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Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Como Triunfar en America!"

One fine day, my sweetheart was really excited to show me something that our DVR had recorded.

As usual, I was getting ready to go somewhere: audition, class, meeting, gym, or some other actor "keeping busy" nonsense.  I don't know about you, but when I'm getting ready to go out the door, I get in a zone- the GAMER zone.  I tune everyone and everything out.  I'm on a mission.  Try and distract me, and I'll snap at you like a tiger.  Grrrrrr! Serio.

So my sweety says, "Honey, you gotta see this.  It'll just take a second."  She cues up the program.  It's the beginning credits for one of the episodes of the first season of "How To Make It In America".  The second season was still two months away, and we were both anticipating its return.  However, I was in no way, shape, or form willing to sit through an episode of last season just for shits and giggles.  I had places to go!  She disrupted my "zoneiness" for this?  Ay, ay, ay!

She sensed my frustration, and said "It'll just take a second."

I'm watching the opening credits to the show, featuring a catchy, and poignant (more on this later) tune by the awesome Aloe Blacc.

Check it out here:
I turn to my Honey and say "Can We forward to the part you want to show me?"  

"Just wait", she replies.

All right.  I'm grooving to the cool song and getting nostalgic seeing all the images of New York and its many fine citizens.

The final "Da Duh!" to the song plays.  As the show's title appears, I hear a deep, masculine, "solo en Telemundo" voice announce: "Como Triunfar en America", which literally translates into "How to Triumph In America". For all my gringo friends, Telemundo is a popular Spanish network.  

I broke out of my "zoniness" and started to laugh.  The tiger became a pussy cat for a second and purred happily.  

What is funny about this is two things: A. I wasn't expecting the announcer.  B. Anything dubbed in Spanish is always funny, because it's so over the top, and they rarely match the right voice that fits the character (except for Donkey in the first "Shrek).  Watch your dvd in Spanish, you'll know what I mean.

If you've never seen the show, I highly recommend it.  The title says it all.  It focuses on the trials of two young New Yorkers trying to succeed in business while "really trying".  It also chronicles the ups and downs of the people in their circle as they struggle (or not) to obtain that almighty dollar, legal or otherwise.  For more details on the show, go to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1299365/.

If there is one word that describes the montage in the intro, it's "HUSTLE". Everyone is trying to make a dollar.  I especially love the image of the cab driver yelling out the window, because in New York, time is money so you better move the fuck outta the way!  Everyone needs "a dollar", as Mr. Blacc sings.

Spend $$$  to make $0

This brings me to a conversation I recently had with a British actor.  I was hanging out in a local cafe.  It's one of those small places that's set up like a living room.  Everyone has to share the same coffee table.  This gentleman sits next to me, and we begin to shoot the shit.  We were the only ones sans lap tops (so L.A.).  It turns out that he is an actor who is in town taking meetings and awaiting an offer for a his role in an upcoming, "major movie", that will begin shooting next year.  Contractually, he couldn't tell me anything about the project.  I figured it out.  


"I need a dollar.  Dollar.  Dollar is what I need."

We started talking about the business and how different it is in Hollywood than England.  He mentioned that in the U.K., the opportunities for film and television are very slim.  I talked about how t.v and commercials are the bread and butter for many actors in Hollywood.  I also started talking about the things actors do to get their careers going in Los Angeles:  head shots, acting classes, casting workshops, career coaches, branding seminars, on-camera classes, social media coaching, consultants, casting web sites, getting your reels, hosting your reels, networking organizations, meet and greets, money management counseling (cause artists neeed it), hypnosis, colonics, this and that, and that and this.  He turned to me and said "Wow!  You need a lot of fucking money to be an actor here."  You f'n said it brother!

Take into consideration the jobs that actors must have in order to accommodate auditions, classes, and meetings.  These jobs ain't paying you $50k, which is still not lot of money by today's costs of living.  Plus, if you are making a lot of money at your J.O.B., then you're probably spending most of your time hustling there rather than at your acting career.  This means you are taking on a lot of training clients or working more shifts at your restaurant job.  

There are also many people like myself, who are happy to have a job, but the pay is shit.  So there is no money for all the stuff I mentioned above.  A lot of actors have to take on two jobs, like I will have to, just to cover living expenses.  Given all this, it's really hard to imagine anyone "Triumphing" in this business, which people rarely do.

It's guaranteed that a majority of the actors in Hollywood will invest more money in their careers than they will make.  So far, I'm way in the red.  Look, I'm fortunate to have made some money in my profession having been featured in a national commercial, as well as co-starring in two hit series.  It still hasn't translated into an offer in the next "major movie".  It's what most of us want, and it's not a bad thing to want.  I want to be happy, doing what I love to do.  Sometimes, money brings that happiness.  I don't care what people say.  

It's not the ultimate goal, but being able to make a good amount of money doing what I love, will give me the freedom to create my own projects that will give other actors opportunities to earn some $$$.  Giving back baby!  Cause that's how I roll.

I'm not against companies or people trying to offer services that will help actors get ahead.  People want to be in television and movies.  Certain individuals offer ways to help actors achieve this goal. Whether or not it actually happens varies, but actors should be aware of the odds before spending their hard earned money.  

What I don't like is the perceived notion of spending all your hard earned money or "investing in the company of 'YOU'" (a phrase that many career coaches like to use to get you excited) is the "only" way to TRIUMPH in Hollywood.  Acting classes are a different story.  Most people need them.  Even an experienced actor, like myself, enjoys class.  I always learn something from my peers, and I love that. 

I'm not advocating a boycott of CD workshops, career coaching classes, or other services.  Hell!  I've paid for some of these things.  Still do.  I don't regret it.  If anything, they have helped me with being more disciplined about obtaining my goals.

What I am saying is this:  If you don't have the money for these services now, don't sweat it.  Don't buy into the manipulative shit that some people throw at you like, "Well if you are serious about your career, then you'll make the sacrifices to invest in your career".  Get groceries. Pay your rent. Pay your bills.  Get your car fixed.  You need a place to live, food to eat, and your electricity to be on- not to watch Kardashians or when the NBA lockout will end (guilty).  It's important to have  your car working and your cell phone and internet on (so you can read this ;-).

Once you get your ducks in a row, you won't be carrying all kinds of crazy stress when you go into an audition or a CD workshop- which you can attend for free if you are paid member of SAG.  The SAG Foundation offers workshops under their Casting Access Project (CAP).  The crappy part is that you can only register during their enrollment period, which is only three or four times a year.  However, I found out that the next enrollment period is from December 1st-14th.  I have my alert set!



I'm not trying to be preachy, but we all know how hard it is to make some coin right now.  Look out for number one.  Ultimately, it's about you and what you bring to a role when you audition.  You don't want to go in a nervous wreck, because you just got your power shut off.  Unless you are auditioning for a needy, freaked out, crackhead.

In the meantime, focus on working- student films, indies, theater.  Trust me, you want to stay creative all the time.  Yell shit out on YouTube.  Let the world know who you are. I'm embarking on a journey to create work that will get me discovered.  I'm planning to do this without spending a whole lot of money on all that "stuff" I talked about earlier.  I'll spend a little money, but not a lot.  You gotta shell out someting, cuz everyone needs to make a dollar.  Right? 

Let's hope I make mine soon, before I get fired for hurling mashed potatoes or orange chicken at the next person that gives me their cordon bleu critique of free samples.  Ay, ay, ay!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

El Comandante's List of Pros, Troopers, Gamers- Actors that Inspire Us to Keep Going!

We are all thankful for many, many, things- A "plethora" of things, as the "Infamous El Guapo" would say.  Yes!  Another "Three Amigos" reference.  Okay?  Atencion!  Por favor.

I started this list reflecting on those "types" of actors that give the true artists a bad name.   So far we have:

Numero Uno:  Anything You can do, overcompensating by bragging about all my credits, and who I studied with, and the parts I almost got, Guy.


Numero Dos: "I'm too cool to do actual work, but I still want to be the lead" Guy/Gal.


The list will continue.  Trust me!  However, this being a Holiday that was mythologically started by some undocumented gringos, who supposedly made peace with the natives by breaking bread with them, sharing their eating customs and offering a big, stupid, horn thing filled with apples, squash, corn, and other crap, accompanied by a smiling turkey that didn't know it's fate.  Hey man! The turkey, like the natives, thought he was going to be part of the new gang homies!  I still remember those cut out figures that the teachers would put up in class during this time of year.  Stupid.

You have my permission to copy and paste the above rant on all the Republican Candidates' Facebook and Twitter pages.  I don't beg, ever, except for forgiveness when I use to come home way too late in a drunken stupor.  But, I'm begging you to remind these candidates, because they like to bring up "Illegal Immigration" at their debates.  Their ancestors were f'n illegal for Che's sake!


There are many actors that inspire me.  It's not only their talent.  It's their work ethic, their drive, their desire to always improve their skills, take risks, share valuable information with other actors, help another actor out by referring a fellow actor to an agent or manager.  An actor like this is a TRUE GAMER. A PRO.  They deserve the title of WORKING ACTOR.    I know who you are all thinking of.  Thank you.  I appreciate it, but I'm not in the business of self promotion.  



The best way to illustrate the qualities of such an actress is through a little anecdote.

Once upon a time, in the land of Nueva York (New York), there lived a very talented, young, rising star, latino actor .  He worked hard at his craft: class once a week, scene work twice a week, stood in lines in the snow for auditions to non-paying gigs, etc. All this work was an addition to the many shifts he worked at his pinche restaurant job.

This young actor really started to shine while taking classes at a remote acting studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, two train stops south of Harlem.  I gotta throw in a little street cred for this guy.

In this class, many of the actors were allowed to take risks: discovering emotions that they are afraid to tap into, doing exercises that may seem unconventional, that allow the actor be free and find the truth of the scene.  It was a safe haven for actors.  Scary, but safe.

One day, because of his busy schedule, he could not attend his regularly scheduled class. He decided to make up the session in one of the other classes that his instructor taught.

Some of the students he recognized, because it was not uncommon for the actors to make up classes on other days or nights.

On this particular day, the young actor we are speaking of, was paired up with a beautiful, raven haired, doe eyed, actress.  She was about the same age as he, maybe younger.  There was something about her that made our hero sense that she was relatively new to the game.  

They began the usual "connecting with the other actor" exercise. What I'm feeling?  What's she's feeling?  What I'm getting?  What she's getting?  They would then began to communicate their emotions on a moment to moment basis, using their respective monologues.  It was a way to help the other actor listen and respond to what they were getting.  Totally organic!  Whole Foods would be so proud.

So, the moment to moment went on, and some sparks started to fly between the two.  At one point, the actress took off her shirt for the young actor.  Mind you, the teacher, and other students were witnessing this "moment".  She had on her sports bra, so there was no cause for alarm.  This teacher had some boundaries.  "Don't grab or hit anyone in the face."  That's pretty much it.

So this "moment" is continuing, and the connection is getting stronger.  The lovely, young, lady decides to grab the actor's hands and place them on her breasts.  She then begins to lie down on the floor, pulling him down with her.  "Oh MY GOD!  I LOVE THIS CLASS!", thought the actor.

The "moment" evolved into some kissing.  But of course, it was all about the reality of the moment.  This was an acting class, not bootycall.com!  Some would argue otherwise.  

Once the exercise was over, the teacher commended the young actress on her risk taking and for being so trusting, yet being "new at the game".  A-ha!  She was indeed new to acting.

The teacher then turned to the actor and thanked him for his generosity, and for not "protecting her because she was new yet not pushing her farther than she was willing to go", a common mistake with less talented and less considerate thespians.  

Once the class was over, she sort of disappeared into the Manhattan streets, like the "Little Mermaid" (not the Disney version) into the sea. Sniff. Sniff.   

Most actresses in Hollywood are so absorbed with how they will look, that they often hold back from going to those scary places.  They don't want to make an ugly, angry face, or they don't want to mess up their hair, or they're too sore from pilates, yoga, cleanse diet, etc.  JUST GO THERE GIRL!  Be the committed actress of the story.  Wrap yourself in the moment!  DO IT!  Be a TRUE GAMER!

I'm thankful for every actress that is like the one in the story.   I raise my glass to you.  You are Numero Uno on my Awesome List.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"All I want to do is act, but.....You need to write too!"

In The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, he claims that an artist's true enemy is RESISTANCE.  It shows up in many forms: addiction, depression, fundamentalism, even as our closest friends or significant other.  

RESISTANCE becomes extremely powerful when we, as artists, choose to do something that is really meaningful to us.  Such actions include: writing our first play, taking an acting class, auditioning for a role that scares us, picking up the phone and calling that manager or producer that we've been wanting to work with, starting a charity to help underprivileged youth, or starting up the piano again after years of watching it collect dust.

RESISTANCE will never kick in when we decide to apply for a job at a bank, work as a tele-marketer, advertise the hottest strip club with a sandwich board, or choose to work handing out free food samples (at a very trendy/popular grocery store chain) to stupid adults that feel they are entitled to their pill cup sized, serving of mashed potatoes and free coffee and "How dare the food and coffee not be ready" when they mug up to the plexi-glass germ guard that somehow screams "Please stick your feces covered hands underneath and feel free to grab what you need, because I'm only standing here in a cholo hairnet, apron, Hawaiian shirt and rubber gloves to look cool." Not to mention the assaulting questions like: "What are you serving?" and "Mmmmm...What's for dinner?"  You hear them all freaking day long.  It's written in big ass letters across the plexi-glass, but they're too busy sticking their caca hands underneath it to notice.  Stoo-pee-Dos!


The Fitzgerald Within
You're used to these little rants by now.  Hehehe!  Five years ago, I was fortunate enough to go through LAByrinth Theater Company's, Master Class Intensive.  It was a five week workshop where actors participated in many disciplines of theater production.  We learned about producing, movement, dance, fight choreography, production design, improvisation, storytelling, acting (of course), and writing.  One of our writing teachers was multi-award winning, Tony nominated, playwright, Stephen Adly Guirgis("The MotherF#@!er With the Hat").  It was such an awesome experience.  Here was a guy that was writing roles that I could actually be cast in.  Believe me, I let him know how much his worked inspired me on many (somewhat drunken) occasions.  I'm glad he's still my Facebook friend.

Mr. Guirgis started out his career as an actor.  In fact, I watched him perform in LAByrinth's production of "Guinea Pig Solo" by Brett C. Leonard (also one of our writing teachers for the Master Class).  Obviously, Mr. Guirgis' body of work speaks for itself.  The guy can write and act.  He's really good.  When he talked about writing vs. acting, he said something that really just sunk in a few months ago.  "With writing, you have more control."  I completely understood what he was saying, but RESISTANCE had such a hold on me, that I chose not to write anything, until very recently.

"But, I'm an actor..."
As an actor/writer, you can develop and create material to perform in.  There are endless possibilities.  You don't have to rely on the decisions of a producer to offer you the part, or worry about your phone not wringing, etc.  You are in complete creative control.  The Muse is talking to "you" and "you" alone. This sounds awesome and empowering. Right?

Well, fear of sucking kicked in. Even though, deep down, I knew that I had a talent for writing.  However, I was an ACTOR!  My goal was to be on stage or on the screen.  I didn't want to be a writer who sometimes acted.  At that time, the actors I knew that were writing, had chose to write, because their acting careers didn't take off the way they had hoped.  We were tending bar and waiting tables side by side.  They were approaching forty. Chingada! I'm having an affective memory moment right now, because my heart is racing remembering the faces of those actors, transitioning into writers, who are no longer in the game.

I allowed RESISTANCE to keep his hold on me.  Over the years, I became more depressed, drank too much, had no money, and had very little acting opportunities.

All right!  All right!  I'll write!
Last year, I was in a new play by Josefina Lopez ("Real Women Have Curves").  When my run was over, I decided to stay involved with her theater, CASA 0101, and take a writing class.  The wheels started turning again.  All of a sudden, all these great ideas started sprouting.  As I write, I've had to narrow them down to two projects that I'm developing that will allow me the opportunity to act and write.  Honestly, I'm so f'n happy!

I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something, and my confidence as an actor has skyrocketed.  It turns out that life really is the best acting teacher.  Which leads me to the mocoso (snotty) actors that inspire this blog.

A lot of young actors today come out of these Academies and Conservatories with dreams of being the next star, which is awesome.  Can't knock the hustle baby!  I've never attended one of these schools, so I can't speak from experience.  My opinions are based on the conversations I had with graduates of these schools.  They are taught many facets of acting and theater production (costuming, set design/construction, sword fighting, dance, voice).  I've never heard one of them talk about a writing class that was part of their curriculum. 

I guess being a waiter is a good transition from an academy, because you end up "waiting" for that phone to buzz with a text or email about your next audition.   

I'm not getting many auditions, so what do I do?
I've heard from a few casting directors that they receive anywhere from 1000-2000 submissions for one line roles.  The interns weed out your picture without a thought.  BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!  Then they pass along their selections to the associate, who will pass along their selections to the actual casting director.  

Nothing you can do about that. You could bitch about your representation, but then you might get some Karmic backlash for that.  After all, we're never wrong.  Right?  There's nothing we can do about it.  Shit!  We're only in charge of our own destiny.  So, worry about the phone not ringing or use those creative muscles to actually create something.

It's crazy, because the internet is like this 1800's Gold Rush for actors, where there are plenty of opportunities to put yourself in front of millions of people. You have to take the bull by the huevos and create your own stuff.  If you wait to find a writer, producer, and director; it ain't ever gonna happen homie!  Sure there's a lot of crap on YouTube, and RESISTANCE is probably telling you, "It's not worth it.  Everyone is doing it already.  You're behind the times.  No one will ever see it.  There's too much already out there.  It's not original."  

What have you f'n have to lose?  Remember that fool that cried for Britney Spears?  He got some coin.  And that was CRAP.  Imagine what your creative mind could come up with?  Start with writing something.  Anything.  You'll be surprised at the wonderful things that will happen, and you'll be keeping those creative muscles going.  You'll start to become aware of new and awesome choices for that scene you've been preparing for your audition, workshop, or class.  

The more you keep the Muse at bay, the more you'll be bitter, and you will end up like the millions that fade away like the mists of Avalon.  Okay that was crap.  You get the message ese!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to the List! D-Bag Numero Dos: "I'm too cool to do actual work, but I still want to be the lead" Guy/Gal.

The idea for this blog came out of frustration with the many numbskulls and flakes I have encountered in the acting business. There are some "types" in this town that make you pause, shake  your head, and go "Ay! Ay! Ay!"

When I lived in New York,  actors would cram into little theaters to audition for a role in a non-paying, non-equity, black box, bathroom, basement, or outhouse theater production.  Rain, sleet, snow, floods, or swamp ass humidity (which caused serious chafing), actors showed up.  They were hungry and wanted to work. They wanted to work on their craft and be seen.  It's that warrior like hunger to be a working actor that I miss from New York City actors.  Although I was born and raised here in Los Angeles (Echo Park baby!); I am proud to consider myself a New York actor.

In that same spirit of creativity and a warrior like desire to get better at my craft, some friends and I started a creative company called Working Artists Lab.  I wanted to bring the same spirit of unity that spurred the formation of companies like LAByrinth Theater Company in New York (who I studied and worked with) and Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago.  Both started out small, meeting in basements of churches and black box theaters.  

Man!  Did they expand into something great.  Some of LAByrinth's notable members are: John Ortiz-Founder (Before Night Falls, Miami Vice, Narc), Stephen Adly Guirgis- Playwright (Jesus Hopped the A Train, The MotherF#@%er With the Hat, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, MI3, Along Came Polly, Moneyball, Ides of March), Sam Rockwell (Choke, The Green Mile, Cowboys and Aliens).

A few of Steppenwolf's members are:  Gary Sinise- Co-Founder (CSI:NY, Forrest Gump, of Mice and Men), John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire, Dangerous Liaisons, Con Air, Being John Malkovich), Joan Allen (The Contender, The Upside of Anger, Manhunter).

Pretty damn Chingon!  Right?  Sadly, this desire to get together and create new work or push one's creative boundaries has not been too evident here in Los Angeles.  At least in my experience.

I worked with an upstart theater company from 2009-2010.  We did an outdoor Shakespeare show, using the caves at the Old L.A. Zoo as our stage.  It was a hell of a lot of work, but the show was a success.  I thought I found a company I could grow with.  

During the time of the Shakespeare show, the company would get together and read new plays, devote one night to working on acting exercises and scenes.

Then, the meetings started to become a party, less people showed up, and what we referred to as AA (Actor's Anonymous), should  have developed into an actual AA meeting.  I started to see signs of flakiness in actors and people started to show up to rehearsals late, not having lines memorized 2 days before the show opened, lack of response to texts and emails about production matters.  This was happening with the board members, mind you.  Show was over, on to the next.

Our next project was this massive undertaking of "Alice In Wonderland", which we called "The Alice Project".  We should have called it "Alice in CacaLand".  All of the actors put in so much work to get this show running that divisions happened.  It didn't help that we had a director that was only there half the time.  Not my choice, by the way.  

There were also many, many, dramas and issues going into the show, that many people just chose to stay away from each other.  By the time the show finished, we were all so sick of each other, and I drank enough to fill many many beer halls and liquor distilleries.  Throughout this time, the same people were showing up late, not responding to emails, not fulfilling their commitments, and many of these actors had big, juicy, weenie, roles too.  How f'd up is that?

The signs were there, I got the hell out of that steaming hot pile of mierda.  

After some time, my buddies and I started Working Artists Lab.  It's funny, because I invited some of the former members from the above mentioned company (all who left the hot mess that it was), to come play, work on your game, and just have fun.  No response.  NADA!  I thought things were cool.  Even if you have no desire to work with my group, a simple email or text to say "No thanks" or "Too busy" right now doesn't take much.  Right?  

Looking back, I'm the pendejo.  Some of the people I invited to play were those actors who had lead roles and didn't have their lines memorized or just showed a general indifference to things.

WTF was I expecting when I invited these fools?  I'm the type of brother that likes to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Probably one of my biggest downfalls.

It stings.  I ain't gonna lie.  I like to have a lot of people at my parties.  But you know what?  Quality is king.  The handful of my peeps that show up to work on scenes and monologues are the real rock stars.  They are the ones that I will refer to an agent, producer, manager, or director, to help them get ahead.  I know that they are troopers, and their heart is in the right place.  

The other fools get added to my D-Bag list.  So it's all good.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"A Plethora?"

Do you remember the famous 'Plethora' scene in "The Three Amigos"?  The Infamous El Guapo is having a male menopause moment.  Apparently we get this.  Hell, it's called menopause after all.  Anywayzzzzz....

The ever so loyal Jefe (Espanol for boss) tries to lift his boss' spirits by telling him about all the "presents and pinatas, each filled with tiny little gifts."  This prompts El Guapo, in all is bitchiness, who may have been intimidated by the giant phallic cactus overshadowing him (see link to video), to lift himself up by asking Jefe the meaning of the word "Plethora".  A question, which El Guapo knows Jefe cannot correctly answer.

What is a Plethora?  Do you know what a Plethora is?  I would not like someone to tell me that I have a PLETHORA, when one does not know what a PLETHORA is.

Okay....Is anyone currently occupying a street?  Didn't think so?  If you are, and you are reading this, then you probably have the best wi-fi phone plan with unlimited minutes, blah, blah, blah.  You, mi amigo/amiga benefit from Capitalism.  Buy a churro or bacon wrapped dog from the lady standing in front of you.

You both benefit from Capitalism.  How bad is it?  

What is really going on with all this occupying?  Like Jefe,  most people are not fully informed.  I have to say that most of my information is coming from news sources that are owned by corporate entities.  The other source is my friends' Facebook pages who document their involvement in the occupation or who just like to rant from their little soapbox.

The idea of peaceful protest and using technology to get the message out about any injustice is right on.  Sometimes this can lead to violence, i.e the revolutions in the Middle East.  It's unfortunate and inevitable, but when corrupt regimes are toppled, sacrifices are often made.  RIP for those who died doing the right thing.

El Comandante is not here to tell you that he's right and you are wrong.  I feel that many people take this "superior intellect" attitude towards others.

"I occupied L.A., New York, Kansas, Boston, and the Glendale Galleria.  I moved my money from the evil, Darth Vader bank, to a boutique, credit union that offers a wine and cheese tasting every Tuesday.  What did you do to stand up to the man?"  

Actually, I don't know of a Credit Union that offers a wine and cheese tasting, but the people that go to such events in places like Silver Lake, are certainly the ones looking down at me from their organically grown, sustainable, 500% recycled cardboard, wearing their pajamas, which is actually what they wear to go out for Taco Tuesday.

Don't get me wrong: the protesting or switching your money over to a Credit Union is awesome.  You as an individual felt slighted and did something about it.  That is what really counts.

I'm not on the side of the banks at all.  In fact, I have money in the AFTRA/SAG Credit Union as well as a bank.  Because I have a join a account with my Ruca (lady, gal pal, wifey)we are not getting hit with stupid fees.

However, my credit union charges me $15 if I use my check card over a certain amount. Serio!  

I get it.  They have to stay in business.  The CU is not charging me crazy interest like the banks are.

There was a time when Los Bancos (the banks) served a really nice purpose.  Service was personal and people really wanted to help you out.  I remember when I was a squinkle ("rascal"-pronounced squink-leh), my parents would take me with them to the Home Savings Branch in downtown L.A.  There was this older lady who helped them out with all of their banking needs, and she use to give me "many little presents".  Simpler times.....sniffle, sniffle....


When shit got ugly was with the credit revolution.  The banks knew they could make un chingon de money by giving everyone credit cards to rack up debt (which they knew people would take forever to pay), so that they can charge interests and sit atop the pile of money going "muahahahahahahaha".  Thank you Ronald Reagan >:-( 

For many of us, having our money in banks is convenient.  I like the on-line, bill paying system that my bank offers, as opposed to the one my CU offers.  It's way easier.  Banks can afford such luxuries, while CUs can't.  "Well move all your money into the Credit Union so that they can afford to upgrade their bill paying services" you might be saying.  Calmate!  I have a different approach to protesting the banks which I will explain in a minute.

I'm willing to bet a lot of the Banks' money that those who have occupied, switched their money over to the CUs, and driving around in their Prius' looking down at the rest us, have a shitload of credit card debt and/or student loan debt.  Hmmmm?

Here is where El Comandante offers some wisdom that he, himself, must also abide by.  However, it takes an effort, and only by following this wisdom will the banks and other financial institutions be really crippled.


If you really want to kick the banking institutions in the shins: don't get a loan. Whether from the Credit Union or Bank:  You are still in debt. Believe me, Credit Unions are sending out stuff to people I know about taking out loans to "take a trip or get that new car".  Yup.  They want to make money too.  Can't knock the hustle, you just gotta say no.

In conclusion...Wow!  That took me back to Honor's English in 10th grade....

In Conclusion,  

Choose to exercise your superior intellect and put some cash away, in your pocket.  You'll feel good about it.

More importantly, do what's right for you. 

If you don't spend on credit, they don't get interest.  Simple as that.

So...how are you planning to stay on top of the game this Holiday Season?  

El Comandante is always willing to fight for what's right.  Serio!