Archive for August, 2009
August 31 – September 7 (2009)
Monday the 31st – BACK TO BIZ! – I did a morning session at Voice Trax West for HH Gregg. I called my friend Ginny, who has been shadowing me at several voice-over jobs, to meet me there to observe what a session via ISDN is like. That’s where the talent is in a booth, basically talking to the directors over a high quality phone line and doing the session. The only people at an ISDN session is the actor (me) and the engineer (Paul). When I was done Ginny and I went to lunch, then picked up some items at the local fabric store, and some items at Bed Bath and Beyond. I stopped by my tailor’s to drop off some new black PVC pants I bought recently at It’s a Wrap (they needed to be hemmed) and I wanted to give them some new buttons to put on a vest I was having them make. My original “Man in the Beaver Hat” costume needed some alterations, plus I had somehow lost my original vest. So I dug out the original material and luckily there was enough left to make a new vest. After that Ginny and I went to my house so I could do a last-minute audition in my home studio for “Wheel of Fortune.” Later that night I took a snooze, and then got up and did auditions all night in my home studio to e-mail to my agent. I also worked on a new display I’m putting in at Planet Wallywood!
Tuesday the 1st – BAT DISPLAY DAY 1! – Shortly after noon I was due at Voicecasters in Burbank to do an audition. Then I drove over to the hardware store to pick up a few items, and then I swung by my mailbox to pick up some items there. That night my contractor Terry came by to start work on my new display. It’s going to be a full-scale Adam West mannequin dressed in a batsuit. I’ve had the Adam West headcast for awhile and wanted to turn it into a full mannequin. Back in 1995, my buddy David Miller (make-up genius who created the original make-up for Freddy Krueger) and I had Adam West’s head cast at a place called Cyber FX so we could make me a batcowl based on the original size of Adam’s head. I had a headcast made up in fiberglass and had glass eyes put in. In 2003 when I supplied costumes to the TV movie “Return to the Batcave” I saved one of the original cowls used on the screen and had Adam sign it. I put this cowl on the Adam headcast and had it displayed. But after I saw what a great job Jim Ojala did putting the Andy Kaufman head on the mannequin, I asked Jim to do it to my Adam head as well. The finished product would be due in Wednesday night, so I had my contractor Terry come by and start sizing up the area for the new exhibit. We were joined at dinner by Chuck McCann and my friend Kristy at Ernie’s Taco House. It was a good time and Terry and I got all our prep work done.
Wednesday the 2nd – BAT DISPLAY DAY 2! – I went to Kalmenson & Kalmenson in the morning to do an audition, and ran into my old buddy Rick Overton. He’s a great comic and impressionist, but we hadn’t seen each other in awhile. So we stood out in the hot weather and chatted for as long as we could take the heat. After lunch I went back to Voice Trax West to do some more commercials for HH Gregg. Then I stopped by the hardware store to pick up some more supplies. Terry would be coming over that night to start setting up the Bat display! In the afternoon I did a phone audition for the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Sometimes they just let you call up and audition over the phone! Then I caught a nap, and that night I went to the evening meditational service at church. Later I met up with Terry and his wife Linda, and Jim Ojala came by with the Adam West mannequin. It looked amazing. And as soon as we got it dressed in my old batsuit, it looked even more spectacular! That evening a bunch of us met up with Chuck McCann to help celebrate his 75th birthday! When I got back I did some more auditions in my home studio to e-mail to my agents.
Thursday the 3rd – BAT DISPLAY DAY 3! – In the morning I did another audition at Voicecasters in Burbank, but before I left my electrician Electric Bob came over to start re-wiring some lighting for the new display. Terry came over shortly thereafter and they started working together. I needed to have a light wired in so it would shine on the finished mannequin. He had to run a wire up into my ceiling, across to another beam, and then down to the switch panel. The original idea was to have the light on the mannequin controlled by the switch in the Shakespeare bust. The bust now controls the lights in my main showcase, but for some reason it wouldn’t control both the showcase and the pin spot. It was driving Electric Bob crazy, because in all logic, it should have worked. The transformer we were using was big enough. Strange. Then he was having trouble getting through one of the walls. It seemed there must have been a huge metal panel there that he couldn’t’ drill through, so…Plan B. This was not starting out very well. Terry was busy in the garage building the base for the mannequin and refining the shelves for the props. It was rumored that I had to do another session at noon, but luckily it was postponed until the following week. I wanted to stay home and work with the boys to make sure everything was going alright. Bob then accidentally blew all of the light bulbs in my showcase when something got hooked up wrong. Plus, Terry needed to attach and paint the small cabinet that would be holding the transformer and the Shakespeare head. There was still so much to do, and I was having people over Saturday night for the big unveiling! But time was getting short. I was needed at “Avengers” to do voice work for episode #25 at Studiopolis Burbank. When I got there I was totally amazed! The animation for the first episode I did back in early ’09, episode #5, had come back. We now had to do what’s called ADR It stands for Additional Dialogue Recording. Mostly, these were slight line changes, effort sounds, fight sounds, and rereads. The rereads were done because the way the line was performed initially didn’t work very well with the tone and feel of the new animation. So we would re-do the same line, but with a softer feel, or maybe an angrier feel. It was amazing to see this at last! The animation, style, color and look of the show was FANTASTIC! As you know I’m a total fan of all this stuff, so I was literally “geeking” out. Not only was I watching a cool TV show, but I was IN the cool TV show! It was definitely a high moment for me. We were later joined by the guy who plays Thor and the guy who plays Loki. It was fun listening to them do their scenes. When I finished, I went by Anawalt lumber to buy some new items for the display that we’d need. That night Terry got all of the faux cave paneling attached and all of the shelf supports attached. It was really taking shape!
Friday the 4th – BAT DISPLAY DAY 4! – I got up around noon and met up with Terry and Bob again. We were still having our share of difficulties getting some of the things done for the display. Luckily I had the day off so I could focus totally on getting the display finished. It was nearing completion, and luckily Bob and Terry are really good at improvising when problems arise. Bob needed to get some supplies, so he left and agreed to meet me Saturday around 11 to finish up. Terry was finishing up the wall, so there was nothing left for me to do. Seeing that I had a long night ahead of me, I took a short nap. Later I heard Terry knocking on my bedroom door to let me know he needed some help moving the mannequin into place so he could mark the spots on the base where he needed to put the adjustors. I moved “Adam” into place and Terry marked the spot. He put in three little adjustable supports under the ball and heel of the right foot, and under the ball of the left foot. This will keep the mannequin from tipping over, and will keep it level. But Terry wasn’t feeling well, so as soon as he was done he took off. I knew I wasn’t going to go to sleep until sometime early Saturday morning. I cleaned up the entire area, vacuumed the floor (little bits of wire, wall panel crumbs, sawdust, etc.) and prepared to do my part. I took some putty-like material Terry had left for me, and I started filling the gaps in between all of the panels, so it looked more like continuous rock. That took at least three hours. Then I needed to stain the putty the same color as the panels so it would blend, That took a few more hours. I also did touch-up work on the panels around the shelves, and wherever it wasn’t brown. It was a lot of work, but it was starting to really look fantastic!
Saturday the 5th – BAT DISPLAY DAY 5! – Electric Bob came over in the morning, replaced all of the blown bulbs in the showcase, and hooked up the pin spot. He was unable to mount the switch panel on the Shakespeare cabinet, so I would have to switch the light on at the source temporarily. I also got the idea to possibly have the Batman theme come on when the button was pushed. So I set about ordering the digital repeater that I would need, similar to the ones I have for my Andy Kaufman, Star Trek and Austin Powers displays. Bob said when I got the repeater in, he would come back and hook that up, as well as the pin spot. That worked, so I told him I would see him then to complete the job. My maids came over to clean up Planet Wallywood, When they finished, I went over to the craft store to get some paints and other materials, and the hardware store to get some hardware items. When I got home, I put eyelets in the ceiling to hang some props from the ceiling. Once I get some more cave panels in, we’re going to put more faux rock on the ceiling so it looks like you’re looking inside a cavern and seeing Batman. I got some spray paint to paint the cave wall some different colors to brighten up certain spots. I also got some matte finish paint called Dullcote to take some of the gloss off of the spots I had just painted. I got double stick tape and mount all of the signage and props to their shelves, and I tied off the Adam mannequin to the wall so it wouldn’t tip over during an earthquake. Terry drilled a hole through the cave wall and into my showcase. Then we threaded through some monofilament (fish line) to the other side. Then, I attached a loop of strong monofilament around the mannequin’s neck under the batcowl, threaded it through the back of the cowl, attached the cowl, and took the monofilament and attached it to the monofilament we had threaded through the hole. Using that as a guide, I pulled the monofilament attached to the mannequin through the wall and attached it on the other side with a thick plastic plug. I left enough slack on it so it wasn’t too tight, but if the mannequin tips forward, this will only let it tip about a foot before the plastic plug catches it on the other side. This will prevent the mannequin from hitting the ground during an earthquake. Plus, if we ever need to remove the mannequin, we can remove the plastic plug, attach another long line of monofilament to it, and pull it back through, keeping a line through the hole at all times. It was a bitch to have to thread that monofilament through the first time, I don’t want to have to do it again!! That evening, just I was finishing up, my friends Scott and Vickie Sebring called to see if I was home. Our movie nights start at 7:30, but they were in the neighborhood at 6. Luckily, I had just finished up the display and it was looking awesome. It’s still not totally finished (the cave ceiling needs to be added, as well as all the electronics) but it was good to go for tonight. I had just finished vacuuming up all of the junk on the carpet (and some of my cat Spooky’s catnip he had spilled on the kitchen floor), and I took Sassie out for a walk. I met up with one of my neighbors who has a sheltie named Haley that looks exactly like a miniature Sassie (Sassie’s a collie). I always refer to Haley as Sassie’s “Mini Me.” Then Scott and Vickie showed up and we all loved watching Sassie and Haley hang out. Then the conversation turned towards Batman (as it usually always does when we all get together) so I took the opportunity to unveil the new display then and there to Scott, Vickie and my neighbor Cindy. They came inside and saw the Bat Display, and they were impressed. But the new display was upstaged by my nutty cat Spook. Normally, when people bring small dogs over, Spook checks them out a bit, and depending on whether he likes them or not, hangs out or goes upstairs to “be alone.” But what we saw was unlike anything I had seen before. When we walked in Sassie laid down in front of the couch. Cindy brought Haley into the entry way to look at the Bat Display. Spook was walking by on the second floor and noticed there was a small dog in the entry way. But when he saw who it was he froze and his eyes got HUGE! He stood frozen for the longest time. His tail started to fuzz out and pretty soon he arched his back in a “Halloween” cat pose. He wouldn’t take his eyes off of Haley! I honestly believe that he thought something had happened to Sassie, since Haley looks that much like her! It was fun watching the frozen Spook stare at Haley. But then he looked over at Sassie who was laying on the floor, then back at Haley. I could see the little wheels in his head were really spinning, trying to figure out what the heck happened with Sassie! Then he lept up on the landing heading to my staircase and poked his head around to continue staring at Haley. We were all wetting ourselves with laughter. When I told Scott that Spook had just partaken of some catnip, he noted that Spook would just write it off to a bad catnip trip. “Whoa, the dog got smaaaaallll, man!” It took poor Spook awhile to settle down, even after Haley and Cindy had left. Spook kept staring at the front door expecting the strange mini-vision to return. Hilarious! Later on, people started showing up for Blu Saturday (where we watch a movie on Blu Ray every Saturday night at 7:30), and we decided on the Blu Ray “Dr. No.” Though I was really tired from the previous night’s work, so I nodded off toward the end of the film for a bit. Then we watched more clips from the “Midnight Special” DVD set.
Sunday the 6th – AAAAAHHHH! – I slept really REALLY late! I got up in time for evening church and met up with my friend Ginny and my pals Joe and Zandra. After that we went to get a bite to eat at DuPar’s and met up with Scott and Vickie and Sara. Since it was the Labor Day weekend, and nobody had to work on Monday, we decided to have another movie night on Sunday. After dinner, we went to load in something that Joe had built for my home theatre. I call it a “couch plumper” but what it actually is, is a riser. It’s a platform that elevates my couch about 12″ so we can put chairs in front of it for another row of seating during movie nights. Luckily, James showed up just as we got back to my house. He’s a big guy who easily lifted this thing into the living room, with the help of Scott, Joe and my friend Bob who just arrived. We got it placed, put the sofa on top and it worked like a charm. Then we brought down a futon from the Chaney Room that would serve as the next row. Along with the beanbags, extra chairs, etc. we could seat about 15 people comfortably. That night we decided to watch “Ghostbusters” on Blu Ray. Then we got back into watching more “Midnight Special” DVDs. Just before they left, Joe and Zandra talked to me about an idea they had to build panels for the wrought iron bars above my sofa. I thought it was a great idea, and decided I would also add on 11 X 14 frames, where I could change out movie lobby cards. It would definitely add to the movie vibe in the home theatre! What fun! Just before bed I got back into watching the “Get Smart” TV series on DVD. I couldn’t believe it, but I was already at the end of season 3! I had just finished “Charlie’s Angels- Season 4” on DVD and needed to bridge the gap until I could pick up the “Hawaii 5-0” series on DVD. “Mannix” and “Mission Impossible” wouldn’t be released until late October or early November so I have a lot of nights to fill.
Monday the 7th – HAPPY LABOR DAY! – Again, I slept really late. I picked up Sara and we went over to my friend Fred’s house to sit out by his pool. It was great since the weather was FINALLY cooling off…the heatwave was over. Chuck McCann, Randy Carver and his girlfriend Shelley were there too. We had a good time just chilling and enjoying the day. When I got home I took a nap on the couch for awhile, and then got up to spend all night doing auditions and preparing for the new week. I needed to go back to my dentist and have a crown removed (wasn’t looking forward to that!) because it was causing pain and it needed adjustment. I also had an appointment at Regenix coming up, the recording session for the final episode for season 1 of “Avengers,” another videogame session that would go about four hours, an elder’s meeting, plus Friday It’s a Wrap’s big Halloween sale launches. I want to be there first thing to see what they’ve got!
And how was YOUR week??!!