Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last night I attended a mini class reunion of my high school. It was great to see so many faces that I hadn’t seen since who knows when. Through many different types of social networking we are all able to stay in touch. I look forward to the next one.


Friday, December 25, 2009

I’m out of here! Yes! I have an early morning flight home to Virginia Beach for the holidays. It’ll be good to get out of Los Angeles for a bit, but truthfully, I’m looking forward to getting back to work as well. I’m planning on 2010 being a great year and not just for me. I think many of us are going to rebound and make a lot of great things happen.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Audition: “Lowe’s” @ Joe Blake Casting. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go because sometimes when there is a lot going on I get in my head and my best performance is in the car…on the way home. I’m pleased to say that it went very well.

Audition: “Cheez-its” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This is a multi-spot campaign…yup, a big deal. I felt good about what I left in the room…definitely callback worthy. We’ll see what they think.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

I had the wonderful opportunity to, again, read the scripts of at risk high school students. It’s always an interesting and fun experience to get a glimpse into the world of today’s kids. It’s been a great thing for me too as a performer.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Audition: “Jack-in-the-Box” @ Alyson Horn Casting. This was fun, fun, fun and I hope to get to the next step in the process.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Shooting: “cars.com” @ Polsa Rosa Movie Ranch in Acton, CA, near Palmdale. Gotta put on my game-face today. Why? Because I’m tired, but it’s a good tired. I’m tired because I’ve been hustling, trying to make things happen. I can’t expect anyone else to work harder than myself and I am totally up for the challenge.

Last night I got a call for a commercial audition for today, but of course I’m shooting…and not right in town. I think the casting notification informing me that I have an audition goes out from the casting notice company and not from my agency. That is a good thing because I like knowing about it as well because sometimes I know better than my agency what I can and cannot get accomplished in a day. I don’t want to miss an audition unless I absolutely have to.

I worked last night from 10pm until 7:45am; got home about 8am and needed to leave my apartment by 8:30 to get to the location by 9:30. The commercial appointment time is 3:38pm in Santa Monica at the same casting office that cast the “cars.com” spot. I’m not confirmed for the commercial appointment for obvious reasons, but you better believe this brotha right here is going to try to make it.

The drive out to Acton was beautiful! It’s amazing how close you can be to Los Angeles, but the landscape is completely different. I was heading out to the boondocks and I couldn’t wait to get there. I even saw a deer crossing the road about 8 miles from the ranch were shooting at.

I arrived at the location, parked where I was instructed to park and a van took me to basecamp. There I checked in with one of the PA’s and was led to my honeywagon. It was snug, but most importantly, warm, dry and had a place where could sit and write. A few minutes later I went to the make-up trailer which took less than 60 seconds and then to the wardrobe department. My clothes were pressed and ready to go. Of course I went by the craft services table to get some fruit to snack on.

I met up with a few of the other actors I’ll be working with; one of which was in the same callback group as I. About an hour later a van took us to the location where we were to shoot. It was out in the middle of nowhere and a bit chilly with very dark clouds just off into the distance. Actually, it seemed that we were in the clouds since they were almost at ground level.

Over the next 45 minutes the rest of the production team set up shop. We, the talent, were then placed in a “people mover” type van closer to the set. Finally, Ethan, the 2nd AD came to brief us on what was to happen. They were going to bring us all out for a camera rehearsal, but one person, not me, needed to change wardrobe.

A few minutes later I found out that “not me” was, in fact, “me”. So everyone went to set and they wanted me to stay back in the van, but my new wardrobe was back at basecamp. A moment later they started the camera rehearsal and I still didn’t have my new wardrobe. I’m watching them rehearse and I’m thinking to myself, “I ain’t gonna stand here and let them rehearse and get used to doing it without me. No, it ain’t going down like that”. So I moved closer to the monitor where the director, Craig Gillespie, could see me. Before long he motioned me into the scene. I kept an eye out for wardrobe coming back with my clothes and after a moment they did. At this point it was urgent because “camera rehearsal” quickly turned into “picture’s up!” So I ran back to the people mover van with the stylist and she’s helping me get undressed at the speed of light. Yes, I was vaguely aware of how weird it was that this was taking place. I’ve been undressed by a woman before, but this was just funny. So there I am, or better yet, there we are, ripping my clothes off and then we start to dress me back up again. The funniest part for me was her tucking in my pants, straightened me out and then pulling up my zipper while someone else was doing my shoes! What was I doing? Enjoying the ride. Yup, just enjoying the ride.

I sprinted back to the set, running at full speed and got back into the shot. My wardrobe changed me from a tourist to the safari guide’s assistant. I preferred this role. It was very, very cold and starting to drizzle and my new attire didn’t include the jacket that I had been wearing as a tourist, plus I was now in short sleeves. I don’t like to be cold and I was freezing, but I was a trooper about it.

A few hours later we were finished. It was a great time and I worked with great people. I think it’s going to be a 60 second spot for the Super Bowl and then hopefully it will continue to run afterwards…with my performance still in it.

After we wrapped I went down to basecamp and had a great lunch and got back on the road. Oh yeah, remember that commercial appointment that I didn’t know if I could make? Well, I was going to try to make it. I had trouble getting cell reception so I couldn’t call my agency. I tried emailing and that wouldn’t go through either, but after getting about 10 miles away from the location I was able to get in touch with them. The word was that they casting until 5:30. I felt I could make it to Santa Monica in time.

Audition: “Chase” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. I wasn’t on the list and that created some static trying to get seen, but I was able to work it out. The audition went pretty well so hopefully I’ll get a callback.

I needed to get home as soon as possible to get a few hours rest before having to go to work tonight, but you know how LA traffic is…especially on Friday…on the I-10 coming from Santa Monica.

I had a very, very successful day. Some said I should have taken the time off from the night job, but I’m not really wired like that. I think I’ve called in once in my entire life – back in New York when I had an eye infection. It’s all good; I’ll get some sleep over the weekend.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Wardrobe fitting for “cars.com”: I auditioned for the Safari Guide, but I think they booked me as one of the tourist. Actually, they fitted me for both; mostly tourist, but one outfit as a safari guide.

We shoot the day after tomorrow in Acton, CA, about 50 miles away from Los Angeles near Palmdale.

While I was at the fitting I saw that they were still auditioning for other roles – glad I was already officially booked. I mentioned that because often times I’m asked, “how long does it take for them to make the decision?” It varies because things are always changing. Even for this spot my callback time was moved up 2 hours earlier because several roles were cut from the spot. My take is that you just never know. I just try to show up prepared, with a great attitude, do well in the room and be extremely thankful that I have an appointment which means somebody in this town believes in me…they should believe in me.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I was so tired after working last night, but the call to inform me that I’m on avail for “cars.com” made it easier to get up and ready for my audition today.

Audition: “Budweiser” @ Alyson Horn Casting. This was fun; I got to lie about some of the ways I order a beer at a bar. Obviously, I’ve never ordered a beer at a bar…at least not for myself. It was fun, that acting thing, the committing to something that wasn’t. I like it. I wanna be an actor. Hey, I am an actor! A professional actor too!

As I was walking back to my car my commercial agency called. As usual, I let the call go to voicemail. I retrieved the message, thinking it might be a call for another appointment for today, but that thought changed when I heard the voice of my agent Samantha. These days most of my correspondence with my agents is through email. We correspond quite often, just not verbally and when I do talk to someone it’s usually to the wonderful Leah or the wonderful Jamie. So hearing Samantha’s was great surprise. Talking to my commercially agents, in my experience, usually means one of two things: either I’m being booked on a job or I’m being unbooked on a job. (fyi, the latter sucks.)

It was Samantha congratulating me because I booked the “cars.com” commercial. YES!!! The prospective run is: national network, cable, internet and a possible screengrab for the “cars.com website. Cool! No mention of the Super Bowl.


Monday, December 07, 2009

I guess I didn’t book the “Star Trek” DVD Promo. Clears me up for my callback today.

Callback: “cars.com” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. This went well, really well. I felt a direct connection with the direction…who knows. I have a feeling it might be a Super Bowl spot. I’ve never done a Super Bowl commercial. Often times those commercials seem to just run during the Super Bowl and not continue. The spec sheet said “National network, cable, internet”. It doesn’t matter; I just need to do my thing in the room.


Friday, December 04, 2009

YES!! I have a callback on Monday for “cars.com”. Of course, I’m still on avail for the “Star Trek” DVD Promo. Could get sticky, but things usually work out.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

I was part of a roundtable discussion for www.castingabout.com today. They offer up-to-date casting director/associate/assistant information to actors. I like these guys; they offer a great service for actors.

Cool, I got word this evening that I’m on avail for the “Star Trek” DVD Promo and that it now shoots on Monday instead of Friday.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Audition/callback: “Star Trek” DVD promo @ Deborah Kurtz Casting. This went great! CD Jeff Gerard was who I actually read for; it was important for this to go well. It’ll be a quick turn-around on this one because it wardrobes tomorrow/Thursday and shoots Friday. They should hire this brotha right here…jus sayin.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Audition: “cars.com” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. This goes well, not particularly fun or not, but I definitely got travel as a character in my mind. That’s usually fun.

Audition: “Maltesers” @ Craig Colvin Casting. This one went well and was fun; hopefully I’ll get a callback.


Friday, November 27, 2009

I just returned to LA from Virginia Beach, my hometown, for the Thanksgiving holiday. I hadn’t planned on going home for Thanksgiving, but several family members, including first and seconds cousins, I hadn’t seen in years were going to be there. The trip was “mostly excellent”; there was one element that was quite challenging, but that was nothing new really. I’ll try to dwell on the “mostly excellent” part. All in all I’m really glad I was there to share with everyone.

On my flight back to LA I had a layover in Dallas and while I was standing on the jet way, waiting in line to get on the plane, I noticed this kid in front of me with some of the coolest hair I’d ever seen. Judging by his attire and swagger and immediately thought he was a rat. Growing up in Virginia Beach a rat is a kid who is excels in many action-sport type athletics. For example he might be known as a surfer, but if you gave him a skateboard he’d do well right away. Same with skiing, snowboarding, etc. BMX, mountain biking, motocross, etc.

Anyway, so I‘m checking this kid out and I noticed he was wearing a Volcom backpack. Volcom is a surfing/action sports apparel company. Upon further inspection I saw that he was also wearing Volcom pants and a Volcom jacket…along with DVS shoes and a Vestal watch. Most people, although they may own many products of a certain brand, they don’t actually wear that many of the same labels together at the same time…unless they are sponsored athletes.

The kid was talking to another guy who was a little taller and looked a little older – they were speaking Spanish. The taller guy looked, maybe 20 and the dude with the cool hair was maybe 18. So I’m checking out the older guy and he was wearing a Red Bull hat along with a Red Bull pullover. I had it in my mind the guys were really talented, sponsored kids in something action sports-related; I wasn’t sure what it was, but I figured either snowboarding, skating, skiing, bodyboarding or surfing. My hunch was skating or surfing.

The line is moving slowly, but I finally get on the plane and to my seat, 28F, (I was born on the 28th and my last name starts with an F, so I chose 28F) and guess who is seating in my seat. Yup, the cool, crazy-haired kid. I give him the point and the nod and he gets that he’s in my seat. He moves over and I plant myself in the window seat.

After we got settled I asked him if he is a surfer or a skater and he eagerly answered “surfer!”. He’s from Costa Rica. I told him about some surf breaks that I had ridden, back in the day, in Southern California and he was quite surprised that I knew anything about surfing. His plan is, after a few weeks in California, to go to Hawaii on the 7th of December for the first time. A little later he asked me how long the flight was – 2 ½ - 3 hours I told him.

Quite a bit of time passed and we hadn’t said anything to each other so I figured I’d use some of my newly acquired Spanish on him. So I turned to him and said “QuĂ© es su nombre?” His face lit up and he replied, “Me llamo Carlos”. I said, “Mi nombre es Stephon”. He came back with “mucho gusto”. I hit him with, “Igualmente”. He tried to keep going, but I raised my hands in defeat; I had no more Spanish to tap into. He said my accent sounded pretty good. I told him I had taken a short class at a local college. What he didn’t know was that I actually rehearsed for like a full 60 seconds before I said my first line in Spanish to him, lol! I was nervous that I would stutter or something.

So after the plane landed and we were taxiing into the gate I asked him if there were any videos of him surfing on the internet. “Yes!!” he replied, through his slightly broken English; “Google me, my name, Carlos. Carlos Munoz. I write my name and email. Are you on Facebook?” he asked. I told him yes and gave him a business card while he wrote down his name and email address. I told him I was going to check him out when I got home.

Moments later, at baggage claim, Carlos had caught up with his traveling buddy, Diego. I went over and asked him if I could get a photo with him…and his cool ass hair. His friend, Diego, took a snap shot of the two of us.

Me and Carlos Munoz - Supa star surfer @ LAX. Just
16 years old. Big hair, doing big things.

Later, when I got home, I searched for Carlos on the internet and it turns out he is only 16 years and is the Costa Rican National Surfing Champion and reportedly the hottest prospect to come out of South America. The kid is the truth on a surfboard…and yeah, we’re Facebook friends. I’ll definitely be following his career very closely.

I love the feeling of being a fan, impressed by the talent of others.


Monday, November 23, 2009

I’m leaving on a jet plane today to go home to Virginia Beach for the Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully it’ll be a nice break from Los Angeles.

After my friend Jon dropped me off at LAX I went inside the terminal to get sorted to check my bag. A Indian woman, who said she was blind, approached me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but of course you wanna help if you can. Yeah, I was suspicious, but it seemed like she was really blind and really needed help.

She had a piece of paper in her hand with flight choices on it from priceline.com; the prices were starting @ $213, but the dates were from Nov. 9th…2 weeks ago. Weird.

As a precaution; I kept my bags on the other side of me, away from her, but I didn't wanna stand too close to her in case she was gonna reach in my pocket…ya never know.

She wanted to deal with United Airlines, but didn't have the phone number.

I believed she was blind; she had the standard walking stick with the red tip and the sensibility of someone who couldn't see.

I googled United Airlines (we were in the American Airlines terminal) on my phone and called them for her. I told the rep what the deal was and asked the blind woman for the dates and city she wanted to travel to. The flight he quoted was triple what she had quoted on the piece of paper; then he put me on hold to check further. At that point I had to go check my bags, but told her I'd come back.

I came back and she was still on hold with the rep. A few more minutes and I HAD to go. So I took her to the counter and the ticket person seemed familiar with her, but she also seemed like she might be just brushing her off.

I kept looking at the woman and then the ticket person and back; I wasn't sure she was going to help the blind woman...or if the blind woman was a scam artist...or if I was being punked. My eyes started watering and I told her I was sorry, but I had to catch my own flight. I was freaking out! My heart didn’t want to leave this woman without being able to finish what she asked me to do, but if I missed my flight it would’ve been bad news. The ticket agent assured me that she would deal with the blind woman when she had a moment. I stood there, about to burst into tears, and said I was sorry and walked away.

I know I'm being a little dramatic, but I just couldn't imagine not being able to see and doing the just the simplest things that I now take for granted.

I went to get in line for security and it was waaay too long for me to be able to get on my flight so I went back to the ticket agent and she walked me all the way to the front of the line to the actual security conveyor belt. I had no idea they had the power to do that and it was my saving grace because there is no way I would have made my flight otherwise.

I rush through the security check and get on the plane and the weirdness continues. I got to 32D, an aisle seat, and an Indian man has the window seat. Before I can even sit down he hands me his camera and wants me to take a photo of him. He seemed nice enough, but it felt a little weird.

A moment later I'm finally getting settled and opened a bag of chips to snack on; I eat a few. About 15 minutes later he pulls out the biggest bag of chips I've ever seen and offers me some. I then feel bad for not offering him some of mine-I only had a normal, little bag.

So just before we land in Philly, when everyone shoot be seated, he gets up to use the restroom. When he returns he sits in the middle seat…right next to me. What??? That seat had been unoccupied the whole 4+ hour flight. I'm thinking "What the Hell is going on?" Then after we land, but were still taxiing he gets up and moves back to his window seat. I was just about ready to be a hero and take his ass down. Was he in cahoots with the blind woman? It was just bizarre. I wanna go home…now.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, my mom, Louise Fuller - I miss you; I love you. RIP


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Audition/Tape/Producers: “Enlightened” @ Cami Patton Casting. This one went okay; yeah, just okay. Okay, isn’t good enough. Not here in Los Angeles; the big game, the Super Bowl. Okay ain’t good enough. Get it right Stephon.

Audition: “Budweiser” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. This went great. I have to get a callback on this. They need me for this spot!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Audition: “Progresso” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. This was fun and, of course, I think I’m perfect for it.

Audition: “The Ad Council” @ Michael Sanford Casting. Ugh, this one, not so much. I don’t think I’ll be getting a callback for this one. Too bad, it would have been a chance to work with kids.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shooting “Grey’s Anatomy” @ ABC/Prospect Studios.

I’m tired, really tired. I got off work early this morning; my call time is early this morning.

I’ve been running like crazy for the past several weeks including a little travel and I’m going home for thanksgiving next week. It’s all good though ALL GOOD; I didn’t move to LA to watch paint dry. So I’m not complaining; I’m just voicing stuff.

So I get to the studio and my little trailer and wardrobe and contract are ready and waiting for me. Shortly afterwards the 2nd 2nd AD leads me into the hair and make-up trailer. The first people I see are Sarah Oh and Ellen Pompeo in their chairs preparing for the day of shooting. The two ladies in charge of hair take a quick look at me and say ‘Ha! You’re easy and perfect; see you on set”. Then I go to make up and she takes a look at my skin and says “oh you’re fine, I’ll get you later”. I’m done; free to go back to my trailer to finish filling out my contract.

30 or so minutes later there is a knock on my door and it’s time to go to set for a quick rehearsal. I walk out to the golf cart and Sarah Oh is getting into the front seat while I get in behind the driver. Sarah turns around to introduce herself and says, “we’ve met before…haven’t we?” I was really caught by surprise, but yes, we had met before – we worked on “Arli$$” together on February 6th, 2001 @ the Andrita Stages. I could not believe that she remembered me.

Then the “Grey” in “Grey’s Anatomy” – “Meredith Grey” series lead Ellen Pompeo slipped into the back seat beside me and introduced herself. Sandra immediately told her that we’d work together, years ago and we made the short trip to the stage to rehearse.

We did a quick blocking run-through and then again and one more time before 2nd team took our places to do the camera stuff…I even had a stand-in. I was back in the trailer for a bit and then the call for make-up came. Shortly after that we headed back to the stage to shoot the scene.

It was fun! It’s always fun. I really look forward to the day when I’m acting on a daily basis as a regular on a show…it’s got to be one of the best jobs in the world.

After about 3 or 4 different camera setups we were finished and I was wrapped for the day. Success! It was a smaller role, but I’m thrilled to have booked it. The really funny part is that 2-3 years ago I may have decided to not go in on it, but times change.

Check this out. On a medical show like Grey’s Anatomy one would imagine that they would go through scores of lab coats over 5 seasons. Right? Random tech here, random doctor there. I thought it was interesting that my lab coat had my character’s name embroidered on it and not on a removable tag. I wonder if they do that for all characters because, I assume, that after embroidering a lab coat they couldn’t use it again for another character. That would be a lot of lab coats. That makes me wonder if maybe my character might return to the show in the future…hmmm. Who knows, I sure don’t…one can only hope.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Okay, crazy day on tap. I have 2 auditions, a callback and my rescheduled headshot session. Somehow, someway I will get all of this done. The first audition is at 11am, but the callback is at 11:05 a couple of miles away. The second audition is at 5pm at the same place as the first, but the headshot session is scheduled for 3pm. What to do, what to do.

I called my agent to see if I could be seen for the 5pm one at the same time as the 11am one which I would actually go to @ 10am. You never really because sometimes there are different categories being seen throughout the day; fortunately the answer was yes.

Audition: “Hyundai” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This went great. It was a simple question and answer type dealio and I was firing on all eight – super funny, sharp and entertaining. I don’t know if that’s what they were looking for, but that’s what they got and I had a great time. Afterwards, I headed to the other side of the facility to the 5pm appointment.

Audition: “Freschetta” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This one went pretty good; not great, not particularly fun, but good nonetheless.

I was finished by 10:55 and when I got in the car I had a message from my theatrical agency. The word was that the offer finally came in for “Grey’s Anatomy”; I had auditioned for the role 17 days ago. I was thrilled to be booked on the show! Yeah, it would be nice if it was a larger role, but it’s great to be booked. They didn’t low-ball my quote AND it’s a SAG show. So, so glad it isn’t an AFTRA show. Oh yeah, I shoot tomorrow.

I arrived at the callback, right on time, at 11:05. It goes really well for me; not so well for my “wife”/partner. The director was pretty direct about how he felt about what she was doing. I felt bad for her; I definitely been in situations where things weren’t going well at a callback or audition.

I rushed back home to get ready for my headshot session when the Grey’s Anatomy wardrobe department called to schedule a fitting for 4pm. Nope, can’t do it. I told them I could do 2:15 and then head straight to my photo shoot. They agreed to that. I arrived, tried on their choices, and was in and out in 8 minutes. From there I went straight to see the photographer, John Ganun.

I don’t particularly like doing the headshot thing, but I’m usually able to put my game face on and have a successful shoot. The headshots that I’m currently using are almost 6 years old and they still aren’t bad…even after all this time. But I feel that it’s time to put something fresh into the marketplace. The shoot went well; I think we got some good stuff. Exhausted, I went home to get a little sleep before going to work and then to shoot Grey’s Anatomy directly afterwards.


Friday, November 13, 2009

This morning (after working all night last night) I drove out to Sun Valley High School to participate in a WGA-sponsored program to read scripts that some of the students have written. It was a blast! I think we read 7 scripts and I was in a about 5 of them.

It’s crazy because, we the actors, have almost zero time to prepare. We all just jumped in and went for it. In two of the scripts my character name was “Jose” so I used my newly acquired Spanish accent – funny and fun. I’ll be doing more of these in the near future. While I was working with the kids my agent emailed me to say that I’m still pinned for Grey’s Anatomy – wow, it’s been 2 full weeks since I auditioned and they still haven’t booked the role. I guess they haven’t “moved on without me”…at least not yet.

Afterwards, I drove home. Not yet to sleep, but to change clothes for a commercial audition.

Audition: “Taco Bell” @ Ross Lacy Casting. It went well and I’m right for it. NOW I can go home and sleep.

While asleep, my agent sends me another message informing me that the casting office for Grey’s Anatomy called to ask for my quote, but it still isn’t an official booking. That is great news. They didn’t say, at least not yet, that they won’t pay my quote (it isn’t that high) AND the fact that it’s a SAG job. Thankfully it isn’t an AFTRA job. Right now, SAG money is the best money for me.

Oh yeah, check out my friend's new blog http://badassnikabrown.blogspot.com/


Thursday, November 12, 2009

I was scheduled to shoot new headshots today, but at the last minute, a same-day audition came up and conflicted with the time.

Audition: “Febreeze” @ Craig Colvin Casting. It had a great time and a great partner to work with. I still have never booked a job for Craig, but I sure appreciate him keeping me on his regular list of actors he calls in.

I rescheduled be my photo session for Monday. Hopefully, I can get it done then. Shooting headshots is a very anxiety-ridden process for me. I don’t feel all that photogenic, but I’ve gotten great results over the years.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Audition/Print go-see “Intel” @ Katie Taylor Casting. You know how these go; quick-fast, and in a hurry. It was over just as it started. They should book a brotha.

I still haven’t heard anything further about Grey’s Anatomy; I guess I’ll assume they’ve moved on without me. That’s okay, but for some reason, I still think I’m gonna book this job…not sure how if I also think they’ve moved on. Maybe I should call my agent and ask.

My agent said, yes, I am still in the running for the job. That was great news, surprising and great.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Over the weekend I went to Phoenix to visit my friend SonHui and see the Grand Canyon. Believe it or not I didn’t know that the Grand Canyon was located in Arizona. I always though it was in Colorado; I guess the Colorado River made me think that. Hey, I’m just being honest.

It was great to get away for a bit. I have a 115+ vacation hours at my “other job” and I need to use them so I bought a plane ticket. It is a breath taking thing to see. I have a hard time imagining just how long it has taken create that wonder of the world. I think, one day, I’d like to go back and take a mule ride and/or go white water rafting.

Back to work tonight…at the “other job”.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

My agent called to say that I’m still in the running for the job on Grey’s Anatomy”. Actually, it seemed more like I’m “the choice”; they just aren’t sure exactly what day it will shoot. They want to make sure before they book so they don’t have to pay for another day. I’ll take that as great news.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Audition/Tape: “Land of the Astronauts” @ Morman/Boling Casting. This is a SAG Modified Low Budget feature starring David Arquette. It went okay. It involved me, as a doctor, working with a patient that wasn’t really there. It went okay.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Today I was a member of a roundtable session with executives from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) along with about a dozen other actors. We discussed what IMDB is to us, as individuals, how we use it, what we wish it would do that it currently doesn’t, etc.

The biggest topic was, of course, the “age thing”. Why do they list our date of birth? Why won’t they remove it if requested? It doesn’t affect me so much, because early on, back in the day, I entered my own date of birth June 28th, 19?? They acknowledged that having the age displayed can cost an actor a job in some situations; especially women. They’re trying to figure out a way to make everyone happy. Maybe placing it somewhere else within the profile and not on the front page could be an option. Maybe giving the actor control over it; I’m not sure I see that happening. The thing is that the casual viewer and some industry professionals do want to know an actors actual age. They’re trying to please many different groups of people. I’m not sure what the answer is, but they are looking into coming up with some sort of solution.

The StarMeter is a measurement of how many hits any page gets. It’s updated weekly. Pages get hits for any number of reasons some organic, some not so organic. No matter the reason, a hit is a hit and they all count.

Another hot topic was actors with the same or very similar names with credits that get mixed up with each other and the difficulty in getting them corrected. They recommended going through the traditional channels of adding/changing data and if that doesn’t work contact them directly. How do you do that??? Since you can’t really get them on the phone. How do you contact them directly? I think I have a few ideas. Plus, now I know where they live…or work rather.

That led to the issue of not being able to contact a human being on the phone. They discussed the notion of having a customer service department.

We spent a bit of time on the resume feature. Most of the actors in attendance didn’t use the feature, but the few that did gave their reasons why. Myself, I don’t use the feature. I don’t have anything against it; I’m just don’t feel I need to pay extra for it.

Why is it so difficult to remove a photo once it’s on the site? I don’t know; I’ve never tried to remove any photos. I didn’t really hear a straight answer to that. One actor said he was able to remove photos without issue. Being able to rearrange the photos was discussed as well.

We discussed being able to view credits in a different order other than chronologically. Also, the possibility of being able to highlight certain credits. Maybe, on your profile you could have something like “As seen on”; then have 3-4 of your favorite/best credits listed at the top of the page.

Another possible future feature that was discussed being able to have “favorites”. So if there is a group of 20 actors careers that you follow you can get to their profile very quickly with a single click. We talked about a feature of kind of a “Who knows who” type of thing. It might be similar to the degrees of Kevin Bacon type of thing, but more usable in the sense of being able to build and track relationships.

The tracking of commercials was brought up. I think that would be great. Yeah, now can put them in your “other works” area, but I think commercials warrant a legitimate category. That way casting/producers/directors etc. might have an easier way to track actors in commercials. Many film directors direct commercials as their “day job”. I think it would be great to compile that info as well.

I suggested being able to click on a director and, at a glance, be able to see what casting directors he/she has worked with. Same with producers, writers and the like. Most of this data is already there; it would just be making it easier to view at a glance.

We kicked around the notion of being to attach a video clip to a given credit – rights/clearance issues could be a problem.

Much more was discussed, but that’s about all my ADD-having ass can muster right now. I will say that it was an honor to be in the same room with the other actors in attendance. Some of them I knew, others I knew of but had never met and still others were brand new to me. I was proud to a part of such a sharp group of people who are very, very serious about their business. I also thank the IMDb executives for hosting such an honest roundtable to get the ear of us in the trenches.

After the meeting my agent informed that I am still being “pinned” for Grey’s Anatomy.


Monday, November 02, 2009

I was supposed to hear something today about whether the “pin” in me for “Grey’s Anatomy” is to become a booking or a release, but there was no news…I’ll take that as good news.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Last night I went to pick up mail at my old apartment. It was weird being in that space that I had lived in for 11 years and seeing it set up for someone else and it’s a woman. I knew they would put tile in the kitchen the moment I moved out and of course they did. It looked great.

I saw “Precious” this afternoon. Simply incredible work in front of and behind the camera.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Remember that audition for “Grey’s Anatomy” last week that I got a callback on, but let “life get in the way”? Yeah, I kinda beat myself up over that for a while afterwards. The saving grace was that I felt I did very well in the first audition and, even still, the callback wasn’t bad. It was just that I lost my focus over something silly. I didn’t prioritize.

Anyway today, one short week later, I had another audition scheduled for the next episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”. It’s a very similar type of role; a few lines to move the story along. Also, this time I’m going straight to read for the producers/director/writers rather than having to pre-read.

Audition/Producers: “Grey’s Anatomy” @ Lowy/Brace Casting. This went really well. Even though I didn’t have too much to do I had a ball doing it. It was fun to give a couple of lines a beginning, middle and end. When I finished, one of the casting directors said “Great…as usual”. Huh? That comment caught me by surprise. Not because I didn’t think I did great, because I didn’t feel that she would have really known who I was enough to refer to me in a sense of having a track record with her. That is probably a classic example of me underestimating exactly what a casting director’s responsibility is – knowing actors and what they can do. I can do the job. Thank you Linda Lowy; you put a smile on my face.

Several hours later, while I was getting some much needed rest, my agent called to tell me that there is a “pin” in me for the role on the show. That was great news to wake up to! Of course, I’m going out of town this weekend. As they say, “Buy a plane ticket if you wanna get a job”. I got a plane ticket, several in fact, now I hope I get the job. I’ll figure out the logistics.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Audition: “FedEx” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. This was fun and went really well. I have a pretty good callback and avail ratio at this office and have booked in the past. It’s way beyond time to book again.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Audition: “Grey’s Anatomy” @ Lowy/Brace Casting. This audition was for a small co-star that I’m really right for and should book. It was also a pre-read. I didn’t have a problem being pre-read for the role, but I’m really looking forward to bigger and better things.

I’d dropped a photo to this casting office a couple of weeks ago and more recently did a workshop that went really well with someone from the office. I’ve met several people from this office over the years, but recently wanted to reacquaint myself. I don’t know if the workshop had anything to do with being called in, but I’ll take an appointment however I can get it.

It was a 2-line role and right before I was to go in to read the casting associate added another line of dialogue. Cool, it gave me just a little bit more to chew on. So I go in the room and the first read felt great. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know so much about the casting process. Why? Because I’m “a thinker”, my mind is constantly at work. I feel it often gets in my way and prevents me from doing things exceptionally well, but it often helps me too. I wish I could just turn it off at will, but I also love that very part of me.

I knew they were determining callbacks in the room and I would pretty much know right away. Of course I needed to get a callback to move on to the next step.

The casting director seemed happy with what I brought to the table and gave a little more insight to the character. I took that info and did it again; the casting director said “perfect” and gave me a time for the callback – 45 minutes later.

This is where sh*t got interesting. My new mattress that I ordered almost 3 weeks ago was finally scheduled for delivery today between noon and 4pm. Yup, my callback was scheduled for 12 noon...

Right away I called the delivery company to get a closer picture of exactly when they would be there. He said, “right around noon”. To make a long story, I ended up driving home to meet them, which was by far the dumbest thing I could have done. I knew I could make it back in time for the callback, but my focus was a little off. Of course the delivery truck wasn’t there and I drove right back to the studio, arriving right at noon. I went in to read right away for the director. It went okay, not bad at all, but I was really upset with myself for not prioritizing. I know better than that.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I finally purchased my new bed frame today. I had to rent a van to go pick it up. I didn’t want to pay a $90 delivery charge. The headboard was so large they had to take it out of the box to get it in the van. I don’t know what I was thinking in trying to do it all by myself! For some reason I have a big problem asking for help. Well, not “some reason”. I know exactly why I rarely ask for help; I hate to feel as though I’m imposing on others and I really enjoy challenging myself. I like to see what I can do when I know the average person would think they couldn’t do it. I learned that as a teenager when I used ride BMX back in the day. I often tell myself; “try it, you just might be able to do it.” That way of think helps me a lot, but I need to work on letting people help. Another thing I fear is that people won’t help me. THAT is a fear of rejection. Funny enough, I don’t have a fear of rejection in my acting life, but I do in my real life. Go figure.

Anyway, I somehow got it accomplished; it probably wasn’t smart, but I did it. Stephon Fuller Delivery Service cost $57 and a lot of sweat…it was worth it and I really like what I bought, but I think my bedroom furniture is bigger than my bedroom. I figure I won’t always live in a relatively small apartment and I want to look forward into what I anticipate happening in the future.

Tonight was the first night of my 5-week beginner Spanish class. It was interesting and I should learn a lot. The teacher is cool and nice, but it would be even better if he was more direct in his approach and took command of the class so my mind doesn’t wander – ADD, yeah focus is a big problem for me.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Audition: “Time –Warner” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Eh, neither here nor there; we’ll see.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Audition: “Walgreen’s” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This was quick-fast; just a few questions. They asked me where I would be if I wasn’t in Los Angeles pursuing an acting career. Of course my answer was back in Virginia Beach; at least that where I think I’d be.


Friday, October 09, 2009

Audition: “Honda” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Not so much. The closest I think I’ll get to a callback on this is driving my ’98 Honda Accord Coupe. NEXT!!!

Oh yeah, my agents met to discuss what I might do to help things along in my career, which is, albeit to a much smaller degree, going to help their careers too. I’m going to explore getting new headshots! Actually, that’s not true. I’m not going to explore, I’m going to do it. I have to be a man of action if I want anything to happen. That is exactly how I got to where I am. By actually doing things. I do not like shooting headshots – at all. I’ve been very successful with getting good photos, in years past, but I don’t really enjoy the process.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Audition/Producers: “Brothers” @ Susan Vash Casting. There a few recognizable names/former series regulars at this audition which sort of explains why it’s been as slow as it’s been for me over the last year. Lots of people are willing to read for projects that maybe they wouldn’t have in years past. I didn’t let it bother me; I went in and did my thing.

I had traffic school last night and finished up tonight. Two long, four-hour evenings. Yeah, I was cited for a minor driving infraction in Santa Monica a couple of months ago. I figured it was better to go to traffic school than to take the hit on my driving record. I could have done it online, but I figured it was better for me to actually go there and sit through it. I’m on this kick where I’m trying to get out more and mix with more people outside of the business. My friend count outside of the business count is very, very low. So I’m forcing myself to get out more – it’s not working out all that well, but I’m starting a Spanish class soon.

Getting the ticket was a good wake-up call for me and I learned a lot in the class, plus, the instructor was pretty entertaining. That said, I don’t plan on getting anymore tickets anytime soon.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Audition: “Burger King” @ Craig Colvin Casting. Uh, not so much…


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wow, it has been sooo slow for me lately. Funny enough, I’m not tripping out because I’ve been working so many hours at the….job. THAT is a trap that I have to be very careful about. I didn’t move 3,000 miles away from my family to ask people how they want their burgers cooked or what type of vodka they want in whatever you put vodka in (I’m stilled confused about that vodkarumtequilagin stuff). Sometimes it makes me want to take my first drink; trust me, it can be quite the challenge at times. I have a lot of tricks to get through it – it’s not usually easy. That said, I still maintain that going back to work was the single smartest decision I made in 2008. I have really made it work for me, but I can’t get “caught up”.

Guess what? After almost 2 weeks I have a commercial audition. Go figure.

Audition: “careerbuilder.com” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. This was great! The audition required me to perform in my underwear. Now I’m not at all an exhibitionist, but for some reason I have NO problem being scantily clad for a reason; especially for the chance to have fun AND get paid. It was amazing that I can walk into a room with 4 other stranger and within 90 seconds we all had stripped down to our underwear/bra/panties and were able to peform as though we’d known each other for years…I love that! Needless to say the audition went very well and it was in the same room I booked the KY Brand commercial…scantily clad as well. Maybe that’s why I continue to go to the gym.

I spoke earlier about how slow it’s been for me lately. Commercially hasn’t been so bad, but theatrically it’s been abysmal for the last year or so. Make no mistake, I’m doing better than most; I’ve still booked a few jobs and have had some appointments, but I’m not were I need to be.

I sent an email to my 3 theatrical agents to ask them if there is anything I can do to help. They got back to me before the end of the day. One of the agents said to “hang in there” and that it’s picking up and one of the others said the 3 of them would meet and get back to me. Cool, glad they got back to me; that wouldn’t happen at most agencies around town.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Well, today is the day that my contract with my theatrical agency expires. I’ve been with them for over 11 years; I wonder if they will ask me to re-sign. I’m not sure; I mean I haven’t exactly set the world on fire in recent years, but I think I have a lot of potential to do quite well. Let me re-phrase that. I have done quite well. If I quit acting professionally today I’d have a lot to be proud of and a SAG pension too. That said; I have a lot more to accomplish. Even as I struggle with wanting to be in Virginia Beach with my family I feel a stronger yearning to act…and I will.

It’s funny, because I’d never really questioned it before and I’m not really questioning it now, but the thought of being dropped by my agency has crossed my mind. No matter what happens I gotta get my ass in gear.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sixteen years ago this evening, at 7pm, I started my first acting class in Virginia Beach, VA. Wow, a lot has happened since then. I don’t know if I’m surprised or not. I guess in some ways I am and in other ways not so much. Will I still be doing this 16 years from now? I don’t know. Will I be doing it 16 months from now? I don’t know that either. I do know that it’s been a fun ride. Also, I think back to how many people that I studied with so many years ago that are still in the game. There are quite a few, right here in Los Angeles, and I’m proud to be one of them. Happy anniversary to me.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Callback: “K-Mart” @ Ross Lacy Casting. OMG! I had a blast at this callback; much better than the first audition. That just goes to show; you never know what the powers that be are looking for. I mean, how did I even get called back for this? I felt terrible when I left the room after this audition. It doesn’t really matter how I felt about the performance; it matters that “they” felt. “They” being the client, director, ad agency, copywriter, producer, casting director and/or session runner, etc. Yes, don’t forget the session runner. In some cases, the session runner can be the one to decide to not leave your performance on the tape/CD – almost like you never showered, shaved, deodorized and drove across town to look all fresh and purty for the audition in the first. Something to think about huh?

Anyway, it was a good one and they should book me. Right?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Audition: “Walgreen’s” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This one was fun. The best part was the banter amongst the actors in the room. It times like that that I really, really enjoy being a performer. Not everyone can do what we do.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Audition: “K-Mart” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Ugh…not a good showing. Not sure what happened, but it didn’t feel good.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Audition: “Verizon” @ Ross Lacy Casting. A fun good time with a great partner. What more could I ask for? A callback, avail and a booking. Sounds simple to me…

I passed the written part of the motorcycle course last night. I missed 3 out of 47 questions – 94%. Now I have to pass the written part @ the DMV – I’m going get 100% on that one.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This past weekend I took the riding part of the program to get my motorcycle license. I’ve never ridden a street bike, but obviously I know how to shift gears and have great balance so it should be no problem for me. It was fun, but I have to say it was difficult to go so slow for so long. I wanted to go fast and hit some jumps and turns.
The important thing is that I passed. In a few days I have to complete and pass the classroom part so I can then go to the DMV and add the motorcycle endorsement to my drivers license. Right now I have no plans to get a bike or a scooter, it was just something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Lately, I’ve been thinking about learning to shoot a gun…no plans to get one of those either.

Audition “Prevacid” @ Toni Silvera Bush Casting. There was a lot of copy for this one and I think I handled it fairly well…which isn’t always the case for me.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

After working last night and sleeping for an hour or so I was awakened with a same-day audition. Thankfully, that motivated me to go to the gym; somewhere I didn’t plan on going to. Then, when I finished working out I had a message with another same-day audition.

Audition: “Wendy’s” @ ASG Casting. This one had “callback” written all over it for me…not really. It didn’t go bad at all, but nothing special…we’ll see.

Audition: “Michigan Lottery” @ Vicki Goggin Casting. This one went pretty well and I would love to go to Michigan to shoot it. Call me…


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Audition: "Snickers" @ Ross Lacy Casting. This was a lot of fun and a funny spot. I think I’m right for it so, hopefully, I’ll get a callback.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Audition/Producers “Better Off Ted” @ Thomas/Adler Casting. This is another great situation. I went in on this show just last week and my agent informed me that the role went to someone already established on the show. I’m thrilled that they are bringing me right back in; the season is young.

I felt the audition went really well. I did it one time and walked away feeling that they were liked what they saw. If nothing else, I think I'll stay on the list of actors to bring back in and that is a great place to be. That said, it's nice to be on that list, but I'm looking to book jobs these days; I've been on the list long enough.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Audition: "Arby's" @ Rick Montgomery Casting. Uh!!! Not so much. I couldn't find my own voice for this one. I had to get a line reading from the casting director. He got me there, but it took work. That said, it wouldn't surprised me if I get a callback.

Rick is normally a film casting director.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Audition/Producers/Tape “Castle” @ Donna Rosenstein Casting. Cool, I just read for this office at the Universal location for “Ghost Whisperer” 2 weeks ago and I just did a drop-off to this location the other day.

The audition went okay, I guess. I wish it would have gone better. I’ve never booked anything for either office and I’m itching to change that. If nothing else; it’s great that they continue to call me in.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Callback “Sprint/NFL” @ Martin Casting. Yes! I was starting to wonder where all my callbacks had gone; it seemed like it had been forever. Anyway, this one went well and I hope they decide to hire me.


Monday, August 17, 2009

The Premiere of “Junkie Nurse” aka “Boppin’ at the Glue Factory” was last night at The Downtown Film Festival. I have to admit that I was unprepared for what happened. I think it was simply that I’ve had a lot going on lately with the move and all and I wasn’t consciously aware that this was my first film festival. Plus, it was so long ago that we film it.

One of the first people I saw when I entered the facility was director Jeff Orgill. After saying “hello”, the very next thing he wanted was to take me back downstairs for me to be interviewed about the film. WHAT??? Oh sh*t. I was trying to hold my composure, but I was a nervous wreck. It was so long ago that I honestly couldn’t remember all the scenes I was in. An instant later I find myself being interviewed by this young lady about my role in the film. I immediately knew that I should have been better prepared.

After the interview I went back upstairs where photographers were shooting photos of me and some of the other cast members. Obviously, it wasn’t crazy by Hollywood standards, but it was a damn trip for a guy like me who doesn’t usually seek out attention. After that we viewed the film and I was very, very happy with how it came out. It looked great and they even gave us a DVD copy of it. I had forgotten that I was in so many scenes; small, little comic-relief type bits, but quite a few of them. There was a very healthy audience in attendance and afterwards the whole cast went up on stage for a few questions. Afterwards, in the lobby, I was shocked at how many people came up to me to say they like me in the film.

All in all it was a fun experience; especially finally seeing the finished product…and getting a DVD copy without even having to ask. One thing is for sure that I’ll be better prepared next time…


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tonight is the screening/Q&A of an independent film I worked on more than 4 years ago. It used to be called “Boppin’ at the glue Factory”, but the name has been changed to “Junkie Nurse” which I like a lot better.

It seems like so long ago that I worked on it and was driving back and forth to Norwalk 25 miles away to shoot in a real mental hospital. I must admit it was a little spooky at times. Well, maybe not spooky, but I couldn’t help but think of things that had happened behind the gates of the hospital through the years. Mental illness is no laughing matter…well maybe in the movies. It was a fun shoot and I actually had a love scene. Yeah, a real live, fake, movie set love scene. Now THAT was interesting.

It’s done quite well on the festival circuit and I look forward to seeing the finished product and the cast & crew.

Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles Premiere ofJUNKIE NURSE (aka Boppin' At The Glue Factory).

WINNER - BEST FEATURE - Seattle True Independent Film Festival 2009WINNER - BEST FILM - Tregor Film Festival, France
WINNER - BEST DIRECTOR - Tregor Film Festival, France

A junkie nurse stumbles into his dream job: running the graveyard shift at a convalescent home. He beguiles the staff and charms the old folks. Then just as his drugs run out and the management starts closing in, a crafty old jazzman discovers his secret and makes him a sweet deal, but with heavy consequences.
This Sunday, August 16 7:00pm at the AT&T Center Theater, 1150 S. Olive St. Los Angeles, CA 90015 All ticket holders are invited to the after-party. Party info at screening.



Friday, August 14, 2009

Audition: “Walgreens” @ Ross Lacy Casting. What is a week in my life without an appointment at Ross Lacy Casting? A relatively odd week. Anyway, this was a simple interview type of situation and I went in with a really fun group of performers.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Audition: “Sprint/NFL” @ Martin Casting. This was a fun and I had a conversation with a really sweet and kind actress while waiting to go in…and we mostly talked about things not related to the business.

Audition: “Better Off Ted” @ Thomas/Adler Casting. I think this went well, but I might look a bit young for it. Not “be” a bit young, but “look” a bit young for it. Funny enough it was a pre-read for a small co-star role. A few days ago I went straight to producers for a recurring role. I ain’t tripping though; it’s all good...especially these days in the economy. It’s good that casting offices still know who I am; that is a huge victory in itself…and who knows, maybe I’ll get a callback.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Audition “National Grid” @ ASG Casting. Simple, question and answer type of situation and I didn’t even trip over my own words.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Audition/Producers “Ghost Whisperer” @ Donna Rosenstein Casting. This is a role I should book – plain and simple. I rarely, in my opinion, have been more right for a role than I have for this one. I think it’s the type of role that will move me to the next level in my career. Not because it’s some type of great role per se; it’s just a role that I can walk in the room and be with little effort. Typically, an actor is typecast that way and then is able to expand from that base of a character in his/her career…at least I think so.

In the room was the director, 2 writers, a producer and casting. Everyone was very friendly. I had one question and then did the scene the way I committed to in rehearsal, got direction and did it again a whole different way. As I was reading it the second time I could feel that they were engaged and listening. I walked out feeling really good, plus the director liked my pants. This is a potentially recurring role and I’m glad they brought me straight to producers for it. No matter what happens I feel that they will continue to bring me, but eventually it’s time to get the job. I think I booked “Monk” on my sixth time in the room.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Audition: “Old Dominion Freight Lines” @ Stuart Stone Casting. Simply dialogue situation; I killed it! Just kidding. Not really, I delivered in that room I tell ya, plus I’m from the Old Dominion area in Virginia.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Audition: “24” @ Pagano/Manwiller Casting. This one didn’t go well and I’m, admittedly, a little upset about it. It was one of those situations where I wondered whether to commit to the realities of all the stuff written in the scene or, as they say, “just read it”. I chose to go with the realities of what was on the page and that wasn’t what they were looking for. I don’t think I over did it, but when do you know when to ignore certain parts of the writing? I mean it said there was freakin’ radiation inside the vehicle. Do I ignore that? Radiation seems pretty serious to me. Anyway, I probably came off as too melodramatic when I read it the first time, but I guarantee you it will be filmed that way. THAT’S why is so important to know what serves an audition situation versus being on the actual set shooting the scene in hair, make-up and props…two different beasts. NEXT!


Friday, July 31, 2009

I’ve been moving to a new apartment over the last 10 days or so and today is the day that I finally turn in the keys of the studio apartment where I have lived for the last 11 years…yup 11 years. That’s longer than I’ve lived anywhere other than the boyhood home I grew up in. I didn’t plan on doing it over such a long period of time, but I’m glad I did. I think the new apartment had been vacant for a minute so they were eager to get me on the payroll.

It worked out well because I didn’t have to take the weekend off of work like I had planned. I just did a little moving everyday over the 10 day period when I had the energy. Let me tell you, these overnight shifts are a beast. I do not, I repeat DO NOT recommend working graveyard shifts. It’s like going down a one-way street against oncoming traffic. That said; I have definitely made the situation work for me. I devised a plan some time ago and I have to say it’s working really well. At the same time I have to look at other phases of the plan, because I have no plans of doing this indefinitely…physically I can’t.

As I was making the final trips back and forth to my car I became more and more eager to finish, turn in the keys and be on my way. On the way out the door the very last time it hit me that this chapter in my life was over. Forgive me for making this move into such a dramatic thing, but I guess it’s all relative because it has been a major thing to me. I’ve been nervous and extremely anxious for months- headaches and all. I remember when I moved here from New York; I had a headache for 6 weeks.

Anyway, as I was about to lock the door for the last time I stopped dead in my tracks. I put the items down that I had in my hands and re-entered the apartment. It looked exactly as it had on June 28th, 1998, my birthday. That was my last day of my LA trip for my agent meetings. I prayed that I would be approved. I remember being so excited about living alone, having a little natural light that I never had in New York and moving to the next chapter in my journey. Looking at the empty place made it very clear as to why I wanted to live there. I guess I was “stopping to smell the roses”. It almost brought tears to my eyes..almost.

Next stop; the rental office. The property manager was very nice and wished me well. I got in my car, screamed with joy that it was over and gave the middle finger to the “No Parking from 6am to 11pm” signs for the next day. FU!! No parking signs!...I’m serious…I did 11 years.

The old parking spot...at least for March 16 '04. There's my old white Honda with "for sale" signs on it in the background.

The new parking spot...cold chillin'....Underground parking was one of the "must haves' along with central air, carpet and of course a bedroom with a door.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eleven years ago today I left New York on an ATA flight to Chicago on my way to Los Angeles to continue the journey of my acting career. While on my layover in Chicago I called my new agent, Alicia @ KSR (formerly KSA), and informed her that I was flying standby and didn’t know exactly what time I’d land in Los Angeles – tonight or early in the morning. Either way I told her that I would be ready to rock n roll by 12 noon tomorrow. She answered that she had an appointment for @ 10am….let the games begins.

That first week in Los Angeles Alicia got me 3 commercial auditions and, in return, I gave her 3 callbacks. I didn’t book any of them, but eventually that would change. So much has happened in those eleven years. I have been fortunate to work on numerous TV shows, a few films, 30+ commercials and even travel to a few places. It’s often said that it takes 10 years to be an overnight sensation. I guess things are about to get interesting.

Audition: “Toyota/NFL” @ Joe Blake Casting. This went really, really well. It’s for 16 spots!! They HAVE to bring me to callbacks. Well, they don’t have to, but it would be smart I think. I can add to this project MAN! 16 spots! I’d start specifically saving to invest in the family business or a condo/house – or both.

Oh yeah, here is the link to the CNN piece where I’m quoted. I was also quoted in an article in Back Stage…wow twice in one week! I guess I’m “moving on up!”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Audition: “Comcast” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This one went really well. Wall-to-wall copy, but they wanted it kind of loose so I was really able to make it my own. They should bring me back.

I think I’m going to be quoted in a piece about the entertainment business in a CNN.com story on Monday the 27th.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Today is the big day. The day I start moving from my studio apartment that I’ve lived in for the past 11 years to a deeeluxe apartment in the sky!! Yup, moving on up like the Jefferson’s! This has been a long time coming. Not sure why I waited so long, but the past is the past and I’m moving forward.

I can’t believe how much crap I have gathered over the years. I am purging in a big way. Never again will I have so much stuff…at least until I have a wife and kids.

My new refrigerator was delivered this morning, but they brought me a white one instead of the black one that I wanted – I’ll give it a couple of days and see if wanna keep the white one; if not, they’ll have to come back and swap it for the correct one.

I can already feel the beginnings of a new energy and my theatrical agent said that TV is picking up in a big way.

Audition/Producers: “Brand Dead” @ Dori Zuckerman/Lorna Johnson Casting. Honestly, I didn’t feel as prepared as I should have been for this appointment, but it still went okay. I just have so much going on right now with working fulltime overnight shifts, a few auditions here and there and the moving thing has my anxiety levels going crazy. Who knows, maybe I’ll hear back from them.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Audition: “Southwest Airlines” @ Cathi Carlton Casting. I was all over the place in this audition, but since it was sort of an improv type situation it worked pretty well – a little off balance and very real. Hopefully, I’ll get a callback.

A very strange thing happened immediately after I walked out of the audition room. An actor approached me and raved and raved…and raved about the WaMu commercial that I had done last year. I mean he thought it was just the greatest piece of work. At first I just didn’t know what to say other than “thank you”, but then I shared some of how it actually came about and the 4-day shoot. It was pretty cool. I think I sometimes forget that I have actually worked in this business. I don’t really carry it on my sleeve. I just have so many other things on my mind these days, but make no mistake, I love what I do. I just love other things too.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Audition: “Lincoln” @ Terry Berland Casting. This was fun! I had a great lady playing my wife and we hit it off right away. I’m hoping it looked as good as it felt. I’m way overdue for another booking and hopefully my “KY Brand” spot will start running sooner or later.

I bought my refrigerator for my new apartment and set up delivery today. Things are really coming together for the move. I’m anxious, a little nervous, but excited. I had a very specific plan and it’s all coming together the way I’d hoped. I’m purging a lot of “stuff”. There are things I currently have that I do not want to see the light of day in my new place. I’ve also bought stuff for the new place that I’ve left in my car because I want it to be as fresh of a start as it can be. A similar thing happened when I moved to New York; I want it to be a brand new chapter – a real change. I feel it inside of me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Audition: “Anti-Smoking PSA” @ Gabrielle Schary Casting. This was a pretty funny audition and it went well. Hopefully I’ll get a callback.


Friday, July 03, 2009

Today someone I met a few months ago looked me up on IMDB and commented about the acting credits I’ve built up over the years. She assumed that “a good amount of them” were background credits without dialogue. I wasn’t at all offended; I was intrigued by how she came up with that assessment. I asked her and she said she thought I was the type that would talk a good game, but really be full of a lot of hot air. What ??? I mean I talk a lot of smack, but it’s usually when I’m in character and just messing around. I guess she believed the character I created. I found that to be hilarious. Actually, I hadn’t spoken to her about my credits at all which is why she didn’t already know what I had or hadn’t done. I take the whole thing as a huge compliment because every single one of my credits were and are hard earned and legitimate.

I think it’s simply that’s she’s new to the game and didn’t really know that I’m not so new to the game. I also don’t think she knows many actors who have actually made a living as a professional performer for any length of time – so she assumed that I hadn’t either. I wonder how many other people might think the same thing. Who knows…

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This morning I gave my 30-day notice that I’d be vacating my studio apartment after 11 years. It felt weird and exciting at the same time. For some reason I was a little nervous…don’t ask why. I’m nervous about a lot of things in general, but I don’t usually let it stop me. I think I get so nervous because I tend over analyze almost everything.

When I walked in the office I wasn’t sure if the property manager had already been alerted that I was leaving or not. She had; she told me the new leasing company had called and she gave me a great reference. Not sure why I was nervous about that because, yes, I deserved a great reference.

SHOOTING: “Greenpeace PSA” in Silverlake. This was fun and, again, proves to me that not everyone can do what “we” as performers do. Nope. Not everyone is interesting. Some may be interesting in a reality show sense; like watching a car accident (and yes, I do watch some of those accidents). But not everyone is interesting in a “talent” sense. The lead actor in the PSA we were shooting was organically interesting take after take, after take. A very talented man and I was honored to get to work with him.


Friday, June 26, 2009

I signed my lease for my new apartment today!! All 200 pages; well, maybe not 200 pages, but a whole lot of pages. I’m really excited.

This morning, while in a comatose-like state after working last night, one of my commercial agents, Alicia, called to inform me that I booked the “Greenpeace” PSA. The pay isn’t much to speak of, but it’s for a good cause and one of the best commercial CD’s in town – which means the entire industry. Yeah, Ross Lacy is top-notch. Thanks again Ross!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guess what? I signed a new apartment lease today. I’m really excited. It’s so time for me to improve my life on this very basic level of being comfortable where I live. I apologize if you’ve had to listen to me go on and on about not having enough space and not having parking. It’s been a long time coming.

On the one hand I’m not thrilled about moving to West Hollywood because it reminds me of being at work. Another reason is, and this might sound silly, but some of the area is on an incline; which could get in the way of my skateboarding. Don’t get in the way of my skateboarding MAN!!! Originally, I planned to stay in the Miracle Mile area…which is pretty flat…and doesn’t remind of being at work. What I mean about “reminds me of being at work” is that I spend a lot of time being a part of “the scene” because of where I work. I don’t think there is anything wrong with “the scene” it’s just that I’m not that cool and I get overloaded by it…although it can be quite amusing at times.

That said; I’m working on trying to get cooler. Ya know; like a cool dude that goes out for happy hour and stuff like that. I need to go out more and be more social – maybe moving to West Hollywood will help. I don’t know. Why is it such a struggle for me to get out and be a part of “the scene”? Actually I do know why.

On the other hand it makes a lot of sense to live in West Hollywood because it’s convenient to the two places I go most often and still very central as far as auditioning and the business goes.
Audition: “Greenpeace PSA” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This was a fun one. It was quite confusing, but fun nonetheless. The audition was held in Studio 9 at The Casting Studios. This is significant because I know that Studio 9, at this particular facility, is a callback studio. Callback studios cost a lot more to book…so maybe it’s a callback. I had my callback game face on.

Sure enough, as soon as I walked in, there was the session runner, director, producers AND the people behind the one-way glass…yup I could see ‘em back there! So, obviously, this was a callback.

I had the dialogue down and was ready to rock n roll. I had a great partner in Blair Hickey; Blair is the owner of Casting About – a great service for actors. We usually chat when we see each other so we were very comfortable with each other going in. It went really well for both of us; so hopefully they’ll hire us both. They should! Right!?!?

Oh yeah. I noticed they were having callbacks for the “KFC” spot that I read for the other day. That’s stupid! I mean why would they have callbacks without me??? I was incredible in the audition, looked great on tape and am perfect for the spot. Geez. Some people just don’t get it…lol!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A change of pace is in store today. Yep, I drove out to Riverside, about 65 miles away from where I live, to the James Stewart Ride Day. James Stewart is a Motocross/Supercross racer. In fact, currently, he’s considered one of the best in the world, if not the best. This guy does mind-blowing stuff on a dirt bike. I am a HUGE dirt bike fan and been riding much of my life, but these days I don’t get to ride too often – only when I go home.

Anyway, he and his sponsors are hosted today where the fans can actually ride with him on a local track.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that James Stewart is Black. Yup, he’s the first African-American motorsports champion. I have to admit that I smiled as I waited in the long line of cars and trucks to get in the parking lot because I truly believe that accomplishments like this break down barriers. There are young riders who will have James Stewart as their first Motocross hero…a beautiful thing. I think it helps us all get along.

James Stewart doing his thing – Clip 1 Website

Since my motorcycle is in Virginia I decided to just take photos instead. I had a blast, rolling around in the dirt trying to get a decent shot, but had to leave early and rush back to LA for a Saturday audition. It was really great to get out of LA, if only for a few hours.

Audition: “Time-Warner Cable” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Oh no. I totally bombed this audition. I mean completely. It was two different spots; both had quite a bit of dialogue. I’m going to be honest; this is what happened. I folded under perceived pressure; it’s as simple as that. This particular session director is one of the best in town I think, he explains everything very well and if you trust him he’ll steer you in the right direction. He’s also an actor and I’ve run the camera for an audition of his before and he has an incredible naturalness to his work. As I said there was a whole bunch of dialogue and they wanted us to spot on with it because they had already had a round of callbacks and this was possibly going to book straight off the tape. Exactly as my last booking, the KY spot, straight off tape. I guess I don’t always fold under pressure…of course I don’t.

Anyway, I just couldn’t get the words out of my mouth…at all. I felt terrible. Well, not terrible, but not good at all about what I left in the room. Ya know what else happens to me? As a result of knowing a lot of what goes on behind the scenes I get out of the moment. I’m a thinker, my mind is always racing. I’m shocked that I get anything done at all. I don’t know if it’s ADD or what, but lately I’ve tried to focus more and follow a simple task through to the end.

Afterwards I stopped to say hello to a friend of mine, Maya, who was running a session in another room. She said I was right for it and asked if I wanted to read for it. She explained that it was a test-spot and all that goes with that - I was willing to take the risk.

Audition: “KFC” @ Jeff Rosenman Casting. Amazingly enough, after just having a terrible audition, I had a great one. My partner and I played off of one another very well and I’d like to think we’ll both be at callbacks. I’ll let my agents know on Monday in case they get a call about it.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Callback “Audi” @ Francene Selkirk Casting. Yes! This one went great too! I’ll leave it at that. I mean, what else can I do? I left good stuff in the room; it’s about what they want it to look like.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Audition: “Best Buy” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. Ah man! They HAVE to bring me back for this. It went great. I’m perfect for it. I have a good callback/avail record at this office and have booked a few times…but that was then and it’s time to book again. I’m ready.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Audition/Tape “Monk” @ CFB Casting. The cool thing about this appointment was that I’ve already worked on the show. The tricky thing about this appointment is that I’ve already worked on the show.

It was cool because it’s like getting a second bite at the apple. Many of us know that, often times, if you’ve worked on a show once you won’t get to work on it again – unless it’s the same role. It was tricky because I wasn’t sure if they remembered that I’d worked on the show before. The dilemma was whether to take the credit off of my resume or not. I opted to take it off my resume. I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do because I didn’t want it to look as though I didn’t think their show was “good enough” to be listed. Truthfully, I didn’t want anything to get in the way of possibly getting the role and I felt that having already appeared on it could do just that.

So I enter the room and OF COURSE the casting director knew I’d been on the show. He knew the season and even the name of the episode. So then I got in my head about it not being on the resume.

Before reading, the two CD’s commented on how they were a little iffy on they way the scene was written. I gotta tell you I hate those scenes that have all kinds of physical activity going on and this was one them. It didn’t go so well; which was too bad because they’ve hired me twice in the past and were rooting for me. It probably wasn’t as bad as I think, but still…I think the saving grace was that they’ve brought me in numerous times and they know it’s not always going to go great. I’m glad to know I’m still on their radar.

Audition: “Kingsford” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This was fun and went well…thankfully. I could see a callback there. The first take was really good…just not sure the camera was actually taping. The 2nd take was pretty good as well…oh yeah, I think this one is for between 4 and 9 spots. WHAT?? Yeah, that would be nice.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Audition “Audi” @ Francene Selkirk Casting. Another really good one. How could they NOT cast me in this??? I should probably hope for a callback first. I think they should skip all that and just call a brotha to the set – I can do this! I have done this! And I’ll do it again! ACTION!


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Audition “K-Mart” @ Ross Lacy Casting. Fun, fun fun! I even got to kiss “my wife” on the cheek – Twice! Kissing is usually fun – except when it isn’t…been there too. Anyway, it was a good time and hopefully we’ll both get callbacks – if so, I’m gonna convince her to kiss me. It shouldn’t be hard! Shit man, I did a KY commercial! She better kiss me before it hits the air and my little Black Book fills up. Just kidding I hope it airs at all…you never know…’till ya know.

It looks like the votes are in and the membership of SAG has ratified the theatrical contract that was offered by the AMPTP. Personally, I think this is terrible and a step in the wrong direction. I’m not sure why any working actor or anyone who hopes to be a working actor would support the contract, but I guess they have their reasons as I have mine. It is what it is and I have to move forward regardless on what contract we are working under.

The chances that I’ll have to join AFTRA become greater everyday – not a pleasant thought. I just don’t think they are on my side; hopefully, one day, I’ll feel different about it or maybe they won’t rep actors anymore – fat chance.

I think back at some of the decision I’ve made along the way and how they have affected me now; very subtle things in my approach to the business. I guess it’s one of the benefits of being “a thinker”, but I have to be careful of getting bogged down in that. I’ve done plenty of that, but I’ve also gotten a lot accomplished in one of the toughest businesses around. Another thing that I think has helped is that I’m doing other things these days not just “all acting, all the time”. I have to say that being on DL has been really great for me lately. I really enjoy the biz, but I really enjoy many other things too.


Monday, June 01, 2009

To say it’s been slow would be an understatement. I think this is as quiet as it’s been for me since I’ve been in Los Angeles - almost 11 years. It’s okay though, I think I’ve needed to take a break from the race. What have I been up to? I’ve been working the night job thing, trying to rest, learning my new cameras, preparing to get my motorcycle license for street riding, riding my mountain bike, preparing to move to a new apartment, etc. A new apartment - THAT is what I’m really looking forward to and new furniture and stuff…I can’t wait, I’m counting the days…

Normally, at this time of the year I’m preparing for my Summer sabbatical in Virginia Beach, but things are different right now…and for the better, meaning I’m getting better. I still would love to go home, but I’ll get there in due time; I’ve got other things on my plate.

Audition: “Bank of America” @ Dan Bell Casting. This consisted of an interview about music, if we played an instrument and/or what we liked to listen to. Pretty simple, in and out.

I voted NO on the proposed SAG Theatrical contract. I couldn’t figure out how to do anything else but vote NO. In my opinion, it’s a horrible contract and I don’t how anyone who has really read through it comes up with a YES vote. I say that with all due respect.

Fortunately, for me, I’m a vested member in the SAG Pension & Health Program; which means I’m eligible to receive a monthly pension when I retire. There is little chance of that happening under this new contract proposal under the same types of jobs that I became eligible through. Why? Because under the proposed contract residual income will be greatly reduced. It seems that a certain faction of SAG is saying that isn’t true, but I’ve experienced otherwise.

Most every year the amount to qualify for a SAG pension credit and the minimums for insurance coverage increase. It saddens me when I think of actors now that have way less of a chance of even qualifying for benefits – much less being a vested member. Although, for the vast majority of my career I have qualified for the higher Plan I insurance I only have to earn $10,200 to qualify for Plan II – which is not bad…for me. An already incredibly difficult business is looking at losing much of its middle-class. I don’t like feeling this way, but I’ve always been straight-shooting realist.

I’m not sure where voting NO is going to lead us, but I am much more sure of where a YES vote will lead. I, personally, am not in a bad position career-wise, but I’m thinking about the ones coming behind me. Just like the members did for me many decades ago. Please educate yourself and don’t let SAG sell you the VOTE YES stuff without seeing why so many actors are unhappy with the deal the AMPTP is offering.