Monday, January 31, 2011

Taking The Hard Way Out.

After girls in my high school made a habit of blotting their lipstick on their locker room mirror, rendering it difficult to clean, the principal gathered them and the janitor there one day after gym class. He warned them not to do it any more, then motioned to the janitor, who dunked a sponge in one of the toilets and used it to wipe down the mirror. The girls were horrified.

Sure, Principal Flood could have fixed this the easy way, but the hard way is just better. I thought about this when I saw a special screening of the movie Biutiful over the weekend, followed by a Q&A with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (he also directed 21 Grams and Babel.) Alejandro said that Javier Bardem had to choose between doing the film Nine, in which he could prance around with a bunch of hot chicks for a couple months, or Biutiful, in which he could play a dying man in the filthy and smelly and often frigid ghettos of Barcelona. Javier chose filthy/smelly/frigid, and got nominated for an Oscar.

The movie also got nominated, for best foreign film, and I recommend seeing it, but only once. It’s way too sad to view twice. I also don’t recommend kissing mirrors – you have no idea where they’ve been.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back In School.

When telling people what you've learned, bear in mind they couldn't give the remotest shit about it unless it qualifies as insider trading information, or will help them get laid.

That said, I’m going to back to class, and from time to time will share whatever I find interesting.

Last year, I graduated from levels one and two at the Upright Citizens Brigade improv theatre. I waited to take the third level because I wanted the best teacher possible, and yesterday I lucked out and got into his class.

My teacher is part of the improv team Convoy, who made a name for themselves at UCB’s cage match. While most teams win for a few weeks before another team knocks them out, Convoy won 51 weeks in a row. Teams came from all over the country, including the cast of SNL, to try to oust them, but were unsuccessful. Finally, Convoy stepped down and was given its own weekly show.

I think my teacher (that’s him, above, in green) is the best of the three Convoy guys, and if his team is the best on the planet, then by the transitive property I will be trained by the best improv guy on the planet. I can't wait for the class.

Anyway, T.G.I.F. Or, for you atheists, T.I.F.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Once Again, Random Shots I’m Deleting: A Blackberry® Purge.

My Blackberry and I have begun some rather ugly divorce proceedings. I’m getting voicemail a day late, email only if I power the thing off/on and sketchy Internet at best. I want that new iPhone so bad sometimes it makes me take a knee.

And it’s only a week away, so in that time I'm gonna have to zip through whatever pics I have left, including the one above.

Last month, we had an anomaly of a deluge here that lasted two weeks, and as I wove through the streets of LA one day, I came upon this awesomeness. Or as I like to call it: the biggest weather related-accident since Al Roker bought his wardrobe.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Ten Favorite Movies Of 2010.

The Oscars should have an occasional category for best previously non-nominated performance. Among the first nominees would be Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone. Until they do, I won’t shave, bathe or floss.

The 2011 nominees were announced yesterday, including the ten for best picture, and as is customary, I like to list my own ten best, in order:

1) The Town. I was going to say it’s always interesting to root for bad guys, but then I realized no one likes shitbag cops in real life, either. (By the way, put this film, and Ben Affleck’s direction, right below Val Kilmer on the non-nominated list.)

2) The Social Network. No surprise Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook – he was less comfortable with women than an IKEA futon.

3) Rabbit Hole. Brilliant and sad. I haven’t cried like that since the Yankees got knocked out of the playoffs.

4) Solitary Man. Michael Douglas sleeps with young women all over NYC. And he does it in this movie, too.

5) Exit Through the Gift Shop. This documentary about graffiti artists made me feel guilty that the only paintbrush I own is the one in a bottle of Wite-Out.

6) The King’s Speech. My friend Erica is convinced the King and Lionel Logue were gay lovers. But really, aren’t all British dudes gay?

7) Hot Tub Time Machine. Best comedy of the year. And that ain’t the Bartles & Jaymes talking.

8) The Other Guys. Great comedy that I would have ranked higher if Derek Jeter didn’t get shot in it.

9) Iron Man 2. Best sequel since pizza-flavored Combos.

10) Machete. Mexicans really do know how to wield their cutlery – just check the kitchen of any Chinese restaurant in LA.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting The Hands Faux Dirty.

This is me shooting the magazine cover the other day. While I still can’t get into specifics, I can say they dressed me as a mechanic for the shot. Apparently, I can pull off the palooka look.

Speaking of palookas, I realized over the weekend that “The Jersey Shore” is just as entertaining if you watch it with the sound off. And the picture off.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Again, Depression Sets In.

I don’t really keep a bucket list. When you think about it, a “to do” list is really more of a “to have done to me” list, anyway.

The only thing I need to fulfill my life is completely out of my hands: the New York Jets winning a Super Bowl. And yesterday, the Jets were on the verge of getting there, but couldn't quite make it.

New York went on a really thrilling run to get to last night’s game, thanks to the cockiest coach in the NFL: Rex Ryan. Rex made the Jets believe they were better than they actually were, and almost pulled off a miracle.

I plan on bringing more of that kind of swagger into my career from now on. Tough audition I’m not quite right for? I am now. Tricky role that requires a range of emotions? Can’t wait.

Let’s all bring that attitude into whatever we have going on, so the Jets’ loss isn’t a total loss. Life speeds by; there’s no next time around.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

He’s Back.

Thank goodness there are people in my life who offer guidance. If it weren’t for them, I’d still think PETA stood for Please Eat This Animal.

And since I can’t decide whether I like a movie until after someone tells me I did, I’m glad Roger Ebert is back on TV. He’s got a new show on PBS called “Ebert Presents at the Movies,” and it debuts this weekend.

The show will be hosted by two critics, and Roger will appear in a segment called “Roger’s Office.” Oh, and he has a new prosthesis to make his face a little more TV friendly, since he’s lost his lower jaw due to complications from cancer.

Check it all out, if for no other reason than to find out if your TV actually gets PBS. I hear it’s still a network, with cameras and everything.

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Turn, Shithead.

By the time you read this, I’ll have gotten up before sunrise for a photo shoot. (You know me – any excuse to wear makeup.)

Good news for me: I booked a print role on the cover of a trade magazine. I can’t go into specifics until it’s okay to talk about it, but let’s just say Tom Brady and I have something in common this week as we’re both featured on covers. Tom earned his because my Jets knocked his ass into oblivion as payback for taunting the Jets’ sideline while Tom's Patriots ran up the score on New York a month ago.

My friend Julie says the only time she doesn’t like my blog is when I write about sports, so I’ll now mention that Julie is super cute and talented – which oughta leave her extra conflicted about today's entry. My work is done here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Once Again, Out-Of-Context Thank-You Notes I’ve Recently Written To Casting Directors.

  • I’ve made it a rule to never pay retail when buying photos of a celebrity assaulting another celebrity.
  • I’ve never taken Viagra, but I once drank a Big Gulp before getting stuck on an elevator. Similar medical risks were involved.
  • I’ve cc’d this note to my mom, who incorrectly warned me as a child that water fights would lead to no good.
  • I’m so stuck in fast-talking-lobbyist mode that I even wrote this super fast, and got carpal tunnels. Worth it.
  • A scene in which I kill my former boss? Somebody’s been reading my diary…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rob Rage.

I have gotten so spoiled by my DVR that I now even resent fast forwarding through the commercials.

But, I persevere. And speaking of must-DVR TV, after taking off several months so that Amy Poehler could have her baby, “Parks and Recreation” is back tomorrow night.

Click above for an awesome promo for the show’s return, featuring Rob Lowe, who joined the cast in the middle of last season. He’s the best.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Blackberry® Photo Farewell Tour.

Hey Blackberry – your money’s on the dresser. I’m through with you.

Actually, I’m through with you in a few weeks, as I’ve pre-pre-ordered the new Verizon iPhone. And as I prepare to part ways with my electronic pacifier, I’m cleaning out the photos that I never posted/blogged about.

Today’s pic: Chuck Woolery and Tim Kennedy, from the Alteril infomercial I booked last summer.

Chuck is the nicest guy – goes out of way to meet everyone on the set, and after years of hosting game shows became super intelligent via osmosis. When I told him where I grew up, he knew so much info about New York history that I never knew.

Tim Kennedy, by the way, is both an MMA fighter and Army Ranger, and I’m thinking about proposing to both him and Chuck that we go into business together. Chuck will be the brains. Tim, the muscle. I’ll park the cars.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Village People Tryouts Are That Way, Ace.

Hey – dude who showed up to the construction-guy audition with a construction helmet: you are ten of the douchiest people I know.

Now, you could say it’s great that jerkoffs like you exist – you’re immediately eliminated from my competition. But the competitive part of me looks at guys like you and wants to choke you because you thought the helmet was going to give you an edge over me.

To a man, every casting director in town believes actors should dress for an audition with a nod to the character, rather than in costume. Because costume = truly desperate.

So, seeing as you’re never going to book a commercial through the audition process, here’s my suggestion: tweet about your love for Wheat Thins so that the really caffeinated guy in the yellow van will ambush you at an outdoor caf√©. You can thank me later.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Alcohol-Fueled Goodness.

No doubt the Oscars are the highlight of award season, but don’t sell tomorrow night’s Golden Globes short. With all the actors taking full advantage of the open bar, the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton transforms into Jabba the Hut’s pleasure skiff.

My one-man campaign to get Ricky Gervais to host the Oscars is one step closer, as he’s hosting the Golden Globes for the second year in a row.

So tune in, and root heavily for The Social Network (second best film of the year), “Boardwalk Empire” (best new TV show of the year) and J√§germeister (best way to make a award winner say something racist during his acceptance speech.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Question, Brought To You By The 110 Freeway.

Is it just me, or is Nissan really phoning in their logo these days?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mr. Mayor With The Assist.

I saw the other day that for a big bag of money, you can hire Andre Agassi as a motivational speaker. And then I wondered: what was the low point for Andre – when he was doing crystal meth, or when he was doing Barbara Streissand?

Luckily, I’ve got all the motivation I need, after a giant step in my bid for world domination: I’m on avail (one of the final two choices) for the very first commercial audition I went on in 2011.

Cut to the semi-not-as-great news – it’s been several days since, and it doesn’t look like I got the role. But as I always say, in the minds of the casting director and my agent, this is as good as booking, as they know the director and client love my work, etc., etc., etc.

I’ll settle for being stranded at third after leading off with a triple. And I wouldn’t have gotten there without help from my hero, Cory Booker.

I’ll explain with a story. A friend of mine once met Richard Hatch (the actor from the original “Battlestar Gallatica,” not the douchey reality-show guy) and asked him what he would have done differently with his career. “I would have always gone to the beach before auditions,” Richard replied. He knew that if he walked into a casting room in a great mood, after visiting his favorite place, he’d book.

The day I auditioned for the commercial, I woke up to the message Cory Booker sent me, and I knew right then that I was going to go to that audition and crush it.

Thank you, sir, for helping me establish a beachhead in my assault – on Hollywood, on the U.S., on the world.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fool Me Twice.

Okay, this is the second time I’ve come across a note like this on a car.

I’m starting to think that this is just a front for some really shady shit.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Real Los Angeles Heroes.

Here’s to you, Car Wash Attendant on a Rainy Day.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail shall keep you from collecting your eight bucks an hour. Paid twice monthly in quarters.

You keep weathering that perfect storm, captain. Just because nobody needs a carnauba wax, doesn’t mean they won’t drop by your gift shop to pick up a Barbie Kite, or something from your fine selection of bongs and Chinese throwing stars.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 Deaths That Sucked.

When I posted 2009’s list, my friend Michael asked me, “Does this mean there’s going to a Best Deaths list?” Speaking of which, an early favorite for best death in 2011: the Indianapolis Colts.

Dennis Hopper. A friend of mine was once filming a scene at the bottom of a hilly neighborhood in Malibu. Dennis Hopper pulled up, and threw a shitfit because he wasn’t allowed to drive through. My friend was convinced that Dennis a) must have been on the way to his drug dealer, and b) after appearing in 200+ movies, should have known better.

Gary Coleman. Make fun of him all you like, but if you aren’t spending years on a hit sitcom, only to have your parents run off with all your money, forcing you to become a non-threatening mall guard who then gets into some sort of a sham marriage with a crazy redhead, you ain’t living.

Brittany Murphy. No bigger tragedy than a hot chick dying young. I loved Brittany’s voiceover gig as Hank Hill’s niece Luanne on “King of the Hill.” My favorite Luanne line, in which she described her upbringing: “Mama's in jail. She was savin' a quart of beer for before bed, and Daddy threw it out, and she went after him with a fork, and the trailer tipped over, and everything turned upside down, and it's all gonna be on 'Real Stories of the Highway Patrol.'”

Corey Haim. While at the same party as Corey a few years ago, my friend Ian was catching up with a friend of his. Ian turned to Corey, and asked if he had a pen. “Sure,” Corey said with a smile, “I’ll give you an autograph.” “No!” Ian barked at him. “I just want to write down a phone number.”

Peter Graves. I blogged about Peter (and Corey Haim) just after they died. Check it out here.

Robert Culp. He lived a block from where I go to casting workshops, and my dream was to bump into him and talk his ear off about “The Greatest American Hero.” Bucket list unfulfilled.

Tom Bosley. Mr. C. (and Father Dowling) was a Jew. That’s mad skills.

Leslie Nielsen. For me, nothing beats being funny while always maintaining a straight face. It’s the biggest reason I love dogs.

John Forsythe. I read that John earned $5 million just for doing the voice of Charlie in the two Charlie’s Angels films. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you can afford a $17,500 bottle of champagne.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Etiquette Question.

When tipping on a $17,500 bottle of Dom, was I correct to round up?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Guy shows up to a mechanic audition wearing a jumpsuit. In his defense, the forecast did call for 71 and cloudy with a chance of douchebag.

The Best Movie In Theaters Now.

Yesterday, I skipped the long line and did self-checkout at Ralph’s supermarket. Just giving the cashiers one less reason to live for.

But if they think their lives are tragic, they ought to see Rabbit Hole. It stars Nicole Kidman and the always underrated Aaron Eckhardt, and is based on a really great play. It’s outstanding.

I won’t delve into further details, as I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone. I can, however, offer up a spoiler alert about life in general: everybody dies.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Have Heroes.

Okay winter, you proved your point: I’m a pussy.

But you also helped show why Newark Mayor Cory Booker is one of my favorite people. I blogged about Cory once before, and I’m still in awe of the job he’s doing to rebuild his city. By the way, after the Esquire article I referenced was published, which completely deified Cory, he sent an angry letter to the magazine, chastising it for not portraying his city well. What politician does that?

The day after Christmas, Newark had a total snowfall of 24.2 inches, and Mayor Booker decided to single-handedly dig the city out. That’s him, above, in the hoodie. He never slept, living off Advil and Diet Coke after he hurt his back shoveling, and used Twitter to coordinate the effort to clean the streets.

It began with a simple tweet:
@CoryBooker: I'm patroling with my shovel helping dig out. Let me know if any seniors or disabled need help.

Soon after, he freed an ambulance so it could get to a dialysis patient.

There was drama:
@CoryBooker: Responding to a distress call - woman in labor. EMS on the way but I have a feeling my team will beat them there.

Corey did beat EMS to the woman, and called her “courageous.”

He was hands on, responding to citizens:
@NewNewark: Tell mayor, Mr Lou Jones 224 Richileu ter. He's disabled needs help.
@CoryNooker: Can u DM me his phone #?

@tmhester: Highland Ave b/w My sis can't get out to get diapers.
@CoryBooker: I'm delivering the diapers now. We will get her street soon

He kept his patience with the unappreciative types:
@CoryBooker: We'll be working on them through the night

@HobokenSinkhole: why'd U even let it snow in the 1st place?!
@CoryBooker: Lol! I feel like I got that yelled at me a few times 2day

And when it was all over, the mayor still maintained his sense of humor:
@Honky_B_Cool: can you send a salt truck to Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana? The bartender forgot to salt my margarita.
@CoryBooker: Huge Laugh!

I mention all this because a) my dad used to tell me he believed there are 11 people put on this earth to make it a better place, and no doubt Cory is one of them, and b) this is still prime resolution-making time, and I don’t know about you, but if I can vow to work one-tenth as hard as Cory Booker, and aspire to be as genuine and compassionate as him, there’s no telling what I can do this year.

*Note: after posting this entry, I received this direct message:
"Wow, thanks for that flattering blog. I pray in 2011 I can live up to (or close to) your exceedingly generous words. Cory"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Down To Business.

First Monday of the new year, and I’m setting the career odometer back to zero. I’d like to think I had a better 2010 than many actors, including guys like Charlie Sheen. Oh, c'mon – if I had a dime for every time I busted up a room at the Plaza and locked a hooker in a closet, I'd be rich. You heard me.

The final tally: I booked five commercials, two infomercials, a role on “The Tonight Show” and a lead in a pilot. I’m proud of all of that, but I'm raising the bar much higher. I’m tanned, rested and ready. (Well, after Christmas in New York, I’m at least ready.)

By the way, the dog poop calendar is a real thing, and it guarantees “all new photo craps.” Here’s to everyone having all sorts of great, new crap in ’11.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thawing Out.

Is it just me, or are flights much bumpier than they used to be? The plane ride back was so stressful, if snakes started to come out of every crevice it would have been a relief… 150 seats on the plane. 15 seats in the waiting area. Is this some sort of psychological experiment in social aggression?… Happy belated Amateur Night. As the only sober guy out last evening, I must say you all get a little “handsy” when you drink.