Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back To Work

A couple of months have passed since my last update and there have been some interesting developments. The time has come to talk of many things... 

Last I wrote, I had finally gotten much sorted out personally and professionally – immigration, taxes, SAG-AFTRA, a new agent, etc. which allowed me to begin pursuing acting work once again. My first audition was for a very tiny role in the film “By Way Of Helena”, starring Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth (check out this article for recent photos of these fine gentlemen on the set). I read to video with the casting director, who was pleased with my reading but thought it a shame– due to the timing of only recently signing with my agent – I had missed the auditions the prior week for a slightly larger role in the same film which was specifically for a British character. I joked how funny it would be if the producers in Los Angeles saw my tape and asked me to read for that part instead.
Curiously enough, the following week, that was precisely what happened, and I read for the Brit part. 
Sometimes life just works.

In the meantime, I was encouraged by my wife to apply to work at The Mortuary “haunted house” in New Orleans. It seemed like a fun way to make some extra money, so I decided to go for it. I was told at the casting call that they loved my look, and there was talk of me doing something special. I informed them that I may or may not have a movie job, to which they said they were totally flexible. A week later, I went to the Orientation Meeting and was about to shake hands with the owner, Jeff, when suddenly I hear, “Oh, hey! Jason?!” It was special effects make-up artist Brian Demski, of Demski Creations, who I had worked with in Ohio a few years ago on “The Dead Matter”. He had done a lot of the special effects and set construction on the film, and it turns out that he's been coming down to New Orleans to be the head of makeup and design at The Mortuary every Halloween season for the last four years.

So, I started working there on the weekends in September, donning red contacts, fangs, and vampire makeup to portray Master Ravencroft, the “owner” of The Mortuary who greets each group of new “victims” right inside the front doors. Eventually, some of the staff at the house caught on to my previous work experience, and I even got a “Nice job, B5” one night. Ha.

I'd like to make a special note here before I go on. Should you or your friends visit The Mortuary and recognize me there, I sincerely request that you please play along with the character. I'm working here to portray a part, and we don't want to ruin the show and atmosphere now, do we? 
That said, should you wish to stick around after closing for a little chit-chat with me as myself about what-have-you, that is perfectly fine, C];-D>

After a couple of weekends working at The Mortuary, I got the call from my agent that I had been cast in the British part for “By Way of Helena”! Wow. First audition = first job. I would be working two days in September and three in October. I informed the haunted house management, who congratulated me and told me that it would be no problem. So, I've currently already done some of my scenes and I'll be shooting the rest of them this coming weekend (so no Mortuary work again for me until the following weekend).

September and October have been rather eventful, but the excitement doesn't end there - Contra 26 is coming up in a few weeks! November 7-9, you will find my wife and I as Guests of Honor at this sci-fi and fantasy themed “relaxacon” for ages 21+ located in Independence, Missouri.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Starting Over

I've got enough good news now that I thought an update would be appropriate.

As I have related to many, I spent 2009-2013 "mid-life-ing", which - considering that I am 53 years old - might be seen as optimistic. The latter part of 2013 marked a wild departure (literally) as I moved myself and everything I owned cross-country, overnight, 11 hours straight from Michigan to Louisiana in my modified Chevy Express cargo van.
Love is a powerful motivator.

I then investigated my Screen Actors' Guild situation. Protracted unemployment in Los Angeles whilst in a bad marriage, combined with misinformation about the ease of union reinstatement when offered the lead in a non-union film had motivated me to leave SAG. Well, not "leave", but rather I went "Financial Core" or "Fi-Core" status, which allowed me to star in "The Dead Matter" at the time. However, I would need to rejoin SAG, currently SAG-AFTRA, if I was going to reboot my career. You know, for Love. So, I called SAG-AFTRA and, firstly, paid my dues up to current. I then began the process to appeal for re-admittance as a full member.

One other, much larger concern was also on my mind - my "green card". My permanent resident card was set to expire in May 2014, which is kind of a big deal. No amount of SAG-AFTRA membership would matter if I could not legally live and work in the USA. So, I applied in January to renew that as well, which involved having my "criminal history" (damn that Los Angeles speeding ticket!) evaluated by the FBI and being fingerprinted. I also hastily ensured that my taxes from the last few years were in order as well.

Seven nail-biting months later, I finally received some good news: SAG-AFTRA would allow me back in as a full member. For two weeks thereafter, I enjoyed the bittersweet notion that I had cleared that hurdle only to possibly fall at the immigration fence. There really was no good reason why my green card renewal would be denied, but I think everyone knows the crippling power of UNCERTAINTY, especially concerning something so impactful upon one's life.
And one's Love.

Thankfully, I did at last receive that wonderful news in a letter from the government, with my freshly minted permanent resident card arriving in the mail the following day. Now, I had everything I needed to engage in this acting-career-thing again. Well, everything except a professional agent to represent me.

Therefore the culmination of all of this good news is that I now have an agent! There is a lot of television and film in "Hollywood South", so I hope to be in front of a camera again soon.
For Love.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Figments & Filaments 2014

Better late than never - a review of the first annual Figments & Filaments costuming convention!
I'd first like to give a huge shout-out to Corwyn MacCamie and his convention crew for a smooth, professional show, an innovative concept, and (most of all) for having me as a guest.

Figments & Filaments is a convention all about costuming, encompassing everything from historical recreation to cosplay. Themes such as goth, LARP, steampunk, etc. were all represented in the many informative panels offered. Costume designers and historians filled the roster of special guests, and the convention flew in Gale R. Owen-Crocker, a Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at The University of Manchester, UK and Director of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies.

I had the delight to be seated next to Thomas Willeford, whose Guest of Honor table sported a mechanical menagerie of steampunk staples: flasks, leather jewelry, and goggles. Upon closer inspection, the goggles he had to offer looked extremely realistic, more so than any I had seen before, and I was impressed enough to purchase a pair for my top hat. Thomas was a lively, charismatic chap, and he drew me in with his searing intelligence and wit. I have the pleasure of owning a signed copy of his clever book, "The Steampunk Adventurer's Guide", which explains and illustrates the methods of creation for various steampunk regalia using materials that won't break the bank. Through the use of clarity and humor, Thomas guides the potentially inexperienced reader down a path of artistic creation - as it says on the cover: "contraptions, creations, and curiousities anyone can make". Who knows, I may get crafty. C];-D>

As a Guest of Honor myself, I had a panel titled "Costume and the Role", in which I was to cover how wardrobe informs a role. I have worn various vastly different disguises in my career, many of which strongly influenced my portrayal of the characters (from Kings on stage to Demons on television). So I mouthed off for an hour or two, as I am wont to do C];-D>

In retrospect, I dare to say a terrific time was had by all at this cozy, first-year incarnation of FNF. A huge "thank you" again to all those convention staff who chauffeured me, fed me, and gifted me with copious amounts of alcohol. Most of all, I have gratitude for those of you who attended and are spreading the word, as this promising event has every potential to blossom into an information-trading mecca among costumers and costume-makers of every background. I hope to see you (and some fresh faces) again in 2015!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chi-Fi 0

I would like to extend a big thank you to James Dobbs, Anne Elliot and Matthew Duhan for a fantastic, albeit short, convention in Chicago this weekend.

"Chi-Fi" was originally scheduled to have its first ever convention at the Westin Chicago River North, but - with two months to go and a 100k+ contract in place - was forced to cancel due to "irreconcilable differences" with the Westin's hotel management. James Dobbs (con-chair) stated in an official statement he released: "A senior Westin employee referred to our staff, attendees, and guests as “freaks” and hotel staff expressed their disapproval of our anti-harassment policy." The full story is fascinating and quite an embarrassment for that particular Westin.

With such little time left, Chi-Fi postponed its first full con until next year, but decided to have a one-day event and, luckily for me, chose one of the best hotels in the US to have it in: The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago's oldest hotel and the longest hotel in continuing service in North America, which is credited with these cool firsts:
- First wholly-fireproof hotel in the United States (it was built after the great Chicago Fire out of stuff that doesn't burn - brick and iron).
- First hotel to have electric lights and telephones in the guestrooms.
- First hotel with elevators, or what then were described as "a perpendicular railroad connecting floor with floor, rendering passage by the stairs unnecessary."

To get to my room on the 18th floor, I had to take the perpendicular railroad.

It is so cool – amongst other things that make the hotel special is the ceiling of the two-storey lobby which was painted in France by the celebrated French Art Deco artist, Louis Pierre Rigal, and shipped to Chicago when that section was built in 1926. Off this outrageously grand lobby, at the bottom of the steps up to The Empire Room, are two huge "Golden Winged Angels", which "are among the priceless early works of Louis Comfort Tiffany."

Classy shit, I tell you.

In 1933, the Golden Empire Dining Room of Palmer House was converted into an entertainment epicenter. A Supper Club. It hosted legendary entertainers, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Louis Armstrong, George Burns, Buddy Hackett, Lou Rawls, Maurice Chevalier and Jimmy Durante. In 1947, the Empire Room hired a new house pianist, his name – Liberace.

Times change, and on January 19, 1976, after 43 years, the 250 seater supper club became dark. Phyllis Diller was the final headliner. The list of previous hotel guests includes Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens and now - Jason Carter.

Other firsts include – The Chocolate Brownie!
It's true!
Bertha Palmer requested of one of her hotel Chefs a dessert for ladies attending the Chicago 1893 World Fair; it should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches. Voila – The Brownie was born.

However, the most important thing that sets Palmer House Hilton apart from the aforementioned Westin was their welcome to the con:
“We are thrilled to welcome Chi-Fi to the hotel,” says Palmer House Hilton General Manager Dean Lane. “Hopefully, this event is just the start of a long-lasting relationship between Chi-Fi and the Palmer House.”

So this is a rambling first blog about a triumph for Chi-Fi and Geeks everywhere in the face of, shall we say... limited understanding.

Once again – Thank You James and Crew for a marvellous weekend in a great place I will always remember. I greatly look forward to Chi-Fi 2015 next year.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

{Admin} Mira Furlan has a new official Facebook page

Hello everyone!
A sad note to any of you who were unaware, but if you follow Mira Furlan's Twtter account then you would know about the tragic and unexpected death of her webmaster, Moyra J. Bligh, back in November.
A representative for Mira now has access to her official website again after some back-and-forth with the company that owns her domain, but she was unable to reclaim her Official Facebook Page of which Moyra was also the sole admin.
Mira Furlan now has a NEW official Facebook page under her representative's control, so please follow that one instead for news and updates (link below) as the old page will remain inactive until it is taken down.

Mira's new page is here:

Monday, March 24, 2014

{Admin} Autograph & T-shirt Shop Added

A Shop page has been added to the site:
Or simply click the "Shop" link under the site header.

This will serve as a permanent home for the information originally posted to Jason's Facebook page about how fans can now order autographs and T-shirts via Paypal.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

{Admin} Mailing List Option Added

You now have the ability to personally receive any important updates from Jason via email, lest they are potentially lost in your social media feed(s). We are using the MailChimp service, which is highly rated for both security and privacy.
To sign up, you can either click the "Email Signup" button on Jason's Facebook page, or you can subscribe using the signup form embedded in Jason's blog site (over there on the right side of this page).
Jason will only send you information about upcoming events and projects, and no more than once or twice per month.

{Admin} Jason's Official Forum Now Live!

We now have a free forum here on Jason's Blog Site! The link is:
Or simply click the "Forum" link under the site header.

The forum is embedded via Nabble and registration is easy and free.
This is great for those who do not have Google+, Twitter, or Facebook, or who wish to have a place to hang out with Jason online that is independent of social networking.

{Admin} Testing, testing...

First post! Just testing the official site ^_^