Tag Archives: Blog

#30 – Shoot Vlog With A Celebrity

It’s a writer’s job to tell a story by painting a scene of events with his words. I’m still having difficulty finding the right words to describe what happened to Trevor and me last Saturday when one of the biggest musical artists in the world gave our Displeasure Vlog his endorsement.

For the most part, Trevor and I get along pretty well. Every once in a while, however, we get frustrated with one another, and aren’t really productive in our business that we need to conduct. That’s natural for any business partnership and friendship.

Saturday was one of those days. Because of my new gig on America’s Got Talent, my free time and flexible schedule has changed dramatically. The combination of re-adjusting to an office job and the past nine months of hustling has resulted in pure exhaustion. On Saturday we set out to shoot some vlog entries for the upcoming week, and my brain just wouldn’t kick start into joke-writing mode. When we tried to shoot a video in a parking lot we were hassled by two Paul Blart’s. Then when we tried to shoot a video inside K-Mart we were kicked out. Things were not going well, and we were pissed at each other on the only day of the week we entirely have free

Hunger set in, so we decided to temporarily scrap the shoot and find some food to eat. Trevor just started driving as we sat in silence, and we ended up back at his house. Pissed off that he didn’t tell me what his plans were, I called him out for not telling me that we were heading back to pick up his brother Tanner and then go eat. I was under the assumption we were going to write jokes for the Vlog while we ate. He could’ve told me we were on our way to free lobster dinners and I likely would’ve had a problem with it. The same goes for anything I said, just because of the back and forth petty bullshit we had been going through.

After another 20 minutes of nonsense discussion in his garage we finally went inside and kicked back for a minute before heading out to Souplantation. (If you’ve never been, stop reading now and go to Soupy P’s. I’ll understand.) I hopped in the backseat and Tanner jumped in the front seat. As we cruised down Melrose toward La Cienega Tanner broke the silence in the car when he calmly stated, “Kat Von D and Deadmau5 were just cruising down the street back there.”

With those simple words, Trevor and I got into work mode. Whatever disagreement we were having we immediately put to the side. No matter how much we couldn’t stand to be next to one another just five seconds prior, we realized what we needed to do.

Trevor’s natural reaction as a former TMZ paparazzo is to flip a bitch when someone shouts a celebrity’s name. He quickly recognized Kat Von D’s car, and pulled up right behind it. His camera was sitting on a tripod next to me because of our prior attempt at shooting, however, he didn’t have his flash. To get the equipment from his house across the street he played Frogger in the street, and dashed back through traffic to return 1 minute later. Upon his return I suggested to him, “fuck the short term money of selling pictures, let’s ask them to shoot a Vlog with us.”

Trevor’s eyes lit up, and immediately got to thinking about which topic we could discuss. I spent the prior 4 hours bitching about how tired I was and how I couldn’t muster up the energy to properly form thoughts. Realizing that we were about to ask the most famous DJ and the most famous tattoo artist in the world to help us out of the goodness of their heart gave me a shot of adrenaline, and sparked Trevor to say, “When your friends think they’re a DJ.”

Bam! That’s something that really bugs both of us. The new trend of everyone trying to be a DJ is annoying, because there are very few people who professionally make a living off of that, and even those guys are simply just making money because they mix songs created by SOMEONE ELSE! Deadmau5 on the other hand is actually a music producer, and doesn’t just mix other people’s songs.

Trevor provided the topic, and wrote his first line, which is what I asked of him hour’s prior, so that my limited free time is maximized. He said he couldn’t provide a starting point without my help. I calmly pointed out to him that this was proof that he could. I guess all we needed was to be put in a situation where we had no choice but to come up with gold. I then came up with my line, and told him we needed to acknowledge Deadmau5 after each of our lines, differentiating him between the people who call themselves DJ’s and someone who actually is one, like him.

Meanwhile, paparazzi started to notice Trevor standing on Melrose. Despite his absence from the scene for quite some time, they still played a hunch that he was waiting for someone to come out of Vivian Westwood. Trevor played it off to his former paparazzo amigos that we were just chillin’ on the street, waiting for a friend. The paparazzi eventually moved on.

I could see the anxiety build in Trevor’s body while we waited for their exit out the store. I got into “Coach” mode and pulled out a pep talk for him. I reminded him that he has created contacts with billionaires like Mark Cuban, super producers like Brian Grazer, and other people of equal stature to Deadmau5 and Kat. I put him at ease by reminding him that we talk to musicians and tattoo artists all the time. The only difference is that Deadmau5 and Kat have fame. Simply put, I was lying my ass off, because I was equally nervous. But in the hours prior Trevor kept reminding me that he feeds off my energy, so when I am in a shitty mood he tends to be as well, hence why we weren’t productive earlier in the day. I had to be positive and provide a calm demeanor.

Tanner gave us some background on Deadmau5 recently making comments about how he dislikes how everyone is claiming to be a DJ now, which made us feel more comfortable about approaching him with the topic. Trevor and I can relate to his sentiments, because Trevor despises how anyone with an iPhone thinks he’s a cameraman, and I despise how everyone with a blog thinks they’re a writer. We’ve made a living off those professions, just like Deadmau5 makes his living off his profession.

“Here they come,” I told Trevor as he picked his camera up off the ground.

“Hey Kat and Deadmau5, as a former paparazzo I just shooed away the paparazzi for you guys to make a clean escape.”

“Thanks so much,” Kat replied first.

“I have one question for you guys though. We have a blog about things that bug us and one of the things that bugs us is how everyone thinks they’re a DJ now,” Trevor said.

“Deadmau5, would you be willing to go on camera with us for it?” I asked.

“Let me answer that for him,” Kat said.

“Of course I will,” Deadmau5 responded.

Wait, what? That was way too easy. Tanner later brought up the fact that other than reminding Kat that I did LA Ink, we didn’t even have to drop any of our creds on them. We wondered who they thought we were. I think he agreed to shoot, because it was a topic he has gone on record saying that displeases him. Also, we look like them. We are tatted up, young, and look like “misfits” of society. I also hope that they admired our gumption.

Kat grabbed her bags, started packing up her car, and told us to make it quick. We knew we pretty much just had one take to make it happen, since I imagine they have busy schedules, but her statement reaffirmed that. You can see her in the background of the video.

The moment Deadmau5 agreed to shoot, I think Trevor and I both blacked out. The last thing I remember was Trevor telling me to move to the right side of Deadmau5, because in our videos Trevor always stands to my left and I stand to his right.

Trevor and I are in motion before Deadmau5 changes his mind.

We also generally do at least 5 takes on every vlog. The only time we did one take was when we were drunk and our buddy Andrew was sleeping, because once he woke up we knew the take was going to be done. We killed it in that vlog, and I think we killed it in this vlog. You be the judge.

I am glad, however, that Trevor and I started the Displeasure Vlog so that we can retrace what happened, because sometimes words can’t simply do justice to a story. Sometimes, just sometimes, pictures are worth more than 1,524 words.

Speechless

The Displeasure Vlog with Deadmau5 can be viewed here.

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#29 – Create Sister Vlog

“Hey Josh, other than money, what’s most on your mind?”

If you were to ask me that, the answer would be simply, “Well, ladies of course.”

On Tuesday night I was going back and forth via text with a girl I used to date. The text conversation ended when she failed to respond to my last text, which deserved a response. 15 minutes after my last text I look at my phone and see that she “liked” a picture of mine on Instagram. I was dumbfounded why she didn’t respond to my text, yet had the gall to notify me that she “liked” my picture. It didn’t make sense to me that she would ignore a direct text and communicate with me via a social media platform. Basically she was letting me know that she was ignoring my text.

Later that night, amidst some work we were doing, Trevor asked a girl if she wanted to hang out later. She said, “yes.” He followed up with her hours later via text to see if she was still down to hang out. She didn’t respond. Minutes later she posted updates on Facebook and Instagram, completely ignoring him even though she knew they were friends and he would likely see those updates. Basically she was letting him know that she was ignoring his text.

In both our cases, these were not girls that we had recently met. They were both girls that we have history with. To say the least, we were pissed off. We ended up hitting a strip club, grabbing some beers, going for a run, contemplating why girls play mind games, and most importantly we developed our newest project: The Displeasure Vlog.

This is where all great ideas originate.

Just like Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker before us, our creativity was motivated by the displeasure women created in us.

In a totally related issue, The Discomfort Blog is something that has allowed me to showcase my ability to write. It has got me a lot of work. Trevor on the other hand hasn’t benefited as much from our joint venture, because his skill set is showcased by his talent with a camera.

Trevor and I agreed we needed to create a sister site for him to showcase his skill set, because even though my success equals his success, his success also equals my success, so why not double our potential outreach for success? That thought just so happened to coincide with our displeasure with the way our lady friends ignored our texts in favor of updating their social media presence. Thus, we created The Displeasure Vlog where we will comment on camera about common displeasures that occur in daily life. Generally speaking you will be able to relate to these common day displeasures whether you are the one committing the act or the one the act is happening to.

We decided to make our first vlog entry about our shared experience from Tuesday night. On Wednesday we met up bright and early at the crack of 2pm to search for a place to shoot. At first we thought of shooting in the cell phone department of a Best Buy store since our subject matter had to do with cell phone etiquette. A quick trip down Melrose Avenue quickly diverted that thought when we recognized the trippyness that presents itself (see picture below) on the artsy part of the blocks between Fairfax and La Brea.

I’d hit it.

For our background we settled on some mannequins leaned up against a wall in front of a clothing store. After one camera take the shop owner greeted us because he was clearly afraid that we were molesting his graphite ladies. He eventually watched all six of our takes and even loosened up with a few chuckles every now and again. After taking over Guitar Center in our last Discomfort Blog entry, an alley just off Melrose was a piece of cake.

“So, do you ladies come here often?”

While we were searching for a place to shoot I noticed a white car making some similar style rounds around the block. Perhaps the only reason I noticed the car was because of the cute ladies inside. When we returned to Trevor’s car, those girls were setting up a camera in an area we previously considered shooting in. Normally women approach and ask us what we were shooting, but this time we were intrigued by what some women were shooting. It felt discomforting to be on the other side for a change, but it immediately sparked thought in my head. I proposed to Trevor that we get the female perspective on our topic. Since Trevor wasn’t drunk and didn’t have his customary boldness that accompanies his non-sober state of mind, he made me approach them.

Christina was the girl with the camera, and her friend Chelsey was her model. They were preparing a photo shoot for their fashion blog. They were kind enough to help us out, and provided a great perspective on the topic. They actually both willingly admitted that they’ve been guilty of ignoring texts and posting on Facebook. One even admitted that she did it the previous night. Because of their willingness to help we then searched Melrose for other girls.

These girls couldn’t possibly be from LA, because they were far too nice.

Trevor saw my success with the girls so he tried his luck. He struck out with the first pair he approached, and the second pair, so I stepped in again and my success rate stayed at 100 percent when the next duo agreed to participate.

It’s not exactly the easiest thing to approach a random girl on Melrose and ask her to go on camera. I kind of felt sleezy approaching girls while Trevor held a camera, and that could be due to all the porn I’ve watched which starts with a search for random MILFs to take home. Or maybe I felt sleezy because I had to break through the wall that girls have naturally built up from being hit on all the time. Even if you’re not trying to hook up with them that wall still remains up and it’s nearly impossible to get their participation in anything.

A sturdy tripod is a necessity on any porn set.

Since we didn’t get maced by any shop owners or any ladies of Melrose we immediately shot another vlog entry for something else that bugs us. Continually check our sister vlog at www.DispleasureVlog.com for funny commentary about the pet peeves of daily life.

Here’s the first vlog entry which can be viewed at DispleasureVlog.com

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