* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where the hyperbolic and the phlegmatic meet in a weird slow-motion head-on collision, kind of like an Amish buggy hitting an oil tanker. Which brings us to this bit of fun from Graham Techler.

Would You Be Interested In Buying Into My Hype?


Ding dong!

Hello! From what I can see of it, you have a beautiful home. As an up-and-coming entrepreneur-DJ, I have been repeatedly told that it is dangerous to buy into your own hype, so I am currently going door-to-door to see if someone else can buy into it for me.

Would you be interested in buying into my hype? I can promise you it’s valuable hype that may even result in a little splashback hype of your very own.

However, you should know that this is a lot of responsibility. An actress from MTV’s Teen Wolf recently liked an Instagram photo of someone (me) wearing the golden sneakers I designed. Would you be willing to saddle the expectation that she and I will get married and live off my shoe-bucks long after her wolf-cash has dried up?

What’s more, the Internet’s “25 to 26 People In Between 25 and 26” recently listed me as a DJ-entrepreneur to watch, in between the ages of 25 and 26. Could you take it upon yourself to decide how many people I should mention this to at my high school reunion or what?

Most importantly, can you share a new headshot every day of the week until my body of work comprises more headshots than new beats or sneakers?

Also, a warning: my hype is a fragile thing that requires an astounding amount of upkeep to keep alive. The slightest disturbance could wreck my hype beyond all recognition. Then I wouldn’t be a DJ-entrepreneur to watch. I’d just be some fucking guy. And we can’t have that.

Just the other day I was mixing beats when, ding dong, a UPS delivery man arrived at my door with an improved pair of my golden shoes. “Package for Jeff?” he said. “It’s spelled Geoff,” I said. If this pedestrian asshole didn’t know who I was, how could anyone? Did I have any hype at all?

So you can see what I’m up against. And, if you choose to accept my offer, what you’d be up against. The UPS incident sent me into a downward spiral and I didn’t mix a single beat all day. This is why I can’t be trusted with my own hype.

I sense you might be reluctant. You’re sliding your glass door shut like it’s weird that I tried the back of your house first. Fine. To sweeten the deal, I’ll let you in on a little secret: my hype is especially exciting and powerful because I basically haven’t followed through on any of it yet. My hack psychoanalyst even says that my hype just a construct I tell myself so I can let myself off the hook for not mixing beats and making sneakers as much as I should. But it’s like how your physicist friends call it “potential energy” instead of just “nothing.”

You’ll need to act fast though. As everyone knows, all hype depreciates in value over time. So what do you say? Can I put you down for twenty shares? Can you open the sliding door? Can I have my fingers back? I need them for two critical activities.



* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are always ready to encourage those in the thespian arts. Thespian. If you can say that word without a lisp, you're a better thespian than we are. And if you follow the clever advice of Graham Techler, you'll be even better.

Tips For Becoming A Better Actor


Being a professional actor is a difficult journey requiring luck, skill, talent, and hard work. However, there are many things young actors can do to set themselves apart and succeed artistically as well as professionally.

Onstage, it’s important to “cheat out” so the audience can see you. Face the audience at a perfect perpendicular angle and stay absolutely still. Pick one person in the crowd and direct the entire performance towards them. Make them afraid for their life.

Being an actor is an academic practice as well, and there are many classic acting texts that you should be sure to buy, stick Post-Its in randomly, rough up a bit, and feature prominently on your bookshelf.

Think of your body as a physical instrument. Polish it with lacquer oils. Check it in a hard case at airports.

Do tongue twisters in the morning as a quick and easy vocal warm up. Do tongue twisters in the afternoon when you’re on the bus. Do tongue twisters when a friend confronts you about not paying back the money you owe them. Do tongue twisters in order to find out if a darkened room is occupied. Do a tongue twister at your sister’s wedding reception to roars of applause. Do a tongue twister as a litany against fear before your council with the Great Xuradossa. Do a tongue twister or else.

Memorizing lines is always easier if you run them with a partner! Make this partner your spouse. Then you will have the attention you’ve been craving the whole time.

Make a playlist of songs you think your character would listen to or identify with. Populate this playlist only with Pinkerton B-Sides, in the chronological order in which they were released. Force your character to conform to the emotional arc of this playlist.

Sometimes, becoming a better actor is as easy as observing older, more experienced actors and seeing how they work. Kill them with a moon dagger and suck their manna from the open wound in order to gain both their abilities and their memories.

If you don’t find you’re getting the opportunities you want, make some for yourself! Write the play Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon and perform it on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre with your friends.

Make sure you know your “type.” Most actors are a leading man, leading lady, ingénue, character actor, villain, femme fatale, animal actor, young person who plays old people, old person who plays admirals, fatso uncle, Christ figure, Mr. Glenberry from next door, the virtuous whore, the middle-of-the-road whore, the Scottish whore, the non-whore, Beatle, cryptid or John Hawkes. Once you’ve found your type, stick with it for ten years and then play against it for awards season. (Awards Hint: Mr. Glenberry is the opposite of all the other types.)

Being an actor is all about having a wide range of skills and life experiences to draw on. Take a stats class at school! Take another. Enroll in undergrad as a general studies major but switch to statistics sophomore year. Graduate in the middle of your class but with great connections. Intern at an analytics firm before joining a high-powered office supplies company. Work your way up the ladder while earning your graduate degree, then your PhD. Marry your co-worker Celia and have two beautiful children. Move to Piscataway, New Jersey to teach at Rutgers. Publish the occasional paper. See King Crimson in concert like two or three times. Take up woodworking in your garage. Have a brief affair with an adjunct professor that you never admit to and will regret for the rest of your life. God, Sarah, this will ruin us. Watch your Johnny win first place at the boy’s regional track and field meet. Die at age 72 loved by your family and respected by your colleagues.

Before a performance, go find a dark, quiet space where you can relax, be alone with your thoughts and focus. Never come out. Don’t go onstage. Never volunteer yourself for public humiliation ever again.