Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Recap.

My agent celebrated his birthday/anniversary of his agency on Saturday night, and when Daniel Hoff throws a party, he pulls out all the stops. It was held at a club in Hollywood called My House, which is designed to resemble a hip-hop mansion. You first walk into the living room, above, and upstairs is a master bedroom and Jacuzzi. And they cuh-rank the music. I should be getting my hearing back Thursday-ish... Cool to see Bruce Springsteen played the LA Sports Arena at the age of 62. Not as cool to see his hair plugs played it at the age of five… With TV shows on hiatus I always go into a writing frenzy this time of the year, running on five hours of sleep every night. But a friend of mine is in Hawaii and saw me in a TV commercial there yesterday, so at least my soul is on vacation… I hate my effin’ soul.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sorry Ladies, That Seat’s Taken.

But feel free to sit in his lap.  

*With the assist on this game-winner is my friend Andrew, who choked back his nachos and snapped this pic before last night’s Predators/Coyotes playoff opener.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I’m kinda feeling the need to teach these sweet immigrants about a thing we like to call an “acronym.”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 41: Don’t Ask.

I’ve mentioned before that the whole “there are no stupid questions” clichĂ© is some real bullshit. A guy that regularly attends one of the casting workshops I go to poses the same god-awful question every damn time. Even if I’m not there to hear him ask it, my friend Rich texts me to let me know the dude has. That’s a dick move, Rich.

The question is this: “What can we do as actors in the audition room to ensure we get the role?” To which every casting director is stymied.

And what answer could they possibly give? Every role is different. Every production is different. Every producer and director are different. Does he really think there’s one magical answer that will propel his mask his suspect acting skills?

I’ve always enjoyed interviews with casting directors about what does and doesn’t work for them, and with successful actors about what the climb was like. But while the former helps keep you from making stupid errors and the latter can be inspiring and occasionally even yield a useful tip or two, neither is a roadmap. That indefinable “whatever” that makes everyone in the room realize that this one person is the right person for the job can’t be deconstructed into one sentence.

And it’s such a small-picture view by an actor. This is a business. You gotta work at it constantly, and it’s only as crazy as you want it to be. It’s your choice. Though it’s essential that you commit to your long-term success as an actor, you must also commit to living a fulfilled life outside of acting. It’s a lot easier to treat yourself like a starving artist than to behave like the genius you know you are. It’s a lot safer to play it small, struggle and suffer than it is to make bold choices and take some risks. That’s for sure.

The way you do anything directly reflects the way you do everything. Respect your career, but don’t neglect your finances, your personal life, or your day-to-day happiness. Life’s too short to suffer on your way to success. Now is the time to make a habit of living it fully, and I believe this will influence your life after you make it.

Or, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we can get the role in the audition room simply by pretending to be nice. I mean, look at Betty White.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Make Christmas Plans.

Let’s just say the excitement for the new documentary about Israeli kibbutzes isn’t exactly palpable.

I’m marking my calendar for Christmas day, when Quentin Tarentino’s new film premieres. Check out the storyline:

Django Unchained is set in the deep south and follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a freed slave who treks across America with the German dentist turned bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), to retrieve Django’s wife (Kerry Washington) from the charming but sadistic plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his entourage of ruthless slavers. 

 Kickass. And in a very Tarentino move, Tom Wopat – Luke from the “Dukes of Hazzard” – has a role. Click above for a very early trailer. Who’s coming with?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Double Duty.

Yes, I have jury duty in a couple weeks, and while I’m not thrilled about it, it isn’t exactly hell for me either. My hell would involve a party bus.

On the other hand, much worse than serving on a jury is serving on two juries. You see, the savvy bunch over at the New York Unified Court System has sent me a summons as well, even though I haven’t lived there in years. And apparently a thousand anti-New York blog entries aren’t enough to convince them as such, so be on the lookout for copies of my California driver’s license and electric bill, geniuses.

But eh – no hard feelings, New York. If it were up to me, I’d throw each and every one of you in jail.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Recap.

Hell yeah that’s the real cover of the New York Post on Saturday, and that is some my-t-fine journalism. The Yankees ruined Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary by beating up on the Red Sox Friday and Saturday, and I was so excited for them to sweep the series last night that I pre-shit my pants. But I forgot that all it does is rain back east, and the game was postponed… Went to a wine bar north of LA in Valencia on Friday night and was kicked out early as the place closed at 11 p.m. 11 p.m.? Pardon me while I log onto Yelp, the 2012 equivalent of throwing a trash can through their front window… On a related note, my LA Times delivery guy is in the habit of throwing my paper under a rain gutter, where morning dew destroys it. So this was me, on the phone with the Times’ customer service rep: “What kind of Christmas tip do you think I’m going to give this guy if he keeps doing this?” Rep: “I’m sorry sir, I don’t have that information in front of me.” Best line of the weekend.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Give A Crap About All Of You.

I just want to thank everyone who’s been reading my blog. I’d like to claim you all as dependents for tax purposes.

 Even those of you who simply stumble upon my blog, like this toilet connoisseur:

Hey Matt, 

I found your blog while looking for blogs and people who have talked about pooping and wanted to reach out to see if you were interested in sharing a graphic my creative team and I designed. It focuses on the results from the lack of sanitation around the world and what we're doing to resolve it. 

 Tony Shin 

 Good enough for me, Tony. Everybody click the pic above and enjoy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Good News: The Teething Stage Is Coming To A Close.

The bad news: the tooth fairy couldn’t break a twenty.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Real Los Angeles Heroes.

Here’s to you, parking spot saver-guy.

You proclaim “don’t even think about it” with nothing more than a moving box, a laundry basket, a boogie board and a big old bucket of kitty litter.

You’re a regular curbside MacGyver, sir.

Talk about multi-tasking – you’re not just reserving a space for your ’83 LeBaron – you’re doing it while facing up to $300 in fines.

Much respect, King of the Road. Maybe we can catch a movie this weekend. I’ll save you a spot in line – with a toilet brush.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Alternate Sitcom Idea.

Recently shitcanned Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino is my newest favorite dude ever. The kind of guy who lists a stripper as his emergency contact.

Bobby, 51 and married with four kids, had turned his team into a real winner, only to crash a motorcycle two weeks ago while not wearing a helmet, then tried to cover up that his 25-year-old mistress was on the bike with him only to have it become known that he’d recently given her a job with the football program and also $25,000 in cash because his winning personality wasn’t quite enough to get in her pants. The chick, engaged to a real genius who had no idea what she was up to, was happily blogging about her upcoming wedding. The blog was taken down, but the main pic from it lives on online. (Her fiancĂ© was spared some embarrassment by having his face hidden. I assume there wasn’t enough RAM available to cover her horse face.)

Meanwhile, you already know about Joe Paterno, who looked the other way so his football team could prosper, giving his buddy carte blanche to continue raping boys for a decade or so. Joe was a national treasure.

Hang in there – I’m getting to my point. Royally screwed over and forgotten in all of this is Bobby Petrino’s brother Paul, who was hired in December to be Arkansas’ offensive coordinator. Paul claims he had no idea his brother was a total P-hound. The old, “I’m not my brother’s keeper” defense. Nice try.

Meanwhile, an even better – and by that I mean hilarious – case of nepotism was going on at Penn State, where Joe Paterno’s flunky son Jay was quarterbacks coach.

These two guys caught some undeserved shrapnel and now they need jobs, and I’m going to make that happen, with a new sitcom I’m writing called “Paterno, Petrino.” It’s about two relatives of disgraced coaches who bond over their shared guilt-by-association and new-found unemployment. They move in together and search for menial jobs and clip coupons and get into all sorts of hijinks on their double dates, like trying to have night-vision sex in their hot tub before the chicks find out they have scumbag family DNA in them and flee. But it’s okay – every episode will end with a touching lesson and a man-hug.

And there you have it. No need to thank me, Paul and Jay. I'm just turning banging whores and young boys into lemonade.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

And I Mean That, Babe.

I am totally going to recreate this for my next headshot. Everything that’s ever happened to me in my entire life has been leading up to this moment.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Recap.

I got an invitation to my agent’s 20th anniversary/birthday party. And there ain’t no party like a Daniel Hoff party ‘cause a Daniel Hoff party is mandatory... The cold open to my sitcom came to me suddenly and I’m thrilled with it – reinforcing my belief that the idea that comes to you as you fall asleep is always worth getting up to write down. No matter how much you remind yourself to remember it in the morning, it won’t come again… The table next to me at lunch yesterday made me realize it’s ok to make the jerkoff motion whenever a college student talks about their thoughts/feelings/beliefs... Eli Manning is going to host SNL next month? Whuck?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On Fire.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker became my favorite politician the moment I saw the documentary Street Fight. (And my friend Jeff’s favorite the moment he learned Cory is a black man who speaks Hebrew.) I thought I couldn’t idolize him any more that I already had, but then he read the blog entry I wrote about him and messaged me his thanks.

Cut to Thursday night, and according to Reuters, Cory was just being Cory:

Booker arrived at his Newark home on Thursday night to find his next-door neighbor’s house ablaze. His neighbor said her middle-aged daughter was trapped upstairs and begged for help.

He and his bodyguard, a police detective, tread up the stairs into the home's kitchen, and when the mayor tried to go deeper, the bodyguard grabbed him by the belt to prevent him. The mayor said he “whipped around and we had some words... I’m his commanding officer.”

The mayor broke free and moved further into the home to search for the woman. “I felt terror. I couldn't breath. I finally heard her and found her,” Booker recalled.

He hoisted her over his shoulder and carried her to safety. Both were rushed to the hospital for treatment, and the woman remained hospitalized in stable condition.

“It went from bad to worse. I was terrified in that blackened, sooted room without an exit,” said Booker, whose clothes caught fire.

At the morning news conference, Booker shrugged off a reporter's question about being a super hero.

“I think that's way over the top. I'm a neighbor who did what most neighbors would do, jump into action to help a friend,” he said.

Beg to disagree, sir.

Friday, April 13, 2012

It’s Your Canadian Duty.

Hell hath no fury like a woman slightly inconvenienced.

But if you really F her over, God help you.

Phil Hartman made the rookie error of telling his wife with the crazy eyes that he was leaving her right before he went to bed, and when you nod off with a gun in your home and a skeezer heartbroken, well, you know the drill.

No celebrity death bummed me out more than Phil’s. He was scary talented, always at his funniest when he was playing it completely straight. A casting director told me he casually walked into her office one day and she burst out laughing. Phil was like, “What?” She said he was so damn hilarious even when he was off-duty that just seeing his expressionless face made her crack up.

So let’s honor the man. Phil’s up for a nomination for Canada’s Walk of Fame, and the cool part is anyone can vote. And you should. It’s the least you can do. And you’ve carved out a name for yourself by always doing the very least, right? Right. Vote for Phil:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Culinary Query.

At the Thai restaurant where I ate lunch yesterday, I pray this was only on the table, and not on the menu.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

That Guy.

For four years, this blog has been all me, me, me, etc. You know what? Enough about me – let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?

Actually, I’m occasionally capable of thinking of others. Last night, I was checking out of Trader Joe’s (four boxes of Gorilla Munch) when I spotted Carlos Jacott – the guy above – a great character actor who’s been in over 50 TV shows and movies. You might remember him as Ramon, the angry towel boy on “Seinfeld.”

He walked past me and I immediately told him I loved him in the very first movie he did, an independent film from the 90s called Kicking and Screaming, and that “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” on which he was a cast member, is my favorite show of all time.

His mind was blown, and he was super thankful. Character guys are truly appreciative.

Really good dude. If you see him, tell him his Trader Joe’s stalker says konnichiwa.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Huntington Botanical Gardens: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery.

My mom was in town for the holiday weekend, so we took my niece and nephew up to Pasadena for some fauna, flora and blog fodder:

With its high humidity and jet-propulsion mist, the Tropical Rainforest Room is supposed to make you feel like you’re in a rainy, year-round summer. In actuality, you feel like romaine lettuce in the produce department getting spritzed every 30 seconds.

The problem with the “catch a whiff of a stinkbug” exhibit in the Rainforest Room is that it’s overpowered by the B.O. of the visitors to the Rainforest Room.

Termites inside your home are a bunch of MFers who cost you thousands of bucks and make you pack your shit into weird cellophane bags before rendering you homeless for three days. Termites not inside your home: science exhibit.

I’m going to return to this place late at night, throw this thing into the trunk of my car and commission an artist to turn it into a toilet.

After their mom flapped its wings and threw a shitfit at these baby ducklings because they weren’t hanging over by their brothers and sisters, I slipped them the number of my therapist.

If there’s one group who will abide by a tersely-illustrated sign, it’s teenagers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend Recap.

You can calculate how many shits I don’t give about religion by the pastrami on rye I wolfed down at Canter’s on the second night of Passover… 12 weeks ago, Ricky was living outside in the hood, getting sprayed by skunks. Saturday, his memory-foam bed arrived, officially making him the luckiest Pit Bull in the history of everything… Congratulations to my neighbors Joe and Lisa, who had a baby boy Friday night. Though I gotta ask: drugs during childbirth? Isn’t the whole point for God to punish you?... RIP Mike Wallace. Retirement homes can now return to their regularly unimpeded senior abuse.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Enlightening The Goyim.

It’s one simple rule for a Passover pot luck: no bread. That includes croutons, ace.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Great Friday.

I’m in the middle of a big writing gig, but have been given today off with pay. So if this isn’t a “get paid to sleep in, have lunch with my mom and watch the Yankees play a matinee” kind of day, I just don’t know anymore. Thank you, Jesus.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This Week In @mattshevin Tweets.

• (ABOVE) Progress: holding it right-side up.
• Happy April Fools’ Day. Or as my mom refers to it: Passover.
• I got a summons for jury duty in Compton. Then I looked up the word “peers” in the dictionary.
• With time and perspective, it's safe to say the girl really was Paul McCartney's. #SorryJacko
• The Beatles’ sons want to form a band? #InheritedMoms’Talent
• I've reached the fifth stage of Tim Tebow grief: acceptance.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It’s Why God Gave Laptops Erasers.

Hollywood can be very hit and miss. Let’s face it: this town produces more failed pilots than the French Air Force.

And now that all TV shows have shut down for the season, and auditions are scarce, I’ve begun writing a pilot for a sitcom. I’m really happy with the premise, and am taking my time to create something I’ll be really proud to star in.

I wasn’t planning on mentioning it on here, but then I reconsidered. Putting it out there to friends (and the universe, if you believe that jive) will force me to really get after it.

It’s no can of corn, this longer-form writing. The truth is, I'm not that smart. I mean, I've got walking-around sense. I know how to work the Google. But I'm also capable of being really thick. I could have sworn you can clean a flat screen with Tilex. In retrospect, the “Kucinich Forever” tattoo was a bad idea.

Time to get back to it. Yes, I took a much-needed break from writing to write this blog entry. Even I am smart enough to see that.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Yes, Yes, Yes.

There’s a new show coming soon for HBO that is going to be like Viagra for me: “Newsroom,” which follows a fictional cable news channel. It stars Jeff Daniels and is created by my favorite writer, Aaron Sorkin.

It looks to be reminiscent of Sorkin’s previous show “Sports Night,” which many fans didn’t think got a fair shake. I also hope it’s in the realm of “Studio 60,” my favorite show of all time. Actually, it has the potential to be better than both of them, what with no restrictions on pay-cable language. Check it out.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let’s Go, LA.

Los Angeles and New York will never see eye to eye, and to that I say, eh – why can’t we all just not get along?

And I’m rooting heavily for LA to win a battle over an art exhibit featuring a life-size replica of a 1940s locomotive hanging from a 160-foot-tall crane. Both NY and LA are vying for it, with the hang-up being the price: $25 million, making it the most expensive piece of artwork ever commissioned by a museum.

New York just wants to put it in a park, but LA wants to suspend it over Wilshire Blvd., and that would be badass. It’ll even be visible from the freeway, and I’m completely willing to deal with onlooker traffic.

So let’s get this done. What donor out here has the balls and the bucks to back this? Have I mentioned it’ll make train noises and have real steam coming out of it? Beat New York.