Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

YES!!! Callback “Jackson-Hewitt Tax Service” @ Ross Lacy Casting.

YES!!! Another second round shot. Cool. I'm so overdue for some bookings it's not even funny.

Callback: "FedEx" @ Kathy Knowles Casting. The only issue is that they are 15 minutes apart and one is in Hollywood and the other is in Santa Monica. I HAVE to find a way to get to them both.
The “Jackson-Hewitt Tax Service” callback goes great! My job is done there…for now. I got there early and it was running pretty much on time so I was able to get a good jump in traffic to Santa Monica.

There were quite a few people at the “FedEx” callback for the 6 spots they were casting. This one went really well too and I think I’m really right for it. So we’ll see; I’m determined to book something before the holidays. Ha!

So I had two really good callbacks today AND I even got several drops in that I didn’t think I’d get done.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Finally, I’m finished – for the moment. I got the rest of 23 out of 24 drops that I didn't finish yesterday done this afternoon. The 24th will get done eventually - maybe.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Audition: "Jackson-Hewitt Tax Service" @ Ross Lacy Casting. I did a commercial for them back in '94 in Virginia Beach when I was non-union and they shot non-union - I guess we've both come a long way.

Alright, I get to this audition and get the group explanation. All good, right? Wrong!!! I was so pre-occupied with “my busy day” that I didn’t hear what the session runner was explanation. I mean I heard him, I was just ‘out to lunch’. Bad Stephon!!

While we were doing the rehearsal I just stopped and asked the session runner to help me though it. Fortunately, I audition for him often and he didn’t give me a hard time. So then we go to tape it and I had to stop again. WHAT!! The funny thing about it was that I felt that I would pull it together somehow and it would have the right amount of realness to it – my voice, my realness. The smart thing to do was to stop and start over – own MY AUDITION…well, mine and my partners’ audition.

See, I knew the director, producer, ad agency and Ross Lacy the Casting Director wasn’t going to see all of my “tune-up work”; they would only see the ‘money shot’. Actually, that’s not totally true, some audition rooms have cameras watching them from the casting office. The last thing I wanted to do was perform the ‘money shot’ in the car later while doing drop-offs.

The last take was it. It felt great; a little off balance, my vision, my voice – worth watching. I felt weird when I got to my car; rattled and little embarrased. I was also proud that I had a say in the outcome, because as actors we do have a say – and I said it this morning – Good Stephon!

So I get home from the audition and my agent calls and asked if I made it to the appointment. I answer, “Yeah, I just got home”. She says, “Okay, they didn’t remember you coming in. “Really”, I answer. She says, “Yeah, no problem. Sometimes, the front office isn’t sure what the back office is doing.” “Okay”, I say. Then she asked, “Did you sign in and out?” Complete silence…………”Oh $%^#, I forgot to sign in and out! I’m sorry…….” Yeah, I was out to lunch……

Today was a really busy day for a very specific reason. It’s my mother’s birthday; I lost her 4 years ago last week. I knew if I sat around and did nothing I would be depresed…I don’t like being depressed.

What to do, what to do? I wrote up a route with 24 drop-off stops on it; from the far reaches of Northeast Burbank to Malibu and Venice. I didn’t expect to get it all done, but I was going to try. Since I had to move my car @ 8am for street sweeping I figured I’d start then.

My plan was to get a good chunk done in the Valley before going back home to put on a suit for my 11:15 audition at the Casting Studios. After that I’d grab a bite to eat and work my way through Beverly Hills, West LA and out to Malibu. Then I’d swing back through Santa Monica for my audition and continue to Venice and Culver City.

I think keeping myself busy worked. Of course I often thought about my mom, but I wasn’t overwhelmed with grief. To be honest, I miss my mom terribly, but I’m happy that she’s resting in peace. I couldn’t have imagined her, me or the rest of my family going through her illness for one moment longer than we did. Happy Birthday Ma! We love you, We miss you.

Audition: "FedEx" @ Kathy Knowles Casting. I booked here in late '03 and have gotten close many times since - it's time to revisit.
Alright, I get to this appointment and least this time I remembered to sign in. After a while the session runner takes 5 of us in for an explanation and he goes through it so fast that everybody’s head was spinning. We all just looked at each other and proceeded to take a shot at it. I can always tell if this particular session runner likes what you did; he doesn’t hesitate to let you know. He liked it and we did another one for kicks. Cool! Two really good auditions today!
I got 16 of the 24 drops done today. Whew!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Today I'm doing a group consultation @ Actorsite. It's free for Actorsite members and at a promo rate for non-members.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My agent calls this morning to say that my December 22nd shoot date for "Privileged" that changed to December 8th has now changed to January 26th '07. That's a pretty big change; I wonder if they will lose some actors due to scheduling. Make me think I'll be working as a reader some more on this in the future.

While out preparing to do drops today I get a call from my agency @ 3pm to see if I could make a 4:15 producer session for a one day Guest Star. I wasn’t home and I needed to get home to shower, shave, put on a suit, print material, fight traffic to Universal, but I thought I could make it.

Audition “Crossing Jordan” @ LaPadura/Hart Casting. I didn’t feel so great about this one – bottom line; I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to be. The only time I really read the material was in the car on the way to the studio. That is okay to get the words down, but not enough to make real choices. Thankfully, we usually aren’t as bad as we think we are.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Audition/Tape ”Jericho” @ Bialy/Thomas Casting. YES! I had an appointment at this office about a month ago for a small co-star role on “The Unit” and passed with hopes of getting in for something more substantial. This is a recurring co-star role.

I read with CD Sherry Thomas and I was very happy with how it went. She wanted it real with a foundation – not a lot of “stuff”. I was pleased with the first read; she gave me some direction and I did it again. I felt like I was a bit young for the part, but I can’t do anything about that; I just wanna be solid and continue the relationship. The bookings will come soon enough. Who knows, maybe the producers will see something they can use.

I went to my fitting for "Privileged" this afternoon. While I was there I went in the director office and got a photo of the cast on the wall. I always like seeing myself on "the wall".

"Privileged" - The Wall

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back on a plane to LA. My layover was in Cincinnati and shortly after we took off there a medical emergency on the plane. A lady with two children had collapsed and needed medical attention. I must admit I got the chills when the flight attendants asked over the PA system “is there a doctor on board?”. There wasn’t. I played one in an ABC pilot, but this was for real. A moment later a young soldier volunteered to help.

I don’t know what had happened to the woman, but for the next 3 hours there was 1-3 people attending to her. It made me remember to enter my ICE (In Case of Emergency) entry in my new cell phone. I don’t know if the ICE thing is a hoax, but it makes sense to me so I do it. She had two children with her at 30,000 feet and she was totally incoherent.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Tonight I spoke to a group of actors in Virginia Beach about the business of acting. It reminded me of when I was starting out. It was a little different than my usual consulting because they aren’t in a major market yet, but it was great for them get a sense of what to expect if they choose continue in the business. I may return in March/April to do a full seminar/consultation session.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Today we went to two youth football games. One of them was my nephew’s team; they had an undefeated season and were playing a team from another city in a bowl game. It was a pretty good game, but they lost 13-7.

Father and Son

Every time I got back to the house I would enter through the garage rather than the front door. Why? So I could walk past my motocross bike. I just like seeing it – it gets me really excited. My older brother, Tommy, wanted to go for a spin. So I put on my new gear, got Todd and the three of us blasted up to “the field” to get in a few laps. It only lasted about 10 minutes, but it was SOOO much fun. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trips.

My family has had a couple of very, very successful Philadelphia-style hoagie shops for 26 years – Philadelphia Cold Cuts is the name of the business. Myself, I worked there for 15, so I’ve sliced enough onions for a lifetime. When I stopped by to get a bite to eat my brother Jeff, who runs one of the shops surprised me with some remodeling he had done. It’s just the beginning, but it’s what I’ve wanted to do years and years ago. I don’t know how much longer my father will be working everyday, so my brother will eventually take over. I was really happy to see this new beginning. I constantly think about being back there in Virginia Beach in the family business – maybe one day.

Friday, November 10, 2006

LAX here I come!!! I’m taking a little break to go to Virginia Beach to see my brother Tommy that lives in Prague and his daughter, Nikita, who I’ll be meeting for the first time.
Here I am arriving in Atlanta for my connecting flight home and who do I see? One of the actors I read with yesterday for “Privileged”. Small world - and getting smaller. For some reason when things like that happen I always feel like I’m in the right business.

YES!! I’m glad to be home. It’s always great to get away from the hustle of the big city. It’s nice to NOT have to parallel park so often; I’m pretty good at it since I used to be a valet, but it signifies congestion to me.

Two of my brothers picked me up at the airport and 20 minutes later I got to see my niece Nikita for the first time. She just started walking last week. As expected, she wondered who the heck I was and already had her favorite people since she had been in town for week. I had my work cut out for me.

Nikita and Dad

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I took my brother, Todd, to meet my agents today. It's funny, because it was like they already knew him. I guess I really do talk about my family a lot. I wanted him to see the people I talk about so often.

AGAIN!!! I get another last minute request from the director of "Privileged" to read with two actors this afternoon for the same role that they've been having a hard time casting.

I thought one of the actors was really right, really prepared and really good. After we read the second actor myself and the director had a nice little chat about what we saw - I'm always mindful to keep those conversations at arms length. It’s easy to get “caught up”.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Producers: “The New Adventures of Old Christine” @ Katherine Eckert Casting. This is a co-star role. My agents are trying to get me in for more guest star roles, but it’s going to take time. I don’t have a problem going in for co-star roles, but I won’t go in on all of them – just depends on the who, what and where.

I’ll definitely go in on this one for Katherine Eckert. Katherine was who brought me in for the pilot of “Good Morning, Miami” when she was an associate at Tracy Lilienfield Casting. They hired me for what they knew to be a recurring role without even sending me to producers. My agent called with the booking before I got home from the audition. I booked roles in 3 pilots that season; 2 of which got picked up. The other one that was picked up was “Life with Bonnie” in which Deborah Barylski hired me as well without going to producers.

As I was walking up to Bldg 136 on the Warner Bros lot I saw a gentleman that looked familiar, but I had no idea from where. He stopped and greeted me, but I didn’t know his name. It was Paul Walia, the actor who replaced me in “Ocean’s Thirteen”. How funny.

I go in and read and it goes well; I understood the piece and I’m right for it. It’s great to get back in to read for Katherine Eckert. On the way out I catch up with Paul. We’d never actually met, only spoken to each other on the phone and through e-mails. I could still tell that he appreciated how I handled him getting the role that I had in “O13”. It couldn’t have gone to nicer and more appreciative actor; funny I thought the same thing when the role was mine. I’m kidding! I’m sure I’ll get something else soon.

It seems to have really set Paul off on a roll of sorts. He did 3 jobs in 3 weeks. The very next day after shooting “O13” he auditioned for “Old Christine”, didn’t get the role, but was called back to do a voiceover, then booked a commercial for “Chrylser” now he was back auditioning for “Old Christine” again. Go Paul!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Audition/Tape “The Daily Show” @ Zane/Pillsbury Casting. I was ready, I watched the show to get a since of the satire and the style of the correspondents. Let me tell you, it was work. This political satire doesn’t naturally come off my tongue, but I listen to enough of it on talk radio to know how it sounds. The first “scene” was going well until about ¾ of the way through when I stuttered..and stuttered..and stuttered. We finally just stopped and picked it up again were I stumbled. I got through the rest of it with a sigh of relief.

I took a moment before starting the second scene and another huge mouthful of dialogue; actually it was much more like a monologue really. I didn’t want to get rattled and then regret it in the car 5 minutes later so I found my center and proceeded. The second one went okay; I definitely had a few high points, but all-in-all I left feeling kinda “partly cloudy”. I do think I am “right” for it though.

Monday, November 06, 2006

So Caleigh, my theatrical agent calls me this morning and asked if would consider relocating to New York. The question caught me off guard, but after thinking about it for 9 seconds I said “yes, of course”. She was calling about a recurring role as a correspondent on “The Daily Show”. It’s very different than what I’m used to, but I confirmed and said I’m stop by stop pick up the material. One problem, the audition is scheduled for Monday 13th when I will be in Virginia Beach.

This project “Privileged’ that I’ve been a reader for @ Cathy Henderson-Martin Casting just doesn’t want to seem to end. It's cool with me because I get to read with actors again, but I'm sure the producers would like to get it finished. There is still one role that needs to be cast. So I was there today reader with about 6-8 guys. It’s amazing to see the process working in front of your eyes.

I hope they get it cast from this session. They even asked me what I thought and who I liked; I was careful not to get too involved in that conversation. It was a good short session and I think they saw someone they liked, but that is only the beginning - there's the whole negotiation part.

Cool, my agent got me rescheduled for tomorrow for “The Daily Show”. It’s FIFTEEN pages of dialogue! I don’t know if I’ve had that much dialogue in auditions all year!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cool!!! My youngest brother, Todd, is flying in today.

My 'lil bro Todd - the subject of my lens back in the day

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Audition/Callback: “HBO Promo” @ Joe Blake Casting. I didn’t know this was a callback until I got there. It was a funny spot with a lot of profanity – I mean a lot. “Mofo this, mofo that”; I don’t normally talk like that so it was fun doing it in the audition. I got to reenact one of the more memorable scenes from “American Pie” – hilarious! I don’t how I looked them in the eye on the way out of the room.