Thursday, October 13, 2011

Congratulations Roz Savage!

I'm happy to report that Roz Savage has become the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans!

If you haven't been following her blog or listening to her podcasts, you can always go to her website to get caught up: Roz Savage or find her on Facebook for the most current updates.

Or, if you'd prefer to congratulate her in person, she'll be at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco this Friday from 5pm - 9pm. I'll be there for a short while between my segway tour and my improv show. Come on out and say hello!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Reviews Are In!

After a summer of teaching tourists how to ride segways and showing them all the fabulosity that is San Francisco, is it wrong to toot your own horn? I certainly don't think so... toot toot!

Here's what people are saying on Trip Advisor:

"Miss K was very conscientious about watching traffic, making sure she didn't lose anyone on the turns or the hills, and checking in with me (the "newbie") regularly to make sure I was comfortable operating the Segway. She was an excellent tour guide -- very knowledgeable and VERY funny!" - Pewaukee, WI

"Miss K was a blast and knew the area and history really well." - Canberra, Australia

"Kristian was a wonderful guide. She kept everyone in our party involved and was a great host." - Eugene, OR

"Kristian, our tour guide, is an improv comedian, and was hysterical, and knew a lot about San Francisco." - Sierra Vista, CA

If you haven't been on a segway tour with me, what are you waiting for??

Monday, August 15, 2011

Zipping Through the Redwoods

I've been doing the segway tours for so long now that when someone is nervous, I work with them to get comfortable with the machine so they have a great time but, quite frankly, I'd forgotten what it feels like to be nervous to try something new.

That is until I went ziplining with Sonoma Canopy Tours in Occidental with some friends from UCSB. I had to be talked into it but figured it's good to do things that scare you every now and then. I knew that it would be safe and my fear was not of falling off the line. I just don't enjoy being so high up in the air traveling at 30 mph!

The guides were funny and making jokes to put people at ease - it is a universal trait we share. After practicing on a line about 6 feet off the ground, we drove up to the starting point to zip out to the first of 7 tree platforms.

One guide, Jamie, goes out first so she can signal you when to break and pull you up to the tree and unhook you. The other guide, Zach, goes last because he's the one hooking you to the line and sending you on your way.

Zip 1 - scary because it's the first.
Zip 2 - scary because you zip to a redwood tree that sways and Zach jumps on the line when he comes over to make the
tree shake.
Zip 3 - scary because it's 319 feet long, 200 feet above the ground and has the biggest slack in the line so you'll go 30 miles per hour!
Zip 4 - easier because how can it be worse than the first three?
Zip 5 - scary because it's 800 feet long and you're told that if you don't build up enough momentum in the first half, you won't make it all the way to the end (but I did).
Zip 6 & 7 - FUN!

Just when I start having a good time, it's over and we have to repel 80 feet to get to the forest floor. The worst part was the anticipation and having to swing out over the platform so you would be facing the tree. Ah!

Would I do it again? Yes. Would I spend so much time nervous talking and shouting out swear words? No.

I spent all day trying to upload the videos but faced numerous problems I could not overcome. If you really want to see them, I can make it happen. Suffice to say it was scary then fabulous then scary then fabulous - but that's mostly because by then it was over.

If you're thinking of doing it - I say "do it"!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Beat Goes On

Less "drums keep pounding rhythm to the brain" and more spending all my free time making movies.

This is now old news (because I still don't update this blog as often as I say I will) but the silent 3D short that I produced last year, The Magic Man, screened at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival! A bunch of Scary Cows went down for that film and others that were made as part of this group. Sadly, I was not one of them because I hear a good time was had by all.

Currently, I'm co-producing a film that was originally a sketch put on by a local group. It's called Ketheron's Bucket Mending & Hymen Emporium. Yep. You read it right. I've been working with the cast and am now looking for extras to film the next two Fridays. Hard to convince people to take a workday off (for the M-F among us) but it will be a fun time on set.

We're filming at the Long Branch Saloon & Farm in Half Moon Bay. It's a full-on street right out of the old west and it's going to look amazing! The trick is getting the cast and extras in
wardrobe appropriate for the setting. But I leave that to other people and I take care of things like returning dresses we don't want to theaters not that close to my house.

And the Bushman film. I've got to get my act together to enter that in other film festivals. Like Santa Barbara, for example. Why? Because I would love an excuse to visit Santa Barbara!

So, my movie beat goes on. My segway tour beat goes on. My Big City Improv beat goes on.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love the Oceans? Help an Ocean Rower!

As many of you know, I've been following the adventures of Roz Savage, a British ocean rower and environmental campaigner who has rowed solo across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is now in the middle of the Indian Ocean!

She blogs on a regular basis to let us all know of her progress. Sending these blogs over a satellite phone costs money, and that's just one component of her row. How does she do it? She does it with the help of people like me and you.

You can sponsor her for only $10/mile. 100% of the money goes to the row. When she rows your mile (or miles) she gives you a shout out on her blog! She rowed my miles today and I must say it's a very easy way for me to feel like I've helped her spread her environmental message.

All those warm fuzzy feelings and the opportunity to follow along on her ocean adventure? Don't miss out...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Virtual Segway Tour with Miss K

Have you always wanted to take my segway tour in San Francisco but still haven't made it yet?

Well now you have a way. A very lovely German couple who came on the tour last week had a camera attached to their segway that took a photo every 10 seconds. They had it running for the entire tour, resulting in a 21 minute video.

Yes, it makes my hand gestures look more spastic than normal. Yes, I am wearing the men's XL raincoat which I refer to as my "big yellow dress". Yes, it is silent and there are some moments when the segway is parked looking at nothing special, but you know what? This is as good as it's going to get unless you get out here and take a tour. [hint]

Enjoy - just don't have an epileptic seizure on my account: 3 Hour Tour, 10 Seconds at a Time

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Charging Along

Oh... I say I'm going to try and update this blog on a weekly basis and before I know it a month has gone by.

How does it happen? Well, some of my time is spent working my tour guide job to earn some cash and more of my time is spent on improv and movie making which nourishes my soul but, sadly does not give me any grocery money.

I haven't spent much time figuring out where else to submit the Bushman movie because I've been working with other people on their films. Producing a science fiction short which we filmed down in San Jose, pre-production stages on a comedy to be filmed in July and starring in a commercial which will screen at the next Scary Cow film festival.

Although it's not put together the idea is this... you see me driving around in this kick ass 1968 Dodge Charger rocking out to some Joan Jett inspired music. Then you cut to me (years in the future) stepping out of a new Toyota something or other (no I didn't pay attention) and walking into this fancy house. The idea being the new car makes me feel as fabulous as the old car.

Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge in the Charger was fun but a bit nerve wracking, what with the bad brakes and my inability to get it into 4th gear most of the time. But hey - I didn't ruin the car and I had truckers honking at me and giving me thumbs up. Perhaps it's time to find a new ride.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sonoma International Film Festival: The Recap

Yes, it's been awhile since the festival but I've still got my name badge as evidence I was there! That and a handy wine opener - the perfect film festival souvenir (when your festival is in wine country, that is).

Here's how it all went down. Edmondo and I
drove up to Sonoma at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, getting there in time to
see the first screening of Behind the Bush at 9:30am.

The film was well received, lots of laughing at the right parts and questions afterwards like "who is the real bushman"? The other short docs in our program were well done. Nice to be in such good company.

After some chatting with the other filmmakers, we met our host who was putting us up in her guest house in Glen Ellen and high tailed it to our fabulous digs. There was a pool, hot tub and a friendly dog named Buddy who came out to welcome us. All this
and snacks in the kitchen? We had to lounge around a bit before heading back into Sonoma to find our Scary Cow peeps.

After foolishly (foolishly!) buying some lunch we caught up with Anton, Erin, Chris and Scott only to find out our passes got us into the back area of the tent which was full of free food AND wine and margaritas! Well, at least now we knew how it could be...

Off to a documentary on Vince Guaraldi (think Charlie Brown Christmas) that was interesting but waaaay to long and then to see Susan Sarandon get a lifetime achievement award. Too bad for her the interviewer was so lame. For the most part, you could tell this was not the first bad interview she'd had to sit through in her career but at one point she couldn't take his rambling anymore and finally snipped "What are you asking me?!"

Back to Glen Ellen to change... off to another party (guess we got there too late to see Susan, doesn't she know fashionably late means after me?) Not only were we too late for Susan, we were too late for the food. But a taco truck on Hwy 12 called La Bamba solved that issue. The food was good but we had to wait 45 minutes to get it. At 11:45 at night! I think La Bamba should open up taco truck numero dos. Though I guess we waited so the joke's on us.

Sunday was more free cocktails, the second screening of Anton's film Damage and then the second screening of Behind the Bush. More people but they didn't laugh as much. I still got up with all the boys at the end to answer questions and represent.

More movies, a final party and the last of the free wine and by 10:15pm we were on the road back home. Our film didn't win any awards there but I'm very happy that it made it into the festival. The question now is... what other festivals should I enter??

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bushman Goes to Sonoma!

Well, you know, the Bushman isn't going but I am and so is my film, "Behind the Bush"!

The short documentary film about the bushmen of Fisherman's Wharf that premiered at the Castro Theater in February is going to the Sonoma International Film Festival! It will screen as part of the short documentary program on the morning of Saturday, April 9th and the afternoon of Sunday, April 10th.

My co-director and co-producer Alison is on the verge of having a baby so I'll be making the road trip with
our editor, Edmondo. Another Scary Cow film is going to be at the festival so we will be doing our best to represent the herd.

It's one thing to get recognition within the Scary Cow community and it's another fabulous thing to get recognition outside the community! Arrangements are being made to get us passes to the festival.

From what I understand our passes will get us into all the movies and all the events except the Susan Sarandon tribute where they give her a lifetime achievement award and then screen "Thelma and Louise". Really? Fine. If I have to put T&L in my Netflix queue and then make up entertaining anecdotes to share as if I was Susan Sarandon, I will. I really will.

In the meantime, I've got to work on some of the logistics for the road trip, get my act together and practice my schmoozing. I most definitely want to be schmoozing at the top of my game when Susan comes over and asks me how it was I met all these bushmen!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays...

always get me down. But at least I have Karen Carpenter to keep me company.

Trying to make the most of another day without work. Grocery shopping, baking cookies, exercising (so I can eat the cookies). Since the money is not rolling in, I feel compelled to make these "free" days as productive as possible. Sometimes it works, sometimes I start watching a random tv series on Netflix and keep clicking "next episode". So it goes.

Just finished reading a book called Zeitoun about a family in New Orleans and their ordeals during Hurricane Katrina. In light of everything that's happening in Japan right now it was an even more sobering read. I would recommend it.

What else is up with me? The Bushman film did not make it into the SF Underground Film Festival. It's looking like it won't be in the Sonoma Film Festival either (though I don't know that for sure yet.) Once it's confirmed that we won't be screening locally anytime soon, I'll get the film up on Vimeo so people who weren't able to make the screening can see it.

I'm working on another Scary Cow film, this one about aliens. Fantastic! Still have to come up with an idea for another film I can direct, but there's time so no need to panic yet. This Saturday I'll be in a fake car commercial someone else in Scary Cow is making. Nice to have some time in front of the camera to mix it up a bit.

And, well, um... now I am remembering why I fell out of the weekly update thing in 2010. I'm adding another goal to make my life more interesting so these posts will be more interesting. Yeah!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Habitat Flashbacks

I haven't quite gotten back into the swing of weekly posting. But considering I only wrote once in the entire year of 2010 I'm still feeling pretty good about myself and my updates.

Habitat flashback #1 was attending the wedding of my friend Nan. She was the team leader on my first ever Habitat trip to Guatemala back in 1998 and the one who encouraged me to become a leader of the trips, not just a volunteer. She's a fabulous, enthusiastic, energetic woman and, getting married at 70, quite the inspiration.

Habitat flashback #2 was provided thanks to Facebook. I am now connected with a young woman who I met in 1998 on my 2nd ever Habitat trip to Ilo, Peru. We worked with her family to build several houses in their neighborhood. She, her mother and her brother were one of the families I grew closest to over the course of the trip.

The day before we left, the volunteers said goodbye to all the families and made our preparations to return home. The morning we left, she and her family came to our hotel to say one more goodbye. It was full of tears and hugging and promises to stay in touch but then I got back to life in the US and didn't expect to ever hear from them again. Wrong.

Thanks to the power of Facebook, I'm reconnected to this young woman and have an update on her family. Her brother is still in Peru going to school and playing in a band. She and her mother have moved to Spain and she is working and studying environmental management. It is beyond fabulous to hear from her again and know that things have worked out well for her and her family.

These are the kind of encounters that make me think it may be time for another Habitat trip.

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions. What?

I know, you're supposed to think about things like this in the beginning of January, not the beginning of March but hey, I was busy.

Since I have updated my LinkedIn profile and thought about doing my taxes - which to me is very close - I only have three for 2011.

1. Clean out and de-clutter my house.

I'm trying to put a positive spin on only being employed part-time. Sure, I don't earn enough money to cover my expenses but it leaves me plenty of time to dig through my garage and look for random things to sell!

2. Make a movie.

Now that we've got some cash from winning awards at the Scary Cow film festival earlier this month the next movie can be more involved. Or at least when we buy the crew In-n-Out burgers for lunch we can offer to get them a shake as well.

3. Take a trip out of the country.

Yes, this will be the most difficult to accomplish what with the part-time job and the time spent cleaning and movie making. But that's what resolutions are about right? Striving to do something that is going to be a stretch to actually accomplish.

I don't know where I'm going in this big/small world, nor do I know what to make a movie about but it gives me something to think about while sorting through cassette tapes, old photos and papers that seemed important enough to put in a box.

And no, this picture doesn't have anything to do with anything here but someone sent it
to me and it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


We won, we won!!!

"Behind the Bush" screened with other Scary Cow films last Sunday and I'm happy to report the movie was well received, with people laughing in all the right places, AND we won multiple awards!

We were 2 of 6 movies in the first round (films that had no Scary Cow budget) that were selected by other Scary Cow members to win funding for a future movie. We also won the general audience award for our round - that's the overall popularity contest - and got an award from one of the judges!

What does this mean to you and me? Now I've got some money to use for a future film. Start sending your ideas in now!

(In other news... I'm having some issues migrating my domain name to a new server or some such thing I don't understand so I may be out of touch for a moment but fear not, I'm working on it.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Welcome Back!

Yes, that's welcome back from me to me AND welcome back from me to you. I can't (and can) believe it's been almost a year since I've posted anything here. But hey, I'm back with a vow to post at least once a week to get back into the groove.

What's been going on all year? Well a lot of my time was spent working on a documentary film with people from Scary Cow about the men at Fisherman's Wharf who earn their living hiding behind bushes and scaring tourists for money. There are three of them, two who both claim the title of the Original Bushman. [right: connecting a microphone is a good reason to get your hand down a Bushman's shirt]

Our film takes a look at all three and then focuses in on the man we feel (as does the crew at Hooters) is the "real" Bushman. The film, "Behind the Bush" is 10 minutes long and will be having it's world premier at the Castro Theater this Sunday at 3pm!

Tickets are available online or you can roll up to the box office as your mood suits you. The Bushman claims he will be there - we bought him a ticket and everything - but over the course of making this movie, we learned he's not the best at keeping date. So, be optimistic, but cautiously optimistic.

More on more in the upcoming weeks. I don't want to overdo this first post and then scare myself away for another 10 months.

[left: me, Bushman and my co-director Alison Hawkes basking in the leafy glow]