Archive for June, 2009

June 29 – July 5 (2009)

Monday the 29th – BLEACH, BRITIAN & BANG BANG! – I did two hours worth of voice-over for “Bleach”, then met up with my pal Deverill at the Firing Line in Burbank to do some shooting. Though he’s now American, he’s originally from Great Britain. He brought along Sean, a friend of his who was visiting from Great Britain. Obviously, one of the first things Sean wanted to do when he came to America was to try target shooting with handguns. It was a great time. Dev has a new HK automatic (the same kind of gun Jack Bauer from “24” uses. I loved shooting that thing! I also shot my .45 automatic 1911, though Sean stayed to the smaller caliber Walther PPK. I hadn’t been shooting in awhile and could tell. My accuracy with my Walther PPK wasn’t very good. Gotta hit the range more often! After that we went to Olive Garden to have lunch. When I finished I went to the drugstore to get a few items, picked up some food for my dog Sassie, and went home to work on some stuff at home. That night I did a bunch of auditions in my home studio to e-mail to my agent.

Tuesday the 30th – I GOT NO STRINGS! – I went to Voice Trax West in the afternoon to record the voice tracks for Pinocchio for an upcoming TV commercial. The Festa Italiana in Milwaukee will be going on later this month, and they are doing a really cool animated TV commercial featuring Pinocchio. The festival will celebrate Pinocchio’s 125th birthday, so they’re using their version of the character in the spot. I’m a big Disney Pinocchio fan, so this was a real treat to be able to participate in a different take on the character. When I was done I did a few errands. Later in the afternoon I met up with a few guys from David’s Glass in North Hollywood. Their job was to climb a ladder in my house, and take down the huge plate of glass that covers my Andy Kaufman display. I’ve been working on re-doing the display now that I have Andy’s original lifecast (for more infoCLICK HERE ) and this was the first phase of completing the project. David and Alden bought over their screwdriver and those big suction cup thingies they use to remove glass. They scurried up the ladder and had the glass down in a matter of minutes! THAT’S why you hire the pros! They secured the glass to my video cabinet so it wouldn’t fall over and crash. They even took the mannequin down for me. I disassembled the mannequin and placed the clothes on a hanger in The Chaney Room for safe keeping. It took me awhile to take off the sideburns and eyebrows that I had originally glued on the mannequin’s head. I was going to try and reuse them on the Andy lifecast. The sideburns came off fairly well, but the eyebrows did not. So I cut up an old lace mustache that I had sitting around (I think it was the first mustache I used as Tony Clifton!!) and figured those would be good eyebrows. Then my effects guy Jim Ojala came over and took the mannequin’s torso and hands. He also took the wig, sideburns and the new eyebrows. Just think…in three days I would FINALLY have the finished Andy Kaufman mannequin!! That night I spent some time paying bills and taking care of more stuff like that.

Wednesday the 1st – BOX, BRACELET & BLEACH! – I stopped by my mailbox and picked up the 5 copies of “Garfield’s Pet Force” that I ordered. Then I stopped by a jewelry store in Burbank to pick up a bracelet I had left there about a year ago for repair. The bracelet is onyx and silver, and is spring loaded. The bracelet separates so you can put it on your wrist, and then the spring recloses it around your wrist. I had bought this bracelet at the estate sale of Paul Henning (creator of Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, etc.) a few years ago. I loved the bracelet so much I wore it in the “Goolians” docu-comedy on the “Groovie Goolies” DVD set. It needed repair because I had worn it so much the spring was giving out. But apparently those springs are kind of rare, so it took them about a year to locate a similar spring and get it repaired. I was sure glad to have it back! I scurried over to Studiopolis Burbank to do a few more hours on “Bleach” doing the voice of Renji. When I finished I hurried home, fed my cat Spooky and walked my dog Sassie. I made it to evening church just in time.

Thursday the 2nd – HAPPY 97TH BIRTHDAY GRANDMA! – Today marked my Grandma Hazel’s 97th birthday! WOW! Lots has happened on this planet over the past 97 years and I’d love to sit her down and record her views and feelings on all the stuff that’s happened during her long lifetime. I went to Studiopolis Burbank in the afternoon to record another episode of “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” The writing on this show is so amazing, and I can’t WAIT to see these episodes finished! We’ll get to see some soon, because Josh from Marvel told me the animated episodes are starting to come back from overseas. Soon we’ll be called in to do ADR (additional dialogue recording) for the episodes, so we’ll get to see them! AWESOME! After the session I drove to Best Buy. On the way I gave my Grandma Hazel a birthday call. She had just gotten back from a party thrown for her by her friends…complete with “hotdish”, fruit plate, angel food cake and coffee! Sounds like her friends really know how to throw a 97 year old a kick-ass party! I picked up some DVD-R discs at Best Buy to try on my DVD-R machine. It has been having troubles finalizing the discs I record, and even though I paid $55 to have it repaired, it was still giving me problems. I was told to try different brands of discs and see what happened. Then I went to It’s a Wrap, but didn’t find anything to buy. I stopped at Albertson’s to buy some more of that delicious Tangerine Diet Rite soda I love, and ran into my friend Meagan, a make-up artist. She said she has been really busy working on films and TV shows, and was about ready to start another project. GOOD FOR HER! (Meagan was the make-up artist who shaved the word “PAM” into my chest hair for “Livin’ On a Prayer.”) As we were talking in the checkout line, I saw my friend Fred Tatascoire in the parking lot getting a cart and heading into the store. Fred’s the voice of “Hulk” for many of Marvel’s animated projects, and I just saw him an hour earlier at the “Avengers” session. I laughed to myself trying to imagine Hulk shopping for groceries. “HULK NEED TOILET PAPER!” “WATERMELON GONE? HULK SMASH!” “NO NUTS! HULK ALLERGIC!” I grabbed a quick nap and that night took great delight in just finishing up stuff around the house. I had to do a complete clean-out of the Andy Kaufman cabinet before the glass guys came the next day to seal up the finished display. I went for a 3 mile jog just before dawn Friday morning. It was amazing. The sun wasn’t quite up, but the sky was gradually getting lighter. I got home and took Sassie out for a walk. ‘Waiting on a Friend’ by the Rolling Stones came on my i-Pod. It was great standing there petting Sassie, watching the sky grow lighter, still feeling the endorphins of exercise course through my body, and listening to one of my favorite Stones’ songs. Life is good! I made a salad and went to bed to watch a few episodes of ‘Get Smart” season 2!

Friday the 3rd – HOLIDAY! – Since the 4th of July is on a Saturday this year, most everybody took the 3rd as a holiday. I slept very late, but when I got up I tried to get somebody from the technical department of LG electronics on the phone to find out about why my DVD-R machine was malfunctioning. I got somebody from customer service whose expertise was NOT in the technical realm, so I decided to let it rest until Monday. Later Jim Ojala came over with his wife Beth, and the finished Andy Kaufman mannequin. As soon as he walked in my eyes couldn’t stop looking at his work! The paintjob on the mannequin was perfect! The placement of the hair, sideburns, eyebrows and eyelashes was perfect! A DREAM COME TRUE! I felt bad because Beth wanted to look around Planet Wallywood and get the tour, but I just couldn’t get my mind off of the new addition to the collection. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it! Jim and I assembled the mannequin, and we started re-dressing it. It’s always interesting dressing a mannequin, especially when you get to putting the arms in the shirt. But since this outfit involved not one but TWO shirts plus a blazer, it was NOT easy! I told Jim I remembered this being difficult the first time I dressed the mannequin over 8 years ago. Luckily, Beth was able to help us put it all together again. We worked on spraying the hair on the mannequin with hairspray to get it just right, then we worked on trimming down the eyebrows to more closely resemble Andy’s. It was perfect! Jim and I spent some time getting photos of the finished mannequin for both of our websites. Then David and Alden from David’s Glass of North Hollywood arrived to replace the mannequin in the case and seal it back up. We walked the mannequin up the ladder and placed it in the case. Then I got up there to add in some of the extra display items. Then the guys meticulously cleaned the glass, and walked it up the ladder. This piece of glass is HEAVY and to get it locked in the grooves of the display case is difficult, to say the least. The first time my friend Terry and I tried it, we almost killed ourselves! It’s good to have pros there to handle it. They got the glass seated in the grooves and we all cheered. I paid the glass guys and they went on their way to enjoy their holiday weekend. Then I finally was able to give Beth the tour of Planet Wallywood. That night I spent the evening taking more photos of the display, and cleaning up the house to get it ready for the 4th of July festivities! WHAT A DAY!

Saturday the 4th – HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! – When I woke up I started cleaning up Planet Wallywood right away. Clearing up the Chaney Room, cleaning the living room, repairing a chair, and cleaning the kitchen. I didn’t know how many people would be coming over that night, but I was starting to suspect that it was going to be a lot! Scott and Vickie Sebring were the first to arrive, and it was time for me to go pick up my Irish friend Kassandra. But when I pulled out of the garage I noticed I was sitting a lot lower in my driver’s seat than usual. Then I felt the car shudder as I pulled out. Sure enough, I had a flat tire on the front driver’s side. So I called Kassandra and told her I’d be late. Then I called triple A for a tire change. Luckily my donut spare was in good shape. It only took AAA about a half hour to get there, and by that time a few more friends had shown up. They got the donut on the car in minutes and I was on my way to get Kassandra and her dog Acara. We stopped at the local market and got a few chicken wieners (for those who don’t eat beef wieners), some more buns, some snacks and beverages. We got back to find that even more people had showed up! I started the hot dogs and got the plates and condiments ready. I put on some music and we dug in to the food, as more people arrived. One of the local fireworks displays is blown off right out my back door, so the folks in my neighborhood have a great front row seat every 4th of July! It got to be about 9pm and we all gathered out back and put up our lawn chairs. As is tradition, I cracked open an ice cold Coke in a glass bottle and drank it as I prepared to watch the amazing fireworks display. Apparently, the technicians fired off one firework as a test. It was beautiful and we all applauded. But nothing followed after. I said to my group,” Thank you and goodnight everybody. We’re very sorry but due to cutbacks this year that’s all we’ve got.” We all chuckled, but it was definitely NOT over. The show was long and magnificent. VERY well done! When it was finished we all went inside and watched a Star Trek episode on Blu Ray. We only had about 11 episodes left to draw from. We always like to call out an episode that we want to see before we draw. Since my pal GloZell and her boyfriend Kevin were just leaving, we had her draw the episode. We shouted out “Space Seed!’ Sure enough, she drew “SPACE SEED!” She thought it was a joke, that every piece of paper said “Space Seed,” but we assured her that wasn’t the case. Amazing! So a huge group of us sat around watching “Space Seed” and enjoying it. Richardo Montalban was amazing as Khan! Then we took a little break, a few more people left to go home, and we drew another episode…”Balance of Terror.” It was the first episode where you got a look at the Romulans. Great episode! We finished up and everyone took off. It was a GRAND birthday celebration for America! But the 4th of July has an additionally important meaning to me personally and professionally. It was late June of 1993. I was laid off from The Wave radio station here in Los Angeles. I had been there since 1987, and had been there full-time as the overnight DJ since 1989. The company who owned The Wave and other stations were implementing cutbacks across the board because their business was down. So I celebrated the 4th of July 1993 with a bit of trepidation, hope, and anticipation. I didn’t know what lay ahead, but I knew it was all for the best. (Layoffs usually are!) Had I not been let go from the station at that time, I most likely would still be there…stagnating in my professional complacency. Not doing what I really came to Los Angeles to do in the first place. So as I and a small group of friends watched the distant fireworks from my Culver City apartment, chewing on the snacks and beverages my severance pay helped purchase, I realized that not only was it the birthday of our great country, but the birth of a new era of my life. So now I celebrate the 4th of July every year with a duality of zeal…for my love of this country, and as an anniversary of the rebirth that my life took at that time in history. Thank God my life took the direction it did, because I couldn’t be happier! And to make it even better, later that night I made a salad and watched episodes of “Get Smart” in bed!

Sunday the 5th – I’M TIRE-D! – When I got up in the afternoon I drove over to the local tire store to give them my flat tire. I’ll pick it up the following day and have them reinstall it on my car. Nothing else was open, so I went straight back home and got ready for evening church. I went to the 5:30 service, and then hung around the church until the 7:30 service to do elder duty. When the service was over I met up with my pal Sara at DuPar’s in Studio City for a quick bite. Though I had lots to do that evening, I had the hot turkey sandwich. Bad idea! I could feel myself getting immediately tired. They said that turkey doesn’t make you tired, but it sure has that effect on me! I got home and fought to stay awake, but ended up napping for a few hours on the couch. When I got up I set about cleaning up the mess from the previous night’s party, and got ready for another 3 mile jog. After all, my class reunion was in a few weeks, and I had to look my best, Right?

And how was YOUR week??!!!