Archive for September, 2008

September 29 – October 5 (2008)

Monday the 29th – NARUTO!! – I hardly ever get to work on “Naruto”, and it’s a very popular cartoon, but today I got to play a cool character.  My godson Sean in South Dakota will really love the fact that I’m another character on the show. I’ve played a few before, but they all die in the same episode.  It’s fun being directed by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, because I’ve known her for about 15 years. We were in “The Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue” together, and we still talk about those days back in 1994-1998.  And boy do we laugh!

Tuesday the 30th – MY NEPHEW JOHNNY’S BIRTHDAY! – Happy Birthday Johnny! On my way to west LA to do voices in the new “Stormrise” videogame  I called my nephew Johnny’s phone and wished him a happy birthday.  The session was a lot of fun. The director Zach was also a voice actor, so he knew exactly what to do and how to direct, since he had been on the other side of the glass so often.  On the way home I stopped at Laser Blazer and picked up “Iron Man” and several other DVDs.  Then I doubled back, got some gas, and hit Guitar Center to get some new patch cords for my mixer at home. My recording device that I use to record auditions was acting funny. Sometimes it would lose the right channel altogether. My webmaster Scott Sebring said it was a bad cord, and sure enough he was right. I swapped the left and right and looked at the monitor, and it was like he said.  Now I only saw registration on the right channel but not the left.  So a new set of cords should do the trick.  I drove back home and took a quick nap. That night I recorded some auditions (with my new cord in place), worked on my monster wall (more on that later) and took a jog.  But tonight was different than previous night’s jogs.  The other day while I was out driving, I clocked the distance from my house to where I usually jog. But then I kept on driving to see what an extra half mile would be. I made note of the street and went on my merry way.  Well tonight, I went that extra half mile, and then turned around and jogged home. Making it a grand total of…THREE MILES! It was a great run, and I think I’ll probably be going the “extra mile” some more.  There’s a church on the way home with a lot of steps, and I usually like to run up the steps (two at a time) and stretch my legs a little extra. Kind of a “Rocky Balboa” kind of moment.  Well, I don’t carry a flashlight because I know the area pretty well. But as I ran up the stairs I got to the first level and heard someone yell “AAAAAAAHHHHH!”  There was a homeless gentleman sleeping on the first landing of steps, and I must have awakened him with my heavy footfalls as I stampeded up the steps.  I didn’t know what to say to him, so I just went down the other side of steps and kept on running. NOW I carry a flashlight!

Wednesday the 1st – CONNERY, CARREY & MYERS! – My good pal Neil Kaplan asked if I wanted his extra pair of tickets to go see “Austin Powers” at the AFI screening at the Arclight theatres in Hollywood. Since I was unable to get tickets initially I took them with great enthusiasm.  Once a year, the American Film Institute holds this event at the Arclight in Hollywood. They rent out all 20 theatres and play a different film in each theatre. And each film is introduced by one of the stars of the film!  Sean Connery was introducing “The Man Who Would Be King,” Jim Carrey introduced “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” Jodie Foster introduced “Silence of the Lambs,” Steve Martin introduced “The Jerk,” Dustin Hoffman introduced “Tootsie”…etc. etc. etc.  Well, I was there to see Mike Myers introduce one of my favorite all-time films…”Austin Powers!” (The original, not those two lame sequels)  At one point in the line to get in, it ran parallel with the red carpet. So as my friend Jaimie and I walked along the sidewalk to go into the theatre, we looked to our left and through the group of paparazzi we spotted Sean Connery!  It was awesome, and I’ll never forget it!  The flashes were flashing light lightning, and as he looked up into the cameras his eyebrows would arch, one after the other. It was VERY cool.  But our line wasn’t moving very quickly. In fact, our line was moving about the same speed as the red carpet line, so we were literally pacing Sean Connery!  But even closer to us was Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy doing a TV interview, then we saw Mike Myers wearing very Austin-like horn-rimmed glasses doing a TV interview. It was great! We didn’t get to see Hoffman, Foster or Martin though.  When we got into the theatre my friend Richard Halpern was there dressed in his full Austin Powers costume.  He’s the best Austin impersonator out there!  I said “I KNEW I’d see you here!” He said his only goal was to get Mike to see him in his costume. Since Austin was in a small theatre I told Richard I thought the likelihood was very high.  After all, how could he miss him??  So we got our popcorn and drinks and sat in our seats.  We waited for awhile, and soon Richard came in and sat in our row.  Shortly thereafter, Mike Myers and “Austin” director Jay Roach came into the theatre and was standing by the railing waiting to be introduced. The AFI staff photographer motioned for Richard to come over and meet Mike. Mike turned around and noticed Richard right off and Richard said, “I’ve been waiting for me!”  He and Mike shook hands, talked for a bit, and the photog got several pictures of them together. When it was over, the entire audience applauded because they had just seen a guy’s dream come true…a true Hollywood moment!  After Richard sat down Mike looked back at the audience and said, “Scaaaaared!”  Everyone laughed and then Mike went up to introduce the film.  The film was just as funny as I remember it when it first came out in 1997.  I told all my friends back then it was going to be huge, but nobody believed me.  It was a great time seeing the film and re-living those days. WHAT A NIGHT!!!

Thursday the 2nd – MY NEPHEW JOEY’S BIRTHDAY! – Ever have one of those days? Well, today was it.  My entertainment center guru Mark Ackerman came by to fix a few things on my entertainment center and the maids came by to clean. Then I grabbed a quick nap before an audition at 5pm.  When I woke up I wasn’t feeling very well. Kind of achy. I was thinking of cancelling the audition (after all, it was WAY down in Culver City…a LONG drive in 5pm weekday traffic) but I wanted to be professional and show up.  I got there, got my pass and went on the lot.  When I found the studio, a lady came out and asked if the guy next to me and I were there to audition. We said yes, and she said that she thought they were already done seeing people!  But she brought us in anyway. I had a bad feeling.  Something told me that they had already picked the person that they wanted, but they were just “humoring” us by letting us audition. Sure enough, that’s what happened. After doing the audition twice she said, “Nope. You don’t sound right. Thank you.”  I told her I could alter the sound and try it again, and she almost reluctantly agreed to let me do one more. After the third try she shook my hand and said, “Thank you.”  I was furious. And next time, I’m going to listen to my “still small voice” inside my head telling me to stay in bed and cancel the audition.  UGH. I was mad! Not at her, but at myself. I thought I had learned to listen to my inner-voice and obey it a long time ago. I tried to placate myself by having a meal at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Culver City, but as soon as I hit the road to get back home I got even angrier. It took me about 2 hours to drive home.  Oh well, you learn.  However it WAS my nephew and godson Joey’s birthday, so at least I got to talk to him on the phone during my LOOOONG commute home.

Friday the 3rd – A SUNNI DAYE! –  My old pal Sunni Daye was flying down to visit me today. But since I was booked on another “Gormiti” cartoon session in the morning, I had to have her take a cab from the airport and meet me at the studio.  Which she did.  Halfway through the session, I had to run off to another session for a bit. So Sunni and I drove to Voice Trax West and I did a quickie session for the Avera hospital in my hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. When we finished that, Sunni and I drove back to the “Gormiti” session and I finished up there.  Then we went over to Voicecasters in Burbank and I did a quick audition for a western museum.  Finally, it was lunchtime. We went to  Roundtable Pizza’s noon buffet and had salad and pizza. Then we stopped by It’s a Wrap in Burbank and looked at clothes. It looked to me like their Halloween additions were all exhausted…nothing new there for a few weeks now.  But Sunni found a couple of shirts she liked.  We went to my house, unloaded her luggage and got her set up in the guest room. Then I continued working on my “Monster Wall.”  If you remember from last week’s Wally’s Week (click here) I said I was making a facade to place behind my display of monster figures. It was a lot of work. First a piece of plywood was cut with an arched doorway and pointy windows by my friend Joe Pendleton. Then I glued faux stone facing on it that I bought at a craft store.  It took about 10 sheets of that stuff.  Then with a two part molding putty, I created the stone blocks that adorned the archway and the windows.  I also created the door as well.  When I had finished it, I painted it with about five different colors of paint…dark gray, medium gray, rust, olive green and brown. But in various intensities.  So while the majority of the wall was medium gray, portions of it were shaded with the dark gray. And the rust and brown gave it a light reddish hue.  The green was sprayed on sparingly to look like vegetation that had grown on the bricks. It was looking good. I also had some moss that I wanted to glue on the top of the wall to really look creepy. So I spent the afternoon gluing on all the finishing touches.  then I was exhausted. I told Sunni I was going to nap for awhile. I got up that evening and everything had dried nicely. I had to shut the doors to the Chaney Room because the floral moss I was using on the Monster Wall was of keen interest to my cat Spooky.  I think he thought it was catnip. So I had to close the doors lest he sneak in and tear my work asunder!  I couldn’t wait to show my friends Saturday night at the official Monster Wall unveiling!

Saturday the 4th – BILLY JACK, BRAD MAJORS, AND FRANK DREBBIN! – I’ve loved going to the Ray Courts Hollywood Collector Shows for about 10 years now. And the one today was one of the best. I had gone to meet Leslie Nielsen and some others. I had worked with Leslie’s appearance manager Bob Belanchia on getting screenshots from some of Leslie’s greatest films. And they turned out great! I had him sign a bunch of things for my collection. I also got to meet Barry Bostwick who played Brad Majors in “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, another one of my favorite films.  He’s not just a nice guy, he’s a NICE GUY!  What a wonderful human being.  He signed my Rocky Horror stuff and I went along my merry way. But the highlight of the day was meeting Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor from the “Billy Jack” movies. I LOVED the Billy Jack movies when I was a kid, and I still had one of the Billy Jack paperbacks from when I was young. I had them sign it, sign my DVD boxset, and I got a great photo with the two of them!  He even wore the Billy Jack hat for the photo!  Come to find out, Delores is originally from Winner, South Dakota, so we talked at length about the old country. As I was posing with them I said, “I feel like I’m 10 years old again!” They all laughed and it was a great moment.  Sunni got to spend time with Margaret Kerry, the figure model for the original Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan.” Sunni had spoken to her on the phone, but as a major Tinker Bell fan Sunni just HAD to meet her. So she flew in to do that very thing. Sunni got all her collectibles signed and she had a great time as well!  We met up with Joe and Zandra at the show, and Micky Dolenz told Zandra that the Monkees album she showed him was a real collector’s item. Apparently a small quantity of Monkees albums went out with a misspelling on the cover, and Zandra had one!  Micky was amazed!

The amazing Leslie Nielsen

With an incredibly nice guy, Barry Bostwick

With Delores Taylor and Tom “Billy Jack” Laughlin

Margaret Kerry signs Sunni’s jacket

Then we all went to Planet Wallywood, met up with Scott and Vickie Sebring, and I unveiled the Monster Wall.  Joe helped me install it into permanent residence above my entertainment center.  Then we watched a scene from “Billy Jack”, where he kicks the butts of all the racist cowboys, and we also watched the “Billy Jack” parody on SNL, starring Paul Simon. Hilarious!  We all walked down to the corner cafe with Sassie and had dinner. Most of us were on a breakfast kick, so we ordered things like eggs and pancakes. YUUUUMMM!!!  When we walked back, we watched a little bit of “The Invisible Man Returns” on DVD, but watched the entire “House of Frankenstein” film to get us into the Halloween mood!  FUN!

The completed “Monster Wall”

Sunday the 5th – LAZY SUNDAY! – Sunny, who’s not used to sleeping late, was up early and reading in her room. I, on the other hand, was a lazy bum and didn’t leave my room until after 2pm!  I got up, ate something, and then went back to bed! I got up just in time for evening church. After church Sunni and I went to Barone’s and enjoyed some delicious Italian food.  Then we headed home, I got my jogging clothes on, went for a two mile jog, and then we watched “Get Smart” on DVD. She had never seen the show before, so it was all new to her!!!

And how was YOUR week??!!