Thursday, October 28, 2010

Audition/Tape “Mr. Sunshine” @ Lauren Gray Casting. This was my first time meeting Lauren and she really seems like a nice lady. She was surprised to read on my resume that I had never had alcohol or coffee in my life. The read was fun and I hope it leads to a booking or more opportunities during this TV season and beyond.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Audition: “Xerox” @ Kathy Knowles Casting. This was fun and I always feel great when I do well for this particular session director. He really knows what he needs to get from an actor. I’m not always able to deliver, but today I did and that is a victory for me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Callback: “” @ Spot Casting. I was very happy with my performance on this one. The creative team seemed much more interested in the other actor for the other role, but I couldn’t do anything about that. I was very happy with what I did in the room.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Audition: “SoCal Honda” @ Alyson Horn Casting. I think I did okay on this one, but I felt kinda stiff…which happens more often that I’d like.

This afternoon I went to Dorsey High School to participate with a group of actors to read the scripts of at-risk students. As usual, it was a great experience and I always thrilled to be able to give back to the community.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Audition: “US Cellular” @ Ross Lacy Casting. This was quick and simple; just a few questions about things we enjoy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do you ever wonder what the heck you’re doing? Professionally, personally or just generally in life? I do; always have. Not so much in the sense of not being sure, but I constantly wonder about other things. Most everything.

Recently, at my night job, I shared with a fellow employee that I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t depressed about my circumstances. At least I don’t think I’m depressed. I’m talking personally, financially, socially, my family situation, etc. Nothing really outrageous, just things that many of us deal with in our lives. It’s confusing because I use different coping methods to make a given situation work for me. Yes, a bit of it is denial; actually a lot of it is denial. I’ve never been anyone else in this life so I don’t have anything to compare it to.

Part of the headtrip is that I have so much to look forward to while I live with the challenges. The night job is a beast…to say the least. Not sure how long my body can’t take it…or my mind for that matter. So I go to my safe place. Which is to make a challenging situation work for me. I’ve tried to get the most out of it so that I can make the good parts out weigh the tougher aspects of doing it. It’s been 2 ½ years and I think I’m winning the battle and in a big way. I just can’t let the areas of success cloud the pursuing of my career.

Sure, sometimes things are tough at the night job, but as many of us know, dealing with the public can be difficult. At the same time it can be wonderful and the amount of talent that I’m surrounded by is incredible. Also, I’ve developed some really cool relationships with many of my co-workers. Some of it is just light and fun, but other times it’s more life stuff. One of the greatest parts for me is that I get to encourage younger people to develop a healthy relationship with their finances. Now, I’m not trained in that field or anything like that, but I’m an expert on how I, myself, have become a super-saver. It’s a great feeling when one of them asks a question about it or tell me how they have decided to pay off a credit card or join the company 401(k) plan. I explain to them that the greatest thing I will ever be able to do for them is to encourage them to be responsible with their finances and, of course, treat them with respect.

I think the main reason why I’m able to get through to them is that I can talk to them in a way that I know they can understand. I sure wish I had someone in my life to do that for me at that age. My father tried to do that the best way he knew how, but he had no idea how to really get through to a teenager…no idea at all. Or maybe he just couldn’t through to me. It wasn’t like I was a difficult kid or anything like; we just never had any kind of meaningful father/son connection. I haven’t seen or spoken to him for years and I think about how much of a difference he could have made for me…and I for him. I think, subconsciously, I’m trying to do for them what didn’t happen for me. That might be a little weird, but my heart is in the right place and they seem to be receiving it well.

So no, I don’t think I’m depressed or being less than real with myself; I’m just really optimistic about my future. I have visions of working with my brothers in business. Now THAT will be cool. Actually, just last month, one of my younger brothers and I started saving money together to invest in the future. Those investments could be commercial property, residential property, stocks, etc. I am really excited about it and it’s given me something outside of acting that I’m totally into. I’m doing a lot right, but there is still much work to do.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I attended a free workshop with a script consultant today. I’m trying to re-ignite the energy and focus to finish my romantic comedy script. It was a great thing to have done and she and the other two women who attended were very helpful and encouraging. They recommended a few books that I’m going to look into hopeful get on track and writing again. Yes! That would be great.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Audition: “Wendy’s” @ ASG Casting. I had a complete blast in this audition with a great partner to work off of. In the details for the audition they asked that we be “clean-shaven”. At first I didn’t pay too much attention to that note, but later said to myself “why not?” I’m not on avail for anything else at the moment and if this will give me an edge it only makes sense to do it. I booked a “Wendy’s” spot years ago when I was based in New York and got to travel first-class to Miami, stay in a 5-star hotel and earned a nice payday along the way. Actually, it saved my butt from living in my car when I first arrived in LA…not really, but it helped me out a lot. Maybe lightning can strike again!

Audition: “” @ Spot Casting. This went well too. I’m still being paid for the “” commercial I did for this years Superbowl. Funny enough, even though it hasn’t really aired all that much I’ve made much more money than I thought I would. They should hire me again. I can do it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today, I spent several hours shooting photos of my friend, actress, writer, producer Hazel Dean. It was fun and I think I learned a little bit more about photography.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Audition/Tape: “Svetlana” @ Lauren & Jordan Bass Casting. Wow, I have no freaking idea how this one went. It wasn’t scripted. We just did an improv; I had fun and wanted it to go longer, LOL! It seemed before I knew it I was in the car! Again, I don’t know what happened in the room, but I had fun and would have loved to see where the improv would have gone.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

After a busy, draining day of driving yesterday I slept soundly last night and woke up late this morning to the sound of…rain. Lots of rain. In fact, it was raining cats & dogs, East Coast-style! A feeling immediately came over me that I had to get out in the street and do my photo drops…especially today, especially in the rain.

I look at a rainy day of doing drops in LA as like a bonus; a day where the average person is going to stay home…because it’s raining. The thing about that way of thinking is that it usually garners average results, and average results, particularly in this business, is NOT where I want to be. So I have to do more than most…and on a consistent basis. I admit that it’s an energy-draining proposition, but what else can I do but stay engaged in the game if I’m going to play the game.

Amazingly, I had one of my most successful days in the field. I completed my entire list for the day. That does not always happen. It felt great to feel like I was helping myself and my team to move forward; now I need to book some of these jobs that I get appointments for!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Geez, TGIM! Yeah, Thank God it’s Monday. Why do I say that? Because my “Monday” is like a normal person’s Saturday. I’m tired. After working 5 overnight/graveyard shifts in a row, for who knows how many weeks back-to-back, I’m in need of some downtime. So I get home around 5:30 am, talk to my little brother back in Virginia and get in the bed around 6am in an attempt to catch up on the weeks’ sleep…which rarely works.

See, the thing is that I don’t really have a “weekend”. My “night job/server/Sunset Blvd babysitter” weekend is Monday/Tuesday and my acting weekend is Saturday/Sunday. Often times I feel like as though I’m on-call 24 hours a day. Plus, sometimes I have employee meetings on my day off and weekend auditions.

I’m often asked, “How I do it”. At times, I ask myself the same thing.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I do it and/or have done it for such a long time. My body isn’t sure either. The physical toll it takes on me is evident…mentally and socially too. Part of me has to live in a state of denial and associate certain things with certain things. Another part of me feels that it’s highly unlikely that I can work as hard and as smart as I have for as long as I have and not get to where I’m trying to get to.

What keeps me going? For one thing I still have a burning desire to act professionally…I love being on-set. Another thing is that I feel like I am “right there” at the point where real career building jobs will fill my resume. Still, another reason is that I’ve come a long way from Virginia Beach and it just makes sense to continue on the journey. I'm not at all complaining or even venting; I'm just talking about my situation. I'm quite fortunate to have two jobs that I earn money at.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was offered a promotion at the night gig, but after seriously considering it for a week or so I respectfully declined the offer. It would have included a bump in pay, but I’m just not prepared to take on the extra responsibility. I also didn’t want to accept the position and have it put me over the “tipping point” of my sanity…it’s such a tough job. Not tough like digging ditches, but tough nonetheless. The greatest part of the whole thing is that I put myself in a position to being able to decline the offer. I’ve used the job to place myself in the driver’s seat vs. the passenger position and THAT feels great. Three years ago I might have HAD to accept the position.

CUT TO: 10:33 this morning, I’m in a deep sleep – Phone ringing.

It’s my commercial agency. I let the call go to voicemail, but right away it’s ringing again. It must be a same-day call so I answer it. Sure enough, it’s a callback for 12 noon, in 87 minutes in Santa Monica. I was so tempted to roll over and grab just 5 more minutes of rest, but I thought better of it and got up, in the shower and on my way.

When I got in the room I immediately recognized the director, David Shane. He directed the “KY Brand” commercial I did in New York last year…unfortunately it never ran, but it was still not a bad financial experience, plus I got a trip to New York out of the deal. The audition went well so we’ll see what happens.

After the audition, and since I was way out in Santa Monica, I figured I might as well drop-off some photos…even though I really wanted to go back to sleep. Gotta keep on…keeping on.

This is where something really inspiring happened. I stopped by one place on my list and there was an empty drop-off box. I didn’t want to put my headshot in there because it was raining a little and the box didn’t look active to me. So, I paused, and then opened the door to the office not knowing what I would find. I knew whom I might see because I knew who the casting associate was, but you never know what might happen. My style of drops is to stick and move, but I’m extremely calculating at the same time.

When I opened the door, I saw, at the very back of the office the associate in question. I waved and just said I wanted to drop a photo for their files and she politely motioned that she was on the phone. With that, I was on my way…I’m always careful to not be a burden while being a pleasure to deal with.

Twenty minutes later I received an email on my phone from her and it read:


hi nice to see you for a moment today

sorry i couldn’t come say hi

we cast the role in XXXXX but i will hang on to your pic for future stuff

signed XXXXX


Actually, I didn’t even know there was a role I was right for in the project. I was just doing a general drop-off to remind them that I’m still here, available and ready to work on whatever they are casting

It was such a boost to validate all of the effort it takes to drive around this city for as many years as I have. That includes countless miles, hours, photos and a few parking tickets along the way beginning in August ‘98. This same associate, years ago, as an assistant at a different office, received my postcard, called me in and booked me on a popular dramedy a few years after arriving from New York!

There has been a lot of question of whether or not it’s worth to do drop-offs; especially the way the casting process has changed. I think it’s worth it.