“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sounds pretty condescending.
So go all out, like the guy one town over, whose Christmas display has become so legendary, it was written up in the New York Times this week. It’s also spread onto both his neighbors’ yards. If you can’t beat ‘em, submit to ‘em.
No photo can capture the enormity of it, but I tried with a panoramic shot. Click above and be engulfed.
It’s comforting to know that if nothing else works out, you can always become an adult obsessed with Star Wars.
But if movies ain’t your thing, try a play – in particular, one of the best I’ve ever attended.
Last night, I saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It won four Tonys this year, and is brilliant and emotional, with utterly unique stage design and design. The ending made me cry.
Brad Pitt bought the rights to the book/play, but has yet to make it into a film. I’m not so sure a movie could do the story justice, and by that I mean, see this play – it’s real proof of the power of theater.
If I had any self respect, I’d tell the guy sitting next to me to stop making me get up every ten minutes so he can take daughter to the bathroom. But I don’t, so I’m gonna blog about it.
Boundaries, dad. Boundaries.
Beyond that, it was such an effortless, enjoyable flight, mostly because I didn’t fly the devil’s asshole that is United Airlines. Really nice surprise: my pal Rob, the producer who flew with me during our month-long shoot in August, was also on the plane. We’ve now put in more than 70 hours of flight-time together.
But more about my new favorite airline: JetBlue, which knows how to treat its passengers. Check out the above Inflight Marketplace, where anyone on the plane has access to goodies. Here’s how they describe it:
“Inflight Marketplace is a mid-cabin stop for any customer who wants to grab a beverage or snack. An idea we got from our own crewmembers who often set up inpromptu stations for customers to help themselves to additional snacks during a long flight.”
And avoiding family, by watching movies. Here are three I highly recommend to kill some time:
99 Homes – find it on demand. Every year there are a few films that for some reason are completely overlooked, and this is the best one of this year. Incredibly compelling. Set in Orlando during the housing crisis, when families were evicted from their homes by the dozens. A modern-day horror film.
The Martian – may still be in theaters in whatever hayseed town your cousins live in. It’s terrific, and fun, seeing Matt Damon’s character vow to “science the shit” out of his situation in order to survive.
Sicario – possibly still in theaters, on demand in January. This movie came highly recommended by my friends Aina and Bru, so I’ll quote Aina directly: “Sicario breaks so many molds in terms of structure, the typical hero/heroine formula that studios (and sometimes audiences) force filmmakers into, cinematography, sound design, musical score... the list is endless.”
As a kid, I used to think $5,000 was a lot of money. But now that I’m an adult, I think it’s a tremendous amount of money.
With Ricky’s other knee slowly deteriorating toward a whole new surgery next year, I may want to stockpile some extra cash. And if I can get paid doing something I love, all the better.
Sunday I got to do the PA announcing again for the local kids’ Super Bowls. It’s always fun, and a chance to do some unique performing. (I try to keep it entertaining for the parents.) Featured in the above pic is the Trojans, coached by former USC Trojan Matt Leinart, whose son is a big bruiser of a QB himself. Matt took home the championship trophy, so he may want to move his Heisman aside and make some room.
All I wanted to do was watch the trailer for Batman vs. Superman, but first I had to watch a commercial for Draft Kings, which I interpreted later as an act of war.
When advertising is excessive, no thanks. But when it offers a great benefit, bring it on. Backstage is the industry website (and magazine) created for performers, and performers swear by it. The site offers casting notices, articles, news and advice from the top people in showbiz. So when they approached me to advertise on this blog, who was I to say no – or turn down their cash.
They also asked me to mention: Backstage.com is the only casting website that updates and verifies every casting notice before it’s posted, offering a level of confidence and security that no other website can match. Actors, singers, dancers and models all rely on Backstage.com to find their next gig.
Click the link on the right and subscribe. I’m Matt Shevin, and I approve this advertiser.
Last month, Rye High School, my alma mater in New York, was named the 19th-best high school in the country. It received straight A’s in every category except culture and diversity. (Rye is WHITE – like one big town full of New England Patriot possession receivers.)
I’m proud, but I won’t kid myself. The school has much improved. You should meet the palookas that attended with me back when I was there. When I went off to college at the University of Maryland, I had culture shock meeting kids from the DC/Baltimore area. They watched the news and read the paper. I’d never seen anything like it. Baltimore’s motto is “The city that reads.”
But I’ll take it, my newly improved résumé. Go Garnets.
I had to take a cold shower every morning last week, after spending every night in a cold apartment. I better get some kind of freezing powers for this.
But finally, after plumbers swore each day they were almost finished, the pipes have finally been replaced and blessed by the gas company.
And now that I’m thawed out and done bitching, I used the weekend to take my scooter out for several spins, including a beachside ride on the strand in which many people wanted to know where I got it. Mom, expect a bunch of requests.
A few years ago, I was shooting a role on a soundstage and heard Stone Temple Pilots was shooting a video next door. I play drums, and am partial to any band with a great drummer. STP is one of my all-time favorites.
During a break, I snuck into their building. The band was out having lunch, so I took a walk around, and when I passed lead singer Scott Weiland’s dressing room, I snapped the above pic.
It was a surreal moment, not just because I loved Scott, but because he’d been tortured by drug addiction for years, to the point in which an overdose seemed inevitable. But here he was, still around, making a comeback with the band.
Most celebrity deaths are no more than a passing interest. The odd one can touch us for some reason. Scott Weiland is one of those for me.
This week, "Monday Night Football" featured two of the worst teams in sports: the Ravens and the Browns. I couldn’t decide if I should skip the game or hate-watch it.
Instead, I caught the first two episodes of the new NBC sitcom “Superstore”. It was awesome.
The show is set in a St. Louis Walmart-style store. Furtile ground for a workplace comedy.
There are key ingredients to the success of a sitcom – ensemble cast, juggle three plots every episode – but it simply boils down to good writing. Good writers can make a decent premise great, by crafting every script. There are cutaways between scenes in
“Superstore” that only last two or three seconds, but perfectly capture the unintentional hilarity of a big-box store, and society at its worst – like an abandoned baby bouncing happily in a crib display. Or the employee conduct video that promises to “explore RACE, and time.”
The characters tend to be more thoughtful than real-life Walmart employees, but isn’t that what we want in our TV shows? I know I do.
Monday was a soft-launch of “Superstore”, before it kicks off full-time next month. You can find episodes online in the meantime. This is the kind of show I’m going to make. The complete antithesis of Ravens/Browns.
Actually, it’s a one-bedroom. But living in an apartment is one of the many sacrifices I make while I happily pursue my dream. And I love the pursuit. I love the people, the challenges, the city of Los Angeles, and, most of all, the feeling that makes my heart quicken every time I get to do the thing that I love: acting.
My name is Matt Shevin. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org