Friday, March 28, 2003

The last week picked a bit for me, I had 2 pilots and a film audition. The two pilots were from Whoopi Goldberg & Charlie Sheen, the film is the remake of "Cheaper by the Dozen" starring Steve Martin & Bonnie Hunt. I would love to land a part in any of these projects, especially getting to work with Bonnie again. Too bad, none of these auditions went all that well. I don't know I just made a lot mistakes. This cannot continue.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

MARCH 25th '03*Two years ago today I started a leave of absence from my survival job. I worked as a waiter & valet at The Standard Hotel on Sunset Blvd. My shift of choice---the graveyard 11pm-7am. UGH!! Boy do I have memories; and not all of them are fond.

It was a leap of faith. I didn't have much money saved, but I felt that in order to move to the next level I had to do it. I also had to ask myself if it would be more difficult to stay in the job or leave with the possibility of having to return. I chose to bounce and give it my best shot.

I had spoken to a fellow actor in New York about my decision and he said "just do it it'll work out, before you know it it'll be 6 months ago when you left." He used to work at The Public Theatre in NYC and when his position ended he just never looked for another day job. He is doing quite well in his acting career these days.

The last year has been unbelievable in more ways than one. Losing my mother late last year to cancer continues to be a monumental challenge in my life. The other extreme is that my career plan is working exactly as scripted. Sometimes even I can't believe how things are materializing. As a result, I was able to travel back and forth to the East coast to spend a lot of time with my mother before she passed and the rest of my family.

Just over a year ago my cash flow was really tight & I was planting the seeds to start doing commercial background work. I needed to supplement my income. Of course no one called to book me. It's funny, because now I'm starting get calls for commercial background work. Go figure.

Towards the end of last pilot season things kicked into a much higher gear. Exactly a year ago I booked a very, very small role in Tori Spelling's pilot for The WB. It wasn't picked up. My agent "really" didn't want me to do it, but I told her I "really" needed the payday. It was the first of 3 small pilot bookings that year. Today, exactly a year later, I booked a small role in a pilot of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" and my agent and I decided to turn it down. It felt really good to do that. Hopefully if it the pilot gets picked I can get back in to read for it.

I am finding that my agents are becoming more important in my career. They never turn anything down without running it by me first. I'm an actor; I just wanna be on-set. This job today, I might have taken if I didn't have my agents input. I know I shouldn't have. It's kinda like a 6 yr old eating candy until s/he literally gets sick to his or her stomach, s/he needs vegetables too.

These days when I drive by The Standard Hotel I don't even always noticed it as it becomes more of a distant memory for me. That doesn't mean I won't be punching a clock somewhere in the future, but not without a fight.

So that's it! Two years down and hopefully many more to go.

On another note, if there is any doubt, drop-offs really can work. On Friday I dropped off photos for myself and a couple of dear friends @ "CSI Miami" and one of them went straight to producers this afternoon. Usually when I do those drops it guarantees that "I" won't be called in, but hey, it all works out in the end.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Last night we wrapped the season for "Good Morning, Miami". I auditioned for the role on April 10th, 2002 and have since worked 31 days on 13 episodes of the show. Interesting how very few have actually seen me on the show, but that's another story.

The experience I have gained has been extremely valuable. Most of it has been technical and getting to see how things work at this level. The process makes a lot more sense to me now that I've seen it up close.

It was the first time I ever worked on a show more than once. I was treated very well in every way, even given gifts.

At this point it isn't known if the show will be back on the schedule next year, but I was told by one of the executive producers that I will be back if they are back. I have a good feeling about it. When I arrived at work yesterday our stage and the "Will & Grace" stage was locked down. There had been some sort of threat called in to those particular stages. Therefore, it was necessary to secure the stages and our dressing rooms to search them. Nothing was found and we started work about 30 minutes late. That was kinda weird. You never know what a 3 line part can lead to. Next year, if it happens, I look forward to doing more on the show.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Today I had a really good callback for "Sony VAIO"; it was the same director that had me on avail for the "Boston Globe" spot several weeks ago. I even have a Sony PC at home.

Monday, March 17, 2003

AGAIN!! I get released from the "Sun Microsystems" spot. That's cool, maybe next time.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

This episode of "Good Morning, Miami" is really funny. The two guest stars in this episode, Anne Meara & Carrie Preston, are hilarious. I also get word directly from the Executive Producers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick that I will be working next week as well. Next week is the final episode of the season. I'm really glad I'm working this last one so that I can say goodbye to everyone.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

I had to show a little back-bone this morning. Since I'm usually hired on "Good Morning, Miami" at the last minute sometimes I'm not on the call sheet.

As I'm checking in through the gate on the CBS Radford lot, I have trouble getting through---again. I waited patiently as the female security guard was on a phone call. I could hear that it was a personal call, no problem I'm a very reasonable guy, but 5-7 minutes is an eternity when you are waiting in a small office for someone to do their job of taking care of your needs.

While on the phone she was kinda half-way looking for my name on a list somewhere. This is the 3rd time this has happened with this particular guard. For some reason she didn't have a call sheet for "Good Morning, Miami". Okay, not her fault. There was also no fax saying I would be working on this day, again not her fault. At that point she should have been on the phone to solve my problem. This is my 10th episode and about the 30th time on the lot for this show.

The problem was that she wouldn't end her personal call to take care of me and it offended me. I am a really nice guy most of the time, but my "prick" side bubbles just below the surface and if I need it I can switch in a flash. I felt as though she didn't value my time in the least.

She finally got off the phone when I started to get impatient. I asked her "what the heck was taking so long?" She said she couldn't find me on the list. I told her that I felt she was being disrespectful, she said the same to me. I asked her who was she talking to on the phone and she should have been helping me. So she calls some other person who was of no help.

Finally, I called the casting office myself and was taken care of in less than a minute. I told her that I would go to set and bring her a call sheet myself. Of course when I got the call sheet I wasn't on it anyway. That wasn't the point; the point was that she felt her personal call was way more important than me getting to work.

Predictably, I felt really bad afterwards. She is someone's mother and/or wife I was talking to in that fashion. I didn't want to look like an actor who was trying to throw his weight around, but I also didn't want to be disrespected for no good reason. I mean if she was on an urgent personal call that would have been different, but she was just lolly gagging about nothing that seemed important.

When I brought her the call sheet we both apologized to each other. I think she saw this very casually dressed, young, black male, with dreadlocks and didn't take me seriously. I don't think she treats everyone like that and I bet you she will no longer treat me that way either.

Back in the saddle at "Good Morning, Miami". I don't know if the show will back next year or not, but I want to go on record to say that I think it is really funny. Anyway, as soon as I finished working my agent called to say that I'd been released from my avail for the "IBM" commercial. 38 minutes later I get a call to say that I'm on avail for a "Sun Microsystems" commercial.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

MARCH 11th '03*I gotta tell you, I really enjoy what I do. Today I had a pilot audition on the Paramount lot. Shortly before I go in my commercial agent calls to say that the "IBM" spot I did back in May might be redone. Cool! They were checking my availability and seeing if I look the same. Since I cannot always get on the studio lots I try to make those trips as useful as possible. I pull out my trusty Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC to find addresses and drop-off to everyone I can while on there. Usually there are ones that I have an old address for, but there are always some that I find that I didn't know where existed. I run into Alan @ Gilda Stratton Casting, he got me an audition @ "Abby" several months ago. He said he thought there was something I was right in the Norm MacDonald pilot they are working on now. It is such an empowering feeling to take control of your destiny and that is exactly what I feel like I'm doing.

Get this, while I am plotting & planning another drop-off who calls my name. It's Peri Gilpin (Roz) & Patrick Kerr (Noel) that I worked with both times on "Frasier". I was surprised that they remembered me. It made me feel as though I'm making some headway in this crazy business. Just before I leave the lot "Good Morning, Miami" puts me on Avail. Yes!! Three hours later they book me for work.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Today while doing drop-offs I am able to get seen for a "Yahoo" commercial. I also get my first pilot appointment for Thursday.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Back in LA and back to work. I"M ON "ER"!!! Yes!! I have wanted to get into more TV drama and this is a great start. I have a very small role, but that will change in the future. It was great to be on that set that I have seen on TV for so many years. While I'm working, my agent calls to say that "Good Morning, Miami" wants to hire me for the next 3 days. Cool! Two hours later they call back to say that the scene had been cut. Dag!! The good part is that I still get paid for 3 days of work. I also ask my agent about pilots. I hadn't had a single pilot audition this season. She said she has been trying and that it should kick in soon for me.