Monday, February 28, 2011

Overdose, Please.

Just as I got finished congratulating myself on going about my day while fighting the flu, Sunday’s workout/class/ballgame caught up with me, and I spent yesterday face down on my living room floor, praying for the sweet release of death. I knew I was delirious when I took Petey for a walk, and forgot to bring bags for his poop. I made due, but let’s never speak of it again.

From the misery-loves-company dept.: I was in the cold-medicine aisle at CVS yesterday next to NFL quarterback Matt Leinart, who was also searching for anything to get himself back on his feet.

Get well soon, Matt. And Matt.

And Women Think I’m Noncommittal.

When I began writing this blog, I needed a name for it, so I searched what was already being used. Dozens of URLs I wanted were already taken by other actors who set out to chronicle their lives in Hollywood. However, each one of their blogs contained the same typo: where it said “I’ll write every day,” it was supposed so say “I’ll write for three days, then eff this.”

Meanwhile, last Monday marked the three-year anniversary of my blog. (I'm committal, but apparently forget milestones.) I won’t chastise my fellow actor/bloggers for giving up on what I have been able to maintain; they’re just not wired quite like me. (Case in point: yesterday, battling horrendous flu, I still got up early, worked out, went to a three-hour improv class and played ball at night. Get to know me.)

Three years in, and here’s the moral: you can’t always hold yourself to the expectations you hold yourself to.

* * *

Congrats, Aaron.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

First Of All, I’d Like To Bitch-Slap The Academy.

I don't know what I'd do if anything ever happened to the Academy voters. But first, I'd probably burn my clothes.

These are the folks that didn’t nominate The Town, my favorite film of 2010, for best picture, and I’m still thoroughly pissed about it. So tomorrow night, I won’t be watching the Oscars, I’ll be watching the Oscar, because the only category that matters to me now is Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published. And my favorite writer is nominated: Aaron Sorkin (that’s my hero, pictured, above.)

No one writes better dialogue than Aaron, and he did a phenomenal job on The Social Network. (Here’s a great article/interview with him in New York Magazine.) He deserves many Oscars in his lifetime, so I'm pulling hard for the first one.

Calming breath.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Things I Saw On A Thursday In Los Angeles.

Saddest craft services table ever.

A cry for help.

False advertising.

Pit Bull at sunset.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Rule.

I don't have a good head for numbers. Hats is more its thing.

But I do recognize quality sitcoms when I see them (I currently DVR thirteen of them), and it was with wishful thinking that I recommended watching “Mr. Sunshine” six months before it aired. The show has turned out to be really funny.

I often make the mistake of quitting on a show if I don’t like the pilot, but a few times I’ve stuck with one and it eventually win me over. I'm not saying the “Mr. Sunshine” pilot was bad – it was actually very good – but the two episodes that succeeded it have been even better. I love the show.

Pilots are no reflection of the true quality of shows, so the new rule is this: a two-episode minimum. It'll keep you from missing out on some really good TV, give a worthy show good ratings, kill off horrendous reality shows and create jobs for actors like me, etc., etc.

Anyone violating said rule will be ground up into a rough paste. Crime should have consequences, people.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Newsstands Now.

The latest issue of School Transportation News, featuring me as a mechanic on the cover. Pick one up today – it’ll be the best three bucks you ever plunked down.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Throw It Back.

Once, while watching “River Monsters” on Animal Planet, I knew the dude on the show wasn’t going to die because they aired a promo during it for the next week's show. But don’t get them wrong – he’s gonna die.

I’ll never get back the only ten minutes I ever spent watching reality TV, but the healing is starting to begin. Lately, I’ve heard from more and more people in the business that networks, who once loved the low-production budgets of these reality pieces of shit, are kicking themselves nowadays because the shows have no back end. You can’t air them as reruns, or sell them on DVDs.

So the Tigerfish won’t finish off River Monster guy, but the bottom line will. Ironic check and mate, TV.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Inside The Actor’s Studio Apartment: Behind The Scenes.

Watching TV last night, I had an idea that was possibly life changing! (Probably not.)

The “Saturday Night Live Backstage” special inspired me to occasionally write about the making of some of my entries.

Today: the 99¢ Store decoration display.

In attempting to take that pic, I got yelled at twice by the store manager. Once for stepping over the broken glass (which made me laugh, thinking he was kidding. He wasn’t.) And then again for taking the pic, because that wasn't allowed in the store.

Listen, sir: working retail can be a bitch. I get that. Working at the very bottom of the retail food chain has gotta be demoralizing. But instead of taking your frustrations out on your customers, just tag out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Take #2.

Last year, he had Mexican; I’m calling this one “Food Truck.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Over.

In a nice but overwhelming new trend, commercial auditions have begun occurring not only on weekdays, but on Saturdays. Tack that on to the weeknights and Saturday mornings I spend at workshops, plus my new improv class that meets for three hours Sunday afternoons, and it's time to break out the crisis pants. Again.

My class met for the first time last Sunday. The classroom features the curtain pictured above, whose color scheme I fear may cause me Japanime-like seizures. I’m in the third level of Upright Citizens Brigade, and it’s challenging as hell. But if I’m not scaring myself, I’m not learning. Let’s just say I’m learning a ton.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a slave to my career, but then I remember who’s cracking the whip. In the meantime, I want you all to make sure you have a kickass weekend, right? Right.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Memoriam.

It was a thrill, two years ago, when my brand new Blackberry allowed me to check email effortlessly. But time marched on, and in the last few months, the device had all the glamour of sweaty feet.

I tend to be brand loyal, and even though I’ve always had Macs, I love Verizon as well, and waited until they launched an iPhone. (Though that loyalty was tested when I took my new iPhone to a Verizon store for help, and the employees had no clue what to do. They don’t even have high-speed Internet in their stores – only dial-up. Don’t ask.)

After a week with an iPhone, I can confidently say it’s the best piece of technologically ever created. But I have good memories of the Blackberry, prompting me to write the second obituary about an inanimate object.

I think about the over 50,000 texts I sent from it. The emails notifying me about film festivals. The Blackberry® Photo Galleries. The calls I received when I booked roles. Even the time it cost me a role.

It kept me in touch, it kept me company, it was the first thing I reached for every morning. And now I power it off for the last time and put it in its rightful place: in my closet, next to the Top Gun jacket, behind the Doobie Brothers CD.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

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

  • I would never lie about an anniversary to get free champagne. I would, however, lie about a birthday to get a free sundae at Bob’s Big Boy.
  • It’s good to learn we have Jewish brothers in Mississippi – I think we may get one or two in Hollywood next.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a perfect divorce – but I’ve seen some perfectly awful marriages.
  • I prepared for this role by eating my weight in chicken parm.
  • It ain’t the fumes from the new carpet in your office talking when I say it was great to meet you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Best Co-Star Ever.

I shot my role in the Cadillac commercial yesterday, along with this scene-stealer named Blue. He hit his mark, barked on cue and enabled me to legitimately use the phrase “You’re my boy, Blue!”

It was a great set, and it ain’t the residuals talking when I say that Cadillac builds some very sleek, technologically-brilliant vehicles. They’ve come a long way since the ’79 Coupe de Ville Ray Liotta drove in Goodfellas. Caddy designers are poets with wrenches, and I highly recommend buying, leasing or jacking one today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Dedicate This To My One True Love: The Ladies.

Last Valentine's Day, I blogged about ten things single women should know about men. This year, I’m targeting all ladies everywhere. My friend Jeff calls it the Tao of Shevin – kind of a Whitman’s Sampler of things I think women should know about men. (And hopefully not a pink, cream filling in the bunch):
  1. If you’re taken, just let us know. I met a woman in NY a while back and emailed her, asking if she had grown up there. Her reply: “No, I'm from Pennsylvania originally, but my boyfriend is from here, born and raised. Hope you're well.” Bing, bang, boom. That’s how it’s done.
  2. And if you already have a boyfriend, make sure when we meet him that he’s a relatively good-looking, cool guy. It’s a million times worse if he’s not.
  3. Three words about your previous relationship: I’m not him.
  4. A woman I was dating once said to me, “I hate that you watch so much sports, but I would never date a guy that didn’t.” And it made total sense.
  5. Flats suck.
  6. We’re all convinced you will eventually become your mother. So instead of introducing her to us, keep that crazy bitch under lock and key.
  7. My friend Brigg was set up on a blind date, and even though the woman was his type (tall, pretty blonde), he was turned off, because it was painfully obvious she was trolling for a husband. Everything Brigg said to her was the most interesting or funniest thing she’d ever heard, and she stared right in his face with her crazy eyes and let him know. In college we called it “majoring in MRS.” Don’t be that woman.
  8. Bummed the woman next to you at work got flowers and you didn’t? Don’t be. Guys who send flowers to the office are just pissing on their territory, warning all male coworkers. A dozen red roses? More like a dozen red flags. Dating Jealous Guy never ends well.
  9. You’re smarter than us, stronger than us and within six months you’ll be just fine without us.
  10. If you're gonna be a crazy nag who drinks white wine, you’d better be a Real Housewife of somewhere.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two Questions:

1) Would it be against my lease agreement to put the same kickass mural on my SUV?

2) Did the guy who had it done run out of cash after he finished the trunk?

Friday, February 11, 2011

What Can I Do To Get You Into This Car?

I was pleased to discover the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe has a 556 hp V8. In these uncertain times, you never know when you may have to resort to running moonshine.

And I may have staved off bootlegging for a bit, because yesterday I booked a role in a commercial for Cadillac.

My short-term career goal had been to get to double digits, and I’ve achieved it – this will be my tenth commercial. It’ll run here in LA, and I’ll post it if I can get the footage.

It shoots Monday, so I’ll be spending the weekend hoisting a few Champales, if anyone’s interested.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Don’t Want To Get Off On A Rant Here, But…

Why show up in a costume for an audition when you can just kill yourself?

So, another “actor” got on my last nerve, this time showing up in full mechanic outfit with a rag hanging out of his pocket.

And I almost force-fed him that rag when, as the rest of us quietly tried to focus, he ran his mouth, at one point saying, “Am I only one who dressed as a mechanic? I must be the only one serious about this.” Yeah, seriously not booking it, dude.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Great Commercial? Or The Greatest Commercial?

The Super Bowl ads were terrific, but this one is the best, and it's been running like crazy in LA (and I presume everywhere else.)

I’m pretty sure it was shot in my neighborhood, and it has everything a perfect commercial needs: excellent casting, dramatic tension and a real-life situation. It's a real commercial, really airing. Click above before I spoil it any more.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And, Scene.

Procrastination can be a dangerous game. I put off doing my laundry on my normal Friday, then went out Saturday, Super Bowl party Sunday and... let's just say I’m wearing a Rite Aid bag as underwear today.

For some time now, the Degenerate Actor Friends and I have been talking about utilizing our talent and shooting some sketches and spec commercials, but never really got around to it. Finally, in a fit of inspiration over WiFi on the plane back from Christmas in New York, I IMd my friend Kirk and we made a threatening vow to get to work.

And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing the past two weeks. We’ve already shot the first idea, and are looking into the second.

There you have it. Meanwhile, I swear I will have clean clothes by this afternoon, or I’ll be dead by my own hand.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Super Bowl Party: A Final Blackberry® Photo Gallery.

It was standing room only witnessing the Black Eyed Peas run out of songs in two minutes, then turn to Slash and Usher for help.

Whenever greeting me with a hug at a get-together, my niece abandons the zone and always plays man-to-man.

Outdoor TVs are reserved for the rich and the rednecks. Never the middle class.

For your peeing and pooping pleasure – you’ll never miss one down of the game.

Without a warming tray, baked beans lack glamour.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Meanwhile, On The Other Coast...

My little brother sent me this pic he took the other day of the bell attached to our mom’s house in New York. (I mentioned the bell once before, here.) Growing up in frigid temps like this taught me character, humility and persistence. But it also really sucked.

Enjoy hosting that outdoor Super Bowl in three years, New York. I'll be contemplating that tomorrow, here in LA, where it’ll be 74° for the annual Super Bowl party thrown by my friends Al and Krishna. Back in the day, the attendees were fun, heavy-drinking singles. Today, the singles have grown into unhappily married couples with kids, so the drinking is even heavier. The kids have begun attending the party, which as of today has 112 RSVPs, so we're looking at a packed house.

If I encounter enough interesting shenanigans, I’ll do a Blackberry® Photo Gallery. Right after I buy New York a great, big Snuggy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Suggestion.

Crazy person up the street from me: you kinda negate the whole threat thing with the cute, googly-eye illustration.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Midnight Madness.

It’s official – my Blackberry has been rendered obsolete. There are several acting websites I can’t log onto to submit myself for roles, and that's affecting my career. Also, the piece of shit is physically breaking down; I suddenly had no trackball the other day, and had to go to three Verizon stores to chase down a new one. If I don’t get an iPhone soon, I'm gonna head down to my local 7-Eleven and start taking hostages.

So it came to this: because I’ve been a longtime Verizon customer, I was allowed first crack at the new iPhone last night, at midnight my time. The reason for the middle of the night launch is because Hawaii, six hours behind EST, continually gets hosed with this kind of stuff, so Verizon decided to toss them a bone at 9 p.m. Hawaiian.

Success at 12:01 a.m., thank Jesus – my new iPhone is being delivered Monday.

Since I didn’t know whether I would get though the barrage of millions of people logging on to the Verizon site last night, I prepared two posts just in case: one triumphant, one conciliatory. Here they are:

If I was able to purchase an iPhone:
Hell yeah! I’ve officially ordered the very first Verizon iPhone. Which means soon I’ll have even better Internet access in the palm of my hand. Suck that, Egyptians.

If I wasn't:

This is bullshit! Blackberry – I know you’re somehow involved. May you get a broken-glass handjob in Hell for this.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anybody Up For A Movie This June?

There’s smart, well-written entertainment, and then there’s everything else. What I’m trying to say is: thank you, reality shows, for helping us figure out who shouldn't have been born in the first place.

I caught a trailer for a film coming out this summer called Beginners. It’s totally up my alley – click and see if you agree. And here's to seeing more scripted goodness with great actors. Yes, actors.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thrill Of A Lifetime.

They're back: the Tax-Season Statues of Liberty. (Or the TSSL, as my break-dancing crew calls them.)

Which reminds me – I was at a ballgame when I was a kid, and in between pitches I waived at Yankee right fielder Dave Collins. Dave saluted me back. I thought nothing would ever top that honor until yesterday, when the above chick waived at me. Outstanding.