Monday, June 30, 2008

Kickass Vertically-Challenged Celebrity Sighting Of The Month.

Wee-Man, from “Jackass”.
Outside Spot Casting on La Brea, Friday afternoon.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm Curious...

If a woman is working on my car, can they legally call the place Pep Boys?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kickin’ It With Shevin.

Even at my not-yet-blown-up acting status, my name is plastered all over the Internet. So I signed up for Google Alerts, which notifies me whenever my name appears in a news article or website.

It works rather well, though occasionally I get an alert that contains the words “Matt” and “Shevin” that isn’t about me. In 1997, a college football play occurred in which Nebraska wingback Shevin Wiggins bobbled a pass, fell and wound up kicking it into teammate Matt Davison’s hands for a huge touchdown. The play is now known as the “Flea Kicker”.

Often, when the play is mentioned, and it got plenty of pub on its ten-year anniversary, I receive an alert about it. I actually thought it was way cool that my namesake was a historic D1 football player, until I received an alert about him being arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child for allegedly fondling two 14-year-old girls. Yeah, not so much.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Johnny Tips-A-Lot.

Acting and waiting tables. Two great things that go wretchedly together.

Schlepping food’s a necessary evil to pay the bills on the way up the entertainment ladder, so you’d think actors would know best when it comes to leaving a tip.

Last night, on my porn box I stumbled across a website that proves that many of them do.

In this town, you better damn well behave. Yesterday I heard a story from a casting director about a big comic actor who’s actually a major bite in the ass. I’ll think twice about seeing his next film. In the meantime, here are the good guys:

Top 20 Celebrity Tippers

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Let's Talk, Dave.

Whenever I see a movie that really moves me, I write a letter to the director telling him that I really like his work, and insinuate that I'd really like to work with him. Yes, I’m fully versed on the state of California anti-stalking statutes.

The next letter I write is going to be to David Fincher. Above is the trailer for his new film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It looks to be a cinch for an Oscar nomination.

The film is based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and stars Brad Pitt as an 80-year-old man who is aging backwards, and in the middle of his life falls in love. It’s Fincher and Pitt’s third time teaming up, after Fight Club and Se7en.

I’m going to tell David Fincher how much I appreciate the way he crafts his movies. That they not only have a unique visual style; their intricate scripts separate them from anything else in theaters. They are instant classics, and I must work with this man.

I'm kinda starting to realize why you must control your intake of mood elevators before posting a blog entry.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pay The Man.

It’s cool to see big stars take on TV roles, but their high salaries have made the rest of ours as randomized as Scrabble tiles.

Martin Sheen made $300,000 per episode on “The West Wing”. But what about a guy on that show that I really liked: Michael O’Neill, who played the head of the Secret Service? That’s him on the left.

Michael really brought authority to his role. Even his mustache assured me that the President was never gonna get his ass kicked.

In addition to “The West Wing”, Michael’s appeared in over 60 TV shows and movies. He was the trainer in Seabiscuit. He co-starred opposite Michael Caine and Robert Duvall in Secondhand Lions. Yet he still has to put in time as a construction worker to make ends meet.

Last year, the Sunday LA Times ran a huge piece about him. He’s the father of three young daughters, and he and his wife often have what they call “the talk”, in which Michael considers giving up acting and moving to Idaho for a more reasonable cost of living.

Not three days after the Times ran the article, I was sitting in an acting workshop when Michael came in to watch one of his actor friends perform her scene. I hadn’t performed yet, and felt an instant overdose of anxiety with him in the room.

I pulled it together and felt good about my scene, and after the workshop approached Michael and told him I was a fan. He gave me the most skeptical look, wondering how I could feel that way about a character actor. I told him I’d read the Times article and he instantly warmed up, confiding in me that he worried that he’d come off as bitter. I reassured him that he hadn’t, and that I viewed him as an actor who’d paid his dues and deserved better. He shook my hand.

I watched Transformers last night, and Michael has a pretty substantial role in the film, maybe one of the meatiest of his career. I hope he was appropriately paid for it. Let someone else lay the rebar in this town.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I was very sorry to hear George Carlin died yesterday.

Years ago, I drove through the icy rain with my friends to see him in concert in Poughkeepsie, NY. I’m really glad I did.

But he wasn’t only a comedic genius; his dramatic role as the neighbor in The Prince of Tides was a very complicated performance that really surprised me.

I was listening one night to a talk radio show in L.A., on which George was a guest. A guy called in and said that he had dated George’s daughter, and found him to be the nicest man.

George Carlin was a stud.

Special Guest Blogger: My Mom.

Email I received yesterday:

People are going to think you are gay from your last blog entry.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No Objection.

While I have no problem with gay marriage, I’m vehemently against heterosexual unions. Us freaks together is just unnatural.

Yet, if you’ll recall, my friend Alan asked me for acting advice before he proposed, so that he could maintain his composure and not cry. I gladly helped him out. He can blame me later.

Alan recently went ahead and turned pro. Picture of the happy couple above.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Big Brother. Huge Heart.

After I wrote about my friend Chas passing, his brother Wayne left a comment that was very special to me. Then Wayne, a musician, sent this to me through my brother:

I wrote this song about Chas and hope to record it as a tribute to him. Please share this with your brother Matt. He inspired me with his blog about Chas "to go after my dreams".
All the world’s a circle, my friend.


Wow. Here are the lyrics:


Time keeps slippin’ babe, another 6 a.m.
A lot to do as the mornin’ glow creeps in
I hit the boards runnin’, gotta think, gotta plan,
On this Manhattan train, to make a final stand

For it's chemo at 8, to the office by 9
Keep on smilin’ my friends, can't get left behind
On these busy streets and high-rise hallways,
Everybody’s got a story to tell, some of heaven,
Some goin’ through hell

In this road brother, there's no compass, no retreat
Keep livin’ each day on Courage Street

On Courage Street, where the faithful pray
On Courage Street, broken hearted stray
On Courage Street, you get cut to the bone
On Courage Street, you gotta stand alone

Hearts on fire, full of love and prayers
Miracles to keep me here.
Cancer’s pullin’ me to the other side,
As I search for strength to stay alive

My boys, my sons, Lord I need more time
Pop Warner and dating and lessons that bind
No bitterness, no regrets, but don't take me away
Chris and Connor need me to stay.

Livin’ on Courage Street, the silent masses cry
Down on Courage Street, our brothers and sisters die
On Courage Street, you gotta make a stand
On Courage Street, fingers laced in hands

For on Courage Street, the faithful pray
On Courage Street, broken hearted stray
On Courage Street, you get cut to the bone
On Courage Street, I wasn't alone.

For this spirit’s alive my brother
No regrets, no defeat
Heaven’s full of souls
Who walked down Courage Street

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Over My Dead Body.

Speaking of inscribing my tombstone, I found a website in which you can, virtually:

Tombstone Generator

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Century Mark.

100 posts, and all I have to show for it is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my “me-time” hand.

Actually, I hope you enjoy reading ‘em as much as I enjoy slaving over ‘em. And for this momentous occasion, I’ve chosen my five favorite entries thus far:

Rest In Peace, My Friend. It was both difficult and easy to write at the same time, if you know what I mean. And the response from his family was overwhelming. Honor the man here.

'Tis Better To Receive. All modesty aside, I love every word of this one. I may have it inscribed on my tombstone. Grab the sports section and get comfortable here.

Kickass Actor/NFL Star/Beer Pitchman Meeting Of The Month. Seeing celebrities out and about in L.A. is one of my favorite perks of living here. Bubba was the nicest guy. Dare to protect your quarterback here.

The Hot Racist. I like this one because it’s a veritable shepherd’s pie of life as a single actor in L.A. Feel the hate here.

יְהוּדִי לִפְנֵ אֶגוֹכֵּן. It begs the philosophical question about which was more objectionable at the time: my talent, or my ethnicity. Plus I figured out a way to use Hebrew in a title. Get verklempt here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mini Hits It Big.

On Wednesday nights, I’m part of an ongoing workshop, in which big-time writers and directors bring in new scripts to have actors perform scenes from them. They get to hear their work out loud, direct us, and if they like us, call us in for auditions.

Last week’s guest was TV showrunner Nat Bernstein. I find the term showrunner to be misleading; while it’s the industry title for people who make $400,000 a week executive-producing TV shows, it sounds more like what you call the kid who makes minimum to hoof it to the commissary for a dozen bagels.

Anywho, at the end of the night, Nat was asked for one piece of advice he could give actors. His answer was brilliantly succinct: “When your big opportunity comes, be prepared.”

A few days after Nat’s mantra was still resonating, I had a workshop with Todd Sherry, casting director for the TV show “Chuck”. Todd told a story about needing to cast a sexy female spy for an episode. An agent had sent him a headshot for a former Victoria’s Secret model named Mini Anden. Her only credits were fashion reality shows, but Todd figured he’d give the writers and producers a treat and have this very pretty woman come in.

Mini auditioned and wound up completely knocking it out of the park. They gave her the role. The episode aired, and the next day, the phones in Todd’s office rang off the hook. Producers all over Hollywood wanted to know who this woman was and how she could be reached. Her life changed in a flash.

When I moved in to my apartment, I took over the lease from my now sister-in-law. Left behind were some furniture, pots and pans, and a bottle of champagne in the fridge. I asked a friend what I should do with the champagne, and he said, “You’ll know when to open it.” You guys will be the first to know when I do.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kickass 80s Soap Star Sighting Of The Month.

Anthony Geary from “General Hospital”. He’s the blur with his wife. My fault– I wasn’t quick on the draw with the phone cam.
ArcLight Theater, Saturday night.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Belated Eulogy.

Today is the first Father’s Day in which I don’t have a father.

After my dad's funeral in September, I regretted not having delivered the eulogy. Maybe I was too overwhelmed at the time.

I hope that my brothers don't strictly remember our dad as the ill, cantankerous man he'd become in his last years of life. My recollections grow increasingly positive as months pass, and I realize he taught us more than even he ever realized.

The day my dad graduated from college, his father told him he wanted to take him to get a nice coat that he could wear on his upcoming interviews. He went to a clothing store with his parents, picked out an expensive coat and they all got in line to pay for it. When he reached the register, my dad turned around and his parents had vanished. When he finally tracked them down in the far reaches of the store, his father told him he would grudgingly loan him the money for the coat but wanted to be paid back.

My father told me that story as he and I drove home from my college graduation. It’s a daunting feeling, graduating with no idea what the future holds, and my father wanted me to know that he never wanted me to feel the way he felt with his parents that day in the store. Well done, Dad.

Last Sunday, I went to a block party on my older brother’s neighborhood. As his four-year-old daughter stood on the edge of a neighbor’s pool, she suddenly fell in. My brother didn’t hesitate for a second and dove in after her, fully-clothed. The only casualty was his cell phone. Well done, Andrew.

I called our mom and told her what happened, and she recalled a family trip in which out of the corner of her eye, she saw my older brother, then five years old, fall into a hotel pool. Our dad didn’t hesitate for a second, and dove in after him. Well done, Dad.

One of the chief responsibilities of a parent is to make sure his children feel safe and protected. And whether it was something as benign as a coat for interviews, or as life-threatening as a fall into a pool, for much of our lives our dad was there for us.

So here’s to our fathers. And their sons.

Friday, June 13, 2008


“Slick” was never a word synonymous with my name. But I’m okay with that. I know I’m the sort of person who flubs when trying to show off anyway. Dress me in Bruno Maglis and they’ll walk their way onto the nearest banana peel.

My friend Chad calls my antics “Mattventures”, and they’re a common occurrence. Like when I sold my soul to pursue an anti-Semitic blonde only to still be denied access (hence the t-shirt above, which I should be forced to wear like a scarlet letter A.) Or the other night, when I tried to show off by passing my friend Jeff doing 110 mph on Rosecrans Boulevard in another friend’s G35, and Jeff called to let me know my headlights weren’t on. Or when I left the sunroof open on my now ex-girlfriend’s new GMC Yukon, and it rained Katrina-style all night. I could go on, but my tears will short out the keyboard.

Chad himself has had a couple doozies, like the time he dove 8 feet into a 6-foot pool, smashed his noggin, and then posed for his driver’s license photo the next day with a face full of scabs.

Since it’s Friday, my favorite day of the week, I’ve decided to give myself a half-day, go sip a Zima and turn the reins over to you guys to leave comments recanting some of your own smooth moves. You know you got ‘em.

P.S.– Boca Goy, as tempting as it will be to make an Austin Powers reference, gimme at least one real one.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Dangerous Use Of Your Computer Machine.

I’d like to begin this entry with an apology. I’m sorry for ruining your life.

The website I am about to tell you about will make you shirk your responsibilities. You’ll lose your job. Your wife will move in with her sister. But you’ll be entertained all the way to the bankruptcy court.

It’s called, and it’s chock full of TV shows. Full-length TV shows. Recent ones, like “30 Rock” and “24”. Classics, like “WKRP in Cincinnati” and “Miami Vice”. I am legally hooked.

Click below. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spousal Abuse.

Sometimes being an actor is like a 50-yard field goal in NFL, wherein your butt is the football.

I posted a few months ago about getting to kiss a Playboy playmate in a scene in a movie. What I didn’t mention was the gist of the scene: the woman I was kissing wasn’t my girlfriend, and when my girlfriend showed up she was one pissed chick, and delivered a richly-deserved slap across my face.

My girlfriend was played by an actress named Timmi Cragg, pictured with me, above. Timmi is a super-sweet Canadian girl, and was hesitant to really whale on me. Attempting to be some sort of a dedicated actor, I told her to let it rip.

What ensued was a series of me answering the door, Timmi cranking me in the face, the director yelling cut, Timmi apologizing and me telling her I was fine. Then I’d close the door for the next take and mouth a giant “Ow!” to the crew, who cracked up every time. Twelve takes of that. My jaw clicked for week.

Now I know certain friends will leave comments about this post, questioning my manhood, which is fine (I get it – a 105-lb. woman rendered me a wuss). But the reason I wrote this today was more cathartic than anything else. You see, I found out last week that the boss who replaced the toilet seat boss, a man who turned out to be twice the jerkoff of his predecessor, is retiring at age 52 and moving to Cabo.

I simmered about it until yesterday, when one of my best friends pointed out that people who retire at age 52 are often doing so because they hated their careers. And that was this douche in a nutshell. I felt remarkably better, because I truly love my career. I get to go places few people get to go to. I get to meet people (and sometimes monkeys) few people get to meet. And I’ll be doing it well past the age of 152. Yes, 152. That ain’t a typo.

So enjoy thinking about your legacy every day in Mexico, pendejo. I gotta go get paid to kiss a Playboy playmate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kickin’ Ass And Livin’ On A Houseboat.

A friend of mine forwarded this to me. I laughed for about five days.

Monday, June 9, 2008

‘Tis Better To Receive.

I’m in the habit of giving myself a gift whenever I accomplish anything of note in my life. When I moved to L.A., I bought myself a watch. When I signed with a new agent, a fancy shirt. Each serve to remind me of the milestones.

I’m also in the habit, when I’ve had day jobs, of serving under bosses who despise my very being. Apparently, happy-go-lucky, aspiring actor-types don’t skew well with the midlife-crisis demographic.

One boss in particular wasn’t equipped with even a nanogram of compassion; his raison d'être was to piss on my parade. Somehow, miraculously, he was asked to pack his things and vacate the premises before he got his chance to clip me. The date was March 11th, and it’s now officially recognized in my home as Independence Day. It was gift-time for Matt.

Since I have a knack for always finding the perfect gift for anyone, I knew exactly what I was going to get myself: the toilet seat you see above.

So now, every time I take a twosie, I think of you, ya reptile. God bless.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy 50th.

Hard to believe Prince has hit the half-century mark. I’m gonna celebrate by watching the very underrated Purple Rain (and I was gonna say “while wearing 5-inch men’s heels”, but that would be weird.)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Special Guest Blogger, Michael Caine.

From the book, Acting in Film:

“There’s no sure-fire trajectory to the movies, no one route to Hollywood. There’s not one book to read, or one café to sit in. Your performance in all public arenas is part of the screen test. If you’re in a bar where nobody’s ever seen you before, you’re being auditioned by the bartender. He knows that dude who comes in late Tuesday nights for a quick drink is married to the woman whose sister is the makeup artist on a sitcom. If you’re taking your little girl to school in the rain, you’re being monitored by the crossing guard. She changes costume and goes off as a part-time secretary to an off-Broadway producer. You never know when or how the people you meet are going to suddenly set off the chain reaction that will generate your break.

And you don’t stop campaigning just because you’ve made it, either. I remember doing a film with Shirley McClaine: Gambit. A tour bus pulls up pretty smartly as the actors are crossing the studio lot. Fans come piling out of the bus. The driver is trying to corral the actors into signing autographs on our way in. Most of the actors escaped the crowd through a side door. I, on the other hand, knew the bus driver had a job to do, and I was going to make him look good. I signed every autograph on that bus. No big deal, right? Until I tell you that the young driver of that bus turned out to be Mike Ovitz. See what I mean?”

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Eat My Tattered Shorts.

This week, the actors who provide the voices for “The Simpsons”, after a long standoff, came to a contractual agreement to return to the show, guaranteeing a 20th season.

I’m a huge fan, and figured I send a headshot over there. In character, of course. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Cold Day In Heaven.

A couple years ago, I had a role in a commercial for the Chevy Equinox (the SUV you see above. And that’s me on the left.)

The commercial was shot at Mammoth Mountain, a ski resort in California. At 6 a.m., as I crept up the windy road at the base of the resort, I watched the external temperature gauge in my car subtract from 0 degrees to -1, -2, to -5.

The commercial featured two couples arriving at a ski chalet. We got out of the SUV, grabbed our bags and headed toward the house. Simple enough. Except the temperature stayed pegged at -5, and I'd never been exposed to negative degrees, let alone when I was wearing just a sweater and jeans.

We couldn’t keep the car engine, and thus the heater, on because the fumes from the exhaust would ruin the shot. My bottled water was frozen solid. So were the Egg McMuffins brought to us for breakfast. So was I.

Jeff Nicosia, ace creative director/reader of this blog, wrote the commercial, and should feel free to comment and vouch what that kind of cold feels like. My fingers are frostbitten just typing about it.

But while the temp may have been negative, there was quite the positive: for three winters, I received random residual checks, which to an actor is downright catnip.

One last, inexplicable note: as excruciatingly cold as it was, I managed to leave my jacket behind at the shoot, a feat only that only I could have pulled off. It was returned to me 75 degrees later, in Venice Beach.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Anybody Know Bill Nye, The Science Guy?

Ask him for the scientific explanation behind why, every time I’m holding a 35-lb. bag of dog food, the person in front of me at the PetSmart checkout takes a backbreaking long time to pay for their 4-oz. fish food?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thank God It’s Monday.

Do I like the band Journey? I’ve got two ears and a heart, don’t I?

In their song “Be Good to Yourself”, they mention “be good to yourself, when nobody else will. Oh be good to yourself.” I’m not sure what the song is about, but the tune sure is catchy. And it put me in the mood to accept an offer by my friend Daniel, an actor whose day job is tour guide for Universal Studios Theme Park. Daniel gave me a personal tour of the park and studio, and it was a spectacular day.

There’s so much great, old history on that lot, and new history being made daily. We visited the set of “Desperate Housewives”. We ate lunch overlooking the Jurassic Park water ride. We walked around the debris still strewn about from the crashed 747 in War of the Worlds. All on a Tuesday afternoon while the rest of the world was stuck in their cubicles.

Yesterday, a fire ravaged the studio, burning to the ground a vault that held a great deal of old video, and the entire King Kong attraction from the famous Universal tour. And, worst of all for me, the Chicago street set from one of my all-time favorite movies, The Sting.

The tough week in Hollywood came to a fitting, lousy close. Pre-fire, Universal Studios was a pretty damn charming place. And charm is what the world could use right now. Let’s think some positive thoughts today.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kickass Bad-Guy-From-Titanic Sighting Of The Month.

Billy Zane, ArcLight Theater, Saturday night.