Monday, June 30, 2008

My earnings period for my SAG medical insurance ended today and I’m thrilled to have met the qualifications for another year of coverage. Even better news is that I’m only half way to the end of my earnings period for my SAG pension credit, which doesn’t end until December 30th, but I’ve already met the qualifications to earn the credit with 6 months to go! That’s make 11 credits in 12 years. That is really good news in this slow period for me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Many years ago…on this day…early…5:15am in fact…I was born in Kings County Hospital on a naval base in Lemoore, CA to George and Louise Fuller…long before “The Jeffersons” was a TV show. Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Audition: “Clorox-2” @ Jessica J. Casting. Ahh, this was just okay. Definitely not my best work. I just didn’t connect with the material. It wasn’t bad material, I just didn’t deliver.

Believe it or not I met ANOTHER member of the cast of the show I like to talk about the most - “The Wire”. That’s 3 in the last 3 weeks. I’m looking forward to season 5 being released on DVD.

Here we go - I'm at work the other night and a regular diner comes in. She was a nice, quiet young lady that's always a pleasure to serve. I was on my break when she arrived so I didn't know exactly what type of soda she was drinking - diet or regular. The other server had taken over my section while I was on break so when the diner in question arrived I was downstairs in the break room. I noticed that the diners' drink was getting low when I returned to floor and I wanted to get her a fresh one, but I wasn't sure what it was. So I found the other server in the back and asked her because I wanted to be smooth and not interrupt her dining experience. Ya know, just sweep through, take the old glass and replace it with the new one.

The other server said "Coffee and Coke". I said "Coffee and Coke? Really? Eww. That's nasty. Are you serious? She's drinking coffee and Coke?" She repeated, "Yeah, coffee and Coke". I said, "Wow, that sounds harsh" and went back on the floor to get it. Mind you, this young lady is a regular customer on my shift, but I never remember her drinking this particular concoction of "Coffee and Coke".

You see, I've never had a cup of coffee or a drop of alcohol in my entire life so I'm always learning new things that people drink. I once had a guy order a Bloody Mary with grilled shrimp in it. What? News to me, but I don't get out all that much so maybe it's all the rage in Hollywood. Anyway, so I get a tall glass for my female customer (still thinking it's odd) fill it with ice and half way with coffee and, you guessed it, I put Coke on top. Then I smoothly switched out the old one for the fresh one and went about my business.

I was doing my job; checking on my other tables and happened to glance over at her and she caught my eye. She gave me an inquisitive look “what is this? I immediately knew I had messed up big time. I went over to her and explained what she was drinking and, thankfully, she was a sport about it. It was sooooo funny.

So I catch up with my fellow server and said “you told me she was drinking ‘coffee and Coke!’”

She replied, “Yeah, Coffee and a Coke”.

I said, “Ohhhhhh!!!! Coffee and A Coke! I gave her “coffee and Coke!

She said, “No you didn’t! Coffee and Coke? In the same glass?”

I replied, “Yeah, that why I said it sounds harsh.

She said, “What did she say?

I said, “She laughed, she was cool about. I feel so stoopid, LOL!!!”


Monday, June 23, 2008

Audition: "Folger's" @ Ross Lacy Casting. This session was being conducted by one of my favorite session director/camera operators in town and it went well. I think I'm really right for it so hopefully I'll get a callback.

After the audition I skateboarded to the post office to get a few stamps. The clerk, who I've dealt with many times over the years, looked at me and smiled...and kept smiling...then offered to help me...while still smiling. It threw me off because it wasn't an "I love my job, 'how can I be of service' type of smile". It was an "Oh snap! That's dat dude from so and so" smile. Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic; more like "hey, didn’t I just see you on uh uh uh uh...." type of smile.

At any rate it was pleasantly weird because I didn't know if she thought I was someone else or if she had really seen me in something recently. But what? Well, I did have about 5 things re-run in recent weeks. Maybe that was it. I don’t know. It’s interesting how we actors are often treated differently – whether trying to get a job or buying stamps.

This was a little odd as well. I was at work the other night and taking a food order for a table of two men and a woman. I had pen and pad in my hand just getting to ready to take the order for the lady and one of the men said “OMG look at his hands”. I was like “huh?” I thought I had a finger missing that I didn’t know about or maybe grew an extra one. Then he said, “look at his nails, he has perfect nail beds”. Then he zoomed in on one particular nail on one particular finger…and actually touched it! He touched my finger! I wasn’t quite sure what to say or do; I just stood there and eventually uttered “wow, really?…I’m not sure what to say…how about ‘Thank you!’”. ‘Yes, thank you. I haven’t really heard that before at least not like this. Then there was 1.5 seconds of silence; it felt like 2 whole seconds of silence. I then said to the lady “and you’re having…

I try to keep my hands looking presentable, but nothing overly presentational at all. I guess he has a thing for hands. Admittedly, when I lived in New York I used to get a manicure every two weeks. Yup! I had my Korean spot on 57th bet. 6th & 7th Avenues; between the old Motown Café and the sneaker store! Damn, I miss those days! Every two weeks! It was an event that was on my calendar. I didn’t get my nails painted or anything like that. Nope, no clear coat either; just cutting & shaping my nails and massaging my hands. Myself, I’m a sucker for a woman with natural, beautifully manicured hands. I can become mesmerized with a womans’ hands if they’re nice like dat! Hmm…do I have a hand fetish? Woman’s hand fetish? Not so much into guys hands…

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The last time I was in Los Angeles on the 17th of June was 2001. I’m usually home in Virginia Beach riding my Motocross bike, spending time with family, cutting the lawn, cleaning the garage, working on bikes, fishing and leaving my LA life in the distance for several weeks. It’s certainly one of the highlights of my year.

But things are different for me in 2008. Unfortunately, I’m not able to get home at the present, but hopefully that will change sooner than later. It’s okay though; I talk to or communicate in some way with someone in my family everyday. That way I don’t feel so far from home and I get to laugh which I love to do every chance I get…but it has to be funny and don’t laugh at just anything.

The sisnlaw (She can ride too!)

'da brothas

some of 'the crew (Yup, the neice can ride too!)

'da fish

'da 'lil sis
'da bikes

Monday, June 16, 2008

Costco – The 99 Cents Only Store – cleaning my Honda Accord – HBO’s “The Wire”. What do they all have in common? They are some of my favorite things to talk about; especially “The Wire” which I think was one the best shows on Television. I love talking about the characters and the storylines.

Recently I’ve spoken to two of the lead characters on the show. I ran into Wendell Pierce who played “Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland” and had a few words with him. Then, 3 days ago, I had taken my seats out of my car to clean the interior in front of my apartment building and Wood Harris comes walking up the sidewalk. Wood played “Avon Barksdale” on the show. We had a nice conversation about the show and his point of view of it. Nice guy, super-talented and he’s really excited about his upcoming projects.

It felt great to be a true fan of their work, but not a fan in the Hollywood fashion just in recognizing talent on its merits. Too bad The Emmys haven’t done the same; somehow the missed the boat time after time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Callback: "Cox Communications" @ Craig Colvin Casting. Another of many callbacks for this particular office which I hope will turn into an avail followed by a booking. Yes! That sounds like a plan.
The callback went really well. Actually, the director thought we had worked together before, but we hadn’t. It was kinda funny when I revealed that we’d never met, but then I wondered if I should have just let him think that we had…hmm. I don’t know, I made the room laugh through it all and the work felt real and good. So we’ll see I guess.

One of the days I’m going to book something for Craig Colvin Casting; I promise!

Monday, June 09, 2008

I attended the SAG Solidarity Rally at SAG Headquarters this morning and let me tell you there were a lot of actors that are very upset with what is going on between SAG & AFTRA – or better yet, what is not going on between SAG & AFTRA. It’ll be very interesting to see if the new AFTRA deal is approved or not by the members. If I was a member of AFTRA I wouldn’t vote for the deal.

Callback: “Cox Communications” @ jacob casting. This callback was a pleasant surprise because I thought I was a little too young for it. Good thing they are smarter than me! Anyway, it went well and I was happy with the outcome. I get plenty of callbacks and it’s time to turn them into bookings – yeah, I like the sound of that.

Would it be weird to say that I’m happy to have a job again? No, it’s not perfect and some of the situations I find myself in are “interesting”, but you do what you have to do. Plus, it gives me a schedule again and I’m much better when I have a tighter schedule than not. Yes, the hours are tough, but I knew that going in. For the time being I need to still have my days open for auditions and such. My personal life will take a hit, but like I said I gotta do what I gotta do. This part of the actors’ journey – the rollercoaster.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I got off work about 7am this morning to find a text message from one of my brothers informing me that one of my other brothers’ was in the ER with a bulging disc in his back. I immediately felt an insane amount anxiety. I had no idea what had happened and call right away to find out.

It turned out that he’d aggravated something while riding his mountain bike last week and the pain became unbearable. I know my brother and he must have been in an extreme amount of discomfort to have gone to the hospital emergency room @ 1am. Geez, if it ain’t this it’s that these days.

I couldn’t talk to him just yet; he was drugged up, but I did talk to the brother that sent the text. He told me that even morphine wouldn’t ease the pain so they had to give him something stronger through an IV. I don’t know what the heck he was trying to prove on the mountain bike. He knows he will NEVER be able to hang with me on a mountain bike – ever. All of my male siblings are quite active and sometime we don’t know when to stop I guess.

I can’t tell you how much I love my siblings and how much it hurts me when things aren’t okay with them. Like many I don’t have a perfect family, but they are mine. I’m not extremely close with all of them, but I love them nonetheless. Nobody in this world makes me laugh like my siblings and laughter is one of my favorite things.

Get well brother…so I can wax your ass next time I come home.

Friday, June 06, 2008

So my agent contacted me with the news that I won’t be going any further with the pilot. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Audition/Producers: “Kath & Kim” @ Greenstein/Daniel Casting. After 5 weeks without a theatrical audition this one came through. It was a very last minute session for a new series regular in the pilot. They’ve been looking for this character for months, even changing the gender from female to male. It actually is scheduled to shooting next week.

My agent, who was very excited to have gotten the appointment, and I talked extensively about the approach to take with the character. I had two ways prepared to do it at the audition; one really, really over the top and another that was more rooted but still a little zany. In the end I don’t think they were interested in either choice I had. I think I would have been better of if I’d just simply had a conversation with the other character, but that seemed like it would have just come as flat. I figured that they had seen everything in town and were looking for a different way, but it wasn’t my day and I didn’t leave feeling so great about it. I called my agent afterwards to fill her in with the details and she said she’d follow up on it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

So it’s been two full weeks back at my old/new job…. It’s been interesting to have to return there. Someone very, very dear to me asked if I was humiliated or embarrassed about being back there. I’ve admittedly had and continue to have many different thoughts about the experience, but fortunately humiliation and/or embarrassment are not two of them. No, it’s not easy, but I have nothing to be ashamed of - at all. Heck, I’m proud that I was able to make a living as an actor for 7+ years without another job.

My fellow employees have all been welcoming to me; some of which I worked with when I was previously employed there. Yes, I do think about possibly pursuing other things, but honestly, I really want to continue to be a working actor. So for now I’ll be working there to stabilize my income while I figure out what my next move will be.

I wish SAG & AFTRA were working together as a negotiating team. More accurately I wish there was just one union for actors and not two competing against each other – for the same work. Sounds crazy I know. I hope the “working actor” that can realistically raise a family in Los Angeles doesn’t disappear because I want that in my future.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wow, it’s been just over a month since my last theatrical audition. That’s a long time for me. I went 3 full weeks without a commercial audition before that started back up. I had the BK callback, but it’s obvious now that I didn’t book it. Oh well, I’ll get ‘em next time. Hopefully, it’ll start up theatrically soon too. I’ll give it the rest of the week and if I don’t have any TV/Film activity I’ll call my agents just to see what’s happening. It’s a weird time in the industry; I don’t think it’s dead, but weird nonetheless. Hopefully it’ll stabilize soon.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Audition: “Comcast” @ Craig Colvin Casting. This went great and I think I’m perfect for it; well maybe not perfect, but right enough. Hopefully, I’ll get called back.

Speaking of Craig Colvin Casting; I’ve referred several of my consultation clients there for commercial classes at his Cocola Studios and they have been very happy with the results. Myself, I’ve been auditioning at Craig’s office for years with numerous callbacks and avails, but no bookings – YET!! One referral I sent there booked 3 commercials over the last 2-3 years or so. Where’s my booking??? It’s coming, I’m sure.

Another company that provides a great service for Los Angeles-based Television Casting Directors is CastingAbout. Since CD’s move around so much it can be a challenge to keep up with them, but CastingAbout does a great job sorting it all out.