Monday, October 31, 2011

Hollywood Halloween Party: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery.

My friend Mocean, a big voiceover guy, threw the party, and put all of his showbiz friends to work to make it happen. Set designers built these two bridges across his pool, a film composer was the DJ, and I helped spell my friend Jeff, a fellow actor, behind the bar when he needed breaks. I poured blackout levels of liquor.

Halloween was the occasion, but the theme was “blasphemy.”

Here's my friend JW, browsing an insulated coffin filled with beer. The book he's holding is titled An Expecting Father.

My friend Bru did us the embarrassing honor of wearing his penis costume out to a sushi restaurant for our pre-party dinner. This cute little girl came right up to him and asked what he was dressed as. That's Bru telling her he’s a squid.

Bru, our friend Gary and me. I went as MacGruber. My mullet was fake, but the stubble was real. After ten days of not shaving, my beard had the consistency of a toilet brush.

As if lugging around this giant pot weren’t punishment enough, Plant Guy kept getting watered by people.

In honor of the return of “Arrested Development,” Tobias F√ľnke blue himself.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

With The Assist: My Friends.

My NFL on FOX commercial ran during the World Series last night. I didn’t get to catch it, but let’s just say all of you who blew up my phone with your texts while I was out are the complete antithesis of C-blockers. You’re C-collaborators.

Friday, October 28, 2011

And What Are You Doing For Halloween?

My nephew wants to be a lion for Halloween. So his parents are going to dress him up as a disappointing, overrated wide receiver who peaked in college.

All good. You see, I believe Halloween is like the ball-pit at IKEA: kids only. And The Incident last year only solidified this long-held belief. It damn well better not happen again – I no longer have a Pit Bull here to wake/protect me.

But here’s where it gets hypocritical. I may actually be attending a Halloween party this weekend, but only because my friend is throwing it and he throws killer parties. The last one ended with a guest puking all over the host’s brand new, state-of-the-art recording studio. The studio is unfortunately off limits this time.

I’ll bring along the iTelephone and see if I can snap a few good pics. The rest of you try to behave. Or at least misbehave on someone else’s doorstep. Okay? Okay.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 26: I Kick Them In The Jimmy.

Aspiring actors have limited funds, so charging them outrageous amounts for guidance seems wrong on a lot of levels. I know – I’m being awfully moral for someone who once claimed his wife died to get out of a gym contract.

New question I received this week: “Have you ever gone to any career coaches? What are your thoughts on them?”

Because there are really few mentors for us, it can be a difficult process of trial and major error to get our careers in gear, and it’s understandable that actors seek out some sort of help. While I’m personally not a fan, these coaches still have a right to make a living, so I’ll protect their identities by hereinafter referring to them by the names of lousy New York Jets coaches.

Joe Walton thoroughly believes in working smarter, not harder. He sends out weekly blogs and vlogs to people on his mailing list. Attend his orientation and you’ll hear Joe constantly refer to one prize client, who turned her career around. He neglects, however, to mention the 1000 or so he coached who went back to their hometowns with their tails between their legs.

When Joe finishes his 90-minute orientation sales pitch, his lapdog of a spouse suddenly appears in the doorway with applications for the sucked-in actors to fill out, and the aforementioned doorway for me to walk the eff out. You see, Joe has two types of services he provides to eschew his bullshit: one costs 800 bucks, the other 1300. A friend of mine mistakenly signed up, and here’s how it went: there was no one-on-one coaching, but instead a weekly conference call with 50 other actors on the line (half of them in New York, where the business is different from out here.) And Joe preaches all kinds of suicidal nonsense like cold-calling casting directors yourself, and let me tell you, casting directors DO NOT want you to call them. That’s your agent’s job, and even they’re doing it less and less these days, and only when there’s a role in a movie or TV show casting your type.

Meanwhile, Rich Kotite makes his dough telling clients to “figure out what type they are” or they'll be casting too wide of a career net. You can simply do this math yourself, but Rich suggests going to the airport with a clipboard and asking 50 strangers to tell you their first impressions of you. Hey Rich, something happened around September of 2011 that prohibits people from wandering airports, and harassing incoming passengers with inane questions. All that’ll get you is a deep cavity search from a gung-ho TSA agent.

Look, these coaches need to create an angle to interest you in forking over your food money for some sort of wisdom and pep talk. But you can learn most of what you need to know from simply asking seasoned actors. Or from reading books. Or from whatever you can glean from my blog. I’ve done 26 of these “Get Your Butts” already, and I’m just getting warmed up.

Coaches can suck my balls. I have that on a throw pillow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Real Los Angeles Heroes.

Here’s to you, nattily-clad, white cab driver.

You went from the corner office at Lehman Brothers to dropping off nannies at a corner on La Brea.

You’re not a hack – you’re a throwback – to the days when guys like you didn’t come from the same place as that gasoline.

You’ll replenish that Cayman Island bank account by taking Japanese tourists on the “scenic” route.

So fill it with premium, Scrooge McCabbie. You may not carry more than $25, but we’ll always carry a torch for your houndstooth goodness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This Week In @mattshevin Tweets.

  • (ABOVE) The hideous exterior and 30 mph in a 65 mph zone were confirmation enough, hippie.
  • If the New York Jets don’t start winning, I’m spending my Sundays with the alternative to the National Football League. #LeagueOfWomenVoters
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises has a new “we’re our own nation so do what you want” ad. That's right, husbands looking to toss your wives off a boat.
  • Coldstone now has cupcakes. See you all at my intervention.
  • I now notice text messages that arrive green instead of the new iCloud blue. #JudgeAManByTheColorOfHisText #iRacist
  • If almond butter is so good for you, why’d I hurt my wrist opening the jar? #ToldYouSo

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Recap.

If you don’t have the cash or the time to do something charitable these days, you can still give blood. I did it Saturday, and I do it every eight weeks. Takes only 20 minutes, followed by Keebler treats and the ability to get drunk really quickly… On the other hand, buying a ticket to see Carson Palmer play for the Raiders should officially count as a charitable donation… To the cute girl in line at Ralph’s: the guy wearing non-matching sweats and flip-flops was actually my clone… SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THIS WEEK’S “BOARDWALK EMPIRE”: until last night, you couldn’t give me one good reason to ever move back to New York, but I would for a role on this show. Scalp a man on TV, and I’m packing my shit tonight.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nobody Move.

This congratulatory sheet cake just turned into a crime scene.

Friday, October 21, 2011

His Death Blows Whale.

Jesus sure knew how to party – dude made his own wine.

But Steve Jobs one-upped him, giving us the iPhone – the greatest electronic device ever created.

And I’d like to give the man a two-weeks-too-late eulogy. Steve Jobs turned Apple into a juggernaut, and he did it partly by treating customers so well they’re actually mourning the loss of a man worth $8.3 billion, to a crazy level.

This week, my laptop started slowing down, so I took it to an Apple Store’s Genius Bar, where an employee ran tests on it, determined there was nothing wrong with my hardware and told me to simply buy a RAM chip (which he wasn’t allowed to sell me in order to avoid scamming customers) and install it. The entire appointment was free.

If I’d had a regular IT guy check out my computer, purchase and install RAM, that would have run me what – 400 or 500 bucks? Instead, I bought it and installed it myself and my computer is now fast as shit. Total cost: $9.99.

Steve Jobs was the man. And that’s his legacy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 25: Let’s Naysay The Naysayers.

Parents are the most diabolical and ruthless bunch of dream killers I’ve ever seen. They’re like a biker gang. Only instead of shotguns and crystal meth they use hand-wringing and fear.

My mom worried about me becoming an actor, and warned me that without any relatives in the business, I’d be facing the uphilliest battle on my own. So I did what I do best – ignored her – and went about pursuing my goal. And when I started booking work, my mom became my most supportive fan, angling to be my date to the Oscars. Get in line, lady.

Who else is whispering nonsense in your ear? Chickenshit friends? Jealous classmates? Some guy you met at a party? Perhaps it's time to listen to Thoreau and simplify.

Let’s permanently lose the negative folks (“secure empty trash,” Mac users) and go about finding the support group we deserve. It’s not as hard as you think. I have dozens of people that support the crap out of me. Like my friend Jenn. Talk about looking out for me – she’s the only person I know who wouldn’t hesitate to pull the plug.

Seriously though, one day a few years ago I was feeling some doubt, so I called Jenn and asked her, “What if I don’t make it?” And Jenn simply said, “Yeah, what if you do?” I haven’t doubted myself since.

Trust me, you’ll find a bevy of these encouraging types. Count me as your first. And in the end, remember there are only three things standing between you and achieving your dream: your balls, and wanting it bad enough.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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

  • It was interesting doing a scene about a guy who gets beat up by a gay football player. Or as I like to call it: my high school years.
  • I’ve never sat in a police captain’s chair. But the back of a squad car? Why yes.
  • I’d work with JB Smoove for free, only my agent’s not fond of collecting 10% of that.
  • Acting is my profession, but “rich prick who gets away with everything” seems like a kickass hobby.
  • I’m not crazy – my mother had me tested.
  • I think I’d be immune to snake venom in my coffee, seeing as I normally add something far more lethal: Hazelnut Coffee Mate.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Was on the Fox lot yesterday, and walked past the very historic and gaudy Stage 6. Apparently, Fox went to great, and slightly batty, lengths to build this thing, with some sort of contest to see which craftsmen could go blind.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Recap.

The Jets didn’t play yesterday, so I spent my Sunday eating and napping while dressed like a prison weed dealer… Guy at the mattress store was really pushing a $6500 Tempur-Pedic on me. Better hope that plaid jacket has hypnotic powers, Mr. Salesman… My ER-doctor neighbors are moving. Time to start covering myself in bubble wrap… Kickass Halloween costume idea: Keith Stone. You’re welcome… Never buy a cheap garden hose.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 24: Hard Cash.

I’m jealous as hell of Tyler Perry. He’s prolific. He has a license to print money. I don’t know what gave him this incredible work ethic, but I do know he apparently didn't get enough fat suit as a child.

And on the subject of working, I received this question: “You posted about survival jobs, so I have to ask – how long did it take for you to go from survival job to being able to live off acting checks alone?”

The very sobering answer is this: only 2% of actors make their living strictly from acting. Chances are you may never fully give up your day job.

A few years ago, an article appeared in the Sunday Los Angeles Times about actor Michael O’Neill, who’s pictured above. You may recognize him from just about everything, including Transformers and recurring roles on “The Unit” and “NCIS.” I thought he was cool as shit as the head of the Secret Service on “The West Wing.”

The article was about Michael’s career as a character actor, and how although he’d been in dozens of TV shows and movies, he was having trouble making ends meet. He had three young daughters and occasionally had to do some construction work on the side to pay the bills. And once in a while, he and his wife had what they called “the talk,” in which they wondered if they’d be better off if Michael quit acting and they moved to Montana, where he’d then do construction work full time. What really bothered him was that he’d proven himself in the business, but still wasn’t seeing the big paychecks.

Three days after I read this, I was sitting in a casting workshop and I almost shit – Michael walked in. He’d stopped by to see a fellow actor do a scene, and I was both thrilled and thrown a bit to get to do my own scene in front of him.

After the workshop ended, I went right up to him and told him I loved his work, to which he looked at me cockeyed. Character actors never hear that. But then I told him I’d read the article in the Times, and he really warmed up, confiding in me that he was worried he’d been portrayed as bitter. I assured him he hadn’t, and he shook my hand and said, “I like your work, too.” (This was based only on one lousy workshop scene, but I’ll take it.)

I bring this story up not to scare you away from pursuing acting as a career, but to let you know what to expect. Actors who are called “overnight successes” laugh at that term, because they all spent years chasing that success. The average time to start making any decent sort of money is ten years. But this is a good thing – if you stay patient and persistent, you’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Just hang in there and I promise you’ll make it. Everyone who wants it bad enough does. I’m here for you until then. Let me be your traveling pants.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blame It On The 109° Heat In The Valley…

…but whose ass should I have kicked first?

A) Guy in the fedora
B) Guy outside with his guitar
C) Beat them both with the guitar

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I’m not usually the butt of the joke; I’m usually the face of the joke.

And the last thing I want to do to my face is shave it, but it’s an occupational requirement of every auditioning male actor. So you can imagine my nipple hardon when I was asked to sign the “DO NOT SHAVE!” document for the commercial I shot last week.

My friend Mark posted a great comment about that, pointing out that at least they were clear about which body part I wasn’t supposed to shave. Actually, there was a reason for this. The production company told me they shot a commercial a few months ago in which they hired an actor who had a great, big beard, and they told his agent to tell the actor to shave. When he showed up for the shoot they were horrified that he his face was clean shaven – they’d wanted him to keep the beard but shave his chest, and it then took a talented makeup artist on the set two hours to create a realistic-looking beard for him.

Hey – did I just do multiple paragraphs on beards? Maybe next time I need to “shave” it down. Blogger-Emmy, please!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Fourth Great Film Of 2011.

Some people appreciate my taste in movies. Then again, some people appreciate Crocs.

But trust me when I say you should really see The Ides of March. And I don’t just say it because George Clooney is by far my favorite actor/filmmaker. In this movie, he shoulders the load of acting (what took him so long to play a presidential candidate?), directing (which grows perfectly starker and colder along with the film’s plot) and co-writing (he has a lot of respect for the way conversations are conducted.)

By the way, for all my Republican friends who are shying away from seeing a Clooney political film, don’t worry – this one is all about liberals royally screwing up. It isn’t so much about the democratic process, but how to get elected. See it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Recap.

Who was the first football coach to win both 100 college and NFL games? Don Coryell, and that answer won me this fly pleather/rubber promotional football while watching the Jets at Sharkeez yesterday. Despite the Jets’ loss, I had a great time with the guys and my nephew. And before you think we endangered the well-being of a four year old by bringing him to a bar, keep in mind I won him his own football by answering this question: what NFL quarterback was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1995? Tom Brady. Apology accepted… But it wasn’t all supreme nachos with mesquite chicken and pitchers of Hef all weekend – I knocked out three casting workshops in 24 hours. One of the casting directors asked me which TV show I’d most like to be on and why, and I said “Boardwalk Empire,” because back in the 20s you could shower only once a week and still get laid, plus give yourself a pretentious title like “Commodore”… I ordered in some Chinese with a friend last night. Shouldn't the fortune in every fortune cookie be “You are about to eat a stale cookie?”

Saturday, October 8, 2011

To The Guy Who Left His Window Open In The Rain:

Don’t look at the glass as half empty, look at the Buick Riviera as half full.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 23: Dress To Suggest.

One time I fell madly in love with a Star Wars groupie who I’d only known for six hours, and then I found out she wore those clothes all the time. And she was married. But the clothes thing really bothered me.

Regarding wardrobe, I’ve mentioned that you should never show up to auditions in costume, but instead dress in a way that suggests the role. Also important: after you book the role, and go to your wardrobe fitting, you should continue to dress that way. Always be close to character until the shoot is finished.

Back when my mentor/teacher Stuart Robinson was an actor, he had a leading role in a new, highly-rated sitcom. At the time, Stuart was 22, but he looked super young and played a teen on the show. One night, after shooting an episode, Stuart went out to dinner with the producers. He began ordering drinks, which startled the producers, who thought he really was a teenager. The next day, he was fired.

The old quote says, “Learn from other peoples’ mistakes. You don’t have enough time to make them all yourself.” You guys are writing this stuff down, right?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The NFL on FOX Commercial Shoot: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery.

In the dives that I frequent, bartenders reserve their tie-wearing for court appearances.

Although this is a 30-second commercial, put a nickel in JB Smoove and he’ll riff for about four minutes.

I’m not sure FOX’s insurance covered me playing with a soda gun near open light sockets.

My trailer. You can pretty much fit it inside Will Smith’s trailer’s glove compartment.

It was the first bad weather day in LA since April, but I wasn’t about to let it rain on my parade…

…because at the end of this kickass rainbow: residual checks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

As You Wish.

I’ll sign anything you put in front of me. (Shout-out, kidney patients!) But the above document is arguably the oddest I’ve thing I've ever signed.

Granted, I love not shaving, but I’ve never been legally bound to stay scruffy. That’s the look the folks at the NFL on FOX want, and I respect that. Ultimatums are key. Basically nobody does anything for me anymore unless I threaten to kill myself.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Best Of Leon.

TV’s the best dad there is. TV never came home drunk. TV never forgot me at the zoo. TV never abused and insulted me. Unless you count that Emeril Lugasse sitcom.

TV does give us the excellent “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and JB Smoove, who plays Leon and steals the show and is going to be in the commercial I’m shooting for the NFL on FOX this week. Click above for his goodness.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Am Ready For Some Football.

Yesterday, everyone ahead of me in line at the pharmacy really wanted to tell the doctor-man a story!

And yet it wasn’t bringing me down, because I’m feeling no pain – I booked a role in a commercial.

It’s for the NFL on FOX, and I’ll play a bartender, which means every Sunday, when I get together with my band of brothers to watch the Jets, and we drink, carouse, harass women, roll drunks and threaten cops I can now consider it research, or better yet a write-off. Who'd a thunk it?

This is my 13th commercial, and I’m extra excited about it because it stars JB Smoove, who plays Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Jay Glazer from FOX and is directed by Craig Gillespie, who also directed Lars and the Real Girl, one of my favorite films.

Look for it to run like crazy until the Super Bowl in February. I’m shooting later this week, and milking this every day ‘til then. I think this “football” thing really has a chance to make it in this country. Hmm.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Read It, Everyday.

You’re probably thinking, “Why do I have to read another blog? I didn’t do anything wrong."

You rascal. Well it turns out the blog is hilarious, and it’s written by one of my best friends, Ben, and he taught me everything I know about writing my blog. So give it a gander daily. It’s random thoughts from a brilliant writer from the great state of Texas: