Category Archives: blog

waking up on the 40th floor

I’m on the 40th floor of a hotel that’s way too fancy for me. My room is bigger than my first apartment. A box next to the bed controls everything from the lights to the curtains to the music that seems to just appear out of thin air at the touch of a button.

Last night, I ate dinner in a restaurant that was way too fancy for me, and had the fanciest sidecar I’ve ever had. It had jalapeño in it.

I got to New York in one of the fanciest seats in the sky I’ve ever sat in. It could turn into a bed if I wanted, and it came with a TV.

In about an hour, someone is coming to my fancy hotel room to make me look fancier than I am, so I can go talk to the press about a new show — my new show — that the network is so excited about promoting, they put me in this fancy place to talk about it. If all this press works out, and enough people watch it, I may even get to do it for more than 12 episodes.

Tomorrow, I’ll go be fancy again, for pretty much all the press in the world, and then I get to go home to my wife and pets on Friday. I’ll spend the weekend with my family, in my house that I love, and I won’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do.

My new show, that I’ve been working on for over a year, premieres in less than two weeks, and even though we’ve been working on it for so long, it only began to feel real two days ago.

How did I even get this life? I will take none of this for granted. I will appreciate every good thing in my life, and keep working hard to earn those things. I am and will be grateful for everything in my life, even these things that feel too fancy and weird for me.

I keep expecting to wake up from all of this, which is probably why I can’t seem to sleep for more than 40 minutes at a time.

i feel really weird right now

This morning, I took my dogs out into my backyard, and watched them run around. A warm, almost hot Santa Ana wind blew leaves off the trees, and the dogs kept stopping to smell whatever mysteries the wind brought with it.

About 18 hours ago, I walked to center ice at Staples Center with Bob Miller and Jim Fox, and threw a pie into Greg Wyshynski’s face.

I know that doesn’t mean much to most of you, but it was such a surreal experience for me, I have to write it down so I can know that it was real.

In about 30 hours, I’ll walk out in front of an audience and thank them for coming to the first ever taping of a show I helped develop, that I write, produce, and host. At the moment, I’m making twelve episodes of that show, but there’s a non-zero chance I will get to make more.

In about 48 hours, I’ll get on a plane and fly to New York, where I’ll spend three days doing one of the things I hate most in the world: talking to the press to promote something. I prefer to let the work speak for itself, but before I can do that, people have to know that the work exists. It’s a first world problem, to be sure, but not something I’m looking forward to doing.

I miss writing narrative stories on my blog, and I suppose I should be embracing the fact that I can’t, because I’m so busy working on creating things. I’m happy for those things, obviously, but I still miss the simple joy of sitting down in The Quiet of telling a story and writing it down.

Tabletop Season 3 is the most successful crowdfunded webseries in history. We finished last night at just over 1.4 million dollars.

Everything is really awesome and amazing, and I feel really weird right now.

wil wheaton project tickets, music, tabletop, rampart

A couple quick things before I leave for work:

 

 

A Live Preview of the Wil Wheaton Project, in Hollywood this Sunday

I spent most of yesterday with my writers and producers, working on a script for The Wil Wheaton Project. We watched a ton of clips, and then worked out jokes that went with them. At one point, we were trying to make a funny joke even funnier than it was, and realized that we’d gotten “room drunk,” which is what happens when you’re having so much fun in the writer’s room, you just get completely goofy and too silly for the task at hand.

There’s a strange thing that happens in a writer’s room (at least a comedy writers’ room, based on my limited experience doing this show and several years of sketch comedy) where we’ll come up with something really hilarious, but nobody will laugh. Someone will just say, very calmly, “oh man, that’s really funny,” and we know that we have a winning joke or premise. Other times, we’re just riffing about bullshit, completely cracking each other up, and though we don’t get anything out of it that we can use directly, it’s an important part of the process that gets us to “oh man, that’s really funny.”

A lot of that happened yesterday, and though I was creatively, physically, and emotionally exhausted by the time I got home, it was a very good day.

Anne and I had dinner, shared a Ruination IPA, and watched The Americans (one of our very favourite shows on television) before we went to sleep early, because we were going to be picked up at 6:15 to go to the airport. Because our brains hate us, we couldn’t fall asleep until around 11, and we both woke up at 4:15am. Because that wasn’t enough, our brains wouldn’t let us sleep on the plane, and now it’s just about 9:30 here in our Undisclosed East Coast Location, where we will remain until Saturday.

Now to the important part of this post: Sunday, I am going to do a live show at the IO West in Hollywood, and I’d really love it if any of you reading this in Los Angeles would come to the show.

MY DETAILS LET ME SHOW YOU THEM:

Whether you’re a hardcore nerd or just dig Sci-fi, join us this May Fourth (Star Wars Day) for a special event at the iO West!

The Wil Wheaton Project premieres on the SYFY Channel May 27th, but you can catch a sneak peak with a special live performance with host Wil Wheaton May 4th 7pm at the iO West!

The Wil Wheaton Project covers the entire Sci-Fi umbrella with the latest news, as well as the best clips from TV, film, gaming and the web.

With special guest Jonah Ray (The Meltdown on Comedy Central)

http://www.syfy.com/wilwheaton

A lot of the stuff we’ve been working on for the last several weeks will be in this show, which is designed for us to try some things out in front of an audience, and get a sense of what does and doesn’t work. My instinct is that most of it will be really funny and entertaining, and even if some of it doesn’t work, the audience has my permission to give me a rousing BOOOOOO-URNS.

Now, listen, Internet, I know how this usually goes down: I say, “Hey, I’m doing a show in Los Angeles, and I hope you’ll come see it!” And instead of something like, “YES! WE WILL BE THERE AND BRING THREE FRIENDS AND ALSO BEER YOU LIKE” what usually happens is the Internet says, “Oh. Well. That’s great. Why aren’t you doing a show in $name.of.my-city.h?”

So I get it, that most of you aren’t in LA, and even if you are it’s a hassle to leave the house on a Sunday for a show that your favourite Internet scamp Wil Wheaton is performing, that won’t even take an hour, at a comedy club in Hollywood that has a great bar and even survived a car crashing right into it one time. I get that, and I want you to know that you get a free pass to miss this one, because of reasons.

But, seriously, if you’re in Los Angeles (or nearby) and you’d like to 1) get a sneak peek of what The Wil Wheaton Project is going to be like and B) help me, simply by being in the theater, to know how I’m doing, I would be ever so grateful.  The show starts at 7pm, and you’ll be on your way home by 8pm (unless you want to stay for the next show, which I hear is pretty great).

That said, this theater isn’t huge, and there’s a non-zero chance it’ll sell out, so if you want to go, I’d recommend getting your tickets now.

First Contact and The Wil Wheaton Project

My new show premieres a month from today, on the network that I like to call “the network formerly-known as Sci-Fi,” but since that makes people who changed its name mad at me, I won’t call it that in this post.*

Seriously I’m bolding this because it’s important: The Wil Wheaton Project premieres at 10pm EDT on Tuesday, May 27th, on Syfy™ Syfy: Imagine Greater, and also watch WWE.**

(All silliness aside, everyone I’ve been working with at Syfy has been super awesome, super supportive, and as excited about this project as I am. I wouldn’t feel okay making jokes at the network’s expense if I didn’t know that they have a good sense of humor. We shot some promos last week where they let me really rip some of their own programming, because we did it in a funny way, and not all networks would let us do something like that.)

Okay. So, to business:

I’ve been meeting with my staff of writers, segment producers, researchers, and other creative people a couple of times a week for the last month or so, and we’ve been figuring out what shows we love, what shows we hate, and deciding how we’ll cover those shows as their (and our)season unfolds.

There are scripted shows we love, like Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, and American Horror Story. There are scripted shows that are so awful, it’s almost hard to figure out which joke we’re going to make (see: pretty much everything on the CW). There are some really great things online that I’m not going to describe now because I want to keep them to myself, and then there are the vast numbers of unscripted paranormal “reality” shows that are so insanely horrible, they actually come back around the track and end up being good: Mountain Monsters, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Adventure Ghosts, Monster Ghosts On The Mountain Having An Adventure***.

When we get  together for these meetings, we watch clips that the creative team has found, and then we pitch jokes to each other. It’s a really fun process, where we’re basically watching hilariously bad stuff, and then seeing who can make the room laugh the hardest. It turns out that all the MST3K I watched in college was actually contributing to my education, and I’m using the skills it taught me to this day.

I’m super happy and grateful that I’m working with people who are funnier and smarter than I am, so I have to push myself to keep up with them. I’m already a better comedy writer than I was a month ago, and I’m pretty excited that I’m leveling up those skills.

A couple weeks ago, we were pitching ideas to each other,  and we came up with something we think will be really cool and probably pretty funny. It’s called First Contact.

The idea is for you to tell us a story about a memorable time you met someone famous who you looked up to or admired. Whether it was funny, awesome, awkward, awful, or some combination of them all, we want to hear it.

All of us on the creative team will go through anything you submit, and we’ll pick out a few of our favorites to be animated and recreated on the show. I’ve talked to some of my friends who are voice actors, and I’m super happy and excited that some of the very best actors in the business are going to be part of this.

We had to talk to lawyers and people who wear suits every day to get permission to do this, and they said that it was okay, as long as I said precisely the following:

This is what I need from you:

- We want to see you on camera telling the story.  

- Make sure you are talking directly to camera in a well lit room.

- Go someplace quiet with no noise and absolutely no music playing in the background.

- Your story must be true and authentic in describing the people and events that took place. No fibs, please.

- Please try to keep these stories under 2 minutes.  The shorter the better.

Once you’ve recorded your story, upload it to Youtube and send the link to HEYWWP at gmail dot com

Be sure to include any contact info so we can let you know if we plan on using your story.

Before you record, think about the details. I’m sure you were excited and nervous to meet your favorite celeb in real life.   Did it take courage to go up to him or her?   What was going through your head?  What did you say?  What did they say?  What about them surprised you?  How did it end?  Were your friends jealous?  

 

I’ll add that details about the time, place, and other environmental elements will give our animators stuff to work with. Speaking as a storyteller myself, I encourage you to get to the emotional center of the story as quickly as you can, because that’s how you connect to an audience. If you’d like an example of a first meeting that wasn’t particularly awesome, you can listen to my WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER story from w00tstock.

If you have any questions about this, ask them in comments and I’ll do my best to answer them as quickly as I can.

*OMG this hand that feeds me tastes SO GOOD!

**OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM please don’t cancel me before i even start i’ll be good i promise

***some of these don’t actually exist, but they could, with just a little bit of creative editing.

Tabletop Season Three Will Be A Full 20 Episodes!!

After my very long day yesterday, I slept for 12 hours last night (and felt like I earned it, for a change).

When I woke up, Anne told me that Tabletop Season Three had it its first stretch goal, and we have the budget for a full 20 episode season.

I’m still pretty gobsmacked, and I’ve been struggling for a couple of hours to find the words to express my gratitude. As I often do when I find myself stuck for words, I began wasting time on the Internet. We had a really fun and magnificently creative #photoshopwilwheaton experience on Twitter yesterday, so I went to the Photoshop Wil Wheaton Tumblr to see if any of them had been submitted there, and I found the perfect way to express my joy and gratitude to everyone who has supported Tabletop Season 3:

750K and 20 Episodes of Tabletop Season 3 by jprakath
Click to Embiggen

My thanks and epic high fives to jprakath, who made this amazing work of creative genius, and also to everyone who has helped us get here for Tabletop. If you’d like to help us get to the RPG show I’m dying to make, we need $250K in the next 15 days. I know it’s a ways to go, but I’m beginning to believe that we may just get to do that RPG show, after all!

sleepy jack the fire drill

I got up today before the sun did, after sleeping just under six hours. Normally, I would go to be good and early before a day when I have to get up at 5am, but I was up a little later than usual last night because I was playing tabletop games with a couple of my friends and a couple of guys who won the opportunity in a charity auction. And if I may humblebrag for a moment, one of those guys was Tom Vassel, and one of the games we played was his game, called Nothing Personal.

That may be a story for another time, because at the moment I am so tired I can taste time.

Getting up super early on less than the optimal amount of sleep isn’t that big a deal, but the massive pain I have in my neck is killing me. Two nights ago I slept weird and pushed one of the vertebrae in my neck out, so I have all kinds of pain down my right arm, shoulder, and back. It’s putting some strain on my throat, even, so my voice sounds a little strange to me (which may be a problem, because I’m doing a voice job and an on-camera job later today).

I haven’t done one of these off-the-top-of-my-head blogs in forever, so I guess that’s what this is going to be, because I have to leave for my voice job in 20 minutes, and if I stop to rest my eyes for even a second, I’m going to join Bart and Lisa with Groundskeeper Willie, and that never goes well, whether it’s Smarch or not.

So how about those Kings last night? And did you see that Tabletop Season 3 is about 12,000 away from a full season of 20 episodes?!

Back to my very big day: I just got back from an incredibly fun Western photoshoot with Anne and our friends Colin, Ashley, and Doug. It’s for our friend Donna’s shop, Clockwork Couture, and when it’s ready for viewing, I’ll link to it.

We had to start really early today, because I’m going to work on Teen Titans at 10am, and the minute I finish that, I’m going to shoot promos and things for The Wil Wheaton Project all afternoon.

I expect my day to end with me slipping into the sleep of the very very tired shortly after I walk back into my house tonight.

I’m not complaining about anything, mind you. I’ve had enough days in my life where I had nothing at all to do, and if I have a day like this which is so full of stuff I end up feeling like this guy, I’m really okay with that.

Also, If  you’ve been playing along with me in the Dragons of Atlantis Advisor Wheaton questing super happy funtimes, be ready for a new quest later this afternoon.

Please, please, please don’t drive while intoxicated.

I saw this on our local news last night, and it broke my heart. Here’s today’s LA Times:

The Los Angeles County coroner has identified a Palmdale teen who authorities said was killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into her home and hit her while she slept.

Giselle Mendoza, 16, was pronounced dead at her home early Sunday after Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies said Roberto Rodriguez, 20, crashed his SUV into a Palmdale apartment building.

Mendoza was sleeping in her first-floor bedroom when a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder slammed into the complex in the 1000 block of East Avenue R before 4 a.m. Sunday, officials said.

Please let me be your Internet dad for a quick moment: at some point in your life (maybe at several points in your life) you will be confronted with the decision to drive after drinking or using recreational drugs. You may think, “it’s only a mile” or “I’ll be very careful” or “I probably shouldn’t drive, but I think I’ll be okay” or “I don’t have money for a cab”.

But here’s the thing about that: you may convince yourself that it’s okay to drive, and you may even get where you’re going safely. You may do that more than once, and start to think that you’re never going to have a problem if you drive while intoxicated (even a little bit).

But what if you don’t? What if you lose your focus or judgement for one second, and you end up hitting a person who’s crossing a dark street in front of you? What if you end up missing a light, and crashing into another car?

What will you do when you, an otherwise good person who would never intentionally hurt another person, make the decision to get behind the wheel when you shouldn’t, and you end up killing someone?

Just think about that for a moment, okay? If this kid, Robert Rodriguez, is found guilty, he’s likely going to spend most of his life in prison. He’s 20 years-old. He’s probably not a criminal, and he’s probably going to spend what should be the best years of his life in a prison, because he made the decision to drive while intoxicated.

Now think about the family of Giselle Mendoza. She was sixteen years-old. SIXTEEN. Her life hadn’t even started yet, and now she’s gone. Forever. Because a suspected drunk driver — just four years older than her — decided that he’d get behind the wheel of a car when he shouldn’t have.

Look, I get it: figuring out how to get home can be a hassle. Taxis and Uber are expensive, and public transit can be inconvenient.

But take a moment and think about Giselle Mendoza’s friends and family, and Robert Rodriguez’s friends and family, and ask yourself how much cab fare they think would have been too much.

Okay, thanks for listening and letting me be your Internet dad for a minute.

Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.

When our kids were little, they loved Harry Potter, especially Ryan, who has the exact same birthday at Harry.

I never read the books because of reasons, and I only saw the first couple of movies, also because of reasons.

Recently, Anne and I decided that we would finally read the books, and we’re about halfway through the first one (I’m a couple chapters ahead of Anne, because I had some time on an airplane that I spent … wisely).

Yesterday at Wondercon, while we were walking to our panel, I told  Felicia that we were reading the books, and trying to describe to her how much I love them.

“I just … I really want to go to Hogwarts,” I said.

“They’re building one at Universal Studios,” she said.

We passed through a curtain and approached a set of large, closed doors.

“No, I don’t want to go to an amusement park recreation of Hogwarts,” I said, “I want to go to Hogwarts. I want to go to a train station, run though a wall to platform 9 3/4, and take a train to Hogwarts, where I will learn how to be a wizard. I want Hogwarts to be real.

I noticed that she’d taken a subtle step away from me, which was probably a good idea. I was getting excited.

“What house are you?” She said. Our escort opened the doors and led us into an enormous corridor that was over twenty feet high, equally as wide, and a few hundred feet long. Chairs were stacked along one wall, and the other wall had doors in it that granted access to the various meeting rooms where the panels were held.

“I’m pretty sure I’m Ravenclaw,” I said.

“No way, dude. You’re totally a Slytherin.”

“I am not a Slytherin!”

“Yeah, you totally are a Slytherin.” Felicia crunched up her nose and grinned at me. “My brother’s a Slytherin.”

“Dude, I’m going to be Ravenclaw … or maybe Gryffindor. But I really think I’m Ravenclaw.” Our footsteps and voices echoed off the cement floor and walls. I imagined that we were in a castle.

“I’m Ravenclaw,” Felicia said.

“When I get home, I’m taking the test at Pottermore, and I’m going to be Ravenclaw, too.” We arrived at the door for our panel, and waited while the panel before us finished up. We talked a little bit about what we’d make sure to cover on the panel, and I realized that the corridor we’d just walked down was perfect for riding a longboard skateboard.

The previous panel walked out, the room filled up with people who were there to see us, and after a quick Tabletop trailer, we went inside for our panel. It was great.

When I got home last night, I was too tired for taking the sorting hat test at Pottermore, so I took it this morning. I was honest in all of my answers, and spent a fair amount of time thinking about some of the questions. I wasn’t trying to get the house I wanted (and I don’t know enough about Harry Potter to manipulate the results, anyway), so I was incredibly happy (and a little relieved) when I found out that, yes, I was in Ravenclaw.

RavenclawI know it’s a silly thing, and I know I’m a little too old to really care about it, but reading Harry Potter makes me feel like I’m part of something that’s special, that means a lot to a lot of people.

And I know it’s silly to care about what house I’m in … but I’m really glad to be in Ravenclaw, because I have a lot of books I need to read.