Saturday, April 30, 2011


Guess who's not going to wear this shirt in public anymore? Hint: it starts with “m” and rhymes with “pee.”

As much as I pride myself on a stellar lineup of fancy shirts, and as proud as I was that Yankee closer Mariano Rivera wore one that I own a couple years back, I dreaded that the over-the-top, gay, drama queen character Cameron on “Modern Family,” who always wears shirts by the same designer as me, would someday have on one I owned. And for two seasons, he didn’t.

Until now. It's all yours, Goodwill.

Friday, April 29, 2011

This Week In @mattshevin Tweets.

  • Who's sadder: the guy with a garbage bag for a window in his Geo Metro, or the guy who broke into a Geo Metro?
  • When my nephew doesn’t get his way, he yanks off his pants and underwear in protest. Get your own move, kid.
  • Offered an insecure chick at a casting workshop the $128 in my wallet if she was capable of not using the words "my" or "husband" in every sentence.
  • Turns out she's capable of not using any words at all. #moneywellspent
  • I don't like the way condoms feel, so I'm just going to drive a Mini with a giant Red Bull can bolted onto it and never get laid. #safesex
  • I bet Facebook drags LinkedIn into the boys bathroom, turns it upside down over a toilet and gives it a swirly.
  • Did the bald guy get together with the manly broad yet? #TheRoyalWedding
  • Happy Easter. Or, to everyone here at my gym, happy Sunday, Jews and orphans.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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

  • And I can’t stress this enough: never shush a one-testicled billionaire.
  • I would never violate international law for a man who disgraced the badge. But I once cut the tag off a mattress for my Aunt Esther.
  • If you want to get to know someone, loan him some money.
  • So if someone were to have started wearing a diaper in his 30s, it would be a bad thing? Asking for a friend.
  • Trying to break up with a woman at an Italian restaurant truly is wrong. Your best bet is Cuban food.
And the response:
  • Hey Matt – great job on that scene, and thanks for the heads up about the Cuban food. I'll know to be worried if my husband ever takes me...

"Ensemble." Use The Word Three Times And It's Yours.

A preview of tonight’s “American Idol”: a bunch of idiots will vote off some idiot who sang worse than a bunch of other idiots.

Meanwhile, on ABC is a great new show we should all be watching. It’s called “Happy Endings,” and it’s hilarious and superbly cast. (That’s the cast, above, including Damon Wayans, Jr., who’s the spitting image of his dad.)

I believe success for sitcoms is based on one simple ingredient: an ensemble cast – like “Friends” and “Will & Grace” – huge hits that lasted for years. You know what show didn’t work? “Cavemen.” You know what the guys who wrote “Cavemen” are writing now? “Modern Family” – ensemble cast, and the second best show on TV. (The best by far is “30 Rock.”)

Rant finished. “Happy Endings” is on tonight at ten. Watch it. And F Idol.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 3: You Know You Want It.

I love drugs, but I hate the metric system.

We all have our obstacles to overcome, and pursuing your dream is loaded with them. And now that we’ve discussed finding a place to live, and getting a job, I’m going to backtrack, because I received this email the other day from a guy named Richie:

“So I just wanted to thank you for your constant encouragement in email and your blog even though I am not sure you don’t mean to be so encouraging. Just for the record I have read 24 books about ‘being an actor’ and your blog has beat them all. I appreciate everything you do and I wish I had the courage to give up everything to pursue acting as you have!”

Richie, your compliment about my blog isn’t necessary. Though I will use it in every way I can to get me laid.

It’s your last sentence, though, that concerns me. I want you to feel confident that if you come out here, you will become a working actor. One of my first teachers in LA, Stan Roth (that’s him, above), has taught over 10,000 actors, and he told me something I’ll never forget: every actor that wants it bad enough, makes it. Always. It was the perfect push I needed. By the way, years ago, Stan’s students included a couple of teenage friends named Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, and he saw it in them.

So come out here, Richie. And everyone else who wants to act should do the same. In order to achieve your dream, you’re going to have to lose your comfort zone a little. But that’s what makes it great.

There’s a quote I used in an earlier post that sums it all up: “The best thing about being an artist is that you never go to bed wishing you were an energy trader. Energy traders do, however, lie awake some nights wishing they hadn’t given up the piano.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

900 Essential Vitamins And Minerals.

My writing assignment continues, and I've been at work kicking ass* and taking names**.

*Eating pizza
**Eating subs, salad, cupcakes & more pizza

The office I’m working from really knows how to take care of its staff, whether it’s fruit/bagel Tuesday, donut Thursday, or what they call "The Social" – a chance to mingle among sugary treats every other Wednesday afternoon. Often it’s an assortment of cakes and pies, but last week, just as we were guessing fastball, management threw a curve, with cereal in the afternoon. And it was all top-shelf: Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, two kinds of Cap’n Crunch.

I ate so many sugary bowls, I put a note in the suggestion box for the next social’s menu: insulin.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter.

One of my best friends, Ben Mall, designed this. He calls it “Petey Cottontail.”

Friday, April 22, 2011

This Week In @mattshevin Tweets.

  • Nice attempt to use the carpool lane, hippie.
  • Guy at my gym working out in softball cleats. Because you need wicked traction when you’re getting to first base with the babes.
  • Hypothetical question: if one hooked up with a racing fan, he couldn't knock her up if she was already pregnant, right? #LongBeachGrandPrix
  • A-list treatment for me today before my haircut: got my hair washed by a white girl.
  • The politician that emailed the pic of Obama's face on a chimp said she's an "imperfect Christian." Of course – she believes in evolution.
  • Driving through West Hollywood. A store is selling something called "cocksox." Some things remain best ungoogled.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 2: Cash Is King.

Back when I was struggling, every time some asshole was on TV talking about how the unemployed could get jobs but they don’t because they’re getting paid not to work, I wanted to throw something at the TV. But I couldn’t afford a new one.

Step two, after you find a place to live: get a job.

I’m often asked by the aspiring types if they’re going to need to work a day job, and the answer is yes. Acting is a great profession to pursue, but it’s also a bottomless pit of money. I touched on this a few years ago, and it remains as true as ever.

But what kind of job do you get? Well, something without a lot of heavy lifting. Something that allows you to go to auditions. Something that doesn’t break your spirit, but will annoy you just enough that you don’t get complacent. It doesn’t have to make you rich, but it has to keep you out of debt. Don’t be Poor Actor – nobody likes Poor Actor.

And if waiting tables seems cliché, who gives a shit? It’s a great way to fund a career. I always overtip waiters, because those extra bucks will mean more to them than they will to me.

That’s it for today. Go get a damn job.

Get Your Butt To LA: Part 1 In A Series.

Lately I’ve been getting my fair share of questions from aspiring actors who want me to write more about what to expect from, and how to go about, making their way in Hollywood. And good for them – the fact that curiosity killed the cat isn’t an argument for not being curious – it’s an argument for not being a cat.

So every now and then I’ll tell you what I know. While I haven’t yet achieved the kind of success I’m shooting for, I’ve learned a lot from the best.

Today, let’s tackle getting yourself settled:

It’s crucial to find a place to live that you like. I personally think LA is the greatest city on earth, and a major reason why is my proximity to the beach. Meanwhile, my friends in The Valley are living like Harvey Keitel in Taxi Driver, greasy-pimp style.

If you have to live with a roommate, have some sort of screening process. In my improv classes, we’re asked to give impromptu rants about any subject, and nine times out of ten, actors bitch about their psycho roommates. What I’m trying to say is, if there has to be a psycho in your apartment, make sure it’s you, not them. And, if after all your vetting, the person you’re living with still turns out to be a nightmare, remember: it ain’t murder if he’s a really bad dude.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Long Beach Grand Prix: The iPhone™ Photo Gallery That Ain’t Happening.

On Friday, I was in Long Beach, and ventured into the Grand Prix festivities. How was the crowd? Let’s just say the ass-belly level was at "ORANGE."

You couldn’t throw a punch without spotting an iPhone photo op. But the problem was, I’d be risking my life. Rednecks drunk on Tecaté don’t like having their picture snapped, and I’d prefer they not serve my Jew ass for Easter dinner. So I kept it cool, and the only thing I have is the innocuous shot above. It is pretty wild that the racecourse goes right through downtown streets, so the hayseeds can sit at that dueling piano bar on the right and inhale all the exhaust to their hillbilly delight.

I hate dueling piano bars.

Here are a few of the pics I would have taken: shirtless boy taking picture of shirtless dad with arm around pregnant, bikini-clad mom. Homeless black guy who told me he was a racing fan. (Smallest demographic ever.) Inside the convention center, where various racing displays had been set up, there were fights (plural) going on constantly. And a big vendor tent for an erectile dysfunction pill.

It was about as uncomfortable as I’ve ever felt. And I’ve been to the White Castle on Fordham road in the Bronx.

So there you have it: The Long Beach Grand Prix – where your safest bet is inside a 225 mph IndyCar.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The 1000th Entry: A Two-Day Extravaganza. Part II.

More of me congratulating myself? Yep, with my top ten favorite entries of all time. Might as well get the worst part of your week over with early:

Greetings From The New Shevin Family. I’m not sure which was more of a relief to remove: the Blue Man paint from "The Tonight Show," or the wedding ring from this shoot. Grab the jaws-of-life and go here.

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

I Rate The Mulberry Street Pizza Autographs. Encino, CA. If you thought this place could do wonders with dough, cheese and sauce, check out what celebs can do with a Sharpie marker and a filthy wall. Mangiare 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.

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

It’s Not Always Sunny In Los Angeles. I'd personally prefer to die via assassination. Relive the festivities 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.

Rest In Peace, My Friend. It was both difficult and easy to write at the same time, if you know what I mean. And the response from his family was overwhelming. Honor the man 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.

Changing A Diaper: My Own Private Viet Nam. This sums up my life so perfectly, it should be read aloud at my funeral. Grab a hazmat suit and click here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My 1000th Entry: A Two-Day Extravaganza. Part I.

Three years ago, I made a promise that if I got to 1000 entries on this blog, I would show everyone my breasts.

I reneg. Instead, in part I, I will go traditional, and choose my favorite posts from the last 100:

Day 4: The Change Of Seasons Can Suck My Ass. Final tally: 16 inches shoveled. Little brother still in one piece after snapping my pic. Glare along here.

Have Heroes. Corey Booker is going to be President some day, just after the Republicans try to swift-boat him for reading my blog. Pile on here.

I Dedicate This To My One True Love: The Ladies. Unlike Dr. Laura, I give helpful dating advice. Also unlike her, I shave my bush. Yeah I said it. Go here.

Best Co-Star Ever. After this shoot, I chastised Petey for a week for having no profitable talent. Check out my TV son here.

Weekend In Mammoth: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery. My need to criticize others in order to feel better about myself never takes a vacation. Join in the judgment here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Week In @mattshevin Tweets.

  • Guy on the freeway in a beat-up Kia with an “I ♥ VAGINA” bumper sticker. First you gotta see a vagina before you can ♥ it, ace.
  • $5.5 mil a year salary, and AdrianGonzalez of the Red Sox blows it all on his eyebrows. #manscaping
  • Who would have thought after all these years they could get the “Facts of Life” cast to reunite? #everyone
  • Yes, I was in my underwear at 5:30 a.m. while my dog was taking a dump, but I won't make eye contact if you don't, LA Times delivery guy.
  • My UCB improv class grad show is today at 3 p.m. Come see how the Jews spend their Sunday.
  • If you didn’t make it to my UCB improv class grad show, you missed an airtight argument for child molestation. #kickingyourself
  • Scattered on the freeway today: baseball caps with the word “WOOF!” on them. Meanwhile, the Royal Wedding scrounges to find new keepsakes.
  • I didn't realize the fake ticket from the fake cop where I'm working was serious until I saw the frowny face on it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Substitute Blogger.

What was supposed to be a two-week writing assignment has been extended and extended, and I’m still there. I’m learning a lot about office protocol – like if a coworker is brewing Island Coconut blend in the coffee maker, do not say, “Hey, it smells like a strip club in here.”

All this professional writing has left me too busy for a substantial entry today, so I’ll let the pros' pros take the controls, with an article in the New York Times about the place where I go to casting workshops weeknights and Saturday mornings. That’s Sara Van Horn, above, who lives there and runs the workshops, and is a great actress in her own right. Read all about it:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Once Again, Real Casting Notices I’ve Seen This Week.

  • Do you get a thrill out of spending little to no money on food? you perfected the art of dumpster diving?
  • Looking for overweight singers! You must be over 350 pounds and have an amazing voice!
  • Males that sing like a female! If you have a female voice and are ready to get your time in the spotlight, we want to hear from you!
  • Are you addicted to eating like an animal? Maybe you're hooked on raw meat or simply find cat food or dog biscuits delicious! Do you want help stopping or do you think it's perfectly fine? We're looking for people who really do have these cravings for a SERIOUS show on individuals who eat as if they were an animal.
  • He is kidnap by Grandma Agata. He is very happy to be kidnaped, he hopes his wife doesn't pay the rescue. He is skiny, caucasian, very chilled and quite. He goes with the flow. he then later decides to pursue acting. Attractive, smooth and quite.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ladies And Gentleman, Your Upright Citizens Brigade 301 Graduating Class.

The cliché is bullshit – there actually are stupid questions. And the stupidest of all time occurred at a press conference with the Beatles in the 60s, when a reporter asked them, “What do you guys call your hair style?” to which George Harrison sarcastically replied, “Arthur.”

This was the inspiration for improvisational legend Del Close, who when asked what he called his form of improv, replied, “Harold.”

Harolds are what my class, and my team, perform. (By the way, the name “Harold” inspired another improv format called “Maude.”) Harolds are hard as hell, but really fun when done the right way. It’s long-form improvisation, with SNL-type sketches made up completely on the spot.

That’s my class, pictured above, in the green room ready to go on stage. After using yesterday’s post to smack Bill Cosby around, I realized I should recognize the people I got to know over the last couple of months, who are some of the smartest and funniest performers in this town. I’ll miss Sundays with them.

Performing live comedy is a rush I think I’ll never get over, so I’m gonna stick with this for a few decades. My class may be finished, but the beatings with my team go on, twice weekly. We’ve got one scheduled for tonight. Make ‘em laugh, monkeys.

I Hoard Graduations.

Yesterday, my Upright Citizens Brigade improv class had its graduation show. It was my third graduation in less than a year, which is three more than Bill Cosby has ever had.

It’s utterly confounding that Bill would insist upon listing himself as “Dr. William H. Cosby, Jr.” in the opening credits of “The Cosby Show.” The doctorate was honorary, given to him during one of his precious college graduation speeches. You’re no doctor, dude. Unless… there’s a doctorate given for being the biggest pussy hound in all of Hollywood, and fathering illegitimate kids. In that case you’re Stephen effin’ Hawking.

Oh yeah – my graduation show. It was excellent. You shoulda been there.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Buy It, Babe.

I go to the library all the time. Sometimes I even go inside.

Voracious I am not. And since I only read one book a decade, it had better be a damn good one. Today, my friend Rob Weintraub is in Baltimore, birthplace of Babe Ruth, for the debut of his kickass new book, The House That Ruth Built. Last week, Rob was in Tampa Bay before the Yankees broke spring training. That’s his book, above, next to Babe Ruth’s retired number.

Buy it. Read it. And come back here in ten years for my next suggestion.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This Week In @mattshevin Tweets.

  • My team Master Sword – tonight at Improv Space in Westwood. Not sure what our name means, but praying it's not homoerotic. #ineedtoreadmore
  • To the guy on Rosecrans with the bleached stripe in your hair: the Pittsburgh Steelers helmet look is so 2009.
  • So to clarify: Jesus died for your sins so that a guy at my gym could put a tattoo of the cross next to one of Curly from the Three Stooges?
  • Seeing Ray Charles on “The Nanny” last night made me wish I was him, so I wouldn’t be able to see Ray Charles on “The Nanny” last night.
  • Answer on Wheel Of Fortune is a Shakespearean line. Midwestern contestants' heads exploded. May need a “to be continued” episode.
  • Guy behind me on line at Wells Fargo hacking up a lung. I hope fashion sense isn't contagious. #jorts
  • Homeless guy at Subway laughing his ass off like his imaginary friends are the cast of Soul Plane.
  • Guys re-tarring my roof: as soon as you stop dropping shit, you'll get the ladder back. #hopetheygettwitterupthere
  • Sorry guys – I got hacked. Good news: problem fixed. Great news: all you need to get rid of a hacker's remains is a tub full of Drano.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Master Sword Comes Alive.

My improv teammates are super talented, and super quirky. One is a white dude named Chris Rock, which makes for the ultimate bait-and-switch on invites for our shows.

And speaking of shows, we had one last night, at the Improv Space in Westwood. It went really well. Good to take the skills out for a test drive.

That’s most of us, above, pre-show. Who knew such gentlemen could be so damn filthy? And you can catch that improvised filth from time to time soon at theaters all over L.A. Tickets will go fast – I hear Chris Rock will be there.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Just In: Another Klassy Item.

My friend Gladys' iPhone case/bottle opener. Gladys is a drunk.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sometimes They’re Foolish Enough To Pay Me For This Tripe.

I’m very fortunate to have been given a kickass writing assignment, but somewhat unfortunate in that I can’t disclose what it is. The place gave me a cubicle and everything, with a new laptop and a big monitor. (Hell yes, that’s the Yankee game on the big monitor.) I get to wear long pants and make small talk to people who microwave Lean Cuisines for lunch. You civilians are adorable.

The whole thing will keep me busy for a few weeks, and cut a bit into my acting schedule. I already had to miss a callback for a big commercial, and that sucked donkey, but I’m tired of just plagiarizing for free – time to earn a shekle or two.

My blog will be acting-light for a bit, perhaps longer as we head into summer hiatus, but like I always say: I’ll keep writing if you keep reading. I’ll introduce a new segment every now and then, maybe even later this week.

Gotta run. Urgent email here: leftover bagels in the conference room.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mr. Crankypants.

I’ve spent the past two weeks locked in a room training with my improv team, Master Sword. And we’re only halfway through. The forecast for the next two weeks: 100% chance of “Battlestar Galactica” references; 0% chance of vagina.

Actually, this is just our first month of coaching. All serious improv teams constantly have someone training them, and we’ll move on to a series of new coaches. But for now, we lucked into an improv legend – Miles Stroth – who just happened to have an opening in his schedule.

The most legendary improv instructor of all time was a guy named Del Close. He taught everyone big, and was brought in from the very start of “Saturday Night Live” to coach the cast.

To get to Del Close, everybody first had to train with Miles, our coach. That’s him, above. He schedules our breaks during training around his nicotine fits, he doesn’t quite know our names and he flat-out tells us we suck. It’s an honor, albeit a demoralizing, emasculating one. But in the end, we will be a kickass team. Or we’ll shoot up a DMV. Or both.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Live Yankee Games On My iPhone.

Speeding on the 405 Freeway just got a whole lot more interesting.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Klassy Things I Saw This Week.

Somebody got a B-minus in wood shop.

Charlie Sheen aftershock.

Quadruple-size me. Yes, my dinner last night – two Double-Doubles. I feel shame.