT!

I got another text 10 minutes til showtime. “Dude, They un-cut everyone, don’t know if I am going to make it’.

FUCK!!!

So, here we are, 10 minutes til the show, and one of my featured performers is not going to be there for the biggest show we have ever had. My life sucks fat donkey dick.

So, here we are, 10 minutes til the biggest show in Pop Co history, and I have an actor not showing up. Yay! Huzzah! FUCK ME! So We do what we got to do; Deal with it. Bennie learns the Ren Faire sketch, George learns the Wrestling Sketch, I learn the Woody Allen and Manny Ramirez sketches. Ha ha ha, let’s all throw away all of what we rehearsed so that we can learn some shit in 10 minutes before the show!!! Seriously? YES! Welcome to a moment in the life on Almighty Ray.

So the show starts, I give up all illusion that we will have said featured performer. We’re rolling by on the sweat of our balls on the biggest show we have ever done.

The show starts and we do what we got to do. As my pal Mike Hughes has said, and I quoted such that night, ‘The audience does not know the show that you intended them to see, they only know the show that they saw’. So we persevere.

We do the show, it is slightly helter skelter. I know the show I saw in rehearsal, and that shit was strong. The actual show we put out there, was not as much. It was decent, but let’s be quite frank, not exactly what I (or anyone else for that matter) intended.

i was much put out (Y.I.K.) by what was going on around me. I personally had a sketch that I knew cold, but got stuck in when it happened in real life, I can only assume I let some bullshit get to me. When you are in the moment, this does not happen. When you are wondering in the back of your mind if you even have a clue what you are supposed to do in the next sketch, it does. God Damn It.

Anyways, the show ends, and we survived, everyone manned up and brought their A game. Well, everyone but me, I felt deep down that I let the cast down. I was not the man in charge. I was not the guy did not show up for the show. I was just some dickhole actor who tried to be the glue which held the shit together, and I felt like the weak link in the process. I felt like I was worthless as an actor. I felt like all my training and my experience had failed me. What am I doing in this fucking town? I’m a shitty actor and a terrible stage presence. The stage is better with me off of it!

Granted mayhaps we are all lesser when we need to learn our parts 10 minutes before hand. But that is but an excuse, and whilst in high school Mr. K taught me that excuses are for losers. I am no fucking loser, I will win. Never doubt that I will fucking win.

We draw the biggest crowd in the history of Pop Co. Partially due to the fact that it was a holiday weekend, and partially due to all the shit I did to bring people to the show. Damn it I burned up some wax to get that candle burning. And in the end it paid off.

So here we are. i wish there was some great ending to this story. Truth is, the next month worth of shows is already posted, and despite drawing 60 people, we are not on it. So it goes my friend, so it goes. Whatever the challenge put before u,s we shall fight and we shall win. If you ever think that I will not win, please come closer, so I can punch you in your fucking eye. I will win.

I sit here mildly content, slightly pissed, but mostly calm. Whatever shall come shall come. I just know that when faced with a ’10 minutes til showtime’ dilemma. Me and my gang of thieves rose to the occasion and won the day. And for that I shall be eternally respectful. Those be my peeps, and I shall never forget when they manned up for me. I shall never forget.

I just hope that we get another chance to prove how awesome we are.

-Ray

Poetry Fun!

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

So I’ve worked out a thing with Steve Wright over at Shock Therapy TV.

He has a long series called ‘Hand Puppet Theater’. That usually consists of a hand puppet performing stand up jokes. However, in one case I saw he had the hand puppet performing some slam style poetry!

Well, that happens to be right in my wheelhouse type area!

So I sent him a bunch of my old, short poems from my poetry slam days. (Many of whom can be read on this very site) He is working on making internet videos of these specifically for use with my sketch comedy show Pop Co!

So anyways, I look greatly forward to seeing what he comes up with, and will for sure post the results on this site when they become available!

SCORE!

-Ray

ps. Today I also shot Swimkata: Episode 3. In it I shoot a ninja. This is the awesome. if you have not seen Swimkata 1 & 2 what the heck is wrong with you? Here they are;



Want to see me perform?

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Just a little note here, but you can see all the recent episodes of the longest running topical sketch comedy show in LA, ‘Big News’ over at THE BIG NEWS REPORT.

All of the recent shows over the past few months are up there in full on video form, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m in some of them! So if you want to check it out, that is the place to go!

And for the record I am in the very wonderful and special episode number 300 with Emo Philips which is listed right up near the top of the page. That is a great one to watch both in quality, and amount of me in it. Coincidence??? Maybe.

-Ray

I hate it

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I just had a conversation with one of my actors for the show I do. And I hated it. I had to tell him that due to his lack of communication and missing rehearsals, that I cut him from the show. He took it well and understood my position, but I hate having to be that guy.

Damn it, responsibility sucks ass.

-Ray

Oh what a night.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

>rent a car bulgaria nothing like a 15 hour Hollywood day.

Woke up at 10AM and immediately finished up on the extra stuff I needed to get done for the show that I directed today, named Pop Co. I would love to add that I was up til 4AM last night finishing other stuff I had to do for the show. Getting 6 hours, better than I was expecting!

Anyways, got to rehearsal at 11AM, and one of my actors could not be there for FINAL TECH rehearsal. This, as you might know, blows. However, since I am Almighty Ray I had a back up plan of course and had the amazing and talented George Caleodis stand in for my missing cast member.

That went smoothly, and we got done early at 1:40! Cool! This left me a little extra time to get ready for Big News Show rehearsal at 2PM! This is good cause I did not have much time to look over much of anything for this show, and I love that show. Rehearsal went alright for Big News, slightly pulled back cause I had not had anything to eat, so I was a little extra silly I suppose.

So then I got out at 6:30, and made my way home via subway.

Did a load of laundry. Found out that my first load failed to wash 25 minutes into it, and had to start it that much later, causing mild stress.

Got back to the theatre at 8:30. I used valet parking and they jut left my car right there in the red zone next to the theatre. This perplexed me, so my attack level was reduced by one. If you get that joke then you are OK in my book.

Got inside and took some time to go over my one big scene from Big News with the lovely and talented Kipleigh Brown. We played Todd and Sarah Palin, and while the overall show might have been a bit sloppy from what I hear, I felt that our sketch together went just fine.

Did Big News from 9-10, I was apparently happier with the show than many other people. But then again I am seriously easy to please, as long as you do not suck.

Big News over, I had one hour til Pop Co went up. It was at this moment post Big News that it struck me; I did not know most of my lines for Pop Co. With all the time that I spent worrying about the minutia of the show, I had not actually taken an appropriate length of time to learn my lines. So I spent the next hour crushing them in hopes that a last minute jam would stick.

At this point I got a call. One of my actors for the show at 11PM would not make the call time. he has to stop home to pick up a jacket, and will be there ASAP. This causes my already pale skin to turn 3 shades whiter. Also I found out that one of my other actors, whom I love, is palling around in the bar instead of helping us get ready. Oi. Herding cats.

My missing actor shows up pissed off with 10 minutes to go before the show starts. I have to do my best to play Dad to both him and his wife, and get us all ready to kick ass. I still do not believe that I know my lines 100% but have fullest confidence that I can ‘Fucking make it work’.

The show starts. In the opening scene we drop a whole half page of dialogue. I wrote the sketch. It was probably my fault. Nobody noticed. Fuck, OK, let’s keep going!

From there everything goes relatively smoothly. We had someone dropping off a video for the show and they did not get there til 5 minutes after it was supposed to go on. Thankfully, I am Almighty Ray and I had a backup plan and another video ready to go. We ended up showing the missing video at the end of the show, post bows, why not?!?! We finished with an extra 5 minutes to spare, so let’s do it!

All in all I was super happy with Pop Co. For a show that was on it’s deathbed 2 months ago we have resurrected it and made it into something good. For the 4th show in a row we have upped our box office numbers, so we will not be canceled yet. It’s almost like I know something about this stuff? Maybe a little? I hope to never look back and keep this train a’moving forward til the dying end.

A note to all the people who could come and support Pop Co but have not yet; There is still time. I’m not prepared to tell all of you to go F yourselves. But we are building something really fun here, and if you want in on the ground floor, there is space on the bus. But don’t be surprised when we roar out of the station and leave your sorry selves behind. I have put my nuts on the line to make this show worth something, and I’ll be damned if we fail.

This is my personal guarantee; If you come support the show and hate it, I will buy you a drink. I am convinced that nobody but the most hateful will take me up on this. And there is still room on the bus from the most hateful too.

So come and see Big News, cause it is the best show in LA by the way, and come and support Pop Co, cause every single week we are putting on truly amazing shows for you, the ever growing audience.

Somewhere this got off topic as to my day, and became a forum as to why you should love Pop Co. This is OK, cause you should love Pop Co.

I’m just sayin’ come and support the show, I am personally trying to build something great here, and need each and every one of you to help make this show awesome. And I thank every person who has supported us thus far, and promise that the future will be even better.

-Ray

Family Dancers

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Here is a new video that I am in! Wow!

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

-Ray

Swimkata

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Hey look, it’s a new web series that I am in!