It’s the End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel Fine!

It seems like we are finally realizing that no matter what our “leaders” decide, if the people know that it’s ridiculous or harmful, there will be no one to carry out the orders.

I really respect and appreciate people who have the courage to stand up and do the right thing; even at the risk of losing their livelihood. What’s more courageous (and American) than that? “We the People” rings a (Liberty) bell. Hehe, see what I did there?

From the military, to law enforcement, to all kinds of environmental/educational/religious/political/gender identity/color/ethnic groups, etc., we can all work on accepting each other, chilling out on trying to force others to believe our opinions, and simply try to get along and enjoy our lives (but Donovan this is so “basic”, we’ve heard it all before! Yeah, well, the Basics are the hardest to Master. Look up “love thy neighbor”…jeesh, frickin’ amateurs…hehe).

Anywho, I think our fears of each other are very exaggerated. Manipulative rich people, who create chaos to drive the stock market and line their pockets accordingly, are pulling our strings. I don’t wanna be a puppet; I’m a real boy .

It reminds me about how we’re worried about nuclear war (What kinda of crazy tangent is this, Donovan?!? Hold on their, Bucko. I’m getting there!). When I was a kid, we were instructed to hide under our desks in case of an atomic bomb attack. One, that put the fear of Russian hellfire, and the end of the world, in our little minds (WTF?), and Two, what good would it do? Would someone find our pile of ashes, and be able to identify it by the cursive-scribbled names on our Peechee folders?

If the two Airmen in the deep-mountain, underground bunker refuse to enter the codes and turn the keys, those scary-huge rockets that pop up out of cornfields and tennis courts won’t go anywhere (unless a madman rushes in and kills both Airmen with karate chops, and has really long arms to turn both the keys, but that’s kind of unlikely). Whew! I think we’re gonna be OK.

If someone else nukes us, then it’ll be quick and I believe we’re going on to something better.
(The nuclear thing is the most extreme example I could think of that people are worried about. We can talk about the worst things if we approach them with humor *).

So, if we all step back from the hype for a minute, I think that we can see that we are being taken for a ride. Let’s be our own “better drivers” and head in another direction. We can do this any time, over and over again, as long as it takes, until the road is free and clear.

All right, I’m going to step off my soapbox now. Up Next, we have a really funny guy from Albuquerque who juggles chainsaws. Let’s give him a warm welcome!

(*smattering of applause – sound of overlapping conversations and clinking glasses – slow fade to black*)….

Annoying guy who doesn’t get it:
Hey! Who turned off the lights?

Crowd:
Shhh! It’s for dramatic effect.

Guy:
Oh, I get it! So cool!!!

Crowd:
Shhhh!

(*cue special effects*)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a good day!
Donovan ­čśë


* Stanford Report, August 1, 2011:
Stanford psychologists find that jokes help us cope with horrifying images

Casual/Professional

Me: Hello, my name is Donovan, and I am a…┬á(lowers voice for dramatic, “radio announcer” effect)┬áCasual Professional.
Them: Hi Donovan!

I love that I can call TV and Radio stations and ask for the owners and managers by first name. The receptionists’ slightly skeptical (and completely┬ánormal) response is often, “Um, what’s this regarding?”, then I tell them who I am, what’s up and get right through. Not a brag really, just evidence that I’ve earned a reputation for being reliable and creative, plus I’m so comfortable with people from all walks of life, that I don’t make any pretense about an imaginary hierarchy. Respect and courtesy are two-way streets, and I aim to work with others as equals. I’m VERY thankful that the people I work with in Oregon are down to earth, caring┬áand helpful. On the rare occasions that they’re not, it’s fun to mess with them a little (but always with good humor and a humbly-wise teaching style, of course hehe).

I met a TV station owner the other day in a busy restaurant. He was super-nice, but I couldn’t hear him when he said his name, cuz the place was noisy. My response was a quizzical “Whoozy-What’s-It?!?”, then we laughed and he repeated what he said with a smile. I like that. I wouldn’t have been that comfortable in the past, and the people sitting next to him laughed as well. It’s nice to lighten things up for business folk at their lunch meeting, and┬áI was just passing by ­čÖé

I remember sitting in office meetings (before my work in broadcasting) with people who were afraid to speak up, or who played roles according to their assigned “pecking order”. I completely understand the fear of losing your job/home/etc., but it wasn’t cool for me. I don’t mean to sound judgemental, it’s just not something I can deal with very well since I’ve learned to speak up (I gotta big mouth sometimes, but my intentions are good!). I have a hard time being quiet when people are mistreated and talked down to in meetings; in life.

So, I’m very thankful that I left my regular job in 1998. It wasn’t planned. I had a major anxiety attack on the way to work one morning, and decided I need to “get out”. I gave my two-week notice that day. I quickly lost my apartment and scrambled to find very basic shelter. I lived in a 200-square foot space with a bathroom/shower down the hall for 11-years; by choice. It was a very inexpensive way to live, and it helped me to slow down and do my life on purpose. It gave me the time and energy to perform in (and promote) TONS of local theater and music. I prioritized learning, spiritual growth, being authentic and creative, instead of auto-pilot-responding to the exhausting, unfulfilling “need” to make more money and acquire stuff (I’m still living really basic to this day. Ah, freedom) ­čÖé

Soon after my early unpaid “retirement”, I started out on my own by producing commercials for six local non-profit theaters on the Southern Oregon Coast. They needed advertising help, so I knocked on doors and made phone calls to solicit sponsorships from local businesses. These sponsors got a nice mention at the end of the commercials, and the theater got tons of advertising for free, or at very little cost. I produced TV and Radio commercials for 45-theatrical productions (now I’m definitely bragging lol). Over a few years, I applied for, and received, four┬áseparate grants to support the arts in the area. The grant money was used for promotion, new theater lighting, video production equipment and more. I also made great connections with account executives from cable and broadcast stations, who helped me enter the business side of video production. I became an independent producer, with my work running on Comcast Cable TV and local networks (Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC).

All of this was on faith, and I couldn’t have planned some of the amazing opportunities that came my way. Plus, I did all of this with (sometimes paralyzing) anxiety. Why? How? Cuz I was doing what I loved and money was not the priority. It wasn’t easy, and I keep thinking of that poem about the “path less taken”, but I’m glad I listened to my instincts, because everything fell into place so perfectly. (Hint: I believe this applies to everyone).

Anywho, I’m very thankful for the freedom I gained by taking some courageous and illogical (to some) steps in the past. And I couldn’t have done it without some amazing people in the local media and businesses ­čÖé

Have a great day,
Donovan

The Road Less Traveled and Stuff

Time for a Doozie…

You might want to flee while you have the chance hehe! But seriously folks, you’ve been warned. Something this long (ack! more than 140-characters), in this day and age, is like “War and Peace” written in Pig Latin 😉. LONG! Also, it’s probably best if you read this out loud in a funny voice, with sound effects (especially if you’re at work).

So we have these fear-based, automatic responses (*RAWR* reptilian brain says ATTACK!), and we wish to censor (or harm) those who “activate” these responses with their different appearances (Ewww! Those earrings are so Last Epoch, Becky!). Their beliefs seem to threaten or invalidate ours, especially when our concepts are shaky.

It seems like a big task to control everyone else. I’m thinking acceptance, self-esteem, and willingness to learn, could be a good alternative way to approach life. I mean, I don’t want to upset anyone with these “radical” notions, but c’mon people!

Them: Dear Lord Donovan, get a hobby I can’t take much more of this!
Me: I’m not sorry, this is my “hobby” and it’s important, so Neener Neener 😜.

Our concepts, no matter how sentimental or scary to examine (don’t question that, there’s hellfire waiting! Yikes, some of my old programming popping up), will never be a suitable replacement for basic faith, peace and love.

No one has to change their religious beliefs, unless they’re harmful, but seeing them from the perspective of their intended meaning certainly helps, and even increases our faith (well, duh! hey now, be nice).

I grew up in a Christian church in the middle of Nebraska. My upbringing was pretty conservative. My Mom inspired me to keep an open mind, do research and think for myself, and my Dad demonstrated that rough, irreverently funny, ex-Marines had amazingly tender hearts. I spent the last 30-years studying psychology, other world religions and philosophy (why yes, I’m definitely bragging 😇) , to better understand the simple, powerful truths that Jesus spoke about, because some of the things I was told as a kid, didn’t ring true in my heart. And I didn’t end up full of a bunch of new concepts all piled up like the Tower of Babel trying to reach my imagined version of Heaven, but I gained an openhearted understanding of Jesus’s teachings (yeah, but, you’re kind of a freak, Donovan).

Whew! Still with me?

Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living”. An examined life is the narrow path, and it can be frightening, but that’s where faith and surrender come in 😊.

Anywho, all this information is out there (for free on the Internet or at your local library, even in the Bible), if you wish to explore faith in a daily, practical way. As always, this is my humble opinion, and something to consider if you’re feeling frustrated or stuck in these stressful times of mixed messages and hypocrisy on all fronts. So, think about it if you wanna. Maybe? Ack, Don’t Shoot! It wastes ammunition cuz I’m bulletproof baby 😜

Have a good day!

A Message in the Snow from Justise

DSC_5202
Eugene, OR has had record snow levels the past few days, and many people are stuck because the roads are so bad. People with 4-wheel drive have no problem getting┬áaround, but watch out for them if you’re walking on the sidewalk. If they zip by too close, you’ll get a slushy shower.

I have been in the new studio for two days finalizing the move-in. I hadn’t been outside (other than to check the mail) for 48-hours. I decided to venture out because I needed some rations (mostly ice cream and TV Dinners). My wonderful, new friend Justise (that’s her in the picture) left me a message in the show. Now stop what you’re thinking right now, that’s not what I mean lol. Check out the video below, and you’ll see what a nice thing she did for this “stranded” nut ­čÖé

It’s funny to note that my friend and I were just discussing/complaining about people shooting videos “vertically” with their phones, then I do it. Especially since I’m a video producer lol. Thank you, Justise! I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed looking out my window to see your message!

– Stay Happy, Safe and Warm out there, Donovan

Model & Portrait Photography; A Hobby, A Passion!

During the last few months I’ve returned to a hobby that I’ve always been passionate about, Photography (yep, it’s so important to me, that I capitalized it, even though I don’t need to lol). It’s been such a blast to work with local models, and we’ve learned a lot from some very helpful photographers. Christy and I love shooting pictures. She has an amazing eye for composition and catching beautiful, natural light. I am good at getting people to relax, laugh, and just have fun. It feels great when you show someone (who was totally anxious about having their photo taken) how beautiful they really are. We’re having fun, creating awesome memories, and making people happy! It’s just so cool ­čÖé

When I was in High School, I got my first “real job” at Burger King. After I bought my parents gifts with my first check, (Mom: one plant in a pot, Dad: chocolate covered peanuts), I started saving up for a used SLR film camera. It was an old, sturdy 35mm Chinon CM-4. I bought it used 30 years ago, and it still works fine. This thing is solid! Now, I am using all digital equipment, but I love old cameras!

So, now zooming forward to 2013, we’ve started shooting still photos of people. I’ve loved learning about the new technology available with digital imagery, and I’m glad that I learned the basics in college in the 90’s. I know how to use the “Manual” mode and develop film (I’m so glad I don’t have to do that now!). We’ve purchased new and used photography equipment, as we could afford it. So now, we have a studio at our home that was set up for very little money (thank you eBay) and are able to create some fantastic photos. Of course, we’ve taken hundreds of photos for commercials of products, and client locations, but photographing people is different (for one thing, they have feelings, unlike a new car or plate of spaghetti, well, spaghetti might have feelings, you never know, maybe we just can’t hear the screams while they’re boiling! lol).

I love the experience of meeting a person who wants some great photos of themselves. If you’re like me, you don’t enjoy the experience of having your picture taken. If I’m being silly, it’s fine, but as soon as Christy says, “Be Sexy!”, I have no idea what to do, other than point my finger at the camera, raise one eyebrow, and pretend I’m some slick metro-sexual on the cover of GQ, then we just laugh, and don’t get any “sexy” pictures lol!

It’s so wonderful to meet someone who’s shy and doesn’t think they are “photogenic.” I meet with them before the shoot is even scheduled. We talk about their interests, ideas and passions, then schedule a shoot at a location that fits the “theme”. I give some direction, help them to relax with encouragement and humor, then I see this incredible transformation from a Nervous Nelly to Confident Super-Model! We go to rivers, downtown, the beach, wherever we can drive, and get some amazing shots. Then after a little Photoshop work (not too much, I like to keep it as natural as possible, unless we’ve planned on giving it a certain look or mood), I send the photos to them via email. They’re so happy! They reply in all caps about how much they LOVE THEIR PHOTO! How awesome is that? They excitedly tell me how much their partner loved the pics too, or how proud their family is. It’s great, and since I can’t draw or paint, this is art I can create that keeps me motivated, and inspires me to continually improve my skills.

If you live within 100 miles of Eugene, it’s very possible that I will come take your picture. I’m still learning and this is a hobby, so I’m doing a trade for pictures deal with people. Basically, the model offers their time, in trade for digital copies of the photos. I consider this extremely fun, and if you’re willing to throw in $20 to help with the cost of gas, I’ll come as far as 100 miles from Eugene to take some lovely pictures of you. Of course, it depends on my schedule, and how polite you are with your request ­čÖé Please Contact Us.

Have a great day,
Donovan Werts
Owner/Producer Donovan Productions