Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Not Starring Me In A Theater Near You.

Saw this breakdown, looking for actors for a new film:


"A wanna-be ladies man, Corbin, who gets lucky with a suitcase (who acts like a person) in his apartment only to discover 9 months later that the suitcase has born his illegitimate love child. Corbin is a character who is very confident in his looks and charm – even though he's a dorky, slightly chubby, greasy looking guy. He's always looking for the next score, and lucks out when he discovers the lady suitcase who also lives in his apartment building. The key to this character is how seriously he takes himself, even though he's in a very surreal situation. Looking for a comedian, preferably one with improv background. Great physicality and comic timing are crucial. The key is making the suitcase seem alive. There is a sequence of Corbin making love to the suitcase, but the only nudity will require the actor to be shirtless. This is also a sexual situation, but a very comic one."


Yikes. I’m thinking I won’t have company on the festival circuit next year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Question:

Can I get a guest-starring role on "Cold Case," and a bun warmer?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Festivus, Part XXX.

I would like many things. I would like a large, four-bedroom ranch home to fall on Jon and Kate. I would like my life to be more like a buddy-cop film. I wish my car’s dashboard could talk.


These things are not going to happen. Sure, I could spend this entry and the next listing all the things I desire but am not going to get: a self-charging Blackberry; a dog with a knowledge of fine wine. Somebody stop me.


But there’s one thing I’ve got plenty of: festival acceptances. Thirty, to be exact, thanks to the Chicago United Film Festival. I’m ghetto rich when it comes to that department.


If only these acceptances weren’t as worthless as Disney Dollars. I’d be like Bernie Madoff, without the shrill wife and consecutive sentences. Yeah, if only…

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Free-Throw Shooting Skills On That List?

After knowing each other for all of two months, pot-smoking NBA forward Lamar Odom is marrying reality show pig Khloe Kardashian tomorrow. I heard about this last week, thanks to my Google news alert for “ridiculous disaster.”

They’re registered at Geary’s in Beverly Hills, where they truly put the “k” in “klassy.” The above sitting tiger ($6200) has already been purchased. You can see the rest of the list here:

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Rate The Mulberry Street Pizza Autographs. Encino, CA.

Steve Garvey also had his wife sign, and used a bad sports cliché.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Steve Garvey is a lunkhead.

LeeAnn Rimes worked her most famous lyric into her message.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Extra cheese.

Erik Estrada, who learned Spanish late in life so he could reinvent himself as a Latin soap opera star, wished them “lots of good luck” in his new second language.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Ponch es más macho.

Phil Hartman died in ’98, but his sentiment lives on.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Wait, this place hasn’t repainted in 11 years? Somebody call the board of health.

Ray Romano: short, sweet, classy.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Trust the opinion of a Staten Island Italian when it comes to pizza. Or landfill.

Jay Leno uses the self-portrait caricature that appears at the end of his show.
FINAL ANALYSIS: I like it. Jay embraces that he’s a lantern-jawed freak.

Helen Hunt pointed at the poster for Mr. Saturday Night and giddily proclaimed “I’m in that.”
FINAL ANALYSIS: Wonder if she’d be so quick to acknowledge she was in Dr. T. and the Women.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Coffin.

If GM wants to reinvent itself with a car that’ll drive me right out of the business, I’ll take one in LeMans blue.

I was standing in the parking lot behind my workshop the other night when a car pulled up, and a woman asked if she was in the right place. I told her she was, and, spotting the cargo case on top of her car, asked if she brought her surfboard.

“No,” she said, “I keep dead actors in there."

“Really,” I said, “I keep dead hookers in mine.”

She drove on.

Seconds later, as she got out of her car, was dressed fancy and wasn’t holding a headshot, it occurred to me: this was the agent for whom I was about to audition.

Whenever you see a guy making a dope out of himself, like Tom Joad, I’ll be there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Man.

Looks like the theme of this week’s posts is “annoyance.” Eh, screw it – every week's theme is annoyance.

At my gym last month, I suddenly needed to make a call, so I ran outside to my car and took care of it. When I came back in, the diminutive fella who works the front desk asked me for my ID and tried to exert his authority with a slight scolding.

Since then, I’ve been giving my improv skills a workout, by greeting him with a new nickname every morning. Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Squirt
  • Junior
  • Tattoo
  • Webster
  • Bill Shoemaker
  • Kucinich
  • Scrappy Doo
  • Eddie Gaedel
  • Finster
  • Spud
  • DeVito
Here’s hoping the runt checks the attitude in the future.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Desperation. The World’s Worst Perfume.

I live by only two rules: never trust a bald barber, and when you’re going through airport security, don’t hide your weed in your gun.

Oh, and have some self-respect.

I came across this “actress” standing outside the Warner Bros. lot with her sister last week. I blurred out her name to protect the insane.

Bottom line: if you were a decision maker, driving onto the lot, would you remotely consider bringing in this woman in for an audition? F no.

Look, my opinion means little. I wouldn’t even trust me to judge a tight buns contest. But from what I can assume, this isn’t the way to go about forging a career. Lose the sandwich board, and spend a little more time working on your craft, marketing yourself, getting a good agent, etc., etc., like all of the actors actually working in TV and film.

Or switch to plan B: porn. Best of luck.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Festivus, Part XXIX.

Here’s to Tacoma. After forever being the Jan to Seattle’s Marcia, it’s time the City of Destiny got it’s due.

Wait, the City of Destiny? Really? Eesh.

I digress. The Tacoma Film Festival is the 29th fest to accept my film, The Beneficiary. And as a token of my appreciation, I will elevate Tacoma the only way I know how – by bashing Seattle.

First of all, the Space Needle has fleeced more tourists than all of the blind slumdog kids combined. Second, Starbucks is nothing more than adult study hall. And third, you’re responsible for the ugliest jerseys in the NFL. Screw Seattle.

Oh wait, they’ve got a film festival, too? And my film got into it? Um… let’s call a do-over.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I’d Like To Buy The World A Lawsuit.

My friend Jenn drove past this hard-core copyright infringement on Pacific Coast Highway and laughed so hard that she had to take a pic and send it to me.

It begs the question – who would win in a fight: the Coke southern lawyers, or the Malibu temple lawyers?

I’m taking the Cali Jews plus a field goal.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Law-Talking Guy.

Inspiration can strike at any moment.

I was at the Frank Sinatra, Jr. laser show when a premise suddenly popped into my head. I quickly wrote a featurette called Contempt.

I play a brash, newly-appointed D.A., while my friend, Mark Mainardi, portrays a corrupt, Italian, defense attorney. If the shiny mobster-suit fits, you must acquit.

It was directed by another friend of mine – Gary Robinson – and we shot yesterday. I’m excited to see the first cut.

That twelve-pack of ties I bought at the car wash in Torrance – totally paying off.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Special Guest Blogger: My College Roommate.

Up early to shoot a scene today, so turning over the reins to my friend Gregg, who left this great comment regarding the monkey-mask guy:

I have two comments about gorilla suits:

1) I think that a gorilla suit is something that every man should invest in, kind of like a tuxedo (a.k.a. a "monkey suit"). It is classic, always a hit. Really never goes out of style. I am surprised that Armani X and Hugo Boss do not have a line. In short, a gorilla suit is a solid investment.

2) I have been tracking the price of gorilla suits on ebay for several years now. They appear to be a pretty perfect commodity. All pretty much the same. There are a lot of them. All priced pretty much the same. Naturally there is a seasonality to the price of gorilla suits. That is, the price increases Sept. to Oct., then falls off. However, there isn't really as drastic a decline as you might see in January Santa suits.

I've also noticed a marked difference in pricing over the last two Septembers. Around $90 to $100 for the commodity crap quality gorilla suit last year, a little less this year. Point is, I think that if you adjust for seasonality, gorilla suits may be a good leading indicator of the market.

Thoughts? Nobel Prize in economics material?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Robert De Niro Is No Patrick Swayze.

I am a Double Whopper with cheese when it comes to arguing. How else could I have nailed that B-minus in my college debate class?

It’s with this enormous credibility that I stake the claim: Patrick Swayze had a better career than Robert De Niro.

It’s true. When it comes to laying-on-the-couch, flipping through the channels, must-see movies, Patrick wins.

Sure, The Godfather had an Academy Award-winning script. But Roadhouse had a monster truck and knife-tipped cowboy boots.

Did Mean Streets have pissing into a truck’s radiator, Red Dawn style? I’m not sure, but I can check.

Patrick Swayze could jité in Dirty Dancing, then avenge a hillbilly brother’s death in Next of Kin. He could play a kickass guy named Race Darnell, then a drag queen named Vida.

Point Break. Youngblood. Uncommon Valor. The Outsiders. The “Chippendales” sketch on SNL. A top-ten song. For Christ’s sake, the guy had to look Whoopi Goldberg in the face and believe she was Demi Moore. If that ain’t the performance of the century, I don’t know what is.

Rest in peace, sir. Pain don’t hurt.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Take Requests.

Someone must have roophied my Yoo-hoo one night last June, because I suddenly found myself in the middle of a karaoke bar.

I loathe karaoke.

Compounding the situation was a drunk jarhead-type who kept running up on stage in between other people’s performances, grabbing the mic and singing a capella. I couldn’t determine if his father hadn’t hugged him enough, or maybe way too much.

I thought about this when my friend Femi posted this on my Facebook page: “Need a blog with your insight on Kanye West's supreme stupidity tonight. Just because. You'll find a way to make me laugh about him. What an ass.”

I oblige:

In 2005, during a telethon for victims of Hurricane Katrina, Kanye was paired to present with Mike Myers, and decided to ad-lib with the rant "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Myers was confused. The producers panicked and cut away. Who booked the crazy guy?

Apparently this was a mere throat-clearing before the real festivities began.

Sunday night, Kanye became that drunk karaoke jarhead, hijacking the broadcast and ruining what should have been one of the best nights of Taylor Swift’s life.

Kanye West is that guy you’re hanging with that likes to start in with bouncers. And as my friend John likes to say, when you fight a bouncer, even if you win, you really lose.

There’s a growing demographic of these serial offenders who just. Can’t. Shut. Their. Mouths. You know ‘em, you love ‘em: Terrelle Owens. Serena Williams. Pacman Jones. The guy who yelled during Obama’s speech. Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount could campaign for mayor.

I say we round them all up and dispose of them British-style, by dumping them in Australia. This is a bud clearly in need of nipping.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My 500th Entry.

Friday night, Derek Jeter lined a shot down the right field line and broke Lou Gehrig’s record for the most hits as a Yankee. His teammates poured out of the dugout to hug and congratulate him.

Meanwhile, today, as I write my 500th blog entry, nothing. I guess my fellow agoraphobics didn’t get my evite.

I push on, for if I don’t entertain myself apparently no one will. I continue my tradition of saluting each milestone with my five favorite entries from the last one hundred:

Festivus, Part XVIII.
Amazing what cops will let you get away with when you slip them a C-note. Fasten your seatbelt and click here.

Virtual Reality. My friend Alex said she wanted to punch me in the face for writing this. She's hot. Feel her wrath here.

Profiting Off The Motor Mouth. The last paragraph of this one helped it crack the top five. Relieve yourself here.

Wrapping Up: A Blackberry® Photo Gallery. It’ll be a cold day in Breckenridge before I nominate another Blackberry photo gallery for this list. Endure yet more toilet humor here.

Day 4: New Yankee Stadium – A Blackberry® Photo Gallery. Bet you didn’t see this one coming down Arthur Avenue. Put the wallet in the front pocket and take the 6-train to the Bronx here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Brother From Another Mother.

Anybody seen this guy, who dons a monkey mask and commits moving violations? Radar cameras in Arizona have snapped his pic and cited him over 90 times.

My two favorite things in life are monkeys and sticking it to the state of Arizona. They know what they did.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New York Leftovers.

Who was the genius who decided I should write a blog entry six days a week? Trust me, there are nights when I pray I just collapse in on myself like a dying star.

So when I found a pic in my Blackberry that I’d forgotten about, it was like Christmas morning. Or Tish'a B'Av morning, if you wanna get topical about it.

One afternoon, when I was back in New York, I trespassed into my high school, and the above display stopped me dead in my tracks. A gay-straight alliance? Really?

Back when, my high school made Columbine High School look like a hippie commune. You so much as slightly went against the grain, and you were begging for an ass kicking. And then a swirly.

Oh, and transgendered too? Right. And the check is in the mail. And, the doctor will see you shortly.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Picasso Was A Drunk.

Growing up in New York, my parents dragged us to every museum imaginable. Eventually, I developed some sort of appreciation for art. Like whenever I see the painting "School of Athens," in which Plato and Aristotle are seen debating whether to clean out the attic or the basement.


Which makes it all the more confounding as to why I didn’t think of this first. It’s called an Etch-It cup. Each one comes with a label that allows you to use your fingernail to put your design – or simply your name ­– onto the cup, so that you’ll never lose your drink again. You can kiss goodbye swallowing someone else’s cigarette butt. From now on, you swallow your own.


Here’s a close-up. The party was at my friend Joe’s house. He likes to Irish-up my name a bit.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I’m Only Paranoid Because They’re Out To Get Me.

I mention one little beef about a certain genre of film, and this appears above my apartment on Monday:

“VAMPIRE DIARIES THURS AT 8 ON KTLA”

Looks like it's just one more situation I'm going to have to MacGuyver myself out of.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Festivus, Part XXVIII.

Over the weekend, as I drove through Brentwood, where the creeks flow with Bollinger and raccoons wear rhinestone collars, I couldn’t help but feel like the poorest guy in showbiz. But then the Blackberry chirped with this nugget: my film got into its 28th festival. Take that, sugar daddies.

You know the kind of neighborhood I’m talking about – where you can’t swing a rhinestone-wearing raccoon without hitting a CL-Class sedan. Whatev – because the FirstGlance Film Fest comes with $25,000 in cash and prizes.

If I win, I’m not about to waste the bucks on stuff as trivial as rent or food. I’m gonna use them to Brentwood-ise my place, with a better popcorn ceiling. Or I'll donate some back to the festival for a top-notch spell check (see above.)

Thanks FirstGlance. The fest actually pays you back.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Laborious Day.


My fondest memory of elementary school – besides the water fountains whose pressure lowered whenever a toilet was flushed – is the cartoons they showed us whenever it was too rainy to have recess. A little asbestos and Bugs Bunny, and I was a happy kid.

Seeing as it hasn’t rained in SoCal in about eight months, I’m changing the rules a bit, with a clip of my one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan. Love him. Click above. (Facebook readers click here.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kickass Celebrity Sighting Of The Month.

In a classic case of life imitating art, Steve Martin, right out of LA Story, antiquing on La Brea in a cool hat and much younger babe on his arm.

He’s an Olympic-level stud.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hilaricious.

It’s drilled into actors’ heads that in an audition setting, we really have to take charge. Which can be tricky for those of us who can barely get to the bank before it closes.

In a workshop the other night, here was the scenario: I was paired up with my friend Brian in a scene in which we’re two guys having drinks. His character is a real stick-in-the-mud, and mine was described as a “Vince Vaughn that can’t get laid.”

At the end of our scene, as we talk about a friend getting married, I say to Brian’s character, “Yeah, well he’s not livin’ and swingin’ like us,” to which Brian, baffled, replies, “We’re at Applebee’s.”

It didn’t feel like a complete ending to me, and, wanting to be a take-charge guy, I figured I oughta load-up with a funny button for the scene just in case. So I jumped on the Blackberry, searched the Applebee’s menu, and when Brian’s “We’re at Applebee’s” didn’t get the laugh we wanted, I paused and said, “Dude, chicken parmesan tanglers.” Much better. The casting director loved us.

It begs the question: what did actors in Shakespearean times so when faced with an Applebee’s punchline? Internet access back then had to be sketchy at best.

By the way, the runner-ups were:

• Steak quesadilla towers
• Cajun lime tilapia
• Brewtus steak burger
• Triple chocolate meltdown

(Three-word items seemed to be funniest.)


Happy long weekend, for those of you who work for a living. Take a cue from my mom, and slather on the SPF, put on a big hat, open up a huge beach umbrella and never leave the house.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Going Down.

As the music thumped upstairs during my acting class last night, I learned that the penthouse in the building used to be owned by Liberace. Which finally explains the rather bedazzled elevator.

The man truly was a “confirmed bachelor.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Little Help.

I ain’t the smartest. Most days, I couldn’t find my ass with two hands and a flashlight.

So will someone explain to me why vampire shows, movies and webisodes are lately all the rage?

What’s the difference between Twilight and “True Blood?” And Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to star in a new film based on Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. Wasn’t there already a Vampire Chronicles?

Lots of questions, yes. But before anyone attacks my ignorance, forgive me – I went to a state school.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Best Film Of The Year.

One of the most charming features of the ArcLight Theater in Hollywood is that every movie is introduced by a member of the theater staff. And on opening night of Inglourious Basterds, with a revved up, full-house, the staffer closed his intro with: “Let’s kill some Nazis!”

I realized right then that that statement offends no one. Impressive work, Hitler.

Inglourious Basterds is 153 minutes, and I wish it were longer. It’s smart. It’s scary. It made my hands sweat. But it’s also funnier than most comedies. Quentin Tarentino, already great, has actually matured as a writer/director. This is epic, and classic.

And while Brad Pitt is a hilarious caricature of a lieutenant, it’s Cristoph Waltz as the Jew Hunter that will win the Oscar this year. As a breakout villain, Waltz makes Alan Rickman in Die Hard look like a piker. He’s a terrifying figure in four different languages, and if you ran into him on the street, you’d pretty much want to stab him.

In what has thus far been the lousiest movie year in a long time, Inglourious Basterds is a film that I’m going to go back and see again. Who’s coming with me?