Sunday, December 26, 2004

I woke up this morning with motocross on my mind.....until I saw that we received several inches of snow overnight. Growing up in Virginia Beach taught me to take forecasts of snow with a grain of salt. Well surprise, surprise, no MX riding today.

My brothers and I talk "mad sh*t" on a daily basis about who has the motocross title in the family. The thing is that I only get to ride when I'm home while they ride quite often. I don't think they realize that the fact that they consider me a threat even though I don't get to ride much is a huge compliment.

They underestimate how much I study the sport. Living in Los Angeles means I get to see the best riders in the world race several times a year. I also read the magazines, study it on they internet and watch it on television. My approach is very similar to that of my acting career. For better or worse, LOL!!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

It's $&*#ing COLD in Virginia Beach!!! I don't know how I'm going to survive 2 weeks of this weather; nevertheless it's great to be home. Lately, every time I go home I think about the possibility of moving back. I've only felt that way in the last two years or so. I have some unfinished dealings with the family business that I left ten years ago........at least in my mind. My father is completely impossible for me to work with, but I'd love to work with my brothers. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy what I do in Los Angeles, but I have many other interests as well.

Usually, I'm really anxious to go motocross riding with my brothers. For some reason, this time, I was low-key about it. When my brother, Jeff, asked if I was ready to go tomorrow I was kinda slow to react. There was no way I was going to cancel, but I wasn't pushing the issue. It's like twenty degrees outside and I live in LA!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

I'm finally leaving for the holidays. Usually, I leave earlier, but last year I booked a commercial at the last minute and had to buy a new ticket because change fee for the ticket I already had was so high. I don't think I have ever needed a break like I do this year.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Yesterday my doctor called to tell me that my liver is perfect, that makes sense I've never had beer, wine or any kind of alcohol. She also told me that I am mildly anemic. Ooops. I'm sure this is not a big deal, but I've never been sick or on medication in my life and I am sorta freaked by the thought of it. I'll get another blood test today and go from there.
Another doctor appointment, this time they take more blood for testing and request another type of sample........uh yeah. I wish I understood more about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Maybe then, I wouldn't be so concerned. Well, I'm only concerned sometimes, but when I'm concerned I'm really concerned.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Audition: "Project View" @ Cathi Carlton Casting.Audition: "Sharp Copiers" @ Francene Selkirk CastingWow, I thought I was finished for the year. I wasn't expecting to have anymore auditions. I'm not complaining, I'll look at it '05 starting off with a bang. '05 here I come!!! BUT I really wanna go home too.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tonight I attended a SAG "Roll Film" Event featuring Lauren Graham star of the WB hit "Gilmore Girls". It's incredibly inspiring to hear the stories of people who are successful at such high level in this business. In anything really. Anyway, she seems like a wonderful, funny woman who is much taller than I thought.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Today a friend of mine read some of what I've written so far. Of course he said it was brilliant. What else was he going to say? No, seriously this guy is a pretty straight shooter. He's not gonna blow smoke for me. He said the dialogue was good, it made sense, it was going somewhere and it kept him interested. About a year ago I was listening to new music from a friend, Jamie Green. She is definitely one of my favorite artist, local or not. She is an amazing singer/songwriter. Anyway, I was listening to this particular song and started to see the video in my head, then I started seeing myself directing the video, then I started seeing it as the ending of a film, then I wrote the scene in my head. That is where is the inspiration of this script came from. It's amazing how clear I see the ending in my head.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I downloaded a demo copy of Final Draft and I actually started writing. I can't believe it. I wrote some stuff a while back, but this is different. It felt really good. I hope I keep it up.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Okay, today was a day of days for me. I was scheduled for "some" of the surgery on my gums. I was reluctant to go through with it because, simply, I can't afford it right now and all of this dental stuff is super expensive.
Fortunately, I have medical insurance, but there's always "your portion" that you have to pay. When I was there last week, I repeatedly explained to the periodontal specialist that I couldn't afford to do it right now. SHE repeatedly explained to me that I could. It was like this weird tug-of-war. Being a dental specialist in Beverly Hills probably made it difficult for her to understand "I'M BROKE!!!" LOL!!!

Anyway, she did a whole lot of talking about how she could make it work with my insurance so I wouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket. I was still reluctant. Ideally, when I get this work done I want to pay cash or mostly cash, but I was willing to listen.

By the time she'd finished talking she had set me up with an appointment AND given me a prescription for pain killers. I walked out of there pissed! I felt like I had been railroaded or something. Nevertheless, I figured, she knew more than me about dealing with insurance companies. Oh yeah, she scheduled the appointment on the same day that I already had a physical scheduled.

All right, so I walk in this morning and I am completely terrified. I don't know, the notion of surgery in my mouth sounds like insanity. She asked if there was anything she could do to make me more comfortable. I told her that my biggest fear was that I would get a bill for this procedure in four months. She assured me that it wouldn't cost me anything. I put on my headphones, she numbed my mouth and I closed my eyes for the next hour.
I survived.

I walked back to my car damn near in tears, in pain, on medication with stitches in my mouth. I took the back roads home, parked in front of my apartment and fell asleep in my car. I got tell you these days I feel like a woman going through her time of the month. Not that I know what that feels like but.........I just need to go home and do some very non-LA things for a couple of weeks.

Continuous: An hour later:

I'm at the Bob Hope Health Center for my Comprehensive Physical Examination (CPE). I have been trying to avoid this for two years. Excuse after excuse after excuse. It's been on my schedule to set up an appointment for over a year, but everytime it comes up I reset it for two weeks later. My mother lost her life to cancer, her mother lost a breast and another member of my family was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. I needed to get looked at just to be sure. I've been totally in denial about it, but 2004 has been dedicated to getting some things straightened out in my personal life. I have to say that I am very, very happy with the progression in that area. I feel I'm laying fertile soil to bloom in '05.

There has to be a script somewhere buried in my life. Or maybe I'm just naive. I don't know. Anyway, here I am in the examination room. I am given a smock to put on. So I'm thinking "am I supposed to be completely naked under here? Or should I keep my boxers on? I don't even know this woman." Oh yeah, I had requested a woman doctor to do the exam because, I figured, if I was going to do this I should really challenge myself. Yeah, some random woman who I've never met seeing me completely naked, that's a challenge for me. I am really a shy guy. Well, I mean, she is a doctor, but still. One night stands are different. I'M KIDDING......sorta....no seriously..........no sorta...........

Moving right along, the doctor comes in and asked me all kinds of questions about my medical history. Some I was able to answer, others I didn't really know.
Like "how's your father's health?"
Ooops, I don't really know, I haven't spoken to him in a year and half.

Or "when was the last time you had a tetanus shot?"
Ahhh, I don't know if I've ever had one.
Okay......well, you'll get one today.
Do I have to? I mean, why do I need one? Will it make me sick? Why, why why.....

I was sweating bullets. So she's doing all the routine stuff, cleaning my ears, checking my eyes. Everything looks great. My heart is fantastic. She keeps telling me how great a shape I'm in. Cool. Then she lays me down, mind you, I'm completely naked under this smock and tripping out. Oh sh*t, what's next? So she pulls the smock back and.........(fill in the blank)...........has me cough. LOL!!!! What!!!! She says "OK great". Before I recover from that, she has me bend my knees and turn over on my left side. Let's not forget I'm shy and naked under this smock.
This is where it got really, really crazy. As I was turning on my side, I saw her slip on a pair of surgical gloves. I heard that familiar "pop" when you snap them on. I didn't think much of it at that moment. When I turned over on my side I was face to face with a stainless steel table that had random medical stuff on it. The doctor came around to the table, picked up a tube of "gel" opened it and put some on one finger. MY WORLD STOPPED COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh--no--she--isn't!! Oh--yes--she--is!!..............................And, my prostate is fine. ^$%*!!

Friday, December 10, 2004

R RESTRICTED
Under 17 Requires an accompanying Parent or Adult GuardianThis paragraph contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 17 years of age. Parents are strongly urged to exercise great care in monitoring this paragraph and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 17 read unattended. This paragraph contains one or more of the following: intense violence (V), intense sexual situations (S), strong coarse language (L), or intensely suggestive dialogue (D).

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DECEMBER 10th '04*This is hilarious.......or scary. Remember that "lovely young actress" that slapped the sh*t out of me a couple of days ago. Well, after getting comments about the situation from a couple of people I decided that I really needed to speak with her about it. She needs to know that she can't do that to anyone else. Therefore, I called her and it went a bit like this.

INT. Honda Accord Coupe.

Stephon sits in his car on a tree-lined street. He dials his cell phone.

Lovely young actress who will remain nameless (LYAWWRN)

LYAWWRN
Hello.

STEPHON
Hey LYAWWRN. It's Stephon, how are you?

LYAWWRN
I'm okay.

STEPHON
Good. I wanted to talk to you about the scene we did on Saturday.

LYAWWRN
What about it Steven?

STEPHON
Ahh.....when you slapped me.

LYAWWRN
Steven don't make a big deal about that-

STEPHON
It's Stephon. My name is Stephon.

LYAWWRN
Steven! As an actor you have to know that anything can happen in a scene!

STEPHON
No! I don't expect that someone is going to slap me the way you did.

LYAWWRN
I can't believe this--don't call me again!-(hangs up phone again).

STEPHON
Oh sh*t, she just hung up on me.

CONTINUOUS-2 minutes later.

SFX: Cell phone rings.

STEPHON
Hello.

LYAWWRN
Steven you're a pu**y and you'll never make it in this business.

STEPHON
You've got to be kidding.

LYAWWRN
You can't going around--

STEPHON
Did you just call me a pu**y?

LYAWWRN
Yes. You're a pu**y. (she hangs up again)

Stephon sits. This time completely, completely stunned.

STEPHON
She just called me a pu**y. WHAT? (Laughs) This chick is completely out of her fu*#ing mind.

I swear to you that's how the "conversation" went. She called me a pu**y. I can't believe that. It's makes no sense at all. Because she slapped me and I didn't like it I won't make it in this business? Well "that" makes a lot of sense. What a stupid thing to say. I guess now that she has said that I won't make it I should give up. Yeah.....crazy lady.

To be honest, this particular actress has intrigued me for some time. Intrigued in sense of she's really interesting to watch. I don't mean so much as an actress; although she is a fine actress, but more as a person. She's just like........I don't know. You never know what she's going to do next or who she going to offend. I would love to be a fly on the wall in "her world" for a week to see where she gets her sense of entitlement at the expense of others. I figured, either it's not the first time she has slapped someone like that or maybe she has been slapped herself like that.

I went to a dental specialist today for a second consultation. It was not pleasant. Not painful, just that I need a bit of work done.I was released from being on avail for the "Degree" commercial from a couple of weeks. No problem, I had released my self in my mind a long time ago. I was surprised to even get the call.

Screening: "Sideways". I enjoyed this film a lot more than I thought I would. It was really cool.

For some reason today was not a good day. In fact, it was the worst day I've had in a long, long time. I knew it when I woke up this morning. That doesn't happen to me that often. Ironically, it's has nothing to do with the dentist appointment or being released from the commercial.........or being called a pu**y for that matter. I think I'm just really, really tired and ready to go home for the holidays. It's been a great year, in a lot of ways, but I am ready for it to be over. I'll keep working until I leave though, I can sleep on the plane.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Callback!!! YEAH!!! I got a callback for that "DirecTV" spot I went in for last week. At the audition I was portraying someone on an exercise bike. I did a "California Lottery" commercial where I was on an exercise bike a several years ago and it was quite embarrassing. My cardio was not up to par; I was so winded it wasn't funny. I think I am in much better shape these days, hopefully I'll get a chance to prove it on-set.The callback went great.....I think. I couldn't understand a thing the director said. He had a really strong accent, I think it was french. At any rate I felt really great about it.A couple of weeks ago someone inquired about a manager I had for a short time years ago in New York. The actor was meeting with her and wanted to know what my experience was with her. I was honest and, in short, felt that she didn't help me too much, but I saw her help others. I felt she was signing me in order to get to my friend whom she "really" wanted to rep. She thought that I was the "brains of the duo" and if I signed he would sign. She was wrong about that; he didn't need me to make his decisions. Anyway, when this actor met with her she asked him to have me call her to catch up. So I called her and left a message and she called me back. It was the same as it was years ago when I was repped by her. She didn't want to know what I was up to, she just wanted to hear was my friend from way back then was up to. It's funny to think about it now. I remember back when I requested for a release from the contract I had with her, I heard through the grapevine that she said I would never work in New York. How wrong she was. Tonight I saw "Hotel Rwanda" again. This time lead actor Don Cheadle was there for a Q&A. He is completely amazing to me. This film is incredibly touching. It's hard to believe that stuff like this still goes on in our world......then again it isn't so hard to believe. This is a story that director Terry George had been trying get produced for 5+ years. I, for one, am glad he got it finished. Don shared a lot of things with us about his journey and also about the power of turning down projects that he doesn't want to do. I must admit that it's hard knowing how close I was to working with him in "Ocean's Twelve". The scene that I was cast in would have been with him and Elliot Gould. I'll get to work with him another time and another place.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Today I attended a director workshop with casting director/director Ellie Kanner. She cast the pilot and first year of "Friends" and "Dawson Creek". It was one of the best workshops I've ever participated in. The place where I have taken most of my workshops, Actorsite aka Hollywood Workshop.com, is really pushing forward in the area of bringing in directors/producers for actors to learn from. The entire session last about 5 hours. I actually had to postpone my dentist appointment because I didn't want to leave early and miss something.She broke us up in about four different groups. Each group had a different scene. The rest of the class other than the group that was reading anonymously gave feedback. Then, along with Ellie's professional feedback it was then delivered to the actor in a positive, honest and constructive manner. It was great to get such insight from a director. She even designated an assistant in the class to bring us in the room as we were coming in to read our scenes. She really touched on a lot of things that we sometimes forget. I definitely learned a thing or two or ten today.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Audition: "the bad girls' guide to life" @ Susan Vash Casting. My first pilot audition of the season. I haven't booked for Susan yet, but I have had been to producers several times. This a 1/2 hour pilot for UPN. I think I am really right for this role. I plan to make a strong choice and get to the next step. When I walked in the associate, Reyna Karp, told me that she saw me in "The Terminal". YAY!! I felt the audition went well. I really hope to get a callback on this one.
As I was leaving the Paramount lot, (after doing some drop-offs of course) I saw someone I recognized, but I couldn't place the face at first. In an instance it came to me. It was Katy Garretson. Katy was the 1st AD and also a director of "Frasier". She directed the first episode I did. I stopped and spoke to her for a bit, she was directing and episode of "Girlfriends". She said she really like the episode and had a photo of me when I had hair.Tonight I attended a SAG "Roll Film" Event that featured the cast of CBS drama "Navy NCIS". I met one of the regulars, Pauley Perrette, back in 2000 when I worked as a reader on a pilot @ Henderson/Zuckerman Casting. I remember reading with her back then and she just lit up the room.....and booked the pilot. For a while it seemed like everytime I visited my local Ralph's grocery store I'd run into her and we'd chat. I hadn't seen her in a while and it was really good to see her tonight and get to chat with her. Something she said to the crowd really struck me. She stressed having a life outside of the business and just dealing with real people. Not that Hollywood isn't real, but I think you can live your life in a vacuum if you aren't careful. I witnessed this woman, who is a series regular on a hit CBS drama, rush to catch a taxi to the screening of a short film that she is in.......in the rain. Yeah, that is what I call keeping it real. You go Pauley!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

SAG "Roll Film" Event featuring the cast of "ER". I can't tell how inspiring these events are for me. Just getting to hear someone else's story is the greatest thing for me. I am insanely curious about the most random things and I just love to know how people get to where there are in life. Anyone, not just performers. I'd worked with one of the cast members, Mekhi Phifer, back in New York on a film called "Hell's Kitchen". Actually, I got work with him in here in LA on "ER" too. I spoke to him briefly and even seem to remember me from the shoot in NYC. I don't think he did. How could he? They meet so many people? Anyway, I'm really glad to see his career keep moving forward, he seems like a great guy.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I've attended hundreds of CD workshops in my years of pursuing my career, but one of the ones I attended today was probably the most interesting. The guest, Scott David, was fabulous!! He gave us a bunch of info on how things work in his office, his background, the tone of their shows, upcoming projects and the like, which is standard. Instead of giving out sides, he paired us up and gave us one word or a phrase to base an improv on. I was so impressed with what everyone came up with. I really felt like I was surrounded by a group of very, very creative people.Anyway, here's where it got quite interesting for me. I was paired up with a lovely young actress and our topic was "family feud". We had about 15 minutes to come up with something. We decided that we were a couple that was attending a family outing and we'd planned to announce our engagement. Her father, "Frank", privately gave her the news that I was his illegitimate son from an affair. Hence, we were siblings. I didn't believe it at first because "Frank" has a drinking problem and often "runs off at the mouth". My fiancé convinced me that it was true and then dropped the bombshell that she was pregnant with my child. WHAT!!!

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R RESTRICTED

Under 17 Requires an accompanying Parent or Adult GuardianThis paragraph contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 17 years of age. Parents are strongly urged to exercise great care in monitoring this paragraph and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 17 read unattended. This paragraph contains one or more of the following: intense violence (V), intense sexual situations (S), strong coarse language (L), or intensely suggestive dialogue (D).

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Around this time, the improv took a serious turn; I suspected her of knowing all along that I was her brother. Of course things became heated (within the scene) and out of the blue she slapped the SH*T out of me. OH--MY--GOD!! I NEVER saw it coming. The slap had not been rehearsed or even talked about. Everything in my world turned white for an instant. Pardon my French, but what the &*^% was she THINKING? Maybe she was just in the moment and wasn't thinking at all. I was in the moment too but I didn't B*&ch slap her! Luckily, I'm a pretty mellow guy, but another actor that was maybe "a little unstable" might have whipped her a** on the spot in front of everyone. If that would've happened I would tried to stop it because I don't like to see men beat up women, but at the same time if you slap someone like that you open the possibility of getting your a** kicked. She never even acknowledged that it "might" have been a little over the top. She definitely didn't apologize. The only thing she said in response to "ooohs and aaahs" from the rest of the actors was "Please, I didn't hit him that hard". She never said a word to me at all. No apology. Nothing. I spoke to the guest about my headshot and before I could get to her, she had left. A couple of hours later my ear stopped ringing so I guess I'll live. I'll have to have a word with her next time I see her.

Tonight I attended a birthday party of a couple of friends who I worked with in New York at The Harley-Davidson Cafe. It was great to see them. Of course it made me think of the incredible experience I had in New York and that so many of us are still in touch. There are literally 20-30 people here in LA that I worked with at the restaurant. I still thinks that's amazing.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Screening: "Million Dollar Baby" with a Q&A with Hilary Swank. What a cool chick!! She plays a boxer in the film and has a banged-up face for much of it. Between that and "Boys Don't Cry" you would never know how attractive she is.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Audition: "Direct TV" @ ASG Casting. This one goes really well. I have one question. Will I ever book another commercial? ahhh..........of course I will. Actually, I got a residual yesterday for this really small commercial I did about 6 months ago. So I, at least, still feel like I'm a part of the commercial world. I might need to take another commercial course to refresh my chops in that area.
I saw "The Aviator" today. Well actually I saw the beginning and the very end. I left to go to the audition I just mentioned and came back because Leonardo DiCaprio, John C. Reilly and Alan Alda were going to do a Q&A. My friend and I sat in the very front row because she's a huge fan of Leonardo and wanted to be really close up front for the talk. To be honest, I'm a really, really big fan of Leo myself. When I first started taking acting classes I heard all this Oscar hype about him and wanted to check him out. I vividly remember watching him in the very first scene in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape". My little sister, Avis, has Down's Syndrome so I've been around it all of my life and I know what it looks like. When I saw that performance I became a fan for life. Of course there have been several other films like "This Boy's Life", "The Basketball Diaries", "Marvin's Room" & "The Beach" that I have enjoyed as well. The Q&A was great. Everytime I attend one I leave feeling extra inspired about the career choice I have made. I met Leo at an ATM in New York (57th & 6th) back in '97. I told him how much I enjoyed his work in "Gilbert Grape" and he was quite gracious. I went on my way and his friend came after me and asked if I was an actor and if I had a card.....of course I did. I gave it to him. I didn't expect to hear from them and.........surprise......I didn't, but it was cool to meet him.
Since we sat in the very first row and watched what had to be the widest screen in Hollywood I knew I'd need to see the film again......from another part of the theatre. I'll check it again out soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Ahh! This morning I went to a dental specialist to have my gums looked at. I'm planning to have some major dental work done in the future and I want to check the health of my gums first. The news wasn't particularly good, so I may have to get some work done there first.I haven't had an audition in almost in 2 weeks. That's cool. I'm not sweating it too much because I am so ready to get out of town for a minute. I can't wait, I'm tired and I need a break from all this running around.Screening: "Fahrenheit 9/11" with a Q&A with Michael Moore. I'd seen the film back in the Summer, but my friend Jennifer is a huge fan so I figured we'd check it out again. I don't know a lot about Michael Moore, but he is dedicated to his cause. I'm not particularly a fan or particularly "not" a fan, but I am very interested in his POV. It was cool to hear the things he went through to make such a docu-drama. His next film "Sicko" which will focus on the healthcare system is sure to make noise next year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A friend called at the last minute and asked if I would go with her to give blood at the Red Cross. As much as I hate needles I had no choice but to go. For the last couple of years I've made it a point to give blood 2-3 times a year. It's not always a pleasant experience, but a very necessary one.

One of the nurses said that only 3% of the population gives blood. I don't know if that's accurate, but it seems that the country's blood levels are always low. Drinks lots of water and give blood when you can.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Okay, I think the itch needs to scratched. It's time for me to stop thinking about it and start writing. I wrote my first scene tonight and sent it to my brother. He liked it; but he's my brother.

I have 3 different partial screenplays in my head. Really, just a collection of a few scenes. One, maybe two, with a partner and one by myself. I'm going to try to really do this and when I return from my vacation get a copy of Final Draft 7.0 and make some things happen.

The "partner thing" concerns me a little because I really can't expect anyone else to work in a similar fashion as myself. This could be a problem for me when working with others. In all of my years of pursuing this business I have yet to really team up with anyone. Most of it has to do with me though. I can't expect anyone else to "get up earlier than the competition and stay up later......consistantly". I know I can be a bear to work with at times.

Screening: "Friday Night Lights" with a Q&A with director Peter Berg moderated by director Michael Mann. What a great look inside of high school football in Texas. Peter really seemed like a regular guy with an East coast feel. He actually lived in Texas for over a year while researching the film

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Screening: "Closer" with a Q&A with Jude Law and Natalie Portman. Very, very simplistic work from Natalie especially. She just said the lines and trusted the dialogue; it was a joy to watch. Jude really seemed like a cool, humble guy. I guess he is what they mean by "star power"; he sure has it.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Happy Birthday Mom!! Today is a busy day; I have a workshop, then I go see "Hotel Rwanda" starring Don Cheadle and directed by Terry George and to finish it off I see "The Ten Commandments" at The Kodak Theatre. Terry was the director I worked with on "The District" several years ago. I met him at a party with Jim Sheridan. The scene that I'd booked in "Ocean's Twelve" was supposed to be with Don Cheadle. AHH! Too bad it was cut from the script.

I hadn't been to Hollywood & Highland since it first opened a couple of years ago; It's really nice up there. The Kodak is a beautiful theatre and I enjoyed the show. Val Kilmer wasn't performing tonight, but I may see it again next weekend.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Callback/Avail!!! YEAH!!! I can't believe I finally got a callback for Ross Lacy Casting. It's been a whole year. It's a national spot for "Degree" that shoots next month. Ironically, the character I'm going back in for is a rapper. Yeah, can you believe that? Actually, I booked a spot as a "hardcore rapper" a couple of years ago. Of course, I'd love to book this spot, but I really want to see Ross in the flesh and show him I'm worthy of all the appointments he gives me. 17 times this year alone. The callback goes really well, I think. They gave me direction and I took it. This would be really nice to book. Audition: "Blockbuster" @ (guess) Ross Lacy Casting. Another one that goes really well. I am way over due for "a commercial run". It would be nice to start with something like this.

I am always on the look out for any info that will help me in understanding the process of casting. I always look for the list of actors that have appointments to see if there are any interesting notes. As I was going in the room for the audition I saw my name on the list in bold lettering and had an asterisk on one side and "hero guy" on the other. I looked at the bottom of the list to see what the asterisk meant and it said "Talent was an add-in by the CD and not submitted by any agent"..........hmmmmm. Interesting. I wonder what the specs were that made it that I wasn't submitted. Did the specs change after the original notice was released? Who knows.

I'm really excited that one of the busiest commercial casting directors in Los Angeles thought of me without my being submitted for the "hero guy" in a "Blockbuster" national commercial.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Audition: “House” @ Amy Lippens Casting. This is for a small role that seems like it could recur. It’s going to be on tape for producers. I watched the pilot last night and really liked the show. The read goes well, so we’ll see what happens. I would really like to do more 1 hour dramas like this.

Audition: “Progressive Insurance” @ Jane Doe Casting. This is the first time I’ve heard of this casting company.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This morning I am shooting another AFI student project. I was a little concerned about this one because the schedule kept changing and it seemed to lack a little organization. I try to be understanding because I know that the students are under enormous pressure to deliver. I try to be on time, prepared and giving. The shoot was a lot of fun. I played a businessman who was being harassed by a homeless looking woman. In reality, in the film, she had escaped from a hospital and was trying call her daughter. She wanted to use my cell phone. I couldn’t help her with that, but I dropped some coins on the ground for her to use a payphone. We were shooting downtown and many people thought she was really bothering me which was cool except that a few people looked in the camera.

Audition: “Center of the Universe” @ Valko/Miller Casting. This is my 3rd time auditioning for this show this season. After the initial read CD Nikki Valko asked if I had done an episode yet. I said “no” but I’m dying to do one. I got a callback on the spot, my third.

The producer session goes well. I think they will book today because it starts working tomorrow. I will get on this show somehow. CBS just ordered a few more episodes from them so I guess things look pretty good for them.

Like a ton of bricks this evening I go into a serious depression this evening. It’s never a good sign when I go to bed at 8 or 9pm. I miss my mother more than words could ever describe. I don’t know if it gets any easier, but it really sucks to miss someone so much. Then again it really makes you “feel”.

I read a poem that my niece wrote around the time of my mom’s funeral and it always completely tears me to pieces.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Here begins the prologue to A Story to Remember

The twenty-third day of the month of November
Became a day that many will remember.

Heaven was now my grandmother's destination,
Her life now called for celebration.

First Lynnhaven Baptist Church could seat no more,
Over three hundred, and more at the door.

Family and friends came from far and wide,
Car, bus and plane just to be by her side.

Czech Republic, L. A. could all be seen,
Birmingham, Philly, and points in between.

Virginia Beach was there for the family's sake
And said goodbye to the queen of Philly Cheese Steak.

So here are Cecil, and actor
Avis, Jeanetta, and the grandmother

There the mother, grandmother, and wife lay
She wore a white sheath adorned with applique'.

With pearls in her ears and around her neck,
She was not a corpse that looked like a wreck.

Over forty years ago she married a Navy man
They moved state to state according to the Navy's plan.

California and Tennessee to name a few
Massachusetts and Pennsylvania too.

Then children were added and oh how they came,
A total of six in all and no two the same.

At their house there was always fun things to do,
With two girls and four boys rounding out the crew.

The pool outside and the pool table in the house
Made it so you could never hear a mouse.

She never complained when the boys were outside
Building bike ramps without any guide.

All neighborhood kids flocked to this playground
Here the imagination had no bounds.

Many other kids wished she was their mother
A better person than her was no other

The actor was simply fulfilling a dream
Just the talk of that business caused him to beam

He had started out small and worked his way up
No more waiting tables or passing out cups

He started with classes to get in the game
From that point on he was headed to fame

He claimed dreadlocks as his unique look
His body seems like it comes from a book.

Began in the Big Apple, but needed opportunity
So he drove out to L. A, the actor's place to be.

As he moves up in this business, I wish him the best
That's all I can say, he must do the rest

E, the grandson, only four years old,
To him the situation cannot be explained or told.

He did not understand why Grandma Fuller laid there
Her eyes closed and her expression bare.

He is very intelligent and listens well
A long story he does not hesitate to tell.

He rides a bike like he has done it for years
His aggressiveness will make you laugh to tears.

Cecil came to the states from St. Thomas
He worked in our store, became family to us

Grandma Fuller was a mother to him
To help the family he went out on a limb.

He visited for hours while she was sick
Silent, said nothing, what made him tick?

His features were distinct of an islander
He had smooth brown skin and small in stature

Avis was the youngest daughter born to her mum
All her life she had been touched with Down's Syndrome.

She knows good and well how to love and have fun
And she types during the day with the light of the sun.

Her hair was slicked back for the funeral
The new suit she wore turned the eyes of all.

The suit was black with contrasting white stitch
Her Mongolian features were obvious and rich.

Jeanetta came although her work was done.
She witnessed the number of breaths being none.

She worked for the hospice company
And proved to be one of their best employees.

She noticed from the beginning how much we cared
Her service will not simply dissolve in the air.

A beautiful lady and sophisticated too,
My grandmother wasn't just another client turned blue.

So here they all gathered at the funeral
The relation to the deceased was different for all

Next they would all observe the service of celebration
This was the reason for the peregrination.

After the funeral was over there was a caravan
To the mausoleum, and there drove every man.

Following this ceremony all released balloons
Slowly they floated; up, up to the moon.

All mourners scattered when the eye could see no more,
They went on with their lives; although hearts still sore.
My Niece
Candace Renee Young
November ‘02
-------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, November 15, 2004

This morning I spoke to three classes at Reseda High School. It was quite interesting for me to say the least. I was a nervous wreck when I first got there, but quickly loosened up. The first class was still waking up it seemed and wasn’t very interactive, but the second and third classes had a lot more to say. They had a lot of questions for me about my profession and I had more questions for them about being sons, daughters, students, friends, etc. It was cool. It seems that they feel that nobody really cares what they have to say. They just need positive attention from us adults; someone to “really” listen to them. I they are incredible. I hope to do more of this in the future, but I will want to have more of structure as to why I am there. In due time.

Audition “Chevy” @ ASG Casting. I did my first commercial in LA through this office back in ’99. It went well.

Today was the 2nd anniversary of my mother’s passing and I seem to have made it through okay. I checked on my siblings and they checked on me. Ironically, I don’t think my dad checked on anyone. He definitely didn’t call me, I haven’t spoken to him in almost 18 months. I don’t understand that guy. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand it.

Friday, November 12, 2004

This morning I attended a screening of the AFI film "Pastime" that I did last week. I was little concerned about my performance, but it came out well. I don't really like seeing myself on camera, but it is necessary. I learned at least a thing or two about my work that I need to work on. I wasn't crazy about the angle that the scene was shot at, but it may have been a certain thing that the filmmaker had to do as a student of film.

Audition: "Degree" @ (guess who?) yup, Ross Lacy Casting. It goes well. This was the 17th audition I have had for Ross THIS YEAR without ONE callback!!!! What?!?! Thankfully he is still giving me chances. Ironically, the last callback I had for his office was exactly one year ago today for "Dominos".

Thursday, November 11, 2004

This morning the director of the other AFI film I'm doing this weekend called to say that one of the other actors is sick and won't be able to shoot his scene. So he asked if I could play that role as well. Of course I'll do it!! So now I am the businessman and the cab driver. Cool! That other actor must be pretty sick to know that he can't work 4 days into the future. I hope he gets well soon.

This afternoon, Alicia, one of my wonderful commercial agents called with some interesting and good news. To be honest, I was hoping she'd say I'd booked the "IBM" spot from last week.

Actually it was about a job I did more than two years ago for "21st Century Insurance". I'm still a little confused about what happened. Evidently, the job, which consisted of testimonials of actual policy holders was supposed to be nonunion. Somehow, me and a few other union actors booked the job. Anyway, there was a settlement (I really don't know who settled what) and I will be receiving an extra $500 holding fee. Well I'll take that!!! My spot never even ran, they held it for over a year and paid holding fees every 13 weeks. I really wanted to see that spot because I got to rant about this other insurance company, that I won't name, that forged my name on some documents. Yeah.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I saw a screening of "Ray" tonight. Incredible performances are everywhere. The director, Taylor Hackford; stars Jamie Foxx, Regina King and newcomer Sharon Warren were there afterwards and did a Q&A for the audience. It's always great to hear their stories directly from them. Something that really stood out that they discussed is the power of fear. Fear can be absolutely paralyzing.......if you let it. In most cases it's not all that important that you may be scared, the important thing is "what are you going to do about it?" Case in point, Sharon Warren, who is stunning as "Ray's" mother in the film crashed the audition and didn't even know what was being cast. That isn't to say everyone should crash auditions, but don't be driven by fear. She wasn't even in the union and has virtually no credits, but she booked this amazing role.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Today one of my dreams came true. YES!!! I got a call this morning from one of the cast members who is a teacher. She asked if I would participate in the "Speaker's Program" for the students at the school where she teaches. I was a little reluctant at first. Not because I didn't want to do it, because I wasn't sure what I had to offer. I thought about it for a moment and said "Yes!!"

Annika gave me the choice of this coming Monday the 15th or next Monday the 22nd. I had one big problem. I wanted to do it this Monday BUT this Monday is the 2nd anniversary of my mother's death. I didn't know what state of mind I would be in. I wanted to be fully available to the students. Last year I was fine for most of the day and then became a complete wreck in the evening. It was not a good day. I thought about my dilemma. How could I make it work? Hmmmm........I got it. I'll do it on the 15th in honor of my mother. YES!!! This is something she would do!!

I'm a little nervous, but really excited. I have always wanted to talk to kids, they are the future after all. I can't wait. This is truly a dream come true.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Today I was interviewed for a book about actors due out next Spring. It was pretty cool. It really made me think about my journey. I almost started tearing up when revisiting some of my past. We talked for about 90 minutes, but in reality it would take hours to REALLY hear it all. I wouldn't put anyone through that....would I?....did I?......have I?...am I?

Tonight I attended the Los Angeles premiere of "Kinsey" in Westwood. All that red carpet stuff is quite a trip. Being a "nobody" is pretty cool. The film was quite entertaining, it'll do well.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Tonight I attended a birthday party of one of the cast members in the play. Several of the cast members where in a attendance and it was great to see them again. I know it has only been a week, but we really miss each others company.

It's funny because during the production they saw a side of me that usually only my family at home sees. In general, I'm pretty low-key, very quiet and a master at observation, but around them I'm border line out of control. It's a side of me that is seen maybe 10-15% of the time, but they saw it 95% of the time. So they really only believe that I am the "complete life of the party". IT AIN"T TRUE!!!! It's cool though, I'll wear the title proudly.

This really tripped me out. Yesterday I met someone who highly recommended that I see the film "The Power of One" starring Morgan Freeman and Steven Dorff. I said I would. When I walked into Hollywood Video I heard dialogue that I'd heard before. At that moment I didn't know where I'd heard it, but then found the cluster of TV monitors. I looked directly at the screen and saw myself!!! Yeah! It was the episode of "Friends" I did several years ago. Of course I didn't hear my dialogue because it was "left on the cutting room floor". Still, quite trippy, being surprise by myself on the screen. Then when I was paying for the rental I glanced to my left and saw the sign for "The Terminal" DVD release coming soon. I thought to myself that I must be in the right business.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Audition: "IBM" @ TLC/Loree Booth Casting. Here is another chance to really "get in the family" @ Pytka. I assume Joe Pytka is directing this commercial. I booked for him several years ago and have gotten close a couple of other times. He uses actors over and over again which is great if you are one of those actors. I am trying to be one of those actors. The audition goes really well and I think I am totally right for it. I thinks it's time for Joe Pytka and I to work together again. What do you say Joe?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Audition: "Hertz" @ Francene Selkirk Casting. The audition goes well, but I don't feel a callback. I hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Cool!! I booked a role in that other AFI film I auditioned for, it's titled "Home". It shoots in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Shooting: "Pastime" @ AFI. This shoot went okay, I guess. I felt that the audition and the rehearsal went better though. Hopefully it will come out good. I really wanted one more take, but they had to move on. Oh well.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Tonight "For The Love of Freedom Part III: CHRISTOPHE (The Spirit) Passion and Glory" closed. What a shame, I feel that we could go on at least 4 more weekends. Well not really a shame, it's nice to go out on top. We weren't able to extend because we have to be out of the theatre.

I had another little surprise for "my lady" in our scene tonight. Last night I gave her the big kiss, tonight I put a ring on her finger THEN gave her the big kiss. HA!! It was funny to see the look on her face. It really added more texture for us in the scene. I don't anyone else could tell what was happening, but it definitely gave the two of us a new different for the moment. Geez, if we had another night who knows what've happened. I would have come up with something.

When the show was over it seemed like it took 30 minutes for everyone to hug each. Many, many tears were flowing........from the women. You could really feel the love from the fellas too.

The director, Ben Guillory, told me that "we are just getting started" and that "we will work together again". I look forward to it. This is the first time I've been on stage since 1997. I was terrified of getting involved in some bad, boring production of something that didn't really matter. This mattered, this totally mattered. I picked a winner, or better yet a winner picked me.

We had a wonderful wrap party that included a catered Haitian dinner, a DJ and a lot dancing. I had goat for the first time, it was quite tasty too. Some of us even went back onto to the set for one last time. It was like we just didn't want to leave. I am going to miss these people a lot, but I have a feeling that we will stay in touch.

I am not sure how I seemed to get involved with such great people and projects. I am not questioning it, just recognizing it. I am so fortunate and 2004 has been an unbelievable year for me in many ways. Two more months to go and I want more to happen to set me up for '05. I have had more auditions than ever since moving to Los Angeles, I hope it doesn't stop because the show has closed.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Tonight's show rocked!! Yeah, we put it down.........again. I had a little extra fun myself. In one of the scenes I have a "lady friend" that I am quite serious about.......in the scene. There is a part where we are admiring the Kings' palace and I motion to her that one day we will also have a palace and children of our own as I rub her belly. Well tonight I decided to do something a little different, I planted a big fat kiss on her lips. YEAH!! It was great to see her eyes light up. Not that me kissing someone make them light up, it was just getting a little stale night after night and I wanted to shake it up. I knew Mimi would be cool with it, she actually thanked me for stirring the pot a bit. Now.....what about tomorrow night? I don't want to do the same thing.......hmmmmm.

We had some high profile guest tonight, Barry 'Shabaka' Henley, CCH Pounder, Delroy Lindo and Angela Bassett. It was great to see them in the house to support us.

Afterwards, we hung out of course. It was our stage manager's, John's birthday. He is a great guy who kept this ship of 40+ plus people on track. THANKS John!!!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Audition: "Home" @ AFI. This audition goes really, really well. He said I would, most likely, hear something in the next couple of days.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

WHAT!!! Today is the beginning of the end. Yup, it's closing weekend for the show. I am SO going to miss this group of people. I hope that we will stay in touch and spend time together. During this process I have taken over 1,000 photos......yeah a 1,000. My screensaver will take me back to this experience on a very regular basis. I hope the rest of the cast gets the same joy as I do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Rehearsal: "Pastime" @ AFI. This is a project for directing student Cam Mason. The rehearsal lasted about 20 minutes. It was great, we improved the scene and discussed some direction to go in. I really enjoy working with Cam. Hopefully I can get a good piece tape and start some good relationships.

Monday, October 25, 2004

This evening I spoke to a group of New York-based actor's from www.actorsconnection.com that are considering making the move to Los Angeles. I give them a taste of what to expect if they relocate to this market and answer a lot of questions. My opinions, of course. It goes well. As usual, it's a group of performers from many different backgrounds. They are all, at least, interested in exploring furthering their careers in Los Angeles. That's a good thought I think.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Audition: "Mainstream or Bust" @ Ricki Maslar Casting. Ricki hired me for a film back in Fall 2000 and called me for a staged reading while I was home over the Summer. The audition with casting, producers/writers/director goes really well. Ricki and her associate, Jay Michael Ferguson, greeted me like family. At my last two theatrical auditions I have been asked what it was it was like to work with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Hopefully, I can gather more credits like that in the near future.

Audition: "Honda" @ Ross Lacy Casting. It goes well.

Tonights performance was really, really tight although the crowd was a little reserved. We knew we delivered the goods. After the show we went to our usual spot to hang out and celebrate one of our castmates' birthday.

This is really funny. A gentlemen approached me at the restaurant and said he really enjoy my performance in the march. I kinda looked at him thinking that he had to be joking. He had already mentioned it to the fight choreographer, Yvans Jourdain and Yvans told him to tell me. Needless to say I was completely flattered. I explained to him how difficult a time I had in learning those steps. Talk about coming full circle.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Unfortunately Roderick did not book the commercial he was up for, so he was at today's performance that we did for the area high school students. He suggested that we switch roles anyway. I am his understudy so I know a bit about his role, but I didn't feel as ready as I would have liked. He really wanted to shake things up and do it, so we did. So I'm trying on his costume and going through my script and a million people came to my assistance to make sure I felt great about what was happening. Can I tell you that I love this cast? These people are amazing and I will not soon forget them. Every step of the way someone was there to make sure I was cool with everything. It was a great time!! We had a wonderful show for the kids today. They were extremely present, commenting on everything we said.

Also, I booked a role in the American Film Institute (AFI) short film that I auditioned for. It's different role than I read for; a doctor. It shoots November 1st.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's official, the show will not be extended for another week. The theatre that we are in is already booked and we have to be out so that they can move in. I was really looking forward tot hat happening.

I got a call this morning from the stage manager saying that I may need to perform one of the roles that I am understudying for tomorrow's show. The other actor, Roderick, is close to booking a commercial that's shoots tomorrow. I hope he gets it, he's a great, talented guy. Although, I love what I get to do as a soldier in the play, it would be cool do what I am understudying as well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Audition: "Quintuplets" @ Rick Millikan Casting. Rick hired me for "Sabrina, the Teenaged Witch" back in 2000. I also auditioned for a series regular role in a pilot for him in 2002. I obviously didn't book the regular role, but was offered a co-star. I politely declined the co-star booking. The pilot was not picked up. Hopefully, I can make something happen today.

The audition went okay, I guess. I was the first actor to sign-in and right before Rick was ready to start reading us the associate put out revised sides. To me, I thought it had a lot of potential to be a recurring role, but the sides didn't seem like it. When they put out the revised sides, they seemed more like recurring role sides. Anyway, I was the only African-American actor there. I think Rick threw me in as something different which was really cool of him. BUT I think the writers saw this character as Caucasian. Obviously, I had to get past Rick in order for the writers/producers/director to see the possibility of seeing it another way. Unfortunately that didn't happen.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

After many positive reviews around town. The question was posed to the cast today. "Are you willing/available to extend for additional weekend of performances". YES!!!! I was honored to be the first one to sign my name saying "yes". It seems like most people are willing/available to do it. I sure hope it really happens. I guess we'll know soon either way.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Audition: "Pastime" @ The American Film Institute (AFI). This audition went really well, I felt. I haven't done a student film in a couple of years. It's time get back in that mix, maybe I can get some good tape. The director gave me really good direction. Concise and to the point. The last thing they said was that "we'll be in touch". Hopefully they will.

I often talk about how this year has been a really good one. I have a new project on my mind. It won't sound like a big deal, but for some reason, for me, it is. I think I want to move out of this apartment. I've been saying it for years, but I always re-sign my lease. At the end of this lease it will be 7 years in this same apartment.

It's not a bad place, but it's small and seemingly getting smaller. It's a studio without parking. Of course, I 'd like to be able to buy a place, but that isn't in the cards at the moment. My lease isn't up until the end of July. Hopefully, by then I will have gathered the guts to at least entertain the thought of actually getting out of here. I really like this Miracle Mile area, mostly because it is very centrally located. I don't think I'd live in Santa Monica or Burbank just because it's so far on one side of town. I drive so much doing drops and the like that want to be centrally located. I even picked up an apartment guide to get me in the right space in my head. At the very least I need to get on a month to month lease. I used to think there was a reason why I've been here in this one spot so long, but there isn't any good reason. Maybe it was after moving around so much in New York that I wanted to stay put. I have to change my thought process about the whole thing. I have to think that I can grow more if I have a little more room to grow.

Tonight we put another spirited performance on the books. The show just gets better and better. I am learning so much as an actor from the cast. Things like voice, diction, commitment, movement, etc. It's been an amazing experience to say the least. Afterwards we went to one of the cast members apartment to chill. I got a chance to really talk to a few people that I hadn't previously. It is a very interesting bunch of artists. It's cool for me because it's a little break from the hustle/bustle business side of the industry to the creative/artistic side.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Audition: "T-Mobile" @, guess? Yup, Ross Lacy Casting. Ross must have a lot of confidence in me. I thank him for it because I haven't proven myself in quite a while in his office. The audition goes well though. We'll see.

Tonight's show kicked A**!!! I mean it. We were on fire. Movie star and co-founder of The Robey Theatre Company Danny Glover was in attendance. I don't think most of the cast knew until it was over. It was a really great night. We hung out as a group afterwards. I am really going to miss this when it's over.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Voiceover audition: "KFC" @ Kalmenson & Kalmenson. Since they hadn't had me in for a while they asked if currently had a v/o agent. I said no, but if by some chance I do book this commercial you can bet I'm going to have them call Pat Brady @ Cunningham, Escott & Dipene (CED) to do the deal. It would be my way of paying her back for all of the support she gave me.

This audition went well. Hopefully they will start calling me on a more regular basis. I would love to book some voiceovers. I would also love to throw a surprise booking to Pat @ CED.

While I was there I saw Dionne Lea. I met Dionne Lea while doing the only other play I have done while back in New York. It was great to see her, I hadn't seen since then which was '97.

The matinee show today for the high school kids was okay, I felt. The kids were really into it and paid attention which was a really good thing because it is a lengthy piece.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Audition: "Dr. Vegas" @ Shaner/Testa Casting. I've been dropping off at this office for years it seems.....actually it's true. Finally, I'm going to producers for something. I met associate Alpha Tyler years ago and she always happily takes my headshot when I drop by the office. Now it's time to go and deliver the goods. I'm not trying to book the role just build up some trust.

I'm not sure how this one went. I was reading for the role of "Broker #1". It even said on the sides to read "Broker #1". BUT as the CD was taking me in the room for producers he said "we're having people read "brokers #1 & 2". I stopped in my tracks and wanted more time. Usually combining two characters like that isn't a big deal at all, but the writing need to be altered to have it make sense. There were 4 people in the scene and they referred to each other. My issue was: "do I change their writing?" I kinda got in my head about that, I finally just said "whatever", it needs to make sense. So I changed their words. Of course I was wondering if they were offended by it. Oh well, who knows. I think I was right for the part. Maybe a little young, but close enough.

I finally got my 215 postcards in the mail. Thanks to "Mail Merge". It would have taken me two weeks to get those out. I remember life before "mail merge". I used to type each and every address. Ugh!

I bought the stamps at Costco. I am a HUGE Costco fan as you can probably tell. I absolutely LOVE going there to shop. I look forward to getting married and having 20 kids so I can take the Honda/Acura minivan to Costco and buy all that we need for the family. I even looked at wedding rings!! 20 kids? Hmmmm......I better be pulling in some serious dough to afford that. That means lots of drop-offs and lots of postcarding. Some people like Macy's & Bloomingdale's. For me it's Costco & the 99 cents store. Well, maybe not 20 kids.

I'm not sure what it is about Costco, it just seems like a really good company. I like that the CEO says that he believes his employees should have health insurance and be able to afford a home. I don't look at it in a socialist sorta way, but just treating people fairly and they will work hard for you. Makes sense to me.

This afternoon I got a call from voiceover giants Kalmenson & Kalmenson. I used to audition there quite often when I was repped by KSA for voiceover, but when top agent Pat Brady left for Cunningham, Escott & Dipene (CED) Kazarian-Spencer (KSA) closed the entire department. I haven't had a voiceover audition in over 2 years, but I have one tomorrow. YAY!! Pat used to get me in for great stuff on a regular basis, but I never made her any money really. I did book one of the first ones she sent me on, but that was back in '99. She got me a couple of auditions after she went to CED, but I haven't spoken to her in a while. I really appreciated her support because, although I did take a v/o class at K&K, I never had a CD to promote myself professionally.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Audition: "Sprint" @ Gabrielle Schary Casting. This audition goes really well.

Monday, October 11, 2004

As I was leaving the theatre yesterday the writer, Levy Lee Simon, asked me if I was coming to the reading. I didn't know what he was talking about, but he told me what it was. I had two other things planned, but I figured I would cancel. He said it was going to be readings of two one acts that he had written.

I am so glad that I went. They were so, so entertaining. It was a full house at The Greenway Court Theatre. Levy's writing had us laughing the entire time. It was like a who's who of the LA Black theatre ranks. I was honored to be there. About half of the cast of our show came out to support Levy's work. It felt great to be in the company of such talent. I can't believe that a short two months ago I didn't know any of these actor's. I even saw several people who I knew in New York that I hadn't seen in years.

2004 has been a great year for me. I haven't booked a lot of jobs or made a lot of money, but I have done gotten some important things done. I guess like the heavy lifting. Things that I may have been in denial about, but needed to get done nevertheless.....personally, privately, professionally, etc.

One thing was doing theatre in LA. This is such an amazing experience. I can't really understand why so many fantastic things have happened for me on my journey. I'm not questioning it. I just feel so fortunate in my life and I need to say it out loud. I am exhausted most of the time these days.....and why?....from rehearsing, audition and even working. The things I moved here for. Tonight was another great evening.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

I'm so exhausted!!! What the heck am I thinking???

THURSDAY:a matinee performance, an audition and a workshop

FRIDAY:4 auditions, a callback, an understudy rehearsal, a performance and going out with cast after the show

SATURDAY:2 workshops, a performance and a get-together at one of the cast members apartment

I'm beat. I'm also not complaining, just commenting. I'm thankful that I'm tired from doing what I moved here to do.Tonight's show kicked a**!!! Yes! We were on fire!

Friday, October 08, 2004

It looks this is going to be a really busy day. No complaints, that's why I moved here.

Audition: "Center of the Universe" @ Valko/Miller Casting. I went to producers for this show about two weeks ago. It went well that time, but I didn't book. Again, it's a character that's looks like it could recur. CD associate Peter Pappas takes me in the room and partner Nikki Valko is there. The last time I read for the other partner Ken Miller. The read goes really well and they ask if I can wait outside. They finish with the rest of the other actors and bring me back in with news of a callback in two hours. YES!!! AND it doesn't conflict, time wise, with 3 other appointment I have today.

The callback goes really well too. I would love to book this, but at minimum, Nikki Valko, Ken Miller & Peter Pappas know that I can come in the room and deliver the goods. THAT is a good feeling.

Audition: "The Suite Life" @ London/Stroud Casting. I booked "Arli$$" through this office several years ago. When my agent called she hadn't seen the sides and wasn't sure if I wanted to go in on it. I checked the material and it looked like a character that could return to the show so I said "yeah". She seemed a little surprised. Maybe because I turned down an audition last week for a one line role.

This one went really well UNTIL I went in the room. I don't know, I felt really prepared, but then I got in the room and kinda froze. I don't think I made a fool of myself. I just know that I could have done a lot better. There was producer and director in the room as well. The casting director was cool, but I didn't feel free for some reason. Who knows, sometimes we are better than we think we are. This kinda hurts because I think I was really right for it.

Audition: "Monk" @ CFB Casting. This is like the fourth time I've auditioned for this show, one of these days I am going to book. I promise!!! CD associate Cheryl Kloner called me directly for this. I felt a little young for this role as a doctor, but I went for it anyway. I flipped the last line around backwards/forward, but I felt that character was there. I don't think this will be the time I will score the show, but who knows.

Audition: "Citizen's Bank" @ Ross Lacy Casting. Sometimes I think Ross calls me in so often to see how many times I can audition for his office and NOT book. It's the 3rd time this week I've been to his office. This audition goes really well, but I think I am too young.

After these 4 auditions and a callback I make to my understudy rehearsal an hour late. Yeah, understudy rehearsal. It didn't really help me out too much, but I was there to try learn the blocking/lines of the characters I'm covering. It's difficult because I am in the same scenes as most of them. It was good for me though.

We've had two really good reviews for the show so far that we are excited about. Tonight's performance had a weird little vibe to it. I think the casts', me included, concentration was a little off. This weekend we are sharing dressing rooms with several opera performers and they were doing their vocal warm-ups which kinda changed our prep. Also, the house speakers so that we can hear the show in the dressing rooms were not working for some reason. I felt we were a little disconnected. All in all it was good, but not great. After the show I met an actress from NY who I have communicated with online, but never in person. She just moved to LA and came to see the show. Thanks Pepper!!!

Afterwards, most of the cast went to a restaurant for drinks. It's great getting to hang with everyone, I don't usually go out on the the town that often so it's a great change of pace. This outing with the cast was nothing like last weeks at The Standard and that was probably a good thing.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Today we had our first matinee performance for LAUSD high school students. There was one problem: only 11 out of 80 students showed up. Something about them having a substitute teacher today and when that happens the kids skip school. We got the word right before we went on and the show went as schedule. It was a spirited performance for the kids especially. Let me tell you, those 11 kids paid attention to the story let us know that they were really in to it.

This had my heart beating a bit. 10 minutes to places and one of the guys I am understudying wasn't there. Oh sh*t!! Am I gonna have to go right now. At first I was a nervous, but then I stepped up and started getting my head right just in case it was really going to go down. I think I could have gotten through it and brought something to plate. I was ready!! At the last minute my man Roderick showed up. He had an audition and was running late. Whew!!!

Audition: "Border's Books" @ Ross Lacy Casting. This one goes well enough, so we'll see. I mentioned this audition info to my buddy John. He called his agent and got an appointment too. I offered to watch his 4-month old daughter Hazel (I am her Godfather) while he auditioned. Let me tell you it's amazing the way people respond to children, especially women!! I should take her everywhere with me. It might be for selfish reasons though.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The other day I saw something that kinda disturbed me a bit. It was this: "'Fear Factor' Fives Nights a Week". Yeah, I didn't expect to see reality in repeats or syndication. I guess I should have known better. I am guilty of watching a little of it myself. I love "The Apprentice" and I enjoy "Top Model", but that's about it. Beyond that it's "Nip/Tuck", "ER", "Cold Case", "Without A Trace", "NASCAR", anything of "The Discovery Channel" and of course my motocross racing on ESPN2. Even just the two reality shows I watch prevent hundreds of actors from working in a given season, not to mention writers and directors.

This morning I read some encouraging news though. There are several scripted shows that are doing quite well. "Lost", "Desperate Housewives", "Joey" and "CSI: NY" seem to be doing quite well. It's still early and some of the hype may be from networks themselves. I hope they stay strong in the ratings. That will hopefully lead to more scripted programming for actors in the near future.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Audition: "IAMS" @ Ross Lacy Casting. Will I ever book for you again Ross? I sure hope so. You call me in more than anyone else and I can't seen to close the deal again. The audition today went pretty well, I think.

I was a bad boy in the waiting area. I saw a guy I hadn't seen in a long time and I was running my mouth and didn't fully read the storyboard. When I got in the room I wasn't sure what was going on. Actually, I think it worked in my favor because I totally committed to whatever it was I did. I was probably either really right or really wrong?

I have to say that I miss doing the show, although it's nice to have a break from going to the filthy downtown LA area. I am trying to get back on track with my drop-offs and the like. Running around during the day and rehearsing at night has definitely taken its toll on me. I'm exhausted. I need to get some rest and start fresh. I feel myself not getting things done, I have to find my center again. I really want to round out 2004 in a very strong way. I have to keep moving forward.

I find myself missing my mother often these days. It's hard not to think about what I was going through exactly two years ago. I was home in Virginia getting ready to go to Japan and my mom was slipping away. I was coming to the realization that she was, most likely, not going to survive. She was so happy that I was going that I thought for a moment that she was going to get better. They say its gets easier with time and it has, but when it hits me it hits like a ton of bricks. I feel like such a baby at times.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Of the 3 shows we've done today was the most spirited. They were really, really listening and following the story. Several were of Haitian descent and were really moved by the story. Afterwards we had a Q&A with the audience. I have heard rumblings of a condensed version of the trilogy in the future.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Tonights performance went even better than last night. The show is just getting better. It's cool to watch different things happen from night to night. It's truly a live performance, you never really know what is going to happen. After the show me and several cast members along with the writer, Levey Lee Simon, went to The Downtown Standard for drinks. Well, they had drinks. I had "two eggs, any style(scrambled) and an english muffin". I have to say it was one of the most interesting evenings that I've ever had..........ever. Did I say ever? Yeah, ever.

Friday, October 01, 2004

WE DID IT!!!!!! Yup, "For The Love Of Freedom" Part III: Christophe (The Spirit) Passion and Glory" is officially open. After 7 weeks of rehearsal we are out for the world to see and it felt good. Actually, it felt great!!!! There are still some things to tweak, but we were on fire. It was like everyone had 15-20% in reserve to unleash when the butts were in the seats. It truly felt like an ensemble, we were all there for each other and more importantly the Haitian people.

I am so honored to be a part of this production. These artists, in front of and behind the scenes, are amazing to say the least. I have had so many incredible things happen for me in my years in the business and this is without question another one.

After the performance we had a reception that sealed the love and commitment to the piece. There was so much support in that room that we could tell that people were moved. It will only get better from here on out.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Audition: "My Wife & Kids" @ Kevin Scott Casting. This is the same office that called me in from a drop-off about a month ago and I didn't go in on my agents advice. It went really well. It was a couple of lines and I felt like I brought something to the table and left feeling good about it. Kevin seem really happy too. He's doing two shows right now so hopefully he'll call me in for "Half & Half" again too.

Rehearsal tonight really popped, I think we had a real breakthrough. It felt so good for me and I was feeling it from everyone else. In doing such a large production it is truly a collaborative effort; we all need each other.

Today, my agent left a message with another producer session for "Still Standing" @ Deborah Barylski Casting. I returned the call and told her that I decided to decline the appointment. It's one line and I have to be more selective. Several weeks ago they brought me in for a larger role and hopefully they will again. I mean if it was booking maybe I would do it, but I didn't want to audition for it. They say there is power in saying no..........I sure hope so.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Audition: "Untitled Comedy Central Project" @ Pamela Azmi-Andrew Casting. I had a great audition for this one. I don't know if I'll get a callback, but it was a lot of fun. I felt like I made a strong, committed choice. The character was a DVD reviewer who broadcast his show from a brokedown van in downtown Los Angeles. The DVD's are bootlegs that he gets from movie theaters. It's great timing since I am riding the bus downtown to rehearsal everyday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Audition: "Best Buy/Virgin Mobile" Industrial @ Cathi Carlton Casting. The audition goes well, we'll see.

Rehearsal tonight was a really tough one; we are still making the adjustments working on the set and some things are a little confusing. The was no question that the director is expecting more from us and I am sure we will deliver. My frustrations come from the percussion beats that we march to. Part of it is that fact that I don't move all that well, but that has improved a lot. The things that the beats are not set in stone. It's like a moving target with soldiers doing one thing and the drummer doing another. It absolutely drives me crazy. It's like two moving targets just hoping to match up and that's not going to work. One group, either the choreographer or the rhythm section has to set it and the other HAS to match it. That way there is much less room for error. I have no problem admitting I screwed up, trust me, but if the rhythms changes every time I do it what the heck am I supposed to do. Ugh!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Shooting "The O.C.". My call is @ 9am at Zuma Beach. I thought this was a good sign because it was where I shot 1 of the 4 days on the "Honda/Japan" commercial.

While in make-up I met Alan Dale who plays "Caleb Nichol" and he was very nice to me and quite funny. The production van took us to the location where we would be actually shooting. It was "Caleb's Mansion" and can you say "unbelievable?" I had never seen anything like it. In real life it belongs to a former NFL player.

My shot was first up so we started rehearsing right away. That is when I met Melinda Clarke who plays "Julie Cooper-Nichol". She was very nice, funny, professional and quite pretty.

Next I met Nicholas Gonzalez, he plays "D.J." on the show. Another really great, funny and intelligent guy. We actually had lunch together and chatted about things other than acting. I must admit that I wondered WHY is his character a "pool boy/lawn guy" whatever. Is it because he's Mexican? Stereo-types I guess. Couldn't he have been anything else? Anyway, he's working and he's quite talented. I expect to see big things from him.

Teen star of the show Mischa Barton who plays "Marissa Cooper" was late because she was shooting 2nd unit stuff at another location. When she arrived she seemed a bit frazzled, but pleasant. After working on "Good Morning, Miami" I saw first hand a lot of what is expected of the stars of a show. When she saw that I was in the scene with her she very nice to me. I can't believe she's only 17 or 18. She is very, very pretty in a natural kind of way.

I was a photographer taking a photograph of the family at the mansion. My character even had two assistants. They were really cool and I hung out with them most of the day. It was a great day in Malibu!!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Today we had our first full run through. I felt like it went pretty well considering it's still a work in progress. My marching is coming along, but I still have work to do. There is one scene where my character, a soldier, is really drunk. I thought this was funny when the director gave me the note. Ironically, I've never had beer, wine, liquor or coffee in my entire life. It will definitely be one of more fun scenes for me in the play. A nice surprise for the entire cast was that we have Monday off because of Equity rules. Works great for me because I am shooting "The O.C." tomorrow.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

REHEARSAL, REHEARSAL and more rehearsal. The zero hour is rapidly approaching and the production shaping up. The director, Ben Guillory, seems to be happy with our progress, but has a firm hand under our asses to keep us in line. He doesn't hesitate to let us know what he thinks.....good or bad. It's a huge show with a lot of people, lot of props, accents, fight choreography, music, dance, etc. I think it's going to be great!

After 9 hours of rehearsal I attended a party with some of the other cast members. It was organized by people of Haitian descent some of which will be seeing the show. It was a little weird knowing that they are the direct descendents of the characters that they play is about. We introduced ourselves to the party guests; I think they will enjoy the show.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Fitting: "The O.C." Dag!! The traffic to Manhattan Beach is always a lot of fun, but there is a Costco near there and you know I am a big fan of Costco....polish sausage and a drink for $1.62....including tax......can't beat that!!

Anyway, they had some really cool shirts set up for me. They even told me that I am going to have two assistants in the scene. The said I shoot Monday in Malibu, but I haven't heard anything from production yet.

Audition: "Best Buy" @ Craig Colvin Casting. It audition for Craig pretty often, usually get callbacks, but have never booked. One day I am going to get in there. This one is for a "nerd type" so it's right down my alley! It goes really well and I am right for it, I think. Next step: callback. Ha!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Callback!!: "CBS Showcase" @ Fern Orenstein Casting. Yeah!! it went pretty well, I think. I did what I wanted to do in the room. Regardless of what happens it was a big confidence booster for me. Dag, what if I am chosen for the showcase? Hmmmm............

It's getting ready to get "down and dirty" with the play. We are heading into "tech week". I'll pretty much be there everyday for the next 11 days and I am ready to rock and roll. I still have work to do on my marching steps. I have to get out of my head and stop over-thinking the routine and feel it. It's hard for me, but I'm getting a lot better.....I think......I hope......I better. 11 days and counting..........

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Today is the 11 year anniversary of taking my first acting class. Wow, I'm still here. I'm not surprised, but it's still kinda surreal to me. I think about all of the experiences I've had and it really puts a smile on my face.

Sometimes I sit and look at my screensaver which has 300-400 pictures. A lot of has to do with my experiences in the business. I've met some really special people along the way as well. I look forward to that continuing and I also look forward to having more of a connection to people outside of "acting stuff". I think that might be why this play is so intriguing to me. It's something that really happened and the people involved are really invested in it.....and I'm still performing. For some reason I feel that 2004 is setting me up for something. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm going to ride with it.

DAG!! This rehearsal schedule is getting the best of me. My usual staying up until 5am is rapidly changing because I am so exhausted after going to the gym, doing drop-offs, auditioning and trying get these dance/march steps correct. It feels goods though, because I'm doing what I moved here to do.

WHAT!!!! I cannot believe this. I got a callback for the "CBS Showcase". Yeah, the one I did the "hiccuping" monologue for. I can't believe it, I thought that train wreck was over. Oh well, I'm going to go in there tomorrow and try to kick the door in with a new commitment to the material. I know, I should have done that first time. I tried, but you it's always better in the car on the way home.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Audition: "The Island" @ Lisa Fields/Alison McBride Casting. This a huge Michael Bay-directed film starring Ewan McGregor & Scarlett Johansson. This audition went really well, I think. I would really like to work with the legendary Michael Bay.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Audition: Producers for "Less Than Perfect" @ Mossberg/Anthony Casting. I auditioned for the pilot of this show a couple of years ago. Another one that didn't go all that great. I don't think I made a strong enough choice. With the really small roles you know it's not about you, but you're still a presence and you need to be there. They are getting harder for me to do.

Audition: "CBS Showcase" @ CBS/Fern Orenstein Casting. They want a 1 minute monologue. ARGGGHHHHH! I hate doing monologues! I'm gonna embrace it and try to do the best I can.
True to form. I started out pretty ok, but then had a sizable "hiccup" and sorta recovered. Anyway.............

Audition: "Fun With Dick and Jane" @ Debra Zane Casting. YES!! They are giving me another shot! I auditioned for this film a couple of months ago and obviously didn't book. Ooops, this appointment was postponed. I sure hope it's rescheduled in the near future.

I have to admit that every time I see an "Ocean's Twelve" ad, and I see a lot of them these days, it gives me this feeling I can't quite describe. Ugh!! I mean I see stuff all the time that I auditioned for, but knowing that I was actually chosen by Steven Soderbergh and it didn't happen. No, I'm not bitter. Ha!! Anyway, I kinda think these things are a sign that I am on the right track. I'm sure most of the working actors today have some sort of story like that. I am so fortunate that CD Debra Zane and Associate Tannis Vallely haven't forgotten about and bring me in every chance they get. Ugh!! There is another "O12" poster.................

YES!!!!! I think I had a breakthrough tonight at rehearsal with the dance/marching steps. The wonderful choreographer, Ayana Carr, pulled me aside as soon as I walked in and gave me the special attention I need. It really boosted my confidence. I'm still goofy as hell, but I am much, much more on the right track. No, I'm not goofy, I just have two left feet when it comes to dance.

I am so fortunate to be a part of this production in the company of all of these talented performers from all over the country and world. I look at them and just in awe of many of the performances. It is really a whole new group of people that I didn't know previously. Many of them have done a lot of theater and I haven't so that is probably why our paths haven't crossed for the most part. This won't be the last show I do in Los Angeles. Hopefully next time it won't be as an understudy, I don't think I am too crazy about the understudy thing.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Okay, today was the first day of rehearsal in the actual space that we will be performing in. Since we are performing downtown the adventure started for me before I even arrived at the theater.

I am exploring options for parking since we are in downtown LA and parking absolutely sucks. I digress. I weighed my options other than driving and decided on mass transit. Today was my first day riding the bus today. It would have been much easier to drive and pay $3-7 dollars to park, but it also would have been much more boring. So I took the route less traveled.

It worked out quite well; it took about 35 minutes and cost $1.25 each way. I don't know that I'll do it everyday, but the option is there.

Rehearsal, it was a long day. Productive, but long. These dance/marching moves are kicking my ass to say the least. I just cannot dance to save my life. I am pretty even-keeled and don't get frustrated by too many things, but this is just killing me. I might be a little hard on myself, but it drives me crazy. I have to say that I have received quite a bit of support from the other cast members. I feel like I'm started to whine about it and I have to stop it and use that energy to concentrate and get the routines down. I do not want to be the weak link, if there is one.

I have to say that I am really working with some wonderful, talented and interesting people. I'm really trying to make it a point to sit down with everyone, even if just for a moment, and learn something about them. People come into your lives for a reason.................right?

Anyway, the bus ride home was a little more interesting. A man who had had a little bit too much to drink chose to sit really, really close to me on the bus. I thought we were dating!! It so reminded me of being back in New York it wasn't even funny. I didn't know if he was trying to pick-pocket me or what. "Good luck; I have very, very little money I thought". He kept apologizing to me, finally he got off at his stop.

Some of the sights were a bit depressing downtown. There are so many people who look as if they have such a hard life. It really reminds me of what I have to be thankful for.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Audition: Producers for "The O.C." @ Patrick Rush Casting. Patrick cast me in an episode of Jennifer Love Hewitt's "Time of Your Life" several years ago. It's time to strike again!!

Well, the audition went well. I had a couple of laughs with Patrick and the two writer/producers in the room. Several hours later I get the call that I book the role. YES!!! It was cool to talk to my agent about money and billing. It still another "co-star" role, but she inched my quote up a little and made sure I am the first "co-star" listed in the credits. It's all about making progress. I think I may take some of the other co-stars off of my resume and keep the highest regarded/most current shows. It won't be easy because I have been fortunate to work on some really good shows.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Audition: "Tyco" @ Toni Cervantes Casting. This audition goes well and I think I am right for it. Call me back!!

I stopped by the new location of my theatrical agency today. I wanted say hi to my long-time agent Erin and meet Josh Schiowitz, David Ankrum and Michael the wonderful assistant. I wanted to bring something to the office that they could use; so I brought a huge box full of 10 reams of paper. That's a lot of paper and it's really heavy too. I think it weighed more than me!! Anyway, they all got a kick out of that. Josh is in New York, but I did meet David. He seemed like a great guy and greeted very warmly. It's only been 4 days of the new set-up and my phone hasn't stopped ringing. I could get used to this.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Audition: "Center of the Universe" @ Valko/Miller Casting. This office cast me on "Ally Mcbeal" in 2001. They received a postcard on the right day at the right time and brought me in to audition and I got the role. The audition goes well, I think I could have done even better.......of course you get great ideas 'after' you leave the room. About 10 minutes after I leave the room my agent calls me with a callback @ 12:30. Cool!! The give me a note of adjustment.

The callback goes well. I really think that Casting Director Ken Miller was pulling for me, maybe it was my imagination. I think I am really right for this and it seems that it would be recurring. We'll see!

Tonight at rehearsal we run the first act of the play all of the way through. This cleared up some things for me, because I have been so confused as to who I really am. This helped a lot, but I sure have some work to do on those dance/marching steps.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Audition: "Still Standing" @ Deborah Barylski Casting. Ms. Barylski cast me in the pilot of "Life With Bonnie" in 2002 without going to producers. The "Still Standing" read goes okay. Deep, deep down I think I know why and I'm okay with it.

Audition: "Hyundai" @ Michael Sanford Casting. This was a last minute call and it goes well.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Today is the first day of the new merger situation with my agency. BINGO!! I get two calls for theatrical auditions. I hope this is a sign of things to come. They really seem like they have it all together, I am excited about the new set-up.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

YES!!! Today I went to the AMA Motocross Championship at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, CA. Since I don't have a wife or kids yet, this is my passion. I am such a fan at these races when I get to see the top guys, I'm like a kid in a candy store. I even missed rehearsal today.....oooops!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Here we are again, the 3rd anniversary of a terrible human tragedy. I think it's one of those times where most of us will remember exactly where we were or what we were doing. I know I do.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Today I went in to the office to say goodbye to my agent Kelley; I damn near teared up. I mean she was the first person I saw at the first meeting I had when I flew to Los Angeles from New York. She was an assistant then and I just a great woman. I always hear horror stories about agents and I am happy to say that I have only had great experiences. Even when I was in New York freelancing with half of the town I always worked with good people. Anyway, I am really happy for her and excited about what the future holds with my new agency configuration.Two weeks and counting until previews for "For The Love of Freedom" things are getting more serious at rehearsal....sometimes a little tense, but it's looking really good. There is a lot to do to get things right before we present ourselves. I think the show is going to be incredible.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

YES!!! Callback "V-8" @ Craig Colvin Casting. I felt like this callback went really well. Of course, I would love to book this, but we all know how that goes. You just have to move on.........see ya.

Audition: "Jack-in-the-Box" @ Alyson Horn Casting. I've booked through this office before and it's time to do it again. This one goes really well too. Callback? We'll see.

Drop-offs in action! Yesterday I dropped of at a several casting offices all over town, one was Kevin Scott Casting. Kevin cast UPN's "Half and Half" and ABC's "My Wife and Kid's". I did a general drop with a post-it attached.

Well guess what? Today they called my agent and asked if I would audition for the role of the "FedEx guy". It was 3-4 lines and my agents did not think it was a good idea. I knew they were right, BUT I had a different angle on the situation. I rarely if ever read for UPN or WB shows. Meaning that I don't get many calls for those shows; sometimes but not often. Most of my appointments are for really mainstream projects, not too urban not too ethnic. So why not take the chance and see what happens? Great question right? Well here's a great answer. Because I need to be more selective with these smaller roles if I am going to do them at all. It should, at least, look like it's going to recur or some other really good reason. Of course movies are a little different. I'm trying to move up the food chain and I believe there is some power in politely declining.

THIS is one of the major things I need my agents for and they are there in my corner. In all honesty if the casting office would have called me directly I most likely would have auditioned for the role even though I know I shouldn't have. I'm an actor and I wanna act. They left the final decision up to me, but let me know what they thought. They never turn anything down without running it by me first. In the end I decided not to audition for the role. It felt good to do that even though I would have loved to get a chance to book and work in front of the live audience again. On to the next........

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Another day of drop-offs. From Culver City to Burbank and Studio City to Paramount Studios. It never ends and it was hot as fire today. I'm so thankful for my newer car. I can't imagine doing this in my old car, but I did it last Summer. Sometimes it seems so easy. I went to a place in Culver City and walked right into the production office and handed my photo to a very willing employee. She said "oh, this is for Donna. I'll take it right to her" and proceeded to do so. So that photo went straight to "Donna" "out of context" meaning out of the hustle/bustle of a typical submission. Now I don't expect to get seen for the project, but who knows, maybe I will.Last month one of my agents informed me that she's leaving the business to be a full-time mother to her new baby. I am so sorry to be losing her as one of my representatives, but I can't think of a better reason to go. I am very, very happy for her.When she informed me that she was leaving she also told me that the dynamics of the entire agency was going to change, but she wasn't sure how. The owner of the agency, Erin Connor, was going to hire a new agent, bring in a new partner or merge/be merged with another entity. I wasn't sure where all of this would leave me. You never really know in these situations.

THE MERGE/THE PURGE

Today on my home machine I had a message to call Erin at the
office. I don't get many calls directly from Erin so I admit I was a little nervous. I didn't think it was a booking, because I hadn't read for anything in the last week or so and if it was an appointment she would have left it on my answering machine. I wondered if this was how it's going to go down. Would she say "Stephon, were sorry, but we've decided to go in a different direction and unfortunately we have had trim our roster............." I returned the call and both agents were tied up on other calls. I hadn't heard anything back 90 minutes later so I called again and they were still tied up. I could tell that things were happening, but I didn't know what. My heart was beating, I mean REALLY beating. I've kinda had my game face about the notion of getting dropped since I first heard the news last month, but the reality of the actual call is another thing.

Finally the agent who is leaving, Kelley, called me and gave me the news. Badgley/Connor is merging with Schiowitz/Clay/Ankrum & Ross. Each agency is bringing clients with them and each agency is leaving clients behind. THAT was my next question.

Stephon:
"Wow, okay..........uhh.......alright.......so what about the purging?"

Kelley:
"Yes, the purging. Erin is taking you with her".

Stephon:
"Cool, I feel quite fortunate".

Kelley:
"Yeah, there are many that won't be making the transition with her.

Stephon:
"Wow, this is weird. It's been six years Kelley. I always tell people that I have 7-8 fabulous women representing me and I love it. Now I have to deal with men? I'm kidding.............."

So that's how it went down. I'm still with Badgley/Connor, but I'm also repped by SCA&R. It's sort of a merging of the each agencies list and the names will be combined in some way as well. I have only heard great things about Josh Schiowitz & David Ankrum. I'm excited about the future of this. If I had to get out and look for new rep, of course I would have done it, but there is a lot going on in the agency business and I would not want to be on the market right now. WHEW!