RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Love this! Leaked photos from Heaven! They all look so happy!
Just like when I saw the film as a kid, the song “Take Off With Us” from “All That Jazz” stuck in my head for days after seeing the film. I can’t show you the clip from the R rated film, but here’s the song. Brilliant and catchy!
Monday the 2nd – BACK TO BELL! – I literally hadn’t been to the legendary Bell Sound studios in Hollywood in decades. But today I was back and doing the voice of Abner Doubleday, the father of baseball, in an upcoming radio commercial. Lotsa history in that studio, and the valet even remembered me by name! WILD! The session was done via ISDN (a high quality phone line) so the ad executives were in another city. But in the background I heard one of the execs mention “Batman” and “The Riddler,” so I giggled to myself that they must’ve been Googling me as the session went on. They discovered my secret identity! After the session wrapped I headed over to Arby’s to get some lunch, a rare treat for me, and then I went to my box to pick up my mail. A guy sent me two Renji Funko pop boxes to sign and send back, so I got those signed and returned in the mail right away. Then I went over to Alex In Wonderland, the special effects studio that’s in the process of making a pattern for the cover to my Oscar the Grouch replica Muppet. The covering was put together in muslin, but once approved, Alex will start cutting the pattern out of the green, mossy-colored fur I supplied her with. She’ll stitch it all together and put it over the head I created from foam rubber. Then it’ll be up to me to glue the fur down to the head and do the necessary trimming. FUN! He’s looking good! I went back home to do some work around the house. I checked on the eyeball “buck” I made for effects guy Jim Ojala to make a mold from. (A “buck” is what they call the master from which copies are made) As I’m beginning work on a new Muppet replica, I’m experimenting with two different ideas for eyeball pieces. I’m going to make another one that’s slightly different and see which one I like better. With each puppet project I want them to get slightly more challenging and difficult. I had some time so I figured I’d do my nightly auditions early and send them in. Then I grabbed a nap. When I got up I made a pot pie and worked on organizing some bank deposits. I typed out Wally’s Week, and started sanding the “buck” for my puppet eyes.
Tuesday the 3rd – STRETCHIN’ THE LEGS! – At 4 I needed to be at Voice Trax West for an American Airlines session. So I put on my walking shoes and headed out to enjoy the gorgeous day. When the session was over, I stopped across the street to a jewelry store that had a neon sign that read WATCH REPAIR in the window. I had two watches that needed some TLC, so I took them in. One was a Batman watch my friend had gotten me as a gift quite a while ago. But for some reason the little spring pins keep popping out of the band. A friend from the U.K. sent me a commemorative Alice in Wonderland pocket watch, which he received when the very first live action movie was released. But the battery had died and I had no idea how to replace it. The jeweler said he only needed about 20 minutes, so I went next door to Art’s Deli to get some soup for lunch. Then I went back to the jewelry store to pick up my watches. While I waited I noticed some diamond encrusted cuff links that formed the letters “TC.” I laughed to myself that perhaps Tony Clifton placed an order for expensive cufflinks and ended up stiffing the jeweler by not ever coming to get them. But come to find out the jeweler’s initials are T.C., so he made them as an example of his work. Next to the cuff links was a gorgeous silver collie figure. I asked if it was for sale and we agreed on a price. It’s really beautiful; hand-crafted in real silver. I continued to toodle on down the street and was hit up by a group of Girl Scouts to get some cookies. I hadn’t had any dessert after my soup, so I thought some Samoas might hit the spot! Since it was Election Day I walked over to my usual polling place to vote. But when I got there I was shocked that it wasn’t operational! I had been voting there for 20 years! What happened? I got home and walked Roxy, did some work, made some food and watched the Super Tuesday returns on TV. I took a short nap in the Puppet Room, then got up a bit later to do my auditions. Just before bed I watched another episode of “The Mod Squad.” This was pretty much the first time I’ve ever done this without the benefit of having my dinner in front of me. But I’m trying not to eat before bed to mitigate any acid reflux issues that may occur and inflame my vocal cords. But honestly, after 20 years of enjoying food in bed in front of the TV watching old cop shows, it felt weird to not have a meal.
Wednesday the 4th – FABULOUS FUR: PART 1! – In anticipation of the Voices Against Cancer event that I’m helping stage in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on June 29 (where 9 popular Voice Actors will descend upon Sioux Falls to sell autographs and selfies for charity) I had a lunch meeting with my pal Chris, who’s a marketing specialist. He’s getting some detail during our meeting to formulate a brilliant marketing and publicity strategy for the event. We met for 3 hours at Jerry’s Famous Deli! WOW! I drove over to my mailbox and got the fur in I had ordered for my “Beautiful Day” Muppet replica. The first fur I bought wasn’t going to work because there simply wasn’t enough of it. But this fur is gorgeous and will work out nicely! But until I get my eyeball pieces finished I won’t be able to start my designing work, as I’m designing the proportions of the puppet around the eyeball size. I got home and fed the kids and did some work around the house. My friend Helen came over to do some office work and when she left I grabbed a short nap. The rest of the night was spent paying bills, reconciling the receipts for my purchases, and doing miscellaneous accounting work. It was nice to have Helen assist me earlier in organizing all that stuff, so once I got going it didn’t take me very long. I straightened up the Tranquility Zone and got ready to watch another episode of “The Mod Squad.” I had the lighting on and the music playing. But it was all so relaxing I just decided to lie down for a bit on my bed and listen to the tune. I ended up sleeping until 10am! I had some cereal, walked Roxy quickly and hit the hay! Wow was I relaxed!
Thursday the 5th – BUCK TO JIM’S! – My old pal Jimmy Falcon is a radio host back east, and he was celebrating the 20th anniversary of his radio show. So I called in to congratulate him and chat for a bit on the air. Then I went to pick up my pal Sara and we drove over to my effects guy Jim Ojala’s studio to drop off one of the eyeball bucks I finished. He’s going to make a rubber mold of it so he can create hollow plastic duplicates that I can use for eyeball pieces. It was great seeing his new studio facilities, as he’s been so busy he’s outgrowing his old location. I got back home and did some work, grabbed a short nap in the Puppet Room, and did a few things around the house. I spent a little more time designing the layout for my “Beautiful Day” Muppet replica, I headed to Denny’s to get some food to go, came home to feed and walk Roxy, and then enjoyed my food while watching “The Mod Squad.” While I’m unable to eat EVERY night before bed, I DO allow myself two nights a week to indulge. In all things moderation, as I always say.
Friday the 6th – A MEET WITH PETE! – My day started with a meeting at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank. I hadn’t seen my buddy Pete Tassler in a long time and I wanted to catch up. He brought his pal Mike along and we all had a great time engaging in nerd talk, as we’re all collectors. I headed over to Plastic Depot to see my pal Kyle. I had the second “buck” for my puppet eyes which I needed to get some vaccuform copies of. But since I only had one, Kyle suggested I bring in a few more copies. That way when he lays them out on the vaccuform machine, he won’t be wasting a huge sheet of plastic for one small eyeball buck. I agreed that it would be a huge waste, so I’m going to have Jim make some copies of the second “buck” as well. But Kyle had some great suggestions for some of the other aspects of my new puppet build. I picked up my mail and got a few new “demo” books of my kid’s project from Shutterfly. I got home and made some phone calls, organized and cleaned up some of my computer files, had some cereal and took a nap. I got up later to reconcile my bank statement for my corporation, do some work around the house, prep for my maids on Saturday, and then I hit the hay.
Saturday the 7th – FABULOUS FUR: PART 2! – The maids arrived right at 1, and by 2:30 they were finished. While breezing through the sample books I had Shutterfly print, I realized that the graphics I created weren’t meshing in with the background color of the pages very well. Since it’s a monster-themed book for kids, all the pages in the book are black. And when I create little graphics to embellish the artwork, I create them on a deep black background. But the black pages that Shutterfly provides aren’t as deep of a black as what I was using. So the result ended up looking slightly “patchy.” I consulted with my pal Scott Sebring, who’s a graphics genius, and he had a great idea on how to make everything match for future printings. Something that I thought was going to be very time consuming ended up only taking a few minutes. Problem solved! I created a full page layout of my “deep black” color. Then I uploaded it to the Shutterfly pages as a full page photograph; basically covering up any of Shutterfly’s standard page color. Then in the layers setting I sent the layout to the back, and all of the graphics in the foreground matched perfectly! I’m still waiting on two more art pieces from my illustrator Patrick Owlsey to be completed, and then the MEGA-SAMPLER book will be ordered so I can send out some samples. I’m VERY happy with how it’s turning out! Just right before they closed for the day, I sped by my mailbox to pick up some fur I ordered from the U.K. for my Oscar the Grouch Muppet replica. I was having great difficulty finding the right color of reddish-brown fur for his unibrow. But this stuff was SPOT ON! I got a few burgers at the McDonalds drive-thru, and then went to the store to get some groceries. I came home to put everything away and got set up for movie night. I was excited because I was finally going to get to see the Blu Ray transfer of “All That Jazz,” one of my favorite films. When it came out in 1979 I was mesmerized and ended up seeing it many times. But unfortunately some of my guests didn’t like the film. That was mostly due to the unlikable, misogynistic nature of the lead character Joe Gideon, portrayed brilliantly by Roy Scheider. Loosely based on the life of director/writer Bob Fosse, Gideon’s excesses finally ended up killing him with a heart attack. In real life, Fosse’s excesses ALSO led to a heart attack, but after he was healed he seemed to changed his life for the better. As evidenced by his string of stage and movie successes, and a mini-series called “Fosse/Verdon” which garnered several awards, Bob Fosse was a fascinating, if not flawed character. I remember even being fascinated when I was narrating the Bob Fosse E! True Hollywood Story for the E! channel back in the 90’s. In the film “All That Jazz,” Joe Gideon dies. But his real-life counterpart Bob Fosse lived. The brilliant thing about this movie, which I realized of late (the thought never occurred to me when I was a kid in ’79 watching this movie countless times) is that Fosse metaphorically kills Joe Gideon in the movie as a way to communicate that he has moved on from that lifestyle. “That” Bob Fosse no longer existed. Probably a bit of a catharsis for him, really. Very, VERY meta. Sure Joe Gideon chain-smoked. Sure he boozed. Sure he took handfuls of drugs. Sure he did lots of womanizing. But never ONCE in the film was any of that behavior glorified, or made to look attractive. The red eyes, smoker’s hack, and long line of busted relationships repelled the viewer more than attracted. And I believe that’s what Fosse intended to portray. And I feel it took a lot of guts on his part to show that to the world and accept responsibility for it through this film. But the musical numbers are fantastic, and Stanley Kubrick once said, “This might be the best film I’ve ever seen.” It’s dark, but I highly recommend it because of the amazing direction and stellar performances. When everyone left I grabbed a short nap, and then got up to once again burden myself in an exercise of absolute stupidity, also known as Daylight Saving Time. Changing all the clock in my house! When will this insanity end?! The time for it to be killed is long overdue. Maybe Bob Fosse should have killed that off too! One Tweet I read, which was in response to DST being advantageous for the farmers, said; “When you work from sunrise to dusk, you don’t really give a crap about what time it is.” Bravo! Since I was so elated at the color of the reddish-brown fur I received for Oscar’s unibrow, I started creating a pattern for my Oscar the Grouch cap I was making. Then I got out some really sharp scissors and starting trimming the fur; always making sure to cut INTO the hair, and not across it. (My pal Sergio Lopez told me that once). So if the grain of the fur is going downward, put the scissors in a vertical position and cut into the hair that way. It worked really well! I got his face trimmed and decided to attach the unibrow. Then I decided to trim and shape the chin a bit. And then I experimented with two different sizes of pupils. It was looking amazing! But when I finished I noticed that it was already 10:30 in the morning! Damn I hate DST! I got ready for bed and turned in to get a few hours of sleep before evening church.
Sunday the 8th – MORE MAD”CAP” FUN! – When I got up at 4:30 I fed the kids and got ready for evening church. I walked over with Roxy and enjoyed the service. My ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley and I drove over to Paty’s to dinner, and then I took her back home. My friend Sara came over for a bit and I showed her the Oscar cap. She was elated. Then we started throwing around ideas to make an Animal cap. It would be considerably more difficult than the Rowlf and Oscar caps I’ve already made, but I’m up for the challenge. In fact, I already found the perfect donor cap on eBay and purchased it! I went downstairs to my fabric boxes that I have in storage and found the necessary fabrics. I just need to order the eyeballs, and lots and lots of wildly colored ostrich feathers. But because of what’s going on over in China right now, the sellers on eBay are saying it’ll be late April before they can get anything delivered to the states. I did the auditions which were due on Monday and sent them to my agents. Then I got some paper and a pencil and started designing the Animal cap. Since I was working on my Oscar cap all Saturday night, and didn’t get to make my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad, I made it one night later and watched an episode of “Space 1999” before bed. Joan Collins was the guest and MY was she easy on the eyes!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
While we humans have the expression “for the birds” to denote something silly & pointless, did you also know that birds have the expression “for the humans” that means the same thing? I think Daylight Saving Time qualifies as being something the birds would call “for the humans.”
It wasn’t raining, nor was it pouring. But the old man was definitely snoring. And it was adorable!
I can’t recommend the medication Carprofen enough. It’s helped my dog SO much!