Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It’s Good To Be The Pimp.

Stage two of my Broadway Joe-like prediction is complete: got the callback today for the indy film I predicted I’d book. Going back in later this week.

Stage three: getting fitted for the fur coat.

Monday, September 29, 2008

B-Level Celebrities Who Have Pet My Dog: Part I In An Ongoing Series.

Petey has the uncanny ability to attract a friendly greeting from several of LA’s second-tier famous.

Like Ralph Steadman, a character actor who may be closer to C-list. Ralph once appeared on an episode of Happy Days as a Green Bay Packer who beats up Potsie (which on second thought, in my book, renders him A-list.)

From time to time, I’ll recant some of the more notable run-ins.

Today’s public displayer of affection: former Laker almost-great Kurt Rambis.

On a nice spring evening, I took Petey for a walk in a nearby park. Kurt was out for jog, and stopped in his tracks to give Pete a big hello. The funny glasses had given way to tasteful wire rims, and the mustache to a smart goatee– both more befitting of his new role as Lakers assistant general manager. Though it was odd that a front-office guy was out for a run during a home game.

Either way, it was a heck of a mid-level thrill.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Slide Over, Joe.

When he wasn’t banging everything in New York that moved, Joe Namath knew how to make a bold prediction.

And now, I will too. Yesterday, I auditioned for a very good independent film, and I guarantee I’m going to book the role.

I may not hear back from the producers for a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I’m Not A Patient, But I Play One On TV.

When your insurance us as crummy as mine, the best wound is a phony wound.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Give Me A Break.

Last night, William Forsythe came in to my Wednesday acting workshop with a new film that he’s going to direct.

You’ll recognize him as an actor from a bunch of great movies, maybe most notably as Evelle in Raising Arizona.

My fellow actors and I ran scenes for him, then listened to him tell a great story about his big break.

Back in the early 80s, William’s agent called him and told him to rush over to an audition at Chateau Marmont. When he arrived, William found a lobby full of actors, and a casting director who pointed at him and told him to come back the next day with a three-minute monologue.

William decided to write his own monologue, about his grandfather, a bear of a man who had an interesting way of squinting one eye when he spoke.

Back at Chateau Marmont the next day, William was still unsure about what film he was there for, until an actor came out of the audition room stunned that he'd just auditioned for a movie starring Robert DeNiro and directed by Sergio Leone. William tried to keep his cool, went in, and performed his monologue. Sergio, dressed in a bathrobe and slippers, came up to William, held his face in his hands and told him that when he'd envisioned this particular role in the film– a guy named Cockeye– William was exactly what he had in mind. The squinty eye choice was a homerun.

Soon afterwards, William was in Rome, shooting Once Upon a Time In America. Almost a hundred movies later, he’s still on top of his game.

Few careers offer the chance to change your life in a morning. And if it takes until the age of 120 to get my big chance, that'll be fine by me. How I'm going to fill this blog with daily entries until then is a whole other story.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Like Mike.

Yesterday, Michael Moore released a free offering of his latest documentary: Slacker Uprising.

While my Republican friends would rather eat glass than watch this flick, I am a diehard Michael Moore fan. I love that he reinvented the visual style of documentaries, and is a full-blown, professional pain in the ass.

The film is running online for the next three months. Find out how to view it here:

Slacker Uprising

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yes, The Jets Got Spanked.

But Jewish Joe Namath was worth the price of admission.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Special Guest Blogger: My Niece

As I got up at 4:30 a.m. EST, an hour and a half after I usually go to bed, I wondered how I could possibly describe how I felt.

Then I passed my niece's room (she came in to NY as well), and this pretty much said it all.

I'm killing myself all in the name of getting back to SoCal to go see the Jets play the Chargers tonight. They damn well better win.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If You Book A Flight On AirTran, You Might Be A Redneck.

On my way back to New York for a long weekend, the connecting flight through Atlanta yielded this classy co-passenger– ever prepared for the nearest bottle of Schmitz with this swanky bottle-opener cap.

He's poring over what I assume is the constitution for the new country of Alaska.

Friday, September 19, 2008

They’re Not Saying “Boo”...

My friend Bru is in a funny, new commercial for Land Rover that’s starting to air often on TV. That’s him– blonde guy, third from the left.

When it pops up on screen at a pub near you this weekend, elbow a buddy and let him enjoy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Special Guest Blogger: Jay Mohr.

“I really stepped in a pile of doggie doo-doo when Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger cohosted.

Someone had written a sketch about the game show ‘Family Feud’. In the sketch, the Baldwins were one family, and Kevin Nealon, Julia Sweeney, Sarah Silverman and I were the other. (Alec’s brothers Stephen and Billy had both agreed to be in the sketch.)

As the ‘Family Feud’ sketch was executed line by line during rewrites, I noticed that every time Kim Bassinger spoke, she had only one syllable at a time. Alec, Billy and Stephen spoke in complete sentences, but when it was Kim’s turn to speak, she was relegated to saying things like 'yes' and 'no'. I wasn’t the only one who noticed this. Sarah Silverman broke up the infighting by asking, ‘How come all of Kim’s lines are only one word?’

Before anyone could answer, I blurted out, ‘Because she’s dumb!’

A hush fell over the room as everyone stopped talking. No one would make eye contact with me. Everyone was reacting as if she was in the room when I said it– and she was. Alec and Kim had made their way into the room, and were sitting on a couch directly across from me, staring straight at me.

Alec Baldwin is a bear of a man, and I wondered how long it would take him to walk over to the table and cave in my skull with his fists. I realized it was time to do some quick thinking, and practically cried out: ‘You guys have made her look dumb! We can do better than this! She’s our guest, for Christ’s sake!’

Alec didn’t cave my skull in, and, not realizing my attempts to save the sketch were merely to keep him from kicking my ass, he and Kim gravitated toward me that week. I would be walking back from the restroom and pass Alec in the hallway and he would throw a fake punch at me and say something like ‘How’s it going?’

Man, I soaked it up.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Apparently, There Are Small Roles.

Fightin’ crime, and harmful UV rays, on Lincoln Blvd.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Ugly Truth.

I’m often asked by friends of mine if my acting classes are loaded with cute women.

Yes, and no.

Nothing turns a 10 into a 6½ faster than a lack of talent. For example, I recently attended a class which included a well-known reality star who’s attempting to cross over to acting. She’s a tall, drop-dead gorgeous blonde, recently voted as having one of the top five sets of legs in Hollywood. I read a scene with her, and she was horrendous. I instantly lost my wood.

The only time I ever feel a sliver of jealousy in this business is when women like her are given dozens of opportunities to audition because of their looks. But then I realize these ladies will botch every chance they get. And, just like that, jealousy gone.

Last night, as I ran this blog idea past some actress friends, they insisted that I give equal time and mention that the same theory applies to men. Good looking guys that can’t act are like kryptonite to them.

So all you prom kings and prom queens who are planning to move out here– either pack some talent, or quit clogging up the 405.

Note: the above photos were downloaded from a website featuring before/after crystal meth user pics. Frighteningly applicable here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Inside The Converted Living Room.

I often mention the casting workshop I attend many days a week, so I figured I’d paint a more vivid picture with a shot of the place where I spend most of my waking life.

This former home became the Hollywood School for Girls, and in this room, classic actors like Charles Lawton and Richard Boone taught Shakespeare. Nowadays, guys like me do scenes from “Blossom”.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Let’s Review.

Boca Goy’s comment was pretty spot on– it took all of 44.6 seconds into the monologue to show Michael Phelps in a Speedo.

Overall, he was predictably marble-mouthed. I found it interesting that they recycled last year’s sketch about the dancing high school coach, since it first ran starring another stiff jock: Payton Manning.

I did laugh at the Michael Phelps 12,000-Calorie-a-Day Diet, even though he stumbled through every line.

Nice effort. But let’s both go back to what we both do best: you breaking Olympic records, me complaining like a broken record.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here We Go Again.

My tolerance for athletes who act will be tested again tomorrow night, when Michael Phelps hosts the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live”.

From what I’ve seen in the teasers, the kid ain’t medaling in charisma.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hometown Hero.

This is the only football jersey ever retired in my high school’s history. It belonged to Chris Mello, and was officially retired at 8:46 a.m. on 9/11/02, exactly one year to the minute after Chris’ flight from Boston was the first to crash into the World Trade Center.

Chris was sitting up in business class, and one flight attendant's cell phone report of stabbings and Chris' instinct to compete, protect and fight the good fight exemplify the kind of man he was: a football captain, class vice president and Students Against Drunk Driving leader who died way before his time.

His death really rocked my town. Hopefully, seven years later, his actions still resonate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Come For The Soliloquy. Stay For The “Noonan!”.

Last night, I went to Boardner’s, a classic, old bar in Hollywood, where on the back patio on Tuesday nights, actors get up and perform Shakespearean scenes. Though my familiarity with Shakespeare doesn’t extend far past the “Witch’s Tangled Hare” Bugs Bunny episode, I had a bitchin’ time.

Making the night all the much cooler was getting to hang with the master of ceremonies, Scott Colomby, pictured above. Scott had a classic role in a very classic movie: he was D’Annunzio, in Caddyshack. I almost went Tom Cruise couch on him.

Scott performed a very funny scene he wrote, in which Hamlet and King Lear attempt to upstage each other, then got on stage played drums and sang with his rock/blues band, twice blowing the doors off the dump.

Hollywood, California– have I told you lately that I love you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Threw Up In My Mouth A Little.

It’s looking more and more likely that my union will be going on strike soon, meaning this could prove to be another truly threadbare TV season. It also means that actors like me, who rely on this town to be buzzing as much as possible, will be begging for food, money and blog ideas.

To replace scripted TV series, networks will be airing even more reality shows. And I would rather get a Dirty Sanchez than watch reality shows.

Pictured above is the latest addition to the annals of TV history: a reality show pitting choirs against each other. Choirs? Really? Were the DMV workers already booked?

Maybe this show can be put to good use: lock my union reps and the studio execs together in a room with “Clash of the Choirs” running on a loop, until both sides hammer out a deal. About 15 seconds oughta do it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hurts SO Good.

Tom Brady, quarterback of the Patriots– the evilest, cheatingest team of all time– had a season-ending injury yesterday.

It was the greatest gift a Jets fan could receive. I felt like a secretary on Administrative Professionals Day.

Keeping in mind that I abhor him as a football player, and have no tolerance for athletes who attempt to act, I will give Tom credit for not holding anything back when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” a couple seasons ago. This clip took some courage. Yes, his acting skills are questionable, but he’s got plenty of free time to work on them now.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What’s The Difference Between A Hockey Mom And A Pit Bull?

One has absolutely no control around children, the other loves it when my niece rubs his belly.

Sarah Palin, don’t ever compare your white-trash ass to the most loving, misunderstood pet I have ever owned.

Friday, September 5, 2008

To Harass Or Not To Harass.

When the Degenerate Actor Friends and I get together for our video-game sessions, no woman, child or immigrant should be within 50 feet of the proceedings. These sore losers can professionally improv a degree of hate that would make Mel Gibson blanche.

So when one of them daringly decided to perform in a production of Hamlet, and then invite us mongrels to see him perform this weekend, the ferocious email flew. Including this one, from my friend Brian:

“It's like Rocky Horror, right? I'm bringing rice, water guns and newspaper. Who’s gonna bring the hot dogs and umbrellas?”

This should be interesting.

Have a good weekend. You know I will.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Is (Sorta) Niiice!

Last night, in my ongoing workshop, writer/director Ash Baron Cohen, cousin of Sacha Baron Cohen, brought in a script and had my fellow actors and I perform scenes from it.

That's Ash, above. He was a very good guy, with a real appreciation for actors. His background is experimental psychology, and he applies it to his directing style. It was a really cool evening.

But the most interesting aspect actually came the night before, in a preemptive-strike email from the guy who runs the workshop:

“A reminder, the material only stays with our workshop, goes nowhere else. And one more reminder: PLEASE NO BORAT IMPRESSIONS FOR ASH!”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Sleepytime Story.

My friend John, a composer who is really starting to hit it big in Hollywood, recently had a meeting at the home of director Andrew Getty. Getty is the grandson/heir of cajillionaire oilman J. Paul Getty, so as John pulled up to Andrew’s mansion, he wasn’t surprised by its enormous size. He was, however, impressed with the working fuel pump in the driveway (Andrew doesn’t want to bother with filling his numerous vehicles at gas stations.)

An assistant let John into the house, and as he looked around the living room, he was perplexed by the furniture, which looked downright shabby.

The reason why: the tables and chairs were originally from one of Columbus’ three boats that landed in America.

And here I thought my couch, which traveled all the way from my brother’s frat house, had a rich and colorful history.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rage Inside Your Machine.

Improv is kinda like sushi. It’s either incredibly tasty, or it gives you the trots. There’s no in-between.

My skills are pretty strong, but I can’t hold a candle to Adam Carolla, pound for pound the fastest gun in the west. I already gushed about his film; the desire to see it came from my increasing love of his morning radio show.

After being hooked on Howard Stern for 23 years, I never thought I’d never see the day in which my tastes began to drift elsewhere. But the enormous contract Howard signed with Sirius has gradually elevated him out of touch with his listeners. It’s not his fault– he’s just no longer the angry, honest man he once was. 500 mil will render you both content and protective of your A-list lifestyle.

Adam, meanwhile, is the kind of guy who buys his refrigerator at Sears after hitting the drive-thru for an Egg McMuffin. He’s an everyman. And that makes for amazing, down-to-earth rants. He lives to bitch, in hilarious form. Take, for example, his “This Week in Rage” segment, which is described as an “ass-full of various issues that get under Adam’s skin.” Including why bed and breakfasts suck, the sin that The Road Warrior is never on cable or why an Egg McDonald's stops serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m.

Though his show is broadcast here in L.A., now, thanks to the Interweb, anyone can listen to it online. Which in fact is a better way to listen, because the commercials are edited out and the four-hour show is condensed to 2 ½ hours that run on a loop all day (excluding the hours the show is on live.)

Go pee first. You’re not gonna want to miss a minute before clicking below:

The Adam Carolla Show

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Big, Hot Cup Of Crazy.

While it’s a well-known fact that chicks dig a tricked-out ’95 Chrysler Concorde, the same can’t be said for Hollywood producers.

I passed this guy’s car the other day, and if you also live in L.A., you’ve most likely done the same. His name is Dennis Woodruff, and he wants you to buy his films.

The car practically burned my corneas, but the loon did grab my curiosity enough to pay a visit to his website. Which, by the way, made the car look positively rational.

Dennis claims to have sold 100,000 movies out of his trunk, and his ongoing network-less reality show features people he bumps into to (translation: starlets he wishes he could bang.) I watched half an episode, and if you suffer from excessive heart burn, shortness of breath or any modicum of taste, stay the hell away from them.

God bless him for making the effort and living out some sort of dream in Hollywood. Many days I wish I worked ten times harder. But if I can’t keep my car one tone, I’ll settle for eating peanut butter out of the jar every night until it’s my predetermined time to shine.