Skip to content

A Vindication on the Rights of the Unemployed

The economy sucks. But that doesn’t mean you have to, Mr. Hiring Manager.

Job hunting can be exhausting. You spend half your time screening for craigslist killers, Ponzi schemes and cults. Employers can ask you for not only your resume and cover letter but headshots, transcripts and SAT scores. A new trend is to vet people before they’ve been interviewed. I have had to take tests, answer essay questions and film little pre-interview segments. Bearing in mind that they can ascertain my age, race/ethnicity and gender from these “little interviews,” and the legality of that is questionable.

The last straw was I replied to a posting on Craigslist. I got this quick response:

Hi Christian,

You have a great resume. I’d like you to complete the attached edit test, and submit your test back to me by 12 pm on Monday, October 7th. Let me know if you have any questions, thanks!

Best,
Hiring Manager

When I opened the “test” it was pretty robust. It would have encompassed all the things I’d be doing on the job. It would also be about about 2 hours of my work day. I would have been happy to do it, had the hiring manager spent more than 5 seconds in their response to me. Call me crazy, but despite there being an economic crisis you want respect from your employees rather than desperation.

I set fire to the rain and sent this:

Hello Hiring Manager,

Thank you for your kind words about my resume. I do not feel comfortable completing your editing test before I’ve had an initial phone screen. It would take over two hours to give it the attention it deserves. I would be happy to do it, if I was in a further stage in the interview process.

I understand that it is an employer’s market. However, in the real estate market, a potential buyer would not be asked to give a deposit before they’ve passed the credit check. You’re looking for someone with the strength of character, diplomacy and skills to manage freelance writers, edit their work and contribute to your site. It would be more cost effective and prudent for me to spend that time completing the 6-10 job applications I can finish in that time.

You’re looking for an employee that will be loyal, believe in your brand and respect you. That starts with mutual respect for each other’s time. A ten-minute cursory phone call lets me know that I’m seriously being considered.

Thank you for taking the time to read my resume and good luck with your search.

Christian

I may be out of the running to be America’s Next Bottom Employee but I can sleep better tonight.

How to Be Kind, Dick

For some reason, a quote from Blast from the Past (see below) has always stuck with me. “Good Manners are how you show other people you respect them.” In my post-ADHD, Facebook addicted mind, I remembered it as, “When you have manners you show people you care.” I think it’s easy in overpopulated cities with quickly shrinking paychecks and a general sense of apathy towards human life to forget the basics of human kindness. I’ve come to realize through massive amounts of self-reflection…followed by self-abuse that I’m a naturally happy and inherently kind person. But because of life experiences I’d lost sight of that. So here are 3 beliefs that have helped me relocate from the Island of Misfit Adults.

1. No One Is Better Than Anyone Else. Everyone has a mother,  flaws and more importantly, feelings (except maybe sociopaths but they’re people, too.) No one is perfect. If someone was, given human nature, they’d be full of themselves or supreme overlord of all other humans. That being said, everyone has both insecurities and characteristics that make them confident. So why not give someone the benefit of the doubt before you judge them.
The second you position yourself above someone whether by a condescending remark or a disparaging piece of gossip there is a HUGE magnifying glass that appears right over you. It highlights your flaws to everyone else. They’ll quickly wonder what makes you so smart, attractive or pious to judge someone else.
I’m not saying you need to like everyone. But in your dislike, remember said person of disinterest has feelings, a past that probably contributed to making them an asshole, and some redeeming quality. Hitler painted watercolors, Paula Deen makes good biscuits and Mother Teresa kicked puppies. She was an avid puppy kicker.
Sure, it’s tough to believe no one is better than anyone else. Racism, sexism, homophobia, human genocide and the entitlement that caused that bitch to cut you in line at Starbucks, have all been predicated on the belief that some person is better than some other person. No one is super or subhuman. We all have to eat, drink and look at naked people (except asexuals but they’re people too.)
The moral of the story is if you cut someone in line at Starbucks, you’re no better than Hitler.

2. Celebrate and Compliment Rather Than Criticize and Correct! What causes people to correct or criticize? Isn’t presumptuously correcting someone’s spelling as egregious as spelling a word wrong on your Facebook status update? Correcting someone never really serves its intended purpose. Now someone will just remember how much of a dick you are when they want to use irregardless.
It’s the same with constructive criticism. Not many people have the fortitude of will to handle even the best-intentioned constructive criticism. Sure it comes from a place of “I love you, I love this project or I love what you did, but….” But did you really take the time to say that first? (Spoiler Alert: If that’s not the real reason why you’re offering constructive criticism you may be a dick)
I speak for myself when I say, without any irony or humor, that I’m insecure. I’ve come to terms with it. I was raised by a mother who was slightly critical. (read: VERY!). I was bullied and teased for not being thin enough, straight enough or stupid enough to fit in. So in the grand scheme of the universe I would much rather hear someone say they enjoyed something I did. Hell, I’d love to hear someone say they love me. But it’s so simple to forget that we don’t always say those “I love yous” or share those compliments with other people.
I got a haircut recently.  A “friend” said, “Oh, you cut your hair…I hated it before.” I had to respond, “Is there a compliment in there?” Granted, this person may have been raised by wolves, but had they just told me they liked my haircut I would have been happy. Also my hair would have continued not spontaneously growing back. Why not focus on what you like over what you don’t? I started to notice that people rarely compliment each other. Even if they do, sometimes there’s a sense of irony or a backhanded edge that removes the joy from it.
I have had the luck of meeting some really great friends who have not been shy to tell me how much they love me, support my goals, celebrate my skills and compliment my virtues. I’m not Jesus Christ but is it so wrong to have cheerleaders who want the best for you?
So far, I’ve made a conscious effort to celebrate other people. If someone makes me happy every time I talk to them, I take the time to tell them they are a great bundle of sunshine. If someone is a good friend I tell them how much I appreciate them. If a guy has a nice ass I congratulate him on his winning squat regimen. In the long run, the pure spiritual nourishment you get from celebrating and revering the good in others is longer lasting than the brief moment you  fill your emotional void with the satisfaction of criticizing or correcting someone.
In the rare case where you offer sound constructive criticism from a completely helpful and emotionally humble place, it’s only how you would do it. In the end, someone will do whatever they want to do anyway and have their own journey. Plus, you won’t get 10% of the intellectual property rights, so why bother?

3. Do you! It may seem counterintuitive to say, “Be kind by doing you.” However, if you remember you are no better than anyone else and you don’t need to succeed at their expense, you will succeed and be happier by just “doing you.” If you enrich your soul by pursuing your art you won’t be so concerned with improving the art of others. If you defend yourself emotionally by telling someone how their hurt you, you will be less likely to be passive aggressive or in a relationship with someone bad for you. If you go on your own journey of self-reflection, you’ll be a better person in the long run with more to give emotionally. It’s like the hookers of the sky always say, “You must put on your oxygen mask, before you assist others around you.”

I’m no spiritual guru and, sadly, I’m not the next stage in human evolution. But, I’ve never been punched in the face and I’ve made a concerted effort to be happier and more well-adjusted and this has helped me.

The Wild World of Christian Cintron

AbsoluteCintronDAlfanoFrom Absolute Cintron ft. David Alfano

Lots of things coming soon in the wild world of Christian Cintron.

First up, my original pilot, Start Up will be performed live at iO West for their new show Pilots LIVE! It will be in the running to be produced as a web series. Woo hoo!

If you have been under a rock, or are one of the tons of people who don’t know who the eff I am, Start Up is my pilot based on my crazy experiences working for start up companies in NYC and San Francisco. Every new company wants to be the next Facebook and Twitter but oftentimes it’s just a bunch of knuckleheads trying to make work happen.

Start Up follows Joe Magro, a neurotic unemployed go-getter who finds what seems to be his perfect job – CFO at a hot new start up company. With co-workers like a gender-neutral granola eater, a chronically drunk cocktail waitress turned sales manager, a homicidal HR person and a bipolar Eurotrash CEO things soon degrade into utter chaos.

Absolute Cintron Comedy SpecialFrom Absolute Cintron ft Brooke Trantor

I’m also working on Absolute Cintron my completely independent, absolutely low budget comedy special. So many stand up comics wait years for their chance to get put in a special. After years of doing it, I thought,  ”Fuck it! Why not try and put my stuff out there and see who bites?”  So on a budget of -$50,000 and with a birdhouse in my soul I pulled some of my favorite Angelinos together and made it happen. And by that I mean I’m still working on it.  It’s still in development but you can watch the trailer on my YouTube profile: CintronicComedy.

I’m also finishing up at Second City Hollywood in my graduation sketch show, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth through October 15th. It’s Mondays at 8 pm.

That’s what’s new with me. Where you been?

Coming Soon: Absolute Cintron Comedy Special

Hey Kids!!!

I have taken it upon myself to make my own absolutely independent, absolutely low budget, absolutely awesome stand up comedy special. Living in LA you meet talented people everyday so why not gather them all together and make something great.

Here’s the trailer:

Absolute Cintron Red Band Trailer

A Gay Kardashian?!?

Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a gay Kardashian. He might take whining and materialism to the extreme. Or maybe he’d get a job at the Apple Store:

Gay Relationships: Hunting for Unicorns?

Recently, the idea of a relationship has been top of mind. Being in therapy and getting to my “old” twenties has made me question why I haven’t been in a relationship. Moreso, the prospect of finding someone I can fall in love with and be vulnerable around seems like something reserved for cheesey movies and people with visible abdomen muscles.

Finding someone that can get your heart racing but also go to the Container Store with you and not lie, cheat, steal or worse…get fat seems impossible to find. I might as well be hunting unicorns. So for the sake of argument I will sharpen my mother of pearl arrows and bring a virgin to a secluded meadow and get my hunt on.Hot Gay Unicorn Guy

At a young age, without gay role models in solid relationships (and coincidentally no straight role models either), I made peace with the fact that I might die alone. However, the prospect of being “lonely gay uncle” at family affairs, weddings and holidays has given me a renewed energy in my search for Mr. Stays Around-Loves Me for Me (It’s a hyphenate because he’s fancy.).

Although I’m searching I have made some observations I’d like to share with you:

1.) Whore or Nothing: There are two groups of gay men. Whores and Prudes. It’s the Madonna/Whore dichotomy played out like political parties. Party 1: Guys that are seemingly sex obsessed and seek intimacy and validation in casual sex encounters. Party 2: The romantic guys who will only consider talking about sex if it’s the fourth date. No one group has the right answer. We should value and appreciate sex but we shouldn’t deny that it’s omnipresent in gay culture. Let’s face it…we all need love.

2.) What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me. As men we are not raised to be in touch with our emotions. Where are there positive role models of gay relationships? Celebrities? No! The Media? No! Worse yet…you meet so many gay men in open relationships. I won’t deny that they might work. But shouldn’t a relationship be more than shared property and having a permanent plus one? If you’re expending the same energy seeking out sexual partners as you did when you were single…is it really a committed relationship?

3.) Laundry List Thinking: I’ve done the online dating thing. Any who says they haven’t is a big ole liar. When you look at some profiles of guys they say things like:

 Fit, attractive and sensitive guy seeking a guy who is masculine, with a good body, who is intelligent, emotionally available who can do magic, turn lead into gold and loves dogs.

This begs the questions…does your Prince Charming exist? Moreso, would that perfect person be interested in you?
Call me crazy but I don’t think there is a perfect specimen out there waiting for me. Dr. Kenneth George, in his book Mr. Right is Out There, says that gay men should limit their criteria for rejection to 3 bare essentials. There is a difference between Mr. Right and Prince Charming. I subscribe to this belief. I will share that I did make a list of qualities once of what I wanted in a guy. I met him and it was astounding. But over the course of our errsatz relationship, he showed me how emotionally unavailable he was and how we had vastly different views on relationships.
4.) You’re Not Meg Ryan, honey! Let’s face it. As gay men, we are denied that foundation of dating and intimacy before sex is on the table. You don’t see moms driving their sons and their boyfriends to Jillians for a tween date. The first time we get to explore our secret gay feelings is in secret locations which is often when sex is on the table. So we indulge our libidos and have sex on the table. We don’t learn the slow burn of letting intimacy develop. We don’t learn how to be authentic with emotions and say, “I like you.” Worse yet, we don’t know how to handle that emotional frankness. When you add to this internalized homophobia, emotional baggage and the whole host of other things that warp our minds we’re all 10 year olds at heart.
We’re trying to figure out how to find and show love. We end up looking to romantic movies for paradigms or signals on how to make things work. But let’s face it they aren’t helping straight women. Also, gay relationships are different. Straight people don’t debate if they should delete their Manhunt profiles, throw out sex toys from past relationships or have threeways.

5.) The Karmic Twist Last but not least, let’s not forget that in our gay lives we might sleep with 10 or 10,000 other men. That being said…they will eventually meet other gay men. Most of the damage done to the gay community is guy on guy crime. You stop calling some guy and he gets broken up about it and does that to someone else and then you end up doing it to someone who ends up dating him. It comes full circle. That’s why we need to try and be nice to each other and replace all the jaded and bitchy behavior with rainbows and unicorns!

I don’t know the answers to How or Where to find a relationship. But, I am acknowledging the Why and letting that sink in because who doesn’t want a snuggle buddy to watch True Blood with? Hopefully my pretentious pontifications will help someone be a little more frank and honest with themselves and change the way they treat others.

Gay Men: Our Own Worst Enemies?

With the growing number of gay suicides, the continuing litigation over gay marriage and the growing popularity of the “It Gets Better” campaign, I’ve begun to wonder if it gets worse. To add insult to injury are we, as gay men, the ones responsible. Gay men seem to be doing the most damage to the gay community and even promoting homophobia. It seems like a lot of the depression, unhappiness and oppression we feel seems more a case of friendly fire than social injustice.

Imagine the typical gay teen, you spend years being picked on or dreading people will find out your secret. You arrive in the gay “world” only to be met with unrealistic expectations of masculinity, beauty and an overwhelming lack of acceptance.

In the days of Harvey Milk and the Stonewall riots there were lightning rods that helped build a sense of community. Nowadays, it seems as if we’ve abandoned all of that and gone mainstream. Sure, the only difference between gay men and straight men is what we do in the bedroom. And yes, cross dressers, plushies and people who fall in love inanimate objects aren’t having parades, vigils and rallies. That being said, we’re denying our similar socialization, baggage and basic similarities. We spent a significant amount of our social life unable to express our real feelings…and we love the Golden Girls. Not to mention the fact that we are openly hated in the outside world.

It’s subtle how it happened. As it became more socially acceptable to come out and talk about being gay, homophobia started to seep into our minds. You started to hear things like, “It’s fine that you’re gay as long as you don’t bring any of those queeny types around.” or “Now you’re my kind of gay guy. You like sports and working out. You’re not like them.” Those queeny types are the kids who faced hearing the word “faggot” ad-nauseum. Those were the ones who were victimized for how they talked, what they liked, and how they acted. Those are the ones that you didn’t want to be like so you ignored them or separated yourself from them. They are the ones who found the strength of will to persevere and survived the culling of gay teens that happens behind bedroom doors with Facebook suicide notes.

After all of that struggle and strife how are they rewarded? With a cultural need to wear Abercrombie &Fitch, lower their voice three octaves and portray the masculine ideal. Because apparently, for every one goth teen, awkward gay geek or drama fag their were three closeted jocks having a circle jerk and internalizing their feelings of self loathing and depression.

I’m not vilifying someone for being naturally inclined to be “masculine” or “straight-acting.” We all think it’s hot. We all want the unattainable. We all want Tommy the quarterback who ignored us but we wish secretly lusted after our awkward teen bodies. We’ve created an entire porn business that employs hard on their luck, yet deliciously hot, straight men willing to make big bucks having apathetic sex for money.

But where does the fantasy end and the reality begin? Mr. Straight Acting Gay is not our high school sweetheart. He’s not the person who confronted homophobia head-on and said, “I’m going to be me!”
He’s the guy who internalized all the anxiety, homophobia and stress that other guys dealt with first hand. He’s the guy with intimacy issues and needs to drink before he can have sex. He’s the one who was socialized on clandestine sex meetings so he decides to have secret sex behind your back. So is he Mr. Stable-Relationship-Type? Not so much.

Ultimately, my point is this by setting different standards for what being gay should be we’re shifting the focus of homophobia into our community and reinforcing the framework that is oppressing us. When we don’t correct someone and say there is nothing wrong with “those queeny types” or when we say to our friends, there is no “right” type of gay we send the message that it’s ok to be homophobic. What gay teens need to hear to not kill themselves is that they can be whoever they want however they want to be. They need to know that eventually there will be a group of peers to welcome them and not judge them. Saying “it gets better” is false advertising because if you’re a big queen, a fattie, or a femme you might face similar high school like scenarios when you hit the adult world.

Instead of saying “It Gets Better” let’s make it better. Let’s foster a sense of togetherness and acceptance. Let’s strive to be friendly to people because there is a value to fellow gay men outside the bedroom. Let’s find a sense of community and common interests and build something positive. Let’s face it, by building gay ghettos in big cities and being sated with two-dimensional token gays on television we’re just twiddling our thumbs while the wheels that oppress us continue to turn in Washington, the media and all those small towns we keep trying to run away from. That leaves the little baby gays all alone with no positive role models and validation that it’s okay.

Exploring the Douchebaggery of Los Angeles

Is everyone right about LA? Is everyone rude, fake and an out-and-out douchebag?

I have lived in many major US cities – New York, DC and San Francisco. In adjusting to Los Angeles, I’m loathe to agree that it’s riddled with douchebags, starfuckers and fake people. But that might be because I drank the Kool-aid.

I don’t think that people are any more rude, fake or selfish in LA than in other major cities. I just think that in LA it is more visible. Despite the overwhelming amount of land, square footage and opportunities it seems people still aren’t happy. It seems that their unfinished dreams channel themselves into bad behavior.

Let’s face it many of the people that move to LA come from small town Middle America or the overly-polite South with big stars in their eyes. Everyone wants a piece of the Hollywood pie and no one wants to share. Since the demand is so high for jobs in Hollywood people can be hired at slave wages and treated even worse than the meager wages they’re paid. There are also thousands of people competing for the same part, agent or 3X5 section of the sidewalk. That being said, that’s not really an excuse for bad behavior.

Own your shit, people. It’s your decision to be in Hollywood and struggle. It wasn’t the woman in line in front of you at Starbucks’ decision for you to move to LA to become an actor. It’s not the family in the car that you’re cutting off’s fault that you can’t afford your car payments. If you will forgive how trite I am about to be there are three P’s I can’t stand. Presumption, pretention and poor manners.

Presumption (See also: entitlement) Just because you want something and can get it doesn’t mean it’s yours. I don’t care if you’re a studio head or their fluffer, I pay just as much for my gym membership so I can use a machine if I get there first. Whether you’re driving a Bentley or a 1981 Sedan if someone arrives at a parking space first it’s theirs.

Pretention (See also: starfucking) There’s a cult of celebrity. Being this close to celebrities you want to talk to them, talk about them and possibly even touch them. You may be the guy who gives Rhianna her coffee…but that doesn’t make you Rhianna.
I’m going to go on the record and say that NOTHING makes you better than any other person. You could have a better body, more money or more connections but that doesn’t make you better than anyone. I will admit, I think I’m smarter and funnier than a lot of people. But that’s not a value statement. I’m still chock full of flaws and if the zombie apocalypse came I might not survive. Keep that in mind.

Poor Manners (See also: Being a raging douche) It takes less energy to say excuse me, I’m sorry or to hold the elevator than to ignore someone or the fact that you’re being a passive aggressive prick. There’s a reason you shift in place when you’re rude to someone. It’s called guilt and it’s an evolutionary reaction to keep you from being a self-involved douche.

It may seem that no good deed goes unpunished. Horrible human beings seem to be thriving. I like to think that the little things we do help change the world and keep us out of hell.

Why not just treat people like you want to be treated. After all in Hollywood, yesterday’s janitor could be tomorrow’s award winning screenwriter or director. Worse yet, they could be related to someone famous. So if for self-preservation alone…don’t be a douche.

My Princess Boy Reigns Supreme!

Want to know what being a truly great parent is? Try being totally accepting of your child wanting to wear dresses. Cheryl Kilodavis is completely accepting of her son, Dyson, who thinks of himself as a “princess boy” and likes to wear dresses and loves his signature colors of pink and red. (Drink the juice, Shelby!)

What’s wrong with that? Why must everything be so gender normative? I applaud this woman and her book My Princess Boy for advocating for her child’s freedom.

Here’s the video:
My Princess Boy on Today

Now I know that some of you might be thinking….Isn’t that little queen precious? Let’s not be hypocritical and make assumptions because many transvestites (men who wear women’s clothes) are straight. So if little Tyson decides he likes girls, there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Mr. Belvedere and Depression

The 1980s were a different time. There was an increase in divorce, two-income households and latched-key kids. This meant an entire generation was raised on television. Ironically, television was embracing outlandish and fantastical premises for television shows and even family units. Ignoring the truly fantastical like the robot daughter Vickie of Small Wonder and the eponymous alien Alf. What kind of damage did these fantastic storylines wreak on a generation of children? Is that why an entire generation is wrought with “quarter life crises,” a sick obsession with reinvention and a prescription to Zoloft?

Mr. Belvedere was one of these shows. A typical American family, through the magic of television, is able to employ a former Buckingham Palace butler, Lynn Belvedere (Christopher Hewett). Breadwinner George Owens (Bob Uecker) was a sports writer and his wife Marsha (Ilene Graff) was a late-to-life law student. Each episode had an easily resolved problem that delivered a wholesome message. It taught morality and wrestled with important topics like sex, AIDS, and racism. But how could they afford a butler?

As television veered more and more into realism, the imagination and the naïveté that was there in the 80s was gone. However, what about all the children raised by television? We were raised to believe that morality and integrity were rewarded. We saw the quarterback or cheerleader find love with the geek that was beautiful on the inside. Where is my butler willing to work on my pittance of a salary? Where’s my much-more attractive significant other?

The sense of dissatisfaction associated with these sordid premises cuts so deep because the expectations associated with them went unchecked for years. They creeped into children’s minds and filled in the gaps of absentee parents and missing models of adulthood. You don’t stay at the same job until you upgrade to a better one with a whole new cast for Season 7. You don’t have 3 best friends who are with you no matter what. Sorry Rose Nylund, this ain’t that kind of show, honey!

Sure it’s a given that television is not reality. But without parents around to model goals to strive for children couldn’t help but look to their babysitter for advice. So instead of wondering why so many people are depressed, they should just look around at the expectations they have and how they define satisfaction. Or they could just ride a big pink dragon dog. It worked in The Neverending Story, didn’t it?