RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Since the Hollywood Museum opened their big Batman ’66 exhibit this past week, it got me reminiscing about a pitch I did for the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park back in 1988, shortly after I first moved to L.A. I thought a Batman exhibit would be great in their museum, and even sketched up a concept sketch to show them. Though the wax museum closed shortly thereafter, I kept the sketch for all these years. There’s a lot of this concept in the current exhibit. As I was conceptualizing the display areas for the Hollywood Museum, I knew I wanted to have certain things represented that I had in the old sketch from ’88. Funny how it took 30 years (almost to the day) to see something like this become reality, but it was definitely worth the wait!
I love darting around on iTunes and finding new “Chill Wave” songs to add to my Tranquility Zone playlist. This is one of my new discoveries…“Because” by Stargazer.
Monday the 8th – IT NEVER RAINS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA???!!! – I’m convinced that when Albert Hammond wrote that song he knew more than we gave him credit for. It pours. Man, it pours. Today was one of those days where the skies just opened up and it rained cats and dogs. My tickle was back again so it was a constant struggle to keep the coughing down to a minimum. I was having a hard enough time losing my voice, but when the violent coughing starts it’s really tough on the ol’ pipes. When I got up later in the afternoon I did a few auditions (at least I had enough voice for those) and drank lots of hot tea. I believe hot drinks relax and help to uninflamed the tightened vocal cords that result from too much coughing. I sat around and watched a few more episodes of “Twin Peaks” and just rested. It was the perfect day to do it, too. Constant downpours!
Tuesday the 9th – H2OLLYWOOD – When I woke up at 12:30 it was still raining pretty good. I drove over to Carl’s Jr. to get some lunch at the drive-thru, then I headed into Hollywood to put some finishing touches on the Batman ’66 exhibit at the Hollywood Museum. I just stood there looking out the window watching it pour and pour. I was considering building an ark! My buddies Troy, Chris and Greg had come in from out of town and had arranged to come to the museum early to finesse the costumes that they loaned for the exhibit. My pal Pat Evans showed up as well and continued working. I couldn’t stay long because I had a doctor’s appointment in Toluca Lake at 3:45. I needed an insurance referral to an oral surgeon to take care of this tooth that has the cyst sitting above it. They informed me that my blood pressure is a tad high, so I’d better watch that. Gotta exercise more and eat a little better. I never salt my food (I don’t actually like salt that much) but I think I’m going to start searching for low sodium popcorn, since I’m such a popcorn addict. Plus I just had a fast food lunch a few hours earlier, and I’m sure those things are loaded with salt. I went to get some groceries and when I came out the exit to the store was blocked by people with their camera phones out. There was the most GORGEOUS full-arch double rainbow over the Burbank area. Stunning! It was so huge I couldn’t capture it in one photo. I drove over to Outloud Audio in Burbank to do a call-back audition for a Cartoon Network show. It was good to see my old “Family Guy” pal Linda Lamontagne who is casting this new show. I went home to feed the pets and relax. I wrote Wally’s Week, did some work around the house, and then hit the hay for what was sure to be an amazing Wednesday; the premiere party of the “Holy Holywood History! A Batman ’66 Retrospective” exhibit at the Hollywood Museum!
Wednesday the 10th – WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY WILDNESS! – Promptly at 11am I sprang from bed. I had been waiting for this day for a long time. I showered and did my hair, and then my friends Mark and Connie arrived to pick me up so we could drive into Hollywood for the big premiere day. It was sunny, bright and gorgeous out! I arrived shortly after 1pm for an interview with ME-TV about how the Batman exhibit was assembled. I got into make-up, they mic’d me up and the interview took about 20 minutes. They had me positioned in front of the Wayne Manor exhibit. Everything looked phenomenal! They had done a ton of work on the exhibit overnight! Then Mark, Connie and I hit the road and went to grab a late afternoon lunch at Miceli’s. After lunch Mark drove me over to CVS so I could pick up a prescription inhaler for my lungs. There was still a lot of residual gunk in my lungs from my mini-cold and I needed it to clear out! But my voice was holding up pretty well! We all went back to Planet Wallywood to change into our party clothes, then we drove to Mel’s Diner (which is next door to the Hollywood Museum) and chilled out for a while with some cold beverages. It was the calm before the storm. I had seen several other “Bat” friends who were arriving a bit early so they could jockey for position. The George Barris family arrived with the #2 Batmobile and parked it outside the Museum for the press event. We went outside and took some photos, and then got ready for the party at 5:45. Roger Neal, the organizer of this exhibit, grabbed me and threw me into the museum’s lobby and on to the red carpet for interviews. I probably did about 7 interviews on-camera about the exhibit. My friend Valerie Perez and I grabbed some snacks and drinks and got into the elevator to see the exhibit! It was stunningly gorgeous! They had lit it like a film set! It’s really amazing to see your concept come to life! Obviously a few things had to be changed around for spacing issues, but it looked marvelous! Signs featuring small essays I wrote about the Batman TV series were posted all around the exhibit. The place was filled with color, photos, and fun! I’m so glad Roger and Donelle asked me to participate in this amazing event! It’s an honor to participate in their vision. During the course of the evening other friends and celebrities arrived. Unfortunately Julie Newmar had been stricken with the famous flu that’s going around, so she wasn’t able to attend. The lovely Lee Meriwether was there, as were several other notables. Looking at the exhibit of mannequins made me feel like everyone was looking at my action figure collection; except these action figures were life-size! I was so familiar with the exhibit that I hardly paid any attention to it. I was having fun looking at the faces of those who were enjoying it for the first time, and seeing their delight and excitement! I was called over for photos with Burt and Tracy Ward, I did a few other interviews and press photos, and chatted with people about the exhibit. It was supposed to end around 8:30, but at 8:50 people were still there. They didn’t want to leave! It was magical. Soon we were tossed out and we went next door to Mel’s Diner so all of the collectors and contributors could hang out and have a “post-game” wrap-up. Everyone seemed very happy with the outcome. We had 8 tables full of people! It was a great time, but I was starting to feel it. My voice was scratchy again, and the adrenaline I had been running on all day was starting to subside. And since we didn’t sit down once after the party began, my feet were killing me! Mark and Connie drove my pal Alex and I back to my house. Alex had loaned several items from his collection and wanted to be present for the party. He stayed at my house for a few days while the event was going on. I got home and had enough of a voice to do a few auditions, but then I fell asleep on the couch with my hairspray and make-up still on! I was just THAT tired! I got up later and fed and walked Roxy. I was still buzzing from the evening, so I decided to get on-line and check some of the press reports from the exhibit. Everything was completely positive! I sent links to the reports to all the collectors. I made a Tombstone pizza, took a much-needed shower to wash off the make-up and hairspray, and watched another episode of “Twin Peaks.” What an amazing day! Now that it’s over, it’s time to get down to the business of starting 2018. I need to sign contracts with my new Voice Over agency, and I need to figure out what to do about #14; the tooth in my head that has that cyst on top of it. By the time I got to bed it was 9am Thursday morning. Alex had gotten up and was just heading out for a day of fun with all of his “Bat” friends. I bid him farewell and I went to my room and hit the hay!
Thursday the 11th – THE DAY AFTER! – Needless to say I didn’t feel much like getting up until around 2. I checked some e-mails, lounged around, and took Spooky to get his nails trimmed. He had become “Velcro” cat; sticking to everything he walked on. I came back home with him and fed the pets their evening dinner. I laid down on the couch and waited for Alex to drop by so we could go grab a late dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli. After dinner I came back home, did my auditions, and hit the hay so I could be up for an early meeting.
Friday the 12th – FANTASTIC FRIDAY! – There was a full day planned, so I got up at 10:30 to start the action. My pal Alex was packing up and heading out the door, so I got to say goodbye to him. My assistant Sara came over to sit with the maids while I started my appointments. I drove over to my new agent’s office to sign some papers, and then I drove over to Regenix to pick up some supplies and have a follow-up exam. I stopped by Taco Bell to get some lunch, went by International Silks and Woolens to buy some fabrics and buttons for a new bowling shirt I’m making, and then I headed home to relax. It had been quite a week. I’m filled with hope and anticipation for a great new year! The success of the Batman exhibit, signing with a new agency, and the promise of a ton of new things to come! During the evening I napped on the couch with the pets by the fire, and got up later to get the Gran Torino out and drive to Denny’s to get some food to go. I watched two “Twin Peaks” episodes and hit the hay.
Saturday the 13th – THE SHAPE OF WALLY! – In the early afternoon I got up and headed over to Chin Chin to join my friends Edi Lurie and Brittney Powell for a birthday lunch for my assistant Sara. Edi and Sara have birthday on the same day (the 15th) but since Edi was in town doing some things with her daughter she figured she’s come by and celebrate with her. After lunch I got some groceries, took them home to put them away, and then grabbed a short nap before movie night. We watched “The Shape of Water” which was very interesting. In fact, I’m still thinking about it several days later. I napped for a bit, and then spent the rest of the night working around the house. I fed and walked Roxy, made some sloppy joes and watched the final episode of the “Twin Peaks” 18 episode special event. I was a huge fan of the original show, and overall I give this series a C+. It simply tried too hard to be bizarre. I felt like it could have been a great 5 episode event, but it was weighed down with a lot of superfluous crap that had nothing to do with the show. It needed some serious editing, as in some cases there were long stretches where the characters didn’t say anything. And there was a whole side episode called “Got a Light?” that really had nothing to do with anything. At least I don’t think it did. If it did, they didn’t explain how it fit into everything very well. I can only draw my own conclusions about it. There were a few good scenes though, especially when Agent Cooper (who had been in suspended animation for a while) turned to the camera and said, “I AM the FBI!” That was one of the problems I had with this series over all…too little Agent Cooper. Though the amazingly talented Kyle MacLachlan was the star of the show, he was doing a bunch of other characters. We actually only got to see our old pal Agent Cooper for an episode and a half before he changed again. Nothing like taking your beloved lead character and denying the audience his presence. Odd. Oh well, I’m glad I saw it. But generally I was underwhelmed.
Sunday the 14th – DAN TINY’S…UH…TANA’S! – Around 4 I woke up and fed the pets. Then I got ready for evening church. It was great because I hadn’t been in a while. There wasn’t any rock and roll service on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, and I missed last week because I was working at the museum. But even still I had to leave early for my pal Mark’s birthday dinner at the famous Dan Tana’s Italian restaurant in West Hollywood. My pal Bruce Kulick and his wife Lisa picked me up so we could carpool over. It worked out great because it prevented me from having to switch back to the Mustang and stash the Gran Torino. I certainly wasn’t going to drive the Torino all the way over there and have a valet park it. The company was top notch, but the restaurant seemed like it was made for elves. It was very cramped and claustrophobic. But like I said, the amazing company more than made up for it. But it sure felt good to get outside in the open air. Even the trip home in Bruce’s car felt roomier! Since it was a holiday weekend I decided that I needed to relax and rest my voice. It was doing pretty well but I wanted to do what I could to preserve it since the coughing had subsided considerably. That inhaler really worked! I napped on the couch until 2am, fed Roxy and Spook and laid back down until 4. Then I walked Roxy around the neighborhood, and came back in and laid right back down again. I didn’t wake up until the sun came blazing in through my front door at 7:30am! I got up, did some work around the house, organized some drawers and cabinets that really needed it, organized my “sick box,” (a box under the sink in my bathroom where I keep all my medicines for various illnesses) and then made my traditional Super Salad and watched an episode of “SNL” from the first season. I got to bed around 1:30pm on MLK Day. I swear I have the strangest schedule of anyone I know. But I’ve always been that way. When I’m hungry I eat. When I’m tired I sleep. That’s how I roll.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
To give you an idea of the amazing Batman ’66 exhibit our group put together at the Hollywood Museum, here’s a local news report that signs the Bat Signal on all the magic!