It may be the most mysterious word in the English language. It's usually meant as a compliment, but often it is perceived as an insult. What is this magic word? "Nice." That one word can derail a date before it's even started. It has the power to sever the closest of relationships. It can even cause unrest in an otherwise solid marriage. So how did such a nice word get such a bad reputation?
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "nice" has its origin in Latin, coming from nescius ("ignorant, not knowing"), a compound of the stem of scire ("to know") + the prefix ne- ("not"). The word evolved from there into the Old French nice, niche, nisce ("simple, foolish, ignorant"). By the late 13th century, it was a Middle English word: nice, nyce, nys (meaning essentially "foolish, stupid, senseless").
Jonah Hill is a fairly big star these days. He starred in a movie opposite Brad Pitt. He's got his own animated series coming to network television. He's appeared in numerous top-quality comedies. Surely he can rest on his laurels. Maybe not. Hill has taken an active role in the marketing of his new film "The Sitter." When I say active, I mean active.
Fox recently dispersed posters across the country printed with Mr. Hill's image, the message "Need a Sitter?" and phone numbers on tear-off tabs. About 250,000 people called and nearly half left voicemails. Here comes the unusual part: Mr. Hill agreed to carry around the phone belonging to that number and randomly answer calls himself. A Fox spokesman said he had answered a few dozen times. On Wednesday, he began turning the tables and returning messages.
Musical instruments come in all shapes and sizes. They incorporate wood, steel, brass, ivory...virtually any material you can imagine. I'm familiar with your basic musical instruments, but I admit ignorance when it comes to the more exotic ones. For instance, I had never heard of a cristal baschet until reading about it in today's Los Angeles Times. Frankly, now I want to see one up close and personal.
The cristal baschet is one of the most beautiful musical instruments you will ever see, made of vibrating, tuned steel, fiberglass amplification cones and wire "whiskers" that shimmy when fingers rub the glass-rod keyboard. Film composer Cliff Martinez's version, which resides in the living room of his Topanga Canyon home, is about the size of an upright piano and is as much sculpture as instrument.
There was a time when the entrance to the publishing world was a narrow door through which only a select few were allowed to pass. That didn't mean that those who had the door slammed in their faces didn't deserve to be published. It just meant that there wasn't enough room or money to accommodate everyone. If not for the digital age, publishing may never have changed. Today, access to publishing has gone from a narrow door to a virtual expressway. Michael Hyatt explores the changing face of publishing.
When I started writing, it also seemed like everyone else was in control. I prepared a book proposal, then waited for a publisher to offer me a contract. I wrote the manuscript, then waited for booksellers to order the book. I published the book, the waited for the media to book me. We spent a lot of time waiting. And then waiting some more. And, if we didn't get picked, it wasn't our fault (or so we thought). But something extraordinary has happened in the last decade - even more so in the last three years. The power has shifted.
Making a movie is hard. Making a movie within the confines of the Hollywood system can be, at times, almost impossible. Case in point: Anna Paquin (star of HBO's True Blood) is appearing in a new film titled Margaret. It's hard to even call this movie new because it was shot in 2006. Legal issues and changing tides stalled the movie's release. The troubles that plagued the film have really opened the eyes of some filmmakers.
Reading about Margaret, it's amazing that any movies get made. The story quotes insurer Michael Harper saying, "This business is so crazy. It's an art form and a business and we're trying to mix oil and water all the time." And people on both sides have gigantic egos. They fight and clash and sometimes you still get a great movie (consider Apocalypse Now) but often you get an embarrassing mess on the screen.
Kid Rock is set to do some concerts to raise money for his foundation. The foundation will concentrate on raising money for local organizations. In this case, "local" refers to every town where Kid Rock will perform. Music marketer Hisham Dahud thinks it's not only great for the communities, it's also great for Kid Rock's brand. He believes there are lessons to be learned here from the standpoint of marketing.
By aligning your music with a greater good, fans and non-fans alike will be more inclined to support you because you're representing something higher than yourself. Socially conscious activities raise awareness to issues that many people might initially assume that most musicians, particularly rock stars like Kid Rock, don't typically care about.
Lights, Camera, Action: 3 Words that Aren't Just for the Film Industry Anymore
Being an author today is a lot like being on a tightrope and juggling three chainsaws while doing your taxes and putting on ice skates. There is a lot to do besides the writing. There's the editing and the designing and the blogging and the social networking and the book trailer...Wait, you mean you don't have a book trailer? Author Rye Barcott isn't crazy about them, but he recognizes their importance.
Book trailers are relatively recent additions to the literary world. Most of the authors I know detest the very idea of them. We pour our souls into creating a book, a piece of work that can take people deep into places, problems, and things that matter...Can a few minutes on a screen really do justice to such a rich experience? I don't think so. Yet I realize that book trailers are important to me as a reader. I watch them when they appear on Amazon or B&N.com, and for books I don't know much about, the trailer often influences my decision to buy.
You have to figure that a proven track record of raking in tons of money for a Hollywood studio means you can pretty much write your own ticket, right? You're the big cheese that brings in the big dough. There's no need to keep looking in the want ads. Well, the recent ousting of a Warner Brothers studio executive who was behind films that collectively made billions of dollars has some people in the industry wondering if there's any such thing as job security in Hollywood.
The upshot, say longtime industry watchers, is that Hollywood's clubby, insular business culture is fraying as studios grow ever more corporate and answer to multinational companies that either don't know the customs of Hollywood or don't care about them. Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner all answer to bosses in New York. Walt Disney Studios is the sole major film operation that has a local owner.
I learned a new word. Busking is the act of performing on the street for money. Now, as a writer, there's very little call for me to type on my laptop in public. I've done it before, but no one's ever given me a quarter for it. But some musicians have a lot of success busking. In fact, musician Chris Seth Jackson says that it might even be a crucial ingredient to earning a living as a musician.
Physically busking in one area is limited to only that one city and the people only walking by at that particular time. YouTube is global and timeless. Record yourself playing your music daily and throw it out to the world on YouTube. Record yourself while you're busking on the street. At the end of your YouTube busking, add a call to action. Give a link to your website and ask for 25 cents. On your site, provide people a way to donate a small amount of money to you. PayPal has options for micro transactions. Use it! The good ol' long tail theory could net you a bit of cash over the life of this YouTube post.