Monday, April 30, 2012

Shooting” TOTAL RECALL @ Sony Studios.  10am call time.  Back into wardrobe and ready to rock & roll!  Again, I did a bit of waiting before finally getting on set and meeting Jessica Biel…whoa, that young lady is beautiful; like naturally beautiful, not so much in a typical Hollywood way.  More like a girl next-door knock out.  She’s really nice too. 

The thing about doing these really small parts is that they can…not shoot them.  I had a weird feeling that could happen so I was really happy to finally get called to set and interact with the director, Len Wiseman.  I was dressed the same as many of the background players so I’m not really sure that they knew I wasn’t actually one of them.  It’s a $200 million dollar production with a ton of things going so I just needed to do as I was told and hope for the best; there wasn’t much more I could do than that.

After a while of doing that scene we broke for lunch and afterwards I waited around for several hours.  Finally the word came to me that I was wrapped…without shooting “my stuff”.  Ouch!  It certainly wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I have enough experience in the game to know that booking a job doesn’t mean I will get to actually shoot the job.  Well, I got to shoot a little and that’s better than none.  I’d been on set since 10am; it’s now 8:35pm and I’m supposed to be at work @ 9pm.  I had called the restaurant earlier to let them know I would, most likely, be at least a little late.

Oh yeah, I got a photo with Colin, but I promised him I wouldn’t post it until after the movie opened.  Cool dude that Colin Farrell. 

How hard is it to go from the set of a $200 million dollar movie directly to slinging burgers to drunk people on The Sunset Strip 45 minutes later?  Well, for me, not that hard, BUT I’m SO looking forward to the day when that is no longer in the cards for me.  Now, I just have to hope that I’m in the final credits…that is a big deal for the bottom line.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shooting: TOTAL RECALL @ Sony Studios.  I arrived for a relaxing call time of 12pm, which was nice after working all night last night.  I checked in, got into my wardrobe, waited in my trailer, talked to some background folks, waited, went to lunch, got a glimpse of Colin Farrell (dude is in really good shape) finished lunch, waited some more, had a great conversation with “Veronica” about personal finance, and waited and was wrapped for the evening, 8 ½ hours later without shooting a single frame.  Thankfully I don’t have to work at the restaurant tonight.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My stand up comedy class went okay today.  The funny is that I felt really prepared going in!  But when I got up to the microphone I blanked out a few times which interrupted my flow.  It wasn’t all bad though, some of my material worked quite well.

Friday, April 27, 2012

This morning I read scripts that the students at Los Angeles Leadership Academy wrote.  I think it’s a magnet school; I’m not sure what that means...or if I spelled it right, but I guess the students are “gifted” as opposed to “at risk” which sometimes describes the other schools I read scripts at.  As usual it was a complete blast.  The students and teachers really appreciate the efforts of the performers in attendance and we, the performers; really appreciate being a part of something meaningful.   I always look forward to the next one.

Wardrobe fitting @ Sony Studios.  Yeah!  One step closer to this being a real thing that will actually happen.  I say that because there are so many steps in which things “can go wrong”.  Not really “go wrong”, but not go to the full fruition of what an actor hopes a booking will be.  At this point I’m guaranteed one day of pay.  Nothing more; nothing less. 

When I arrived at the wardrobe trailer @ Sony Studios my wardrobe was all set and ready to go, but there was one problem.  The pants that they had set out for me HAD to be for a woman…a small woman.  Me, being the trooper, good sport and maybe fool that I am attempted to put them on.  I’m surprised I didn’t pass out and break the zipper in the process.  I told the wardrobe person that “we need a bigger boat”.  They found me some larger, man-sized pants and I was in and out in a jiffy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

SFX: Phone ringing: 11:12am – After working last night, of course, I was asleep when one of my theatrical agents called and said that, Debra Zane Casting, one of my favorite casting offices requested my jacket & pant size and if I’m available this Sunday & Monday.  Exciting news to say the least.  She told me what the project was and what she thought might be going on.  Cool.  Back to sleep…with a smile on my face!

After I woke up I was talking to my little brother, Todd, about how I sometimes forget about the strides I have made in my career thus far.  It’s so easy to get caught up in what I haven’t accomplished and forgot what I have accomplished.  I was explaining to him how important this casting office is in the business.  Some of her recent credits are:  Plant of the Apes, Twilight, & The Hunger Games and a new NBC series on the horizon.  I am quite fortunate to have someone like her in my corner AND she’s a great lady to boot!

Cut to: Phone ringing  - 5:08pm - The call comes that “they are going with me for TOTAL RECALL.  What?  TOTAL RECALL???  Wait, I’m confused.  I thought I was being considered for a role in a pilot being shot.  TOTAL RECALL sounds like a film; a remake in fact.  Part of the reason I’m confused is that I didn’t audition for either project.   Yeah, this is a direct booking.

Turns out, there was a little bit of confusion as to what the project was/is.  For a moment I thought I had booked two, separate projects, but that wasn’t the case.  I’m excited no matter what; it’s been a long time since I’ve been cast in a studio film.  So yes, the booking is one or two days on TOTAL RECALL starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel & Kate Beckinsale. Debra cast me in THE TERMINAL from dropping of my headshot, also Ocean’s Twelve & Ocean’s Thirteen…(didn’t actually get to shoot either one though…long story).  Debra and her team that includes, Tannis & Shayna, are just wonderful people and I feel so, so fortunate that they think of me for their projects.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Audition: “Nissan” @ RMB Casting.  This was fun, but I had NO idea what I was doing.  I just tried to act like it.  I think I did a pretty god job.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My comedy class went pretty well today.  Better than last week.  I was much less nervous and I like my teacher and classmates.  The homework writing exercises are difficult because things don’t usually seem so funny when I’m writing them down.  I guess I just have to try to make it a habit.  Or not.   

My 23 year-old nephew, Trey, called me today with some great news.  He opened up a Roth IRA account.  I had a conference call with he and his older sister September 5th 2009 about the topic of personal finance.  At the time he was a junior in college and didn’t really have the money to do it, but the information stayed with him.  I’m far from an expert on the topic, BUT I am an expert on how I became debt-free.  I wanted to give them some of the guidance that I didn’t get when I was their age.  It might not even be guidance.  Maybe it’s just a sounding board and a sharing of ideas.

I also treated a fellow employee to lunch this week while we discussed his financial situation.  We started talking about it 2 years ago, but he wasn’t committed enough to actually start moving in that direction back then, but now he seems to be a little more serious about it.  It’s scary to think how far along he would be in the process if he’d started then, but it’s better that he start now than later.  I spoke to him a few days later and I can tell that our time together was fruitful.  He sounds more confident and actually excited about the future of his finances.  He’s got a new pep in his step.  I can attest that it’s made a huge difference in my life and I’m just trying to encourage others to take a serious look at their hard-earned dollars.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This morning I received an email from a New York-based CNN producer about a story that broke concerning a Super Bowl commercial that had been airing.  Reportedly, the casting notice for the commercial was looking for an “African-American car dealer.  Nice looking, friendly.  Not too dark.”  Ooops. 

The producer wanted to know if this sort of thing was common and if I was available to speak with them about it.  Hmmm.

Then, a while later, I received another email from a Los Angeles-based CNN producer.  This producer I know and am friendly with.   It was tricky and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get involved without knowing much about the specific casting.  I am very familiar with the casting office, I audition there regularly and have booked commercials there in the past. 

The story didn’t specify who or why the directive was put in the casting notice.  Did it come from the ad agency, the client, the casting office, etc?  I don’t know.    Was it for technical/lighting/special effect reasons, was it racism, etc?  I thought it was probably best that I issue a “No Comment” on the agents agreed.  I felt important for a moment.  Like my opinion mattered!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Audition/Tape: “Switched At Birth” @ Dee Dee Bradley Casting.  This went good, I guess.  If nothing else the associate, Alison Mize, remembered me from meeting her years and years ago.  Even said I was one of her favorites.  Cool! 

Audition: “Wendy’s’ @ Alyson Horn Casting.  Simple stuff.  Nothing I couldn’t handle.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Last night I was working at the restaurant and I waited on a couple of actors I know from the audition circuit.  It always a little odd for me when I see people I now there, maybe not odd for them, but it is for me.  Anyway, of course, the “how are things going” talk comes up and I mentioned that I was taking an ongoing commercial class.  They were really surprised and intrigued as to why.   All of us have worked a bit in the biz and many actors look at commercials as something that don’t take much skill.  I kinda disagree with that and the bottom line for me is that I think I have A LOT to learn about commercials and performing in general. 

So today in my commercial class it was clear, very clear, as to why I am in class.  I was horrible and boring on tape.  I just didn’t look as though I was having any fun.  I know I’m not like that all of the time, but still…I’ve got a long way to go.  The particular commercial we were performing was actually an infomercial – 4 pages of dialogue.  I was concentrating more on getting the words right than being watchable.  As a result I did pretty well with the words and was pretty unwatchable…I was cringing in my seat, BUT I felt it was part of getting better.  And I’m going to have to get better if I expect to book jobs, make a living and move forward in my career. 

So yes, I’m in an ongoing commercial class.  And I’m proud of myself for getting up Sunday mornings after waiting tables all night Saturday night to do something for my career.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Finally.  Today I started a stand-up comedy class with Judith Shelton.  I was completely and utterly terrified when I walked into the class.  Fortunately, Judith, is extremely warm and inviting.  I needed that.  I was beyond nervous.  Especially when we all introduced ourselves at the beginning of the class.  I don’t know why, but I just wanted to be anonymous, completely invisible…but at the same time I have a lot to share.  I think…

Anyway, we went through a few exercises and even got up on the microphone a few times.  I think I was okay.  Not NEARLY as funny and entertaining as I can be as “myself”.  Sometimes I come off as being totally serious and not much fun, but I’m not like that all of the time or even most of the time.  Judith asked me what I’m like “around my friends”.  I told her “I gotta get some friends”.  She thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t at all.  I live a very quiet life.  I mean, I know people, but my phone rarely rings for social events.  In short, I’m pretty lonely.  She said I should call my set GOTTA GET SOME FRIENDS.  I like it.  Plus, it’s true.  Very true.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Callback! “Ford Escape” @ popcasting.  This went really well I think.  The casting director was very complimentary of my work AND I made them laugh in the room.  I was proud of my performance and, hopefully, I will get into this office more often in the future.  The rhythm of the dialogue told me a lot about who might be in the room at the callback and I was right.  No matter what happens I’m happy with how it went.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Tax Day!  Well, not “Tax Day”, but the day I’m getting my taxes prepared.  Last year I was hoping for a big return so that I could put it towards the extensive dental work I was planning to have done.  I left her office in a very sour mood.  This year was the complete opposite; my state & federal return was larger than I expected.  After last year this was a big surprise.  Ha! I’m tempted to purchase the big screen television I’ve wanted for more than a year, but I think I’m going to invest in more shares of Apple stock instead.  I figure I can put it there, be patient and maybe have the investment pay for the television.  Of course, there is no guarantee that will happen, but I am willing to take the risk that it will.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

UGH!  Oh no!  A crown came lose in my mouth while I was flossing yesterday morning.  I called my dentist and was able to get an appointment right away.  She put a very light covering on it…which lasted a whole 2 hours.  I think it dissolved.  I went back this morning and she put something a little more permanent in place for the 2 weeks while the lab remakes the permanent crown…at no charge – whew!  That “more permanent one” lasted about 4 hours…

The good news is that it’s not painful.  At all.  Well that’s not totally true.  The pain is from the work she did in preparing the tooth for the temporary.  After that last one came off 4 hours later I decided that I ain’t going back until the permanent one is ready.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Audition: “Ford Escape” @ popcasting.  Wow, the commercial had way more copy than many of my theatrical auditions.  It went really well.  I implemented some of the things I’ve learned in my ongoing commercial training.  The casting director was in the room; which is pretty rare in commercials.  She seemed very happy with my performance and said that I was “making her job easy”.  Yeah!