Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Went To A Riot And A Surfing Competition Broke Out.

Window-shopping in Huntington Beach two Saturdays ago, I snapped a pic of this bedazzled beach cruiser in the storefront of the Easyrider shop – the perfect purchase for the SoCal hottie with serious F-you money.

For the gents, a kickass Beavis/Cornholio skateboard. Phenomenal.

Cut to Sunday Night, and here’s what Easyrider looked, as the crowd at the US Open of Surfing turned ugly.

That’s right – the dreaded surf riot. On the bright side, I’m sure the sparkly bike now has a wonderful home.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Set Your VCRs And Betamaxes.

Yesterday, I woke up to some good news – so good, in fact, that I spent the rest of the monring doing push-ups in my garage to Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”

The NFL on FOX has decided to re-air a commercial I shot for them a couple years ago. It’s the one in which I played a bartender opposite comedian JB Smoove, and will be running until the Super Bowl.

Keep this between you and me, but I had such a good time, I would have shot the role for free. And yet, it would seem rude not to deposit the residual checks that’ll be arriving shortly. And I’m nothing if not polite.

Drinks on me. (Well, FOX, really.)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Recap.

Friday night, I went to Bar Chloe in Santa Monica, a really nice cocktail lounge, but the clientele was so white that the second I walked in the door I expected them to buy me a gift card to Anthropologie and could not stop talking about “Mad Men”… After watching Derek Jeter hit a home run on the first pitch he faced after coming off the disabled list, I was out of my mind. That’s breakfast for dinner… Stopped by my brother’s house yesterday, where my niece was cranking One Direction. I gotta say – every one of their songs sounds like they just tried Mountain Dew for the first time.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Financial Whoa.

You know Turkey’s economy is in the shitter when 500,000 lira sits in Palm’s Thai’s lost and found and nobody bothers to claim it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

As It Should Be.

The long-haired guy from TMZ drives a real piece of shit.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 58: And Another Thing…

Just a friendly reminder to commit suicide, Internet commenters.

You may recall the woman who got her menstrual panties in a bunch when I called out a friend of hers who showed up to an audition in costume. She seems like a delight.

Well, the other day I had a workshop with a casting director from one of the big military-based TV shows, and she stressed what I’ve been saying all along: DON’T SHOW UP IN COSTUME, FOR F’S SAKE. Dress to merely suggest the role you’re auditioning for.

The casting director had a couple of great reasons why. First off, for her show she sometimes brings in real military vets for auditions, who can be pretty damn offended if we civilians wear fatigues in front of them. Secondly, if you come in dressed in camouflage, and you’re talented but not quite right for the role, the casting directors have trouble imagining you for other, non-military roles. You pigeon-hole yourself. And do you really want to add one more degree of difficulty in booking a role? Try setting that Thanksgiving table.

By the way, I noticed Can’t-Keep-Her-Comments-to-Herself lady neglected to mention if her friend in the lab coat booked the role. Babe, if my email ain’t blowing up today, I’ll assume it ain’t you.

Not to worry, though – based on the romantic comedy rulebook, this weekend we’ll get drunk and sing karaoke together.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Fourth Great Film Of 2013.

New rule: let’s agree to cut the “I’ve only seen parts of it” bullshit, and just admit we haven’t seen the movie.

And here’s a movie you should see all of, right away: Fruitvale Station. It won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and is the true story of Oscar Grant, who was needlessly shot in the back by an Oakland transit cop on New Years Eve in 2009. The film follows Oscar, played by Michael B. Jordan, for 24 hours before it all happened.

Oscar wasn’t perfect, but at age 22, he was on the verge of really getting his life together. He had friends and a caring mother and grandmother, he was a playful dad and boyfriend, and had a big heart. If you’re like me, and think that cops are real shitbags, you’ll hate them all the more from the opening scene of the film, in which we’re shown cell phone video of the real shooting. From then on, as we start at beginning of his day, Oscar is a walking dead man.

You know how a great film will really stick with you the day after you see it? This one haunted me, and as I passed a billboard for it, it broke my heart.

It’ll break yours, too. You really oughta see it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rest In Peace, Sir.

Raise your hand if you were intently following the royal baby coverage yesterday. Now use that hand to punch yourself in the face.

While you involved in that British nonsense you may have missed the fact that an great American actor died. Dennis Farina was one of my favorites – and one of the actors everyone seems to love – which I blogged about a few years back. (New list coming soon.) All the more impressive is the he was a Chicago cop for 18 years who caught the acting bug late and didn’t book his first film role until he was 37.

He went on to appear in hundreds of TV shows and movies, and no matter the role, he was always riveting.

As much as I love to engage any actor I can, I encountered Dennis once but didn’t engage, because it was in the unfriendly confines of a bathroom at LAX. I can only say he was much taller than I expected.

Screw it – he was a giant. And he’ll be missed.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Gastronomical Weekend Recap.

This is a chocolate pistachio terrine with milk chocolate nibs and chocolate shortbread hearts. I demolished it at Cooks County, which has been named the best new restaurant in LA by Los Angeles Magazine. My whole life led up to that dessert… Speaking of fine dining, is there a five-digit code I can text to help the people waiting outside Chipotle before it opens at 11?... I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed a yummy treat. While walking Ricky on the strand, a woman gave him homemade peanut butter biscuits shaped like bunnies. Between the bunnies and the terrine, we’ll call it a draw:

Friday, July 19, 2013

This Old Actor’s Studio Apartment.

Jews being ill-equipped to use tools isn’t merely a stereotype; it’s a Snapple fact. But I’m bound and determined to be the exception, so after I gave my bathroom a makeover of skinny Jonah Hill proportions, I decided to replace my bathroom faucet. Above is the nasty relic circa the Johnson administration. (Andrew Johnson.)

And here’s the upgrade. Brushed nickel to match my new towel racks. I’d like to find the long-deceased gentleman who stripped the fins off the old faucet’s holding nuts and kill him all over again. Regardless, torch from Jesus, passed.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Third Great Film Of 2013.

I live life with no regrets – outside of the almost endless list of poor choices I make every day.

Duncan is an awkward teen leading an entirely regrettable life. And he has no adult to mentor him out of his sad-sack malaise. The Way, Way Back (which is where you sit in a station wagon when you’re the family runt) is an amazing comedy and moving story about Duncan spending a summer dealing with his parents’ divorce, his mom’s complete dick of a new boyfriend (played against type by Steve Carell) and being a social pariah around girls. (Though I’d argue a group of teenage girls giggling in your vicinity will destroy you at any age.)

But of all the all-star cast, the man who really steals the film is Sam Rockwell, who plays the manager of the beach town’s water park. He’s an overgrown frat boy, yet a sweet, protective big-brother type who immediately senses Duncan needs a friend. Blaspheme alert: I love Bill Murray very much, but Sam Rockwell takes Murray’s Meatballs camp-director character and just shreds it, launching hilarious rapid-fire putdowns at the water park kids, who eat it up, and a female coworker who hates how much she wants him. Sam is scary talented. There’s Oscar buzz for him for this role, and he deserves it.

It’s the funniest movie of the summer, and expanding into more theaters this weekend. See it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Belated Eulogy.

Every time you watch “Jersey Shore,” a book commits suicide.

Stick with scripted TV. Always. But if your TV fix must contain some Jersey, “The Sopranos” will scratch that itch. It changed television, mainly because James Gandolfini, was a major talent who inhabited his role. It made it all the more heartbreaking when he died last month. (That, and he was a fellow Jets fan.)

I wondered if he was a nice as write-ups portrayed him, so I asked my friend Billy St. John, who co-starred with James in a film called Club Soda, to share his experience:

“He was a bit reserved when I first met him. Paul Carafotes, the director, introduced me and I said, ‘You look familiar. Have you done anything I might know?’ He and the director stared at me and then broke up laughing. He was in his fourth season of “The Sopranos."

He was VERY professional on set and really open to helping the new kid on set (Steve McQueen’s grandson, Steven) to deliver a better performance. 

Very nice and fun guy with me. We were in the back room of the bar–we shot at an Irish Pub on Highland all week–and we were all just hanging around, waiting for the next scene. James was sitting next to me in this big chair and suddenly started singing the “SpongeBob Squarepants” theme song. I looked at him and joined in, he looked at me and laughed and we sang the whole song at the top of our lungs. Everyone was staring at us. 

When we stopped laughing, I asked him how he knew the lyrics to the song, and he said that he had a three year old at home. He asked how I knew the song and I just said that I liked clever cartoons. Pretty cool memory for me. 

Really sad, and it hit me weirder than I thought it would when I heard the news. Heck, he was only 51 and I thought about his child without a dad. Sad.” 

Agree. Thanks, Billy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Attention, Neighborhood Kids:

I have no idea how your football ended up in my yard…

…but I sure don’t envy it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My 1700th Entry.

A few years ago I made a decision to write a daily blog, and now my whole life feels like when you’re called up to the chalkboard to solve a math problem.

Yeah, I know – I’m the one cracking the whip. And I’m proud to hit another milestone, and as is customary, I like to chose my favorite five entries from the last 100:

Things I Said To Folks Over The Weekend. When I was little, my brother used to warn me that my wiseass attitude would get me beat up, and one day, an eighth-grader did just that. That day was last Tuesday. Get in line to kick my ass here. 

Kim Kardashian Is Acting In A Movie Make It Stop. And to think, her dad helping OJ get off was once the family’s most shameful act. Celebrate an American treasure here. 

Our Weekend Shoot: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery. Shooting a scene is even better than sex. (Note to self: shoot me having sex. Kill two birds.) Roll with me here. 

Malpractice. Wanna create instant rage? Just add asshole. The doctor is out, here. 

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 57: Oh, Behave. You know who could learn a lot about being on set? Kim Kardashian. Take copious notes here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Pronouncement.

Yesterday, a body was found on a soccer field close to my apartment. Soccer, ay? Seems like a clear cut case of being bored to death.

Friday, July 12, 2013


This may be the carb coma brought on a big-ass pretzel talking, but was there actually a movie on TV last night called Sharknado?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

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

• When I saw Jay Z and Beyonce on stage together, all I could think was “they must have gotten a babysitter for tonight.” I’m getting old.

• Belated New Year’s resolution: draw a chalk outline around a dead clown.

• I could see her camouflage pants, so they weren’t working.

• Nothing is better than seeing an old friend who now looks terrible.

• These days, doing a sex tape is like doing a pilot.

• Is there a code I can text to help the people waiting outside Chipotle before it opens at 11?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In Which I Act Like A Proud Father.

My bathroom was so overdue for a facelift, I didn’t even have enough confidence in the plumbing to get a drink of water from the faucet while the toilet was flushing. But I’d been so busy writing and shooting that I just couldn’t get to it. Until this past weekend, that is, when I gathered all the supplies and motivation and got after it. Above is the before.

Here’s the after. I finished yesterday, and even though I wasn’t hungry, I ordered Chinese food just so I could show someone.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Table-less Read.

New rule: live life like you’re in “private browsing.”

The hilarious characters in Dead Between LA and Vegas are up to no damn good, and that’s what makes the script damn great. It was written by my friend Rainy, who held a table read the other night. It was a big cast, so we read outside. Instead of a table, we sat around a chalk outline of dead body for effect.

I read one of the leads and loved it. There’s nothing like bringing a script to life for the first time. I can’t wait until it gets produced, because great comedies are tough to come by these days.

You know, many people believe that laughter is the best medicine. I’m no doctor, but isn’t medicine the best medicine? That’s why they call it medicine.

Nice job, Rainy.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend Recap.

A 1300-lb. shark was caught in Huntington Beach last month. Saturday night in HB, I watched this dude catch a more portable version. And just when I thought he was the shit (and a Yankee fan!), he tossed the shark back in the water. Good dude… Ate at the Spark Woodfire Grill, which was excellent. Though I must say, for me, all food is comfort food… The crowd at the Surf City Fair in Huntington was SO white – like “Larry Bird was better than Magic Johnson” white.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Another Man’s Junk.

Former Craig Ferguson PA Bridger Winegar tweeted: “In movies, do actors wear costume underwear? Or underwear from home? The whole thing is confusing. I don’t think I can keep watching movies.”

Just as I was about to reply to him that of course we wear our own underwear, I realized the above pair was neither mine nor wardrobe’s. It was the director’s. Long story, not quite explained here.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Big Dorito.

The greeting card companies’ Valentine’s Day conspiracy ain’t got nothing on Mr. Frito and Mr. Lay conjuring up this alleged “Independence Day.”

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Just Like Our Forefathers Envisioned.

“Last year, Hermosa Beach police received more than 300 calls for service during July 4th and made 24 arrests, including 15 for public intoxication. The city’s tiny eight-cell jail was filled to capacity. One beach party, attended by hundreds of teens, quickly spiraled out of control after word spread on social media. There were drunk people acting crazy, girls half naked and pot smoking. One police officer was punched in the face trying to break up a fight.”
-LA Times 

America. F yeah.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day Query:

Is this a great way to honor our wounded veterans, or the greatest way?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 57: Oh, Behave.

Booking a role but then being a big disappointment on set is like being the hot chick at the bar who turns out to be religious.

Here are a few things by which you must absolutely abide:

Be on time. Scratch that – show up 15 minutes early. No excuses about traffic or parking. The shittiest feeling in the world is running late, stuck in traffic, and then your cell rings, and you just know they’re looking for you. Trust me – tying to race to a set in LA morning rush-hour traffic is the worst Grand Theft Auto game ever.

Papers, Jew. Make sure you have your license and/or passport with you. This is a job, and it requires a 1099 just like a civilian job. Having your IDs with you and filling out any paperwork immediately endears you to the assistant directors, who are some of the biggest gatekeepers on set. But disappoint them, and just go ahead and give yourself a purple nurple.

Shut your yapper. Chances are, cameras are rolling and you don’t want to be shushed while someone else is being filmed. And don’t wander off to craft services without letting someone know. You don’t want people looking for you. Instead, you’re going to be the agreeable, available Johnny-on-the-spot. The actor they absolutely must work with again. The DeNiro to their Scorcese. Until Scorcese leaves your ass for DiCaprio.

Respect the garments and whatnot. The wardrobe people bust their asses to make you look good, so hang your clothes back up when you’re wrapped, and walk them back to their department. I’ve watched actors just drop their clothing on set, or leave them strewn about their trailer. And give your props (watches, guns, etc.) back to the prop master. He’s responsible for that stuff, and his main responsibility after an actor doesn't return props is figuring out what to do with his corpse.

Be prepared, fool. Have your lines memorized. There’s always the chance your scenes will be shot out of order, and your brain has to be ready for that. It’ll be a big cast and crew standing around you – don’t hold them up doing multiple takes because you keep going up on lines. Instant flop-sweat.

Lucky for us, there are a couple of great ways to practice set etiquette from the moment you arrive in LA: booking roles in student films, which in every way are microcosms of big TV and movie shoots, and doing extra work. But only do background a couple of times to get a feel for sets and see how the talent go about their business. You’re no extra; you’re an actor, with a day-job that allows you time to audition for acting work. And then book that work. And then behave. Like a boss.

Monday, July 1, 2013

They Shouldn’t Have.

There’s no “creative” way to arrange 29 sponsor logos. So let it go, walkathon t-shirt designer.

Keep it classic. Like the folks over at Trash Clothing, one of the sponsors of my blog, who kindly surprised me over the weekend by sending me a wife-beater. You guys are the best.

Trash features brand new, vintage, handmade and thrift clothing. All while being huge advocates for saving our planet. Click on their logo in the upper right corner and shop for some of the best eclectic stuff around.

Oh, and if “wife-beater” is no longer an acceptable term, remember: Sarah Palin is a wife.