Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cool, Dori Zuckerman Casting called with my new date to work on "Easier, Softer Way". Now it's July 25.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Yay!! Today is my xxxx birthday. I'm always surprised at how many people remember because I'm usually pretty low key about it. I have my reasons......Thanks for all of the phone calls, cards, e-mails and stuff.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I was hoping this would happen. My day of work on "Easier, Softer Way" got pushed back because production is starting later. This is great news because I'll be able to stay in Virginia for another week. Also, my commercial agency calls to make sure I'm not there because they have an appointment for me. I hope it's busy when I get back, but I really need to be away right now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Yeah!!! The Fuller MX Challenge is on. My brother Jeff and I were heading out to the track with my youngest brother Todd joining us after work. It's about 45 minute drive down into North Carolina. I started out slow on the track getting used to things again because one of my biggest concern is getting hurt. I've had enough with doctors for the moment.

It didn't take long for me to feel like my old self again. I was playing cat and mouse with Jeff, ya know showing him that I still had it even though I hadn't been on a bike since December.

After a couple of hours of riding Todd joined us. He was crisp and smooth while I was completely exhausted and ragged. Previous to Todd arriving I had only fallen once, but after he got there I couldn't stay on the bike to save my life. I was beat, winded and ready for a break. Of course they wanted to race and I couldn't back down from the challenge.

There we were on the starting line, engines peaked to the proper RPM's. 3....2....1 and the bikes are screaming to the first turn. It's a dog fight and Jeff gets the holeshot to the first turn on the Kawasaki KXF250F. I'm right on his tail on the Honda CR125, exhausted, but looking to make a quick move. Jeff was flawless, he didn't at all resemble the guy I'd been playing cat and mouse with in practice. He stepped it up and totally caught me by surprise. I finished second with Todd on a Suzuki RM125 in third.

The second moto is on the gate and ready to go. 3...2...1!!!The three of us blast our way to the first turn with Todd leading me in second and Jeff bringing up the rear. Todd quickly started to get away from me so if I was going to make a move it had to be quick. I wasn't really able to close the gap but was keeping Jeff at bay without too much trouble. Then BAM!!! Agh!!!! There was this turn that was pretty flat and very slick. I found a line that I liked around the very edge that had a little berm and was able to do it as long as I committed to it. For some reason I hesitated and my front wheel got into the soft stuff and it was too late. I went down while running a respectable second. Jeff got around me and I finished third.

The Third Moto: BAM!!! The gate is down. I stay on the gas and win the race to the first turn. I'm determined to win this moto. In and out of the first turn, over the table top jump and a left into the sand whoops. I find the energy to ride standing up and I'm feeling good. Next up is a right hair-pin into a right hand sweeper to a set of doubles and I'm feeling great. Todd is close behind and I know he is looking to make a move. A table top jump with a little kicker is coming up fast and I'm moving a bit faster than normal. I hit the jump and........lights out!! Yup! I don't remember what happened. I just know I went down in a big heap. Todd said I got twisted up in the air and landed really crooked. I just remember hoping that Todd didn't land on top of me. When I stopped tumbling I also remember making sure I had feeling in my fingers and toes...and I did. Whew!! A broken bone wouldn't be a big deal as long as I had feeling in my extremities. I laid there for a while and wasn't able to finish the race. I took a break and got back on the bike to make sure I didn't lose my confidence. I was very, very sore but fine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tonight I attended my old acting class with Sylvia Harman @ The Actor's Place. Whenever I go home I try to stop by and check-in. Sylvia is an amazing instructor and it's great to watch her teach.

Usually, while I'm there, I speak to the students about the business for a bit. It always shows me how significant it was that I left for New York. For Greg and I it was never a question about whether we were really going to go for it or not. I'm glad I have the knowledge behind me that I do; it helps with my confidence.

I spoke and answered questions for about 90 minutes. Many of the students seemed to be serious about moving forward in the business. I tried to be encouraging yet straightforward with what they are up against. I usually tell groups I speak to that what we are trying to accomplish is "damn near impossible, but people are moving forward in the business everyday" and it's true. I wish them all the best of luck.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

And were off! To the AMA National Motocross Series Championship stop in Budd's Creek, MD. It was a great family trip with a lot of exciting racing and perfect weather. I wish I could ride 50% as good as the guys I paid to see. PHOTO: Me and Motocross Star Mike Alessi

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Here I sit at Cincinnati International Airport waiting for my connecting flight home. I am so glad to be out of Los Angeles for the moment. I already feel younger!

The only thing my brother's have been talking about is "The Race". Well, not the only thing, we are looking into some business ventures in Virginia Beach as well, but for the most part it's "The Race". "The Race", as in the motocross race. You see, currently I hold the title amongst my brothers. Yup, the champ...the don.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Audition: "Saturn" @ Ross Lacy Casting. It goes well and I think I'm right for it even though I wouldn't be here for callbacks...if I was so fortunate. Who knows, there is no shoot dates scheduled yet.

Afterwards, I stopped by KSA to get a photo of my picture as "Client of the Week". YEAH!! I gotta tell ya, it really means a lot to me to be recognized at an agency like Kazarian-Spencer & Associates.

Okay, so it looks like I'm not going to get an avail for the "Motorola" spot; so I'm on a plane tomorrow night. YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe it; I'm a week late going home beacuse of the commercial and have to return a week early to work on Mekhi Phifer film "Easier, Softer Way". My month trip has been cut to 2 weeks. No!!!!!!!.......YES!!!!!!!!!! This is a great reason for my trip to be altered, I just hope it's as busy when I get back. My brother wanted me to come back to Virginia at the end of July for a MX race anyway....hmmmmm.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Back in the saddle for the "internet interactive" part of the "IBM" shoot. We shot at Sony Studios. I am so thankful for this extra day of work, especially with it being Saturday. It really made it worth it to change my flight home.

It was fun, we worked in front of a green screen, so I'm not sure what the background is going to look like. The people from the ad agency were really nice and I hope to work with them again in the future. Actually, sooner than later, they are also the agency for the "Motorola" spot I auditioned for yesterday.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Audition “Motorola” @ TLC/Loree Booth Casting. I am really right for it and it goes well. I have my fingers crossed.

Check this out!! Brooke, @ KSA, calls to tell me that Tracy and Kelly, two great young ladies who work in the bullpen at the agency made me “Client of the Week” for next week. WHAT!?!?! WOW, that’s cool. The bullpen is where they handle the hundreds of calls that come in and go out everyday in the commercial department and they do a tremendous job. THANKS! I’ll have to stop next week and see my photo in the frame. That’s a real honor at an agency like Kazarian-Spencer & Associates.

Alright! It’s confirmed that I am working tomorrow/Saturday. It won’t be Joe Pytka directing, but his second unit. That’s cool, it’s another director that I’ll get to know that I’m sure will be directing commercials in the future if he or she isn’t already. Whew!

Tonight I attended a small get together for a pre-release of "Acting Q's" by Bonnie Gillespie and Blake Robbins. I am one of several actors based in New York and Los Angeles that were interviewed for the book. I've got to tell you this is an excellent book. I am not finished, and I don't want to finish because the stories are so rich. It covers actors at all level in the game. I highly recommend getting a copy.

I have a hard time reading my chapter without laughing because it's "so me". It's like reading in a mirror. It's totally in my language, which means I go off on many little sub-stories and such. I am proud to be a part of it and envision writing my own book in the future.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I was treated to a beautiful drive up I-5 to Valencia for the "IBM" commercial shoot. The location was the Vista Valencia golf course.

I knew right away I was in the right place when I saw one of the production people erecting a basketball goal on the set. The director, Joe Pytka, is a legend in commercial direction; I mean top dog. He is also a basketball fanatic who is known to always have a basketball goal nearby while shooting.

After having breakfast, going through hair/make-up & wardrobe, I watched Joe and some production guys play a game of 3 on 3 b-ball. It’s kinda funny to watch this 60 some year-old man play ball with these young cats. He can play too; sinking bank shots from all over the court. Interesting. Usually on-set it’s “time is money”, but Joe truly runs his own show.

Cameras are ready , first shot up, I am playing “The Helpist”. I am sitting at my desk in the middle of a golf course right beside a bunker/sand trap. It’s a funny spot and we had a great time shooting it. Let me tell you, Joe Pytka is one interesting fellow. He is known to be quite tough on his cast and crew when he wants to be. Some of it is very, very harsh and some of it is completely hysterical. This is my second time working with him and I haven’t received any of his wrath….yet.

He really knows what he wants and does not waste time. You really need to be ready to work and pay close attention to what is going on. The script and other things changed many times and you have to be able to roll with it.

LUNCH!! I just had a conversation with one of the executives from Ogilvy & Mather, the New York-based advertising agency handling the campaign. She told me I was a "double miracle". What? Yeah, she explained to me how the whole process worked for this particular spot. I auditioned Thursday morning on my way to Dori Zuckerman's office to be a reader; I almost had to miss it because I had to in Encino by 11am. By Thursday evening I had been approved by all but one person. She said I was a "double miracle" because I was the right type, had the quality they were looking for and being African-American helped too…..a lot. Of course, I didn't know any of that going in, but it was cool to hear it directly from the people involved.

She was talking about how great it is to find good actors that you know can do the job. She even said that I’ll probably get a bunch of bookings in the next 6 months from them. WHAT!?!? Cool! I mean, I won’t wait by the phone, but it sure sounds good.

She also explained that I was going to be a different character, but how and why that changed. Interesting stuff.


So I’m done for the day. The spot is due to break in conjunction with the US Open Golf Tournament in August. Although, I haven’t gotten the official booking yet, but it seems that I will working on Saturday as well for an interactive video too that has something to do with the commercial. That’s cool, weekend commercial shoots pay double!

Okay, now back to reality and getting my ticket to go home for Saturday. Thankfully, I have some friends that are really stepping up and helping me out.

Shortly after talking to Kimberlay about scheduling my flight home with a buddy pass I get another audition. Huh? I thought I was done. How did I get in this great situation? I mean…yeah…I developed a plan years ago and have stuck to it, but it’s always still kinda surreal to actually see it work.

It all goes back to my days in New York and researching the companies who I wanted on my team when I moved to Los Angeles. Seven years later it’s still working with most of the same people I aligned myself with back then. I have a great team on my side.

Anyway, if this was any other audition I would probably just say no because of time; ya know, audition, hope for a callback, then an avail and wait to see if you book. I just really want to go home. BUT I have a team for a reason. Some decisions are made by committee. If it was soley up to me I never would have booked the “IBM” spot because I was so in the “I’m out of here!” frame of mind. I just wanted to leave. Alicia and Brooke @ KSA have been doing this for years and I trust them.

Back to the audition, it’s for “Motorola”. Whom is this audition for? TLC/Loree Booth Casting, the same casting director I just booked through and the same director, Joe Pytka. They don’t normally have callbacks. They usually just put you on avail after the first call if they are interested. So the process is a little quicker.

The spot is scheduled to shoot next Wednesday through Friday of next week, the 15th-17th. I am supposed to leave on the red-eye this Saturday night 11th to go home. I still don’t know if I am working Saturday on the other part of the “IBM” spot or not.

Alright, this is the deal. I’ll change my Saturday flight to the red-eye on Wednesday the 15th. I don’t know if it’s 3 different spots or one spot with a 3 day shoot or how it’s working. Listen to me, getting carried away; I haven’t even auditioned yet!!!! CHILL!! I ain’t like I’m a big booker in the first place. The “IBM” was the first one in 14 months! BUT, I do need to figure what I’m going to do. By Wednesday, I should know if they are interested in me.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

YES!!! The risk paid off, I booked the spot the "IBM" commercial. I'm really excited, it's been almost 14 months since I've done a commercial. It shoots tomorrow and possibly Saturday. Another great thing is that a friend of a friend, whom actually I know a little, that is a flight attendant. She has offered to extend a buddy pass to me to help me get home for less than $803. Kimberlay thank you, thank you thank you!!

The Robey Theatre Company called yesterday and scheduled me for a general meeting with casting executive Fern Orenstein @ CBS Beverly this afternoon. It was really cool. There was about 12 of us in attendance. Fern was very, very candid with us. She talked a lot about what we are up against in the business and was extremely specific about photos. She asked each of us what was going in our careers and we even did a cold scene for her. Fern oversees much of the casting done at CBS, so that is a really great connection to make. Ben Guillory, artistic director for Robey set it all it up. Thanks Ben!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Okay, back in the saddle being a reader for “Easier, Softer Way” @ Dori Zuckerman’s office. Another session of non-stop laughter. As I was leaving, they told me I have a part in the film. Cool!! They even gave me a tentative shoot date. It’s July 1st. No!! That’s a week before I’m supposed to return from my vacation. Cool, I’ll be back.

On the way home, I stopped by to see my commercial agents to say good-bye before leaving town and the agent handling it, Brooke, attempts to find out what’s happening with “IBM”. It seems like I am definitely the guy the are going to book. There are no other choices at this point; even the ad agency has approved me. It’s just that the casting director hasn’t gotten the go ahead to book it yet. So, I told my agent I would take the risk and not leave on my flight and hope for the best. I haven’t booked a commercial in almost 14 months so I am really excited about the possibility of booking this one. My fingers and toes are crossed.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Okay, it’s time to figure out what’s going on with “I’mPerfect”. So far, they’ve told me that the scene I’m in is still in the script, but the day hasn’t been rescheduled yet. I’d kinda like to know since my ticket is booked to go to Virginia for a month….and I’m due to leave Tuesday night which is tomorrow.

So I call the production office and they are still not sure, but they say they’ll call me back before the end of the day. Cool. Then I call my commercial agency to see if they know anything about the “IBM” avail. Not yet, but they should know something today. Cool. It’s supposed to shoot on Thursday, so if I book I won’t be leaving as scheduled. That’s cool, I’ll stay in town for an “IBM” Joe Pytka directed national spot. Then my agent calls back to tell me that I need to be available this Saturday the 11th as well for another part of the shoot. Okay, cool. I think Saturday pay is double time for commercials, I’ll take that.

Later, the line producer of “I’mPerfect” calls to tell me that the scene has been cut for the time being. Some things happened that made it necessary to trim a couple of days from the shoot. He said, most likely, those days will be shot in about 6-8 weeks.

Then my commercial agent calls to say that they won’t be making the decision today for the “IBM” spot. I should know, tomorrow, Tuesday morning. They are shooting several spots and they’re booking each spot one day prior. Since I am on avail for Thursday I may not know until Wednesday, but hopefully I‘ll find out Tuesday early so I can figure out if I’m going to leave on my flight Tuesday night. They say I am the first choice for the role.

I figure I better call American Airlines to see about changing my ticket. They wanna charge me $803. Are you f^&$@ng kidding me! I’m pissed. Not about the acting stuff, the $803.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Take three. Day 3 for "Easier, Softer Way". Today was short day and I was having withdrawals because I have had such a great time in the room.

I also auditioned for a role in the film. It went okay. I mean, I felt I was funny in the room, but I also felt kinda one note and not special. It was weird because I think I knew too much about how it was going to be shot and tried to incorporate that in the audition...stupid. I hope I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself. Maybe, I’ll go into the pile of "people to consider". I'll be back next week as a reader. I'm still trying to find out when I will be rescheduled for "I'mPerfect". Hopefully, it will happen sooner than later.

YES! My commercial agent just called with avail dates for "IBM" of June 8th-12 with a target date of June 9th.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Audition "PetSmart" @ Jeff Rosenman Casting. It goes okay.

The appointments keep coming. I just hope it's as busy when I get back in town.

Take two! Another day as a reader for "Easier, Softer Way". Early in the session we had, what had to be, one of the worst auditions ever...and I mean ever. Not the worst actor, but a really, really strange performance nonetheless. Mekhi attempted to give this actor direction, but he just couldn't or wouldn't take it. The interesting thing is that this actor has worked quite a bit. He completely caught the room by surprise. It was just odd.

Tonight I conducted my first real consultation; I was happy with how it went. The client gave me a list of questions prior to the meeting. When we met discussed her specific situation, exactly what she was trying to accomplish and different, “outside of the box” ways of going about getting them accomplished. She had booked two hours, but we ended up going a bit longer. I could see it as something I would like to do more of in the future.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Audition "IBM" @ TLC/Loree Booth Casting. Yes, this went really well and I think I'm perfect for it. This office doesn't usually do callbacks, so hopefully I'll get an avail.

Today is my first day as a reader for "Easier, Softer Way". This is the directorial debut of "ER" star Mekhi Phifer. Of course, the casting director is Dori Zuckerman.

When I walked in and introduced myself to Mekhi Phifer as the reader he immediately felt like we'd met before. I refreshed his memory and told him that we had done a scene together in New York in the feature "Hell's Kitchen". He was like "Oh sh*t, that was when I was still living in New York!!" I worked with him on "ER" as well. I also met the writer Ronnie Warner and producer Bill Baker.

I have to tell you, we laughed our a**es off today, non-stop. I was reading 18 different roles and had a complete blast. I read with plenty of actors I recognized from TV and Film and even a few I knew personally.

Additionally, I got to sit in on a meeting today too. This was a known actress that doesn't have to actually audition for every project, but was willing to meet with Mekhi. It was cool to be in the room when that went down. Mekhi, Ronnie and Bill seemed to really like her and she seemed very interested in doing the project. It'll be interesting to see if the deal can be made and she actually does the project.