Thursday, February 26, 2004

Audition "Checker's/Rally's" @ Lien/Cowan Casting. I portray a guy enjoying a big burger. It goes well.

Afterwards I was treated to lunch by a young actress who wanted to thank me for sharing my story on the internet. It was an interesting feeling in that she knew so much about me. We talked about our goals in the business and a bit about life in general. In my opinion she is very smart in associating herself with people that are doing what she wants to do.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Audition: "Chevy @ Alyson Horn Casting. When I got this call I was told that I would be "making out" with a female. Okay, that's something I enjoy, but not necessarily in an audition situation. At the audition I started to actually 'think' about the business I'm in. Weird. I'm sitting in a room of people, mostly complete strangers, that will be soon be kissing each other. WHAT!!! I was paired up with a smoking hot Dominican woman from New York. I'm thinking, "in what other business could you just kiss a beautiful woman that you don't know without getting slapped"?

Auditions like this are always kinda tricky for me because I don't want to come off like I'm trying to get a cheap thrill from the woman I'm auditioning with. I mean, maybe I am, but that's beside the point. LOL!! Thankfully, when the audition started she took the lead with the hot 'n heavy kissing. I think it went well. Hopefully I'll get a callback.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Audition: "Toyota" @ ASG Casting. I don't audition here that often. It goes well. Finally, I take my 8x10 originals in for my commercial agents to approve. They loved them!! I mean they were really, really happy with what I had. So I rushed down to LA Casting Network and got them in the system. It took a whole 4 minutes for my transaction. The young lady scanned my 2 photos and ran my credit card all in 4 minutes for $60 bucks. THAT is the business to be in, huh? Anyway, on the flip side my agents only need 10-15 photos, so I guess it comes out in the wash. Not long ago they would have been asking for 75-100 photos. The internet is changing the way business is done. I've had a lot of commercial auditions this year so hopefully they will increase even more. Now I just need to book. Ha!!

Saturday, February 21, 2004

I have an assache. Yup, not a headache, an assache. I have been trying to get this new website up and running and it is killing me. My friend Henry Canizares and his website development company is doing it for me. I met Henry when I waited tables in New York at the Harley Davidson Café back in '95. We became friends, but lost touch when we both moved from New York, me to Los Angeles and him to Oregon. Even back then he was always interested in the technology field. I always thought about him and wondered where he was and what he was doing. One day last Fall I thought about using Google to find him. I typed in his name and found his e-mail address on a forum where he had inquired about something. I sent and e-mail not knowing if it was the right Henry or not. A couple of days later he responded. Anyway, he saw my website in the e-mail message and said that he could liven it up. So we are working on it now through Yahoo! Messenger and over the phone (remember he's in Portland) and I am trying to understand it all and THAT is why I have anassache!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Okay this really made my week. My sister-in-law calls me saying "Can you please talk to your nephew. We were getting ready to watch a movie about a volcano in California and he burst in to tears knowing that's where you live. He doesn't think you'll ever come home to visit anymore". So he gets on the phone and he's crying. I ask him what the matter is and he says through tears "There's going to be a volcano in 'Caninfornia' (that's how he pronouces it at five) and you won't be able to come back to visit." I assured him that I love him dearly and nothing would keep us from spending time together.

This nearly brought me tears. Why? I left Virginia Beach almost 9 years ago. At that time I made a promise to myself to prevent my now 9 year old niece from thinking of me as 'the uncle who lives somewhere really, really far away and not know what I do or who I am'. I go home to visit every chance I get and spend a lot of quality time with her and her 5 year old brother. They call me "Stephon Rocks"! I'm like the 3rd parent when I'm on the case. Sometimes it makes me anxious to get married and have children of my own...........and sometimes it doesn't.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Callback: Indie Feature "Three Wise Women". This is the film that my friend Jennifer Fontaine is producing. I felt this callback went okay. I was fumbling for words more than I would have liked, but I felt that the character was there. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

My theatrical agent calls me today to inform me that the indie film, "The Twisted Path" that I booked a role in has lost their funding. WHAT!!! Yup, it happens I guess. Putting a film together is no easy task. Maybe it will get back on track in the near future.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Tonight I attended a Backstage West get together. It was a collection of actors who communicate online. It was mostly LA based actors, but a few came in town from New York. It's always interesting to match real personas versus internet personas.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Audition: "Hewlett-Packard" @ Kathy Knowles Casting. I recently booked the "Michelob Ultra" spot thru this office. I felt that this one went really well, hopefully I'll get a callback.

Today I get word that I have a callback next week for "Three Wise Women". That is the feature film that my friend Jennifer Fontaine is producing. I am really excited about this.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Audition: "Ball Park Franks" @ TLC/Loree Booth casting. I've booked in this office before and have had several avails. I don't know if this is a Joe Pytka directed spot, but I'll have my game face on as always.

Tonight I am going to attend what I think might be the final taping of "Good Morning, Miami" this season. It might be kinda weird to go back, but that's okay. It's not to go try to get seen by everyone, I just know if I don't go I'll regret it if it's not on the schedule for next season. Working on the show was something I won't soon forget for a variety of reasons. One major one was getting to spend time with my mother in her last weeks & days. I will be forever grateful for that. Thank you Tracy Lilienfield & Katherine Eckert, creators Max Mutchnick & David Kohan and their team, the cast & crew of "Good Morning, Miami" including the regular background actors and NBC. I know that's probably weird, but I am truly thankful.'s a tricky thing for most of us. We all have to find our way somehow....someway. My family is so unbelievably important to me. It is one of the biggest driving forces in my life. The light at the end of the tunnel is spending time with my family.
Often times I'm asked how I keep hustling in this career at the hectic pace that I do. I don't even know myself sometimes. I try to answer that question from an outsider's point of view and I just shake my head. For one thing, I absolutely love business & marketing. That dedication to business & marketing will increase my chances of getting to act. Also, the fact that, being largely independent, I rarely have to wait on anyone to get work done. I feel like I am in control of my destiny.

I work really long hours and need very little rest. I usually go to sleep between 3-5am and sleep 4-6 hours. I think part of that is holdover from working graveyard shifts at The Standard & Old Navy. It's like I punch in at 11pm, turn on some talk radio and get to work. Even I don't really know sometimes what it is I'm doing at those hours, but "feels" really important.

Occasionally I ask myself: Why don't I get discouraged? How do I keep such a positive attitude so much of the time? I can't explain it other than saying it is who I am. Some can't and don't believe it. I would have a hard time believing it too if I didn't know better.

What I am living is "damn near impossible". Meaning trying to make a living as an actor. Even though I expected to be able to accomplish it it's still kinda surreal to me. Trust me, I don't live high on the hog, but I am able to do mostly what I want to do.

I get a tremendous amount of support from people I know and a huge amount from people that I don't yet know. It's an incredible feeling. My youngest brother, Todd, is one of my biggest fans. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two small children. We talk everyday...........seriously. Actually we talk numerous times everyday. We both have the same cell phone service, so calls to each other are free. It's great because when we have challenges we can bounce solutions off of each other. My other younger brother, Jeff, makes fun of my career at every chance he gets. It's some of the best laughs I get in life. In reality he is a big fan, but he laughs when he sees me walk through a scene and say a line or two. Hopefully that will begin to change in the near future.

Ironically, I have never gotten any support from my father. Nada.......none..........zilch. He feels and has always felt that I would amount to nothing in this life. He never made that a secret. He runs a successful business back East. I worked for him for years, but it was a dead end. Fortunately I escaped his clutches with my spirit intact. If I would have stayed I would be an empty soul. Sometimes I wonder if my drive is really trying to prove something to him. I don't think about him too often and haven't spoken to him in at least 8 months. Of course I'm probably in denial, at least a little bit. Since my mother passed away 15 months ago I feel like an orphan.

I'm not sure where that rant or whatever it was came from, but it was just a stream of consciousness that I wanted to write about.

big separation, many hours later

Wow! That's all I can really say. I just returned from the last taping of "Good Morning, Miami". I didn't know what to expect. I was treated as if I had never been gone. I got a chance speak almost everyone I had worked with, cast & crew. I watched most of the show from the bleachers with the audience, which is a different perspective. It's was neat to be surrounded by the energy of really dedicated fans of the show. It wasn't official that this was the last show ever, but I really seemed like it was. There were many tears being shed throughout the evening. I was sad to see it end too. I had gone through a lot while on the lot @ CBS Radford. So many memories, many great, none bad, but some were the hardest & most vivid ever in my life.

I just seems tragic that "Good Morning, Miami" may not ever get a fair chance to be a successful production. It just never seemed that the network was really supporting the show. Some recent developments that have come to light behind the scenes make it all make more sense.

While there I was invited to the wrap party to take place after the taping. It was a really cool get together and I was made to feel waaaaaay more like family than I expected. Then again, why should I be surprised? I did 14 episodes. Anyway, I am glad I went and I am glad I will work with many of them again in the future.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Audition: "Kellogg’s" @ Ross Lacy Casting. This audition goes really well, I am getting a lot of shots in this office as of late. this the sixth time I have auditioned at Ross' office this year!! WHAT!!! This has gotta mean something! Ross was casting 3 different spots today and I had my eye on a "Lay's" spot that he was doing. The guys there looked a bit like me. I thought I should, at least, inquiry about getting seen. Then I started to think that since Ross has called me in so many times recently I won't push too hard. I opted not to call my agent and just mention it to the session runner and see what kind of response I got. It's important to know when to walk away, I walked away.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Another really busy day, I have 4 auditions all over town!! Studio Film "Ocean's Twelve" @ Debra Zane Casting. YES, this is what I'm talking about!!! Getting on the radar of the top film casting directors in the business. My strategy of concentrating on the roles that aren't released to the services is paying off. Debra Zane is casting "Ocean's Twelve" the sequel to "Ocean's Eleven". I was aware of this, but had heard that most of the film would be shot abroad. I still didn't want to take any chances with missing out on anything I might be right for with my new short hair. So, about a month ago I dropped a photo to their office with a snap-shot of how I look with short hair until I get my new photos. I didn't want to miss 3-4 weeks while I get my new headshots in order. This role that I am reading for wasn't released to Breakdown Services. Also, they didn't post sides on all....none for the entire project. What this means to me is that they are probably sending a tape with maybe 5 actors on it for this role to director Steven Soderbergh and he will make his choices. This is how I am trying to position myself in the right this stage of the game.

The audition: Debra and her associate, Tannis Vallely are just wonderful. They are really on the actors team. I walk in and they greet me with such warmth that I feel like family. I ask them about their holidays and get to work. Debra acts out the scene with me while Tannis runs the camera. we do two takes and we're finished. This is such a victory for me regardless what happens, if anything. Oh yeah, I can even walk to their office and avoid LA traffic for another moment.

The commercial audition for "Circuit City" @ Deborah Kurtz Casting goes well. I hear that they are doing 4 different spots, hopefully I'll get a callback for one of them.

Next up, an audition for indie film "Naked Bongos" @ Henderson/Zuckerman Casting. This one was a little frustrating for me because I tried unsuccessfully to get more information about the character. The description was for a 40's, Caucasian, Bob Villa type. Obviously if they were seeing me they decided to "go another way". Well, the information is was getting was "just make it your own". Okay I can do that, but when I got in the room the first thing the director said was "think geek"....... like "really geeky". I fully admit that I locked up. I didn't totally blow it, but I could have done a lot better. I cheated myself. The bad part is that I know Dori & Cathy I could have totally asked for a moment to prepare it in that way. Then, after reading the role the director asked my age and, of course, I lied. Then I admitted that I lied!!! WHAT!!! LOL!! Anyway, I think the truth would have served me much better. I was upset at myself for a little while, but by time I got back to my car I had put it behind me. NEXT!!!
My fourth and last audition today was for "Dannon" @ Jeff Rosenman Casting. It went really well, a callback would be nice.

How this for redemption? The same office that I bombed at this afternoon called to say I have been booked for that film I auditioned for about 3 weeks ago. Cool. It's a couple of lines and it works next month. What a day, give me more like this.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Audition: "Comcast" @ Gabrielle Schary. This audition went quite well I felt. I think I might be a little young for it, but that's okay. The young lady I was paired up is from Phoenix and used to ride dirt bikes when she was younger. I am a huge MX fan and have visited Phoenix several times in the last couple of years. I couldn't believe that she knew who MX/SX champion James "Bubba" Stewart was. In the audition we were husband & wife so we had an instant connection and the improv was seamless.

After stopping by my theatrical agency to pick-up my proofs my car wouldn't start........again. This time I was stranded for about 30 minutes. Thankfully I didn't have to be anywhere right away. I really thought I was going to have to call AAA that time. I just kinda willed it to start with a lot of faith. It worked!!! Eventually I am going to have to deal with it and get it serviced. It's just that I don't want to put anymore more money into it, it has served me well for so many years. That Honda deserves to be put to rest.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Periodically I am asked to speak about the business of acting at various places in town. I enjoy the sharing part, but I get unbelievably nervous about it. I think it is truly in my own mind, but nevertheless it seems real. Since it's not something I set out to do I don't really have a set way of doing it. It's not like I put out flyers saying "HEY!! I'll teach you all about the business of acting!!!" I try to look at it as a bunch of actors sitting around a fire sharing experiences. I'm uncomfortable with some of the titles I'm given. I'm just another actor in the trenches doing my best to make something happen, but at the same time I do enjoy sharing with others.

I've slowed down my internet participation because there are some specific things I want to get done in the near future. I am trying to get my headshots situation back on track and a couple of other things so I am tightening up my game a bit in '04.

At any rate, the event @ Actorsite went over pretty well. I learned some things myself. How can you not learn something in a room of 25-30 actors? I received several really nice e-mails of thanks. One actress ordered pizza for everyone and another gave me a really nice card of thanks.

Friday, February 06, 2004

This morning I went in for the pilot of "Silverlake" @ Judith Holstra Casting. First off Judith is the best reader I have ever read with. I actually threw me off, it was like having a real conversation. I have been to producers for "Strong Medicine" several times at that office but haven't booked.....yet. Anyway the read was okay, some points I felt I hit really well and others not so well. That's exactly the look I got from her when I finished. Who knows, maybe I'll get a callback with some notes.

I also got released from my "KFC" avail. The cool thing about that is that I totally forgot that I was even on avail, but I would have liked to have booked. Soon.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

What a day!! I had 4 really good auditions today. First up my agent got me an appointment for the "Ford" spot from yesterday. It was one of those spots where they were looking for a really wide range of types. They just wanted to see something that you were passionate about. The question I was asked was "Have you seen any good films lately?" My answer a resounding "Yes!!" I talked about the film "Monster" starring Charlize Theron. I'm sure they felt my passion in talking about Charlizes' performance. I'm glad I got in on it.

Next up: A "Midas" audition at Craig Colvin Casting. Craig calls me in a lot. One of these days I am going to book something for his office. Since I was wearing a shirt and tie for that audition I stopped by my commercial agency so they could see me in that outfit. They seemed to really like my new look. Anything to help them see me in different light. I also thanked them for getting me so many appointments without proper photos and told them that they will have my proofs in a couple of days.

Next: A producer session for "Joan of Arcadia"; associate Chuck McCollum has called me in before and recommended me for a play in the past. I really wanted to show well for him and his producers/writers/director. The role was that of a "groovy poet". I felt really good about it. I don't know if I will book it, but I feel Chuck will bring me back for something else.

I had a little time to kill before my next audition so I slipped into Best Buy for a minute. While there my theatrical agent called and asked how it went. They never call and ask how it went. I told her I felt really good about it and that if I perform like that on a more regular basis we will all make a lot more money. She really liked hearing that. She then asked if I could write down some details. I thought I had booked the role on "Joan of Arcadia", but instead it was info on a pilot audition for tomorrow. Cool. After ending the call I then thought maybe she got bad feedback or I made a fool of myself at the audition. Was that why she asked how it went? Oh no!! Sometimes we aren't as special as we think. Oh well.

I stopped by my theatrical agents office to pick up the script for tomorrow. One of my agents hadn't seen my new hair style yet too. She said she liked it. When I was attempting to leave my car would not start. I didn't freak out, but I had another audition in 40 minutes and it wasn't looking good. Finally 15 minutes later it started and I was on my way. I thought I was going to have to call AAA.

Lastly, I have an appointment for a SAG Experimental feature that a friend, fellow actress Jennifer Fontaine is producing. Jennifer is a very, very talented actress and I'm honored that she thought to bring me in for her project. When I entered the room to audition the person running the camera is Lydia Blanco. Lydia and I worked together on "The Terminal" back in November. I had a great time reading the material and I think I am right for the role. We'll see.
Fortunately, my car started when I left to go home. What a day!!

It's been 196 days since my outside driver door handle broke. Yeah, it's getting really old. To get in my car I have to:

1. Unlock the passenger door

2. open and reach over to put key in ignition

3. Hit the switch to roll down the driver side window (at least they are power windows). At this point I'm leaning from the passenger side to the driver side.

4. get back out of the car, walk around to driver side, reach in, unlock and open the door.

This wouldn't be a big deal if I worked a 9-5 job, but I'm in and out of the car all day long. Other issues that the car has are a cracked radiator, seat belt buzzer sounds when I hit the brakes, it's burning oil and the radio turns on and off at will. What do I expect with 229,900 miles on the odometer. With that being said my trusty Honda has been a dream. I plan to get another one in the near future, but I want to do it with cash. I cannot fathom having a car payment, not without a steady paycheck. In due time my car situation will improve. In a funny way I enjoy it; it shows me that I am really serious about this career.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I had a callback for the "KFC" spot today. I think it went well. It seemed that there were more people there than the original audition! Oh well, somebody is going to book it. It sure would be nice if it was me.

I usually call my buddy Jon if I audition for something I think he's right for so he can call his agent or drop-off a photo. Today he called me with a tip on a "Ford" spot @ Ross Lacy Casting. I wasn't sure what to do at first. My options were:

1. Go to the casting facility, "case the joint" and see if I can get seen somehow.

2. Call my wonderful agents @ KSA and get them on the case.

3. Do nothing. I have auditioned @ Ross' office 4 times this year, so he obviously knows of me. There could be a specific reason as to why I don't have an appointment. The last thing I want to do is be a nuisance. I pick and choose my battles carefully, I don't want to call my agent on every little thing. That'll be a quick way to lose their respect. "Sometimes you have to slow down in order to move forward".

After thinking it over for a while I decided to call my agents and get their help. I spoke to Michael, one of the great assistants, and he said "I'll ask Alicia and get back to you". A moment later I got word that they were finished for the day, but would try to see me tomorrow. I am happy with that.

I called today to find out exactly when the "Michelob Ultra" spot would start airing. The not so great news is that it isn't scheduled to start in February as planned. The good news is that it's still scheduled to run. I guess I'll have to wait a little longer.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Audition: "KFC" @ Deborah Kurtz Casting. It goes well and I think I'm pretty right for it. We'll see.

YES!! Photographer John Ganun calls tonight to tell me that my proofs are ready. He said they are so many good ones that he didn't mark any favorites. I can't wait to see them. I would have gone to pick them up tonight, but I didn't wanna lose my parking spot. Yeah, my on-street parking situation is getting really old. Patience, patience my son.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Are my commercial agents at Kazarian-Spencer & Associates(KSA) some of the hardest working agents in the business? They get my vote. Yesterday, Saturday, Brooke, one of my commercial agents calls me with an appointment for Monday. Then, today, Sunday, Michael, one of the assistants call to make sure I got the info. I've had auditions on the weekends before, but never got calls on the weekend. I hear so many bad stories about agents in general, but I have always had really good experiences. Go KSA!!