Adam the Alien

Jun. 15, 2012 at 6:25pm

Changes and updates from Adam the Alien

Because my website is down, so...yeah.

For those who haven't noticed, is temporarily down, so in the meantime I'm returning to my FeedTacoma blog. I'm hoping my site will be back up soon, so keep checking back, but in the meantime make sure you're following me on any of the following social networks for consistent updates, videos, and so on: YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and Tumblr.

Meanwhile, here's a video update on what's been going on and what's changing in the Alien's life and immediate future:

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Apr. 4, 2011 at 12:19am

Adam the Alien needs YOU - YouTube grant at stake

You can help the Alien win a chance to get his life and career back on track.

Tacoma, I need your help. 

Many of you, especially here on FeedTacoma, are familiar with me and my videos.

Currently, I'm a semi-finalist in a contest for a grant opportunity from YouTube itself.

The 25 final winners will receive a $35,000 check, as well as an all-expenses-paid four-day training to upgrade their media skills. There are some other perks as well, but those are the big ones.

I've had a fair amount of struggling in the last couple years, and have frequently questioned whether or not I can afford to stay in Tacoma. I like it here, but I've been getting on by the skin of my teeth - and sometimes less. Sometimes a forced return to Oregon, and my parents' farm, seems inevitable, but I've resisted the inevitable thus far. If I ever leave Tacoma, I will leave victorious, of my own choosing, to travel where I will and with every opportunity to come back whenever I want. I will not allow bad luck and a bad economy to kick me out of a city I've fallen in love with.

This opportunity could turn everything around. I could upgrade my ancient, slowly failing equipment. I could properly fund the projects I'm working on - from short videos to the feature length films I have in pre-production. Best of all, I could make my turnaround on projects - both for myself and for clients - quicker, because at least for a time, I wouldn't have to worry about how to feed myself the next week while still meeting the bill payments. It's hard to work on things while you're trying to scrape enough money together to make it another month, only to see all but $5 vanish as soon as you have it.

The current phase of the YouTube NextUp judging process is public opinion.

This means that you can help me. Go to the link below and click the thumbs up button. You may need to be logged in.

By doing this, and turning that upward-facing thumb a fine shade of green, you have cast a vote in my favor. You can do this more than once, in fact. You are allowed to vote once every day now through April 8th. For those without a calendar, that's Friday, so please don't delay your voting. This could truly and honestly turn my life around, and Tacomans, especially would see an immediate result from this.

How? Well, those who have met me may have noticed that I like to record everything. EVERYTHING. There is so much going on in Tacoma, so many wonderful events and even more fascinating personalities. More and more, I've had to cut back on the videos I make due to money - both for equipment, for tapes (yes, I still shoot on tape - one of the first things I intend to fix should I win this thing), for file storage and even just transit costs. If I win this, I would no longer be encumbered by the harsh reality of living hand-to-mouth (or as hand-to-mouth as a filmmaker can before he has to give up his art entirely). I could go out and actually make all the videos I've wanted to make in this wonderful city...and without worrying whether I'm making a choice between a video and my next meal.

So please, click the link. Vote for me with that happy upward-facing thumb. It doesn't take long, and it could mean all the difference between turning my life around and just scraping by for another few years.

Click here and vote a THUMBS-UP for Adam the Alien.

comments [9]

Jun. 7, 2010 at 8:05pm

Puppetry in Proctor and the new

Hobo puppets invade Proctor Farmers' Market and Adam the Alien launches website

I am pleased to announce the launch of, my new home on the Internet!

There you'll be able to find my videos, blogs, and pretty much everything I do.

As an example of the content you'll find there, I give you a video I shot on Saturday, when a couple of dirty hobos could be seen in the Proctor Farmers' Market, bothering market-goers and shamefully allowing themselves to be anally violated in public!

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Jun. 3, 2010 at 9:29pm

TOMORROW: Local filmmakers gather at Minoela

It's often easy to forget that filmmakers live in Tacoma. Outside of specific events, like the Grand Cinema's 72-hour Film Contest, independent filmmakers in Tacoma don't seem to be as publicly active as those slightly to the north.

Due to our proximity to Seattle, many of the film-oriented people I know tend to travel up there to meet with various filmmaking groups, networking parties and other assorted events. I do, from time to time, but I often find that people I'm meeting live closer to Tacoma.

Some time ago, on this very blog, I announced the first meeting of Tacoma Video. Since then, a small group of us has met fairly consistently, exchanging ideas, brainstorming with one another and helping each other bring those ideas and brainstorms to reality.

Our membership has changed and fluctuated over time, usually based on word of mouth. To my dismay, I realized that I have not posted anything about it in a public forum since that first announcement on September 5th, 2008,

So here, now, I am telling you: if you have any interest in film and video production, whether it's a hobby or your life's passion, join us tomorrow at Minoela. Grab something to snack on, something to drink, and be prepared to get to know and get creative with like-minded people.

Seattle's great and all, but why drive up there to meet people who live down here?

What -- Tacoma Video

"Wait, What?" -- A casual meeting of filmmakers looking to collaborate

Date -- Friday June 4, 2010

Time -- 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location -- Minoela

604 Fawcett Ave

Tacoma, WA 98402

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Apr. 23, 2010 at 11:14am

Frost Park Chalk-Off: Season 3, Episode 4

Sponsored by deliciousness (courtesy of Jeff's ice cream)

It's time once again to chalk it up at Frost Park, today starting at noon and ending at one. Well, in theory. As veterans well know, the actual end time can sometimes be a bit...blurry.

Nevertheless, the time is upon us! And this week, we are sponsored by pure, undiluted DELICIOUSNESS!


the ONLY human-powered pedal ice cream truck in Puget Sound Region ! Come this Friday and buy ice cream. 

All items start at $1 and $2 each... including special delectables from local WASHINGTON dairies! 

noon - 1 pm

free chalk art community event

Frost Park between 9th and Commerce

Made in Washington ice cream bar menu: Coconut, Pina Colada, Strawberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Bubblegum, Watermelon

Voting begins at 1pm in the comments below!


VOTING ENDS AT MIDNIGHT! Votes later than 11:59 will not be counted.

For photos as they're uploaded, and photos from previous weeks, check out the Frost Park flickr pool:

And now, for your entertainment, videos from past weeks. Last week's video is not yet uploaded, but hopefully should be uploaded today along with this week's video.

Season 3, Episode 0.1

Season 3, Episode 0.2

Season 3, Episode 1

Season 3, Episode 2

Season 3, Episode 3

comments [52]

Jan. 6, 2010 at 1:56am

Video: First Night 2010

First Night remains the best way to ring in the new year

Happy New Year! I'd hoped to have this up on the 1st, but sleep prevailed and then work and other such things took my days away. Click on the links below to check out all the musicians featured in the video.

Deborah Page:


Hey Marseilles:

And all the music toward the end is Kirsten Wenlock:

The specific songs used under the montage were "Alright" and, of course, "Auld Lang Syne". Kirsten Wenlock was also responsible for what turned out to be a medley of "Natural Blues" and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". Which is, quite frankly, an even more apt description of 2009.

If you only watch my videos embedded here or elsewhere, please consider going straight to my YouTube channel and clicking the "subscribe" button, as well as going to this video's page to rate it and leave a comment. If you don't have a YouTube account to do this with, and have no intention of getting one, then just spread the video around. The more people that do these things, the more exposure I get and the more likely it is that I'll be able to focus more of my time on making videos.

comments [0]

Jan. 6, 2010 at 1:17am

"Daydreamer" music video

First of two Dr. Noise music videos to drock your socks off

I don't normally like posting anything that's not specifically Tacoma-oriented on this blog - I have another blog for such purposes - but I just want to show off.

Back in October, I took a trip to Las Vegas. My friend, Dr. Noise, was putting on a concert. While I was down there, I also arranged to shoot a couple music videos for him.

The first of these, "Daydreamer" was uploaded a couple weeks back. Shot, directed and edited by yours truly. This is why I missed Week 28 of Frost Park this year.

The second music video I shot while I was there, "Greed", will be up sometime soon. I'll post again when it is.

If you only watch my videos embedded here or elsewhere, please consider going straight to my YouTube channel and clicking the "subscribe" button, as well as going to this video's page to rate it and leave a comment. If you don't have a YouTube account to do this with, and have no intention of getting one, then just spread the video around. The more people that do these things, the more exposure I get and the more likely it is that I'll be able to focus more of my time on making videos.

comments [2]

Jan. 5, 2010 at 4:01am

C.L.A.W.'s Great Yearly Ceremony

An insidious cabal of insidiousness...and cake.

Last night, I snuck into the Pythian Temple. I'd heard a rumor that the evil secret society of evilness and evil known only as "C.L.A.W." would be meeting there for a grand ceremony.

The rumors were true, but little did I know that I would be exposing a secret plot to take over Tacoma in an upset of leadership and the brainwashing of four high-profile local personalities! This fearsome cabal is even planning on destroying the sacred Emmys! Take a look for yourself...if you DARE...

This particular video was made - somewhat hastily - for my collaborative channel, Vlogtag. I'll be posting another video on the event on my personal channel...eventually...someday...maybe...STOP NAGGING ME, DAMN IT! THIS IS WHY WE NEED MARRIAGE COUNSELING!

If you only watch my videos embedded here or elsewhere, please consider going straight to my YouTube channel - or in this case, my collaborative YouTube channel - and clicking the "subscribe" button, as well as going to this video's page to rate it and leave a comment. If you don't have a YouTube account to do this with, and have no intention of getting one, then just spread the video around. The more people that do these things, the more exposure I get and the more likely it is that I'll be able to focus more of my time on making videos.

comments [17]

Apr. 3, 2009 at 9:06pm

The Return to Frost Park

Coming back to where the sidewalk ends

Today, I was in heaven.

I stepped off the bus on Commerce Street at Noon sharp. My hands shook with anticipation as I walked toward that familiar corner, the one I knew so well from many blissful Fridays throughout 2008.

I rushed across the street, drawing closer to what looked to me like a magical portal to another world. I walked quickly past bored strangers waiting for their buses. I saw the grass. I heard the fountain. Even the foul scent of a cigarette smoked by a man standing just around the corner, next to the fountain, couldn't ruin this moment.

I was back in Frost Park. I was back, and so was my weekly respite from the world: the Frost Park Chalk-Offs.

As I passed the plume of smoke lazily drifting away from the man with the cigarette and crested the hill, I caught my breath. There they were: the regulars, the familiar faces I'd longed to see. Some were already hard at work, kneeling over half-formed masterpieces on the sidewalk.

I was home.

Sometimes, when you step back into a treasured memory, it doesn't feel right. From the moment I set foot in the park, it felt even better than I remembered. How could I have let such a treasure fade, in my mind? I drank in the feeling of camaraderie, the smell of chalk and dirt and miscellaneous scents wafting from miscellaneous lunches.

It was a magical experience - one of those rare occasions when time slows down in spite of the fun being had. I was shocked when I heard people shouting that we had half an hour left to draw. By that point, I was sure there couldn't be more than ten minutes left.

I still can't believe how quickly it all came back to me. Nothing felt strange or forced about slipping back into the comfy old jacket that is Frost Park. There was nothing strange about seeing these people that, by and large, I hadn't seen in months. There was no awkward glancing about, wondering what to do. Even the tricks of chalking were not forgotten: though my brain was convinced that I was out of practice and would be starting my chalk skills from scratch again, my hands were not so easily fooled. They chuckled softly to themselves as they set about their task with the ease and familiarity of an old craftsman setting about his daily routine.

The mood was vibrant: the gap between Commerce Street and Pacific Avenue was filled with jovial chatter, laughter, the snaps of camera shutters and the smell and taste of delicious chocolate chip cookies. The park was alive in a way it hadn't been since we left it last Halloween.

Children ran this way and that, feeding off the incredible energy washing through us all. Passersby paused and watched. Some were already familiar with the phenomenon. Several told me how glad they were to see we were back. One man personally thanked us for what we were doing. He said Tacoma needed more things like it.

Stories were shared. Birthdays were celebrated. Frost Park thrived again.

And that, hard as it may be to believe, was only the beginning.

I can't wait until next week.

comments [1]

Apr. 2, 2009 at 10:57pm

Frost Park: A community built in chalk dust

The Alien muses on a magical phenomenon

Whenever I mention Frost Park, most people outside of the Tacoma blogosphere just stare blankly at me like I'm speaking Tralfamadorian.

Most people in the Tacoma area have seen it. Many have stood inside it or walked through it without ever knowing. I don't blame them. When I first moved here, I didn't even realize it was considered an actual park, let alone one worthy of being named.

Frost Park is a tiny thing, tucked away between Commerce St. and Pacific Ave. on South 9th. Most people recognize it once I mention the fountain and the slightly curving stairs that run through it.

The park is named for Officer Larry Frost, killed in the line of duty on September 9, 1977. The park was dedicated to "all city employees who have sacrificed their lives while serving the citizens of Tacoma" on July 14, 1978, according to the park's plaque.

I first came to know Frost Park as something other than a random fountain I passed by on the bus when I was urged by my sister to join her and other Tacoma bloggers in gathering there for lunch.

The park had apparently acquired a bad reputation - in the eyes of many passersby, it was a place for hoodlums and drug dealers. Truth be told, I was wary of the place myself, for no other reason than it sits right next to a major bus transfer area. As a license-less young twenty-something, the bus is my main source of transportation. So believe me when I say that major transfer areas can be very skeezy, sometimes even scary places (as an example, I need only think back to the time I was cornered by an aggressive drunk man in a restroom at the Tacoma Transit Station; he was convinced one of the bags I was carrying was his).

This group of proud Tacomans (Tacomites? Tacomadorians?) gathered there every Friday at Noon to eat, mingle, network and - most importantly - to build and strengthen a community.

That wasn't enough for some, however, as I discovered when I arrived at the park one sunny April 11, 2008. I set my bag down, got ready for the usual mingling, and was immediately approached by someone who wanted to know if that was where the chalk competition was happening.

"Chalk competition?" I stared blankly. Clearly, this man was speaking Tralfamadorian.

At this point, I neither frequently checked the major Tacoma blogs nor subscribed to receive e-mails from Tacoma's Arts Listserv. So I had no idea that local artist R.R. Anderson, creator of the infamous Tacomic, had challenged all comers for the illustrious title of "Best Illustrator in the Universe of Tacoma".

The sidewalk served as their battlefield, each artist staking their claim on a single slab of cement canvas. Anderson brought with him a small amount of white chalk to distribute amongst the competitors. A theme was chosen (an occurrence that would not repeat in subsequent weeks) and, before a crowd of enthralled onlookers, the drawing began.

The chalk supply was slim. The method of judging hadn't been figured out. The idea of acquiring their own colored chalk as an alternative to the small sticks of classroom blandness. But it was the start of something incredible.

In the twenty-nine weeks that followed, Frost Park became more than just a park, more than just an hour of chatter during the lunch hour. It became a home. It became a way of life.

It became a community.

Frost Park became the the highlight of my week. There were regulars - artists and non-artists alike - who showed up almost every time without fail. There were newcomers nearly every week, and always at least a few passersby who would muster up the courage to ask what was going on. Even I, a self-conscious artist whose drawings usually end up in the trash can, began throwing my hat into the chalk-dusted ring.

Through sun and rain, sleet and snow, Frost Park's weekly slice of a better world persevered. And it grew.

From cell phone pictures to short films, it grew.

From the promise of an invented title to sponsored prizes, it grew.

From a box of white chalk to a plethora of colors, to free food and musical performances, it grew and grew and grew.

From a tiny, little-noticed park with a bad reputation to a community, a haven from the harsh realities of the real grew.

It became the non-alcoholic real-life equivalent of a warm, friendly sitcom bar. It really was the place where everybody knew your name. It held more magic in it for people of all ages than any world imagined in the most beloved works of fiction.

All good things, however, must eventually come to an end. Tragically, the chalk competitions came to a close for the winter after thirty weeks. The final week was gloomy and wet, as if the very weather were mourning the loss of our weekly rebellion against the accepted norms of adult life.

In the absence of my weekly escape. Without a wardrobe to escape into or a rainbow to fly over, the extraordinarily long, cold winter felt even colder and a lot longer.

The winter, at long last, is over.

Tomorrow, Frost Park is back in action.

Once more we will descend as one upon Officer Frost's namesake.

Once more we will build a community out of chalk dust and concrete.

Some people won't understand. Some will stare at us blankly.

Let them. I'm proud to speak Tralfamadorian.

I'm proud to be a Frost Park Chalkie.

comments [3]


My name is Adam J. Manley, better known in some circles as Adam the Alien. I make pretty things for your eyes. To see, not to wear. I don’t make glasses. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I did, though? Then I wouldn’t have to pay insane prices for a new pair. And they’d be magic. That’s right, MAGIC. Impressed? Yeah, I thought so.




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