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.