Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oh, Hipster.

That bolted-on Italian coffee can is a nifty place to put shit – like that ticket for illegally parking on street-cleaning day.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Man Crush.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is so inept that sooner or later he’s going to sit on his own balls.

However, Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti takes office July 1st, and it can’t come soon enough. Garcetti has already rolled up his sleeves and is trying to fix showbiz in LA. On Monday, he met with a few dozen scouts, agents, producers and studio executives to discuss the state of LA’s TV and movie industry, and how he can help bring back the huge chuck of filming that moved to other places under Villaraigosa.

The fact that Garcetti is reaching out to the entertainment business before even taking office is so damn good for us actors and crew members. He’s thinking about naming the city’s first-ever film czar (whoever gets that title is SO getting laid), and talked to the governor about making tax credits for filming in California competitive with all the states that have been undercutting us the last few years. Suck it, Massachusetts.

In 2010, one of the studios in Hollywood hosted an event called Film Works, to promote filming in Los Angeles. Mayor Villaraigosa, too busy banging Telemundo reporters behind his wife’s back, didn’t attend. You know who did attend? Then City Councilman Eric Garcetti. Eric, you’re a handsome man.

It’s a great time to be an actor in LA. And Tony Villaraigosa, it’s been far from a pleasure. Collect your shit and get the F out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

If You Must Drink And Drive...

…not to worry – the railing at the El Torito will cushion your impact.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Recap.

Perky, animated celebrity sighting: that’s Molly Shannon on the right, at Hungry Cat in Hollywood on Saturday night… Hungry Cat, by the way, is a kickass name for a seafood restaurant that has one of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever eaten. And it’s half a block from ArcLight Cinema, the best movie theater in the world. Los Angeles – F yeah… Saw World War Z. Since the zombies in this movie are attracted to loud noises, we should preemptively quarantine my upstairs neighbors.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Family Credit.

The amount of power surging through me after successfully giving a stranger directions can only be described as dangerous.

So I can’t imagine what it felt like the other day when Christina Torre caught a baby who fell from a second-story window in Brooklyn.

Christina is former Yankee manager Joe Torre’s daughter, and my friend JW’s cousin.

So, Joe’s got four rings, and Christina has the adulation of an entire city. JW – you’re up. Make the family proud. Best of luck.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rest In Peace.

Classy move by Holstens in New Jersey, where the famous final scene of “The Sopranos” was filmed.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 56: Say No More.

I once booked a role in a film, but immediately had a bad feeling about it. By the time it was too late to back out, I was in a location from Hell – the frigid LA Forest – with unbearable accommodations – a cabin fit for a unabomber, with no heat – and a script so bad, it read like a toddler spilled those poetry magnets on the floor.

I’d managed to suppress any memory of it until yesterday, when I read a great cautionary tale in the LA Times about an actress named Katey Houck (that’s her, above), who recently had an audition for a film called May the Best Man Win. It turned out it was not an audition, but a Borat-style prank, in which unsuspecting actresses were asked by an English production company to perform in blackface, or impersonate Adolf Hitler and shout Nazi propaganda. The “joke” was to see if the actresses were desperate enough to audition for a part that they thought was immorally reflected. Katey was mortified when she found out.

Bottom line: the most powerful word in the English language is “no.” It’ll help you take charge of anything from sketchy auditions, to shifty agents, to shutting up your inner critic. Heck – it also works wonders in your dating life.

A few years ago. I arrived at an audition for a sitcom and it was utter chaos. The German writer/director looked like a genuine axe murder, and acted like one too, hustling actors in and out of his set, forcing them to read for roles they didn’t have prepared. And his “sitcom” script had all the charm of a German axe murderer. Before my turn came up, I left. It was the only audition I’ve ever walked out on.

It turned out the German was Tommy Wiseau, the infamous writer/director/star of the best/worst film ever made: The Room. (Killer review here.) This movie is so bad it’s shown like the The Rocky Horror Picture Show to packed, mocking audiences in Los Angeles at midnight screenings. I highly recommend attending one – it’s a real rite of passage in LA.

I got a hold of Katey Houck and asked her if there was anything she wanted to say that wasn’t mentioned by the Times. She said, “Yeah – they took advantage of that vulnerability we as actors need when we are in the room, and exploited it.”

Damn right. And we do it for free, or worse – at our own expense, driving across town and taking time off from our day jobs, only to have some English assholes pull some shit. Speaking of which, the article mentions some of the pranks being performed in the film include “someone being pelted by what appear to be dog feces, and two people dressed as genitalia appearing to engage in sexual intercourse while ice skating.” Yeah, memo to any producers who attempt to prank me in any audition, ever: I am more than willing to spend a night in jail.

Actors, when you get out here, be take-charge right out of the gate. It’ll render the untalented producers extinct, and endear you to the legitimate ones. If something doesn’t feel right, turn around and get the F out. Just after you force-feed the producers that dog shit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wicked Pissah.

So, Doc Rivers wants out as Celtics head coach. I’d offer my condolences to Boston fans if I had even once in my lifetime met one of them who was remotely tolerable.

I can’t sympathize, but I can assimilate. Yesterday, I auditioned for the role of cop with a thick Boston accent. I had the inflection down pat, but I couldn’t help but think about Fred Armison’s portrayal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the recent SNL sketch “Iranian Film.” Click above and you’ll see what I mean.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Son’s Father.

I’ll never be the world’s greatest father – Kanye already bestowed that title upon himself. But I am the dad of a Pit Bull puppy, and at least LAX Kennel Club thinks I’m not half bad.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Vegas Bachelor Party: An iPhone™ Censored Photo Gallery.

So the boys demanded final cut when it came to recapping the trip. Apparently what happens in Vegas stays with the NSA.

Eh – I’m not afraid to reveal exactly what went on:
After breaking into individual discussion groups to share how much our wives and girlfriends truly meant to us, we sampled some lovely gelato and called it a night.

Tiny toothpaste! It’s tiny!

You may call leaving a dime on Buddha’s nipple harmless, but I call it forcing an entire religion to rethink its whole “no concept of sin.”

Tiny pretzel!

Sure, they also refused to show their faces (or appear in a clear photo), but new NBC “Late Night” host Seth Meyers along with his brother Josh won’t rain on my parade.

Okay, here’s a legitimate one I can share: the blue wristband is for Liquid, the private pool party at Aria. In the pool, I listened to John, our bachelor, talk to a woman about his fiancĂ©, and how he’s very happy to adopt her two children from a previous marriage. Noble, yes, but John shared with the woman in the pool that his entire dating life he was only able to have sex with women who already had kids, to which I turned to the woman and said, “He prefers a loose vagina.”

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Looks Can’t Kill.

I’d say this view from this suite at Aria in Las Vegas was unique in that the reflection made the building in the center of the pic seem translucent, but what I’m really trying to say is the guys I’m with hinted at capital punishment if I blogged about anything that occurred last night after I took this shot. Their threat is my command.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Anyone Wanna Volunteer To Be My Emergency Contact?

I’m in the mood to dance like an asshole. Will one of my friends please get married soon?

And we have a volunteer: my friend John. Actually, I’m not close friends with him yet, so I’ve only been invited to his bachelor party, which takes place this weekend in Las Vegas.

We leave today, and I’ll attempt to blog once while I’m there. But while I still have all my faculties, a piece of advice to the groom: if you have to go into your bathroom to take a piss, make sure the hooker keeps clapping her hands so you’ll know she’s not stealing anything.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Matt Shevin’s Get Out Of Jail Pass.

  1. Download this pic 
  2. Save it on your phone 
  3. Show it to officer who just pulled you over 
  4. Continue running red lights 
  5. Thank me

Random Shots I’m Deleting: An iPhone™ Purge.

Do I appreciate everything that Apple has brought into my life? Let’s just say my pinky is basically just an iPhone stand now.

And I like to keep a clean shop, so before I chuck it, here’s shot I took a few months ago while shooting a role in a very Jewy house. (Both a dream and a nightmare for me.)

On a table in this home was a dreidel, bearing the letter “Nun.” I guess we all really can get along.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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

• I am with you on water parks. They are a cesspool of disease and people boo you when you walk back down the stairs.

• I confess that “turning circle” is about item zillion on my list of car-buying priorities.

• At this point, what is the difference between an Albertsons and a homeless shelter?

• I’m remaking Warrants “Cherry Pie” video and need a harness, a hair dryer, ten tons of cocaine, no harness and no hair dryer.

• Oops – I realized I gave you my Gmail address and not Yahoo. My bad. I blame society.

• Apart from my niece and nephew, nothing is more disappointing to me than raisins in carrot cake.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend Recap.

Friday night I went to 25 Degrees in Huntington Beach, where they specialize in all kinds of concoctions they like to call “spiked” sodas and shakes. Great way to get your date – or, if you’re married, your kids – wasted… Saw Before Midnight, the third in the Richard Linklater trilogy, and it was a super intelligent, intricate look into relationships that I’m still wrapping my head around. Great way to get your date to break up with you on the ride home… Big weekend revelation: I’m like a competitive eater, but for sleep.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Snubbed.

I have a huge affinity for writing because I not only love it, but need to do it. I once went 20 hours without blogging and started disappearing from my family photos.

And this week, members of the Writers Guild of America voted what they think to be the 101 best-written TV shows of all time. Nice list, but here are 20 more I think deserve recognition:
  1. The Big Bang Theory 
  2. Happy Endings 
  3. Huff 
  4. John Benjamin Has a Van 
  5. King of the Hill 
  6. Law & Order 
  7. Malcolm in the Middle 
  8. Michael and Michael Have Issues 
  9. Newhart 
  10. The Newsroom 
  11. Parks and Recreation 
  12. Scrubs 
  13. Secret Girlfriend 
  14. Stella 
  15. Street Time 
  16. Strip Mall 
  17. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 
  18. Undeclared 
  19. Upright Citizens Brigade 
  20. WKRP in Cincinnati

Thursday, June 6, 2013

More Trailers For Movies I Can’t Wait To See.

As great as things have been going, I’m still waiting for the “Walking on Sunshine” scene in my life movie.

Until then, I’ll rely on others’ productions to pick me up:

 
Prisoners
Main Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal
Premieres: September 20th
Thought: Promising attempt to help us forget the Mel Gibson movie Ransom.

  
Gravity 
Main Cast: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock
Premieres: October 4th
Thought: There are only two people in the entire cast. Clooney better be especially nice to the aspiring actors handling his food.

  
Captain Phillips
Main Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener
Premieres: October 11th
Thought: True story of a US cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates. Fingers crossed that Keith Richards plays one of the pirates.

   
Ender’s Game 
Main Cast: Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley
Premieres: November 1st
Thought: Armageddon has replaced vampires as the most prevalent movie theme. Thank Jesus.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 55: Be A 90-Percenter.

If you had Hitler and a coworker who doesn’t mute the keyboard on his iPhone together in a room, and you could only kill one of them, would you give Hitler the dead coworker’s phone?

Every business has about the same ratio: 90% self-aware people, 10% shitbags that eff it up for the rest of us. Showbiz unfortunately is not immune.

Case in point yesterday: Stuart Stone, a huge commercial casting director here in LA, sent out a simple email to all of us actors via a casting website, stating that a big print job he was casting was booked. In other words, actors no longer needed to message him or submit their headshots online.

The website Stuart through which sent his message embeds emails in their original submission forms (see the pic above), so the 10% of actors who need to vacate the entertainment industry immediately didn’t bother to read what he wrote and submitted themselves, blowing up Stuart’s phone.

Stuart was justifiably miffed, so he sent another message:

“Why are several of you calling or emailing to be seen for this project when I just sent a email that it was BOOKED! You make yourself look so unprofessional and we make notes of those things to protect our clients. I know you need to do all you can to promote yourself but you won’t do that by clicking on here to add yourself to the job. Don’t be inconsiderate please.” 

Seemed fair enough and even polite, considering. And yet… a third email then came from Stuart:

“I got a couple of emails from actors who thought I was mean and harsh and many other complementing me on having actors be accountable and others wanting to take my workshop. To those who were offended I am sorry. I was so frustrated with actors not reading the message I wrote and my email and phones exploding. Not sure when that became okay to do. However, I am sorry it was abrasive. To those who understood my rant thank you for understanding. Thanks everyone for your emails it makes me remember to take a breath because for those who have met me know I am really a nice guy who truly cares about actors and wants to see you succeed.” 

And message received. Stuart won’t forget the idiots who submitted themselves, and good riddance, folks.

There was a time when an actor could just walk onto a studio lot, straight into a network president’s office and introduce himself. And if the actor had talent and something to offer, the president was very happy to get to know him and push his career forward.

But then the 10% swooped in like a flock of bath salt abusers and just chewed off our faces. Studio lots are now on lockdown. Agents won’t take phone calls or look at headshots sent via snail mail. And the 90% actors with decorum and talent have been rendered gun shy. We don’t want to “bother” the gatekeepers by imposing upon them, when in actuality we have something to offer that can make them both look damn good and make them money.

In a recent workshop I attended, an actress asked the casting director for “Revenge” if the show was multi-camera (comedy) or single camera. Even if she hadn’t watched the show, which every actor doing a scene for its casting director really, really should, how could she not even know the show’s genre? The casting director sweetly answered “single cam,” but I could see in her eyes utter disbelief. And I was furious because that 10% skeezer made us all look bad.

So when you come out here, play for our team. The 90-percenters. Do you homework. Practice your craft. Don’t harass the people in charge. And above all, read a goddamn email before submitting yourself.

Stuart Stone, I’ve met you. You’re a great guy. And anyone who was offended by your very fair email is a pussy who apparently has run out of problems and doesn’t know what a real thrashing is like. On behalf of the 90% of us actors who get it, apology not necessary.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekend Recap.

 
My life is like an M. Night Shyamalan film: bizarre characters, lots of plot twists and I want my money back.

Which is why I gave myself the weekend off. I didn’t write. I didn’t go to casting workshops. I ate, I slept, I watched sports like a MFer and I even gave myself this blog post off.

Instead, I’ll let Ricky take the lead. A little commotion sent the cops right past my place yesterday, and triggered some world-class howling. Click above, and take a gander.