Friday, October 31, 2008

The Grinch Who Loathed Halloween.

Today conjures up some very warm memories of an otherwise angry childhood. But I’d never experienced anything on such a blown-up level Halloween-wise until I moved to L.A.

Above is a pic of one of the hundreds of temporary Halloween stores that pop up in this area every September, in anticipation of the mad, seasonal rush. Because this is an entertainment town, it truly is the biggest holiday of the year in L.A., and, consequently, the worst traffic day of the year, as people hustle to get home from work to take the kids out, or slip into their own costumes.

Yes, adults dressing up is all the rage. And speaking of rage, I’ve had an ass-full of people asking him what costume I'll be wearing tonight. I play dress-up for a living, period, and find Halloween to be one of the five holidays that give carte blanche to grownups to behave like A-holes.

I’ll leave the costumes to the kids. And I’ll leave the lights off in my apartment tonight, because if trick-or-treaters show up on my doorstep, the closest thing I have to candy is a scoop of protein powder (which, when you think about it, is still better than being the “raisin guy”).

Have fun tonight. Just not outside my bedroom window at 3 a.m.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Opening Night.

My film’s premiere is tonight, and it’s just in time, since I’m down to the last of the 12-pack of ties I bought.

Looking forward to everyone coming out to join me. You’ll all be receiving an early Halloween treat: a DVD of the film – so make room on your shelf next to the flick about the boxing wallaby.

There’ll be plenty of food and drinks, and if you tell me you like the film, I won’t mind if it’s the Champale talking.

See you tonight.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shoutout To Sleven.

New assignment from Lycos 50.

Very nice bunch over at Lycos so far. And I’m working on them to allow me to bring the noise.

Today’s column here:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just Outside The Actor’s Studio Apartment.

I try to keep this blog entertainment-based as much as possible, and didn’t realize that my neighbor’s suicide had its own entertainment link.

The woman who jumped was named Katie Lynn Evans, and she was a model separated from actor Danny Huston.

Details, from a British website:

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Starving Actor’s BFF.

One of my favorite attributes of Target, besides offering Christmas gifts at Chanukah prices, is the retail giant's very liberal return policy. Here’s a partial list of items I have “borrowed” from the local store:
  • The wrench I used to open up the nasty, clogged pipe under my bathroom sink– it was the only time I got a bit of stinkeye from the guy at the return counter
  • 90% of the wardrobe I’m wearing in my headshots– nothing says "cast me" like three shirts for a dollar
  • Digital camera– I pray I remembered to erase some questionable shots
  • Kool Operator 20” fan– this is an annual, summer tradition
  • Blow dryer– after struggling to get the wax-based product out of my hair from a modeling gig, I called said product’s 800 number and they suggested melting it with a blow dryer. FYI– it worked
So there you have it. But before you shake your head about me making this a habit, keep in mind it’s not as if I returned a rectal thermometer. I mean, I have standards.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Season’s Greetings.

Since I have to be subjected to this by my neighbors, I figure you oughta as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Turning Pro.

The only thing better than making C-word references is getting paid to make C-word references.

The fine folks at Lycos have taken a shine to this blog and have asked me to become a regular contributor to their pop culture website, The Lycos 50, which gauges Internet searches and trends.

Actually, the filth will be at a minimum, as it’s been requested that I keep from the divisiveness for a while. But I like a challenge. And even if I didn’t, they’ll edit me until each column is family friendly. Like, Jonas family friendly.

I’ll post links whenever I get a new assignment. Check out the inaugural piece, regarding politics and entertainment, here:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Let’s Not Make A Practice Of This.

I’ve been spending way too much time here this week, in rehearsals for the 70s film I booked.

The Complex is an assemblage of small theaters on Santa Monica Blvd. that are available for rent seven days a week for auditions and rehearsals. Don’t be seduced by the quirky signage– the stench of a million failed careers fills the air.

One cool Hollywood footnote: across the street from this joint is the football field on which Snoop Dog’s peewee football team plays. Not bad.

Okeydoke, time for bed. Gotta get up in the morning and return to an era before cell phones and Internet. See ya in Hell.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help Me Help TV.

I don’t hate reality shows. I loathe them. With a white-hot intensity seven times the sun.

These low rent, contrived pieces of claptrap clog up the airways, as one by one, genius scripted shows bite the dust: “Arrested Development”. “Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip”. “Stella”.

So I make it my duty to beg people to watch the shows that are so brilliant that I would kill pretty much anyone to let me guest star. (Producers– my email is to the right. No questions asked.)

“The Sarah Silverman Program” is among my favorites, and not because it's a classic sitcom, because it oh-so ain't.

Above is a clip from an episode in which Sarah mistakenly believes she has AIDs. And manages to put the fun into incurable disease.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All My Rowdy Friends Are Here On Monday Night.

There’s a direct correlation between my mom’s age and the number of paranoid emails she forwards my way. Apparently, evil robots are going to steal my social security number while poisoning my dog with floor cleanser as they elect an Arab guy to be our President.

The majority of warnings deal with carjacking, a crime that I thought fell out of vogue in the 90s. That was until yesterday.

After a rehearsal for a film in Hollywood, I had three hours to kill before an acting class. I parked outside an elementary school (the long building in the center, above), and borrowed their wireless connection on my laptop. As the sun went down, and Las Palmas Ave. became deserted, I noticed in my rearview mirror a car parking far behind me. Two young men got out and approached my car. As they got close, one of them give a big wave to a third guy back at their car. They passed me, and I locked my doors, but left my windows down. They then circled back, leaned in my passenger window and asked if they could borrow my cell phone to call AAA for their "broke-down" car.

I told them my cell battery was dead, and they got agitated. It was fight or flight, and I flew– jammed the key in the ignition, threw it into drive and got my money’s worth out of my new transmission. One of the homeboys, angry as I pulled away, slapped his hand down on my roof and cursed me out. I slowed, and called him the C word twice before zipping away. He looked both pissed and perplexed.

Actors ask me why I commute up to Hollywood for auditions and workshops, rather than live in the center of it all. Right now I’d say it’s because I’ve grown rather fond of my cell phone, computer, car and life, and would like to hold on to them for as long as possible.

Oh, and a memo to the thugs: the Degenerate Actor Friends and I have been planning to hit a shooting range on the 28th, and if it had been this time next week I’d be carpooling with four guys and five handguns. Give us a reason.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hollywood, Via Cape Town.

Put on your onesie pajamas. It’s story time.

Above is Russell Boast, one of my favorite casting directors. After all the pain and suffering South Africa caused us with Dave Matthews, they totally made up for it with Russell.

A few years ago, Russell was a full-fledged slacker in Cape Town, organizing raves and committing victimless crimes. One Sunday afternoon, while sucking down beer in his back yard with his sketchy friends, Russell got a call from a friend who worked for a local production company.

The company was producing an American commercial for Polaroid, and needed a large group of pierced, tattooed extras. Russell’s friend, knowing he slummed around with these types, called him into her office immediately. When he showed up, her boss offered him half the payment up front to get this job done. Half was $5000– more than Russell had ever seen.

Russell went straight to a drug store, bought 40 disposable cameras, gave them to his friends and sent them out to find the dangerous types. Four days later, Russell had rounded up 5500 people.

Word spread back to the states about this guy that could cast in bunches, and Russell was hired to find a specific group of African tribal natives for Angelina Jolie’s film Beyond Borders. He went up into the hills of Namibia and found them, including the family from which Angelina adopted a baby.

Next thing he knew, Russell was asked to help cast Hotel Rwanda, then hired in America to cast the TV show “24”. Nowadays he casts films full time.

Before I’m accused of planting a huge one on Russell’s ass with this entry, I've earned some sort of immunity after he sent me a friend request on Facebook, the day after my first workshop with him.

If you ever bump into Russell, he’ll add you too, mainly for knowing he’s not from England or Australia. Which I suppose is proof that sometimes in this town it’s not who you know, but where his accent is from.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Here’s To The Hockey Hair.

Yes– when it comes to my ‘do, I whine more than the Season 1 DVD collection of "The View".

Because the film I’m shooting next month takes place in 1974, the director wants me to grow my hair out until shooting day. I’m not sure between now and then I’ll be able to get to 70s length, but I can at least reach my 90s form.

I caught up with an old friend on Facebook the other day, and he sent me a link to a video of a party way back when, featuring me, above, with the fly mullet.

By the way, friends who know me well will vouch that I’m pretty much still nursing the same beer today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It’s Not Always Sunny In Los Angeles.

I have a steadfast rule when it comes to missing an acting class or workshop: a funeral is the only legitimate excuse.

I’ll amend that rule with any event in which cops and EMTs block my driveway after a neighbor commits suicide.

The nice couple that owns the house next door have had a slew of tumultuous tenants the last couple years. Wednesday night the latest derelicts decided to party ‘til it was Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon, my cute blonde neighbor stood on the railing of the balcony of the house second from the right. Somebody called the police, and as they arrived, she smiled and dove off. I wondered what the thud was, then decided not to get too close when the EMTs almost jumped out of their shoes when they arrived and saw the mess.

So there, somewhere inside that police tape is my car, trapped, along with my excuse for not attending a workshop for the first time ever.

I suppose that during these trying economic times we haven’t seen the last of episodes like this. Anyone else feel that constant edge in the air?

I’m prescribing to all my friends a nice, autumn weekend in which we chill. Promise.

Come For The Finger Sandwiches. Stay For The Film.

Looks like I'm in full-fledged filmapalooza mode. And I want you all to join me.

In a couple weeks, the featurette I wrote/produced/starred in is going to be screened at the William Morris Agency. Keep your eyes open for the evite.

Bring a friend. Drink some wine. See me emote. Drink more wine and slap me for using the word “emote”. That is all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Ah, the economy in Hollywood. We’ll never know many actors have already suffered a severe mental breakdown and begun wearing their underpants outside their clothes and talking to their Cheerios.

But while Rome is burning, I’ll light a cigar off the flames– the featurette that I wrote, produced and starred in has been accepted into its first film festival.

My film is called The Beneficiary, and it's a very dark drama whose premise came to me one day while I watched an armored truck cut off my friend’s car in traffic. That’s my character, above, perusing handguns in a pawn shop.

I just finished editing the film this past month, and last night got word that it made it into the Vine Shorts Fest in Santa Monica. The VSF grand prize winner gets a production deal to turn the short into a feature-length film. Last year’s winner starred Faye Dunaway, Malcolm McDowell and Anne Archer.

Keep those fingers and toes crossed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What’s My Motivation?

The Sima 12ft. Inflatable Outdoor Theater Screen with Speakers. So sexy, I want it take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

Monday, October 13, 2008

MonkeyWrench Über Alles.

Ask the top scientist at NASA to land a lunar module 239,000 miles away, and the cat will come through with flying colors. Ask him to find a mechanic he trusts to fix a transmission, and he’ll be S.O.L.

As an actor, half my struggle is to make ends meet, so when I felt my car’s transmission start to slip, my anxiety rose conversely with it.

Luckily, a friend referred me to a place called MonkeyWrench in Manhattan Beach. The shop is owned by Daniel, a very young German guy who’s so warm and friendly he could make my mother forget about the Holocaust.

Although he primarily focuses on Hondas and Acuras (neither of which I drive), Daniel can diagnose any vehicle and either fix it or refer it to another trustworthy mechanic. He kept repeating how much he wanted to get the car fixed as quickly and cheaply as possible, and even drove it home overnight so that he could see how it was acting up first thing in the morning. Then, after two days of exhausting all possibilities, he sent it to a friend’s place who fixed it for cheap.

Daniel refused to charge me anything, so I promised him I would send everyone I know his way. He mentioned he’d prefer that I refer a bunch of good-looking women, but I’m guessing he’ll accommodate ugly dudes as well.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kickass Actor With A New Movie Out On DVD Sighting Of The Month.

Dax Shepard, who is hilarious in Baby Mama.
ArcLight Theater, Hollywood, Friday night.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This Could Get Ugly.

Make fun of friends’ follicle challenges and the universe will punish your ass.

Got a call yesterday from the producer of the film I’ll be doing, and they want me to let my hair grow between now and the shoot in late November. If it isn’t long enough by then, they may add extensions. Eesh.

Sucks. But before my friends emit a collective “WAAHH!”, my bumming is only 90% vanity-related. I do also have to look like my headshots for whenever casting directors bring me in for auditions.

Guess I'll make the best of it and have some fun. I'm thinking feathered. Or a beehive.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Little Oomph For My Low Self-Esteem.

Is it just me, or am I aging a smidge better than my frat brothers?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Praise Jesus.

200 entries, and I can’t decide if I should celebrate, or get a life. I’m leaning toward the latter.

My five favorites since number 100:

Special Guest Blogger: My Mom. After posting this entry, my mother sent me a rather profound email. Catch a glimpse into my childhood here.

Run. Run ‘Til Flames Shoot Out Of Your Ass. I need no caffeine; I’m high on rage. Feel the windburn here.

Day 4: Psst… Rabbi Weinberg– That Was Not Cool. Any day I can use my unit as a punch line is a good day. Point and taunt here.

Okay, I Get It– It’s Time To Go Back.
I am all about finding the lessons in life. No matter how traumatic. Enlighten yourself here.

Apparently, There Are Small Roles. As I was shooting this, he walked toward me, flashed a big gold-toothed smile and asked for 50¢ for taking his pic. We negotiated it down to a quarter. Feel safer about our streets here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Have I Told You lately That I Love Me?

Prediction come true: got the call today, and I landed the role in the indy film. It shoots next month, and I’m pumped.

I think I’ll continue to utlize the brash, young Joe Namath attitude, and save the drunken, hit-on-female-sideline-reporters Joe for the advanced stages of my career.

Monday, October 6, 2008

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

Being greeted by a President is an honor. Being greeted by a President’s daughter is a little closer to Petey’s wheelhouse.

A few years ago, Petey appeared in a public service ad for spaying/neutering dogs. The photo shoot took place on the beach in Malibu, next door to Patti Reagan’s house.

In the middle of the shoot, the very dog-friendly Patti came out with her little guys to give Petey a big hello. Very cool chick.

SIDE NOTE: In an impressive show of range, Pete played a female in the ad. The acting gene runs strong in this family.

SIDE, SIDE NOTE: Finding a clothed pic of Patti was no easy task. Since the only obligation of any child of a conservative politician is to horrify her parents, Patti posed for Playboy in the 80s. And oh Mylanta the Internet is one large photo album of her nakedness. She’s a good girl.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I’ll Drink To That.

Stage three: a frame of me nailing the independent film callback.

Should be hearing soon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I. Love. This. Man.

I was on Sepulveda yesterday when I saw this guy pull into a mini-mart.

I gotta say, I’d kill to just call it quits. Forget my aspirations. Forget commitment. Forget soap. Start wearing sweatpants 24/7.

The Man wants to shackle us with hoods? Not you, amigo. Throw in that towel with all your might.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

TiVo-Tip Thursday.

I meant to post this two weeks ago, before the season premiere, but I got caught up with more important subjects. Like houses who wear bowties and big white gloves.

Finally, a slot opened up to pronounce that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, which airs two new episodes every Thursday night, is one of the best shows on TV.

The show centers on five owners of a pub in Philly, each of whom are more shallow than the next. Danny DeVito loved the writing so much that not only did he want his company to produce it, he joined the cast for almost no salary.

The episode titles alone are hilarious, including: “The Gang Exploits a Miracle”, “The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation” and “Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender."

The above clip features three scenes with Charlie Day, who plays the most disturbed of the bunch with amazing commitment.

Give it a look, then call home and leave yourself a message reminding you to record it tonight. And while you’re at it, let yourself know that you are handsome, and you matter. Always works for me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One Degree Of Separation.

How do you fix the mortgage crisis? With an awfully cute commercial.

How cute? Think a bunny in bib overalls. A box of bright yellow Easter chicks. A cement mixer full of Christmas kittens.

Then you cast me in the commercial. Yes, I starred as “young husband” alongside Mr. House. It ain’t Summerstock.

When Philo Farnsworth invented television, he never could have dreamt the possibilities.