#HeyYouGuys S1:E3: #FFS Friday Funnies with Samantha Ponzillo

#HeyYouGuys S1:E3: #FFS Friday Funnies with Samantha Ponzillo

Today is the third episode of #HeyYouGuys, a video series where I act a fool in order to make you all laugh. Hopefully, I will succeed, hopefully. Let me know in the comments!

#FFS is Friday Funnies with Samantha Ponzillo, a comedy series that will be released every Friday afternoon. Each week, join Samantha for a stand-up routine or a compilation of different funny videos.

#HeyYouGuys S1:E2: #TakeoverThursday Ð'Anthony Takes Over!

#HeyYouGuys S1:E2: #TakeoverThursday Ð'Anthony Takes Over!

Today is the second episode of #HeyYouGuys, the video series where you guys watch me talk to some of the amazing people that are in my life. You'll learn something new, you'll hear some good music, and you'll laugh. Sit back, and shut up!

Check out Ð'Anthony Charlton as he takes over my channel for the day!

Annual AutFest Film Festival to Honor ABC'S The Good Doctor & Netflix's Atypical

Annual AutFest Film Festival to Honor ABC'S The Good Doctor & Netflix's Atypical

ABC'S The Good Doctor and NETFLIX'S Atypical will be receiving special honors at the 2nd Annual AUTFEST International Film Festival presented by The Autism Society on April 28-29, 2018 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. The announcement was made by Matthew Asner, VP of Development for The Autism Society.

#HeyYouGuys S1:E1: #WomenCrushWednesday Interview with Heather Montgomery

#HeyYouGuys S1:E1: #WomenCrushWednesday Interview with Heather Montgomery

Today is the premiere of the inaugural episode of #HeyYouGuys, the video series where you guys watch me interview the amazing people that are in my life. You'll learn something new, you'll hear some good music, and you'll laugh. Sit back, and shut up!

Meet Heather Montgomery from HeathersLookingGlass.com

Live a Great Story Challenge 5: Dream Day

Live a Great Story Challenge 5: Dream Day

Use code "SPTV" on the Live a Great Story store for 10% off everything!

As a new Live a Great Story Ambassador, I'm participating in our weekly challenges. I am posting them because I feel that all anyone really needs is to know is that they aren't alone. Sometimes that's enough.

Challenge #5: Dream Day

Feel-Good Chemicals in The Female Brain

Feel-Good Chemicals in The Female Brain

The Female Brain looked like a movie that was going to piss me off. Thankfully, my wife said, "no put that on, it looks cute" because otherwise, I might have skipped it.

From the outside, it's a movie written, directed, and starring Whitney Cummings. That's enough for me to dislike it because: LOOK AT THAT WOMAN. Her cheekbones are perfect. Her hair is perfect. Her boobs are perfect.

I'm jealous of Whitney Cummings but I would absolutely hang out with and get drunk with Whitney Cummings. Imagine my surprise when I caught her in the trailer for The Female Brain, when, I am on a complete rom/com overload.

Jacob: The Story of a Suicide Survivor

When you grow up in a small town, you develop a close-knit kind of relationship with people who aren't related to you by blood. Their joys are your joys, their sorrows are your sorrows.

Growing up, I didn't really know Bobby Chase too well as he was in the grade below me. I knew of his brother Jacob, though, because you look up to the kids who are older than you.

After graduation, I moved around a lot and ended up back in my hometown for a little while (this kinda sounds like the premise for Welcome Home, Bobby's show that is available on Amazon Video). During that time period, Jacob, Bobby's older brother, committed suicide and Bobby was the one to discover what had happened.

It rocked the town.

It rocked me.

Up until that point, I had a history of unmanaged mental illness that I squished back down and ignored. I drank. I was generally a crappy person. I started going to therapy, regularly, soon after Jacob's funeral. While I didn't go to the funeral, because I felt that it wasn't my place, I did visit his grave, as well as my grandmothers, a few weeks later.

For me, that was a cathartic moment. For Bobby, this is his:

A trailer for the short film JACOB that tells the story of the exact moment I found my brother’s body and how I managed to deal with it.
— Bobby Chase

Bobby is an amazing filmmaker and I am very much looking forward to watching this work. If there is anyone that can understand why he made this short film, it's me.

I'm proud of you, Bobby.

talk now

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, and prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones

1-800-273-8255

The Best Job I've Ever Had

The lovely, sometimes mocking, tone that Facebook's On This Day feature offers to its users can sometimes bring up a lot of bad memories.

Breakups. Car accidents. Sports injuries. More breakups.

But this morning, I was reminded of the Labor of Love article, written for the Albany Times Union in 2014, just before I left my career as a chef and began my full-time journey as a journalist and filmmaker. At the time, I was working at the absolute best job I have ever had: SPoT Coffee Saratoga.

Things I love about this article:

Credit: Michael P. Farrell/Times Union

Credit: Michael P. Farrell/Times Union

  • Michael P. Farrell took some amazingly good photos of me. I don't look nearly as augmented as my brain has me to believe, or so these photos portray. I have loved this photoset of me at SPoT since it was published. I've actually used shots from this set when auditioning for roles. I also really loved his style, and if you've met him you'll know what that means.
  • Jennifer Gish was a great reporter. I believe she has moved on to a Director of Marketing position since this article was published, but man was she good. When I got the job in news after production school, I modeled how I would conduct interviews based on how she interviewed me. She had me quickly at ease and comfortable talking about everything. I really enjoyed speaking with her.
  • Michael and Jennifer were credited directly with the work they put into this article. The Albany Times Union credits the creators with the work they put out; not the company as a whole. Maybe that's "a small town kind of thing to do" (or so I was told when I asked once), but I find it highly respectful that the company decides to allow the journalists to associate with their work directly.

Things I dislike about this article:

  • The person I was dating at the time, was what had appeared as a "Saving Grace" during a rough time. She blatantly lied and had a very harsh drug habit that was hidden so I wouldn't "think less" of her (I appreciate that mentality, but I will ultimately always refer people to Rehab when they are using their rent money for their drug habit). I regret ever feeling the pressure that she put on me to mention her in the article and giving in to it.
  • I worry that it gives the wrong impression of my time of being a chef. I loved my job at SPoT and I miss it all the time. If I had enough money to start a franchise in Tampa, I would absolutely do it. The issue was that as a chef, not all jobs were exactly like SPoT. Not all jobs gave me the freedom to try things with food when there was time available. Not all job managers/head chefs/kitchen managers treated me with respect/didn't blame me for their completely out of control drug problems/didn't physically assault me on the line. Not all jobs had paychecks that wouldn't bounce.
  • Who the f**k let me behind the line without my hair tied back? Yes, it was just a photo op and the food I made during that moment, I ate. But, it still bothers me that I represented the company like that with improper food safety standards because I hate how I look when my hair is tied back into a ponytail. I know there is no way I would have let anyone take a photo of me with my hair tied up in a kitchen cap, but sheesh!

Someone asked me recently (because apparently, this pops up in Google when you search for my name) if I regretted doing this article because "every other job that wants to hire you thinks nothing will be better than SPoT."

Absolutely not. I love the people I worked with, the location I worked in, and the menu in which I was responsible. I wish more people could hold jobs as good as my job at SPoT Coffee Saratoga.

#DerbyGirlsDoItBetter

#DerbyGirlsDoItBetter

You're going to see that hashtag a lot from me this Olympics.

#DerbyGirlsDoItBetter

You know when you are walking somewhere and you pass by someone who you admire, and then a few years later they end up in the Olympics?

That's where I'm at today.

Credit: Quick ‘N’ Derby

Credit: Quick ‘N’ Derby

Erin Jackson is a derby girl from the Jacksonville RollerGirls who has played with Team USA in the Roller Derby World Cup. She had her rookie season with the Ocala Cannibals before making her home in Jacksonville. She is a representative for Bont skates and, as an inline speedskater, she has multiple (30+) World and National Championship wins.

Soon, she'll be taking on the Winter Olympics in the Ladies' 500m Long Track Speedskating event. Her race will be on February 18 and you can find more info on it here

#DerbyGirlsDoItBetter

Operation City Quest, Sarasota Review

Operation City Quest, Sarasota Review

My wife and I tried out Operation City Quest in Sarasota, FL, and you guys, I think I found the cheat codes for being married to an attorney: Find something competitive and then let them go crazy and try to beat everybody. Trust me, it will keep them occupied for hours.

Live a Great Story Challenge 4: Go Live

Live a Great Story Challenge 4: Go Live

Use code "SPTV" on the Live a Great Story store for 10% off everything!

As a new Live a Great Story Ambassador, I'm participating in our weekly challenges. I am posting them because I feel that all anyone really needs is to know is that they aren't alone. Sometimes that's enough.

Challenge #4: Go Live

The Cloverfield Paradox Surprise Review, aka Thanks for the Heads Up, JJ Abrams

The Cloverfield Paradox Surprise Review, aka Thanks for the Heads Up, JJ Abrams

I've been less and less involved with the hype behind live tv events in general and I guess it's my own fault for missing the warning signs that The Cloverfield Paradox would be released immediately after the SuperBowl.

BUT I CAN STILL BE GRUMPY ABOUT IT, OKAY? I found out about this being released when I woke up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep, so I was a little grumpy about actually having something productive to do at that hour. I don't know, I guess I really just need more sleep, that much I DO KNOW.

So what's the best thing to do when you can't sleep? WATCH A MONSTER MOVIE OF COURSE!

#BringBackTheFolk with American Folk

#BringBackTheFolk with American Folk

I finally had a chance to #BringBackTheFolk and check out American Folk, a film by David Heinz, on iTunes the other day.

"When their plane from Los Angeles to New York is grounded on the morning of September 11, 2001, strangers Elliott (Joe Purdy) and Joni (Amber Rubarth) are unexpectedly thrust together amidst the chaos of that historic day. With little in common but both needing to get to NYC urgently, they accept help from Joni's family friend Scottie (Krisha Fairchild) who lends the duo a rusty old 1972 Chevy Van. The shock and stress of 9/11 quickly threatens to derail their cross-country journey until the pair discover what they do have in common: a love for old folk songs."