Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I blogged a couple weeks ago about eating at Red Medicine in Beverly Hills. We arrived that night about 15 minutes past our reservation, but thank god we got there at all, because the restaurant is fed up with people who ain’t showing up.
Game ball to Red Medicine for outing these rude douchebags:
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I bring this up (the writing assignment, not the stench) because I recently vowed to write seven short films in seven days when I had a free week, but that week keeps getting delayed.
Hey, if someone’s brave enough to pay me to write, I’m just stupid enough to take their money. But I’m definitely itching to write the films; I just can’t give myself a firm starting date.
Sometimes I wish I smoked crack so I’d have a clear goal every day. Stay tuned.
Monday, March 25, 2013
• “You’ve come a long way since puking on the side of my Maxima, my friend.” – to my friend Wade, who was in the middle of watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid on movie night with his kids.
• “Marry her.” – to my friend Pat in NY, whose new girlfriend wants him to move to LA.
• “I miss the 80s too, fellas.” – to the two dudes I saw doing coke in a parking lot before they went inside a bar in Sherman Oaks.
• “That’s the ruphie.” – to a woman at that bar who said her drink tasted “spicy.”
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Actually, I do love hitting a milestone, and as is tradition, here are my five favorite entries from my last 100:
Get Your Butt To LA, Part 50: Take My Readers To Work Day. Just a couple weeks after Jeff Daniels wouldn’t talk to me, he came damn close to having to do it on TV. All is forgiven here.
Get Your Butt To LA, Part 51: I Take You To Work With Me. Again. Days like this are why I always carry an EpiPen filled with Adderall. Breathe, focus and join me here.
A Two-Minute And 51-Second Montage Of Ricky Howling At Ambulances. As much as this makes me laugh, it’s also a sobering reminder that a shitload of people are calling 911 in my neighborhood. Get up, get, get, get down here.
I Shoot A Leading Role In the Web Series “Claire And Greg”: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery. For me, shooting comedy is better than sex. Then again, shooting me having sex is comedy. All fluffers report here.
A Valentine’s Gift To All My Current Girlfriends. Valentine’s Day sure sucks for women who are single and guys who aren’t. Catch more of the romantic stylings of Matt Shevin here.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Until then, I’ll settle for a nice compliment from a fellow actor named Rob Kolinsky, who also posed a question:
I’d like to take the time to thank you for motivating many aspiring actors with the words, wisdom and humor that you inject into your blog. I am not an aspiring actor, but rather an actor! (See, I learned something too!) Albeit a “newly minted” working actor. I’m still quite a few paces behind you, but I’m getting there.
I hope you don't mind, but I have question for you: I have always heard that casting workshops are a waste of time, to watch out for shifty workshops, and to never bring your headshot to one. However, reading your blog seems to suggest that it’s an actor’s best-kept secret. Which workshops would you suggest, and which would you avoid like the plague?
Don’t mind at all, Rob. A quick recap for those not familiar: casting directors attend workshops in their free time, watching actors perform scenes and offering critiques. They’re paid for this, but more than anything, they love discovering new talent and seeing actors they know show off their latest skills. They receive copies of our headshots, and keep us top of mind when casting TV shows and movies.
Regarding “shifty” workshops, a few years ago some of the workshops around town were essentially scams, promising actors work and gouging them with costs so badly that local politicians had to step in and regulate them.
These days, they’re legit, and one of the best ways to forge relationships with the biggest gatekeepers in town. Plus you get a great workout, performing scenes and taking direction. I love them.
Here are some of my favorite workshops around town:
Actor’s Key. Locations in both Burbank and Santa Monica. A bit pricey, but you choose your own scene and perform it with a reader, thus lessening the chance you get a scene partner with shitty skills. Biggest negative: each workshop begins with a Q&A, and the rookie actors ask the stupidest effin’ questions on God’s earth, which reflect badly on the rest of us. Some chick last week asked something so preposterous, the casting director was slightly stunned. I contemplated choking the bitch.
Reel Pros. Solid. Sherman Oaks. Mostly scenes in which you pair up with partners, but they ask casting folks to pair the more seasoned actors up with each other. Minor negative: in addition to charging for each workshop, there’s a monthly fee. (George Clooney once said, “As an actor, the best investment you can make is in yourself.” I have that tattooed backwards across my chest Memento-style.)
ITA. Love them. Cheapest prices in town. Great west-side location. You have to audition to get in, and actors tend to be older, so no bullshit questions in the Q&As. Workshops elsewhere can run three hours long; at ITA one Saturday morning, we started at 10 a.m., no one asked a question, we all learned and performed our scenes in one take and were done at 10:25. I had an erection. It was practically a drive-thru workshop.
So yes, workshop costs can add up, and you gotta get in front of some serious decision makers and knock your scenes out of the park every time. But we’re actors. We invest in ourselves and live for this. And besides, the only thing we have to fear is “No Fear” clothing.
Hope that helps.
Monday, March 18, 2013
And here in LA, there’s no more befitting way to spend the holiday than at Obrien’s Pub. (The meats are actually flown in from Ireland.) The splash photo today is a Bass Ale Fish & Chips-eye view of the festivities, and below is a shot of the boys and girls mid green-beer tipsy. I’d apologize for the blurriness, but I think this is an accurate portrayal of what the chick snapping the photo was actually seeing:
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Speaking of religious nuttiness, yesterday as I was walking Ricky I saw the above poster from a play recently staged at the local elementary school. How The Grinch Stole the Holidays? For eff’s sake.
Listen, non Jews: we honestly don’t feel excluded from seasonal festivities. In fact, we love Christmas. Our favorite Christmas tradition is eating Chinese food and counting all our money from running the media.
Using the term “holidays” to appease us is actually kind of anti-Semitic, in that it presumes we’re easily offended. We’re not.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas isn’t even about religion – it’s about the Grinch’s shrunken heart growing three times it’s size when he hears how joyous the Whos are even after they find out their gifts have been stolen. It’s so preposterous to change the play one bit. And it’s downright distracting. To be clear, I don’t like it.
Christmas is no longer canceled, and if you want it in writing, not a problem. We’re lousy with lawyers.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
But I know I’m blessed to have a fridge full of food and I’ve enjoyed a string of great meals at some of the fancier places in town. And this knowledge was only reinforced at a special screening of the new documentary A Place at the Table, which focuses on hunger in America.
What I learned was the very disturbing fact that there’s not a lack of food at all in this country. Instead, 23 million Americans live in “food deserts,” in which it just doesn’t make financial sense for healthy, affordable food to be delivered to these very rural or very urban areas. The documentary focused on a few families who struggle for their next meal every day – and these are far from lazy deadbeats looking for handouts. One family lives and works its asses off on a ranch in Colorado, and their daughter is a super positive little girl despite feeling hungry so often she can’t concentrate in school.
See this doc. It ain’t uplifting, and it’s hardly a date movie (let’s be honest – there aren’t a lot of documentaries about how great everything is), but it’ll change you, I promise.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
Similar shit happened to me three years ago, only that guy really knew how to live it up, on the coast of Italy. Yesterday’s douche took his talents to America’s anus: Walmart #1536, in St. Petersburg, FL.
He only hit the place up for $90 of merchandise, three separate three times. I assume, seeing as it’s Florida, that he took home $90 worth of Enchilada Supreme Doritos. Or Chlamydia meds.
You’re welcome, redneck.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
On the same night I checked out the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA, I also attended the Young Director’s Night at the museum, featuring seven short films shot recently by up and coming directors. Directors who didn’t wait around for agents to make their careers happen.
The short that stole the show – and won the audience’s vote for the Art of Film award – was Paulie, a comedy about a nine-year-old in the seventh grade who wins every spelling bee and science fair until he’s shocked to lose an essay contest to the bully who torments him. Ethan Dizon, pictured above, plays Paulie, and he was in attendance and up way past his bedtime, stealing all the attention at the post-show reception. And yes, in the movie he’s forced to eat dirt.
All of the films that night were great, with a nice range of tragedy and comedy and flat-out artsy, and I found myself majorly inspired. It’s been a few years since my film went through the award show circuit, and I think it’s time to write, produce and star in a new one. I’ve been itching to pull that trigger.
So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m still in the middle of a busy stretch of acting and writing assignments, but when a slower week pops up – possibly as soon as next week – I’m going to write seven short films in seven days, then pick my favorite script and shoot it. I may even blog each day about each idea.
There it is. Put out to the universe. Had to be done so I’ll be held accountable this time. (I’ve already broken my New Year’s resolution to tweet about Bieber more.)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I would’ve liked to take an ax to John’s statue, but an ax would have been too big, really, to swing comfortably inside a crowded terminal. I considered a hatchet. And yet, an ax would have been so nice.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Or you can work harder and smarter than you ever imagined and create your own career. Stanley Kubrick taught himself all aspects of film production and directing, and forged one of the best bodies of work ever. He had no particular style, because for every film he created a new one, challenging himself to work on all types of genres. Sparticus, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket. Serious range.
The other night, I checked out a fascinating exhibit at the Los Angeles Contempary Museum of Art (LACMA), which focuses on Kubrick’s career. There are film clips and props and crazy costumes, like the man-ape from 2001, which was so creepily fascinating I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.
The exhibit runs through June, and I highly recommend it. You’ll never feel so fascinated and yet so damn underachieving all at the same time.
Monday, March 4, 2013
And I won’t judge a meal by its disturbing similarity to a terrarium. Yep, that’s me above, snapping a pic of an actual, edible dish at Red Medicine in Beverly Hills. It’s called Wild Brook Trout Roe, and is every bit as delicious as it is pretentious.
I’ve been lucky enough to hit many of LA’s hotter restaurants in the past year, but I refuse to call myself a foodie, because as my friend Carolyn likes to point out: “Saying you’re a foodie is just a fancy way of saying you aren’t getting laid.”
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
I noticed a little water leak at the base of my bedroom wall, and my landlord sent over Joe the Plumber’s even dopier cousins, who cut into my wall and ceiling before simply knocking on my upstairs neighbor’s door and finding out his sink had been leaking.
They’ll be back Saturday to “fix” the mess. So I guess you can consider this my suicide note.