Saturday, July 28, 2007

Today is my 9 year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles. Geez, where does the time go?

I have to say that I'm really proud of my accomplishments. I truly feel that I have something to show for these past 9 years. No, everything isn't perfect, but I'm moving in the right direction and poised for a breakthrough.

It's been almost a decade of pursuing this dream in the Superbowl of my chosen profession - Hollywood. This is the biggest of the big leagues. I beam when I think back of getting the news of going to Spain and Japan; of booking my first TV job and first studio film, my first residual check, qualifying for insurance, performing in my first play at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC…. I may not be a starter in the big game, but I've definitely played in the big game - numerous times.

I've learned a lot and I've given back a lot - that's something I learned from my mother.

This career can really take a toll on the body, mind, spirit, soul, car, etc. The constant hustle has been a test for me because I don't think of myself as this super resilient human being. BUT - As they say, "the proof is in the putting" and I have definitely been "putting" in the work. In my years in LA and NY I've seen many come and go and I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who "have had it" and decide to shift gears and truly move on with their lives in another direction.

On the whole I'm excited about the future, but I have a lot of work to do; both in the business and out. 9 years in LA? What the heck was I thinking? …I wasn’t thinking – I just did it…

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Business of the Business. That is what we actors are staring in the face right now. It’s tough for the rank and file performer and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get any easier. One encouraging thing is that we are led by a more effective SAG leadership, in my opinion, than in recent years, but we are also dealing with huge, multi-billion dollar, international conglomerates. These conglomerates are trying their best to restructure the system of paying residuals - as in get rid of the system entirely.

With all of the contract negotiations going on now and into the near future it makes me wonder if I'll be able to continue making a living in the business - or if I want to. The question of "making a living" is an interesting one. Sure, I've made my sole living as an actor for several years and it feels great to present my tax preparer with the W-2's to prove it, but the uncertainty of earnings can be trying at times.

I've admittedly put a lot of pressure on myself for a long time and it may or may not be the best way to go about things. I know that a major part of it is that I'm not crazy about living in Los Angeles. LA has been very good to me, but living here has turned into quite the challenge - daily.

What I need to do is listen to more music and less talk radio, LOL! Some Led Zeppelin, Teena Marie, Alanis Morisette, Pat Benatar, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Gangstarr, Jamie Green or Lynyrd Skynyrd definitely gets my spirit moving. I love music, but I have a need to know what is going on around me – politics, local living, education, business, real estate – reality, and frankly it’s depressing in many ways, but I’m addicted to it. So I’m trying to do less AM Talk and more music and National Public Radio these days. I’m an information junkie and I have to get my fix, but too much NPR gets to me after a while too. The thing is that I’m so curious about so many things – it’s a problem. I think I'm due for some restructuring in some areas.

Usually, when I return from my summer sabbatical I'm eager to get back in the rat race. Not so much this time; I hadn't even been back in Los Angeles 24 hours when I had the feeling that I wanted to be somewhere else other than LA. I've thought long and hard about how I can improve my outlook about being here and I think I have some ideas.

Crazy enough, sometimes I think it would be easier to leave LA if I didn't have the foundation that I do concerning my acting career. I've made a bit of headway and have a solid team that believes in me - I'd be silly to leave and divest in what I've worked so hard to build. There's also the fact that I absolutely love working as an actor and the entire process of making films, TV shows, commercials, etc. - plus, being on set is a great, magical feeling.

I just wanna work and make a decent living; I don't dream about "blowin' up", "setting it off" or having people scream my name while crossing the street or shopping at the 99 Cents Only store. Although I think I would handle that stuff responsibly I'd rather ride my dirtbike or go skiing with my family. So, I have a plan to shake things up a bit.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Audition "Toyota" @ Ross Lacy Casting. I'm tempted to say "It went great and I'm really right for it!", but I'll spare you, BUT "it went great and I'm really right for it!" I know I get tired of hearing it too.

With my little brother Todd after catching some waves in Virginia Beach...Back when I was young and thin...19??

I gained some weight during my vacation...4 lbs. I'll hit the gym and get back to my fighting weight in a couple of days.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Audition "XXX" @ XXX Casting. I had to sign a two-page non-disclosure agreement to even audition for the spot. So I guess I should shut up now.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Audition: "Best Buy" @ Ross Lacy Casting. This goes really well. I was paired up with friend Yvette Nicole Brown as my wife and I think it worked. We came off as the "sitcom husband & wife". Ya know, the wife knows everything and the husband knows nothing. I see Yvette on TV way more than I see her in person and it was great to get to read with her.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Audition: "Life" @ Mia Levinson Casting. This role seems like it could be recurring. She had me read for another role as well. So we'll what the producers think when they view the tape.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Time's up; my month long, sanity-saving sabbatical from Los Angeles and the entertainment industry is over.

Am I ready to go back? …tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock…

That's complicated. I'm definitely excited about auditioning, skateboarding, seeing my agents, riding my mountain bike, being on-set and working and seeing my God-daughter and friends, but not at all excited about my apartment and having to find a place to park my car on my block.

I just really like being with my family; my younger sister, Avis, that has Down's Syndrome is one of the funniest people I've met in my entire life - ever. She is incredible.

Avis, blessing me after I cut my dreadlocks off.

No, every aspect of my family isn't "peaches and cream". Matter of fact some of it straight up "salt & vinegar", but the parts that are good are really good.

I'm not complaining...I'm just saying... LA has been really good to me, but I just have other interest as well. At the end of day I'm really happy and fortunate that I truly have a career to return to...

So I arrive at the airport at 1:50pm for a 3:16 flight. We didn't board the plane until 4:30 and sat on the tarmac in a very small propeller-driven plane until 6:30....with no A/C. Finally we went back to the gate and got off the plane.

An hour later we were instructed to re-board for the flight to New York. I said 'no'; I didn't wanna take the chance of sitting on the tarmac for who knows how long and/or missing my connection to Los Angeles. I requested to be rebooked for the next morning and called my brother to pick me up. One more night with family and another home cooked meal!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Okay, so I agree to go out in the kayak with my neighbor Ryan again. This time we go in much more open water; I felt I could handle it....until I actually saw it. For a second I was wondering what the heck I was getting myself into; then I rationally reasoned that Ryan must have confidence in his skills or he wouldn't be out here either.

I know it looks calm, but 5 minutes before
this it was CRAZY!!!! LOL!
Somehow the 2-man kayak felt much smaller than it did last week in the calm inlet. So we launch the vessel and are paddling furiously to get through the current and a wave crashes over the bow of the kayak getting me soaked. There was enough water in the vessel that Ryan had to scoop some of it out. This was within 2 minutes of getting in the water! I’m wondering what the heck I’ve done in being out there in the first place, but tried to be cool about it. Actually, it felt good to risk things a little – kind of like living in Los Angeles – what the heck was I thinking….

Ryan and Flounder

Anyway, we caught some fish, but let them go to live another day. I hooked a skate which is a stingray-like creature; that thing put up the fight of his/her life...and won. It eventually broke my fishing line and got away; which was good because when I saw it at the surface and how powerful it was I didn’t want no parts of it.

Life Jacket - CHECK!

Afterwards we went to another spot and damn near got stuck because the tide was still going out. At times we were in 4-5 inches of water and the kayak was scraping the bottom. Ryan had to get out and actually push me into deeper water. You gotta understand that we were back in like a marsh area – just us two – and sun was going down. It was a little spooky to say the least. I thought Jason from Friday the 13th was going to show up next. I was definitely out of my element, but it was good time and I learned a lot.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Yes! Another day at the motocross track for me and the boys. Things were going really well until I blew up the motor on my bike. That was not good news. Fortunately, the engine didn't quit on the face of a jump – me going over the bars could have been really bad news. So I rested up for a bit and then blasted around on my brother’s bike to get my motocross fix.

Later, my younger sister, Avis, joined us for fireworks.