RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
This picture…just because it makes me happy.
I can’t help it, but every time I’m working on my Oscar the Grouch replica puppet I hum “I Love Trash,” Oscar’s signature song from the early days of “Sesame Street.” Magical! Here’s a link with some interesting trivia to go along with the song!
Monday the 10th – WILD AND WINDY! – With the full intention of getting outside and going for a long walk, I decided against it once I took Roxy out for a bathroom break. It was wildly windy, and blowing violently. I needed to get to the bank and do errands, but this was not the day to do it. My allergies would have gone totally nuts if I had walked in these kinds of conditions. So I made the decision to stay put and go another day. The dust that was blowing around was so thick you could actually see the particulates in the air! So I stayed in and worked around the house until evening time. I napped for a short while on “The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe,” and got up at 11 to do some more work. I did some auditions, and typed out Wally’s Week. I heard that the winds in Lake Tahoe were clocked at 210 mph!!! They almost seemed that bad HERE!
Tuesday the 11th – ERRANDS AT LAST! – The wind had died down considerably so I decided to lace up my walking shoes and head out to enjoy the day and get some errands finished. I walked to the bank to make a deposit, hit the hardware store to pick up a few items, went to CVS to buy some supplies and headed home to shower. That evening I met with my friends Nery and Croix about the upcoming ‘Voices Against Cancer’ event that I’m involved with happening in my hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Saturday June 27, 2020. I’ll be joining 8 other Voice Actors who will be in Sioux Falls for one day only signing autographs and taking selfies for charity; specifically the St. Baldrick’s children’s cancer foundation. So far we’ve announced Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Jim Cummings and Alan Oppenheimer. And we have another 4 we’re still preparing to announce! VERY exciting! Stay tuned! Nery, Croix and I are working on operational policy for how the event will be run, as well as promoted and marketed. They’re both very smart and have done many things like this in the past. After they left I grabbed a short nap and then got up for my nightly auditions. I also did a little work on my Oscar the Grouch replica puppet. Then I headed to bed to be up early the next day for a session in Santa Monica.
Wednesday the 12th – DOUBLE DELICIOUS! – At 10 I woke up, got ready, and walked over to my auxiliary garage to get my Mustang out. I had the Gran Torino in my garage, and since I don’t ever take that on the freeway, I needed my Mustang to get to Santa Monica for a session at noon at Lime Studios. I arrived in the Santa Monica area a half hour early, as was the plan, so I stopped over at my favorite Mexican restaurant called Campo’s to get some lunch to go. I used to eat at Campo’s all the time when I lived on the west side of L.A. (where the chain is based) but since there are no Campo’s restaurants in my area of town, I take full advantage when I’m compelled to be on the west side for a session. From noon to 1 I was in-studio doing the voice of a traffic reporter that will be coming through the radio in a car commercial. When I was wrapped I headed to Toluca Lake to meet my pal Edi for a second lunch. When I got there she confessed that she had already eaten at McDonald’s a few hours earlier, and I confessed that I had already eaten at Campo’s. So we decided on milkshakes for dessert instead. After we finished I picked up my mail at my mailbox, drove home to swap out cars, do some auditions, and gather all my tax stuff for a meeting with my accountant on Thursday so he can prepare my personal tax return. Looking at all those numbers fatigues me beyond belief, so I took a short nap, and then got up to do more auditions. I spent a little time gluing the finger loops inside my Oscar the Grouch replica puppet, and then I went to bed.
Thursday the 13th – BUMPER BUDDY! – For the past several years, I and a group of other actors have been busy working on a new animated film providing “scratch VO.” What that basically means is, we’re the temporary voices that are utilized to perform the script, knowing that someday when it’s animated the production company will most likely use those dreaded “celebrity voices” or “TV actors” to do the characterizations for real. But there are several reasons to do a “scratch VO” job like this. First, they pay great! Secondly, on the off chance the producers like your performance as the character so much, they may end up not replacing you with a “TV actor.” Usually in this type of situation, an actor providing “scratch VO” knows that they’ll be working for a few years doing various incarnations of the script, as the writers and producers experiment with what works and what doesn’t. This allows them to work out all the bugs and finalize the script to everyone’s liking before they have to pay the big bucks to some “celebrity voice.” This morning we all were present at the Dolby facility in Burbank to watch an “animatic” of the film. While not fully animated yet, the illustrations from the storyboard are cut together to the edited audio track, with music and sound effects added in. It gives everyone a sense of how the final film would look when fully animated, but it does require you to fill in certain areas with your imagination. But the pacing of the story and action are all evident in the animatic. This was the second animatic I attended, and it was really great. The production company had some head honchos from various studios there to watch the show to see if they’d be interested in distributing it once the film is completed. We all seemed very happy with the end result, and as we went down to the parking structure I walked out of the elevator and saw a guy in an SUV backing right into the front bumper of my car. He hit it so hard that it set the alarm off. But after we inspected it, there luckily there wasn’t any damage. Come to find out it’s a gentleman who worked at a big studio and we had worked together in the past on another project. I assured him that it was fine, there wasn’t any damage and all was good. Whew! Then I went home to walk Roxy, grab my tax materials, and head off to my accountant’s office to deliver them. After my meeting I got back home and, since I had gotten up really early to make the screening, I took a short nap. I got up later to do all my auditions, and I stayed up all night finishing the rest of the head on my Oscar the Grouch replica puppet. It was quite a bit more work than I had anticipated, but I’m VERY happy with the result! And just in time too, because the next day I was due to take him over to the special effects house I’m utilizing to help cover him with fur. Exhausted, I hit the hay.
Friday the 14th – BARGE BUDDY! – Even though I didn’t have to be at a videogame session until 2, I woke up early enough to do several auditions in my home studio to start my day. I hopped in the Mustang and stopped by my accountant’s office to bring him some additional documents that I had forgotten to give him on Thursday. I picked up my mail at my mailbox, got some lunch at Taco Bell, and drove over to Marc Graue studios in Burbank to eat my lunch in their parking lot and listen to the radio until I was due to be inside to start my session. I had done the first session for this videogame a few weeks ago, and today was the second and final session to get all the voice tracks completed. We worked for a few hours and after I was wrapped, I went over to Foam Mart in Burbank to pick up some thinner for the glue I used while making puppets called Barge glue. It’s amazing stuff. But since it’s mostly used only by professionals, you have to go to a special place to buy it. Then I headed over to Alex In Wonderland effects studios to have them look my Oscar the Grouch puppet head over to start drawing a pattern to have him covered with fur. But when I got there nobody was there. I texted them to double check that we had an appointment, but they had a medical emergency in their family so we rescheduled to next week. So I took the time to stop by the grocery store to get some groceries for the weekend. I came home, grabbed a hot shower and relaxed. What a busy day! I took a short nap, and when I got up I decided to fix the slip cover on a book in my collection. Back in 2015 my pal Dan Roebuck, along with a company called Black Sparrow Productions, created the definitive coffee table book on the fabulous Don Post Studios; the trailblazing company who was responsible for every great latex rubber mask ever made. The book is gorgeously produced, and the cardboard container the book is housed in is covered with a latex slip cover that replicates the look of a very old book binding with a three dimensional face of Frankenstein on the front. I had the book stored on my book case standing up vertically. But when I went to review it last week I noticed that the latex slip cover had begun to rip and decay. Apparently, after talking with Dan, the gravity of the three dimensional Frankenstein face began to pull away from the slip cover, and other rips and tears were occurring as well. Dan had stored his flat on its back so no such deterioration had occurred with his copy. Trying to figure out a way to mitigate any further deterioration, I decided to Barge glue the latex slip cover right on to the cardboard housing that held the book. The back of the cover hadn’t decayed at all, nor did the edge, top or bottom. So I got a long brush, some Barge glue in a jar and a jar of thinner and went to work. I started by binding the slip cover’s edge to the slip cover and letting it cure. Then, with the long brush, I glued the top, bottom and back to the cardboard housing. After those cured, I started in on gluing the pieces of the front of the slip cover down to the cardboard housing. Dan had suggested stuffing the Frankenstein face with cotton to add support. That way there wouldn’t be any gravitational pull on the latex. Piece by piece I glued all the sections into place and repaired the damage. I stuffed the face with cotton and sealed it up. BEAUTIFUL! It worked amazingly well. In fact, I think that owners of this book should do the same with their copy, whether or not they’ve experience the same deteriorative issues as on mine. I also dug out an old VHS tape of two TV commercials I did in the early 90’s where I portrayed Freddy Krueger for a 1-900 phone company. I want to put a clip from one of them on my new Actor Reel, so I dubbed the commercials to DVD, downloaded it into my computer, isolated the parts I wanted to feature in my editing program, and dubbed it to a flash drive for my editor. Satisfied with a day well spent, with lots accomplished, I drove to Denny’s to get some food to go and came home to eat while watching an episode of “The Mod Squad” before bed.
Saturday the 15th – A ‘JAWSOME’ WEEKEND! – After an extremely busy week I allowed myself to sleep most of the day. I got prepared for movie night, and when my guests arrived I gave them each a Valentine candy shark. At CVS a while back, I found these chocolate sharks that said, “You’re JAWsome!” I bought all they had and saved them for Valentine’s weekend. They were a big hit with everybody. After my guests left for the evening, I grabbed a quick nap, and then got up to feed and walk Roxy. Still a bit tired, I laid back down on my couch and slept until early Sunday morning. I had some cereal and went to bed, knowing that I needed to be back at noon for a recording session at my house.
Sunday the 16th – SUNDAY, SOUP, SARA, SALAD & SPACE! – After only a few hours of sleep, I got up to record several people from my church in my home studio. These are minute-long readings that will be hosted on our church’s website during the upcoming Easter season. We recorded for about 3 hours, and then I took a short nap before evening church. Roxy and I walked over to church, and after the service we walked back home with my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley, and then Shirley and I took off for Jerry’s Famous Deli to have some soup. I dropped Shirley off at her place, and then came back home to meet with my pal Sara to do some work. But the busy week (and strange sleep schedule) had worn on me, so I grabbed a nice nap. I got up later and did auditions, fed and walked Roxy, and made my Saturday Night Super Salad (one night late) and watched an episode of “Space 1999” before bed. This episode involved a liberal utilization of Silly String and foam. Honestly, I often wonder how Martin Landau and Barbara Bain kept a straight face while working on this series.
Monday the 17th – PRESIDENT’S DAY! – Once again I woke up early to record a few more church people. Since there were only a few, I was able to get some more sleep after they finished. Later, when I got up, I figured it was time to glue the black fabric to the mouth of my Oscar the Grouch replica puppet. The first piece I tried didn’t work out, as it was just a little bit too short, so I pinned on a second piece and it worked great. I glued the fabric to the top mouth plate and let it cure for a while. When I checked my e-mail, I got a note from my “Bumper Buddy” (the studio exec who accidentally backed into my Mustang’s front bumper last Thursday) notifying me that I had a $100 amazon gift card waiting for me! HOW NICE! He didn’t have to do that, since my bumper suffered no damage, but he felt it was the right thing to do. I replied that he certainly didn’t need to do that, but I really appreciated it! Proof that people who do nice things still exist in this world! Amazing! Later I met my pal Brittney for dinner at Paty’s and we got caught up on all the news, as I hadn’t seen her in a while. Then I came back home, grabbed a nap, woke up to do a ton of auditions, glue the bottom part of the fabric to Oscar’s lower mouth plate, and napped on the couch until Tuesday morning.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK