Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Yes!! My first pilot audition of the season. Hopefully this is a sign of what is to come for me. It is at Landsburg/Fiddleman Casting. Terri Fiddleman brought me in for the first TV gig that I ever booked. It was for "Friends". The pilot presentation is for ABC Family called "This Time Around" which is based on a movie-of-the-week. They went over my resume and saw that I have been working quite a bit and asked about the Spielberg/Hanks experience. I felt the read went well; I did everything that I wanted to do in the room. It would be nice to get a callback.

I thought this was kinda funny. I looking at this "Good Morning, Miami" fansite and the topic of the day was why was the show having a bad season. Someone inquired about the character that I used to play "Robby" they said "Whatever happen to Robbie? He was so cool". I gotta tell you I got a kick out of that!!

Screening: "Bad Santa". The star of the film, Billy Bob Thornton, did a Q&A session for SAG members in attendance. He is a really cool dude. I was even able to get a photo with him.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Commercial audition: "Sears".I have a dear friend who is one of the most talented people I have ever met and I mean ever. Her name is Erin Seaborg. The business side of acting, for her, wasn't nearly as exciting as acting itself. I asked her to give me some of her headshots and I would pass them around while I did my own drop-offs. She had attended some casting director workshops and I knew which ones. I would selectively drop off her photos at the places that I thought she had the best chance of getting called in. The last photo that I had of hers went to Zane/Pillsbury Casting. They cast NBC's "Miss Match". Brett Greenstein called her in and she booked the role!! She was non-union so she was able get her SAG card from it as well. The show aired tonight and she looked great. Congratulations Erin!!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Happy Birthday mom!!! She would have been 70 today. Tonight I attend the Hollywood premiere of "In America". It was pretty neat; I even walked down the red carpet. I got off of it quickly so I wouldn't get in someone else's photo. I enjoyed the film for the third time and hung out for reception afterwards. I even saw a few people that I knew. Thanks Jim.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

My friend, Jonathan Julian, has a commercial audition today that he thinks I am also right for. I call my agent and 10 minutes later I have my own appointment. It was for a "Dodge" spot and it goes really well. Screening: "In America" After the screening I run into the highly-acclaimed director of the Jim Sheridan. I know Jim through a former girlfriend. He invites me to the premiere which is tomorrow in Beverly Hills.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Today I have a film audition @ Henderson/Zuckerman Casting. The film is called "Lost in Plainview"; the role is of a small-town, country guy. He runs into 2 girls in trouble and eventually gets killed. The audition is for the director and it goes really well. Afterwards I have a producer session for UPN's "All About The Andersons. Screening: "Japanese Story"

Saturday, November 15, 2003

AIA Career Day is what is on my agenda today. Not so much because I'm looking for direction in my career, because I have to stay busy. Today is the one year anniversary of my mother's death. Without question, this is the most difficult thing I have ever been through. I don't know that it gets easier with time. It gets.........different. It has tapped the rawest emotions in my core self. I don't think I ever cried at a film before she passed. These days I rarely see a film where I don't shed a tear at some point. (You can keep that between us though.)

Friday, November 14, 2003

Cool! I get to be a reader today. Henderson/Zuckerman Casting, who I have been a reader for in the past, has asked me to help out on an indie film called "In Your Eyes". It's a short session with the Producers/Writers/Director. It goes well and they ask for my headshot at the end. I also have an audition scheduled for and another project at this office next week.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

7:00am and I'm back on-set for my last day on "The Terminal". Looking at the schedule it seems that my scene will be shot today. All of the vendors supported one another while they were shooting which was great. I watched Lydia do her thing and I was up soon after. A background actor in Lydia's scene got an upgrade to principal when he was asked to dance in the scene by the cinematographer. No lines, just dancing, I can't wait see that scene in the film.

Right before my scene was to be filmed Steven threw in another shot on the spot. Another background actor who was working in the Starbucks was also upgraded on the spot and given several lines with Tom Hanks. Two people upgraded in one hour. Finally it was my turn to work. I had some other choices to help make my little bit of dialogue my own. I wanted my ideas to be heard so I waited until I was miked for sound and knew Steven was listening. I wasn't going to change the dialogue that was written, but I figured that I'd kinda throw it out to the universe when I was warming up before we actually rehearsed it. IT WORKED!!! After the second take Steven came over to me and asked me to add the line I was doing in rehearsal. It was over in a flash and Tom & Steven shook my hand and thanked me. Steven laughed and said "you've got the line of the movie". I just hope it survives through post-production. Afterwards I, Lydia and the others hung out and watched production for the rest of the day. I also asked Mr. Hanks for a photo and he was more than happy to pose with me. 119 days after that drop-off it's finally done. Well not really, my promotional energy will continue to use it to get more auditions for studio films. Since we ended up staying a little longer than originally booked we were in the hotel longer as well. I figured I was due more per diem money in addition to what I had already gotten, but I wasn't going to ask for it. Sure enough Lydia got hers and came and told me that they had mine waiting for me. I could get used to this!! Peace!!

This officially let me know that this surreal experience was OVER and I was going back to my regular life. When I was leaving the set i started my car and the headlights wouldn't turn on. WHAT!!! Yeah, no headlights. I fiddled with some things for a little while and they eventually came on. Back to the hotel for a good nights sleep before driving back to Hollywood in the morning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I'm off today from "The Terminal" which works out perfectly because my agent calls with a callback for a "Domino's" commercial. The callback goes well; I'm due for some commercial bookings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

One year ago today I said what was to be my final goodbye to my mother. Without question, this was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I miss her dearly. Another 6:30 call today. The weather is quite brisk in the morning; I think the elevation is about 3,000 feet. I love seeing the snow-capped mountains in the distance. According to the shooting schedule the group of vendors that I am a part of is shooting first thing this morning. I get a little breakfast, into wardrobe & I'm ready to go. The big question is: are they ready for me? I sit in my trailer, reading a script, and doze off. Then there is a knock on my door. They are ready for me. Finally!! One moment I'm asleep and five minutes later I'm in a scene with Tom Hanks. Things change fast in Hollywood, well make that Palmdale.

A wonderful surprise for me today was the entire office from Debra Zane Casting visiting the set. It was Debra herself, associate Tannis Vallely and assistant Christiana Celeste. They picked today to visit because many of the people who booked a weeks work were working. They were genuinely happy for our group; they even stayed and had lunch with us.

After lunch it was back to work. We were finishing a huge scene from the previous day involving hundreds of background actors. Watching Tom Hanks is quite interesting. I don't see him as an "intense" actor; he seems very relaxed and just does the work. We wrapped another 12 hour day and it was back to the hotel. Oh yeah, Mr. Hanks gave us all Lotto tickets. He is a first class guy.....I didn't win though.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I'm back in Palmdale and my 6:30am call is welcome. I'm eager to work, but it isn't to be today. I wait, wait and wait some more. I hang out on set a bit and watch the others do their thing. Three of Steven Spielberg's kids make cameos in the film as well. 10 1/2 hours on set, but camera time for me. Back to the hotel, dinner and I hit the sack early.

Friday, November 07, 2003

This morning's 6:30am call time came after a restless night. Today's shooting schedule said that the vendors would be in the first two scenes of the day and the very last scene of the day. The hours came and went. I slept in my trailer for a while, and then hung out on-set. We broke for lunch, and then afterwards we were wrapped for the day. 8 hours on-set, but they never got to our scenes. We will are scheduled to be back on Monday.

I signed out and shot some hoops with Diego Luna. I'm not a b-ball player, but I didn't know my game was THAT bad. I suck!!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

INT. Stephon's stuffy studio apartment-7:07am-

SFX: (Phone ringing)

Stephon: (After checking caller ID: "Dreamworks") Hello?



I'm sorry to call you so early, but Steven just arrived on-set and wants to shoot your scene today. Is it possible for you to come to set right away?

Ah....yeah of course.

Cool! Thank you so much. Look for me when you get here, I have very short hair.

Okay, see you then.

So that was my wake up call this morning. I've had worse calls. All of the sudden everything is NOW! The location is in Palmdale, about 70 miles away.

Put clothes in the dryer from last night
Shower & shave
Fill my cars' radiator with coolant, since I have a leak
Go to ATM

I'm finally on the road. It's a beautiful drive through the mountains of Southern California. I don't think I'll ever get used to the mountainous views of this region. It's pretty flat in Virginia Beach where I grew up, so the is a real treat.

I arrive at the location. I can't believe this. It is the largest set ever built for a movie. They constructed a whole airport terminal. I check in with production and get to my trailer and the first person is Lydia Blanco. I've known Lydia for a couple of years, we met doing workshops. I remember when she was new in town and a little frustrated with being non-union. Well here we are working together on a Spielberg production with Tom Hanks & Catherine Zeta-Jones. Dreams do come true.

The set is unbelievable to say the least. It is Hollywood magic at its best, you really get the feeling that you are leaving on a flight. I am part of a group of 5 airport vendors. We are introduced to Mr. Spielberg and he seems like a really nice guy. Shortly after I see Tom Hanks & Catherine Zeta-Jones. Tom is very funny and engaging. Ms. Zeta-Jones is absolutely beautiful, very sweet and doesn't take long show why she is a star.

We are informed by one of the AD's that since Steven put us in this scene at the last minute we will get one extra day of work added. This is great news; it'll pay for my trip home for the holidays. During one of the set changes I had a few words with Mr. Spielberg. I thanked him for the opportunity to be a part of his storytelling. I also told him that I thought I was the only man in the world who had never had coffee. He laughed and said maybe he & I are the only two.

The next 6-8 hours were spent rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest players in the industry. After wrapping for the day, me and the other vendors checked in our hotel, met for dinner and called it a night.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I receive a call from "The Terminal" production saying that I won't start tomorrow; it has been pushed to the following day. Okay, what's another day right? I mean I booked this role over 3 months ago. I'm patient, LOL!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A friend of mine, Gwendolyn Oliver, had a script reading of her screenplay sharing her experience of having a brain tumor. Powerful, moving and quite beautiful to say the least.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

These days I'm looking forward to breaking through to the next level in my career. I'm kinda sitting in a great position, but I don't want to continue to be an actor who only does bit parts. I pride myself with being "patiently, impatient". Great things are happening for me, but I have to keep the pressure on to keep on a steady plane of progress. I think a change is on the horizon as far as my hair style goes, I am getting tired of wearing my hair in dreadlocks. I have already discussed it with my agents and I think it will happen sooner than later. Now that it seems like "Good Morning, Miami" is a thing of the past it may be a perfect time to do it.