Friday, September 30, 2011


Second City, Take Two.  I give it a 6.   Regardless . . .

Acting and writing career in Chicago:  Launch.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Hear ye, hear ye.  I have yet another very important thing to say.
The universe is dragging its feet, and though I continue tossing pebbles into its vast abyss, it is frequently failing to echo. 

Therefore, I have no announcement for you today, dear "like"rs.  Blame the pebble-swallowing abyss. 

That is all for now.  Please check* back for future announcements. 

(In the meantime, look back at my previous announcements.  They're exciting enough to get us to Friday.  Right?)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Do you know what day it is? 

"Why, it's --"

Nope.  Not Christmas.  Something bigger.  Something really huge and instrumental happened a year ago today.  Did you peek?  Oh, what the hell.

It's my blog's birthday!

Yes, sir.  It was on September 28, 2010 that a 31.5-year-old me peeked ahead to the next chapter of his life and saw something he liked.  (If only I could remember how many pages are in this current chapter.  It's longer than I remember it being . . . )  In any case, I knew then what I know even more surely now:


Yes, sir, it's right around the corner.

It's hard to imagine that a year ago, there was no animosity between me and George Clooney.  In fact, at that time, I hadn't interacted with a single celebrity, be it to flatter them, praise them, or scare them away.  I hadn't collected a single omen.  I didn't know Jack Evison. (I still don't, Jack!)  I didn't live in Chicago.

I didn't vibrate

How far I've come. 

This demands a celebration, and what better way to celebrate than to buy my blog an official internet presence!

That's right, "like"-rs.  Moving to Chicago has convinced me to do away with old-school back door deals.  You can now get to my blog via its front door, my very own professional web site!  (There are trees on it.)

Feel free to pass that link* on to anyone and everyone you know.  I didn't think this process of getting famous would take longer than a year, so I could really use some help giving it a kick in the ass . . .

While you're at it, feel free to share my other announcements from this week with everyone you know:  I'm publishing my book, and you can make some money off of it

And while you're at that, guess what else is available on my web site under the "NOVELIST" category? 

I guess you'll just have to go there to find out.

Happy birthday, dear blog
Happy birthday, dear blog
You're all about me
And you're short for "web log!"

*I should add that there is a front door leading to the front door of my web site--the much more ordinary


It's Tuesday, and the stock market went down 1,000 points.  Or it went up 1,000 points.  Who knows anymore.  Either way, let's celebrate (or panic) by finding an alternative way to make money.   This is legitimate.*  Are you ready for  . . .


Two paths diverge before me.  Down one path is a publicity firm that wants a lot of my money in exchange for radio interviews and possible tv appearances.  That path is well-trodden.

Down the other path are a few tiny footprints, and they are very appealing.  There are deer hooves and dog paws and . . .

I digress.

In the AWESOMEST WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN EVER, I pay people for sharing their honest opinions about my book.  Yes, you get money for telling people what you think of my writing, good or bad.  Just be HONEST.  (I will reiterate the honesty request later.  Keep reading!)

This word-of-mouth program is open to anyone who wants to participate, whether I know them or not.  In fact, I prefer not to know them.  I am dedicating $750 to it, and it will continue until 1/1/12 or until I'm out of the $750. 

As you'll see below, I will be able to keep track of what opinions have been shared and by whom via facebook and twitter.  When the $750 has all been accounted for, I will announce this information via the book's facebook page and pay people immediately.  If things are going well, the money may increase and the AWESOMEST WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN EVER may continue.

Everyone will get paid for the opinions they've shared by the first week of January 2012, at the latest.  I will pay via paypal or personal check, depending on a given participant's preference. 

Here's how it works:

First of all, you should "like" the book on facebook if you want to participate, because that's how you'll stay informed of the status of the $750. 

Second of all, I will pay you for your opinion as follows:

A tweet about it:  $.01 per follower, up to $10 per tweet

I'll pay for up to three distinct tweets.

- One at the beginning of the process, before the book is available, expressing the fact that you'll be reading it, or that you're coming to the 11/11/11 release event^, or even that you're participating in this AWESOMEST WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN EVER.  This tweet should include @jmmanship and a link to the book's facebook page.

- Up to two that describe your reaction to the book as you are reading it or once you have finished it.  These tweets should include @jmmanship and a link to the book's amazon page once it's up.

A facebook post about it: $.01 for every 2 facebook friends, up to $5 per post

Like with twitter, I'll pay for up to three distinct posts:

-  One before the book is available, including a link to the book's facebook page

- Two once the book is available and you are reading or have read it, with a link to the book's amazon page and its facebook page

*If your facebook links to your twitter account, you get credit for both a tweet and a post in one step if you include all the requested links.  Woohoo!*

An online review on$.05 per word up to $5.00
Please tweet the review and include @jmmanship OR post a link to the review on facebook and include a link to the book's facebook page.

And if you're feeling really ambitious . . .

An email$5.00

There isn't an easy, comfortable way for me to track how many people receive an email, so an email is a flat $5.00, whether you email 1 person or 1000 people.  It must include a link to the book's amazon page and something about your opinion, and it must go to real people that you think would be interested in your opinion.  SPAM IS A WASTE OF EVERYONE'S LIFE.  (I'm sorry.  Did I shout that?)

To get paid, please cc or bcc me on the email.  (There's an email link in the next paragraph.)  Feel free (please) to bcc every other recipient.  I have no interest in your friends' email addresses unless they want me to have them.

To sign up for the AWESOMEST WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN EVER, you can email me, tweet me @jmmanship, or express your interest on the book's facebook page.  Sign up begins immediately, and as an incentive, I will give free copies of the book to the first ten people who commit to taking part in this.

As an additional incentive, let me point out that if you have 1000 followers on twitter and 1000 facebook friends, you would get:

$10.00 per tweet, up to three
$5.00 per facebook post, up to three
$5.00 for a healthy amazon review
$5.00 for emailing people about the book

Said person could earn $55 in 15 cumulative minutes for sharing their honest opinion about my book.

Here's where I reiterate the honesty part.  If you hate the book, that's fine.  If you want to tell people you are participating in a pay-for-your-opinion program, that is also absolutely fine.  The important thing is that you are truthful with me and with others.  I am asking you to trust me that I will pay you for your opinion.  In turn, I am trusting you to give and share that opinion.  It is only fair to consider a violation of my trust to be grounds for my not paying you.  This includes lying about your opinion (good or bad), giving your opinion without reading the book, and emailing people who do not exist or do not know you (Spam is hurtful, not helpful.  Was I quieter this time?). 

The AWESOMEST WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN EVER is on from now until the end of the year or until the money runs out.  Regular updates will be available on the book's facebook page regarding how much money is still in the pot. 

But there's more!

I've also devised an AWESOME SECONDARY WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN, because people who take part in this initial plan deserve more than the $750 I can currently commit. 

I will be dedicating an additional sum of money to this book based on readership goals.  The following amounts will be divided equally among everyone who participates in this AWESOMEST WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN EVER between now and January 1, 2012.  These amounts are CUMULATIVE and will be paid out as sales goals are reached.

1,000 copies sold                          $200
3,000 copies sold                         + $300
5,000 copies sold                         + $500
10,000 copies sold (my goal)        + $1000
15,000 copies sold                       + $1000
25,000 copies sold                       + $2000

To reiterate the pay schedule, I will pay people for the AWESOMEST WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN EVER as soon as the $750 has all been accounted for or in the first week of January 2012, whichever comes first.  I will pay people for the AWESOME SECONDARY WORD-OF-MOUTH PLAN as sales goals are met.

Please feel free to pass this information to whomever does a lot of social networking and wants to make freelance money giving their opinion!  In fact, send that person to this blog to learn about these plans.  I won't pay you for that, but I'll emoti-smile real big. 

*Comparably legitimate to the stock market itself

^ If you're asking yourself, "What 11/11/11 release event," then don't worry.  I don't know much about it yet, either.  As soon as I have full details on that, though, they'll be posted, and you should come!

Monday, September 26, 2011


It's going to be a big week. Why not begin at the beginning?

After extensive research, thought, and scrutiny, I have decided to skip the middle man and make CAMBRIDGE STREET available to the public via (and other outlets) on November 11 of this year.

In 2011, there is very little, if anything, that a conventional publisher can offer--layout, editing, promotion, marketing, distribution--that an individual can not obtain on his own, often more easily and at a lower personal cost.  Given that I have always considered myself a self-made man (with a lot of help from my inherited status in the world), I wonder why I wouldn't take advantage of these opportunities and let the public--rather than the established institutions--pass judgement about the worth of my little story.

An extensive initial marketing plan is in the works, and I am currently in the process of securing an appropriate venue on Cambridge Street in Boston (well, technically Cambridge) for an 11/11/11 reading.  That's Veteran's Day, which is a perfect day to celebrate being self-made.  Being self-made is patriotic!  (If my book were an oil field or a jet company they would call me "entrepreneurial!")

Stay tuned for other announcements regarding not only this book, but several other significant carer events.  In the meantime, feel free to e-celebrate with me by buying me an e-drink at the book's promotional facebook page.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Announcement

Hear ye, hear ye.  I have something else very important to say.

I hereby decree that, because fall begins today and . . .

. . . September is almost over and . . .

. . . I previously decreed that September will be a month full of announcements . . .

. . . that several announcements regarding my take-over of world popularity will be coming in the next week. 

That is all for now.  Please check* back for future announcements.

* this week!

Deeper Incognito

What follows is an actual craiglist posting.  My thanks to my friend JoJo Beanstalk for sharing it with me.  My greatest role yet is ahead of me!

Actor needed for emotional role  One day high pay

Date: 2009-04-17, 12:52PM EDT

My deceased aunt gave my two kids a Cocker Spaniel a few months back. The dog has been a terror and become overwhelming for me. I am a single father raising two young children. I cannot face telling the kids that the dog must go. I have found a good home for the dog, and just need someone to transport the dog, and play the villain.

Premise: You will be the dog walker hired by daddy (me) to walk Skittles. I will introduce you to the kids, and you will tell them you are going to help Skittles get her exercise when Daddy is too busy to walk her. At that point you will walk Skittles to your car and take her to her new family 20 minutes from my place. Then return holding just a leash. The story will be that Skittles broke free of the leash and took off. At this point prepare for crying, things being thrown at you, and possibly cursing. My kids are young and dramatic, their girls.

Pay will be $500. The job will take roughly 2 hours at best.

This job is ideal for an actor looking to diversify their role base, or someone who genuinely likes to make children cry. Acting experience is a plus, but not necessary. Please inform me of any prior experience in this kind of situation.


Knowing that we all must sometimes sacrifice to get where we want in life, I am now adding "enjoys making kids cry" to my resume. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've got them fooled.  I've got them all fooled.

My original plan for my arrival in Chicago was to parachute into the middle of Soldier Field during the fourth quarter of a Bears game, to catch a pass from Jay Cutler between my teeth while the marching band plays "Baba O'Riley", then to sign copies of my novel, my screenplay, and the book version of my blog, after which Barack Obama himself was to embrace me as I walk off the field.  I was halfway into the planning phase of this operation when I asked myself an important question.  WWJD?*  My perspective altered, I went in pursuit of a more humble beginning.


Instead of exploding triumphantly into the third largest city in the US, I'll take everyone here by surprise.  Like Clark Kent^, I'll pretend to be meek, unintelligent, bumbling, low status.  I'll answer simple questions over and over.  I'll bend eagerly to the will of every high schooler, college drop-out, and dirty old ship captain on Navy Pier.  I'll treat overweight mid-Americans most superficial concerns like they're of the greatest import to me, even when they don't say "please" or "thank you" or even "hello."  Then, at night, I'll kiss people and they'll forget all about me.  (Isn't that Clark's superpower?)

"Like"-rs, you won't believe how well this plan is working.  No one here has any idea that I'm going to be famous soon.  No one.  They don't know that I co-wrote the best-selling musical in ImprovBoston history.  They don't realize how many announcements I have brewing in my back pocket.  They treat me like I actually am the person I'm pretending to be, a simple $10-an-hour layman in an orange shirt who yells "boat rides" all day long, 30 - 40 hours a week.


I try to drop hints.  For example, when there are only a few people near me, I'll make up new lyrics to songs they're familiar with, offering them the opportunity to notice my creative spark. 

Boooooats on the water
Boats, boats, boats.
Boats, boats, boats, boats.
Boats, boats, boats.
Boats boats!
Booooats on the water . . .

Nothing.  I show off my projection, my enunciation, and even my dance skills.

Boooooat riiiiiides!  *tappity tap tap tap*

Nothing.  I even put on my little nametag that says my first name and last initial.


Unbelievable.  No one can see through my disguise, and it's not like they're not trying.  I'm just that good.

What am I going to do when October arrives and my acting career begins in earnest?  I'm not sure.  My cover will be blown, and there'll be no getting it back.  You can fool the people of the Midwest once, but they won't get fooled again. 

Okay, so there's an expiration date on this game.  But I've still got a few weeks.  So if you know someone who's going to be touristing around Navy Pier, don't tell them who I really am yet.  I'm enjoying this charade far too much to give it up until I have to.  

No one knows what it's like
To be the boat man
To be the dock man
Behind Shoreline . . . 

*This question is especially relevant when you are trying to climb the ladder of fame. I mean, that guy's way up. 

^If I had hair, I'd part it the other way. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Announcement

Hear ye, hear ye.  I have something very important to say.

I hereby decree that on this blog, September will be a month full of announcements.

That is all for now.  Please check back for future announcements.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Just Got Richer

"Like"-rs, lovers, ladies and gentlemen of the internet:

I have thrilling news.  I'm going to make (*cough* *cough*) a thousand dollars in the next four months--that is, if you subscribe to the philosophy that a penny saved is a penny earned.  Allow me to elaborate.

I have, during the last 12 years of my existence, chosen to funnel a substantial portion of my earnings each year into various bureaucratic entities, here referred to collectively as "health insurance."  (*cough* *cough*  *cough*)  In return for the $35,000 or so I have allotted in this manner, (*cough* *cough*) "health insurance" has afforded me the option of only paying $20 instead of $200 for each of the approximately 10 doctor visits I've needed during that time period.  It's a you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours kind of thing:  I've come out with a net loss of around $33,000, but can you really put a price on peace of mind and a good back scratching?^

Now I'm going to get personal.

Around March of this year, during the NCAA Tournament (*cough* *cough* *cough*) in fact, I noticed a persistent twitching in my hamstrings.  'Annoying,' I thought.  Three weeks later, 'annoying' had become 'concerning.'  The twitches were all over, showing up sporadically in my lip, back, fingers, arms, stomach, and most consistently my left toe.  That's right, "like"-rs, lovers, and ladies and gentlemen:

Put it in the tabloids.  I have a toe twitch. 

I saw my doctor about these twitches.  I went for blood tests.  On his advice, I started taking calcium, a multi-vitamin, and more vegetables. (Put it in the tabloids.  I don't eat enough vegetables. *cough*  *cough*  *cough*)  The toe twitch is improving.  The twitches are not, however, gone.

Three months ago, I moved to Chicago to continue my ascent to fame.  (*cough* *cough*  Shame on you if you didn't already know this.  You must not "like" me yet.)  By doing so, I moved away from some great employment, some wonderful friends, a cozy apartment with plenty of food, and most importantly, my latest beloved bureaucratic entity which was only costing my employer and me $500 a month.  Upon arriving in Chicago, I proceeded to find new employment, new friends (not as wonderful yet *cough*  *cough* *cough*  *cough*  *cough*), a new cozy apartment, and new food.   And I began the search for a new bureaucratic entity to call my own.

(*cough* *cough*  *cough*)

I filled out an extensive online application and completed a 10-minute phone interview in which I elaborated in detail about the toe twitch, every check-up I've ever had, the strep throat I had 5 years ago, etcetera etcetera etcetera . . . (*cough*  *cough* *cough*).  I told the bureaucratic entity of my choice about how a licensed professional of forty years has seen me for my twitching, asked me questions about the problem, suggested a feasible treatment, and followed up with me.  I told the entity that I would probably continue to follow up on the problem with future doctors.  The bureaucratic official on the other end of the line assured me that said bureaucratic entity was in full support of such an idea.  "Prevention is always best!"

Today, I received a break-up letter from that entity.  They don't wish to be involved with me due to . . .


The capital letters are theirs, not mine.

In other words, the underwriters have decided that my doctor's in-person, in-depth, educated examination of my problem was not sufficient and that, in their opinion--based on a ten-minute phone call and an internet survey--a neurological exam should have been conducted.  They directed me to, a government agency designed to help people with "preexisting conditions" like mine get coverage.  To apply for help through, I have to go without health insurance for six months. 

What?  Yes.  It's true.  It's all true.  Put it in the tabloids.  I can't get health insurance because . . . I would probably need to use it. 

I smell a writing project about this phenomenon.  

But for now, I need to get to bed.  Each *cough* in this entry (except for that one) denotes an actual cough that happened while I was writing -- because of a scratchy throat I've been fighting for the last 4 weeks.  (*cough*)  Last night, it kept me up until 4 am, so tonight I'd like to rest. (*big cough*)

Hmm.  I'm having trouble getting comfortable.  If only someone or something were here to scratch my back . . .

^ Yes.  And it's way less than $33,000.  (*cough*)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New. Super.

There are a lot of common misconceptions about September.  I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that's why they're called "common" misconceptions.  Some examples I just made up:

1) See You in September is a thinly veiled metaphor for LSD-induced time travel. 
2) The term "September call-ups" refers to how lots of people are having babies, getting married, and dying in September, then phoning their friends to talk about it.^
3) In leap years, September has 77 days. 
4) Al Qaeda prepared for the 9/11 attacks* by piloting small canoes at high speeds around and around in circles in the Dead Sea, then looking at pictures of virgins. 
5) It was originally called "Acceptember" before the world became less tolerant (circa 522 BCE)

And one I didn't make up:

1) September 1 is the beginning of fall.

No.  No.  No.  We still have 23 days of summer, and I want 'em.  All of 'em.  In fact, if it even thinks about getting cold, or if any leaves start turning even a little yellow, brown, or red, I'll scream.  I'll scream, I tell you.

. . .

That said, let's admit it.  Change is in the air.  And, like with everything else, I am at the center.

I'm in a new apartment.  (Sorry, stalkers.)  I just got another new job.  I have a new bed.  (If any of those three things are a surprise to you, you haven't been spending any time on craigslist.)

I even got a new phone call from an old flame.  It went down like this. 

I had just finished watching my fellow soon-to-be-famous friend perform tonight when my cell phone rang.  Who was on the other end?  None other than the Talent Coordinator for Chicago Chocolate ToursRemember them?  (This is another test of your dedication to my blog.)

I asked if I could call her back in a matter of minutes.  She agreed.

I told my friend who was calling.  We speculated together.  What could this mean?

I returned the call, and after 3 or 4 minutes of awkward small talk and nervous laughter from the other end of the line (What's up?  Is she trying to ask me out or something?  Why does she keep telling me I'm super?) . . . I found out.  "This" had nothing to with Chicago Chocolate Tours.  "This" was something new.  "This" had a lot more to do with what the Talent Coordinator for Chicago Chocolate Tours (oops) and her husband do as an "entrepreneurial venture." 

She asked if she could email me some information on their business model, then call me in a matter of hours to talk more about it.  That didn't work for me.  "What's your day like tomorrow," she asks.  She reminds me what a cool guy I am, how "super" I seemed during the Chocolate Tour interviews.  (I already know I'm super.  I have a blog about how super I am.  Why does she keep bringing it up?  She doesn't even "like" me.)

When I get home, an email with this link awaits.  (It's safe to click on, and the password is "mindset.") 

How new do the people at Chicago Chocolate Tours think I am?

I don't care if this had "nothing to do with Chicago Chocolate Tours."  Where did she meet me?  How did she get my contact information?  As far as I'm concerned, Chicago Chocolate Tours and Amway are the same thing now. 

I don't care if I'm making that up, or if I make up stuff about September, or if I test your allegiance to my blog.  Apparently, that's how people get rich these days, in this NEW American Century (oops.)  . . . by being disingenuous, dishonest, and manipulative.

. . .


* And now . . . the FBI . . . is reading my blog.  They can at least have the decency to "like" me first. 

^ Yes, even the people who die later call their friends to tell them about it.