Monday, May 31, 2010

Insult to Injury.

Remind me, the next time I get molested, not to hire Mr. Peanut here to represent me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Love You This Much.

A couple of years ago, as I dragged my new flat-screen into the living room, I turned to Petey and said, “Meet your new brother.”

I am a TV addict, so imagine how much I’ve been jonesing for it after being so busy the past two weeks. One thing I’ve realized: you can measure success by the space remaining on your DVR. It’s been a nice mini-run.

By the way – none of the 99% involves karaoke, or dancing with D-level celebrities. And I won’t tear my spleen guffawin’ at “The Marriage Ref.” I’m an addict, not an asswipe.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekend At Matty’s 2.

Anyone know where I can find out more about celebrities I've never heard of doing non-newsworthy things, besides everywhere?

I prefer my stars be A-list. And Saturday night, I knew exactly where to find them: the MacGruber screening/after-party at the Roosevelt Hotel. Wingman Mike, who’s friends with Will Forte, invited me to join him, and it was some damn good Hollywood elbow-rubbing. Will, by the way, is the nicest guy, and it was all the more evidenced by the people that came out to support him – not just his present and former SNL cast mates, but big hosts as well: Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, James Franco.

See his film.

So, now, we here we are – a three-day weekend. Plans for me include dinner with the boys. We’re not sure where yet, but my friend Al has strictly requested “no gay food.” It's unclear what on earth that even means.

Wishing you all a Memorial Day weekend so amazing, you’ll have absolutely no memory of it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Auto Asphyxiation (The Non-Erotic, Non-David-Carradine Kind.)

Yesterday was more of the good stuff, as I shot my role in the commercial for MotorSilk. The location was in Ventura County, which meant I had to take the Ronald Reagan Expressway to get there. I knew it was the RR Expressway because I completely forgot where I was going.

That’s me, above, in one of my scenes, being choked by a gas nozzle/hose. The director told me I was disturbingly good at it. I told her I had a reminiscent, recurring, strangling nightmare during puberty.

Great set. Great crew. I shouldn't get paid to have this much fun. I think I'm pursuing the right field.

On a side note, I'd like to give a tremendous shout-out to my big brother, who’s been super helpful in taking Petey over to his house while I’m on these shoots. I couldn’t be more proud to have emerged from the same vagina as you, sir.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Weekend At Matty’s.

Stepping onto the stage of a packed Upright Citizens Brigade Theater is quite a rush, but not quite rock-star status. Never mind the panties – comic book geeks throw their tighty-whiteys at your feet.

On Friday, I blogged about my upcoming slammed weekend, and it turned out even better than I expected, culminating in my UCB improv 101 class’ graduation show. That motley bunch above is my class.

Here’s how it worked: we split into two groups, each choosing a name (my group’s was Unattended Baggage), and worked a half hour on stage. We first asked the audience for a word suggestion, then one of us performed a monologue based on that that word, followed by scenes based on that monologue.

By gigantic happenstance, the director of the Wii commercial I shot last week – along with his wife, who happened to cast the commercial – are friends with one of my classmates, and both showed up at the theater. They got to see a much different side of “Dad,” as I launched into two different monologues, including the time I was faced with the tough decision of whether or not to hook up with a hot, racist Arizona girl I met at the Viceroy. I felt an odd mix of shame and pride. Shide.

The show was followed by a killer party at my classmate Michael’s house. He and I instantly hit it off after our first class and have been BFFs ever since (above, he's the guy in light blue next to me.) But how did we decide to really celebrate? By both signing up for improv 201. Starts next Tuesday. Which means another graduation for us in July. Prepare the BVDs, nerds.

Just As I Congratulated Myself For Booking Another Ad…

The dude who tried to blow up Times Square booked one, too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Cure For The Common Commercial Withdrawal.

While I don’t know a lick about what’s going on underneath my car’s hood, my strength lies in driving etiquette. The most important thing I’ve come to find: don't honk at old people. It just confuses them further.

But it looks like I’ll be getting a crash course in automotive maintenance this week, because I booked another commercial – for MotorSilk engine treatment.

No children for me this time around – I'll play a guy at a gas pump wrestling with a snake-like hose/nozzle.

Now, if you’ll pardon me while I pat myself on the back so hard I’m going to need Tommy John surgery. I was thrilled after booking the Wii commercial (my sixth overall, and third since August), but wasn’t sure what it would feel like to book the seventh one only a week later. I imagined it would be like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters. Buildings would blow up and Ernie Hudson would be covered in marshmallow when it was over.

It’s all that and more. And it shoots Wednesday. I love me some me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Answer: Because You’re So Damn Klassy.

This appeared in a recent casting call:

"Why Did We Get Married?" (Reality TV Show)
Rate/Compensation: $1000 per couple plus perks
Role: Unhappy spouse

Friday, May 21, 2010

We Now Return Me To My Regularly-Scheduled Activities.

If you ever happen to see me loitering around a Home Depot parking lot, aiming for a little day-labor, hold on to that fiver and just pay me with ice-cream cake. I’ll re-varnish your floors, edge your lawn and plug up the Gulf of Mexico oil leak all in one morning.

Finishing off the above bad-boy – generously given to me by my niece and nephew – is just one of many boxes I’m going to be ticking this weekend. Also on the calendar is a workshop with the casting director for a new HBO film, a birthday party for me and all of my friends born in May, a special screening and after-party with the cast of the new film MacGruber and I finally hit the big stage for my improv class’ graduation show. I’ll be outkicking the coverage all weekend long.

Hey – how about we all get super productive? Have fun, serve the community, make an impact. Maybe they’ll name an airport or highway after us, something associated with inconvenience and aggravation.

I want good stories Monday morning, everybody. Let's reconvene here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wrap It.

Say goodbye to my temporary living room. For me, there’s nothing as heartbreaking as the end of a really fun shoot, and I’m already going through my typical stages of grief: denial, anger, paranoia and buying everything that Amazon says I will also like.

I truly did broaden myself the past two days – to 200 lbs. In between the breakfast menu (which was ten times as long as this lunch menu), craft service people schlep around trays full of the most incredible appetizers and smoothies a guy could cram.

A sneak peak at my stage-daughter and me on screen. We were as thick as two thieves in a pod.

As amazing as this whole experience was, when it ended last night I reverted right back to reality: I drove straight over to a three-hour improv class, then went to an improv show at UCB Theater that ended at 1 a.m. I’m on a mission. From God.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Greetings From The New Shevin Family.

This photo was part of the set from yesterday’s shoot. I imagine in some alternate universe there’s a Matt Shevin that’s married with two kids, has a family cat, blogs daily about working for his father-in-law’s jewelry business, attends workshops that help him with his bridge game and wants me to find him and kill him.

The very sink I so desperately covet. I wonder if this is how Bill Gates scrubs up after dropping a deuce.

My stage kids wrote me these notes at the end of the day. I’m thinking about scanning them, turning them into brochures and handing them out to the ladies. Who would’ve thought seven year olds would make such great wingmen?

Even earlier call-time tomorrow. Sleep-deprived entry to follow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random Thoughts From A Wardrobe Fitting.

I’ve never slept with a virgin, which explains why I still get so excited about breaking the seal on a new peanut butter. But imagine how excited I get when I'm at a studio on Sunset Blvd., being fitted for a commercial. By the way, I’m assuming pink shirt over a charcoal T is issued to every new dad in the maternity ward.

Option #2. We had moved to the set to see how the clothes worked against the furniture, and I took this shot from a nearby bathroom. The bathroom, by the way, featured an incredibly mod, splashless sink. I’m thinking about bringing along a crowbar tomorrow to pry myself a souvenir.

This was the winner. Could I be any more Phil from “Modern Family”? By the time we got to this third changing, and my commercial kids became extra hopped-up, my commercial wife wondered how we were going to get through two more days of this. I told her I’m going to stay drunk.

Early call-time today. Back with more.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I’ve Got Good News And Good News. Which Do You Want First?

There is no better moment for an actor than the second the phone rings and he finds out he booked a role. That moment happened for me two nights ago, and I wanted to kiss it, or take it home and throw it in bed with me.

The good news and good news are that I booked roles in both a commercial and print campaign for a new game for Wii that shoots tomorrow and Wednesday. It’s a kids game, and I’m under a non-disclosure agreement about it until it all airs, so I can’t get into details. But I can say I play a dad, which means I get a whole new family to replace my Hallmark family. Which is great – Hallmark family was really starting to cramp my style.

This is the sixth commercial I’ve booked, and the third since August. I’m really happy about that – work begets work, and here’s hoping I get into the double digits soon. I do, of course, see the great irony in me gladly accepting handfuls of cash to be a dad on TV, when there isn’t enough money in the world to make me be one in real life. Thank you, showbiz.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Life Will Imitate Art.

Big thanks to all my friends – I received so many birthday messages that I felt like a Make-A-Wish kid.

People were also nice enough to take my movie suggestions to heart and plug them into their Netflix queues. And for granting me my birthday wish, I promise to eventually tackle another list. My goal is to write and produce scripts for each of these great, fake movie titles from the TV show “Seinfeld”:

  1. Agent Zero
  2. Blame it on the Rain
  3. Blimp: The Hindenberg Story
  4. Brown-Eyed Girl
  5. Checkmate
  6. Chow Fun
  7. Chunnel
  8. Cold Fusion
  9. Cry, Cry Again
  10. Cupid's Rifle
  11. Death Blow
  12. Extreme Measures
  13. Firestorm
  14. Means to an End
  15. Mountain High
  16. The Muted Heart
  17. The Other Side of Darkness
  18. Ponce de Leon
  19. Prancer
  20. Prognosis Negative
  21. Rochelle, Rochelle
  22. Sack Lunch

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Birthday Registry.

It’s my birthday today, and what has another year taught me? Well, for one thing, the older you get, the more your stories sound like Snapple Facts.

It’s now a three-year tradition that I ask not for a card or gifts or cash. What I really want on my special day is for people to support great films, so that studios will continue to produce them and make more roles available for me. So get to your video store this weekend, and pick one of these 25 titles up like it’s a Perkins waitress and you’re Tiger Woods:
  1. Adam
  2. Adventureland
  3. Art School Confidential
  4. The Bank Job
  5. The Beautiful Country
  6. Boy A
  7. Bully
  8. The Damned United
  9. An Education
  10. Extract
  11. Funny People
  12. Green Street Hooligans
  13. Hamlet 2
  14. The Hammer
  15. Hollywoodland
  16. Infamous
  17. Lord of War
  18. The Merry Gentleman
  19. The Messenger
  20. My Architect: A Son’s Journey
  21. The Namesake
  22. Overnight
  23. Rescue Dawn
  24. RocknRolla
  25. The Sea Inside

Thursday, May 13, 2010

No Soup For Them.

It ain't easy getting steady acting work. Often it's a tragic odyssey, much like Jennifer Aniston trying to find a husband.

So most actors supplement their non-incomes with day-jobs. I assumed when I moved out here that for the most part they just waited tables, but I underestimated. Check out some of the interesting positions held by by the classmates in my improv class:
  • Paparazzo for TMZ
  • Manager of a big media agency
  • Staff writer for “The Simpsons”
  • Traveling producer for Richard Branson
  • AT&T Exec
  • Rep for commercial directors
  • The world’s only Jewish Harley-Davidson mechanic
  • Graphic artist with a handshake-deal in place for a show with Cartoon Network
Nifty, huh? But in the end, we all seek to be paid to do what we love, because day-jobs are for the birds. I was walking down Madison Avenue once, complaining to a coworker about the miserable politics I faced at my first job out of school in Manhattan, when we came up behind a couple of kids in fast-food uniforms who had just gotten off work. One was complaining to the other about the politics of the deep-fryer line. It was then that I realized it's all the same shit, just different scenery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Drugging Your Pit Bull’s Ice Cream: A Four-Step Process.

We had an all-out barf-o-rama here recently – five times Saturday, and an encore yesterday afternoon. The vet prescribed a lot of pills for a lot of days, and while I’d like to just shove them down Pete’s throat, he gets stubborn. And when prying his mouth open isn’t an option (a Pit has the strongest jaws of any dog – 1500 pounds per square inch) I gotta go to Plan V: a pint of vanilla.

1) Early birthday hint: I’d love to get one of those oversized rings that hides poison in it.

2) Sucka. It’s actually kinda fun. When else in life do you actually get slip someone a mickey?

3) Serious ice-cream headache.

4) No operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Must Be In The Front Row.

I was in the grocery store last night and “The Curly Shuffle” was playing on the PA. I am on a bad publicly-played music run of late.

Luckily, however, I’ve got another source keeping me fully entertained. One of the requirements of the improv class I’m taking is that I have to see two shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater before the class’ eight-week run is up. While the bare minimum might be good for some non-maniac types, well, for me, let’s just say by the time the class ends in two weeks, I’ll have seen upwards of 20 shows.

By far, the toughest thing about being an actor is the sheer amount of competition I'm up against. But it comes in all degrees of dedication. Most actors invest so much in one aspect of their craft that their careers turn into poorly-diversified portfolios. Which is why I take pride in attending not only improv classes, but audition classes, along with four casting workshops each week. If it takes me a long time to start working consistently in this business, it ain’t gonna be from lack of effort.

And if “The Curly Shuffle” is now stuck in your brain like it’s been in mine for the past 12 hours, chances are I’ll be at the UCB Theater if you want to smack me in the back of the head.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Even Stephen.

My good friend Jenn, who thankfully looks out my well-being because I sure as heck don’t, wasn’t thrilled with my last blog entry. And she was right – I’m still making it all about the rodent that was my boss. In my defense, who doesn’t love seeing a shitbag like that take in the shorts? My ex-boss begging to return to work is like, my ex-boss begging to return to work. It’s so absurd it's analogous only to itself.

Enter harmony, thanks to this email I received over the weekend. Jenn can’t help but co-sign on me posting it:

Dear Matt,

While searching for STUDIO APARTMENT ACTOR NYC... in an attempt to see if there were small apartments available in NYC for a short period of time for actors who are working in NYC, I found your great blog. I started reading it every so often and am taken with its joy, humanity, and celebration of what it means to be an actor. Others perhaps would not understand it. We are a unique society, actors.

Any person who can write the quote on the right side of your home page is like family to me. I understand it completely. I’ve been an actor for over 40 years and you write about your life as I would at your age. It has never left me and it continues to enliven my mind and spirit as if I were a novice.

I just wanted to write you and thank you for allowing others to join you as you journey through this life as an actor. I cannot imagine that you will not have great success.

Thanks again and may you continue to have great success. In my mind, you already are there.


Stephen Reynolds
Los Angeles, CA

Stephen, it’s only Monday and you already made my week. Jenn, thanks for watching out for me – I’m closing the book and returning to my regular-scheduled career pursuit. And ex-boss, I wish you nothing but luck. Perhaps there are some openings at Hardees.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Anybody Hiring The Bipolar?

I’ve blogged from time to time about the last boss I had at the last regular job I worked. I could curse more about him, or get specific about the day he fired me (or as it's more commonly known in my house, “Independence Day”), but instead I’ll put it quite simply: he’s a really bad guy.

Part of what made him a colossally douchey leader was that he hated his career, so in between yelling at me until his eyes turned bloodshot, he saved up all the cash the company was overpaying him, retired early and opened a bar in Cabo. Of course, the place quickly went in the toilet, which was nice, considering I hate him more than Heidi Montag hates dignity.

Speaking of dignity, this animal has none, seeing as he desperately wants back into the field he loathes so much. He just sent out the following email, which was forwarded to me:

Subject: Hola
So I was reading an article on Yahoo! that said the way to get a job wasn’t by sending out hundreds of resumes, but to talk to your friends and colleagues. It said, what many small business owners already know, word of mouth is the best form of advertising. So, I’m asking for your help. I’m looking for work. I’m enclosing my website address so everyone can see the work, as well as the resume and cover letter. Check out the work. If you don’t like it, don’t recommend me. If you do, please do. Maybe you know somebody that knows somebody that has a friend that knows a guy that needs somebody. Spread the word, make a call, send an e-mail. Send several e-mails. Hell dozens. I will appreciate it. Greatly and forever. The current unemployment rate is around 10%. Together, we can get that number down to 9.999999999%.

One more thing: Don’t you occasionally get those chain letter e-mails from friends, where you have to send it to 10 other friends or face bad luck for the next two lifetimes? You hate it, but you do it. This is kind of like that. I’m a friend asking you to do something you really don’t want to do, but think maybe you should.

Thank you and take care,


Grovel much? Best of luck, ace.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Weekend’s Here And We’ll Have A Can Of Beer.

Is it possible to top the greatness of last weekend? It started with a nice dinner out on Friday, and, 16 orgasms later – 2½ of them mine – ended with a big win for my ball club.

I will best it, or die trying.

First off, it’s my friend Bru’s birthday, so we’re getting the boys together to see Iron Man 2 tonight at ArcLight Cinema. There’s no bigger nerd-alert than an opening night at ArcLight, the only theater in Hollywood, where they’ll go all out and display the Iron Man suit like they did two years ago, when the original premiered. I’m sure the Prince of Persia wardrobe will be there at the end of May as well. Speaking of which, I hear Jake Gyllenhaal got really into character for that film by wearing way too much cologne.

Tomorrow kicks off early with a workshop featuring the casting director for the new “Rockford Files.” It’s one of only two reincarnations of shows cool enough to get me out of bed early on a Saturday. You’re damn right the other one is “Webster.”

Don’t forget Mother’s Day is Sunday. I’ve already got it covered – I sent the Octomom 14 cards this morning.

Have a kickass one.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sir Charles.

I’m sure that if I asked Chuck Lorre for some guidance, he would tell an eager actor/writer like myself to be aggressive and dream big. To stick to my guns and barrel through, like he did when he tolerated showbiz nightmare Brett Butler while producing and writing for “Grace Under Fire.” Or when he took no shit from Brett’s sister-in-Hell, Cybill Shepherd, on her sitcom, so that someday I, just like him, could have two new shows now rated in the top 20. And a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bottom line: there’s no such thing as “can’t.”

At least that’s what I was hoping he’d say had he caught me parking in his spot on the Warner Brothers lot yesterday. It was an honor, sir.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Too Smart? That's Unpossible.

After years of hanging around with the palookas I grew up with in New York, going off to college in the DC area was a culture shock. My new classmates were well-read and aware. They even watched the news. Their upbringings made mine look positively Amish.

I was convinced the New York public school education wasn’t worth a plug nickel – until yesterday, when I found out it may be worth a quarter of a million bucks.

I got a call yesterday from the casting director for “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”, who said there was some concern at the show that I did too well on my audition a couple weeks ago. They like a range of contestants, and wanted to double-check my skills with a second test right then over the phone.

I actually found it to be much easier than the first. Here are the questions, and my answers:
  1. The vowels in the English language and A, E, I, O, U and sometimes what? Y (CORRECT)
  2. Who was the sixth President of the United States? John Quincy Adams (CORRECT)
  3. How many verses are there in a haiku? Three (CORRECT)
  4. True or false: water vapor is a gas turned into a liquid? False (CORRECT)
  5. What is the minimum age required to become President? 35 (CORRECT)
  6. What do you call two lines that never intersect? Parallel (CORRECT)
  7. How many moons does the planet Mercury have. I guessed two (INCORRECT – the correct answer is “none”)
  8. What do you call an animal that eats both plants and meat? Omnivore (CORRECT)
  9. The twin cities are Minneapolis and what? St. Paul (CORRECT)
I got eight out of nine, which is good, but hopefully not too good. Keep them fingers and toes crossed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Seven Hundy.

Writing a daily blog has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my life, and after 700 entries, I’ve really learned a lot. (Note to self: don't write about personal issues. And remember to pick up rash cream.)

Whenever I hit a new century mark, I like to celebrate by reposting my five favorite entries from the last 100. Enjoy:

Mansion-dropping. Meeting a legend like Hugh Hefner was worth every STD I may have contracted from his handshake. Grab the Purel and click here.

Jets vs. Chargers: A Blackberry® Photo Gallery. My favorite entries by far are the Blackberry galleries. They’re not just fun to create – they’re tasteful – in a Velveeta-on-white-bread kind of way. Enjoy the aftertaste here.

Not So Fast. Do you know what the great thing about advertising people is? No, seriously, I’m asking what it is, because I don't know. Take a commercial heartbreak right here.

I’m Afraid That I Just Blue Myself. There is no more painstaking task than removing a head-full of blue paint. Someday, the guy embalming me is going to stumble across some behind my ear. Hand me that turpentine rag here.

Clothing Required. Someone told me yesterday that the douche that fired me sent out a mass email last week desperately looking for work. Do not cross The Shirt. Try it on for size here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What I Learned From My Niece’s Birthday Party.

Wanna see 50 kids have a collective conniption? My brother owns the bouncy house behind us… Give children pizza, cake, cupcakes, eight kinds of chips, endless candy and a real-life Ariel, and they’ll still find a way to cry. I admire that kind of commitment… I love sipping from a juice box, even if it smacks of pedophile… My nephew calls me Petey… Here’s a big difference between men and women: it was also my friend Jeff’s birthday, and he couldn’t have cared less about it. As much as his wife kept re-suggesting they go out to dinner to celebrate, he chose to spend his night playing in our team’s ballgame. Meanwhile, my niece was already planning her 2011 birthday. (It’ll be a western theme)… This may just be the uncle in me, but the main thing I'll take away from the movie District 9 is damn, that little alien boy was well behaved.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

For The Minimum Wagers, It’s The Least I Can Do.

I clearly remember working retail summer jobs years ago, and feeling as though I'd been impaled on an elephant’s tusk six days a week.

It’s probably why I’ve kept a soft spot for all store employees ever since, and why I always level merchandise after putting something in my shopping cart. Leveling, as it was called back then in New York, involves pulling items forward on a shelf to make it appear fully stocked to customers. I still it do it, whenever I shop.

Apparently, it’s now called “re-facing,” according to the guy at Trader Joe’s yesterday, who was blown away when he realized I had done it for him.

In all the years I’ve been doing this, no employee has ever noticed, and when he did, I was thrilled. I hugged him, and I don't care who knows it. I'll never wash this unbelievably inappropriate boner again.