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Author: Tee Quillin

Oh, the humanity

  |   general ramblings   |   No comment

So, my laptop had been limping along for about the past year.  First of all, the battery died.  In order to use my laptop, I had to have it plugged in to an outlet, which of course, made it nothing more than a desktop computer on a diet.  In recent months, one of the drives (the DVD, I hoped) started making funny noises.  Well, not so much funny as downright haunting.  If you accidentally closed the lid to hard or bumped the table where it was resting, the drives would start screaming; sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes, it wouldn’t stop until you forced a shutdown of the system and reboot.   It served me well for the better part of five years.  However, toward the end of last week, it started acting…well…funny. 

The worst part is that I am leaving tomorrow to head to Atlanta for the Southeastern Theatre Conference where I’m going to be leading several workshops for which I have spent the better part of 6 months prepping PowerPoint presentations.  In order to present these, I must have a laptop!!  I could tell it wasn’t going to make it through the weekend.

Those of you who know me as a gadget freak will laugh at this statement, but I was literally making myself sick with images of standing up in front of a group of workshops attendees with a dead laptop and no way to present. 

So, I bit the bullet and got a new laptop.  This is not something I was planning on doing, but I could not get to Atlanta and be left in the lurch.  It didn’t occur to me that a new laptop would come with Windows Vista loaded on it.  This became an adventure that would last the entire weekend.  I have just now finished getting all of my software loaded on the new computer and transferring files.   You’d think that Windows projects would network, easily together, wouldn’t you?  Oh no.  Getting my old XP machine to even recognize my shiny new Vista machine, involved nearly two solid hours of tracking down an obscure software patch that Microsoft is not advertising anywhere.   You gotta love it…

Still, the search, daunting though it was, was okay.  I like “tinkering under the hood” of my computers.  I know just enough to make me dangerous, but I still enjoy it.  That’s why I decided to opt for another Windows machine rather than taking the plunge into MacLand.  I’ve played around on some friends’ Macs lately, and I’m just not impressed enough to make the switch.  I know Windows (even with the curve of learning where everything is in Vista).  

I’m not convinced that Windows Vista is a step in the right direction.  Sure it’s pretty, but it’s just weird. 

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And Then There Were Four…Again…

  |   Family   |   2 Comments

We found Sarah’s owner…

It was a rough night for a certain little girl in our household. However, it seems that Sarah (or whatever her real name is) is a special little dog for the little boy who lost her. Just to make sure that we weren’t too upset about losing her, God made sure that the story of the person who lost her was a doozy. It seems that the little boy who lost her was involved in a car accident recently (how recently, I don’t know) and was paralyzed from the waist down.  To make matters worse, he also lost his father in the accident.

I promised Morgan that, in the event that we should find “Sarah’s” owner, we would definitely get another dog.   So, I had to explain why Sarah wasn’t here anymore and how important it was that she got back to her rightful owner.  This is the stuff they don’t put in the Great Big Book of Good Parenting.

Come to think of it, there’s not a lot of stuff in that book at all…

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And Then There Were Five…Again…

  |   Family   |   No comment

So, yesterday afternoon I was picking up the kids and my father-in-law informs me that they have “acquired” another dog. It seems that there was a stray Yorkie running around their neighborhood. He went from house to house asking if they knew where she had come from. No one had seen her, so I get a call from him asking if we wanted to take care of her. I agreed.

So, now we have a fully-grown Yorkie in the house (but even fully grown she comes up to my ankles). She’s already house-trained and walked into our home like she’d been living there for several years already. The look on her face seemed to say, “Did you rent out my room while I was gone or can I just move my stuff back in?”

When Bekah got home, the dog spent more than an hour sitting in her lap while they watched TV.

Oh yeah, I forgot the most important part, Morgan was fretting over what to name her. Morgan identified her as a “princess” (meaning “girl”), so she immediately went into her filing cabinet for “princess” names. “Anna” was the first one she came up with. I decided that name wasn’t the best idea since Morgan’s cousin’s name is Anna and I just thought that would be a little confusing down the line. So, Morgan finally settled on the name “Sarah,” which somehow seems to fit her personality. After all, our last dog’s name was “Emily.”

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My birthday weekend…

  |   On the Road   |   No comment

I’m in Memphis right now.  Kyle and I are here representing MTSU and the TN Governor’s School for the Arts.  This afternoon we each did two workshops and tomorrow we are observing the auditions for the Governor’s School program.  The workshops and auditions are all part of the Tennessee Thespian Conference.

There was a pleasant surprise in store for me when I got here.  It seems that two of my fellow SMU students were also to be in attendance doing workshops for the conference!  So, I had a nice mini-reunion with Shawn Davis and Paizhe Pressley, which was unexpected and random to say the least!  They are both living in NYC and loving it.  What a treat!

The workshops went well, and thankfully, my numbers were very small.  Only the truly dedicated high school student will go to a conference like that and take a workshop on Shakespeare for the Actor when there’s all kind of fun stuff like juggling and improv going on!  I got a great response from the students and that makes it all worthwhile.  It was also a nice dry run for the same workshop which I will be giving at this year’s SETC Convention in Atlanta.

Oh yeah, and Sunday I begin my “Jesus Year.”  I’ve never been all that big on birthday’s, especially my own, and this year is no different.  I don’t dislike getting older, I have just gotten to a point where my birthday is just another day to me.  I know when most people say that, they are actually fishing for the birthday wishes and someone to throw them a surprise birthday party and stuff, but I really mean it.  My birthday has become more about celebrating with my family rather than trying to make a big deal out of it with my friends.

Of course, I’m going to have to change this feeling in the coming years.  I can feel that coming.  My daughter is constantly talking about everyone’s birthdays and the types of parties they will have.  In 2007, she will be 5 and she’s already planning what kind of birthday party she will have.   I think this year is the year of the Little Mermaid.  Apparently, I’m supposed to have a Shakespeare birthday party this year (that’s all she can talk about after seeing me in Hamlet–it was her first time to ever see me on stage).  I’m not sure what kind of birthday Mommy is supposed to have, but Brother is having either a Superman birthday or a Prince birthday party (not the Artist Formerly Known As…) depending on the day.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures in the Gallery regardless of the final decision.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy a nice lunch with the family, an afternoon playing with the kids, and then an nice evening (perhaps even a bottle of wine) with my wife and that’s it.  Nice and simple.

The way things aught to be.

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Updates galore!

  |   Acting Journal   |   No comment

Just before Christmas, I had a first for me:  a modeling shoot!  Mid-December, I was sitting in a room at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville posing for the camera as though we were having a business meeting.  Pretty cut and dried.  I did get a cool new shirt out of the whole thing!  Oh yeah, and they paid me really money, which is cool.

In other news, I’ve been asked (and have accepted) to be a charter member of the repertory company with Green Room Projects in Nashville.  This is the same group that co-produced the October production of Hamlet.  In other good news, there are going to be a couple more performances of Hamlet in the Middle Tennessee area in the coming months!  My first production as a company member of Green Room Projects is going to be Tuesdays With Morrie.  If you don’t know the book, I’ll let you guess which part I’ll be playing.

There’s a possibility of some directing work coming down the pike, too.  I’ll keep you posted on that either here or over at The Mirror Up To Nature (and the podcast).

I also had two more auditions yesterday; one for a CMT Promo Spot with Jimmy Kup Casting, the other for a feature film which will be shot in Nashville in a couple of months with Casting Director Jo Doster.

The podcast continues to grow and we’ve got some pretty neat stuff in the works to announce in 2007.  Be on the lookout for that!

Christmas with the family was wonderful.  Bekah and I celebrated our 11th anniversary by painting accent walls in our house and unpacking boxes of stuff that hadn’t seen the light of day since we left Texas over two years ago.  And, let me tell you there’s nothing more romantic than being covered in paint and packing peanuts for your anniversary.  H – O – T!

This weekend I’m off to Memphis to do a couple of Shakespeare workshops for high school students and to run the Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts auditions.

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Morgan’s Christmas Concert 2006

  |   Family   |   No comment

I’m very remiss in getting this (or anything else, for that matter) posted, but here it is. This is the video of Morgan’s Christmas Concerts 2006. She was the only student from her class chosen to play the Autoharp (in D Major, she is quick to point out).

Next stop, Simon’s house. We’re going to talk them into skipping a season of American Idol and just give it to her one year.

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Bristol My Ride

  |   Acting, podcasts   |   No comment

Very special thanks to the guys at Stray Dog Productions for getting these spots to me.  Somewhere out there, there is a radio spot based on the same thing.  If I can get my hands on that, I’ll post it here, too.

Anyway, this was a blast to shoot and I think it turned out rather nice.

Here are both the :30 and the :60 spots.  Enjoy.

(Oh yeah, if you are picking this up off of the iTunes feed, you’re only going to see the :60 spot.  You’ll have to go to www.teequillin.com to see the :30.)

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Good night, sweet prince…

  |   Acting   |   No comment

At the end of October, I’ll be making my return to the stage in the Valhalla Shakespeare Project’s production of Hamlet. It’s an eight member ensemble of actors playing a very commedia-style production. (No, not comedy, but a very “mountebank” stage feel to the show). All eight of us will have our turn playing the Dane regardless of gender. I’ll be playing Horatio throughout the play and will get my stab at Prince Hamlet in Act II (“Words, words, words”, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern scene, and “Rogue and peasant slave…”)

If you are in the middle Tennessee area, make your plans now to come out to Cannon County and see the show!

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TN Lottery Spot…Take 2

  |   Acting, podcasts   |   No comment

Okay, so I finally got around to seeing my own commercial running on TV and I have to say, Gabe, you were right.  The version that’s running on TV is slightly different from the ones that the agency sent me.  The changes in the edit are miniscule, but if you are looking, they are there.  Take a look for yourself…
Thanks to Melissa Wald for grabbing this cut of it via TiVo!  (Unofficially speaking, I was on Oprah!)

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My pants

  |   Exercise   |   3 Comments

My friends keep seeing my commercial run here in Tennessee.  They (the advertisers) are literally saturating the market with it.  I’m getting lots of screen time all of a sudden!  It’s a great thing, but it’s led me to one conclusion.

I must lose weight and gain hair.

I’m okay with not being able to do the latter, believe it or not.  I’m going to be one of those men who attaches their masculinity to their hair.  I believe that Samson was the only one in history who had that little problem and look how he turned out.  No, I refuse to fight that battle.  My grandfather, who has been bald since I can remember, used to have a sign hanging on the wall that said, “God only created so many perfect heads.  The rest he covered with hair!”  These are now the words I live by.  When the time comes, I will merely shave my head and be done with it.
Believe it or not, being back on a college campus with a horrible parking problem has helped tremendously with the former.  See, when I get to campus every morning at 8am, I almost have my pick of the parking places (if, however, I am running late and get to campus between 8:05 and 8:10, I’m completely screwed and have to tie my truck to a hitching post and hope for the best).  Once I stake my claim on a great parking place near my office, I’m able to freely roam about campus without any thoughts.  And, since my office is on the extreme far edge of campus away from my classroom buildings, it means that my ass is walking a lot more than I used to.  Which in turn, means that there’s suddenly a lot less of my ass to haul around campus.

Oh yeah, having an iPod helps, too.

By the way, I’m measuring my success in this weight loss endeavor by the only true measure – the size of the waist of my pants.  When I started this semester, I was refusing to make the leap from a 40 to a 42 merely on principle.  This morning, I’m pleased to say that I put on a pair of old 38’s and they fit without my having to suck in my gut at all.

Two years ago, my doctor put me on phentermine (I’m sure I’m spelling that wrong) which was one half of the notorious Phen-Fen combination.  I’m just assuming that it was the okay half.   I’m not going to lie.  It was great.  I dropped 30 pounds in about a month without having to change my diet or exercise.  I just didn’t have an appetite any more.  I thought I had finally found the magical solution.  The problem is that those little pills cost money…which is something we didn’t have a great deal of at the time (and still don’t).

Not only that, but I felt like I was cheating somehow.  And it was one thing to lose the weight, but it was another thing altogether to “get healthy.”  I wanted to get healthy.  And not just for me:  I wanted to make sure I was going to be around for my kids for a long time.

So, getting back on a college campus has changed all that.  I know that not everyone can get back on a college campus and some people are actually really okay with that.  I do however, recommend that you include some way to force a little walking in your life.  It does work.

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“The Sport Boat”

  |   Acting, podcasts   |   1 Comment

So, Monday 9/11 marks a historical day in American history: My TN Lottery spot hits the air all across the state. It seems like there’s something else going on that day, but I just can’t remember what it is…
Anyway, I promised all of you a copy of it when I got it. Well, here it is. There are two versions of the spot on this podcast. I’m not sure how they will be rotated (if at all).

Thanks again to my agent, Josh, who is fantastic, Holly at FilmHouse, Director Bruce Van Dusen, and everyone at Dan Williams Music and Motion for making this one of the most pleasant days of work I’ve had in a long time.

Oh yeah, thanks to my fellow actor, Josh, for making me look good…

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