Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Audition "IBM" @ TLC/Loree Booth Casting. This is a Joe Pytka directed spot. The audition goes really, really well. I could see myself in this spot. I don't think they usually have callbacks so I have my fingers crossed. I worked for this lengendary commercial director about 2 years ago. I would really like to get back on board for another one.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

More drop-offs. Cool!! The film that I auditioned and had a callback for about a 6 weeks, "Three Wise Women" booked me. I didn't get the role I auditioned for, but I got something. It's a SAG Experimental contract film. Yeah!!

The wardrobe department from "Ocean's Twelve" called today to get my sizes. That is a good sign, only 4 more months to go!!

Monday, March 29, 2004

Audition "Charmed" @ Leslee Dennis Casting. The audition goes really, really well. It was a pre-read so I can only hope for a callback at this point. This is about the fourth time I have been in for this show. I'm glad they continue to call me in and I really would like to book it one of these days.

I rarely get sick, but I feel something coming on. NOOOO!!!!! I have no time to get sick or be under the weather even for a day.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

THREE YEARS!!! Today marks 3 years since I left my job as a waiter/valet at The Hollywood Standard on Sunset Strip. It's sometimes still hard to believe I have been able to make a living at this for this long. I'm not really surprised, but the reality of it is still kinda surreal. Here's to 3 more years and beyond!!Audition "Buick" @ Cathi Carlton Casting. The audition goes well. I see Cathi & Terry Berland on the way out and they both like my new look and photos. Cool, those are great CD radar's to be on. I've booked through Cathi's office twice and would like to again and SOON!! I tip my friend Jon off to this audition because he doesn't get nearly as many appointment as I's like to see him get. Anyway, he goes to the office and they agree to see him and he gets a callback. No callback for me though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Audition "Their Eyes Were Watching God" @ Robi Reed Casting. It's an ABC Movie of the Week starring Halle Berry. It is very, very rare that I audition for any of the African-American casting directors in town. So I was really looking forward to reading for Robi. It was 12 pages of sides, 5 different scenes, but it was only one line in each scene. I rehearsed it and went over it with my buddy Jon. I felt I found a beginning, middle and end in each scene while rehearsing, but when I got in the room it was over before I even got started. I'm like flipping pages and all I remember hearing was "great". Yeah right, I blew it. Oh well, next!

Monday, March 22, 2004

I gave blood today at the SAG office. I really wish I hadn't seen the size of the needle that they use. I know, I shouldn't have looked!!

I attend a "SAG Conversations" and the guest were the cast of "The Shield". This show keeps it real. They sound like they have a great time working together. Afterwards I spoke to lead actress CCH Pounder and told her I live in a building that she did many years ago. She got a laugh out of that. I really look forward to working on another hour drama show. Great stories from the whole cast.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I wonder how long it will take until I am used to walking to the driver side of the car. After 7 1/2 months of going to the passenger side it will take a little time to get back to normal.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Drop-offs, drop-offs & more drop-offs. I have yet to mail a single photo; I have decided to just drive them all around town. I did a bunch in Beverly Hills today. Parking anywhere in LA is difficult, but in Beverly Hills it's a complete nightmare. I was so glad when that part was over. It's so much work, but it makes me feel as though I am doing something for my career. It is so so much easier in my new car, I'm really happy with it.

Audition: Pilot Presentation "The Rev" @ Henderson/Zuckerman Casting. This is the project I was a reader for last week. It went really well, I felt. It would be nice to book something, ya know!! I also had a commercial audition for "McDonald's @ Steven Erdek Casting. I auditioned with two small children. One five and the other six, they were complete stars. I had trouble keeping up with these kids, they were great.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Audition "Wanted", TV pilot for Heidi Levitt Casting. Again, another drug dealer that I don't think I am all that right for. That's okay, because I just went in had fun with it. I was really happy with how it went. Heidi called me in from a old headshot in her files. I gave her my new photo and she asked me about my "Ocean's Twelve" & "The Terminal" credits. Pretty cool script from CBS and WBTV.

Finally!! The marriage is over and I'm so relieved. It was great while it lasted, but she doesn't do the things she used to do the way she used to do them. Sometimes you just gotta move onto bigger and better things. We spent some of the best times of our lives together. I remember driving across the country with her in the Summer of '99. That was after spending 4 years apart while I lived in New York and she in Virginia Beach, VA. It was wonderful being together again. I think I was in love. Yeah, I was in love.

We met in March of '89 and here we are 15 years later saying goodbye. The talk of separation had gone on for a good while. We tried counseling/repairs in an attempt to work things out, but it just got to the point where I didn't think it was worth the money.

She was beginning to bring me down and actually get in the way of my progress. After spending the day with her I would be exhausted. I looked forward to replacing her with a younger, prettier, sexier model. These feelings could not continue.

I feel that in most situations "what happened" is of very little importance. What is of the utmost importance is this: "What are you going to do about it?" So I had to ask myself that question. "Stephon? What are you going to do about it?!?! Are you going to sit and complain or are you going to take action?................"

I'm going to take action, I took action..........I bought a new car! Well, not brand new, but new to me. I love it! It is the exact car I wanted. I found it on (Thanks "mominbiz"! it's an inside thing between her and I).

The buying process was an absolute dream. The seller, Sean, is a business major from Taiwan. He is here in California studying for his business MBA. Thankfully, he was straight forward and honest. I think we are both stand up guys and we responded to that in each other. We were at the AFTRA-SAG Credit Union like it was a celebration, and it was. He was getting rid of his car to prepare for his return to Taiwan and I was gaining a vital tool that I needed to move forward in my career. Before we left the credit union Sean asked the loan officer to take a photo of us together. Ha!!I drove him back to Pasadena in MY new car and we talked liked we were old friends. I asked him non-stop questions about his country and his life in general. He had questions for me too. The heaviest one was "do you like to be called African-American or Black?" He was really concerned about offending others. I told him it didn't matter too much to me. "African-American" was preferable and probably more politically correct and yes, "Black" would probably offend some. I said most importantly it depends on what is in your heart, most people can tell what your intentions are even if it doesn't come out right. Ooooops! I haven't done a single single drop-off in two days!! WHAT!!!

See Ya, Nice to know ya!

'89 White Honda Accord Coupe LX-i

Code name: "Ivory"

Married: March 24th, 1989 20 miles

Separated: March 16th, 2004 231,223 miles

A new day has been born!!!

'98 Forest Green Honda Accord Coupe EX

Code name: "Cash Money" aka "The Green Hornet"

March 16th, 2004

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Today I attended a free commercial workshop conducted by John Sudol. I always try to attend any free events I can find. I always pick up something I can use to get ahead. Free help is always a good thing in my book.

Afterwards I went to the memorial service for casting director Cecily Adams. She recently passed away after a bout with lung cancer. It was a beautiful celebration of her life. At the same time it hit me like a ton a bricks. I feel like I know what her husband Jim is going to face. I feel I know what questions her two-year old daughter will ask. It leaves a hole in my heart. I couldn't help from shedding tears as I listened to love ones talk about this wonderful woman. I never had to privilege to meet or audition for Cecily, but I heard a lot of heart-warming stories. It is so, so painful to lose someone. It's hard to believe that it is happening everyday to someone we know. We all go through it. Either we are experiencing it with someone or they are experiencing because of us. Sooner or later it will touch us all. R.I.P. Cecily.

Friday, March 12, 2004

This morning I stopped by the offices of Breakdown Services to get a tutorial on exactly how the system works. Owner Gary Marsh happen to walk in while I was there and gave me the lowdown. Oh my! It's amazing.

What I really wanted to see was "what do the casting directors see on their screens?” I think it's valuable to "put yourself in their shoes, see what they see, and feel what they feel". He showed me the ends & outs of the system and I was thoroughly impressed. They have some new, interesting features to be added in the near future. I gotta step up my game.

On to Henderson/Zuckerman Casting to be a reader for pilot presentation "The Rev". I was there to be the reader for one actor, Tiny Lister. I think this role was written for him and the creative team just wanted to hear it. The producers, writers and director were in town from Canada for the day. I am supposed to read for another role next week. Mr. Tiny Lister is not tiny at all. In fact, he's 6'5" 285 lbs. He and I had a couple of nice moments before we got started. Things like me calling him a "punk". Yeah, it was funny; you kinda had to be there. Anyway the read was fun and the creative team seemed happy with what they saw. The greatest part was me getting in my Honda through the passenger door and watching Tiny get in his $100,000 Mercedes-Benz through the driver side door. I guess I'm mixing with right people, huh?

Audition: "Toyota" @ Melissa Martin Casting. This was at a new commercial casting that I had never been to before. It seems like a pre-requisite for any place that you have an audition for in LA has to have absolutely no parking whatsoever. None. I'm not complaining though.

Lastly, I go to the SAG Information Meeting this evening at the SAG Headquarters. I didn't leave there with a very good feeling about the state of the union. For some reason I am just really suspect on who is looking out for whom. It's not so much that I think the union leaders aren't looking out for the best interest of actors. I am just not convinced that they are. Not convinced at all. Of course the topic was "the contract extension" if that is what you call it. It was good that they allowed someone from the opposing side to speak freely throughout the event. I understand that these contract negotiations are extremely complicated, but it just seemed like the opposing side made more sense. What do I know?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

MORE DROP-OFFS!! Today, I underestimated myself and ran out of photos. 87 degrees in the valley, no a/c, but I gotta keep movin forward!! Somehow, someway.

Henderson/Zuckerman Casting called today and asked me to be a reader tomorrow for a pilot presentation. Get this, it’s only for one actor. It’s a producer/director session for the lead, Tiny Lister. This is the same pilot presentation that they told me I would be coming in for next week, obviously for a different role. Again this is the same office that I booked a film role in last month, but that project lost it’s funding. We’ll see.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Back to the task at hand. DROP-OFFS!! I don't have any auditions today so this is a great way to keep my mind off of the fact that I have no appointments. I have a friend in casting @ CBS Radford who got me on the lot to do drop-offs there. I ran into a couple of people who worked on "Good Morning, Miami" over the last two seasons. I also saw "Malcolm in the Middle" star Frankie Muniz riding around in a golf cart looking like he was lost, LOL!! I bet he knows his way around that lot by now.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Okay, I’m sweating like crazy. I don’t usually sweat all that much but, mix 90 degree temps in the valley and no A/C in my car and you have Stephon drenched. I have to get this car situation taken care of and soon. It looks like I’m going to be hand delivering almost all of my new headshots. I haven’t mailed any, but I’ve dropped off a lot of them.

The first thing on the agenda today is, heading out to Encino to deliver new photos to Henderson/Zuckerman Casting. This is the office where I booked a part in an indie film last month, but they lost the funding for the film. Anyway, Cathy and Dori liked the new photos and kept one each. They also mentioned a pilot presentation they thought I was right for. Dori flipped through the script to check the age of the character and said “we’ll see you next week”. Cool.

Back out into the heat and my car won’t start. Every time this happens I just keep trying until it eventually starts. One day this is going to bite me in the a**. I gonna get caught somewhere on the way to a producer session. Oh no!!! After 25 minutes it starts. 25 minutes sitting in the 90 degree heat was no fun. Anyway, it could be worse. I guess. Sure it could.

Next, I continue on my way to Sun Valley to Lorna Johnson Casting. She cast “The Division”. I’ve been driving way out to Sun Valley for 2 years trying to get an audition for this show to no avail........yet. Some of my friends that I have dropped off for have been called to audition, but not me. I’ll keep trying. It’s hot, I stink and after a couple of more drops I am heading back to the ranch. I gotta headache.

Monday, March 08, 2004

This morning I went over to Debra Zane's office to give them a thank you card for bringing me in for "Ocean's Twelve" and to give them my new headshots. As a side note, I felt it would be good for me to be seen in the business suit I was wearing for my commercial audition later.

Debra and Tannis always greet me like I'm family when I stop by the office. I try not to stay too long, we usually have a couple of good laughs and I’m on my way. I offered them two different choices of my new headshots and they kept both of them. Cool.

Deb informed me that I am 1 of only 4 actors out of Los Angeles in the entire film. Most of the shooting will be in Europe. My scene shoots here in Los Angeles. My character is a flight attendant. All of the main characters in the film are in this scene as well. Yeah, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, My dialogue exchange is with Elliott Gould & Don Cheadle. I also get to work with Margaret Travolta older sister of John Travolta. Only 5 months away and counting.

Next stop, my theatrical agents’ office to deliver duplicates of my new headshots. My agents are really happy with how they came out.

One of my agents, Kelley, had her first child 9 weeks ago. I'd seen the child very briefly a couple of times, but this time I got a good look. The youngster, born just 72 days ago, is so so cute, precious and completely helpless. A beautiful sight.

Audition: "Boeing" @ Kathy Knowles Casting. This is the office that I booked the "Michelob Ultra" spot right before the holidays. Maybe that'll give me an edge, LOL! The audition goes well and I think I'm right for it.

After my audition and doing several drop-offs I went to the gym to get my work out on. I saw this older gentleman who had to be 75-85 years old. We were next to each other while we were changed into our exercise clothing. He had tattoos all over his chest, back, arms and other places. He had the look of a “biker” or “Billy-Bad-Ass” to be stereotypical. As we changed, I noticed he was having difficulty getting his shoes and socks off. I immediately offered assistance and helped him remove his shoes, socks and pants.

I just thought it was interesting. Here is a guy who probably, back in the day was vibrant and strong, having difficulty undressing himself. He wasn’t completely helpless, like the 72 day old child, but one day he will be. A lot of us will be.

The cool thing was that he was very nice to me and even spoke to me when I saw him later in the pool area. If I see him again I think I’ll ask him about his tattoos and what they mean.

Why am I writing this? I don’t know……………………………it moved me I guess. It kinda showed me the full circle of life. Not in a bad way, it’s just life. I see a lot of things different since I lost my mother 478 days ago. She was such a strong woman, but in a matter of weeks was rendered completely helpless. She took care of me when I was completely helpless as an infant and I’m glad I was able to give something back to her.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Audition: Pilot "The Aisha Tyler Project" @ Basker/Hann Casting. I know partner Ted Hann. One day 2-3 years ago I did a drop-off to Ted's office and got an audition for CBS "Danny" and booked the role. I got to shoot it and work with Daniel Stern, but the series was cancelled before it aired.

Well the pilot audition didn't go all that great. I mean it was okay, but "okay" doesn't usually cut it. I think I was a little too serious for the situation. It is a sitcom afterall, so I will look at it as a lesson learned.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Yes, I had a callback today for that "Checker's/Rally's" commercial. It went well and I think I am really right for it. Time will tell.Drop offs, drop-offs and more and more drop-offs. That is what my life consist of these days. I have two of my four headshots ready and I am dropping them off like a mad man.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Audition: "The Shield" @ Fiorentino/Casting . This is the 3rd this season I've been called in by this office to go on tape for producers. The audition goes well. I don't think I am right enough to book, but I'll let them make that decision. One of these days I'll stick and get to work on this gritty show. Also, CCH Pounder, who plays "Claudette" on the show used to live in my building 15+ years ago.

YES!!! 3 weeks ago I had 4 auditions in one day, actually it was the 2nd time that happened in a week. Maybe this not having the right photo thing is working!! Anyway, one of those appointments was for "Ocean's Twelve". My agent called to say I booked a role in the film. I know the film is shooting primarily in Europe, but I assume that I will be working here in Los Angeles. My passport is ready to go just in case. Get this. I thought "The Terminal" booking was a long way away. It was 3 1/2 months after booking that I finally worked on the film. For "Ocean's Twelve" I don't work until early August. WHAT!!! That's like 5 months away. Cool, that it'll give me a lot of time to do specific research on director Steven Soderbergh, the producers and the other actors.