September 9 -September 15 (2019)
RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
My petsitter took this pic of Roxy sunning herself in the courtyard and texted it to me while I was in a session. What a gorgeous pic of my gorgeous girl!
My new Saturday night viewing ritual has moved on to the “Space 1999” series on Blu Ray. While I was never that familiar with the show itself, I was addicted to the theme song! And now, you will be too!
Monday the 9th – FLIPPING MY WIG! – My old pal Sergio Lopez stopped over around 1:30 to begin work on “hairing” my new Captain Kirk lifesize figure. Even though I had a great toupee for the figure, we needed some extra hair to fill in around the sides and back of the head, and sideburns. Many years ago my “adopted grandpa” Leonard Stone (amazing, legendary character actor) gave me a toupee that had been given to him by the make-up and hair crew in Belgium when he was working on “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” When they wrapped shooting, the local artisans gifted each castmember with a hand-made item. Leonard said that, for some reason they gave him a beautiful, hand-tied toupee. A hand-tied toupee is realized by having a craftsperson hand tie individual hairs into a patch of flesh colored netting. The netting is cut wide enough to cover the bald areas. When the netting is populated with thousands of hairs (very tedious work) it’s placed on the head, glued down to the bald area of the scalp and it blends in very nicely with skin – making it virtually undetectable on camera. Plus, the hairs tied into the netting makes for a very natural looking hairline. As opposed to the abrupt hairlines you get with most standard wigs. But giving a toupee like this to Leonard Stone was odd considering that…a) he wasn’t bald, and b) it wasn’t his hair color anyway. But he kept it for years in his make-up kit. When he gifted me with his original make-up kit many years ago, the toupee was inside. I asked him why he had a toupee that looked very much like Captain Kirk’s hair – and he told me the whole story. So he gave me the whole thing. This is the same kind and style of toupee that William Shatner wore as Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” series in the 60’s. In fact, it looked so much like the one he wore, I was wondering if it wasn’t one of the original pieces. But I don’t see how Leonard Stone would have come into possession of it. While Kirk’s hair in the series was more of a medium brown, this toupee had a reddish-brown tint. So we’ll need to color it a bit in order to make it look correct on the figure. Sergio and I drove over to Wilshire Wigs in North Hollywood and found a long-haired wig that was medium-to-dark brown, but had a lot of nice, lighter areas in it. We’d use that for the donor hair around the sides and back. Sergio is a master when it comes to blending hair so that it looks natural. The work that he did on my “Wizard of Oz” Lion is some of his best work, with individually stitched strands of multiple colors of hair, blended together to replicate a lion’s coat. We picked up a few more supplies and then headed to my house. Oddly enough, at some points in the “Star Trek” series, William Shatner’s real hair on the sides and back started to get darker, but the color on his toupees didn’t change. So in certain scenes you can tell a very discernible color difference between the real hair and the toupee. We don’t want to go for that look, however. As on a figure it’ll look like a mistake. So we’re trying to get the two different sources of hair to look as similar as possible. My friend Brittney Powell came over for a trim, as she loves how Sergio cuts her hair, and then he turned his attentions back to the Captain. Sergio worked from 3pm to 10:30pm (with a short break for dinner) and I told him to go home and come back next week. I didn’t want him working too long, considering that he had already worked a full shift earlier in the morning at his regular job at Disney. He’ll come back next week and finish the sideburns, eyebrows, and eyelashes. I took a short nap on the couch after he left, and then got up for my nightly auditions. I typed out Wally’s Week, and then did more work on the designs for my kid’s book project.
Tuesday the 10th – COCONUT BACON!? – I drove over to West Hollywood to meet my Voice-Over agents for lunch. They just hired a new promo agent and I had yet to meet her, so it was kind of a multi-purpose meeting. However, they forgot to tell me that the restaurant was a vegan establishment. But I soon figured that out after a quick glance at the menu. I saw ‘coconut bacon’ listed. Coconut bacon? In my world, the words “coconut” and “bacon” have no business being in the same sentence together. But I was able to munch on a few chips and eat a few cucumbers and green peppers out of a salad that looked very much like what the landscapers in our complex compile after our hedges are trimmed. But I lived, and we had a great meeting. But my next appointment was right up against my lunch meeting, so I didn’t get the chance to drive by a favorite drive-thru and get anything to eat. So when I got to my session I grabbed whatever snacks I could find – Cheez-its, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, candy, etc. – anything to keep me going until dinner. The session was fun, as I was voicing some fruit puppets for a series of new commercials. I’m sure you’ll be seeing them very soon the next time you click on YouTube or other web content. It was fun because we got to do a little bit of improvisation. On the way home I got an ink cartridge for my printer, and then I went home to walk Roxy. My petsitter had been by earlier in the day to feed the kids, since I knew I was going to have a very long day. I checked e-mails and then called my friend Sara to see if she wanted to go to Bob’s Big Boy. After the day I had, I needed a giant bacon cheeseburger! I went home and napped, got up to do my auditions, and then hit the hay.
Wednesday the 11th – BANGIN’ AND ZOOMIN’! – Early in the day I met my friends Edi and Elliot Lurie for lunch at Paty’s. It was a gorgeous day so we at on the patio outside. I checked the mail in my box and got in my “Wishmaster” DVD just in time. I was going to be moderating the “Wishmaster” panel at this weekend’s “Son of Monsterpalooza” convention and I had never seen the film before. I needed to bone up on the movie before the panel. I’m glad it arrived when it did, because time was running out. I drove over to Weinerschnitzel to get a delicious banana split, and then I went to Bang Zoom studios in Burbank to do several more hours’ worth of recording for an animated feature. We’ve been working on this for a little over a year now, and we keep going back in to re-record sections because of rewrites. When you see an animated film you must understand that the script probably isn’t anything like it was in its original form. An animated movie script goes through multiple changes before they find the right formula for the final version. When we wrapped at 6 I came home, walked Roxy, and got ready for the meditation service at my church. My pal Chris had been asking about it, so I told him I’d take him some night so he could learn a few basic meditation techniques. After the service we drove over to Little Toni’s and enjoyed some pizza. I went home and napped for a bit, and then got up later for my nightly auditions. I also spent a good portion of the evening prepping for my weekend at “Son of Monsterpalooza.” I’d be on stage in the theater all weekend hosting and moderating panels. I was very excited!
Thursday the 12th – TAMING THE LANGUAGE! – The first thing I needed to do when I got up just after noon was a session for American Airlines. It was another flight prep announcement (the kind you hear on the plane when you’re getting ready to take off) and those I can record in my home studio and e-mail in. I also needed to do some tags for my ongoing commercial campaign for Mr. Sparky – an electrical repair company in Texas. I’ve been doing their commercials for a little over a year now. I cleaned up and got ready to take off for Universal Studios. I was due in ADR 7 at 3:45 to do more dialogue replacement for Jason Statham. This time it was for the movie “Hobbs and Shaw.” For the TV edits of films, all the foul language needs to be replaced with tamer words. So they hire voice doubles to go into a studio, sound like the original actor, and say clean words over the salty ones. Since Jason’s character in these films has a pretty salty tongue, there were about 17 instances where we had to replace sections of the dialogue to make it safe for a TV audience. After the session I headed over to Kinko’s…ahem…FedEx office (as it’s called now) to submit a printing job. I went to my seamstress Shelley’s house to pick up a few shirts I had made for “Son of Monsterpalooza,” but a few of the fabrics on the shirt had been switched accidentally. So I had to turn back around and return to her house, with the understanding that these had to be done very quickly so I could have them in time for the convention this weekend. I went home and did a little work, and then went back to Kin — I mean FedEx Office to get my printed artwork. I went home and did my auditions, grabbed a much-needed shower, grabbed an even MUCH more needed nap, and I got up later to prep for “Son of Monsterpalooza,” make some food, and watch “Wishmaster” before bed.
Friday the 13th – ONE TICKET TO PARADISE, PLEASE! – When I woke up and checked my newsfeed I learned that Eddie Money had passed away. It made me sad because I really enjoyed his music. I had enjoyed seeing him in concert too, a few years back. But I really smiled when I recalled the first time I met him. It was at a Priscilla Presley speaking event in Thousand Oaks, and my little group of friends rode in the elevator with him from the parking garage. He was very personable and I was quietly freaking out that we were in the presence of The Money Man! This was in 2016 and my TV commercial for Dell (where I played a Glam Rocker on-camera) was airing regularly. After the event I approached him to mention a few mutual friends we had, and as we talked he kept looking at me carefully. He said, (in his raspy, New York accent) “You look like that guy in the commercial in the green pants who hurts his back.” I told him it WAS me! He was amazed. Then he got serious and said, “Did you make a lot of money doing that?” It’s very sad that Eddie has passed away, as I have a lot of his music stored on my devices. I did some last-minute packing for “Son of Monsterpalooza,” and got ready to head over to check into my hotel room. Even though I wanted to spend the nights at my house, it was nice that they provided me with a room so I could change and prep. I swung by Shelley’s to pick up the shirt she fixed, and headed to the convention. My hotel wasn’t just a room, it was a suite! Quite nice! It was the perfect setting for a monster con, as it was a very rare full moon Friday the 13th! I introduced a few panels, moderated a panel for a new film called “Candy Corn,” and then headed home to feed and walk Roxy and get some sleep. What a wild day!
Saturday the 14th – LEGENDS! – My housesitter arrived at 10am and I sped off for the hotel. I went into my room, ordered some breakfast and showered and changed for the day’s festivities. The first panel I was due at was at noon. It was all about TV legend Vampira. The special guest on the panel was Bela Lugosi Jr.! As the panel wrapped up I stood to the side of the stage and helped Mr. Lugosi down the steps. What a memorable moment that was!! Helping the Son of Dracula, at “Son of Monsterpalooza!” My pal Bridget Marquardt arrived to promote her podcast “Ghost Magnet,” so as people filed in for the Rick Baker panel I introduced her to the audience and she passed out some show-related swag. She’s known Rick Baker for years, from the time that Bridget lived at the Playboy Mansion, so it was fun to go backstage before Rick came out and chat with him. He’s a very personable guy and it’s so wonderful to see somebody like that enjoy the success that he’s garnered. It was fun chatting with Rick, and his wife and daughters before the panel. I went out to introduce the moderator for his panel, and then Bridget and I sat there in amazement watching he and moderator Normal Cabrera chat about Rick’s new book “Metamorphosis.” I introduced the next panel with Greg Nicotero and then went out to meet up with my friends James, Mark and Sara for lunch. My pal Valerie Perez arrived as well, so we all took off to the Daily Grill, right next to the hotel lobby. I had a quick turnaround so I didn’t have time to eat, just grab a quick drink and chat a bit with the gang. Between panels I had some time to walk around the floor and buy stuff, and it was a very good day. But exhausting. It was fun running into people who had come to see me and have me sign posters, toys and DVDs. The main activities for the convention ended around 6pm, so I went up to my room and collapsed on my bed for a bit to get a quick “refresher” nap. When I woke up I realized that all my friends had gone off to do other things. So realizing that there wasn’t any reason for me to stay in the hotel any longer, I packed up a few things and headed home. But first I stopped at the grocery store to get a few things, and I also picked up a pizza at Roundtable. My housesitter was glad to be able to go back to her own house for the evening as well, and Roxy was really glad to have me back. She’s getting to the age where my absence for several days is starting to stress her out a bit, and it alters her bodily functions. That was another reason I wanted to be home every night. I ate my pizza, prepped for the final day of the convention, and headed to bed. It was a real whirlwind – fun, but exhausting!
Sunday the 15th – LET’S WRAP THIS MONSTER UP! – At 9:30 I was up and ready to head out. Once my housesitter arrived at 9:45 I was out the door and headed to the hotel. I got cleaned up and changed, and packed up my stuff to check out of my room. My first panel of the day was for my friends Deverill Weekes and Juliet Landau and their “The Undead,” project. Their special panel guest would be Ron Perlman! As I was hanging outside the theater waiting for the panel to start, I saw a few of the audience control girls holding a tiny little kitten. He was only 5 weeks old and had been rescued by a foster mom when she learned he was about to be put down. Unfortunately, there’s been an overwhelming influx of cats at the local shelters and they can’t possible house them all. Now don’t get me started, but the thought of putting down a 5 week old kitten who never did anything to anyone, while our prisons are full of rapists, murders and child molesters who deserve to get “put down,” but still get to live out their miserable lives on the taxpayers’ dime – drives me INSANE!!! But I’ll stop before I really get crazy on this subject and say something I might regret. (Sorry, when it comes to innocent animals I turn into the Hulk) So knowing that Ron Perlman’s “Hellboy” character was a cat lover, I had the girls bring the kitten up on stage so the audience could meet him before the panel began. When I put the microphone up to him and asked him if he wanted to be adopted, and he replied with a tiny little “mew,” the entire place went “AWWWWWW!” I told the group that under the circumstances, he should be named Hellboy. So when people asked how he got his name, you could unfurl a really cool story about meeting the kitty before a Ron Perlman panel. The panel went great and “The Undead” series looks amazing. I’ve known Dev and Juliet for decades, and I’m SO darned proud of those kids for doing this – their passion project – and turning it into something so amazing. I can’t wait for it to find a home so I can see the entire series! After the panel my attorney Stephanie and I ate a quick lunch at the Daily Grill. We’ve been working on our kids project for several months now, and going to “Monsterpalooza” is great research for her – as she knows very little about this marketplace. And since our book and toy project revolves around “Halloween-flavored Christmas stories,” a trip to a convention like this is always eye-opening for her. In fact, one of my custom-made bowling shirts I had made for the convention featured custom-printed fabric featuring some of the characters from my stories. I wanted to be a “walking billboard” on Saturday. Many people commented on how much they liked the shirt (even Rick Baker asked about the characters!) even though they’re completely new characters that nobody’s seen yet! It gave me a good feeling that we’re on the right track with our project! I introduced a few more panels, then Stephanie and I hit the floor to shop, then it was back to the theatre to host the “Wishmaster” panel. My panel moderation style is quite different from other moderators. First off, the optics of me as a moderator sitting on stage with the actors on a perceived equal basis with them doesn’t appeal to me. The audience isn’t there to see a moderator; they’re there to see the actors from the film. So I choose to sit on the front edge of the stage and have a conversation with them from that vantage point. That way I’m not in any of the cast photos that the audience members wish to capture during the panel. Also, I like the psychology of the moderator being positioned so they’re “half audience member/half moderator.” So if I’m sitting on the edge of the stage, I’m halfway between the audience and the actors. So it places me in a physical position where I can be in the middle of both groups as a conduit. So it almost seems as if an audience member is conducting the panel. Also, not being on stage with them forces the actor’s faces toward the front of the stage when they speak, so the audience can see them better. If the moderator is on stage and sitting to the end of the row, all the audience is going to see are their profiles as the actors respond to the moderator’s questions. I’ve been interviewing people since I was a 16 year old radio DJ, and I always try to learn from the masters how to interview. I especially liked Larry King’s style. He never went in with prepared questions, but would always follow a line of questioning based on where the conversation led. He said it was because he’s a “naturally curious person.” I don’t conduct interviews. I conduct conversations. And the responses that I received from both the audience members as well as the actors involved, showed me that this was a very good way to go. I said goodbye to Stephanie and I had one last panel to introduce before I could leave for evening church. Once that was done, I bid everyone farewell and headed home to change and grab Roxy for church. During the service I learned the Ric Ocasek from The Cars had passed away. What a rotten week. Two great rockers lost in the same week. Sheesh! By the time evening set in I was pretty exhausted. My voice was a little rough around the edges from non-stop talking all weekend so I needed to decompress. I napped on the couch, then got up to do my auditions, make some spaghetti, and start watching “Space 1999” on Blu Ray. The timing couldn’t have been better, as the show stars my friend Juliet Landau’s parents; Barbara Bain and Martin Landau! Fun! Knowing that I had all day Monday free to recuperate was a good feeling, and I slept like a baby! I can’t wait for the next “Monsterpalooza” in May in Pasadena! I hope I get to be involved with the show again!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK