Thursday, August 30, 2018

Friends In All The Right Places.

Trying to make friends as an adult = “May I interest you in tolerating me for a moment?”

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

I Received A Nice Letter.

Click on it to enlarge.

My response:

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sweet Ride.

Whenever people ask for Elon Musk to be forced out of his job, they oughta think twice, because that’s how Spider-Man villains are made.

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. 

Check out this new feature called “summon”, in which the car backs slightly out of a spot on its own so you can get inside without dinging someone’s door. It’s the trippiest thing.

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

Bit Of An Owie.

I fell off a 20-foot ladder the other day, then climbed right back up and jumped off a second time to show that ladder who’s boss.

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

The Role I Was Clothed To Play.

I don’t wear business suits often, and then only badly.

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

A Cautionary Tale.

Windex is the second best way to get a jammed ring off your finger. The best way: divorce.

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

Celebrity Neon.

Nothing says authentic Chinese food like a neon “We Delivery” sign.

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.

Also cool: this Mad-Men style bar, autographed by the designer. It has a low, brass bar on the side for when you sidle up for a martini, and a price so high, it’s not going anywhere soon.  I’m gonna start saving and day-driving immediately.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Body By Oreos.

Lettuce was recently recalled. Do you know what’s never been recalled? Oreos.

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:
Worth the messy cleanup. Would make again. 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Question For You.

Being on set combines two of my favorite things: the technical aspects of filming, and the love-fest that occurs between everyone involved. It’s why I want a kiss cam at my funeral.

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

I Play God.

Steven Anders was classically trained by William H. Macy. And stuffed into a dinosaur costume by Matt Shevin.

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

A Few Of My Closest Castmates.

With nine crewmembers, nine actors, and a slew of extras, it was the Woodstock of sitcom pilots. 

Let’s meet more of the gang. Above, Mike Muscat, who went full filthy playing a homeless guy for me.

Left to right: Sloane Shevin, my niece, who I used as an extra in three scenes. Sloane performed in a couple of school plays for her middle school drama program this past year, and I wanted her to experience getting her hair and makeup done and helping a TV show come alive. Next to me: my friend Emil Beheshti, who played one of my bosses after wrapping a role last week in a film opposite Christian Bale and Matt Damon.

My tiniest castmate: Sascha the dog. (I used to hold Ricky this way, 85 lbs. ago.) On the right: Sascha’s mom, featured extra, and future dentist Daniella Basin.

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

And I Threw Myself Down A Flight Of Stairs.

Maybe Tom Cruise does all of his own stunts because death is the only way out of the Church of Scientology. 

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

All This Week: “Hucksters”, The Pilot Shoot.

For months, I planned the hell out of this. And after taking care of every single detail, I arrived on set feeling 10 feet tall and ready to eat an elk.

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

Shoot Outside, He Said. It’ll Be Fun, He Said

Adult me must concede that a major contributor to global warming was kid me leaving the front door open and heating the whole goddamn world.

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

First Day Of Shooting My Pilot.

I went to Costco for a case of water and bought the Cleveland Browns and a helicopter.

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

I Don’t Tend To Talk About Myself… Except in This Article For Which I Was Interviewed.

Blogs are so narcissistic. I’m thinking about starting a podcast to talk about it.

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

Thoughts?

I came home last week to find this backpack in front of my place. At first I thought someone must have left it and run down to the beach to take a dip. Then I thought: unattended bags in this day and age are not good.

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

A Tale Of Two Saturdays.

Call it tough love, but I let my nephew know that if his team didn’t get the third out soon, Ricky was getting his burger.

Meanwhile, across the pond, a bit more compassion:

Friday, August 3, 2018

31 Seconds Of July.

My month of July was all that and a swollen foot, too.

I’m finally literally back on my feet, and here is my month, one second per day:

 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Location, Location, Filthy-Yet-Phenomenal Location.

You know you’re officially lost when you turn down the car radio and take off your sunglasses.

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

My Soap Opera Shoot.

What’s the most meaningful connection I’ve had in my life? Wifi, on a flight to Philadelphia.

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.