Wednesday, December 27, 2000

I'm outta here!! Back to Virginia for the Holidays.

Tuesday, December 05, 2000

Today I went in for "Angel" - not too cute. I hope I get back in that office to redeem myself.

Sunday, December 03, 2000

Today I shoot "Smash" the VH-1 comedy pilot. Within 14 minutes of getting out of the car I was in and out of make-up and shooting. This director was not playing. Background players didn't even have time to put their bags down when they arrived on set.

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Today I get into a car accident on my way to an audition. I guess it was my time -195,000 miles without one in my trusty Honda. Anyway, my fault and I became friends with one of the driver's. We now do CD workshops together, only in LA!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

NOVEMBER 21st '00*Today, I participated in my first table read for "Smash" a VH-1 comedy pilot. It was very interesting to watch the process since I was the reader from the beginning of the project. I have had a chance to see the project grow from the first day of casting to today's table read. During the process I saw & heard a lot of stuff. Who likes who (not personally) and why and how the whole package comes together. I must say that Cathy Henderson & Dori Zuckerman did a great job of casting. They brought in lots of interesting choices and all three of the leads were against the prototypes from the producers. Two of the leads were actors that Cathy & Dori did not already know. Matter of fact they even had to change the names of two of the leads because they were so different from what was originally projected. One of those leads is known by the industry and is definitely on the rise. I don't know what the buzz is on the others. All the networks and several production companies are eager to sign the female lead to a development deal. Interestingly enough she has been turning down huge sums of money for these deals, but she really liked this project and they are fortunate to have her.

Today's reading was attended by both of the writers, all of the producers with the exception of Gene Simmons (yes, of KISS), the wardrobe department and all of the cast members with the exception of the celebrity cameos. I was to read my part as a musician and the celebrity cameos. We proceeded to read the entire script just kinda straight thru and it came together really nice. The second read was with more energy, quick changes within the script and also the VH-1 executives listening in on a conference call from New York. Everyone involved seemed very pleased with results. After that the leads were kept for scene work and the rest of us were released.

Friday, November 17, 2000

Today I shoot the "Icehouse" Beer spot in Glendale, and have a ball. I cannot wait to see this spot on the air. I see Rosanna Arquette @ the restaurant and tell her that I was in a movie that she starred in ("Hell's Kitchen"). She was very nice and commented that "Angelina is huge now" and that it was running on cable. She looked great.

Thursday, November 09, 2000

Today I am shooting "X.C.U.(Extreme Close-Up)" in studio City, a feature directed by Sean S. Cunningham. Sean directed "Friday the 13th"; I had a cool scene with leads AJ Buckley, Jay Michael Ferguson & Essence Atkins. It was a lot of fun with some stunts involved. Hope to see it on the big screen!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2000

I've got a busy day in store. I have a 10am appointment for "Ally McBeal" down in Manhattan Beach. Then at 12:25pm callback for "Icehouse" back up in Hollywood. I got a same day callback for "Ally" @ 4pm back down in Manhattan Beach. It took a lot of driving, but there will be no complaining from me. The "Icehouse" callback was one of the best I've ever had. I felt like the director knew he was going to hire me before I even got there. Back down for the "Ally" callback, it doesn't go all that great. Before I get home I get a "strong avail" for "Icehouse", yeah!!

Thursday, November 02, 2000

Today I went in for that "Icehouse" beer spot. I hope I get a callback since I got a parking ticket in the process.

Wednesday, November 01, 2000

Today I am shooting an episode of "Sabrina" as a guest in an art gallery. It was a quick day and Melissa Joan Hart is also directing. Since the strike ended I haven't had any commercial auditions, but I am sure it will pick-up over the coming weeks and months. Theatrically, I have been so busy that I have had to have my agents reschedule appointments for me. I am not usually that busy theatrically, I guess meeting all of these CD's is really coming back to me in a big way. Anyway today I missed an audition for an "Icehouse" beer spot because I was shooting. My agents got me rescheduled for tomorrow.

Tonight I went to a screening for "Echos of Enlightenment", a feature that I had a small part in written/directed by Dan Coplan. I portrayed a writer who said his script had been stolen. It was the first time I got to see myself on the big screen. Thanks Dan. I also saw Terry George at the screening; he is the executive producer, creator, writer & director of "The District". I had met him over the summer so I spoke to him; he gave me his card and said to call him.

Monday, October 30, 2000

(This continues from several weeks ago when my buddy told me about the film I mentioned before - XCU).

Buddy tells me about film.

Three of my friends had appointments.

Talk to my manager.

He calls CD Ricki Maslar, she informs him about a role that is African-American (the brother of one of the leads). It is a small role and a couple weeks away. Read script; find out which photos to send.

Weeks later I remind my manager, he puts in another call and leaves a message.

Then I'm dropped by Manager.

Anyway, last week my agent called with an appointment for the film. I go in and Ricki and her staff are apologizing for bringing me in for such a small role. They say that I am their favorite actor from the workshops. WHO KNEW!!!! In all honesty it must have been my charm (ha ha!) because I do not recall having a stellar performance when I met them. After assuring them I would come in for almost anything she told me that I was really right for this and it was going to be cast from the tape. My agency is a guest-star agency and I have never been a guest star. I have no problem with the smaller stuff at this point in my career. The series regular auditions are great, but I need to be the clerk, the pizza guy, the waiter, etc. right now. Then I'll be a guest-star. I just don't want to skip any steps. I got the part.

Saturday, October 28, 2000

You might not believe this one. Here it goes. I work the graveyard shift. So I am at work and it's a pretty routine evening/morning. I get home @ 6:30am ready to hop in the bed so that I can catch a 10am workshop. I figure I'll check my e-mail quickly before hitting the sack. I was amazed that I was able to get my computer started because it's been giving me quite the headache lately. So as I'm surfing the Actorsite forum and nodding at my desk because I am exhausted I see my name. It says "Urgent!! Stephon Fuller.......If you know him call him...............Suddenly my heart is racing, I'm wondering what the heck happened. It was posted @ 11:24pm the previous night, obviously I was at work. It is from a fellow actor, John Jabaley, he reports that he is locations managing a BET m.o.w. and a role needed to be cast right away and @ 11pm last night and he thought of me. He left numbers and times where I could reach him. At this point it is almost 7am; I figure I can get an hour of sleep before I call John (In hindsight I should have called right away). So I set 2 alarms on my pager, at 8 and 8:05am, of course I sleep through both of them. I wake up in cold sweat @ 8:25am and call John, he gives me the lowdown. In and out of the shower in a flash and off I go to Sun Valley, about 30 minutes away.

I arrive, they called John on the radio and he introduces me to the producer and director and took me upstairs. At this point it was just like being at a workshop. I got the sides and ten minutes later I was reading for the director with John as the reader. It wasn't a lot of material, but my head was still spinning. It was only I and one other actress, a person that John knew as well. So I go in and read and it goes well, then I could hear the actress reading through the door and she sounded great. I really thought that they would go with her; she played a little older and really looked the part. At this point I was thinking that I could still make it to that 10am workshop.

After about five minutes they came out and the director said "you both were great, thank you very much" I didn't they were going to take either of us. So I was cool, by now me and the other actress were talking about all kinds of things. We were both gathering our things to leave and John asked me to stay. I was shocked; it came down to me being a man. There was already a woman reporter in the film. I was taken straight to wardrobe & make-up. An hour later I was doing a scene with Kadeem Hardison (A Different World) and Lark Voorhies (Saved by the Bell). They were unbelievably nice and fun to work with, I had a great time.

When we broke for lunch I made a couple of phone calls, so I didn't get my food right away. As I was patiently waiting my turn in line one of AD's forced me to go to the front of the line. Weird. They were just making sure I was taken care of. The shoot was great, definitely the most attention I have ever had on set. I did one scene and I cannot say enough about Kadeem & Lark they were the best, funny & very engaging. The crew really took care of me as well. I also had a chance to ask him a question that I had been waiting for 5 years to ask him. We had the same manager years ago-him years & years ago and me-just years ago (Jan '95-June '96 while I lived NYC). When I signed with her she told me that she used to rep Kadeem, Giancarlo Esposito & Tom Cruise. She said she was the one who changed Tom's name from Thomas Mapother IV to Tom Cruise. Tom supposedly did his first two films with her and Kadeem booked "A Different World" thru her. I believed her, but Kadeem quickly confirmed that it was all true.

You never know where the day will take you, at 4:30 this morning I was waiting on Val Kilmer at the restaurant anticipating getting off to rest. It was not to be-Thankfully. I want to shout a huge "THANK YOU" out to John Jabaley - what you did was too cool for words. This month I waited on Benicio Del Toro (very cool @ 4am) & Mark Wahlberg (very polite) & Jordana Brewster (very polite & beautiful).

Thursday, October 12, 2000

For the last month I have been a reader for Henderson/Zuckerman Casting. This has been one of the best opportunities I have had as an actor. I was getting to see and hear everything. It really showed me where I need to be to even be considered for a film or TV project. THIS JUST IN!! I am abruptly dropped by my manager!!! Yeah, what the F!&#$!! He had been working on becoming a producer and now was the time. So he only kept a couple of clients that were really moving along well. Totally caught me by surprise, I thought some good things were going to happen for the both of us.

Meanwhile I have to say that the new position at my night job is working out well. It accomplished 2 things: I made more money in less time and I didn't have to get another job and "act" like I really wanted to be there. I was just trying to make my situation better, I had been doing this overnight thing for over 2 years and it was killing me. I knew I had to continue because it was my ticket out of doing it. So, I guess I was "doing it so I wouldn't have to do it". There are times when I fall asleep in my car after getting home from work at 6 or 7 in the morning. Not good.

On the other hand October was heating up nicely. We were still on strike, but the end "had" to be near I thought. I was getting theatrical auditions. WHAT!!! I don't get that many TV/Film auditions, but I was getting them now.

Being a reader it was an eye-opening experience, I highly recommend it. The first project I worked on was "Bluehill Ave" it shot in Canada. The leads are William Forsythe, Clarence Williams III and Allen Payne. There was some talk of me possibly landing a role, but the director could only take so many to Canada for budget reasons. In all honesty I didn't think I was really right for anything in the film. I was just happy to be there and be part of the process and hear the business talk. I really got a chance to know the director and he asked my opinion on some things. The project that I am working on now with them is called "Smash" it is a VH-1 comedy pilot. It is kinda like Fox's "Action" set to the music industry. There is a small role in the pilot that I have my eye on, that is possibly recurring if the series is picked up.

After reading hundreds of actors I really can now understand when a casting director says do not touch them or break that circle of their space. Some of the material that I've been reading has been pretty provocative, and the young women that are coming in are like "WHAT!!!" let's just say some of "Hollywood's Finest". Anyway, I have been touched, groped even kissed smack on the mouth (yes, by a woman); and there was no kiss in the scene!! That's cool whatever works, I am there for them. The actors have really been great; they really appreciate having another actor to read with. Some I have read with 2 or 3 times and they have made comments to the producers/director that "they should hire this guy" meaning me. We'll see about that. It really has shown me what it takes to light up the room, especially in comedy. In most cases you can really tell the people who have worked.

After being in there over a dozen times, I can tell you at least at that office that they call people in without representation, from workshops and without extensive credits. At the same time there are a lot of people who have worked a lot and are with top agencies. As an actor who has to beg, borrow and steal to get a theatrical audition the chance to be a reader is a way to stay in and be around the game.

Usually when I am a reader I start to get appointments. So this one time I am scheduled for a short producer/director session, just from 11am-12:30pm, of course I get a call for an audition @12 noon. I tried to reschedule, but they were only going until noon. After thinking long and hard I tell my agent that I won't be able to make it.

My agents know that I have been reading for them, but they don't really know to what extent. My agent trusted that I was making the right decision and left it at that. I know it sounds crazy that I would turn down a pre-read for "Sabrina" with Rick Millikan for a co-star to be a reader. I kinda feel like I have a lot invested now in this project, I have been reading with the producers/director, I am right for the role, it is possibly recurring and Cathy & Dori will push hard for me after the leads are set. After telling my agent that I cannot make the audition I figured I would call Henderson/Zuckerman just to make sure that everything was on schedule and that I indeed could not make it. Cathy & Dori heard in the background that I had an audition and were adamant about me not missing it; they would find a replacement for me. I told them my angle on the whole thing and they agreed, but then they offered to call Rick Millikan and see what they could do. They were able to get me rescheduled. I had a really good read and got a callback to producers and found out today that I have been booked for Wednesday of next week. Nothing huge and that's fine with me, it's a co-star about 4 lines and believe it or not my quote inched up a little higher. (I can't believe I have a quote). Oh, and it's directed by Melissa Joan Hart. Back at the job, I waited on Martin Lawrence and he left me $185 on an $85 check. He was very, very cool and low-key.

Thursday, September 07, 2000

Here was my plan. At my night job I was gonna transfer from the valet department to the restaurant. This way I would make more money and have slightly shorter hours. I made it coincide with my vacation. The switch was pretty smooth although a few tried to block it because I had worked that overnight thing for over a year faithfully. It was a difficult shift to fill and they didn't want lose me, but it was not my problem. I had driven enough Porsches', Benz', Rolls Royces', Bentleys', Lexus' BMWs' Ferraris' etc. My first night I waited on David Spade & Peta Wilson from "La Femme Nikita". They were very nice, David forgot his wallet. After Peta spilled cream on her clothing she was so happy that I brought soda water to her that she kissed me on the cheek. I guess it is the little things that count.

Thursday, August 10, 2000

I go with Daniel Rojo Management from the first meeting after doing a scene for him with Keilana. I felt really good about this. He ended up taking on Keilana as well. I would tell him about my workshops and he gave me his opinions. I was able to stop by and chat about whatever I had heard in town. My buddy Greg had an audition for a film, "XCU", at Ricki Maslar's office and he thought there might be something in it for me. I told my manager and he got on the phone right then and there to see if I was right for anything in the film. Yes, there was something but it was weeks away. I went back to my buddy found it in the script. That felt good. Things were already good, but now they are looking even better. CD Jerry Whitworth called me for an audition for "Arrest & Trial". I book it and worked the next day. It is fun, I get to drive a car with the cops in pursuit, get shaken down and then interrogated. How I afforded to go to Virginia again I don't know, but I went.

Monday, July 10, 2000

Not a whole lot happening, just keeping busy to stay prepared for any opportunities that may arise. My night job, workshops and picket lines take up most of my time. I did a workshop on July 10th with Dori Zuckerman @ Henderson/Zuckerman Casting and 2 weeks later she asked me to be a reader.

Also at this time I called one of my theatrical agents and discussed management with her. I told her I was committed and ready to do it. She called back the next day with 3 appointments. I did research on them and took the meetings. The first meeting, Daniel Rojo Management was cool, he seemed really excited about me and he "got" me. The 2nd meeting with Reaves/D'Andrea Entertainment was cool with a bit less of a connection. The 3rd meeting @ Bohemia Entertainment was different; this guy was really aggressive and edgy. He seemed to like my style but he felt I needed too much work for his company.

Thursday, June 22, 2000

Do I need to check my pager battery? Nobody's calling. I start working out, riding my, mountain bike, going to the beach - whatever to keep busy. I'm still doing casting director workshops to keep myself in the mix. At the beginning of the strike I had 2 "Pizza Hut" spots out there and they dropped them both. Not good news. Also, I booked a role in a short film that involved a lot of dancing and singing. What were they thinking? Anyway, after several rehearsals the producers decide to "go another way". Thankfully, because without the proper dance/voice training I would not have been able to get up to speed in time. They did me a favor; I didn't want to be the weakest link.

Monday, May 01, 2000

Back in town and we are on strike. This is not good. I am not one to take commercial auditions for granted, but it made me appreciate them even more. It really showed me how much I depend on my acting income which, thus far, has been mostly commercials. One good thing about the strike was that I got to know my commercial agents a lot better. I would see them on the picket lines, out in the hot sun like the rest of us. Also, episodics are shutting down and it is just slow. I still have the manager thing on my head as well. Not a whole lot going on, just continuing with my workshops. I'm not making much dough at my night job... gonna have to do something soon to bring in some cash.

Tuesday, April 11, 2000

With Pilot season coming to a close, I was trying see how I could get seen more. I had been going back and forth with the manager thing. Now, I felt I was ready to really pursue it. I had been compiling info about talent managers from various sources for years and knew a bit of who was who. I had done a mailing a couple of months earlier with not much success. I did get a call from a company that asked for a demo. I don't have a demo, just a couple a commercials on a tape. I went and dropped it off and got to meet with him, I would have signed with them on the spot, but I wasn't far enough along for them. I'm tired I wanna go home, to Virginia, so I do just that.

Monday, February 07, 2000

Casting director Jerry Whitworth calls me in to be a reader for a film. I had just met him days earlier at a workshop. I had a great time doing it. Days later I get a call from my commercial agent for a "callback" with the director of the "Pizza Hut" spot I did back in September. "Callback?" I hadn't been in yet. It's only me and two other girls; they had worked for "Pizza Hut" before as well. We go in and do some improv. He tells us that he wants to make us recurring characters. WHAT!!! As I am leaving the meeting Jerry calls me to come back in for the director for the film that I was the reader for, I was one of 3 choices. It starts the same day as the "Pizza Hut" spot would shoot.

Anyway, 2 days later I and 1 of the other girls are shooting. We have our scene together with the lead guy and I was in the background in another scene. I'm thankful for that background shot, because they didn't use my shot with the lead guy. When the spot aired, and it aired often, you barely saw me in the background. I wasn't "cut out" even though you would not have recognized me in the spot. Those residuals helped me through the strike. I didn't get the film.

Monday, January 03, 2000

It's the first business day of the New Year and I already have my first appointment. It's for "The Time of Your Life", the new Jennifer Love Hewitt drama show on FOX. I'm going straight to producers for a couple of lines. Get the word the next day I'm booked. The character walks up on a murder scene. The next day is the table read; my first for a TV show. The cast is very nice and involved in the reading. A couple of days later I'm shooting in downtown LA in an alley with real, big, nasty rats!!! WHAT!!! These were the first rats I had seen since leaving New York!!! I didn't know LA had rats. Anyway it was good way to start off the year.