Blog | Topher Harless
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Being a Christian in LA: Five Things I Didn’t Know When I Moved Here



When you decide to move to Los Angeles from the Deep South, a lot of people get upset. They comment that you are “moving to the land of fruits and nuts,” mothers force you to watch documentaries about local gangs that will kill you the second your plane lands, and you may even receive a letter from someone in your church suggesting that you should move to Spain instead of Los Angeles because if you do move to L.A., you’ll be forced to provide sexual favors to casting directors for a role (please note, I did indeed receive this letter.)

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Gladiator Rock’n Run – Autism Fundraising


Talk About Autism

So, this year I’m participating in the Gladiator Rock’n Run on June 11th in support of Talk About Autism.  It’s a very difficult run held in Irvine, CA.

Before I signed up for this race, here are some things that I didn’t know about autism:

  • 1 in 68 children have autism.
  • Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the US.
  • More children are diagnosed annually with autism then with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.
  • Boys are 5 times more likely than girls to have autism.
  • Autism currently costs the nation over $137 billion annually.

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4 Reasons to Stop Offering Unhelpful Answers

I work with a team.  Well, actually I work with two teams.  I have a main group that hired me, which is a temp group of about 50 people, and an office that I work in any given day with about 12 people in various cubicles.  With all of those people, everyone can all agree on one thing.  We need to get things done.  So, both groups will occasionally send an email to ask a question.

Do you know what the single most irritating thing on the planet is?  When someone who is in no way involved and doesn’t know the answer continually throws out suggestions for solutions. 




This owl is PISSED at you.

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Six Reasons That it BLOWS to be an Actor



I’m not an actor.  I did, however, give it a shot for a while.  What I really love is comedy.  I’ve taken a million improv and sketch writing classes and I perform on a pretty regular basis.  It’s what I love to do.  The problem is though, you don’t get paid to be a comedian.  At least not for a while.  In fact you have to pay to take classes, so it costs money to become a comedian.  I wasn’t a fan of living with negative income, so I started thinking of ways to make money.  What were all of my comedian friends doing to make money?  Acting.  I like acting.  I did a bunch of acting in high school and college, so this made sense.  If you’re a comedian, you can make money acting in commercials and that provides a way to keep performing.  Why not?  I thought this was brilliant.  What if I ended up getting on a sitcom?  Then I’d end up earning money while making people laugh, which is what I wanted to do in the first place.  It’s a win, win!  However, upon actually perusing acting I realized a few things that totally BLEW.

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Throw Them at Someone

When it rains, it pours.  Can someone tell me why life has to be so difficult?  Why can’t things be easier?  Can’t I just catch a break?


These are things I’ve said to myself recently.  A little too often.

Things that have happened to me in the month of October:

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Find the Fun

I’m not much for rules.  Once, when I was a ten, I announced in front of a woman my mother had just met, that I hated authority.  The woman just smiled and nodded.  She knew that I just had a big mouth.  However, this bothered my mother.  Later, she pulled me to the side and asked me what I meant by my statement and if I knew what that meant.  I, of course, didn’t.  I just wanted to sound rebellious and truth be told, I was a talkative child, but a very tame one.

As I get older the more I love and hate rules.  I like the ones that protect my life, like the laws that say that you can’t steal something from someone else and if you do, you’ll be arrested.  On the other hand, I hate the ones that give me parking tickets for not reading a sign that says there is street parking on Thursdays from ten till noon that day.



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Don’t be Stupid. Your Life Will Never Be Uncluttered.

“I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” — Fred Rogers


Has anyone seen my wallet? Or Keys? Anything really… 


I have this awful habit of saying, “Well, when things calm down, I’ll be able to…” then I insert an action that will never get done.  Ever.

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The Art of Procrastination – Just Do Something

In the fourth grade, we had to make something called an Alabama notebook.  This was pretty in-depth for a fourth grade project.  It had to be a binder outlining in detail the entire history of Alabama.  Not only that, but you had to know every aspect of the state including the state song, the state bird, and the state flower.  Yes, there was a state flower.


The redneck state flower/weed.

This project was due around March in the second semester of school, so I had months to make this.  Did I take months to make it?  No.  Did I remember it a week before?  Absolutely.

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One Habit at a Time – Making Self-Discipline Stick

I tend to talk a lot about self-discipline. Why?  Because I believe that self-discipline is the key to success.  I think that once you know yourself and take control of your life, you can do anything.  Until then, you’re waiting on life to lead you into the right places and you’ll end up wondering how you got to those places.  You got there because you had no plan.

However, the problem with articles about self-discipline and ways to succeed is there is too much information too fast.  It’s easy to get excited about something that you’ve read and then to completely forget about it in a week.  The reason that happens is because we, or at least I, try to do too much at once.

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Marathon Training

About a year ago I started training to run a marathon.  Why?  Mainly, because I’ve always wanted to.  Not only would the training make me healthier, but only 0.5% of the US population has ever run a full marathon.  I wanted to be one of the few people who could pull it off.  I wanted to be one of the .5% that could make something that difficult possible.

In the end, however, I failed.  When my friend and I started training, I knew nothing about running.  I just knew that you should go.  So, I bought a good pair of shoes and started running.  The problem is, I didn’t do enough research.  I got to a place where I was running 8 to 10 miles every Saturday.  I felt great about it.  What I didn’t know is that I have weak knees and I needed to have special knee support wraps and better cushions in my shoes.

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Make People Like You

Six Ways to Make People Like You

Dale Carnegie

Rule 1:  Become genuinely interested in other people.
Rule 2:  Smile.
Rule 3:  Remember that a person’s name is to him or her is the sweetest and most important sound…

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Have a Personality

When I worked in casting I met great people.  I also met not great people.  Not to say they weren’t nice or that they weren’t good people.  They just weren’t great.

Some people would walk into the room and immediately not only shake my hand, but also drum up a conversation with me.  From the second they walked in the door the oozed of kindness and friendliness.  I actually believed that they wanted to be my friend, me, the lowly casting associate.  Other people only said hi and sat down and re-read their lines.  They didn’t speak to me unless they were asking me to get them something.  Not bad people at all.  They were just busy.

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Due Dates

I’m not great at getting things done.  When I was in college, if a paper was due on the 22nd of April, I didn’t even remember that I had to write that paper until the 21st.  I would get a text from a friend asking what book I cited for the paper and I would say something jokey like, “Get your own books!”  Then I’d freak out and write the whole paper in one night.


Why does this keep happening to me?!? Oh wait, it’s because I’m a moron.


At least that’s what I did when I first started out.  After a while I bought a day timer/ planner.  This saved my soul.  Then I started giving myself due dates that were months previous to when the project was due.  That would give me plenty of time to actually read through my paper and check for mistakes.

What a concept.

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