Sunday, October 31, 2010

Alvin Love

I don't promote artists very often at all, so when I do... it means I love it. A lot. And, man, do I love me some of "The Strawberry Project" by Mr. Alvin Love. And, lets be honest, with a name like "Alvin Love" how can you resist? This is one of the most fun albums I've heard in a LONG time. Instantly puts me in a good mood even at my roughest. I really do encourage you to give it a listen and perhaps purchase the album. The melodies are catchy and the lyrics are so much fun. I promise you won't regret it. So... go get it

iTunes: The Strawberry Project

Be prepared to roll the windows down and have a blast. You think I'm exaggerating? You'll see.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Sometimes you disappear.

I did. Oops. My wonderful friend Sarah Smith sent me a little message today saying that "the people" demand a new blog post, so here it is. Honestly, I wasn't aware that there were any people who still read this mess, but I guess I've been proven wrong. There's at least one. Sarah. And if she wants a blog post... she gets a blog post.

I last left you with the wonderful images of our housewarming party which included great friends, food, and a fantastic pinata filled with glorious treats. That was 2.5 months ago. Wow. I have been gone awhile, haven't I? Quick update on the little things:
- I've gone to 3 weddings since we parted last. One in Peoria, IL, one in Zionsville, IN, and one in Birmingham, AL. All of them were great.
- I worked a lot at Buca Di Beppo
- I went to Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN, and it was hilarious. Pretty awful, but hilarious.
- I got a new car and sold my old one. It was just time.
- I buzzed my hair... again.
- I am now a faithful fan of the Hollywood softball team that our friend Lauren plays with here in Nashville. They're pretty amazing.
- I got a Tennessee license.
- I went to Cedar Point and rode about 7 rides. Note: Don't go to Cedar Point when winds are 25+ mph because they will shut everything down. We still had an amazing time, though, and laughed a lot... and danced like idiots down the street while a parade was following behind us. And we might have danced in the Johnny Rocket's restaurant, too.

The past month or so has been a whirlwind of experiences. I'm not even really sure how to process or explain it. God has been teaching me so much, and I've been humbled and overwhelmed by His goodness and strength. I've met some amazing people who have become my "Nashville Family," and they've really helped Nashville begin to feel like home. One interesting event that I was able to take part in with some of my Nashville Fam was helping to set up for a 5 year old's birthday party. I know... you're wondering why I would bring this up. Well, it was no ordinary birthday party. This was the most incredible birthday party I've ever seen in my entire life. My friend Shelley works for the interior design company that decorates for these parties, and her sister Carly nannies the little boy who was having the party, so thats how I got in on this little adventure. It was a Jurassic Park themed party complete with roaring, moving replicas of some of the most famous dinosaurs, a huge "dig site" where kids could dig up fossils and bones, a giant inflatable play place, a dinosaur ride, and many various arts and crafts. It was insane. Here's a few pics from that experience:

Needless to say, I couldn't believe what was happening before my eyes. It was unreal. The little boy's entire family was so friendly and hospitable, though, and it was a really fun experience. Hopefully I'll get to take part in the festivities again next year. I can't even imagine what they'll come up with.

As of late, my life has been consumed with a new job I've been working. I'm part of the Art Department thats working on the feature film "Firebird" shooting here in Nashville, and when I say my life is consumed by it, I'm not kidding. We've been working 12+ hour days for the past 2 weeks straight, and I'm exhausted. Though I get super tired of the long hours and some of the frustrations of working on a film, it really has been a good experience, and I'm thankful for the opportunity. I'm not gonna lie, though... it'll be nice when filming wraps. Considering we still have 3 or 4 weeks of shooting left, I can't really start looking toward that quite yet. The main responsibility of the Art Department is to take the shooting locations that are selected and make them look as authentic and true to life as possible. They get furniture, paintings, photos, knick-knacks, rugs, curtains, signs, etc to dress a set or location before shooting at that location begins. For example... we had to transform a prison thats been shut down for over 20 years into a modern, working prison. We scraped paint, painted walls, replaced windows, brought in tons of workout equipment for the rec yard, and repaired fencing to make the place ready for the shoot we had this past Saturday. It's unreal the amount of work that goes into a feature film. We also filmed at a farm outside of Nashville that was beautiful. Here's some pictures of the farm and the prison:

Everything you see in this image was carefully placed by the Art Dept. Again... it's amazing what goes into this stuff:

They filmed parts of "The Green Mile" and all of "The Castle" at this prison:

This is the cell where James Earl Ray was kept (he shot Martin Luther King, Jr.). The bars to the cell are currently in some museum:

Here's part of the set from "The Green Mile" that they left:

This is where the electric chair (Nicknamed "Old Smokey") used to be. Thats obviously not the original chair:

Prison is terrifying and depressing. I pray I never have to go there for real. Plus, I just don't look happy in prison:

They remainder of shooting is sure to have many ups and downs, and I just pray that the Lord gives me the strength to keep going. Life is hard, and there's so many things I struggle with, but God is still God through it all. He knows what He's doing, and I pray that every single day I'll grow to trust Him more and take joy in Him and His plan for my life. Honestly, I don't know where He's leading me at this point or what He's trying to teach me, but all I can do is seek Him and things will fall into place. Working with this film has reminded me why I left Los Angeles and the film industry and moved to Nashville, though. I miss music and performing. I pray Christ brings those back into my life soon.

I hope "the people" are happy to have an update. I'm thankful to those who encourage me to keep this thing going. It really is therapeutic. Hopefully I'll be back soon with some good stories.

Workin' like a mad man and learning a lot,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How To: Make a Pinata

Since I am now an expert at making pinatas because I finished my first one ever this week for our housewarming party, I figured it's time to let you in on the secrets of pinata making. If you're actually considering creating a pinata from scratch on your own, it is at this point that I will advise you to immediately stop thinking about that, drive to Hobby Lobby, Walmart, or Mexico, and buy a pre-made pinata for $15-$20 (or 2 pesos if you drive to Mexico, plus about $500 for gas... unless you already live in Mexico... in which case I ask "why are you reading this and how did you find me?"). However, if you're crazy enough to actually begin the process, just follow the simple steps provided below:

Round up some cardboard boxes in which you moved old books and knick-knacks, an old, yellow box-cutter (yellow not completely necessary, but helpful), some duck tape (honestly, any color will do, but red is preferred by 9 out of 10 pinata experts), crepe paper of various colors to fit your desires, multiple glue sticks (I'm not kidding... one was not enough for me), scissors, a coat hanger, and an iTunes playlist that has enough songs to play continuously for at least 12 or so hours.

Once you have all of that, press "Play" on your iTunes playlist and begin looking at the boxes for an extended amount of time trying to figure out how the heck you're going to cut the various pieces to create the pinata of your dreams. I chose a dragon shaped pinata (Free additional note: when you're making a list for your housewarming party on an Evite of things that will happen at the event, don't jokingly put that "dragons" will be present because someone will mention in their attendance confirmation that they can't wait for the "dragons" and you'll think it's a great idea to surprise and impress them all by actually having a dragon there). Slowly make very calculated and exact cuts to form the shapes that will create your masterpiece. Then begin taping the cardboard shapes together and spend more time staring intently at the figure being formed wondering where to go next. Finally, get to the point where you have it all figured out, cut the remaining pieces, tape them together, and then realize that you forgot to put the coat hanger in the pinata. Untape some of the pinata, insert hanger, and re-tape. You will now be at this point in your pinata adventure, and you'll be wondering what you've gotten yourself into:

Before you go any further, fill your pinata with the 3.5 pounds of candy and surprises you purchased. Make sure the hole that you put the candy in is only large enough to allow a few pieces of goody through at a time so that the process is long and arduous. Now that you've finished that, begin cutting small squares of crepe paper into piles until you think you have more than enough to last you a while. Apply glue to the area to which you will be putting the crepe paper. Wrap the square of crepe paper around your pointer finger, press onto desired area, and repeat. Realize the glue dries faster than expected and begin wrapping each square around your finger, rubbing it in the glue stick, and then applying it to the cardboard. Repeat this... over and over again. Then, realize that the "huge" pile of crepe paper squares you've cut is almost gone and you've only done one 8th of the pinata. Begin to wonder what you've gotten yourself into again. Now you'll be at this point (isn't this fun?!):

Take a break, think about all the other things you should be doing, then look at the unfinished pinata in front of you and realize the glorious creation it will soon be. Return to cutting out squares of crepe paper and applying them to the cardboard. Begin cutting slits in long strips of crepe paper and gluing them to the cardboard to expedite the process. Look at the clock and see that you only have 3 hours until guests begin to arrive to your party. Enlist the help of your trust-worthy friends in cutting squares and strips of crepe paper, glue like a fiend, and marvel at the amazing creature that is taking shape before your eyes. Look the pinata over, make sure it lives up the expectations in your head, put a few final touches on it, and then you'll be at this point:

Was it worth it? Probably not. Are you proud? Absolutely. Does part of you want to save it forever, but you've mentally prepared yourself for it's short existence, so you simply take a ridiculous number of pictures of it? Yes.

It's a labor of love and insanity that may lead you to tears, hysterics, fast-food binges, and old songs you haven't listened to in forever, but the look on peoples' faces as that pinata hangs under the bright light of a street lamp and then bursts open and spills it's goods for all will make every ounce of anguish almost worth it.

*Disregard the large wet spot on my shirt in that one picture. A water balloon had just been popped over my head. Don't worry... I dealt with the culprit harshly. She won't be doing that again.

I hope this helps, and I wish you luck,

Oh... and here's a video of me with my completed dragon pinata (I'm pretty sure I was delirious at this point... and I'm pretty sure I still am right now):

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer... you're quick.

I'm not even sure what's happened to me to explain my absence on here, but I'm sure it was something incredible. That or the fact that I don't have much to write about. Lets see if I can come up with something.

When I left you last, I had just revealed the "Eenie Meenie" dance video. I hope you enjoyed that. It was very professional and highly technical. While we're on the subject of things that I did while filming "For The Glory" I guess I should post the teaser trailer that was just released for the movie!

What do you think? Wanna see the movie?! No?... alright. It was because of my yawn, wasn't it? Dang it. If you do decide to see the film, it should be out early 2011. They're trying to get it distributed by a larger company and hopefully get it into theaters, but we'll see. That would be insane. Do I need to hire bodygaurds if that happens? I just want to be safe, you know.

I was also able to be a part of the promo commercial for CMT's new show "Your Chance To Dance" here in Nashville! It was a hilarious experience in which I got to wear a mullet weave. No, no. You didn't read that wrong. I said I wore a weave... and it was disgusting. Go to the link below to see the result of that shoot:

Oh, hello mullet. You're quite attractive.

Most of July has been spent scouring Craigslist for a new place to live and new things to fill the place that we found. You think I'm kidding? I get obsessed with checking to get the best deals, and I don't make a move until I find the perfect thing. It's a problem, but I'm usually fairly successful in the hunt. We are now no longer living in a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 guys, but have just this past week moved into a real, single-family home! God really has been so faithful in providing for us. Our rent is cheap, it's in a good area of town, we have a LOT more room than we used to. We're loving it.

OH! I almost forgot to say that I also auditioned for American Idol... again. Yes, you're right. That makes it the 4th time that I've freakin' auditioned for that show. Did I make it? Do you really need to ask? American Idol is just not the way that the Lord wants me to go. I really do love the whole process of auditioning, though, and it's always a good story. Plus, auditions were right here in Nashville this year, so I couldn't resist. I'm thinking thats the last time I'll try, but you never know. I'm pretty sure I've said that the past 3 years.

I also took a trip to Destin, FL with my roommates and some friends of ours, which was so nice. I hadn't been to the beach in a long time (except while I was in LA, so maybe not that long), and it was so good to just relax and enjoy time with friends. Note, though... never go to the beach in the middle of the summer, because you will hate your life as you're laying on the beach choking on the hot, humid air and literally cooking. I couldn't believe how hot it was. Maybe I've just always gone to the beach for spring break or later in the fall, but it was unbelievable how hot it was. Granted, I feel like this summer has been one of the hottest in a while, but dang. Miserable. Still such a great trip, though!

Now that the movie is wrapped, I've gone to the beach, and we're all moved into our new house, I don't really know what to do from here. My goal right now is to finally get started on writing and recording some original music and really thinking about where the Lord is leading me in that area... and life in general. Gotta take it a day at a time, and listen for His leading while taking steps of faith. A lesson I've been learning for a LONG time and still have trouble with.

Alright. That about sums things up! Hopefully I'll have more news soon, but until then... be good. Eat some cookies. Love life. And ride a dolphin (this one could prove difficult, but it'd be interesting to accomplish).


Monday, June 21, 2010

Eenie Meenie

I love making videos. I love dancing. I have the Bieber Fever. Here's the result of what happens when those three facts collide while in Northern Virginia with the Kuykendall family:

You can thank Shawn for the sick video editing. I hope more video creations happen again soon!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

"...... Apparel"

So, one of my new life-long friends from Oakton, VA, Shawn Kuykendall (or "Flip McGraw" in the movie) and I have decided to start a t-shirt company. We're not sure what to call it yet hence the "....." in the title of this post, but it's guaranteed to be something incredible. Shawn has been painting, yes painting, t-shirts for quite some time now, and I decided I wanted one of these custom shirts. So, we made some this week. The most difficult part of making them was deciding what to put on them. Naturally, we chose to put eachother's faces on our shirts. I now have a shirt with Shawn's face on it, and he has a shirt with my face on it. Precious. Honestly, they turned out pretty freakin' amazing, and word is spreading as people begin to put in orders for them. Here's a picture of the two we made this week. Guess which one is him and which one is me (the only way you won't get it right is if you've never seen either of us in your life and you live under a stupid rock):

I know... you want one. Well, you're in luck because we're starting to take orders. I'm serious. They'll probably be a little pricey ($40) because they are completely customized from a photo that you send in, hand-painted on high quality t-shirts, and they're just plain sweet. We hope to have a website up soon that explains the details (see... I wasn't kidding about this).

What's that? You don't know what "Donk" on the shirts means? Well, let me explain. "Donk" is one of Shawn's favorite words that was actually made popular by a radio station here in DC. "Donk" is short for "donkey" and is a word for someone who is just dumb or did something stupid. Oh, you'd like an example? I can do that. Lets say I was supposed to grab some chips for a party, but I forgot. I would say "I'm a donk. I forgot the chips." Easy, huh? Shawn loves it so much.

Your shirt doesn't have to say "Donk" either. Honestly, it can say whatever you want it to say as long as it's appropriate. Or you can get really crazy and let Shawn and I decide what it says. I know... it's risky. There's no telling what you'd get.

Seriously, leave a comment on this post if you want a t-shirt, and we'll work it out... cause they're awesome.

Can I just stop time?

Tomorrow I will leave behind one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and it's gonna be extremely difficult. Not only have I gotten to wake up every morning and do something I absolutely love, but I've been blessed to meet some of the most incredible, Godly people who are sure to be lifelong friends. You think I'm being dramatic? I'm not. They're amazing. Watching the Christ-like love that comes out of those involved in this project has encouraged and challenged me more than I ever expected. Being a part of this film and a part of this community has not only encouraged and given me confidence in the gifts and talents God has blessed me with, but it's showed me that there are people out there truly seeking to use their talents to glorify Christ and make His name known. It's showed me what it really means to do everything for the glory of the Lord and to take advantage of every opportunity to show His love to others. I'm better for being a part of this project, and I'm humbled by how the Lord has moved. He is so faithful to show us His love and draw us to Him even when we're not expecting or looking for it.

"For The Glory" has changed me, and I pray it continues to change others,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

We're done with week 1 of filming, and it was incredible! I'm loving this whole process even more than I thought I would and can already tell that it's gonna be tough to go back to the real world when shooting wraps. My favorite scene to shoot so far might have been the wedding scene where "Kurt" (Jason) and "Sherry" (Chelsea) are leaving the church in their getaway car. It was super simple, and I didn't really have any specific lines, but for some reason it cracked me up. Maybe it was the fact that we got to throw rice at Jason and Chelsea 10 or so times in a row. Or it could have been the ridiculous, subtle comments that were being made throughout the entire scene. Or maybe it was the fact that on one of the takes I caught the bouquet of flowers that Chelsea tossed out of the car as they were driving away... I hope they use that take. Hilarious. Here's some shots from behind the scenes so far:

I've also gotten to do a good bit of site seeing here in our nations capitol, and I love it. Free museums, free national monuments, not free metro rides... its awesome. Here's a few of my favorite pictures from my day of site-seeing:

People on the metro are so happy...

We've also had two days of family fun time at the Kuykendalls' house where hours and hours of 4-square are played. Yes... the same 4-square that you might remember from 4th grade or so. It's incredible. These get-togethers have been one of my favorite parts of this experience so far. Such good times of fellowship, fun and food. Three of my favorite things in the world. Here's a few shots from FFD (Family Fun Day... I just made that up. Booya):

So, as you can see... I'm a HUGE fan of the cast, crew, and everyone else involved in this project! It's such a blessing to be a part, and I can't wait to see how the Lord uses this film. However, I can wait for filming to wrap. Thats gonna be a sad, sad day.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Virginia Is For Lovers

And movie making, apparently. Well, I've arrived in Virginia (we're just 15 minutes from Washington, D.C.) to begin filming "For The Glory." The movie is based on the life of olympic soccer player Kurt Kuykendall, and I'm writing this post while sitting in Kurt's beautiful home watching a little soccer with him. Pretty awesome. We met the entire cast yesterday during a read-through of the script and then had a dinner at a house in my new favorite little town ever (Clifton, VA). It's been so great to get to know everyone involved in the film and they've all been so friendly and fun. I'm looking forward to hanging out more and getting started on filming.

We already made our D.C. debut last night when we went into the city with Kurt's son Shawn (who is hilarious and gonna be so much fun to hang out with). He gave us a little tour around the city before we hung out with him and a few of his friends at a cool restaurant with rooftop seating. I have a feeling I'm gonna love the history of the city, and I can't wait to go see all the touristy spots and incredible architecture. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. We'll see.

We've only just begun, but I'm excited about where things are headed. Our first day of shooting is this coming Tuesday, so I've definitely gotta get ready for that! I'm just praying that the Lord helps me out in the acting area. I think it'll be good, but I just feel so inexperienced at this point. I'm sure they'll be plenty of humbling times during all this... which will be good for me.

I'll have some pictures up soon, and I'll be updating pretty frequently on twitter (RobbyHStone), so things should get more entertaining.

Still hating politics even though I'm in Washington,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My mom is amazing.

No really... she is. Her name is Rosemary, and the name fits her perfectly. Tiny little blonde with enough southern charm and grace to make you instantly fall in love with her but a touch of blunt honesty that makes her real and hilarious. She's a mother above anything else on this earth, and she will fight to the death for her children. Even if that means fighting to the death against her children. You see... mom wants the best for us always, but sometimes what she sees as the best and what we see as the best differ a bit. She's learning that on this earth her children might have to go through difficult times in order to learn what the Lord has to teach us. Sometimes the safest and most secure route is not always God's route, and even though it's really, really tough for her to allow us to walk down those paths, she's learning to encourage us in the path He has laid before us. She is a woman of God who seeks Him daily, studies His word, and prays unceasingly for His will to be done no matter what that means. As I've gotten older, I realize how blessed I am to have a mother like mine (and my dad is just as incredible. I know, I know... it's humbling), so on this Mother's Day I just wanted to let you all know about my amazing mom.

Happy Mother's Day, mom. I love you.