Sunday, 20 December 2009
I hope you're all having nice Decembers so far. I'm writing to let you know about my latest project: TwitPrompt.
Here is how it works: everyday I post a new prompt on Twitter that you can Tweet a response to, if you feel so inclined. For example, today's prompt is #Snowmen_make_me_think_of.
If you are the Twittering type, please follow TwitPrompt here:
Any feedback would be appreciate.
I hope whatever you are doing, you are happy and healthy.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Recently I celebrated my 25th birthday, which marked the end of my one year weekly vlog project "Quarterlife Pounder." If you ever have 270 minutes (or so) to put out of commission, you can watch all 53 videos here:
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Saturday, 7 November 2009
So, a while back I made a silly choose your own adventure video on YouTube. It recently has been approaching 100,000 views, which in YouTubeVille is evidently just enough views to qualify it for revenue sharing. Such a milestone might not seem significant to some, but I'm pretty stoked about it. So watch, enjoy, click the ad that appears next to the video, and by so doing you will be sending fractions of a penny into my wallet:
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
"Data Hoarders", a parody of AandE's Hoarders, that I directed and edited was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal blog. Check it out...
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Check out this video done by the funny dudes at Landline that I got to be parodying the Windows 7 Launch Party video:
Also, I enjoyed this comment referring to me:
Friday, 25 September 2009
Here is a video that I helped edit for UCBcomedy.com:
What do you think of political parody spoofs like this one? Do they make a difference? Is the only result that people who already agree with this viewpoint will like it and people who disagree with this viewpoint will find it unfair? But could that be said of any political discourse? How do you change someone's mind? Will political satire ever change the mind of people who are undecided in their beliefs? Or is it naive to think that there are people who are undecided when in fact most people's most fundamental beliefs are concretely and irrevocably formed very very early on in their childhood? How do you change someone's mind? Is this a patronizing question to ask? Should I ask instead how could someone change my mind?
Thanks for watching,
Friday, 18 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Made this video over the weekend. I need to learn that if I'm going to make a parody of something, I should do it when that something is still relevant.
Oh well. If you've got an idea, you've got an idea, gnome saying?
Saturday, 5 September 2009
Good news, friends.
Well, for a while there it looked like I was a washed up failure, but things have turned around for ol' Nate: I won Facebook.
Sadly, when you win Facebook, the only thing you get is the inability to add more Facebook friends. Ironic, since having won Facebook this is probably the prime time when Facebook users would want to add me as a Facebook friend, me being the winner of Facebook and all.
So it goes.
Saturday, 29 August 2009
24 Years Late: I just watched The Breakfast Club for the first time and I'd like to talk about it, please.
Why oh why is it called The Breakfast Club?
- Again, I've never really had a discussion with anyone about this film, so perhaps this is old news, but please tell me it is generally agreed upon that this is a silly title? Five kids all have detention together on a Saturday from 7-3, early on they discuss different "clubs" (social clubs vs academic clubs vs sport teams vs belonging to no clubs), they eat lunch together, they indicate that they may or may not be friends once this day is over, and then they leave, some of them kissing before they do. They never eat breakfast. 7am does seem early, which is what a lot of the internet posts defending the title or attempting to explain the title pointed to, but actually 7am only seems early for those of us who are no longer on the primary/secondary school schedule. That is just a normal school day that those kids went through. Listen, to me, your title should be one of two things: 1) obviously from the story you are telling (examples of this abound: The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, 10 Things I Hate About You), or 2) although not from the story, title is something that compliments or offers a new twist on our understanding of the story (in The Fountainhead, the word "fountainhead" never appears in the book, but that title works because it supports a theme of the book). In contrast, The Breakfast Club toes the line between making sense and not making sense, in a way that aggravates me more than it should. It feels like an attempt was made to go for the first category of title I described above, something directly from the movie, but there is no justification for "Brian"/Anthony Michael Hall signing their essay "The Breakfast Club." Some of the internet posts defending the title cited this as the reason for the film's title, but this is circular logic to me. The Detention Club maybe? The Saturday Club perhaps? It felt like it was going for a title like this. On the other hand, if the intention was to go for the second type of less obvious title, than I think it wasn't taken far enough. Something like, Nothing Better To Do or What We Did To Get In Here or Five White Kids. Speaking of that...
- So I suppose it can be attributed to being an artifact of the times or whatever, but if one was going to write a blog entry about one's first time watching The Breakfast Club (which I seem to be doing) then I think it would be impossible not to at least mention this fact. I mean, especially for a film that is about taking five strangers from different backgrounds and showing that they have more in common than they think, it might have been a bit more ambitious to choose a slightly more representative cross section of American society at the time. But hey, at this point it is what it is. I'm mainly sharing my viewing experience, not offering an earnest plea for how the movie should have been made. By the time both the teacher and the janitor were also good looking white dudes, it just seemed like it wasn't simply a grave oversight, but actually possibly an active effort to keep this film white. That being said, this film wouldn't be a classic and hold the place that it does in popular culture without doing a few things pretty damn well...
- Despite the misgivings shared above, there were some things that I really admired. For example, it takes place in one location: a school. Not only that, most of the "action" takes place within the library. Action has been placed in quotation marks because not much action actually occurs, which is also ambitious. I imagine watching this film (pre the teen romantic comedies of the 90s and way pre mumble core films about youth) back in 1985, there was a tremendous feeling amongst middle class teenagers of being able to relate to these characters in a way that previous films might not have had. I imagine movie goers might have even exclaimed things like, "Hey, they're just like us!" or "Hey, they're just sitting around the school talking about stuff - that is what we do!" or even "Hey, they're making jokes, smoking weed in detention, and throwing lunch meat on library statues - aka what we did yesterday!" And while at times there are punches of 80s music that now feel dated and hilarious, there are also long stretches where there is no musical scoring at all, just the dialogue, something that I admire a lot. Music, sometimes more than anything else, in movies tells the viewer what emotion he or she should be feeling at this time. Without music, there is more onus on the viewer to decide how he or she feels about what is on the screen at that moment. At the beginning of the film especially, there is a long break in music between the opening credits and the first time it kicks in again after we've been introduced to all of the characters. During this stretch, there is nothing to entertain us or get us drawn in but the individuals and the unremarkable dialogue we're observing on the screen. I think that is ambitious for a mainstream film.
- They are supposed to write a 1000 word essay. The essay that is read at the end is probably around 90 words. This is fine, but for crazy people like me, if this isn't addressed at least, then inevitably I will notice it and it will take me out of the movie going experience. I was unable to enjoy the satisfaction of the ending because I was just thinking, "Wow, that was way less than 1000 words." Again, ending with an Anthony Michael Hall 1000 word voice over would probably be a bad call, but if you're going to make such a big deal about the length of the essay at the top of the film, then you at least need to address it. One line is all I need. "Well, this isn't quite 1000 words, but here goes..." Again, I am a crazy person, so keep that in mind.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Because the nation demanded it! A parody of The Lonely Island's "Like A Boss." We proudly present "Like A Sauce," a song about a guy who thinks he is a sauce.
Written by and starring Nate Dern. Directed/visual effects by Isaac Ravishankara. Cinematography by Sam Ellison. Music recorded and mixed by Matt O'Malley.
Friday, 31 July 2009
I made a video for a Post-it Notes video contest with a little help from the http://stacyanne.tumblr.com/
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION,
Friday, 17 July 2009
Finished reading Fahrenheit 451 recently. It was the first time I'd read it. Also, feels like I haven't read any book front to cover in a while. Enjoyed reading it. Definitely worthwhile. Glad I did. You should read it, if you haven't. A good book about books. Here are some choice quotes to entice you:
Grandfather's been dead for all these years, but if you lifted my skull, by God, in the convolutions of my brain you'd find the big ridges of his thumbprint. He touched me. As I said earlier, he was a sculptor. 'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!' he said to me. 'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said, 'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in facgtories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,' he said, 'shake the tree and knock the great sloth on his ass.'Here is another good one:
And the one that seems the most likely to stick with me:
Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores.
You're afraid of making mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.Yes, this last one stays with me.
Previously I never would have thought that "shoving your ignorance in people's faces" could possibly be a good thing. But Mr. Bradbury has convinced me that it could be. I recently made a video that I posted on YouTube talking about why I don't like to go to parties. When I'd finished making it, I was nervous about posting it because it felt a bit too earnest and I was afraid that I'd regret having others see it. In the end I posted it. Sure enough, there were a few points that I had attempted to make that people objected to in the comments section, some objections that I foresaw, but more significantly also some that I hadn't expected. So to continue Mr. Bradbury's metaphor, the objections that I foresaw were blows that I was expecting and was prepared to deflect; the objections that I didn't expect, however, were the ones that got through the defense I'd prepared, made contact, and left me a different shape than I was before.
To be clear: this isn't a celebration of ignorance, it is a celebration of being brave enough to put your ignorance out into the light so that the world can show you whats wrong with it, and its a celebration of being open to being shown your own ignorances. We all have many.
And now here I am again, feeling as if I've been a bit too earnest, not really said anything worthwhile while thinking I have. I've never taken a literature course. I don't have anything particularly intelligent to say about Fahrenheit 451 or Ray Bradbury, I can't pretend to be able to offer any new insights to literary theory. I really don't have any business at all posting a blog entry about this or any book. Don't listen to me. If you've read this far I apologize.
So. Should I post it?
I'll be telling a story at the Heeb magazine storytelling event this Wednesday. So will some other folks. Here are the details:
Heeb Storytelling returns to 92Y Tribeca with 7-minute Jewish stories from:
Simon Rich (SNL writer),
Nate Dern ("Beauty and the Geek" alum and comedian),
Scott Raab (celebrity journalist),
Louis Katz (comedian),
Mindy Raf (comedian/writer),
and Doree Shafrir & Jessica Grose (Postcards From Yo Momma).
The event will be hosted by Hannibal Buress,
one of New York Magazine's "Ten New Comedians That Funny People Find Funny."
$10. For tickets call 212-601-1000 or www.92Y.org
When: July 22, 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Where: 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, New York, NY
More Info: heebmagazine.com/events
Should be fun,
Monday, 13 July 2009
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
I tried something new! I drew a few drawings. Then I took these drawings and I scanned them into my computer. Then I colored these drawings in Photoshop. Then I took these colored drawings and put them into Final Cut Pro and I added a some sound. Take a look.
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
New video in which I interview (wink wink) Daniel Radcliffe, the star of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Saturday, 27 June 2009
This week I made a YouTube choose your own adventure type video involving email sign-offs. I've embedded the email below, but I think that the interactive annotation bubbles might work better on the actual page, so may I suggest clicking here.
Please watch and let me know what you think. Let me know what you like, what is fun, what is confusing, etc.
Monday, 22 June 2009
Sunday, 14 June 2009
I'm pretty excited about this one. I got to play the part of Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel, in a video for UCBComedy.com. It was written and directed by my friend Todd Bieber. I also edited it. Check it out:
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
An improvised sci-fi extravaganza centered on the end of the world. Inspired by a single suggestion, the actors spend the first half of the show creating scenes that lead up to an apocalypse. Then in the second half they create the new world that rises up from those ruins. Expect generous doses of zombies, robots, dystopian governments, the four horsemen and paste that may or may not be made of people.
Featuring: Benjamin Apple, David Bluvband, Adam Bozarth, Katelyn Cunningham, Kirk Damato, Crystal Delahanty, Nate Dern, Brian Faas, Frank Hejl, Lauren Hunter, Matthew Little, Benjamin Ragheb, Alexis Saarela, Christopher Scott, Natalie Short, John Trowbridge
You can make reservations online.
Hope to see you there.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Monday, 25 May 2009
Friday, 15 May 2009
I recently posted a question asking folks:
I asked the question because my girlfriend and I happened to come across some big wooden letters. How does someone just happen to come across some big wooden letters? That, my friend, is a tale for another time...actually we just found them online. Not much of a tale, I guess, seeing it written out like that. Anyway, this is what people said:
If you were going to spell out a single word with big wooden letters on the wall of your new apartment, what would it be?
@s from my Twitter post:
- what up
- curse word of your choice (Mine would be "shitfire" or "clusterfuck.")
Comments on my Facebook status:
- your name (Mine would be Nate. Yours would not. Unless of course it would.)
- HAKUNA MATATA
- THIS IS WOOD
- your favorite number spelled out in lowercase letters (Mine would be "three.")
- salaam alaikum
- swine flu
- a word that represents a goal you have, but not obviously (Mine might be "Penguin.")
- big letters
- Banana hammock
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
New Strong Takes is up:
it's the end of the internet as we know it
Inspired by a comment made my Rupert Murdoch about starting to charge people to look at news sites online.
Sunday, 3 May 2009
Friday, 1 May 2009
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Silent, but not deadly
Let me know what you think.
Monday, 27 April 2009
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Saturday, 18 April 2009
Monday, 13 April 2009
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Monday, 6 April 2009
Saturday, 4 April 2009
I helped edit this video for UCB Comedy.com. Check it out out out:
Friday, 3 April 2009
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
New StrongTakes up online:
How to keep your video from getting deleted from YouTube.
Let me know what you think.
Keep it Strong,
Monday, 30 March 2009
I helped edit this video for UCB Comedy.com. I'll be editing more stuff for them in the future, so be on the look out.
Friday, 27 March 2009
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Want to see me do improv? Well, then get out your calendars! Here are some upcoming shows that you could check out if you're in the New York City area:
3/27/09 Friday Dynamic Duos Grad Show 7:00 PM, Magnet Theater (254 W. 29th Street)
Cleveland Prevails, my two person improv group with my friend Joe Miles, will be performing at our Magnet Theater "Dynamic Duos" graduation show. We'll do a ten minute set and five other teams will do the same. Should be fun.
3/31/09 Tuesday UCB New Team Harold 6:30 PM, UCB Theater (307 W. 26th Street)
My first New Team Harold performance! I and the rest of Doug Moe's UCB 501 class will be performing the Harold, a long form improv structure.
4/28/09 Tuesday UCB New Team Harold 6:30 PM, UCB Theater (307 W. 26th Street)
I and the rest of Doug Moe's UCB 501 class will be performing the Harold at our second and final New Team Harold performance.
5/5/09 Tuesday Magnet Level 2 Grad Show 8:30 PM, Magnet Theater (254 W. 29th Street)
I and the rest of my Magnet Level 2 class will be performing at the Magnet Theater! Hey!
5/26/09 Tuesday UCB New Team Harold 6:30 PM, UCB Theater (307 W. 26th Street)
My first New Team Harold with Michael Delaney's UCB 501 class. I'm stoked.
6/2/09 Tuesday Magnet Musical Improv Grad Show 8:30 PM, Magnet Theater (254 W. 29th Street)
Musical improv! Thrilling. Come see me sing (woah) with my Magnet Level One Musical Improv class!
6/7/09 Sunday UCB Musical Improv 201 Grad Show 4:00 PM, UCB Theater (307 W. 26th Street)
More musical improv, more thrilling. Come see me sing and make the funny with my UCB Musical Improv 201 Class!
6/23/09 Tuesday UCB New Team Harold 6:30 PM, UCB Theater (307 W. 26th Street)
My second and last New Team Harold with Michael Delaney's UCB 501 class. Not to be missed.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
This is a parody of an ad that I saw for one of Mr. Baldacci's books, not a parody of him or his writing. The ad said, "David Baldacci is a master of plot, character, and dialogue" which seems like a selling point for a book, but really, when you think about it, that should be a prerequisite for any published author. Written for and workshopped in my Eric Drysdale's UCB Sketch 101 class. Let me know what you think.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
New QLP. In this one I dance in a park. Not to be missed.
Friday, 20 March 2009
Monday, 16 March 2009
New Strong Takes inspired by an article I read in the New York Times about rich folk having to slightly scale back on their extravagances due to the economic climate. For your consideration I present to you...
The Conspicuous Times They Are A-Changin'.
Let me know what you think.
Mello Costelvis aka nate
Sunday, 15 March 2009
New QLP...with a little help from John Steinbeck's East of Eden...
I am sleepy.
Let me know what you think. Do you like the new format? Confusing? Pretentious? Let me knowowowow.
Monday, 9 March 2009
Monday, 2 March 2009
New QLP, new format. How do you get over a break up? I share some advice that I've heard over the years...
In other news, I have had a sinus infection for a couple of weeks now and seem to be getting worse. I'm going to an ear, nose and throat doctor tomorrow. If you have any wisdom about sinus health, please share it.
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Did you heard that Gmail was down for four hours the other day? It's true. I wrote a StrongTakes about it: Gmail, hold the e.
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
New song! I put a bit more work into the video itself than I usually do for my songs, so hopefully its a more enjoyable viewing experience. Let me know what you think:
LOVE A TWO STEP STEP,
Monday, 23 February 2009
Monday, 16 February 2009
Friday, 13 February 2009
I seem to have come down with the flu. Don't tell my mom - she told me about a million times to get a flu shot and I kept putting it off. Fortunately I'd already recorded and edited the debut episode of the Nate News Ninute, a weekly comedy news show I'm going to start doing on YouTube:
Please subscribe! Please rate! Wait, you don't have a YouTube account?! Then sign up! It is free and easy to do.
And as a reminder, I'm still doing Quarterlife Pounder, my weekly talk show where I answer YOUR questions. This week's episode, which comes out on Sunday before I go to bed, is answering the question, "What's in a name?"
I hope you are all happy and healthy and free of influenza.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
At some point I noticed that there are an awful lot of "guitar swing gone wrong" videos on YouTube. I get a kick out of them so I decided to make a parody video:
New QLP is online:
TONKA TRUCK FULL OF LOVE
Friday, 6 February 2009
So, I've got an improv show coming up! I'm pretty darn excited about it. This is the deal: I'm going to be doing a show this Monday Feb. 9th at 8 o'clock at The Creek (in Long Island City) on a team with some folks who are on Harold teams at UCB. And the show is FREE! In case you desire to know still more, here are additional words:
The Creek is going to start doing this thing called The Kaleidoscope, a night of improv comedy with teams made up of individuals from different experience levels who have never performed together before and who will (potentially) never perform together again. Here is the team I'm on:
Kevin Hines (The Scam)
Brian Faas (The Fucking Kennedys)
Paul W Downs (Whorenado)
Grace Aldrige (Safeword)
Sarah Claspell (In A World)
Brian Barrett (Bastian)
Nate Dern (Swartzlander)
And here is the Facebook page with more info:
Anyway, I'm excited/nervous. Come if you feel moved by the spirit.
Monday, 2 February 2009
Does free will exist? That's the question on this week's Quarterlife Pounder. Kellen discusses Tich Naht Hanh's concept of "habit energy" and Colby sings a song called "plea from a wanton addict" as a response to Harry Frankfurt's "hierarchical mesh" theory of human desire and free will. Fun stuff!
ULO (unidentified loving object)
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Thursday, 22 January 2009
After a brief hiatus, Strong Takes is back and better than ever. Earlier this week I electronically published a piece called "funky president." Please enjoy.
Wait wait wait . . . you've never read Strong Takes before? It is a pretty cool little thing. Here is the deal: each piece starts with a real snippet of news from the mainstream media and is then followed by the author's original riffing on that idea. Perhaps a fake continuation of the story, perhaps a scene inspired by the content of the article, satire, parody, whatever. Hopefully its funny. Then, and this my friends is the really cool part, you the reader have the opportunity to have a Stronger Take. That's right, you can add what you think would have been a funnier riff on the original news clip, or even add to what was already started by the other author. Earlier this week another writer had a piece about imagining what the letter that George W. Bush left for Barack Obama in his desk would have looked like. I had a Stronger Take where I imagined my own Bush letter. It was fun. You, dear reader, could have this type of fun. Just go visit Strong Takes. I write a biweekly piece under the alias Mello Costelvis.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
New Quarterlife Pounder is up. New segment called QLP Fake News, a commercial about Nutrament, and Colby sings a song called "banana, mint, pine tree." Here ya go:
Sunday, 4 January 2009
I'm back in Brooklyn! But before I left Colorado, I finished recording this week's Quarterlife Pounder. I've just returned from the editing studio (the desk in my room) and now I'm at the upload port (my roommate Isaac's room...for some reason the internet signal is stronger in his room). Please enjoy:
LOVE MOON CHEESE,