Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Recap.

Robert Redford spent millions spiffing up the Sundance Cinema, including a gorgeous lounge featuring furniture from the Sundance catalogue. The only way to bring it down would be to eat a childish meal of corndogs and tater tots in that lounge. I feel shame… I will never get tired of college football baby daddies… Realization: ginger ale tastes so much worse outside an airplane… To the guy at Jones Hollywood with the ponytail: what are you afraid of? Success?

Friday, September 27, 2013

XL Extras.

Forget about gun laws – there needs to be more focus on who can own a television.

A 48-hour waiting period might prevent the criminally insane from making a show like “America’s Got Talent” a top-ten hit. And keep amazing, scripted shows like “Modern Family” on the air for years.

Speaking of which, there was a nice inside joke on the “Modern Family” season premiere. Above, behind Manny and Jay as they mistakenly stand in line with same-sex couples who want marriage licenses, is Jeff Greenberg, on the right – the head casting director for the show – and in the sweater, his real-life partner, Lars Anderson. (A big home-furnishings designer to the stars.)

It was a really nice way of honoring the man who casts the Emmy winner for best comedy, and his new-found ability to turn pro. (Plus he’s a really nice guy.) That’s good TV. Real TV. Real talented TV.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Soon-To-Be New Favorite Mayor.

I know this girl who’s a total butterpoliticalviews.

Eh – at least she’s got looks. And someday I’ll catch her up to speed on Newark Mayor Corey Booker. Cory is actually about to become a New Jersey senator, so I’m promoting him from My Favorite Mayor to My Favorite Politician. (Read here about him tweeting me his thanks after I blogged about him.)

So a slot has opened for a new My Favorite Mayor, and lo and behold, the frontrunner is right in my backyard. Recently-elected LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is the hands-on, Cory Booker type of guy I never imagined could run this town after the shitbag who just left office.

Already, in the few months since he’s been in charge, Mayor Garcetti:
  • Has taken it upon himself to bring Hollywood back to Hollywood, calling runaway TV and film production a civic “emergency.” Dude’s going to get us all paid.
  • Is making all 37 of the city department heads reapply for their for their jobs. Most of them make over $200,000 a year, and the Mayor said it was “unlikely that 100% of folks will return.” Parties over, fellas. 
  • Began setting up what he calls Parking Days (see pic above), in which he moves his desk outside to a city neighborhood and has open office hours for any Angeleno with even the slightest beef. Tree roots rupturing the drain pipes outside your place? How’s next Wednesday? 
Eric Garcetti went to Columbia and the London School of Economics and Oxford. He’s a Rhodes Scholar married to a Rhodes Scholar. He’s a Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve. He plays piano and composes. He’s acted on both “The Closer” and its spinoff, “Major Crimes." (He’s one of us!) But now he’s not just playing a mayor on TV. He’s My New Favorite Mayor.

Remember when leaders actually led? Me neither. But they sure as hell are starting to.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

State Your Name And Imaginary Occupation.

If you want me to give you a cool nickname, all you need is to do is have a real name that I can’t remember or pronounce. 

So shout out to my mom and dad for giving me a simple handle, which makes my job all that much easier in auditions. As actors, we’re often asked to “slate” our names before we audition – state our names (and, if necessary, the role we’re reading for, our height, if we possess a required skill for the role, etc.) 

Well now, one of the websites our agents use to submit us for roles is offering a new feature in which we can post a hybrid headshot/slate that casting directors can click on to put a voice to our face. It’s called a slateshot, and I recorded two looks: suit, and casual t-shirt. Give ‘em a gander:  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Untitled Matt Shevin Project: An Update.

Oh, sure, “Game of Thrones” got 16 Emmy nominations, while my drama, “Dragon Porn” got shut out, just because it didn’t exist.

Back to plan B: my new comedy short. Little bit of exciting news: I’ve got a casting director. He’s helped cast films like Just Friends and The Heartbreak Kid, and I’m thrilled to have on my film. I’ve got two tricky roles to cast, and I want them just right.

But before we hold a casting session, my location scouting is about to begin, and it’s important I get that done before anything else since the shooting date hinges on it.

My brain feels like it has too many tabs open. Catch up again soon.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vine Weekend Recap.

Pit Bull in the second row, niece and nephew in the third, windows down, music cranking, driving recklessly through the streets of LA. Or as I like to call it: “Sunday.”

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Confession:

I react like Brad Pitt at the end of Se7en every time I see a trash can containing McDonald’s fries.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome Back, Television.

After the cancellation of “Happy Endings,” I felt the need to show a psychiatrist on a doll where ABC hurt me.

But then the fall season arrived, and with it my favorite new premiere: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Andy Samberg is hilarious and I loved it. It’s created by the show-runners from my favorite current sitcom, “Parks and Recreation,” so it’s no surprise they nailed it. (Case in point: Samberg’s character may be sarcastic and immature, but he’s still a very good cop – an easy cliché a lesser sitcom would have lazily settled for.)

Tuesday nights. Watch it. Scripted TV!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

And No, It Wasn’t Written By My Mother. Or Me.

Some of my proudest moments have been when a website told me my password was “very strong.”

I’m easily flattered. So imagine how I felt yesterday when the director of a film I was in a few years ago (in which I played a cop) passed along a comment he received:

“My wife really thought that Cherish came off as kinda vampy. Haha. I thought she was fine. Kelly was a very good lead. But I must say, of all the actors in the movie, Matt Shevin said your lines like you guys are one person. He really complimented your words with his performance. My only complaint is that he disappeared for a little bit of a stretch. Possibly the funnest most likeable character of the bunch for me. Every time he was onscreen I was happy.” 

What the what?! Looks like the position for my new stalker has been filled.

Seriously though, as actors we rarely get feedback that lets us know we’re on the right path. I’m grateful as hell.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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

• There’s something nice about knowing I’ll never have to watch Nirvana perform “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at a Super Bowl when they’re 60.

• Great to be recognized on the street, and it not be for an outstanding warrant.

• Again, having my messenger bag pop open at the end of the audition and spill dozens of Ebony magazines was not premeditated.

• I’m insane, but not “be the first to comment on my own Facebook status” insane.

• You can tell whether or not I forgot someone’s name by how enthusiastically I say “hey.”

• My ex-girlfriend has endorsed me on LinkedIn for “Ignoring Glaring Personal Issues!”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It’s Time To Play: Guess Who Lives In This Home.

Let’s see… giant mansion on the beach, so huge money. Novelty-size Monsters, Inc. figures on display. Possibly a Pixar Studio head…

Final answer: a pedophile.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Recap.

Realization I made at Glendon Bar & Kitchen in Westwood: if your restaurant order starts with a question, I already hate you… A friend of mine from Dublin was driving up to the Hollywood sign when he suddenly smelled something vile and fled his car. He was perplexed. Did you know there are no skunks in Ireland? That oughta be a Snapple fact… Last night, Ricky suddenly woke up, got off the couch, walked over to the front door and sat down. I let him out, and he went into the bushes and vomited. I’d like to see any of your kids take it outside.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

It’s Time To Play: Guess What Year This Guy Peaked.

Let’s see… filthy Porsche he apparently is living out of. So he had money once. Possibly an executive producer on “Alf"... or CFO of Lincoln Savings and Loan...

Final answer: 1987.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekend At The Shevin Household.

Ricky got the pin last Saturday, but my big brother looks to rebound.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Seventh Great Film Of 2013.

My performance as “guy who acts disgusted when his neighbor says her ex-husband is dating a 23 year old” is getting early Oscar buzz.

But if you want to see an entire cast raking in awards, Short Term 12 is the shit – and one of the best movies of the year.

A film set in a foster-care group home sounds like familiar territory, but it’s not. It reminded me of the orphanage I visited in Manila last year, where my friends Bru and Aina performed the ultimate selfless act, after asking specifically for cash gifts for their wedding, and then donating it all to the orphans.

As bad a hand as these kids had been dealt (many of them were only three years old and already had a history of sexual abuse), they were blessed to now have a new, big family of brothers and sisters and caretakers who loved and looked out for them. And they were learning to cook and do their laundry and being prepared to become great adults.

Short Term 12 stars John Gallagher Jr., who plays Jim on “The Newsroom,” and he’s beginning to traipse into Philip Seymour Hoffman territory. The film scored a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and I can’t recommend it enough. See it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Burning A Hole In My Pocket.

Thousands of spam messages have promised to enlarge my penis size. And then, one residual check and it’s mission accomplished.

It’s the first one I’ve received for the re-airing of my NFL on FOX commercial, and since it’s tradition to buy myself a meaningful gift, I went straight to GameStop. They were all out of Sega’s NBA Jam, so I asked if they had WNBA Layup. I showed myself out.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Untitled Matt Shevin Project: An Update.

Yesterday, I read this headline: “Video: Miley Cyrus Spanks Twerking Dwarf.” This must be what it felt like to live through the Renaissance.

There’s never been more dire need for better content, and I’m taking on that challenge with my newest short. Right now, I’m in the casting phase, and I’ve sent an email to the manager of a child actor on the brink of A-list status that I think would be perfect for one of my leads. In order to convince the manager, I attached examples of work I’d either written or acted in, including the above clip. Give it a gander.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Recap.

Note to unattractive couples: if you must make out the entire night at Mexicali, thus spoiling rotisserie chicken nachos, I will post your pic… Huge blowout win by my Maryland Terps. Nothing more American than winning 200 bucks from a Canadian gambling site… My favorite band names – Garage A Trois and Com Truise – have now been eclipsed by Lee Harvey Osmond… Saturday night at Lola’s, I waited so long for the valet to come back with my car I made friends with a volleyball.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yes, Rodney King, We Really Can.

My friend Tina captured this random act of kindness by her neighbors on a sweltering day here in the canyon.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Sixth Great Film Of 2013.

Everything I need know about the rich comes from watching MTV Cribs NBA Edition. Like how all pro hoops players ask their interior designers to make it look like they live in a Cheescake Factory.

It’s a crazy world for the top 1%, and even nuttier when it all gets taken away. Blue Jasmine is about just that. It’s not a Woody Allen comedy so much as it’s a Wooden Allen tragedy, beautifully played by Cate Blanchett. A wrenching portrayal of a woman’s life falling apart. Go see it, happy weekend!

Seriously, see it. It’ll haunt you for a couple days.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In Defense Of The Best Show On TV.

A couple weeks ago, an episode of “The Newsroom” aired, featuring a role I auditioned for and just missed getting. And I must say: watching someone else perform the part you came so close to getting is like watching someone else bang your girlfriend.

But damn, the show is better than ever. I’m convinced you could take any one-hour episode from this season, put it in theaters, and it would contend for an Oscar.

Meanwhile, “The Newsroom” continues to have its critics. I’ve never seen anything like it. It may be the Yankee Effect. After winning 27 World Series, if the Yanks come up short of anything but another ring, they’re considered losers. Aaron Sorkin has amassed nine Emmys and an Oscar, so if there’s a slight inaccuracy, or an episode doesn’t blow everyone’s socks off, it’s hater’s delight.

Perhaps the journalism community’s snarky criticism of “The Newsroom” has less to do with the show’s factual flaws than the problem any business has with shows centered upon its profession. Check out this kickass letter printed in the LA Times the other day:

“As an ordinary viewer, I look forward to each episode. I love it. It’s fast, witty and fun. 

But I’m a psychiatrist, not a news reporter. But as a psychiatrist, I find it difficult when I see dramatic depictions of my work. For example, Side Effects recently and What About Bob? Were painful to watch, full of inaccuracies and distortions. 

Films such as Ordinary People, in which a psychiatrist is depicted as a real, caring, lifelike professional, are rare. Do lawyers find “The Good Wife” a pleasure to watch, accurately portraying their profession? Do police officers enjoy “Law and Order?” The public does, though; it’s drama. Suspend disbelief and enjoy.”

-Dr. Richard W. Merel 

Newsflash: “The Newsroom” is not a news program. It’s a play in 10 acts, written by American’s best playwright. Aaron Sorkin is attempting to distinguish between genuine news programming and the editorializing that happens on an ultra-conservative network. It’s fiction. Truthful fiction.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Untitled Matt Shevin Project.

Ambition is the willingness to kill the things you love and eat them in order to stay alive. Haven’t you ever read my throw pillow?

That said, I’m officially in pre-production for my next short film. It’s a comedy written by me and I’ll be playing the lead role, and my first pre-pro meeting is today. It’s going to require a tricky bit of casting and location scouting, but I’m working with the best director and producer in town: my friends Bru and Aina.

I’ve actually written three scripts I like and was waiting until I’d written two more to begin shooting them all, but it’s time to stop delaying and get after it. I don’t why I’d put them on hold; maybe it’s the enormity of it all because I want them to be perfect. Either way, I wish I could have the “Price Is Right” audience around whenever I’m making big life decisions.

Wish me luck.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Three-Day Weekend Recap.

On display at ArcLight: posters for horrendous exploitation films. I’m more than a little ashamed to admit I’ve seen a few of them in theaters… What was with the temp? Was it sweating where you were, too?... Was out in Venice Beach Friday night. It’s getting harder and harder to find vodka-flavored vodka… That said, a true sign of maturity is waking up after a night of drinking and finding your contact lenses actually in their case.

Hey Pussy.

Ricky is fed expensive, all-natural food. When I’m out, a dog walker takes him on long walks by the beach twice a day. At night, he sleeps on a memory-foam mattress.

This is how the terrorists must imagine we treat our dogs.

And whenever I’m home, Ricky begs me to let him go outside, where he’s hooked to a 30-foot lead and has trained himself to bite down on a hose nozzle to give himself a drink.

So imagine my surprise when I came home yesterday and had a complaint notice from animal control which read: “There is a concern regarding your dog described as Pit Bull breed being left in sun rays as well as chained all day. Please remedy prior to animal control having to intervene.”

Asshole who called the cops, do you know what happens if they intervene? The dog who lives at the beach and eats fancy food and sleeps on a memory-foam mattress gets euthanized. Try getting a Pit Bull adopted from the pound. Not so easy.

I immediately called animal control, and within five minutes the head of the department showed up. He knew right away this was preposterous, told me people should mind their own business and that I should consider the summons voided. He gave me his card and told me to call him directly if I ever had another problem. Bing, bang, boom.

So, concerned animal lover, before you pass by my house and pick up the phone because you presume my dog stays outside all day long against his will, maybe you should knock on my door, and find out that I’m always ten feet away from my him when he’s out there. And by the way, the dog wishes he could be outside all day long.

Or, you can take that phone, turn it sideways and shove it deep, deep, deep up your ass.