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.


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.

"Wow, what about the purging?"

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

"Cool, I feel quite fortunate".

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

"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!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Today is, most likely, going to be one of those days. I can feel it. It was two years ago today that I demanded that my mom go to the hospital for a medical check up. She went in that day and the next day she was admitted to the hospital. Little did I know that she was suffering from pancreatic cancer and we would lose her in two months. So needless to say this is a not a great memory for me. I still can't believe she's gone.This was not the best of days for me at rehearsal. We did dance/movement today for 4 hours. First of all, I am not a dancer and I don't move particularly well. So I have that baggage with me most of the time. The problem was that the choreographer and the percussionist were speaking two different languages. Not literally, but the choreographer was speaking in "counts" i.e. "and 1 and 2 and 3 and.....and 8" whereas the percussionist was speaking in "beats of the drums". They didn't match up. Well after about 30 minutes of miscommunication from them I was pissed and tired. I don't get riled up too often but I was PISSED, I even had a little outburst if you can imagine that. I don't expect them to hold my hand through the whole thing, but at least give me clear direction. After rehearsal a couple of them pulled me aside and let me vent. I explained my frustrations and told them I would keep doing my best to keep up. This same thing happened with the show I did in NYC, I'll get it eventually.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Audition "Saturn" @ Ross Lacy Casting. Gee, Ross calls me in quite often and I would really like to book something through his office......soon. This audition goes really well I feel. I booked a "Pizza Hut" spot there several years ago, but that was several years ago. Time for some new fresh stuff!!Tonight's rehearsal was a lot of fun. I wasn't scheduled to be there, but decided to attend anyway. I ended up getting to work quite a bit in a different character. The rehearsals are a great workout and I am the company of some really talented people. I am so glad I am a part of this production.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

YES!! Callback "Toyota" @ Cathi Carlton Casting. It wasn't the same director that has hired me before, but that's okay I'd be happy to work for him too! It goes well, I feel, so time will tell.