RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Not sure why, but when he’s not sitting in boxes, my cat Spooky likes to be behind a cage. Very strange cat!
I’m still humming songs that were performed during our Beatles Night at church last week. And this week I’ve been obsessing over “Blackbird.” If you don’t know the story of why Paul McCartney wrote this song, Google it. It’s FASCINATING!
Monday the 1st – zì lǎo zǒng ARBUCKLE (MR. ARBUCKLE!) – By 10:30am I was on the road to a studio called Pure Imagination. I’ve been doing sessions there on and off for years so it’s always good to see everyone there. But this particular session was for a Garfield project for China. The voice of Jon Arbuckle will eventually be translated to Chinese, but Mr. Jim Davis is always insistent that the voice performances start with the American actors, and then be translated from there (God bless him!). So I laid down some tracks as Jon which will be sent to the director of the Chinese actors. It’s still pretty fascinating, and I always love to do anything Jon Arbuckle. But it always makes me miss doing the show with Frank Welker, Gregg Berger, Jason Marsden and the gang. What FUN that was! It was funny when I got into the booth. They asked me if I wanted to hear a reference for Jon. I told them after 6 seasons it was pretty much engrained into my very being. But I appreciated them asking. After the session I headed off to get lunch, and then to my mailbox to get my packages. I got a cool LED light-up shower head. As shower heads go it’s pretty mediocre, but the lighting effects are VERY cool! I got home to do some work and listen to the roofers pound around on my house. They’re there to a lesser extent, but they’re still present. I long for this project to be over so we can return to tranquility. I attempted to do my auditions between all the pounding and drilling, did some work on the computer, fed the animals, and grabbed a short nap. I got up later to package up some eBay purchases that I’ll send of the next day. It’s a nice feeling to see this stuff leave, as I know I have more room in my closets. But I still have a LOT of purging to do before I’m satisfied. Don’t forget, my eBay user name is tonyclifton99 so if you want to check out what I have up there, take a look! I decided to take some time to organize my photo shelf; it’s the divider system I have in one of the upper shelves in my pantry. It keeps all of the photos that I send out for autographs separated and organized. Renji, Jon, Tallest Red, Wild Tiger, Cubot, Riddler, etc. But the shelf was getting rather cluttered and confusing, so I took it all down and reorganized. It felt good! Then I typed out Wally’s Week and went out to check on my new boarder Hooky the Bird. For weeks, “Hooky” has been perching every night on a red hook I have on the inside of the fascia board on my patio. He feels safe there and stays from dusk until dawn. Unfortunately, the hook is pretty close to where my grill is, so I’m afraid that making late-night hot dogs would scare him off. Though it’s getting to be the time of year where he might enjoy the heat. So I made some Beefaroni and hit the hay.
Tuesday the 2nd – OLD MAN MICHAELS! – My pal and fellow Voice Actor Clay Lamkin came by at 1 to meet me at my house. He followed me in my Gran Torino over to my mechanic in Burbank so I could drop off my gal for some fix-its. It needs an oil change, as well as some work on the dashboard (the lights keep shorting out) and my blower motor is going bad. Before winter hits, I want to make sure the heater is working very well. After we dropped the car off I told him I’d buy him lunch at Lancers. Toys ‘R’ Us used to be next to Lancers, but in its place is a Halloween pop-up store. I knew that the brand new “Old Man Myers” masks (as we’re calling them) have been sold out for a while now. These are the Michael Myers masks from the new movie that depict a mask that’s aged 40 years. Oddly enough, what most of the viewers won’t realize is that latex rubber doesn’t age like human skin. It doesn’t wrinkle, it decays. But this mask is full of wrinkles. I know my friend Scott in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was interested in getting one, as was I. Luckily enough, I found TWO! I bought both of them and we went to lunch. Scott will be visiting next week for the Halloween: 40 celebratory convention in Pasadena, so I’ll surprise him with it then. While were eating, my pal Kevin from movie night came in for lunch. Then later, my pal Scott Sebring and Ben Bentley (visiting from the U.K.) walked in! Of all the weird coincidences (although I don’t really believe in them)! On the way back to my house we stopped for ice cream at Baskin-Robbins and we met a great gal named Janette who was home visiting her family. She’s a student in Germany who enjoys Ren Faires. Oddly enough, Clay is a performer at Ren Faires all the time, so they had a lot to talk about. I came home and chatted with a doctor pal of mine back in South Dakota about some cool ideas I had. We talked well into the evening! I did my auditions, did some work around the house and hit the hay. What a full, satisfying day!
Wednesday the 3rd – IT WAS LIKE…MEETING ME! – I was awakened by an awful smell. Roxy was sick and poo-poo’d on my bedroom carpet. And I was unable to hear her pacing around before she did it because I was wearing those damned ear plugs because of the roofers. Had I been able to hear her pacing around nervously I could have gotten up fast and walked her. And it was the kind that wasn’t easily cleanable, if you know what I mean. I guess maybe some of the chicken I gave her was bad, or maybe she had too many rich treats? She gets colitis so easily, and luckily I have pills for just the occasion. I spent an hour cleaning up as best as I could, and I called my carpet cleaners. For a while there I thought they would be able to come out that afternoon to do some spot cleaning, but then they said the earliest they could get there was the next morning at 9. I’ll take what I can get. So I put Roxy in isolation where the floor was hard wood and headed to Bob’s Big Boy to meet up with Scott and Ben for a late lunch. We were all going to the Warner Brothers “Horror Made Here” opening that night. I was an invited guest, and Ben and Scott would be shooting photos backstage of the make-up processes. My pal Valerie Perez got to Bob’s around 4:30 and we had a light dinner. We needed to check in at 5:45 for the festivities to begin at 6. It was supposed to rain, but didn’t. However, the sky was cloudy and foreboding and added a perfect ambience to the festivities! It looked like a Warner set designer had created it for the event! Scott had informed me that there was indeed an Ed Nygma – Riddler (dressed like the character in the Arkham games that I voiced) in the Arkham Asylum maze. I couldn’t wait to see it! Val and I lined up and got ready. We also ran into my old pal Deverill Weekes (who was also shooting the event) and Bridget Marquardt; formerly of Girls Next Door. I hadn’t seen Bridget in a while so it was good to catch up. She’s a huge fan of the horror mazes and Halloween celebrations like this. When we turned a corner in the maze and a picture-perfect Riddler came out to harass us, it was quite an emotional experience for me. Particularly since I could tell he was intentionally impersonating my voice! I’ve never really been impersonated before in a large commercial setting like this before. It was quite “heady” and impactful. It made me smile. He confronted us with a riddle, which I of course knew the answer to. When I answered correctly he said, “YOU CHEATED!” It was like hearing it from me, as I’ve said that line countless times in the game. Pretty cool! After the group had moved, Val got us into his little prep room so I could meet him. He said, “I’m trying to do you justice, man.” I told him he was doing a great job and I was very, very impressed. He looked like he popped right out of the game!! The other mazes and attractions were terrific, because they weren’t so focused on the “jump-out-and-go-boo” vibe. Sure there were scares, and plenty of talented scare actors, but this was more about feeling like you were actually on the sets of these films. And the set designs for the mazes were a-maze-ing! I also liked what they did with the Camp Crystal Lake set. Val told me that the little lagoon on the Warner Brothers lot is where Jim Henson filmed the famous “Rainbow Connection” scene for “The Muppet Movie.” Hallowed grounds indeed! My friend Brittney had looked in on Roxy and texted me to let me know that Roxy had vomited a bit on the floor. I was starting to get concerned so around 11 we took off from the event. I got home and checked on her and she seemed to be doing well. I grabbed a short nap and then did my nightly auditions. But instead of going to bed and having to get up again at 9 for the carpet cleaners, I just stayed up all night.
Thursday the 4th – CARPET CLEANED! – After the carpet cleaners arrived and got everything back to normal, I hit the hay around noon. Though I had a fair amount of things to do that day, I didn’t end up getting up until late afternoon. Besides, I wanted to hang around and keep an eye on Roxy to monitor her condition. It appeared that she was doing much better. I went over to my friend Emily’s to discuss some ideas about an upcoming convention. Then I came home and grabbed a short nap. I got up to do my auditions, worked around the house a bit, and then went to Denny’s to get some food to go. I enjoyed my meal while watching a few more episodes of “Taxi” from the third season DVD set.
Friday the 5th – FULL, FAT FRIDAY! – The maids were due to arrive anywhere between noon and 2. But I had a full day planned so I was hoping they would be here on the earlier side. Luckily, the minute I got up at noon, they were knocking on the door. After they finished I got to the post office to mail some eBay stuff, went to the bank to make some deposits, headed over to my pal Jim Ojala’s studio to drop off my new Robin mannequin (his feet needed a diet. They were too big to fit the Robin shoes I have) and my Old Man Myers mask for a professional repaint. Then I went over to see my pal James at Warner so I could head over to the gift shop to pick up a silk Wonder Woman jacket that Valerie had her eye on when were there last Wednesday night. The small was too small, the medium was better but still tight in the shoulders, but the large was too big (but fit right in the shoulders). It was my plan to get her the large and have it tailored to her size at the dry cleaner/tailor shop I frequent. I got the jacket and headed over to the store to pick up some groceries for the weekend. I picked up my packages at my mailbox, then went home to unload stuff. Where did the week GO!!?! I grabbed a nap and spent the rest of the night working around the house moving stuff around to make room for my pal Scott Maguire who will be visiting next week. With all of the eBay stuff lying around, I needed to organize it so it would be out of the way, but easily findable once it sold.
Saturday the 6th – WE ARE FROM…FRANCE! – Shortly after 10 I dropped off some eBay packages at the post office and headed over to Paty’s. As soon as I pulled up I saw Val getting out of her car to meet me for breakfast. We ate and I gave her the Wonder Woman jacket. I had been vacillating about whether to get the medium or the large, but when I got to Warner on Friday afternoon, all the mediums were sold out. So that aided in my decision to get the large. She’s heading to the U.K. for a convention at the end of the month so she needed a little extra layer to ward off the chilly U.K. fall weather. After breakfast I took her to Milt & Edi’s and consulted with a tailor. They pinned in the sides of the jacket to suit her and it will be ready by Tuesday for pick-up. I followed her over to MUD in Burbank (the Make-Up Designory) for an open house that she had signed up for. Deverill, Scott and Ben were there doing photo shoots of the final make-ups the students created. At 1 Scott and I met our pal James (from Warner) for lunch at Fuddrucker’s. I hadn’t had one of their burgers in a long time, and it was delicious! Val had a rehearsal for a play she needed to go to, so she couldn’t join us. I headed back home for a quick nap before movie night. We watched the new Wes Anderson animated film “Isle of Dogs,” and it was fantastic! The first Saturday of every month, for the next few months, I’m going to run a dog-themed movie. My friend Cecille stayed after everyone left so we could chat. She’s originally from France but has come to America to start a company that provides translation services to French visitors. I told her about the old “SNL” episodes where the extra-terrestrial family The Coneheads would claim to be from France, in order to maintain the secrecy of their true interplanetary origins. Sure enough, the very next episode of “SNL” in my regular Saturday night cue had a Coneheads sketch right in the beginning of the episode. Every time they mentioned France she’d laugh. I figured she’d like it. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad, walked Roxy and hit the hay around dawn.
Sunday the 7th – ROCKIN’ ROBIN! – One of the most talented wig/hair people I’ve ever met is Sergio Lopez; with whom I used to work at Universal Studios back in the 90’s. He’s done the hair on every one of my figures and mannequins in Planet Wallywood. After my Robin mannequin came out of the exhibit at the Hollywood Museum, I removed the Robin costume and replaced it with my original Donnie Osmond jumpsuit. The mannequin is just an average teenage boy mannequin who doesn’t necessarily even resemble Burt Ward from the Batman TV series. But it was all I could find at the time. But while the Robin mannequin was on display at the museum, I found a better teenage boy mannequin that was posed as if he was talking on the phone. His arm was bent and his hand was at his left ear. This would be perfect for the display in my house, as I could now integrate my replica Batmobile Batphone into the Robin pose. Also, I found out that a friend of mine had done a Burt Ward head in fiberglass that could fit on a mannequin of this size. So I had Jim Ojala integrate the Burt Ward head on to the new mannequin. I was just waiting for the costume to return for the museum, and for Sergio to bring over a good wig. Sergio showed up at 3, but I felt the wig he had was too dark. So we went wig shopping and found the perfect wig! I hadn’t seen Sergio in quite a while, so as he worked we chatted and got caught up. He finished right at 6:30, and I knew that my “adopted grandma” was just getting out of evening church. So I gave her a call so we could go to dinner. The hair for Robin turned out spectacularly! I said goodbye to Sergio and headed over to Shirley’s to pick her up for dinner. But I hadn’t eaten all day and I was getting pretty tired. We enjoyed our Chinese food at Chin Chin and after I took her back to her house I came home to nap. I got up later for some auditions and to list a ton of new eBay stuff. I hit the hay around dawn on Monday morning, praying that the roofers would take Columbus Day off and not disturb my morning rest.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
This is a pretty great video of the walk-through of Warner’s Arkham Asylum maze at Horror Made Here. I can’t wait to go again!!
Val has a great time with the motion-capture feature on the Warner tour.
Anyone up for a Disco Shower?