RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
We were using some green glow sticks for a shot in the “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toy” shoot last Saturday, and when we finished with them I handed them out to the crew. Officer Mark made good use of his by getting a cool shot of my Beetlejuice mannequin. CREEPY!
After a quick discussion about the music used in the old “Dark Shadows” show last Saturday during the taping of “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys,” I started thinking about a song I used to love as a kid. “#1 At the Blue Whale” was actually on the B-side of the hit “Quentin’s Theme,” but it was that side that I played the most. I still love this song!
Monday the 13th – READY FOR THE WEEK! – My contractor Electric Bob was going to come by around 11, but I had been up all night working on scripts for upcoming episodes of our webseries “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys” and I didn’t get to bed until 8am this morning. I called Bob and told him we’d make it another day. When I got up mid-afternoon I did a few auditions, and then grabbed a short nap on the couch. I had a pretty heavy week coming up, so I was taking all the opportunities to rest up as possible. I got up later and did some work on the computer and as I worked, I developed a craving for Roundtable Pizza. The nearest store is quite a ways away, but I made the drive. I even took the opportunity to meet with my friend Yulia Argo to talk over a few things about her singing career. I picked up a few groceries on the way, and then headed home to put everything away. I typed out Wally’s Week, did some more auditions, and then enjoyed some leftover Roundtable pizza while watching another “Lost In Space” episode from the Season 3 Blu Ray set.
Tuesday the 14th – PRISCILLA PIC! – By 1 I was at Wild Woods studios again to narrate another two episodes of “How To Build Everything” for the Science Channel. The show premieres Wednesday June 22nd, and they’ll play episodes 1 and 2 together. Today we recorded the voice tracks for episodes 3 and 4. It’s a very interesting show. The session ended at 4 and I headed home to download the Priscilla Presley picture we took last Friday. I popped it on a flash drive and then headed to CVS to get it printed. I also was going to get a print made of Shirley’s pic, and a frame to put it in. The pics turned out great and as I was on my way out of CVS, CBS news drove up in their van. Though the parking lot was full of cars, I was the only guy in their eye line. I thought to myself, “Don’t talk to me, don’t talk to me, don’t talk to me.” Sure enough, I hear…”Excuse me, sir! Channel 2 news. Can we talk to you?” I smiled and said, “Sure.” The lady reporter (along with her cameraman) said, “We’d like to ask you about gun control.” I smiled inside. No, I actually LAUGHED inside. I’m sure she saw the long hair, shorts and sandals and made a snap judgment. She figured I’d be a “sure thing” to give her the answer that would fit her story’s narrative. But when they turned the camera on I told her exactly how I felt. And I’m sure it wasn’t what she was expecting. I was certain she wouldn’t use my clip, as I didn’t think it would be consistent with the narrative of her story. I drove over to Shirley’s house to give her the framed Priscilla picture I had made up for her. Then I went home to feed the pets and do some work on the computer. I got one call about being on the nightly news. I guess nobody watches TV for their news any more. Just one call? Anyway, they had INDEED used my clip, and balanced it against a quote from a person with an opposite view of mine. So, yet another TV appearance. I went to bed for an early Wednesday morning session.
Wednesday the 15th – WALLY IN JERUSALEM! – An early-morning cartoon session required me to be in Burbank at Studiopolis by 9. Somebody at the session said their wife saw me on the news, and I got one e-mail from somebody saying they saw the report. So now we’re up to 3. Still, I think it’s a sad commentary on the future of TV news. I did the session and had a great time. We got out by noon, so I headed home to walk Roxy and prepare for my next session. I headed to Hollywood Center Studios in Hollywood to do a 2 hour narration session for the Genesis Awards. The ceremony will take place in a few weeks in Jerusalem, and I narrated a wonderful piece about famous Jewish musicians. It’s a very auspicious honor to be involved in this, and to think that my voice will be heard in Jerusalem simply blows me away. On the way home I stopped by the vet’s office and picked up some cat fud (Gary Larson fan, anyone?), and then I went home to get a nap. A few hours later I headed to Jerry’s Famous Deli to meet with my friend Alex Capriola. I stopped by Staples to pick up some markers and posterboard to make cue cards for the taping of “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys” this Saturday. When I got home I met up with “WWVT” producer Kevin Castro and Director of Photography Scott Z. We blocked out some shots to prep for the upcoming shoot. When they left I worked on props for the show, pulled costumes, and did other work. Whew! Long day! Had it not been for the 45 minute nap I got before I met with Alex, I would have been up almost 24 hours straight! I made some soup and a sandwich and watched another episode of “Lost In Space.”
Thursday the 16th – THEM COMPUTERS ARE AMAZING! – Sleeping til 2 felt great. I sprang from bed and got ready for a 3pm session. But first a quick stop at my mailbox to get my mail. I got my new “Weird Al” action figure. It comes with his current look, as well as his retro 80’s look. I immediately swapped out the head to have the retro look, which I much prefer. I grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to Bang Zoom studios to do a session. About 8 months ago we finished doing about 5,000 lines of dialogue for a “text-to-speech” program. It’s a program that takes segments of your words; vowels, consonants, combinations, etc. – and will create new words and sentences based on the text that the program is fed. Siri would be a close example of what I’m talking about. The work is pretty mundane, but today I got to hear its practical application. The engineers had been working the past 8 months on tweaking the audio files and programming the computer interface. All those weird, random things I said had come to life, as they played me lines from a current news story that I never said, but yet it was in my voice. The program was constructing the sentences from pieces of things I had said 8 months ago. AMAZING! The engineers requested that we do another 2000 lines of dialogue to make the program run even smoother. I’m not sure when the program will become available to the public, but when it does I’ll let you know. That way you can have me give you directions to go get a good pizza! (Head to Roundtable, in my humble opinion!) My friend Jasmine was supposed to come over to rehearse for the upcoming “WWVT” shoot, where she would be playing Catwoman. But she texted me and told me that she was down with stomach flu. OH NO! Where would I find another Catwoman on short notice?! I grabbed a quick nap and then got up to do some auditions. I worked on the computer a little bit and continued to prep for the upcoming “WWVT” shoot on Saturday. I made dinner and watched “Lost In Space.”
Friday the 17th – FRIDAY! FINALLY! – There was a little work to do around the house before the maids arrived, so at noon I got busy. The maids showed up around 1:15, and finished just before I had to leave for my “text-to-speech” session at 3. It’s odd…I used to refer to “The Tonight Show” as “TTS,” but now “TTS” means my text-to-speech job. Strange. When the session was over I headed back home to meet with Maxie Solters, an actress neighbor who is going to sub in as Catwoman for the shoot. We tried the costume on her and everything will be groovy! My pals Pat “The Batman Fan,” and Dave Edison came by with some props I’ll be using in the taping. I spent the evening organizing for the shoot, moving furniture around, rigging gags around the house, organizing props, writing cue cards, and getting set for the gang to arrive. I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched “Lost In Space” before bed.
Saturday the 18th- HOT TIME IN THE OLD TOWN! – We’re starting into a three-day, beginning-of-summer heatwave. I started cranking the A/C early in the day because I knew there would be a ton of people in my house all day for the shot. I went to the store to get some food items for the crew, picked up a prescription at CVS, and then came back to get everything set up for the crew to arrive at 5. I did manage to get a short nap before they arrived. What a fun night! These are the most ambitious episode we’ve shot so far. I wanted to make them a little more complex just to see how we’d handle the content as a crew, and see what our limits are. It went magnificently. Of course, the subject matter for the two shows was extremely close to my heart, so I wanted to make sure we did good shows. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary for 3 of my favorite TV shows of all time…”Batman,” “Dark Shadows” and “Star Trek.” We did the “Batman” and “Dark Shadows” episodes today, and we’ll do “Star Trek” and James Bond next. I can’t wait for you to see these episodes. We streamed live on the show’s Facebook page, courtesy of our pal Officer Mark who handled the assignment magnificently. We went for almost a full hour! While we set up shots, rehearsed and got into make-up and costume, we took live questions from viewers! We’re going to do that every time we tape, I think. I also think we may start streaming live for an hour or so when we have certain movie nights in Planet Wallywood. Not every week, but maybe once a month. Just so everybody can see our nutty crew that arrives each week for movie night. The crew left around 1am and I set about cleaning the place up. I replaced the furniture, put away the props, cleaned up the kitchen, and got the house back in order. I wasn’t going to do it until Sunday, but I was so keyed up from the amazing night we’ve had, I was full of energy. I fed Roxy and Spook at 2, and it was good to see them again. They had been locked up in my bedroom all night during the shoot. Roxy is constantly underfoot, so it’s not wise to have her running around when there’s lots of expensive equipment around. And a few of our crew is allergic to cats, so I have to remove Spook from the area so people don’t go into anaphylactic shock! Both my pets are very social, so they had a puzzled look on their faces when I went up to make sure they were OK. They didn’t understand why they were locked away. But I kept giving them praise and treats, so they would know that they weren’t locked away for some sort of disciplinary reason. I made my usual Saturday night super salad and watched another episode of the old BBC series “The Avengers.” I only have about 6 more episodes, and then I’m out of shows. I turned on the A/C before I went to bed at 8am. It was going to be a VERY hot one!
Sunday the 19th – FATHER’S DAY. SAD DAY! – Now that the busy week had come to an end, and it was time to relax and unwind, I enjoyed sleeping until 4. When I got up to walk Roxy I went outside and it was like walking into an oven. I figured since it was so hot I couldn’t take Roxy to evening church with me. And frankly I was so exhausted I thought I might skip church anyway. But when I went inside and checked my e-mail, my day changed. My assistant Sara had sent me a link to a news story about the freak accidental death of actor Anton Yelchin. I had seen him around our complex many times over the past few years, and I enjoyed talking with him and his little dog Elvis. The last conversation we had a few months ago was about how grateful we both were to be able to do what we love for a living, and live the kind of life we do. Sad. His parents are neighbors of mine and they’re very nice people. We love letting our dogs play in the courtyard. But this news was very, very sad. It made me sad to think of Elvis not having his owner around anymore. But it really made me sad to think about how this happened on Father’s Day and how devastated his dad and mom must be. It broke my heart. I didn’t feel like going anywhere except back to bed. And I slept until 10:30pm that night. When I got up I noticed that my cat Spook was lying on the window seat cushion; bathing in the light of the full moon coming in through the bedroom window. It was hilarious! He was moonbathing! I texted Sara to meet me at Jerry’s for a late dinner. On the way home I stopped at the store and bought a nice flower arrangement, a vase and a sympathy card. I left it on the Yelchin’s patio in hopes that they’d find it the next day when getting their mail. I did my nightly auditions and made some spaghetti. This coming week seems like it’s going to be pretty mellow, and I almost wish I could leave town for a few days. But something always comes up last-minute. I watched “Lost In Space” and enjoyed what was left of a sad day
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK