Thursday, December 22, 2011

Audition: “Time-Warner Cable” @ Spot Casting.  Another audition!  Wow.  Anyway, this was another very simple one.  I’m gonna book one of these TWC spots soon.  I go in for them all the time it seems.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wow, twenty-one days into the month and I haven’t had a single audition...until today.  Actually, it’s worked out just perfect because for the last week or so I’ve been a little under the weather; not feeling so great.  A cold, or something, has been chasing me for about 6 weeks and I knew it would finally catch me.  I even lost my voice and couldn’t go to my commercial class on Sunday.  I was disappointed about that, but there wasn’t much I could besides drink tea and soothe my throat.  I’ve tried to keep my schedule as best I can because I feel much better when I’m active.
Audition: “HP” @ Petite, a casting company.  This went well.  Quick-fast, simple and I think I’m really right for it.

Monday, December 05, 2011

I had a really good and useful session in my commercial class today.  I’m learning so much by doing, understanding, observing AND watching myself on tape...without cringing.  That’s a good thing.

I’m really excited about next year.  Actually, there is still time for me to get more done this year.  I’m just really ready to move this thing to the next level...I HAVE TO.  I feel like I’m in a bit of a do or die situation with my career.  Make it work or do something else.  I’m not sure what I better get my narrow tail in some commercials, films, TV shows, stages, voiceovers, print gigs...something.  I cannot wait tables forever...or even too much longer.  I have SO much more to offer.  The more tables I wait the clearer it comes to me that I should be amongst the working performers in this town.  I believe that I have what it takes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Audition: “Xxxxx” @ Xxxx Xxxxing”.  Another non-disclosure formed signed so I won’t say much other than it was pretty interesting sleeping with a woman I’d never met before during the audition.  I think I’m a little young for the spot, but we’ll see.
Audition: “Pepsi” @ TLC/Loree Booth Casting.  Nice!  Another Joe Pytka-directed spot!  The audition was fun and it went pretty well, BUT I think I had a few better ideas in the car on the way home.  I’m getting better, day by day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It’s 5am and I’m on my way back to JFK for my flight to back to Los Angeles.  I had a great Thanksgiving weekend with my family.  The time on planes, busses & trains gave me time to think about my immediate future.  Simply put, I’m hungry for success.  Really hungry.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My nephew Trey and I are back in New York after a looong bus ride...arriving two hours late.   The weather was unbelievably nice in New York.  We were pretty tired, but dropped our bags at Trey’s apartment in Brooklyn and raced up to Harlem to eat at a soul food restaurant called Amy Ruth’s.  It was well worth the trip.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Today my family and I went to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.  It was great to see so many people of all races and colors paying respect to MLK’s cause.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Up bright and early with my nephew Trey to catch the Megabus in Manhattan to Washington, DC.  Wow, I miss NYC!  Not sure how long it’s going to last...there are a lot of stairs in New York.  I don’t miss climbing them.
I ate SO much for Thanksgiving; it seemed like I stayed up all night and just ate...and ate.  Now, I’m feeling bloated...not good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On my way to New York, then Crown Heights, Brooklyn and the next morning Washington, DC to be with family.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today is my late mother’s birthday.  Happy birthday mom -  I love you and I miss you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Today I attended a free, informational seminar conducted by my current commercial teacher and Lemon Lime Commercial Owner/Agent Robin Harrington.  No, I’m not looking for a new commercial agent, but yes, I’m always looking for new information to give me insight into the process.  It was a great investment of a couple of hours of my time.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shooting: CDW Downtown Los Angeles - Day Two.  I worked from 9pm, got home around 5:15am and left my apartment for the set at 6:20...on no sleep.  Yeah, I was a little tired, but ready to work.  Sometimes others tell me that I should call off of work from the restaurant when I book acting job, but I never have except for the time I flew to New York for a commercial shoot.  Maybe they are right, but I feel like calling off has its own drawbacks.  
Most of the time I don’t know the call time until the last minute and sometimes I don’t know the day until late in the process which would probably make trying to get someone to cover a shift at the last minute an even more anxiety-ridden thing.  The last thing I want to do is to leave my career in the hands of someone who has no stake in my future...I have a huge stake in my future.  So, at this point, I’ll suck it up, work the long hours and do what many others aren’t willing to do.  But I do have to find a better balance in my life to generate more social activity and fun stuff.  The problem is that I like working and keeping a tight, busy schedule. 
Back to Day Two:
Glad to be back!  Not glad to be possibly missing a commercial audition for “Charter Cable”, but there isn’t much I can do to prevent it.  
First up was getting my elf ears back in place and into wardrobe.  Then into another wardrobe.  Then back into the first wardrobe.  Then back into the second set of clothing.  At this point changing clothes became...not funny.  
Great.  I just got a call from my theatrical agent for a same-day appointment this afternoon for “GLEE”.  Unfortunately, it’s not looking like I’ll be able to make it.  That makes two appointments I’m missing today, but shooting is one of the better reasons to miss them. 
Finally, a few hours later I was shooting.  Fortunately, Mr. Pytka, was in a good, sharp humor-laden mood.  Our scene was up, we laughed, did our dialogue and we were finished, but not before I had some good-natured back and forth smack talking with the chief in charged.  I’ve never had a problem handling myself in the humor department.  Hey, maybe Mr. Pytka can make me a starrah!
We shot the scripted stuff plus some new stuff that had been written for us.  I have a good feeling about this whole situation.  Not that I think this spot, in particular, is going to do big things.  I think my commercial career into 2012 and beyond is going to kick into a higher gear and I cannot wait.  I’m excited and I’m ready!
After I was wrapped for the day I was thrilled to get the news that I was able to keep my elf ears.  Ha!  Yeah, I planned to wear them to work at the restaurant tonight.  I don’t know why; I figured it would be fun.  Anything to make the time go by.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shooting: “CDW” Downtown Los Angeles.  I felt I was off to a great start with this shoot when the director, Joe Pytka, arrived on set and smiled when he approved my costume and look.  Joe doesn’t smile for kicks; plus I’m wearing elf ears!
When I was booked my agent wasn’t sure I’d be working tomorrow and Friday, but it seems as though I will.  Wardrobe has asked me a few times if I have certain items to wear tomorrow.  Great, but hopefully I won’t miss any appointments.  We had a long day of work and before leaving it was confirmed that I’d be working tomorrow as 7am.  Ouch!
So I was wrapped and on my way.  The only thing was that I REALLY wanted to wear my elf ears to work at the restaurant tonight, but I couldn’t because they needed to be reattached tomorrow.  Anyway, I was able to get a whole 1 hour and 15 minutes of sleep before going to my night job to sling burgers at 9pm.  Ouch again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Audition: “MetLife” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Eh, this went okay I guess.  I thought I should have been able to get to the money shot sooner, but fortunately the session director helped me through it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

After a long night at work last night I got a great wake up call from my commercial agent Alicia with the news that I booked the CDW industrial.  The greatest part of the booking is that it’s to be directed by the legendary Joe Pytka.  I refer to Mr. Pykta as the “Steven Spielberg of the commercial world”.  He is an amazingly, talented and sometimes...interesting guy.  Plus he has a HUGE reputation for using actors over and over...and over again.  
I’ve worked with Joe twice in the past; both times for IBM.  The first of the two commercials didn’t air too much, but the second one aired a lot, was great fun...both on set and in the bank account.  Mr Pytka has a bit of a reputation for being tough on everybody on his set.  That includes the ad agency personnel, client, cast & crew.  I’ve heard stories of actors refusing to work with him again after a bad experience with him.  In my limited encounters with Joe I’ve always found him to be someone who has a biting sense of humor, but usually fun and good natured.
Anyway, Alicia gave me information for a fitting this morning that I can’t talk about since I signed a non-disclosure agreement.   All I’ll say is that it was great fun.
Tonight I attended a seminar entitled INSIDE THE MIND OF A THEATRICAL AGENT.  It was very informative and probably worth the $25 admission fee.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Audition: “Vlasic” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  This went really well.  It was in the same room as the kid I auditioned with a few weeks ago who seemed to be quite inexperienced.  This time it was an older lady who seemed just as new to the game.  She wanted, Michael, the session director to play the tape for us after we read the copy.  He didn’t.  It was funny though. 

As soon as I walked out of there my agency called with the news that I’ve been place on avail for the CDW industrial audition from Saturday.  Cool.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Today’s commercial class went pretty good.  It’s getting easier to watch my self on tape and be figure out what I need to work on and that gives me confidence.  I think this is really going to change my commercial presence in the market.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Audition: “CDW” @ TLC/Booth Casting.  Another Saturday audition, this time for an industrial.  I haven’t been to this office in who knows how long.  Funny, I drove by there just the other day trying to figure out how I could get back in there to audition.  Anyway, the audition had a lot of copy and I was happy with how I handled it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oh well.  I got the news this afternoon that I’ve been released from my DUNKIN DONUTS avail.  That’s okay I’m gonna book something else soon…at least that’s what they say at the agency.  Heck, with all I’m learning in my commercial class I wholeheartedly believe it too.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Audition: “Oreo” Jeff Rosenman Casting.  Great, subtle work.  I left the audition room very happy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Callback: “Dunkin Donuts” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Yes!  I walked out feeling really good about this whether it goes any further or not.

CUT TO: 6 hours later.

My agent calls to inform me that I’m on avail for “Dunkin Donuts”.  So close; yet so far.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Audition: “Wal-Mart” @ Kathy Knowles.  I might not be quite right for this spot, but I think it went really well.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Ouch!  Wow, I had a great, productive, but tough day in the commercial refresher class.  I’m so glad I’m facing my short comings and risking more; THAT is what’s going to make me better in the room.  2011 isn’t over; I’m not finished booking jobs.

Friday, November 04, 2011

A tough day, a really tough day.  Not sure what else to say…

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Audition “Dunkin Donuts” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  This went well; I’m feeling more confident in my auditions. 

Audition/Tape: “Prime Suspect” @ Lowy/Brace Casting.  This went great!  CD Linda Lowy even referred to me as “One take Stephon” with that I gracefully exited from the room with a huge smile on my face.  I think I might be too young to book the part, but that’s okay.  There will be another day for me at this office.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I must admit that I’m about to go crazy because I cannot get my iPhone to sync with iCloud and my calendar on my laptop.  I live by my calendar and when they are out of sync I’m not happy.  I have auditions on my calendar from back in 2001 and I do refer back to them for various reasons.  After 5-6 trips & 8-9 hours at the Apple store they escalated it to a senior analyst.  After 2 hours on the phone with him I’m back in business!  Yes!  No, Apple isn’t perfect, but they do try and I appreciate that.

Audition: “Aflac” @ Jessica J. Casting.  This was fun, painless and hopefully I’ll get a callback next week.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today I did a play reading with an actor who was on a very popular series a few years back.  I had never met this person before; my name was passed onto this person from someone else.  It was pretty cool, but right before walking in to the reading I got some very disturbing news that tested my focus.  I also got a chance to see what kind of living quarters four years on a successful network series buys.  Nice place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Audition: “Flight 7500” @ Kelly Wagner Casting.  This really should have gone a lot better than it did.  I was so caught up in whether I was going to make it scheduling-wise because the SAG Short shoots today as well.  My head was not in the game.  I think I was maybe a little young for the part, but I should have still auditioned well.  Sorry.

Shooting: “The Reginald F. Lewis Story”.  I had a good time with everyone on set.  I even got to say a few words in the scene.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Okay, tonight was the 4th and final night of my commercial class and I am thrilled to say that I learned a lot.  I think it’s going to make a big difference in my auditions and callbacks which should lead to more avails and bookings…at least that’s the plan.  I’m going to take another class there; I’m not sure what, but something to help cultivate my talent.  Maybe improv for commercials. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ugh!  I attended the SAG National Membership Meeting today.  Not sure what to feel about it, but I wish more actors would show up.  These contracts are very important and it’s only getting tougher to make a living as an actor.  I guess SAG and AFTRA are going to merge next year and I really hope it’s the start of a new beginning for us all.  A great, new beginning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week 3 in my commercial class.  OUCH!!  And I say that for the entire class.  At least the first half of the class.  The instructor, Killian, let us know that we were not up to the level we needed to be for callbacks.  He stopped the class and had a serious talk with us.  Yeah, this acting stuff, especially commercials, should be fun, but it’s serious business too.  He got through to us and the second half of the class was much better.  I’m thinking about taking this class over again early next year.  We’ll see.  I just feel like I’m learning a lot that will help me in the future. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Audition: Review with Forrest MacNeil” @ Rachel Tenner Casting.  Another okay one; yeah, just okay.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Busy morning.  Some fun, acting stuff and some serious exciting personal stuff.

Audition: “Safeway” @ broadcast.  This one was simple; it went okay.  I had very little to do, but I’m not sure how well I did it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yes!  I bought a Groupon last year for a deal to drive a NASCAR car.  Is that how you say it?  I don’t know.  Anyway, it was at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.  I had a blast and drove faster than I ever have in my life – 150.20 MPH.  It was a cool thing that I’d like to do with my brothers some day.  The crazy thing was that there was nothing preventing my from really jacking things up and putting that car into the wall at 150 miles per hour.  It wasn’t like there was padding around the track or anything.  It was just me haulin’ ass round dat der track getting’ er done!  Yee haw!

That excitement was quickly doused on the way home with some other more serious news I needed to give my attention to.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Audition: “Clorox” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  This was an interesting one because I was working with a child who, I think, was very new to the game.  He needed to do something to me in the scene.  Something he might have gotten in trouble for in real life and he had trouble crossing the line…into the dark side.  Maybe that’s a good thing for society that he knew right from wrong.  The flip side is that it might have cost our group a callback…who knows.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week number two of commercial class.  Things went a little better this week for most of the class.  Funny enough, I’m already considering taking this class over again early next year.  Why?  Well, I’m learning a lot and I think I can learn a lot more by facing my shortcomings, diving in headfirst and staying in.  There is a lot at stake for me.  I have to produce and get out of this “okay place” in my career.  I’ve got to make some things happen and make a serious push to move forward in this thing called acting.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Audition: “Xxxxx X” @ ghskgh Casting.  Can’t really talk about this one, but I hope I get a callback.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

After a long, busy night at work I woke up bright and early for the table read of the SAG short film I’m doing a small role in THE REGINALD F. LEWIS STORY.  Small, as in, not a single line of dialogue.  No problem.  The table read went well and I was able to have a presence even though I didn’t have much to say in the actual script.  It’s all a part of the bigger picture for the future.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Yesterday I read student scripts at Sun Valley High School and had a lot of fun getting to perform and act a little nutty.  Good times.  Today was a very exciting look into my future.  Wow. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Finally; my first night of my new commercial class at Killian’s Commercial Workshop.  Wow!  Killian runs the course in a very no non-sense fashion.  He’s there to teach, not to make you feel good…if you don’t do anything that warrants praise you will not get anyway, but he isn’t mean either.  I like his methods; it’s the real deal.  It wasn’t a good first showing for me, but that’s a good thing.  I have A LOT to learn about commercial and I am looking forward to getting better…much better.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Today I had a meeting with my financial advisor at the AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union.  For the last several years I’ve been trying to better with my finances.  I have to say that it’s made a huge difference in my life being able to pay all of my bills on time and save for a rainy and retirement…and a few other major things going on.  I think I understood about 20% of what she said, but at least it’s more than I understood beforehand.  2012 is going to be a very different year for me so I’m trying to get ready now.  Did I say 2012 is going to be a very different year?  It bears repeating, LOL!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Callback: “Sears” @ Francene Selkirk Casting.  So I’ve been going to this office for over 13 years and 2 months, through numerous callbacks, many avails, and…not one, single booking.  NOT ONE!  BUT, I know it is going to happen and, I believe, sooner than later.  The callback went well I think.  It was one of those auditions where they ask a question of you.  My question was, “What is something that others wouldn’t know about you?”  I revealed to the room that I cried during the film THE NOTEBOOK.  Ha!  The room got a good laugh out of it; which I think is a good thing.  Maybe I’ll get a call saying “I’m booked!”  That would be a great thing!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yes!  I received an email from Tamara Hunter from the SAG Short film audition Saturday saying that they were really happy with what I did in the room and the director wants me to play the part of the leads best friend.  What I read next though, made me laugh out loud.  There isn’t any scripted lines for this character, LOL!!!!  I laughed and laughed…and laughed.  Can a brotha get a line?  Evidently not.  Hey, we are in a recession; lines are hard to come by I guess.  Anyway, like I said before, I really want to be a part of this project…and it pays SAG Short Film rates.  ACTION!

Audition: “Sears” @ Francene Selkirk Casting.  This was a simple question and answer type of dealio.  I had fun with 5 other actors in the room with me.

Audition/Tape:  “I Hate My Teenaged Daughter” @ Zane/Pillsbury Casting.  Ugh…Wow, this was hard.  It was much more like a 4 minute acting class.  I’m so thankful that the casting director was patient with me.  She basically gave me line readings, but I do feel that, in the end, we got a good, clean take on the tape.  The question now is will I even be on the tape that goes to producers…hmm.

I have to say that I see more and more guest-star actors going in for co-star parts.  It’s tough out here!  There was a time where I would pick and choose what roles I’d go in for because I was really trying to move forward with more substantial roles.  But these days I’m more happy to just have to the opportunity to work and get paid SAG wages.  Plus, I feel that it’s usually better to be on set working than not on set working.  You never know what can happen when you’re in the mix.  I wanna stay in the mix.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Audition/Director/Tape: “The Reginald F. Lewis Story” @ Tamara Hunter Casting.  I love this story and want to be a part of it most any way I can.  It’s the story of Reginald F. Lewis, one of the most successful and wealthiest black businessmen of the 80’s.

It’s a Saturday morning audition.  Can a brother get some rest?  Evidently not.  Gotta keep moving.  I think it’s well worth it for Tamara and this director/writer fresh out of USC.

I had fun in the room…when we got the right scenes to read!  It was great; I flip-flopped a few lines but ended on a strong note.  But as importantly, I made them laugh – we all laughed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Callback: “Hyundai” Heidi Levitt Casting.  Yes!  Well, sorta.  I didn’t feel like I performed all that well in this callback, but ya never know.  I mean, I sure hope I get some good news, but I’d be a little surprised. 

This evening I received an email from a casting director for a SAG short film.  YES!  This is from an office I’ve been trying to get into for years and it’s ALWAYS on my drop-off list.  Of course, I dropped off a photo just a week or so ago; I also dropped a photo at the casting office for THE OFFICE which just across the street.  Just goes to show that the time I spend out in the field IS productive and my strategies are sound.  Actually, in the email she said that I might not remember her, but that we met earlier this year.  In reality, we met on November 28th 2007, almost FOUR years ago, BUT she thinks it was more recent.  Probably because I’ve done other things to keep on her radar.  I call that a success and I’m thrilled!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sleep?  Who needs sleep?  Me.  That’s who.  Who gets enough sleep?  Not me.  That’s who.  I’m not sure how I get away with it for such a sustaining period of time, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m not really fooling anyone…not even myself.  People, including me, need their rest, but I actually enjoy working…in general.  I don’t necessarily enjoy all aspects of my current employment situation, but I love the feeling of a “job well done”.  I LOVE it! 

Usually, as long as I know ahead of time what kind of time demands I have ahead of me I’m able to handle them, no matter how stacked BUT it’s getting old.  Really old…heck I’m getting older too!  But I try to keep moving and not give in to the temptation to…whatever the temptation is.  Issues man!  I got ‘em!

So I worked last night, Monday night, which is “my Friday/end of the week”, but that’s only for my night job week.  Ugh!  I got off of work around 4am, in the bed by 4:30 with an 3 alarms to wake up at 5:45 for my BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 call time of 7am in Pasadena.  To have a fourth “just in case” alarm, I even asked my little brother in Virginia to call me on his way to work.  I’m terrified of oversleeping for an acting job.  Oversleeping for slinging burgers, eh, not so alarming; oversleeping for an acting job – alarming.  Actually, I have a story about that. 

So I woke up at 5:45, but my body was telling me to relax for a bit.  I got out of bed at 6am, hopped in/out of the shower and was on my way to BHC3 by 6:20am.

SHOOTING: BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 – The Langham Hotel - Pasadena, CA – DAY –

Wow, the property was amazing; a beautiful hotel – five stars or diamonds or something like that.  I followed the signs to crew parking, checked-in with a PA who drove me to the production truck and my trailer.  As I was getting out of the golf cart two of the young leads in the film, Erin Cahill & Marcus Coloma, were getting in the same cart to go to rehearse the first scene of the day.  They both were very nice and immediately introduced themselves and shook my hand.  That doesn’t always happens.  Sometimes coming on to a production can be a little cold.  Not necessarily because people are mean, but there is just a lot going on.  It was very nice to feel welcomed.  I will definitely do the same when I am higher up on the call sheet.  You bet ya!

I’m playing a waiter in the film; which was ironic because just 3 hours ago I was actually being a waiter serving breakfast.  Now someone is getting breakfast for me!  I guess that’s “life imitating art” or however that saying goes.  The funny part was that at my job night I often wipe my hands on my apron, but as an actor in wardrobe I kept catching myself almost doing that.  Not a good thing for an actor in wardrobe.  It took me a minute to get used to that.

After a while of waiting in my trailer a production assistant drove me to set where my scene was to be shot.  I was reunited with Marcus & director Lev L. Spiro and met for the first time Cedric Yarborough, Frances Fisher.  This really caught me by surprised.  This kinda blew me away…well, not kinda, it did blow me away.  The first thing director Lev said to me was something about liking what I wrote in my blog after the audition.  I about froze in my tracks!  Heck, I DID freeze in my tracks!  That comment completely caught me by surprise.  I mean, yeah, after all these years of writing about my journey I do understand that it’s published on the WORLD WIDE WEB and that’s it very easy for anyone to find, but still.  I don’t know, it’s just funny to know ANYONE repped by CAA has read any of my stuff.  After I thawed out from being frozen in my tracks I smiled…not sure why, but I smiled.

So, back to rehearsal, we did a few blocking runs, 2nd team came in, they set up lights and focus and then we went back and filmed it.  Well, more accurately, taped it and that was about it.  It was a great time and possibly still early enough to make my audition for THE OFFICE.  As I was leaving and saying good-bye to Frances I thanked her for her service on the SAG board.  I think that really caught her by surprised and we really started talking about all that, not so happy, depressing SAG/AFTRA stuff…  In the middle of that, director Lev walked by, thanked me and said “don’t leave”.  I was confused because, obviously he wasn’t talking to Frances, she had many more scenes but I didn’t have any other scenes on the schedule, but of course I was going to stay…just in case.

We broke for lunch, actually, Marcus, one of leads and I got to talking about a whole bunch of stuff – acting, kids, personal finance, motorcycles, movies, writing, producing, etc.  Great conversation, cool guy. 

So I stayed after lunch…and stayed.  And stayed, for hours and then I was released.  I’m not sure why I wasn’t released sooner, but that’s okay; I definitely wanted to be there just in case Lev had something else in mind for me.  Fortunately, I got released right in time to make it to my, oddly late, 7:40pm commercial audition back in Hollywood. 

Audition: “Hyundai” Heidi Levitt Casting.  Wow, I hadn’t been to this building in years!  The casting office itself reminded me SO much of being in New York.  It made think of exactly how far I have come in this business.  It was a good feeling and I ran into one of the guys from the DEGREE commercial.   The audition was fun and went really well.  I felt productive…and tired.  Exhausted actually.  No slinging burgers tonight; I’m catching some shut-eye.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I’m tired; really tired.  These overnight hours and running a career during the day is taking its toll on me.  I’m not sure what to do different or if I should be doing anything different.  I think I’m on the right path to reach my goals in life.  Well, sometimes I think that.  Oftentimes I’m really excited, sometimes just excited and sometimes…kinda blue/blah.  Fortunately I don’t get downright depressed very often, but I does happen from time to time.  Thankfully, that state of mind doesn’t usually last more than a few to, at the most, several hours.  In general, I’m very encouraged about the future.  

Anyway, while in a deep, restful sleep, my phone rang at 10:45 this morning.  It was one of my theatrical agents.  He wanted to know if I could make it to the valley by 12pm for a one-day guest star audition that shoots in a few days in Atlanta.  It was last minute because casting emailed him over the weekend, but there was a problem when he forwarded the info to me so I had no knowledge of the appointment…until 10:45 this morning.

So I hopped out of bed, waited for the email, downloaded/printed the sides, took a shower and blazed over to CBS Radford.  Of course I can make it!  It’s my job to make it.

Audition: “The Game” @ Guthrie/Goddard-Smythe Casting.  I felt like it went well, but I wish I could have delivered the re-direct on the first take.  Somebody is going to the ATL in a few days…I sure would like it to be me.

Okay, it’s 6:30pm and I should probably be at home resting because I am scheduled to work at the restaurant at 9pm, PLUS I have a 7am call to shoot my scene in BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 in the morning.  So where am I?  Not sleeping.  I’m heading into a seminar entitled INSIDER MARKETING TIPS for the Pro Actor! @ the Showbiz CafĂ©.  The seminar was sponsored by Breakdown Services & CastingAbout

Right before going into the seminar my agent called with an appointment for THE OFFICE tomorrow morning.  It’s not looking like I’ll be able to make the appointment.  OUCH!  BUT working on a feature is a pretty good reason to not be able to make it. 

Anyway, back to the seminar.  It’s funny, I ran into a few people that were surprised that I was attending…even the organizers were surprised to see me.  I’m not sure why. I hope nobody thinks that I think I know everything there is to know about getting ahead in this business.  I have a long way to go; there is so much I haven’t experience that I hope to.  Plus, I’m an information junkie that likes to learn whatever is out there to learn.  When it was over I had to race out of there to get from West LA to West Hollywood to sling me some burgers into the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Audition: “ESPN Promo” @ Ross Lacy Casting.  Fun stuff.  This audition was run by one of those session runners that REALLY explains things well to give us, the actor, the best chance to have a successful performance.  Sometimes when I read for this particular guy I find myself trying too hard to listen to the details and I actually get lost in it…I know, weird.  Me and my baggage…if I could only get out of my own way and could “be a contendah!”  Anyway, I felt like my partner and myself put in a great effort which will, hopefully, leads us to callbacks and beyond.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Audition: “VW” @ RMB Casting.  This was a fun audition at a new casting office.  I went in with a couple of other funny guys and we had a great time.
After the audition I resumed my task of driving all over the city dropping off photos at casting offices.  It’s A LOT of work.  Plus, it was insanely hot last week, but that didn’t deter me in my quest to make something happen in my career.  I have to tell you though that doing the photo drops has become much more of a “job” for me that I enjoy less than I did in years past…but I still do it.  The saving grace is that it makes me feel productive and prevents me from “waiting by the phone”.  Also, I know that my competition, for the most part, is not out in the field doing the same.  I think it gives me an edge; an edge that I need.
I’m also really looking forward to taking a new commercial class next month.  So much that I wish the class was this month, but I guess I’ll just have to be patient.  I’m so eager to learn more so that I can be better “in the room”.  I plan to book more job before this year is over.  Yes I can; yes I do!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Now this was something I thought was pretty funny.  I ran into a guy that I thought I recognized, but I could not remember from where.  After 20-30 minutes it dawned on me that he was the “Can you hear me now?”  I can only imagine how often people approach him and think they know him from somewhere.  He was super nice so I asked him about it and he said “Yeah, I get that a lot”.  Then he said, “Do you have a commercial running right now?” 

I thought he was saying that that was something that people often say to him, but in actuality he was asking me if I “had a commercial running right now”.  I was stymied by the question and paused, then said, “Are you serious?”  Yes, he was actually asking me the question.  Wow, I have to tell you THAT made me smile; I was just caught so off guard by the notion that anyone recognized me.  It’s funny, because even though I’ve done 35-40 commercials I feel as though I’ve never booked anything in my life.  I guess I have.  Maybe I do have a chance in this business. Just maybe...

Something else really cool happened too.  I let a co-worker borrow one of my new books - Clark Howard's LIVING LARGE IN LEAN TIMES and he is RAVING about how much he's learning about getting his personal finances in order. Made my day I tell ya!  Changing the world – one person at a time!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Callback: “Planet Fitness” @ Francene Selkirk Casting. I can’t count how many times I’ve been to this office for auditions, callbacks and avails.  BUT I have never booked anything!  Nothing.  Not yet.  But it’s coming, I feel it. I know it. 

The callback went great...well, I nailed the 3rd take, LOL.  The director, based in New York, was very hands-on, very nice and complimentary of my initial audition.  My scene partner was taller than me, stronger than me, had a much deeper voice than me, wore waaay more lipstick than me AND had higher heels than me. She was a sweetheart though. Yeah, I was confused too...I just "went with it".

Wardrobe from BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3 called again today.  I guess that means I’m still employed AND I received a script from FedEx…2 good signs.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Today was pretty crazy to say the least.  Actually, kinda mind-blowing in many ways.  Things are about to get interesting…I’ll leave it at that.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Audition: “Capital One” @ ASG Casting.  Fun stuff.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Audition: “Planet Fitness” @ Francene Selkirk Casting.  Ha! This seems like it’ll be a pretty funny commercial.  I think I’m really right for it too.  So hopefully I’ll be at the callbacks next week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This morning the assistant at my theatrical agency called to see if I was available on Monday. I’m not sure why, but hopefully it’s for something good.

CUT TO: - Many hours later.

My theatrical agent calls to inform me that I have an offer/booking for a role in “BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 3” a Disney Home Video Production. Cool. I’m thrilled to book something. I hope it’s the start of something…

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Audition: “Xxx” @ Xxxxxing. Non-disclosure agreement signed. Didn’t happen.
Alright, a full week later, I’m still trying to figure what the deal is with my car. I don’t like what I’m hearing from my mechanic so I’m forced to look deeper. The internet is a tremendous tool in doing free research. My battery tested bad, but I think those test simply read the current state of the battery; they don’t tell much more than that. First they wanted to sell me a new battery…I said “No, no, no”. I got the battery from Costco and I knew I could exchange it.
My research pointed to the notion that the problem might be the electrical part of my ignition switch. So I priced it, bought it and installed it myself. YEAH! Saving the auto shop labor cost and learning something new myself. I think I diagnosed it correctly…time will tell.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Audition: “Target” @ Alyson Horn Casting. Here I am, back again, to audition for this commercial with different direction. It’s not a callback, just a “do-over” I guess. Anyway, I think it went well enough. Maybe. I kinda felt myself working…I don’t usually like that feeling, we’ll see.

Callback: “AT&T” @ RMB Casting. Ha! Me and my partner were in and out of that room so fast it was actually funny. I’m thinking “no” there not at all interested in us. Not even a little. NEXT!

After the callback in Santa Monica I decided to brave afternoon, rush hour traffic and attempt to get to the Barnes & Noble in Burbank for a book release & signing. The author is Clark Howard and his new book is called LIVING LARGE IN LEAN TIMES. Clark was instrumental in helping me change my thinking about how I spend my hard-earned dollars. It’s made a huge difference in my life because now I feel that I have some control over how, when and why I spend. I wanted to meet him and personally thank him for his guidance. It has not only helped me, but it has given me the opportunity to “pay it forward” and encourage many others to get on the bandwagon of personal finance.

I made it to the signing and got a chance to listen to him speak. It was a little weird hearing his voice and seeing him in person after listening to hundreds of hours of him on podcast over the years. Actually, I listen to him 2x speed because I usually have a lot of podcast to catch up on. In person, it sounded like he was talking really slow, LOL!

At any rate, I bought the book for him to sign. I felt weird about spending the cash on it (he recommends getting it from the library for free!) because I hear so much in the podcast, but I looked at it as supporting what he does and a small price of thanks. Plus, after I read it, I’ll have it to let someone else borrow and they can hopefully benefit from what he has to say too. I’m really glad I made it over there.

Myself & Clark Howard

While I was on my way to Burbank the guy that I met last week at the audition that recommended that I try stand up comedy called and invited me to his comedy show later this evening…60 or 70 miles away. Cool, I’m off work tonight I’ll go.

Well…I tried to go to the comedy show. Half-way there my car broke down on the 605 in the middle of…somewhere. Ugh! I had it towed to my mechanic in Studio City and left it there so they could, hopefully, fix it in the morning.

Now, to get home from Studio City. I skateboarded to the subway @ Universal City, rode it one stop to Hollywood/Highland and then skateboarded the rest of the way back to West Hollywood. I LOVE riding the subway and I LOVE skateboarding. I don’t love when my car breaks down though and I hated that I missed the comedy show.


Life on the Sunset Strip…

I'm curious as to how many people, when staying in a hotel, order room service and when it's delivered answer the door completely naked, but act as though they are fully clothed? Just curious.