Thursday, August 30, 2018
Back in 1992, my dad took me to a Yankee game, which was preceded by a celebrity softball game: Donald Trump’s New York Stars vs. the Hollywood Stars.
Trump’s Yankee cap teetered atop his crazy hair while he played a shaky first base. But playing third was a guy I loved: Mark Derwin, who starred as Detective AC Mallet on “Guiding Light.”
Bored afternoons after school, I’d become hooked on the soap, and AC was not only a cool character, but Mark would improv references to the Yankees in between his lines. (“If we’re lucky, that’ll all happen just in time for the World Series… go Yankees.”)
He was a kickass third baseman, by the way, and when I became an actor, I vowed I would meet him someday and tell him I saw him play and loved the Yanks as well. But before I could, I went ahead and DM’d him on Twitter. We became instant friends.
Like me, Mark watches every inning of every Yankee game, so we text non-stop. After he flew to New York this week, Yankee radio announcer Suzyn Waldman gave him tickets to last night’s game and invited him into the radio booth. He sent me the above pic, which features legendary announcer John Sterling (who Mark has known since the 90s) on the left, Suzyn in the middle, and Mark to the right of her.
I don’t have jealousy issues, but I do have “send me one pic of yourself with my heroes and I may have to cut you” issues. Love you nonetheless, Mark.
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Give the guy credit for building the only car that impresses anyone these days. I’d been wanting to drive a Tesla for years, and finally had the chance yesterday. Minutes after my friend TJ’s new Model 3 was delivered, he insisted I get behind the wheel.
I drove it, and I also didn’t drive it – TJ hit autopilot and the car accelerated, steered, and braked behind cars on its own. I took the above pic with both hands at 40 mph.
Tesla bills the Model 3 as “the car of the future”. It receives software updates like an iPhone or laptop, so imagine a car that gets better every few months. The next update will enhance the auto-pilot so that it recognizes stop signs and red lights and stops for them. The robot uprising is near.
Electric cars have come a long way since I wondered why people in them didn’t get electrocuted when it rained. Who knew.
Monday, August 27, 2018
Actually, I fell with the ladder, which I leaned against some high shelves in my garage and then gave way, pancaking against the floor. My ears were ringing. I have a big gash in my shin, and my elbow landed hard. All survived. But hips don’t lie. (Also, big butts cannot lie.)
It looks as bad as it feels. For four days, I’ve waddling around like a penguin, fantasizing about those walkers with the tennis balls on the legs. On the bright side, I’ve been showing the bruise to my disgusted nephew every time he turns around, so kinda worth it when you think about it.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
I prefer a bathing suit, which I always use as underwear in case a random pool party breaks out.
Today it pays off in a whole new way, as I have an audition for a commercial in which the wardrobe calls for a bathing suit and t-shirt.
Dress for the slacker you want to be.
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Another good use for Windex is killing flies. One got into my place Monday night, and while he took a break on the front of my flat screen, I squirted him dead. Unfortunately, the Windex seeped into the TV’s motherboard, and my TV and the fly now have adjoining graves.
These are errors of substance and judgment. I can be such an idiot sometimes.
After kicking myself thoroughly, I replaced the old TV with a fresh new one. As is customary, while dragging the Samsung it into the house, I told Ricky to meet his new brother. And let us never speak of this again.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
And nothing elevates your backyard pool like the gigantic, refurbished bathing lady above. I saw it in a great antique furniture store in the valley, and learned that Annie Potts had just bought it.
Monday, August 20, 2018
It’s the perfect food, and my nephew’s favorite ice cream flavor. (Although he often criminally tops it with gummy worms.) So with my first free weekend in forever, I promised him we’d make an Oreo ice cream pie with a cookie crust.
We were actually supposed to make churros, but we’re waiting on a large, new pastry bag tip that’s arriving this week. So we went full-on American, and here is our result:
Friday, August 17, 2018
I’ve been going through the footage all week, making selects for editing, and it’s great to relive it all over again. My goal was to have so much fun making this pilot that it would be evident when you watch it.
The screenshot above, from the opening scene, was in my head for a very long time. Now it’s been captured on camera, and it is so satisfying.
Ask yourself: what makes you happy? What do you love to do? What have you always wanted to try? Stop waiting and just start. Everything becomes better. Believe me.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
The beauty of funding this thing on my own dime is that I can shoot anything I can imagine. And bring anyone down to my level.
Heck, I could put fancy thespian Steven in boxers and a wifebeater and throw him into a scalding-hot dumpster on a 103-degree day with his mouth and wrists duct-taped. Oh wait, I did:
“Hucksters”. Coming this fall.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Let’s meet more of the gang. Above, Mike Muscat, who went full filthy playing a homeless guy for me.
I miss everybody already, so it is now a foregone conclusion that I write the rest of the season and get them all back together.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
I don’t do my own stunts; I do other people’s stunts. One nutty one, for one of my co-stars. I saved it for the very last shot of my pilot, “Hucksters”, and the crew was very good about it. (One guy called me crazy, which I loved.) It came out so amazing and funny, I can’t stop watching the footage.
My shoulder hurts. I suffer for my art.
Monday, August 13, 2018
It was awesome.
The show is called “Hucksters”. Pictured above: my friend and co-star Ben Pace – who plays the guy standing next to him: Chad Grandey, my best friend (the show is based on the semi-true adventures of Chad and me), and next to Chad is our co-star Jean St. James, who happened to also be in my film The Beneficiary and is the mother of Martin Starr, who plays Gilfoyle on “Silicon Valley”.
I know the shoot went well because I’m really sad it’s over, and I will miss everyone involved until we shoot the next episodes. In the meantime, the footage looks great. Here’s a quick glimpse:
Friday, August 10, 2018
In spite of the 103-degree temp, the first day of shooting was even better than I imagined. Above, director Jared Cohn piloted his drone to capture some beautiful, sweeping footage of my costar Ben Pace and me walking through the streets of Canoga Park.
Back at it this morning. I could do this every day.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Well, at least I’ll be prepared. Though I’ve been preparing my ass off. I finalized the script, hired the entire crew, cast the actors, scouted locations, got insurance, got shooting permits, bought all of the props – you catch my drift.
I’m ready. I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time, and the first day is finally here. I’m entirely excited. There’s nothing better than being on a set. And I get to be on my set, acting in my sitcom. It’s a very good summer.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
The Casting Networks, a big site among actors, interviewed a couple of other bloggers and me about our experiences. I like the result. Dig:
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
By the way – the FBI’s terrorist hotline is not a place to chat with hot terrorists. I know that now.
How long do I leave it there? Garbage pickup is Thursday morning, so I’m thinking about tossing it then. If I don’t get blown up in the meantime.
Monday, August 6, 2018
Meanwhile, across the pond, a bit more compassion:
Sir Ian McKellen injured himself running to catch a train, and this afternoon’s performance of King Lear is cancelled. Instead, McKellen is chatting with the audience taking questions, and it is pretty incredible. pic.twitter.com/UcNLiWNgE7— Katie Simpson (@CBCKatie) August 4, 2018
Friday, August 3, 2018
Thursday, August 2, 2018
But director Jared and I weren’t lost so much as location scouting. One week from today, my pilot shoot begins, and yesterday we were finding spots in the valley that would work for eight external scenes.
I won’t give much away, other than we are definitely using this corner, and there will be a drone. Yes, a sitcom shot partially with a camera drone. It’s high-noon somewhere.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
That’s when I found out I booked the role on “The Bold and the Beautiful”, and then scrounged to find the first flight back to LA. Vacation canceled.
I’ve learned that when destiny calls, answer. And the next morning, I was on set, shooting my scenes, and loving the only thing better than a vacation: a role on TV.
Everything about it was what makes this business great: cool wardrobe, incredibly nice cast and crew, and a fully-loaded dressing room. (The room’s number is 31K, named after Danny Kaye. It was his dressing room during his variety show in the early 60s.)
In The Third Door, the book I’m currently reading, entrepreneur Elliot Bisnow cautions against pursuing your “dream” or your “passion”. These terms are vague and trite. Instead, pursue what makes you excited – and nothing is more exciting for me than being on set. I get to do it all over again for my pilot next week. It’s a good summer.