Laurence Ballard
Savannah, Georgia
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Born on Whidbey; raised on Fidalgo.

Jul 19 Laurence Ballard commented on "Hillary's Gonna Kill Us All".
@6 TX? I was born on Whidbey and raised on Fidalgo. She could easily - easily - be from either Island or Skagit Counties, or...
Jul 19 Laurence Ballard commented on You Know the Rules and So Do I: The Best Tweets From the Melania Trump-Michelle Obama Plagiarism Scandal.
@2 I teach at a college - and not unlike lies and damned lies, there's plagiarism and then there's sheer, sloppy, stupidity. This is the latter. The plums plucked weren't even from a fellow traveler. The Trumpets stole from MICHELLE OBAMA, fer chrissakes. Even Grad students have more guile.
Dec 15, 2015 Laurence Ballard commented on Cruz and Trump Are at Each Other's Throats; Hickeys Unlikely.
Aside from the fact he looks like a young Al Lewis absent Grandpa Munster drag, one of Cruz' biggest problems is the simple observation he comes across to non-reactionaries as unctuous. His patter reads as shtick; he's the ham actor in your local community theatre production.
This naturalized citizen will never be President.
Dec 11, 2015 Laurence Ballard commented on I, Anonymusic.
@6 Still waiting for a BLM presence over the death of Matthew Ajibade, here in Savannah.

He was handcuffed to a chair, contusions and scrapes to his upper body and head, wearing a spit mask, tased in the groin - on camera - and died in police custody due to "blunt force trauma." Coroner ruled his death a homicide.

While nine deputies have been fired, former deputies Maxine Evans and Jason Kenny were charged with "involuntary manslaughter."

In October, after a 3 month trial, they were cleared of these charges. Convicted instead of "cruelty to an inmate." (For the tasing of his genitals.) One-month jail sentence for Kenny, with three years probation, and six years probation for Evans. (Evans was also found guilty of perjury and public records fraud.)

Where's BLM?
Sep 11, 2015 Laurence Ballard commented on A Performer Quitting a Production During the Run Can Be a Theater's Worst Nightmare.
Opportunities don't just "come knocking" -- actors have to seek them out. Actors have to choose to pursue an opportunity that, if they get it, will require them to break their commitment to a show that they're already in.

While your comment is correct, I hope you're not implying actors routinely seek out opportunities to break current agreements. You must remember serious actors are always looking for work and once obtained, take such work seriously. 24/7. In 1989 alone I had 32 separate W-2's to file with my return(s). Not a civilian job among them. Thirty-Two. (And I'm not including 1099-MISC's.) Theatre, voice-over and a piddling of film work. More importantly, I had to actually 'audition' for less than a fifth of them. They sought out my services. (Bully for me.)

These were offers - some of them actual years in the making - all due to past relationships, past contracts (work begets work in this business, as you well know) by individuals, agencies, organizations specifically seeking my labors. I have had to decline several offers, over the years, because of prior commitment(s). It's the same reason why I'm still a full-dues paying member of SAG-AFTRA, haven't declared my Beck Rights and gone FiCore, pricing myself out of the VO/Gaming world altogether, in the process. I now I live in the Right-To-Fire-Your-Sorry-Ass-For-Any-Damned-Reason-I-Feel state of Georgia. But that's another story.

Any job offer I accept has been thoroughly considered and vetted - for the simple and practical reason I will not shit where I eat. In 40 years, I have broken two contracts: one for health; one for ethical reasons. Yet had a subjectively determined quantum advance to my career or finances presented themselves in that period, I might well have burned a bridge or two.

Every actor is a migrant worker. We go were the crops are, and when the season's over, we move on. It's a financial merry-go-round of arts subsidy through low-wages. In such a dervish, we can't be surprised, and should be loathe to judge, when one of the migrants reaches out and grabs a golden ring.
Aug 31, 2015 Laurence Ballard commented on Will Republican Outrage at Obama for Renaming Mt. McKinley Outlast This Revelation?.
Trump just tweeted he'll change it back, again.
As President.
Jul 1, 2015 Laurence Ballard commented on The Bozos in Olympia Have Killed the Bill to Increase Funding for Washington Filmmaking.
I'm a Seattle transplant in Savannah. Been here for eight years now. Georgia isn't bedazzled or bamboozled by anything corporate when it comes to state finances. The GOP controlled government expects results where any tax credits are concerned. (The latest failure to secure a Volvo plant, notwithstanding. S.C. is all but building the autos for them. But that's another story in a far away corner of the country.

By making such an investment in the film and television industries the growth in the state over the past six years has been exponential. This is real employment, with real numbers, not CC chatter or golf course gossip. Tens of thousands of jobs--and growing.

The economic impact of the more than 330 feature films, TV movies and shows, commercials, and music videos filmed from Hiawassee to Savannah in 2012 totaled more than $3.1 billion, according to the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office — up almost 30 percent from 2011.

Neither are tax credits a one-size-fits-all arrangement. The Film and Television (and Gaming and Music) industries' tax credit is ingenious: they can be brokered if not fully used. From

People often think the credit helps Hollywood moguls — some of whom never set foot in the state — cut the tax bill they accrue on their production. Or that crew supervisors get rebates on goods, such as lumber, dry cleaning, or bottled water for crews and extras. But things are a bit more nuanced than that.

Say you spend $1 million shooting a movie in Georgia and you include the state's logo at the end. Your production company qualifies for a $300,000 tax credit. You, typically through a broker, can sell the credit for about 80 cents on the dollar to the well-to-do and corporations of Georgia, which use it to offset their state tax liabilities.

That's cash in hand that can be used to pay off film investors or cover some of your marketing costs. The Arthur Blanks and Coca-Colas of the world get a break on their state tax bills. Lighting technicians, caterers, and carpenters get steady work. The broker usually takes a cut of 3 to 5 percent, depending on the film's budget.

The Mercatus Center (GMU free-market think tank) has asked of tax incentives: Why not just create a neutral environment that doesn't try to pick winners?

Why not, indeed. Maybe it's the difference between theory and practicum. Every industry who can foot a lobbyist in Olympia has engineered a sweetheart deal with legislators to receive a break at tax-time. It is the world in which we live.

The GOP encourages a degree of means testing when it comes to individuals receiving government tax credits or subsidies. They should be encouraged to do the same with each and every tax break/credit/subsidy afforded to each and every business. Which is what they're doing in Atlanta.
Jul 1, 2015 Laurence Ballard commented on The Bozos in Olympia Have Killed the Bill to Increase Funding for Washington Filmmaking.
If Washington is truly concerned about this issue, here's a place to start looking: Georgia…

In 2013, the film and television industries generated over $4 billion, with economic impacts rippling outward creating jobs for electricians, lighting experts, stage construction workers, and real estate and land management. To name a few.

Washington, again if they're serious, could do a little self-promoting like this:

It's a simple question of will, not ways.
Mr. Comte's several points are quite apt; there are scores of companies registered in Olympia 'pandered to' by tax credits and subsidies.

A visit to your own Washington State Public Disclosure Commission website reveals a list of lobbyist employers in 2014 with over 30 categories--issued in a 37-page document. Each and every company and group shown seeking advantage over others with respect to the taxing of gross business receipts by the state, or how those receipts should be allocated. This occurs in every state capital.

It's possible any embarrassment is not that 'other states and cities do [it]', but rather a failure by some to fully grasp how the relationship between companies and legislatures actual function at the state level and the reasons behind why any company elects to do business in state A over state B, in the first place.

And in the specific case of the Film and Television industries in Washington, such consideration of tax credits by Olympia would amount to a partial restoration of something lost.

NAFTA's effect, the hands-on response by the B.C. government, and a 20+% exchange rate in Canada's favor sucked most of the film and television work north of the Peace Arch in 1994.

The indifference of the Clinton Administration, the incompetence of the Washington Congressional Delegation, and fecklessness in Olympia allowed this all to happen.

All in stark contrast to the concrete steps taken by the Canadian government to protect Canadian jobs and talent.

Twenty-years later, the seeds sown (or not) stand in testament: British Columbia has a vibrant film and television industry, retaining an infrastructural advantage over Washington, despite near-parity on the dollars. And those stories set in Seattle still needing an obligatory Space Needle shot, can be handled by a second unit sent down from Vancouver on a day-trip.
Feb 7, 2015 Laurence Ballard commented on Seattle Police Officer Ranted on Twitter About Race, Obama, and Gay People.
Cops are rednecks. Get used to it. Deal with it. I can't be the first to notice that the rednecks are far, far more respectful of your rights, than you are of theirs. Have you seen anyone trolling Facebook looking for excuses to hound liberals out of their jobs - say, posts declaring that illegal immigrants should be sheltered from the law, or that drugs should be legalized, or that cross-dressing is fine and fun?


For heaven's sake, Charlie, come on down to my neck of the woods. Georgia. Employers routinely TELL employees to watch their social networking posts. 'Wrong thinking is punishable.'

Rednecks respectful of my rights? Jesus Fucking Christ. Just what planet do you live on?
Dec 14, 2014 Laurence Ballard commented on Is This Trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road the Greatest Trailer Ever Made?.
Great. Another likely lost decade of Milleresque-inspired "found objects" design, in film and theatre.

And, yes, it was cool 30 years ago.