Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It’s over. 2008 is over. What a year…to say the least. A good year. A great year. Not the year I envisioned in many ways, but definitely, without a shadow of a doubt it was the year that I needed. Yes, that is very true.

The smartest thing I did in 2008 was to re-join the workforce. Well, “re-join” isn’t accurate because obviously I’ve always worked, but I mean as in a day job. The biggest and most important thing it has done, outside of earning extra income, has been to give me a distraction away from “the biz” as much as usual.

Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy the entertainment business, but there are so many other things I like to talk about as well. Being at “the job” occupies my mind with other things and fills my schedule. Don’t get me wrong I’d rather be doing more commercials and TV/film gigs, but it wouldn’t change my hunger to have conversations about other things

YES!!! I’m so excited to be going to North Carolina to ride my dirt bike today. Unfortunately, my brother Todd was unable to go, but I took my niece, my nephew and his friend with me. I didn’t ride all that great, but we had a ton of fun and that is what’s it’s all about.

I hadn’t ridden since the last time I was home in July ’07. That was when I blew the crank in the motor and I told myself that I wasn’t coming back home until I could afford to get it repaired. One of these days I’ll be able to ride at least a couple of times a month – that’s going to be great!

Monday, December 29, 2008

You have no idea how happy I am to be going home to Virginia Beach. I am taking a highly anticipated break from Los Angeles for the rest of the holidays.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

YAY!!  The woman who I helped yesterday with her SUV and such called and left a message of thanks for going through the effort of returning her keys.  I was really glad to hear from her and that it all worked out.

Six more days until I go home to Virginia – yes, I am counting.

Audition: “TurboTax” @ Jeff Gerrard Casting.  This is a last minute thingy that needs to be cast in the next day or so.  I went just okay so I kinda doubt I’ll be hearing anything more from them.  I’m not too happy about that because I haven’t auditioned for Jeff in quite sometime; he hired me many years ago for a “Pizza Hut” commercial  that I didn’t even have an appointment for – I didn’t actually crash the audition; I just didn’t have an appointment.  My photo used to be on his wall in the office.  Hopefully, I’ll start getting back in a regular basis in ’09 for his projects.    

I think mentally I’m spent and ready for a vacation; so basically I’m just working everyday until I go to LAX and leave on a jet plane…

Monday, December 22, 2008

This afternoon I treated myself to one of my favorite places for lunch – Panera Bread in Studio City. No, it’s not a fancy restaurant, but I feel like it’s a good value for my hard earned dollars and I leave there feeling that I got a good meal that isn’t going make me regret it later.

While waiting to back out of my parking space there was an unusual amount of traffic in the parking lot. I waited patiently until finally I was able to get in line to exit the lot. After a few moments I could see what the issue was; it was an SUV that, for some reason, wasn’t moving forward. There was only one lane leaving the lot and one lane entering and so when cars were going around the immobilized SUV to exit it would turn into complete gridlock with horns blaring and drivers swearing.

As I eased my vehicle around the SUV I could see that there was an exasperated woman who looked like she could really use some assistance. I wasn’t in a big hurry and I decided I was going to see what I could do to help. I illegally parked around the corner and jogged back to her vehicle.

I asked the cute Latina woman what the deal was and she said, through her accent, that she’d run out of gas. So I looked around and offered to try my best to push the SUV out of traffic so that she could at least get out from under the pressure from the other motorists, none of which offered help – at least not that I saw.

This begs the question from me – How do you not help someone in distress? Sure, there are plenty of legitimate reasons. Maybe you’re running late for an appointment. Maybe it’s a dangerous situation. Maybe you’re bleeding from the head and dealing with your own stressful situation. I don’t know, but barring things like that I feel that we HAVE to help one another – we have to. Why not? No, I don’t stop for every stranded motorist I see, but I try to help when I think I can and even when I’m not sure if I can. Sometimes just the act of letting someone know that you are concerned is enough to make a situation better than if you hadn’t showed any concern at all.

Anyway, if you don’t already know ; I’m a pretty small dude – 5’8” and I weigh less now then when I graduated high school - 145 pounds on a good day wearing only my smile. The Black Ford Edge SUV has a curb weight of 4073lbs. plus it was on a slight incline – advantage Ford Edge.

After helping the woman get the vehicle into neutral I attempted to push. I think I actually heard the vehicle say “wassup punk”; my answer to that was to really give it my all and push super, duper hard – the Black stallion chuckled. Shortly after that another man pitched in to help and we were able to move it together, but since there was no power steering; the woman couldn’t turn the wheel enough to back it into the parking space. So I say, “aight, let’s go forward!” She turns the wheel better this time but still not enough and we hit the curb going forward. We were beginning to look like the 3 stooges, but hey, at least we were tying to solve the problem.

At this point another man showed up to help and asked the woman to let him steer the vehicle. We try to go backwards again but hit the curb - AGAIN! Mind you we are completely blocking traffic in both directions, but one more attempt going forward and we finally got it into the spot. She was very, very thankful that several complete strangers came to her aid.

I asked her if she called AAA or some kind of service and she said that she had left a message with a friend who had not called back yet. I offered to drive her to the gas station down the street to get some gas so she could be on her way and she accepted my offer.

We arrived at the gas station and the attendant pointed her to where she could buy a gas can. The woman thanks me and says that she can walk back to the vehicle since it wasn’t too far down the street. I said okay and good luck and was on my way.

It wasn’t how I wanted to handle it; I would have preferred to “finish the job” and make sure the “damsel in distress” had gas in the vehicle, the vehicle started and I could witness her drive off into the sunset. But I went against my instinct and let her have her way because I didn’t want to be creepy and insist to offer help that she didn’t feel she needed.

So I drive back over to my side of the hill and run a few more errands before going to picking up some friends at LAX. Before going to the airport I wanted to check the flight status of their already delayed flight. Right before going into my apartment I glanced down on the floor of the passenger seat in my car and I see something that wasn’t familiar to me. I leaned over to get a closer look and to my horror it was the Latina woman’s full set of keys that she left in my car. Oh $#!!!

Without even thinking I started my car and headed back to Studio City – in the complete opposite direction of LAX. I didn’t know the woman’s name and she didn’t know mine. The only thing I knew was that she was going to be late for work and that she worked on the Hollywood side of the hill.

LA traffic agreed with me as I breezed over the hill back to where I left her about 90 minutes earlier, but both she and the vehicle were gone. What to do, what to do. The only identifying thing attached to the vast array of keys was a Los Angeles City Library Card bar-code thingy.

So I drive back from Studio City to Hollywood to LAX, but I decided to stop at the library branch on Sunset. I didn’t want to just leave the keys with them, but I wasn’t sure how to get any information from them without seeming to be weird and stalker-like. When I walked in the library there were two uniformed police officers on patrol. I told them the story. The agreed that maybe we could swipe the card and get the woman’s contact information to get her keys back to her.

The library attendant swiped the card and a warm feeling came over me when the woman’s’ contact information came up on the screen complete with a phone number that we hoped was current. The attendant proceeded to dial the (818) number and guess what? It was missing a digit!!!

So I left the keys with the police along with my phone number asking the woman to call me so that I would know if she got her keys back.

Moral of this long a** story? Label your shit. I do just that and people over the years have made fun of me. Whateva. I remember flying home to Virginia Beach one year and on the last leg from Newark to Virginia I was using my $400 PDA and fell asleep and unbeknownst to me it slid off of my lap when we landed. An older woman several rows ahead of me found it and gave it to her son. He called me and FedExed it back to me. Label it!

I hope this woman calls me so I know she got her keys back. I guess that’s what I get for not “finishing the job”.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Audition/Producers: “Better Off Ted” @ Thomas/Adler Casting. This was a real producers session in the sense that it seemed like the entire creative team was there. I’ve gotten used to just going on tape with casting or just a few from the creative in the room. It’s all good though; it went well.
The only thing is that I believe it’s an AFTRA show - and you know how I feel about AFTRA. I don’t believe that AFTRA is truly looking out for the interest of actors. I think AFTRA is looking out for AFTRA. I have felt that way for a while, but I’m always open to be convinced otherwise...I’m fair like that. I’m not looking forward to the day I have to join that organization to work a job.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Audition “McDonald’s” @ TLC/Loree Booth Casting. I’ve booked at this office in the past, but I don’t know if I’m right enough to go further in the process on this one.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh no! I was just released from my “Raytheon Ethics” avail. What are they thinking? They need me! Right? Evidently not so much…oh well; on to the next one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I know I say this all the time, but this went great and I think I’m perfect for it! Actually, let me back up a bit. It went pretty good and I think I’m perfect for it. It just seem like a really fun spot to be a part of; so maybe I’ll be one of the fortunate ones to get called back.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wow, this came as a surprise; I’m on avail for the “Raytheon Ethics” industrial I auditioned for last week. I guess they did like what they saw. I hope I book it!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Audition/Producers: "Raytheon Ethics" @ Michael Donovan Casting. I've known Michael for years after having met him in CD workshops and seeing him speak on different panels for actors, but I think this is the first time I've actually auditioned for him. I don't mean "know him, know him", like personally; just professionally as in an actor to CD type of way. Nice guy and a big fan of actors.

Anyway, the audition was an industrial and I thought it went pretty well. Maybe I wasn't what they were looking for because I don't think I connected with the "powers that be" in the room all that much. Funny enough the two other actors I read with felt the same way. I just said' "you never know what they are thinking, maybe they loved us right away and didn't need to see anything more - who knows". At any rate I was very happy with my performance.

Callback "Verizon" @ Ross Lacy Casting. Yes, I knew I would make it to callbacks! One day I’m going to book one of these commercials; I promise I am! The callback goes well and hopefully it'll turn into an avail. I get a fair amount of callbacks and avails at this office and it's time for a booking...and the opportunity to actually shoot it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Audition: “Verizon” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Simply, easy, I’m perfect for it and I will be at callbacks – yup, I know it.