Monday, January 31, 2005

I’m speaking again. This is a second group from the Actor’s Connection in New York. This session went really. The actors had many questions about the LA market and I gave them my take on it…..for 2 ½ hours!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

This piece I’m in rehearsal for is a bit of a dream come true, I really hope I get to do it. I have always wanted to be in a military piece and be a soldier. Ya know, work out, yell, march, that kinda stuff. YES SIR!! NO SIR!!

Anyway, at the top of the piece, our group of soldiers march on stage. Since I’m the last one to enter I do the count because I can see when everyone is in place. I already start sweating because my rhythm isn’t all that great. So they come up with a chant/song and I’m like “oh sh*t, don’t you guys remember how long it took me to get it right in the play?” I’m thinking, ‘can’t someone else do this?’ They hit me with this call and response thing which goes like this.

I don’t know, but I been told!!

I don’t know, but I been told!!

Bow-legged woman ain’t got no soul!!

Bow-legged woman ain’t got no soul!!





Sound-off One-Two, ONE-TWO….THREE-FOUR!!

I know it sounds really simple, but you have to understand that I’ve got two left feet and take me a bit longer to get things right. After a couple of times, I had my rhythm. So if you see a guy who looks like me in a car next to you yelling some chant it might actually be me.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Audition “Partnership for a Drug-Free America” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Interesting situation with this one. If I book it, I will have to forfeit all session fees and residuals. WHAT!!! I’m kidding, I guess that is giving back huh? I would love to do it.

Friday, January 28, 2005

My hip is now officially a minor irritation in my life. I haven’t gotten the results from the MRI yet. I guess I’ll emerge from my denial and call them on Monday. Not a great day today. Actually, that's not totally true. I was on my way to the gym near Westside Casting Studios and I met this kid, a young actor named Harrison. I guess he was about 18 or 19 and from Charlotte, NC. Let me tell you, this kid was a breath of fresh air. It was so great to see someone so young with such a zest for life and appreciation for the freedom to pursue his dream. He was a good-looking kid, with incredible energy. He was type of person that would get the lead in a series with no experience, you just believed that he could pull it off. He looked like someone who would be on "The O.C." or "Everwood", but more real. Those kids on TV always seem so pissed about who knows what, but this guy was great. I begged him not to lose his spunk for life. He's fairly new in town and has a really good agency behind him. He was asking me some really basic question about the business. I really expect to see this kid going places. I just told to be himself. I purposely didn't ask his last name because I just feel that he is going to rise up the ladder very, very soon.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Screening “The Motorcycle Diaries”. What a wonderful, touching film. It was subtitled in Spanish, but I was still able to keep up with it. LOL! The writer Jose Rivera was in attendance and did a Q&A. This is his first produced screenplay and he has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

YES!! Callback: @ Judy Elkins Casting for "Tropicana". It goes really well, I mean, we didn’t really do anything, but still....I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Rehearsal was good for the scene with The Robey Theatre Company for the NAACP Theatre Awards. It’s a short scene, but still cool to find all the levels in it and I’m working with a great bunch of guys. I hope I get to actually perform it, but I really hope I get the “Levi Jeans” print gig in New York too. My print agent, Jenny @ KSA, says I am still in the running. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Today I am speaking to a group of actors checking out the LA market from Actor’s Connection in New York. It was supposed to be yesterday, but many of them had trouble getting out of New York because of the inclement weather. I will discuss what my transition to LA was like and what they might expect if they decide to relocate.

This was pretty cool. After I spoke to the group of actors they were to meet a producer/director. I'd met this person several years ago at a workshop. I'd see her now and then and knew she was producing and moving into directing. Anyway, while catching up on what each other had been up to I mentioned that I started writing a script. She asked what kind of script; I was stumped at first. THEN it dawned on me that "I was talking to a producer and I am writing a script!!" HELLO!!

Anyway, I quickly formulated a pitch in my head and delivered it to her. She seemed to like the concept and then I told her that I recently had one of the scenes read at a workshop. She asked how it went and I told her "Great! There were 30+ people in the room and only the two actors performing it knew I wrote it. The response was fantastic." She said, "Do you want to direct it?" I said, "No". She said, "I wanna see it when you’re finished. I raise money for projects". I said, "OK, I'll make sure it happens". She said, "Just keep writing". She then handed me her business card and said, "I'll give you 6 months". I hope it doesn’t take me 6 months to finish it.

BAM!! One step closer. My print agent called to tell me that I'm on avail for the "Levi Jeans" job that shoots in New York. This is great news whether I book or not. I've been dropping off to this casting office for years and years without a call. Maybe this will start a relationship with them. Truth be told, I don't have a comp card so that's probably the biggest reason why I don't get out for prints jobs normally.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Today was spent burning up the pavement doing drop-offs. It’s a never ending thing. Actually, it will end; I won’t drive this town forever that’s for sure. I enjoy doing it, but I wonder if it has anything to do with why my hip is bothering me. Today was not a good day, as my hip seems to be getting worse. I should get the results from the MRI within the next couple of days.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Today was the first rehearsal for the scene that I am a part of for the NAACP Theatre Awards. There are 6 other guys participating and I worked with all of them in the play. It was great to see those guys again. I feel fortunate to be a part The Robey Theatre Company Family.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Audition: “Tropicana” @ Judy Elkins Casting. A great way to start off a bright Saturday morning. It went well, so we’ll see.

This afternoon I attended a workshop @ The Actorsite with 4 associates from 4 different casting offices. Usually, the guest will bring their own scenes to distribute, but when they have multiple guests’ actors, sometimes, bring their own scenes. This was a perfect opportunity to present a scene from the script I’m writing.

I’d already discussed it with a particular actor to read the male role. He had previously read a couple of others things I had written. I had two females in mind for the other role, but neither one of them were on the list for this particular event. Then I chose someone else who played a bit older than the character, but was a very, very talented actress, but she didn’t show up either. Soon as I found that out I ran into another actress, Erica, that I see at actorsite from time to time. Immediately I knew that she was perfect for the part.

I forget to tell the male actor not to tell her I had written the scene. I didn’t want her to get in her head about “the writer” being in the room. Anyway, she found out and was a bit nervous. I was nervous too, but I said “just have fun”. I resisted the urge to explain the scene and just let it go as written. I had re-written, re-written and re-written this scene; so I felt it was ready to be read. I knew that these actors are paying hard-earned cash to attend this event and I didn’t want to let them down.

When they hit the stage I was sweating bullets!! OH SH*T!!! None of the 30 people in the room knew I had written the scene, so I wouldn’t get any courtesy support. Here it goes, the first time anything I have written is being read for an audience. IT WENT GREAT!!!!! The audience was listening, laughing and they stayed in the moment. Talk about “waiting to exhale”? I don’t think I took one breath the entire time. I was so pleased with how it went. The actors really brought life to it. They nailed most of the beats that were there and showed me new things that I didn’t know about. I was so, so happy. Joe and Erica, thank you for trusting me.

Friday, January 21, 2005

This morning I had the MRI performed on my pelvis. I’d never had one before and was amazed at what technology can do these days. I‘ll get the results next week. I scheduled my colonoscopy/endoscopy; it's February 10th. That was the earliest I could get in. Three weeks is a long time to think about it. Ha!!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Three auditions today!!Audition: “ACE Hardware” @ Joe Blake Casting. This goes really well.
After the "ACE Hardware" audition I saw that Joe Blake Casting was also doing a beer commercial. Since I got the official word that my "Michelob Ultra" spot had been dropped after running a whopping one time in a year I checked out what was going on. I felt that they were seeing guys that were my type, so I had to figure out how to handle it. I checked the storyboard and I seemed to fit the specs. I decided to call my agent and see what she could do. Alicia put me on hold and made a call to the casting office at Joe Blake. To my surprise, the guy who answered the phone was the guy I just auditioned for! Ooops!! He told her "I just saw Stephon, he's not totally right for this. But we might be seeing more people later though." I had no idea that he would answer the phone. I felt like I had been outsmarted. Alicia and I got a really good laugh out of it.The great thing is that I can call my agents about things like that and they are very receptive. They don't get all weird on me. I don't do it too often, I try to pick my battles wisely. I think they have a lot of respect for what it is I'm trying to do.

Audition: “Starz” @ Sheila Manning Casting. I think this was the first time I've worked with a teleprompter. The gentleman that was there who I think was a producer seemed to be quite happy with the read. I kept the sides in case I get a callback. I booked the last time I auditioned at her office. Can lightening strike twice? I sure hope so.

Audition/Go-see: “Levi Jeans” @ Barbara Bersell Casting. YES!! I got an appointment! One step closer to New York! I never do this about auditions, but I really want to go to New York for this. I know I’m setting myself up for disappointment, but a brother can dream right? The "audition" consisted mostly of paperwork and poloroids, but I felt great about it! I'm not familiar with how things are done in the print world, I guess the next step is hoping for a callback.

So I go to my colonoscopy consultation this afternoon. Ugh!! The doctor gave me the rundown on the procedure……….you don’t want to know. I had done some research on the internet and was prepared for what he told me I had to do to get ready for it………you don’t want to know. I had planned on making the appointment for the procedure when I left, but after he told me that he wanted to check my esophagus for tumors and polyps I needed more time to think. He wants to go up my………..and down my………..all in the same day? What the heck is going on?!?! I’m going to get it done, I just needed more time to clear my head. I’ve had more people touching my body in the last three months than in the past 3 years!!! Not really….anyway……I can’t wait until this over.
Oooops!! The other night a friend of mine in New York called to tell me that she had just seen my appearance on "The O.C.". I had tried to find out when it was going to air. It was on my IMDB and then it disappeared. I thought I had been cut out or something. I didn't get to see it, but evidently I made the final edit.
Ben Guillory of the Robey Theatre Company called and asked if I would be interested in participating in a project they are doing for the NAACP Theatre Award Show. They are doing a short scene from “A Soldier’s Play”, written by Charles Fuller. I said ‘yes’ and am glad he thought of me. I’ll get to work with several of the guys from “Christophe”, the play I did last Fall.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I’ve been doing drop-offs pretty much since day one of moving to Los Angeles. I’ve also watched the commercial angle of it become less and less effective. I believe it’s because of the increase of submissions through the internet. Although, it dulls the edge that I get from being repped by a top commercial agency I think it helps actors that would probably have a harder time getting seen and that’s a good thing. When I look at the physical condition of a bin of submissions, it tells what is happening. At least I think it does. It has been instrumental in turning my attention more to theatrical drops over the years. I mean I still drop to commercial CD’s, but not quite as much as before.

Today, while at Westside Casting, I looked closely at what CD’s has drop spots in the drop-off area because I didn’t want to drop to anyone who calls me in regularly. Joe Blake Casting is somewhere that I audition on a fairly regular basis and have booked in the past, but I had not auditioned there in 6 months. What’s up with that?!?! Anyway, I leave a photo and several hours later I get a call for an audition for tomorrow!!

Now, I don’t think getting this appointment had anything to do with my drop, but it sure feels good think that it might have. Maybe, just maybe, I’m helping my agents to help me. It just makes sense, I get 90% and they get 10%.

Tonight I attended a SAG Affirmative Action/Diversity Department event entitled “The Invisible American” – A Diversity Panel Discussion. The panel consisted of four television showrunners. They discussed diversity concerns and constructive packaging of performers of color and performers with disabilities. It felt like a “who’s who” of who I knew when I lived in New York, which was a great feeling. I had never seen so many actors of color and disabilities in one place.

It was great to have these industry professionals in attendance, but I felt these four guest where already headed in the right direction as far as diversity goes. I think it would have been more effective to get people the we could sorta “put on the hot seat”. In a respectable manner of course. Like the showrunners of “Friends” (ironically my first television job). I lived in New York and I remember it being quite diverse. I think we are making progress we just have to keep pushing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Today I went to see the orthopedic specialist about my hip. He checked it out and recommended that I have an MRI done of my pelvis. Ugh!

Today is 17th anniversary of one of my commercial agents, Alicia Ruskin, @ KSA. Can I tell you that this woman rocks!! I just love them over there. I have been there for 6 ½ years and it’s great. I feel like a baby because there are some clients that have been there for over 20!! Go KSA! I promise I will book again…..soon!

I saw Jenny, my print agent over there @ KSA. I don’t go out for print jobs often, quite frankly because I don’t have a comp card. Anyway, a friend told me about this big print gig for “Levis”. Normally, it wouldn’t be too big of a deal for me, but they were looking for professional bloggers and print journalists in my age range. I definitely don’t usually think of myself as a journalist, but for what it pays and a trip to New York I will be a journalist! I dropped my photo off last week and pretty much forgot about it, but Jenny called to make sure I was a “professional blogger”. I said “yes!” Then, later I got all weird about it. I mean I don’t get paid for writing, but I do have a blog/print journal. Anyway, hopefully I’ll get an appointment for it. A trip to NY would be a wonderful thing right now. I haven’t been to NYC for almost 18 months and that’s too long.

Monday, January 17, 2005

This afternoon I listened to a special on the radio about Martin Luther King and his path to greatness. Wow, he really put it on the line to make things better in the world. He knew he was going to die in the process. Thank you MLK.

Audition: “Scott Tissue Paper” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This one goes really well and I think I’m right for it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a callback. Tonight I attended a free Q&A with casting executive Rick Pagano. What a great guy! He’s real, he’s candid and very inspiring. He even told us that we can call his office to drop-off a photo in person. Ya know, not to come in and have lunch or anything like that, but to get your photo in the mix. He highly recommended doing drop-offs. I liked his “take control of your destiny attitude”.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Okay, so I went to the race in Phoenix and had a great time. Rain was not an issue, but the guy I’d been waiting to see race for 2 years, James “Bubba” Stewart, fractured his arm in practice right before the racing started. WHAT!!! Yeah, it’s a dangerous sport and these things are bound to happen. Anyway, at least it’s just a fracture and he’s not paralyzed or anything like that. The racing was still very exciting and my friend, SonHui, who invited me was really keeping up with the action. SonHui, had never been to a race was brand new to the whole thing. THANKS!!

As I was getting ready to leave Phoenix I developed a stomach ache of all stomach aches. I was in bad, bad shape. Then my flight was cancelled and the later flight they put me on was delayed by another 1 ½ hours. I was doubled over in the corner feeling like I was going to fall out. I started to feel a little better by the time I got back to LA.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Remember that muddy Supercross race I attended last weekend in Anaheim? Well my friend, SonHui, bought me tickets and invited me to Phoenix for the second round. This is just too cool of her. The stadium in Phoenix has a roof so rain shouldn’t be an issue. This is going to be a great race!

Friday, January 14, 2005

I have an audition tomorrow for a pilot at Henderson/Zuckerman Casting. The appointment conflicts with my flight to Phoenix for the weekend and I really don't want to change it. The question for me is why do they have me scheduled to pre-read for 1-2 lines? I've been straight to producers for them several times, booked through them twice and have worked as a reader for many sessions over the years. I really like the ladies.

Maybe there's some important part of this equation that I'm missing. Or maybe it’s just an over sight and I was scheduled wrong. I'm not one to generally look down upon pre-reading, in fact I welcome it, in most cases. I'm very careful about what I don't audition for. When I auditioned for "Good Morning, Miami" it was for 3 lines. I ended up shooting 14 episodes. Trust me; I don't look for reasons to 'not' audition. I need credits, experience and cold hard cash just like anyone else. However, I also feel that there is a time to say "thanks, but no thanks". I think now is one of those times. I just need to figure out how I'm going to handle it.

Am I just going not show for the appointment.
Call the assistant at my agency and pass on the project.
Talk to my agent about it and see what the dealio is.

The reason I think I might be missing something is because the particular agent who gave me the appointment did not question me about whether I was going to go in or not. She is usually quite vocal about what I should or should not audition for. hmmm........does she think I should do it?


I call the agency to pass on the project. I tell the assistant that I don’t want to pre-read for this particular project. He puts me hold. My agent gets on the phone and says that she doesn’t think I should read for it whether I am going out of town or not. The role is too small. Done.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Audition "Disney" @ Lien/Cowan Casting. This one goes really well, but I don't think I'm all that right for it. Callbacks are Monday.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Rain, rain and more rain. I wonder how many motorists have gotten or will get tickets for driving with their wipers on and headlights off. Yup, if you need your wipers you have to have your headlights on. It's a new California State Law that went into effect on January 1st AND it's a moving violation. So buckle up, turn on those wipers and headlights, don't follow to close and.........just be safe.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The new season here!!! The THQ AMA Supercross GP Series begins tonight in Anaheim. This is motocross phenom James 'Bubba' Stewarts' first race in the 250cc class. I can't wait, but it looks like it's going to be a mud fest.

Stewart is the first African-American champion in major motor sports. Mega-star Tom Cruise has optioned the rights to his life story. The project is in development at Paramount Studios. Stewart is 19.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Audition: "FedEx" @ Cathi Carlton Casting. It goes well. A callback to start off the year would be nice.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Back in Los Angeles after two weeks of badly needed downtime. As I'm catching up on my mail I see a letter from my doctor. It's the results of the second blood test and the........other thing.

Anyway, it says, again, that my red blood cell count is low. I have some sort of iron deficiency anemia. She says I need to get a colonoscopy. WHAT!?!?! It's to see if I'm losing blood in my colon or if I have a tumor.

I don't have a tumor. I don't have a tumor. I don't have a tumor. I don't.........I'm not losing blood. I'm not losing......

I haven't even seen the orthopedic surgeon yet for my hip!!! My first question is always: "does it hurt?" She said, "you'll be asleep". What the Hell does THAT mean? It must hurt.

I know this "going to the doctor stuff" is smart and I have worked hard to qualify for medical coverage, but I'm not used to this. I just have to remember that: It just makes sense. It just makes sense. It just.......

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The moment of truth is here. Today is the day that the motocross score will be settled among my two younger brothers and me. I will admit that I was nervous leading up to it. Why? Because the smack talk never, ever stops between us. I live for it. Truthfully, it's kind of a lopsided situation because they ride so much more than I do. I only get to ride when I am home in Virginia. So the last time for me was in July and it was so muddy that it didn't amount to much. I was quiet during the 45-minute ride to the track. My main thing is to not get hurt or damage the bike. I don't want my brothers getting hurt either. The main thing is that we get to laugh and that brings us closer as we grow older.

During the warm-up I got a chance to see what each of them had for me. Jeff looked way better than he did last time and Todd looked even better than that. The track was muddy in spots but Todd was still hanging it out. When I saw him do this double jump that I had never done my confidence in winning went further South.........for the moment. I had to figure out where I was going beat him on the track. I figured it was going to be in the turns and getting on the brakes later than him. Of course, bigger cajones help too.

In preparation for this impending battle, I've been studying all of the riding tips I could find online. My brother, Jeff, laughs at me doing this to get ahead. After getting to the track, I rode around and really studied the layout and practiced some of the drills I learned on the internet.

IT'S TIME!!! Here we are on the starting line. The bikes: Todd/2001 Suzuki RM125. Jeff/2004 Kawasaki KX250F. Me/2003 Honda CR125 w/FMF "Fatty" pipe. I was expecting Jeff to win the start because he was on the 4-stroke, but I was going for the holeshot anyway.

And we're off!!!! I win the race to the first turn with Todd hot on my heels. Todd passes me right out of the first turn and Jeff gets around me after I fall in the muddy second turn.. I was pissed. I felt I could win. I get up and back in the race and on the second lap I see Todd on the ground and I'm making up serious time in catching Jeff then I fall again in the same spot as before. Jeff wins the race, I'm second and Todd third.

The second race has begun. I win the sprint to the first turn again and don't look back. I lead the entire race and am completely in control. Todd and Jeff give me a lot of credit. Again, in the third race, I am the first one to the first turn, but I fall and Jeff and Todd get around me. Todd falls and can't start his bike. I almost catch Jeff, but run out of time. So far, Jeff has two wins and a second. Todd has three thirds and I have a win and two seconds.

A win is a win, but I didn't feel that Jeff deserved his. I mean he never passed anyone that wasn't on the ground already. I challenged him to two more races. Todd's bike had a crank-bearing problem and he was done for the day. I smoked Jeff wire-to-wire in the last two races. I told them both that they would never beat me again. Jeff is talking about flying me back home soon just for a weekend of racing. I told him to shut-up and send me a ticket!! Ladies and Gentlemen introducing the Winter Series Fuller Family Motocross Champion--Stephon Fuller!!!