Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Could be why I went I am nuts about the new documentary about Scientology that’s running on HBO: Going Clear. It featured some of the disgraced former leaders badmouthing the hell out of the religion. Including why it should never have been recognized as a religion in the first place. And they seduced and keep a hold on Tom Cruise.
The Scientology headquarters, above, looms over Franklin Ave. in Los Angeles, across the street from my personal religion’s headquarters: Upright Citizens Brigade, where I’ve performed improv. Everyone who parks on the streets alongside the Scientology center will attest that it gives them the heebie-jeebies.
And once, I was inside the place. For an audition. The folks there created a protein workout drink (they really know how to print money) and were casting for a host to promote the stuff. The actor’s fee was appropriately insane: $10,000 for three-days work. Who was I to say no.
Sitting in the lobby, I watched celebrities check in (it’s also a hotel for them) until two super perky blondes brought me into a room to audition. I’ve never had anyone smile wider and love my work so much. I was terrified.
I didn’t book the job, which was okay, because my only motivation was to get the hell out of there without being snared and hung upside down by a spring noose trap.
The documentary is on all week on HBO, including twice tomorrow. It’s as unsettling – and fascinating – as you can imagine. You really gotta see it.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
But the drooling? I don’t know who he’s emulating. And he’s a big man (look at that doozey on his paw) so I’ve gotta make the same sacrifice as many dog owners: low-grade couch. Mine dates back to my older brother’s fraternity house. (I’m not kidding.) I put an expensive cover on it, but it’s always rumpled.
But now I’m in pre-production for a new comedy short, which I’m shooting in my place, and it involves a couch. So it’s time to finally buy a new one. A nice one. And because it’s a prop, I just might expense it.
So, West Virginia football fans, I know how much you bumpkins love burning couches after victories. Stop by my place and it’s yours.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Yeah, a comedy short I wrote with my friend Chad took this long to shoot because it had so many setups. And now that the director and I took a look at all the footage, we realized we have to reshoot much of it.
It was tough to swallow, but then I realized I’m glad we maintain such high standards and don’t just finish something and put it on the net.
The entertainment business can really test your resilience. Good thing it’s so awesome.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Wild Tales is a collection of six short films by Argentinian writer/director Damian Szifron, all with the theme of revenge. Each story has an element of violence that induces serious anxiety, because they’re all based very real circumstances. You’ll never engage in road rage again.
The final short is my favorite, featuring a bridezilla moment of biblical proportions. But they all will blow your mind. Wild Tales was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film this past year. (I can’t imagine how it didn’t win.) Damian Szifron is a genius, not only with his writing, but superbly inventive direction. (It’s been said never to attempt to shoot party scenes, and he just went ahead and whaled on the wedding reception. Wait’ll you see it.) But don’t wait – take my word for it. It’s in theaters now and I still can’t get it out of my head. Go see it.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Looks like a German shall lead America back to museums.
MOCA Pacific Design Center.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
I work out at a really nice LA Fitness in a really rundown neighborhood. I go there super early every morning, and park on the street, figuring the hoodlums ain’t hopping out of bed before sunrise.
But last week, I walked out of the gym, and a nice woman who works out at my gym told me she watched a Camry pull up, and some drug-addled dude get out and attempt to break into my car.
When he sensed people were around, he split, but that was enough to make me think it might be time to step up to something better. In a somewhat nicer neighborhood close by is an Equinox, the wet dream of fitness clubs. To us LA Fitness palookas, Equinox was like a legend. We imagined sumptuous accouterments. The married guys constantly want to scrape together the monthly fee just so they can watch hot chicks work out. A petting zoo is cheaper, boys.
Equinox comes with a price, and it’s steep: $151/month. LA Fitness is a ridiculous $13/month. But I can’t put a price on sidestepping my car’s window being smashed. And on its website, Equinox was holy shit nice. Locker rooms that were more like spas, lined with complimentary Kiehl’s products. Massages. Eucalyptus-infused towels. Celebrities literally rubbing elbows with you in spin class. I procured a three-day pass.
And after one day, I tore it up. Yesterday, in fact. Equinox is the most overrated club on the planet. It’s New York City of gyms. It didn’t have half the equipment a guy needs to get a real workout. The Kiehl’s products were in giant vats, including one that ran into a little squirt bottle labeled “deodorant.” Yes – group deodorant. All of this for more than ten times as much as I was already paying. But on the bright side, I’d be getting ten times less.
So now I know. Vandalism is worth the workout. And Equinox is one chick with full-blown diarrhea.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I really like reading about people who use their celebrity to make the world a better place. Here are four of them. Click on their names for more about their stories:
Zach Galafianakis takes care of a homeless elderly woman.
Drew Carey bought lunch for writers in Hollywood during the strike.
Rick Moranis gave up acting after his wife died so he could take care of his kids.
This one is random, but Chris Hermann gave his catcher’s gear to a kid outside a stadium.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
On Saturday, we went to see Endeavour, which is on permanent display at the California Science Center. Above is what everyone sees as they first enter the hangar, and it’s enough to make each visitor stop dead in his tracks. You can’t imagine the enormity until you’re next to it.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Sam Simon was the biggest dog person. He made a fortune producing huge TV shows, then spent millions every year on a foundation which rescued dogs before they were put down, and trained them to help soldiers with PTSD. His mobile units are all over LA, providing free spay and neutering for low-income dog owners, and free operations for dogs. He’s a saint in my book. And very unfortunately, on Sunday, he passed away.
And then, yesterday, Windell Middlebrooks died. You may remember him from the Miller High Life commercials as the wise-cracking delivery guy. I especially remember him, because my friend Bru and I were in one of those commercials, and bonded on the set and our friendship has been close ever since. Windell was so funny during and in-between takes, and just a big, sweet guy who died at the age of 36. He would have gone to be make it really big.
Sometimes life deals a bad hand. Sometimes twice in one week. This week sucks.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
• Thanks for letting me read for Guy in Suit – a role I began preparing for the day my mom bought me my bar mitzvah three-piece.
• Don’t play dumb with me? Honestly, I am dumb. Most of the time I’m playing smart.
• Once again I’m reminded that pressing harder on a remote control when I know the batteries are getting dead is not an effective strategy.
• Screenwriting tip: don’t.
• I grew up with Volvos, which offered the vivid driving thrills of a Roomba.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Feel free to use my move tonight, when the film Road Hard opens nationwide. I’m in a scene opposite Adam Carolla, who I idolize, so I’m really happy it’s premiering. Bring a bicep you love.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
At this rate, I’ll just avoid TV altogether. My friend Kelly Davidson Chambers and I co-starred in a film a few years ago, and now she’s joined her friend Bobbie Breckenridge to create a web series geared at educating actors new to LA. She asked if I’d make a walk-on appearance in the style of “The Soup,” and I was happy to help.
The pilot will be posted soon, and I’ll update with where and when. They fed me on the set, so it’s the least I can do.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Monday, March 2, 2015
The students at my alma mater, the University of Maryland, pulled off a pretty wild flash mob. Maryland went on to upset #5 Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin players said the Maryland fans were the best they’d ever seen. I’m proud. Click above.