Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I had my meeting this morning with Jenny Vavra, head of the print department @ KSA. I've been with them for over 7 years, but I haven't ever given them the proper tools to work with – the zed card. Why? I have an excuse; it’s not really a valid one, but one nonetheless. Here it goes. I don’t like shooting headshots and I get a pretty good number of commercial and theatrical appointments; so I just didn’t make it the priority that I should have.

Over the years my agent Jenny has been using my headshots and getting me what she could. Shame on me!! Having a zed card could have made both of us more money over the years. Oh well, today is the first day of the rest of my life. I kinda feel bad because a lot of people would love to be repped by KSA and I've been just hoping for the best. Gotta stop that.

This meeting was to get me on the correct track to move forward in the print arena. Jenny made me feel really comfortable and explained a lot of things to me. She also told how this bio/blog played a part in getting me in the office. Funny how things work sometimes. I left with a clear understanding of what type of photos she wants and a list photographers to meet with. She also gave me a time frame of when she would like to have these things in hand. I like that "you gotta help me help you" way of working. That's the line I added to the one line I had scripted in "The Terminal" and it actually made the final cut. Thanks Steven Spielberg!

This afternoon I helped out in the office @ Natasha Cuba/Jeanne McCarthy Casting this afternoon. They are swamped, they've got like 10 episodes of an F/X show to cast THIS WEEK. Crazy. It reminded me of what we are really up against as actors. I am still amazed every time I get an audition for anything; the competition is unbelievable.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Back to Los Angeles......hmmmmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I have this constant issue with being in Los Angeles versus being back home in Virginia Beach. I've considered going back for a period year and see how that felt. I don't know, I just kinda wonder how long I'll do this. At the same time I am actively pursuing my career. I'm just having a lot of conflicting thoughts that's all.

While I was home my sister-in-law gave me a book about relationships, actually I knew she had it and asked her for it. It's quite interesting, including some things I hadn't really thought about. Timing is very important and things happen when they are supposed to......usually......at least that what I hear. I wasn't supposed to have this book 6 months ago, two years ago or seven years ago. I'm supposed to have it now AND I'm actually reading it!

I'm starting to actually convince myself that I want to fit some other things in my life and it's kinda scary to be honest. I remember how I felt when I moved from New York and from Virginia. I can't leave, I've worked entirely too hard and smart and things are going too well and ........right? I can't leave. I can't leave. I can't leave. Oh yeah, I love my agents too. They are the best, all of them.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

RACE DAY:It was beautiful yesterday, but today it is freezing. It was about 30 degrees for the morning practice. We had to wear latex gloves under our riding gloves to keep our hands from getting too cold to hold on. I felt pretty good in practice and ready to have a great race.

In the first moto I got an okay start. The fact that I hadn't fallen was a great way to start things off! I was picking off riders at a pretty good rate because a lot of guys wouldn't do the double jumps and I could. So here I am in traffic going through the rhythm section, which was 3 sets of doubles in a row. I see trouble ahead, a rider landed crooked and ran into another rider and I ran into that rider. It was all happening in slow motions. I hit his bike pretty good, actually I kinda landed on it. Of course I go down too. I was trying to get up, but the bike is kinda on the face of a jump AND it weighs more than I do. I keep the bike running and roll it off the side of the jump and then fall off the other side of the bike. Finally with bike still running I get back on and take off. Thankfully I wasn't hurt, but I was pissed!!!! I was able to work my way back passed some of the riders, but before I knew it the race was over. I finished the moto 12th out of 22. I know I could have run in the top 8, which I would have been happy with considering I don't ride often.

I was livid when I got back to the truck. Both of my brothers had beat me; Todd finished 8th and Jeff finished 9th. I was so upset with my performance and then Todd noticed that my front tire had a slice in it. I don't angry too often, but I was really angry. I was SO angry, but after a while I realized that I should have been thankful that I didn't get hurt. I ended up having to pay to get the tire replaced. The rider I ran into didn't even finish the race. I hope he's okay.

It's hard trying to ride with my brothers when they get so much more time on the bikes than I do, but I do the best I can. So for the second moto I was just gonna go for it and see what happened. I got an ok start, but I had Jeff in sight. Over the first set of doubles I saw that he went down and his bike was kinda tangled with other riders. I was trying to just move forward at my own pace and, at all cost, stay on two wheels. It worked, for a while until some "fast guy" came in behind me in took us both out in a turn. It took him a while to get his bike started and it took me even longer to get mine going again...............even Jeff passed me. I just shook my head. Jeff has NEVER been faster than me, but he finishes ahead of me by playing it safe....really safe. Todd on the other hand; we are really close in skills and if I lived there and rode on the regular it would be a whole different story. So there you have it Todd wins again with a 6th place overall out of 22. Jeff finished 10th and I came in 13th. It's just frustrating because I know I can be up there much closer to the front.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

It's all about quality time with the family baby! My youngest brother Todd and I are going motocross riding today in preparation for a race tomorrow. My first of four practices was really bad. My mind just wasn't there and I was really jet lagged. There were only about 8 riders on the track and since I don't ride too often I was a little nervous and it really showed.

The second practice had about 30 guys I was right there, in the mix, making it happen. The third practice was great, I was able to put jump combinations together and dice with my brother even able to pass him a couple of times. The last practice was short and I blazed through it quite well. I didn't fall all day long.

One of the highlights of the trip was after riding all day getting to stop by the family deli that we've had for almost 26 years and get a Philly Cheese Steak Hoagie. I even made it myself. I worked there for 15 years and I still got skills on the grill!

Friday, February 24, 2006

There's something about snow-capped mountains. I'm mesmerized every time I see them. I don't know what it is about them, but they give me a good feeling.

Home Sweet Home! I absolutely, positively love going home. I have the greatest time when I am with my family. Sometimes I ask myself "why the heck am I so far away from them?" Of course I know the answer, but it still begs the question......quite often actually. I just feel really fortunate to have such relationships with my siblings; we have a lot of great times together. My family isn't perfect, but they make it known that they love and support me unconditionally - and occasionally that love is "tough love". I always feel kind of sad when I talk to friends that rarely talk to or visit their family. I couldn't image. I'm currently not in contact with my father, but there is still time for that to change too.

Don't get me wrong about LA, until very, very recently moving to New York had been the most significant decision I'd made in my adult life. Los Angeles has been great too, but how long will I stay? I really don't know. I do know that I love being home in Virginia Beach and I feel I have options. I don't have to stay here. I also know that I've worked too hard, invested too much and have seen too many results to seriously think of leaving.....yet. Also, I have to say that some of the SAG contracts that we currently work under are not so great. Hopefully the new guild leadership can turn things around. That is a major thing that I'm looking at. Can I really, actually, continue to make a living at this? Do I want too? I "think" I do.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I did a bunch of drops today and even though I was kinda phoning it in I got quite a bit done. I was out until after dark then I went to Costco and had an amazing experience. Yeah, Costco kinda does it for me - there and the 99 Cents Only stores are my spots!

I've been trying to position myself to buy a condo or townhouse - at least in my head for starters. I actually gathered the guts to check my credit. Yeah, after getting in a not so great position credit-wise, many, many years ago I pretty much went "underground" and paid cash for everything - for years. If I couldn’t pay cash for it I didn’t get it. That was actually not a bad thing for me to do as an actor. So in recent years I've gotten back on the map and I'm not in such a bad position - at least not as bad as I thought.

I couldn't imagine buying a place with someone other than family - unless I was married of course. Fortunately, I have some family members who have considered investing in something here in Los Angeles. I'm only in the embryonic stages of mapping out how I would actually do it, but we all have to start somewhere.

Back to Costco, when I was looking at the mechanical tools I was in heaven. I can’t wait to have my own garage where I can build things - I really like tools. I should have been a mechanic or something. I think the garage is going to be my favorite room in the house! It would be spotless - with carpet on the floor. You can put carpet on the garage floor right? Of course you can, I know a young lady who had carpet in the kitchen! Then I could vacuum the kitchen. I don't know that I'll get a garage for my first purchase, but it's something I want in the future. Gotta have somewhere to keep my motocross bikes.

I actually looked at places tonight in a different kinda way. Like really thinking about what type of place I would like to live in. I even wrote down one listing. It at least felt different - it felt good. I guess I would have to get a roommate…or not. After all of these years of living alone that would take some getting used to. Well, I gotta get out of here. LAX is calling. Travel always inspires me, so I should be getting my game face back on soon.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Audition: "Kingsford Charcoal" @ Craig Colvin Casting. This audition went well, but it was so, so symbolic of my life right now it wasn’t even funny.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Audition: "Fox Promo" @ Ross Lacy Casting. This one was fun. I got slapped on the ass by a woman......twice. Then I got to slap her on the ass. I'm not a pro at getting slapped by women, although it has happened. I prefer it in a fun, light audition situation in which the woman is not upset with me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Audition: "Spiderman 3" @ Francine Maisler Casting. This role is one scene as a bar manager. I think I'm right for the part; maybe a little young. I felt the audition went really well. I had a couple of questions about the scene and we put it on tape two different ways. I did what I wanted and felt really great about the outcome.

I thanked them and told them how glad I was to get into a casting office of that stature. They said it was great to meet me and now they can get me in for more things in the future.

Ironically, when I went to pick up the material for the audition my agent, Erin, asked if I even wanted to go in on it. Yeah, I love that, she doesn't just assume that I would read for just one scene in a film.......even "Spiderman 3". Of course "I" never considered "not" going in, BUT that reminds me that she reps actors who wouldn't even consider reading for such a role......even in a film such as "Spiderman 3". I can't wait to make some real money for them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Audition: "Visa" @ Deborah Kurtz Casting. This goes well and I think I fit the profile........but what do I know? Not much.

I stopped by to see all of my agents today - commerial and theatrical. I also re-signed with KSA for another 3 years. Jenny the head of the print department suggested I get a zed card made up. I don’t go out for print very often, but I also have never given them the proper tools to submit me. So I don’t complain, but funny enough I have been placed on avail a few times in the last year. She suggested I come in for a meeting to look over all of my photos and get suggestions of who I should shoot with. Okay, cool. I guess she thinks I can actually book work in the print world, I’ll take her word for it. Thanks Jenny and Rose for even trying to get me out with the wack-ass tools I’ve given you over the years. Sorry.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Callback: "Washington Mutual" @ Alyson Horn Casting. This is a huge 10-spot campaign. I'm a little surprised I got a callback, but I guess I fit the profile of what they are looking for. Wow, a 10-spot campaign? I could buy a house/condo.......maybe. They even provided real "Washington Mutual" shirts for the callback. The copy kept changing while I was waiting and even still while I was auditioning. I did my best to not let that throw me too much. I think I did pretty well.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Audition: "Liqua Feed" @ Mick Dowd Casting. Simple, just spraying a water hose while smiling; even I can do that.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Audition: "Dharini" @ Tineka Becker Casting. This is for an AFI thesis film. The character is a 40 year-old high school science teacher. Tineka is an associate @ Burrows/Boland Casting. ....hmmmm another 40 year-old character; there must something to that. It goes well.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tonight my youngest brother Todd and his son arrived from Virginia Beach, VA to attend a motorcycle race in Anaheim. It was sooooo great to see them.......you have no idea.

They flew into Santa Ana because it was cheaper so they had a really long day. My 7 year old nephew thought my living quarters were just hilarious. I mean he started snickering and laughing before he even got inside my studio apartment.

In Virginia, he lives in a normal 4 bedroom home with a two-car garage on a nice lot. He has his own room. So do I, but that's all I have. LOL!

EXT/INT. Stephon’s place – 11:55pm

Stephon, Todd and my nephew are entering my building and heading up to the 2nd floor studio apartment. My nephew is looking around amazed, amused and already snickering. As we enter………

STEPHON: What's so funny?

NEPHEW: (He looks at his dad for approval before he completely clowns me). Is this where you live?

STEPHON: Yeah, what is so funny about that?

NEPHEW: (Laughing) Is that your bed?

STEPHON: YES! That is my bed.

NEPHEW: Sydney's bed is bigger than yours. (Sydney is the little sister of one of his friends.)

STEPHON: (I'm thinking to myself Sydney is 2, she cannot possibly have a bed larger than my full size. Can she?) Sydney's bed is not bigger than mine.

NEPHEW: She has more pillows.

STEPHON: Whatever! Punk! Go to sleep. Aren't you supposed to be jet lagged or something.


STEPHON: (to his dad) Yo, this kid did a full day in school, took a cross-country flight and he has enough energy to clown me?

TODD: That's your nephew.

The were in town for about 32 hours and the timing was really bad.