Archive for October 5th, 2009

October 5 – October 11 (2009)

Monday the 5th – MANIC MONDAY! – Wow was this day nuts! It started off with an early morning drive to Santa Monica and Big Joe Sound on 2nd Street. I was hired to do a couple of radio spots for Domino’s Pizza in the character of a big-voiced, rock and roll announcer. The “regular guy” role in the spot was played by my old pal Chris Cox, who plays Hawkeye in the new “Avengers” animated series. So here was Ant Man and Hawkeye doing commercials for pizza. It was great. It’s versatility like this that makes me love this business so much. Chris and I had a great time, but the session went a little longer than I had thought. I told my pal and computer wizard Scott Sebring that I would be home around 1 so we could work on some issues I was having with my computer. Well, the session went so long, and the traffic was so horrible, that I didn’t make it home until 2! Add to that, that I had to be at NBC at 3:15 for the Leno Show. They needed me earlier than usual so I could pre-record some intros for the 10 @ 10 segment. So Scott and I didn’t get very much work done. He worked while I was away doing the Leno show, and then when I finished I met he and his wife Vickie for dinner at Paty’s in Toluca Lake. We determined that my issues were big enough to necessitate me calling Make It Work to fix them. Ugh.

Tuesday the 6th – RUN RUN RUN! – In the morning I was back up early and headed back to Santa Monica. This time to do some more voicework on a videogame. I had done work on this game’s prequels, but this time my characters seem to have a lot more to say and do. The session was scheduled for four hours and I knew it was going to be long and hard. But it was made even more difficult by the fact that every mouth noise was grounds for scrapping a take entirely. No matter how good it was in its acting and style. Apparently, the parent company in Japan scrutinizes these lines for every little mouth noise they can hear. And quite frankly it was getting irritating. I told the director that having worked in hundreds of videogames, this was the only company who did this. Most of your better studio engineers can easily take out mouth sounds, clicks, wind, etc. with their digital editing programs. After having done “Family Guy,” “Invader Zim,” “Garfield,” “Avengers,” and tons of other animated projects, I can honestly say that this has never happened to this minute degree before. Obviously there are going to be takes where there are huge pops into the mic, or gurgles, or clicks, and obviously those need to be addressed. But the scrutiny was getting so exact that it actually started affecting my acting. And my enthusiasm about continuing. I was thinking so much about clicks and other minor mouth noises, that the acting was taking a backseat to the process. And that’s never good. When you start having to second guess your reads because of things that should be able to be fixed by the post-production sound engineer, your natural instincts as an actor are sacrificed. Yes, this was a long, tedious and frustrating session. But, they happen every now and then. But it was finally over. Being Tuesday, I went to Laser Blazer in West L.A. to pick up some new DVDs. Then I briefly went by It’s a Wrap to see if they had any new wardrobe items. But time was running out. It was getting close to the time I needed to be at NBC for the Leno show and I was still all the way down in Beverly Hills! Luckily, I made it back to the Burbank area just in time for the show. After the show I went home and relaxed. What a day! My friend Ginny came by to do some auditions in my home studio.

Wednesday the 7th – WILD WEDNESDAY! – I went to Studiopolis in Burbank just before noon to do some voice tracks as Mikhail in the “Blue Dragon” anime series. Then I stopped by the bank to deposit some checks. I got my cat Spooky over to the groomer’s to get his nails trimmed, and then I got set to go to the Leno show. But first I had to call Ticketmaster to exchange my tickets to the Pee Wee Herman Show. If you’ve ever had to deal with Ticketmonopoly…I mean…Ticketmaster, you know what an aggravating experience it can be. No wonder people go to scalpers! Here’s the story in a nutshell. Pee Wee Herman is doing a live show in L.A. for 6 weeks. The show was set for mid-November through mid-December. I got tickets early for a Saturday night performance in December, and I lucked into third row center seats. Well, apparently the reaction to a new Pee Wee Herman stageshow was so immense, that they decided to move the show to a bigger theatre. GOOD FOR PEE WEE! As a long-time fan I was glad to see it shaping up to be such a huge success. Now, enter the boneheads at Ticketdisaster. They sent every ticketholder an e-mail explaining the situation. Everyone would get first dibs on the seats for the new show if they would simply call in and exchange their tickets for the old theatre, for tickets to the new theatre. Easy right? Well, not with Ticketdisaster! I called and talked to a guy named Walter who explained that he couldn’t do the exchange that day, but if I called back on Thursday they would take care of me. Fine. I would call in the morning to try and get good seats to the new show; hopefully equally as good as the ones I had before. Well, stay tuned. I made my way to the Leno Show and we had another great show. Jay is truly a master at what he does and it’s amazing to watch him work. It’s equally amazing to watch that top notch technical crew put the show together. The director and her crew are second to none! It’s pure poetry to watch it all come together from behind the scenes! I’m having such a great time on this show! When I was finished I dropped a comforter at the cleaners, and on the way home I got a call from the Make It Work people saying they could come by that night due to a last-minute cancellation. I took the appointment and met with Chris at my house. We tore my computer apart and found out that it was VERY dirty. He said the CD/DVD drives that were giving me trouble were filthy, but he reset them and they seemed to work again. But that night, after he left, things started acting weird. But it all worked out in the end and everything was good. I just need to get some new CD/DVD drives apparently.

Thursday the 8th – I tried calling Ticketdisaster again to arrange for my Pee Wee exchange, but the phone was busy. In fact it was busy all day! I realized that this was not going to be easy! It never is with a company like Ticketmaster. I tried all day, but all I got was busy signals! I ran out of time and had to get to work. The Leno show was terrific that day. Gerard Butler was the guest. Apparently he’s going to be hosting SNL soon, and was feeling a little nervous about it. During the commercial break, as I sat in the audio booth, it was great hearing Gerard asking Jay for advice about hosting SNL on the wireless microphones as they moved outside to do the Green Car Challenge. Though I didn’t meet him, Gerard seemed like a really nice guy! No wonder the girls go wild for him! When the show was over, I went over to Gun World and bought a new Beretta .380 caliber pistol. I’ve always liked their looks, but this one had a double column clip that held 10 bullets. After the 10 day waiting period I’ll get to pick it up and then I’m going to take it shooting to try it out at the range! On the way home I treated myself to a Round Table Pizza. YUM! That night Chuck McCann, my friend Sara and I went to get dessert at DuPar’s. Pumpkin Pie is back! YAAAAY! When I got home it was time to record some auditions in my home studio and hit the hay!

Friday the 9th – FRIDAY FRENZY! – I needed to be at the Leno show in the morning to pre-record some more voice tracks for comedy bits. It took about a half hour and then I went home. I tried Ticketdisaster again, and whattaya know!? Busy busy busy again! This was really sucky! I FINALLY got through after a half hour wait on hold, only to be told that everything I was told two days ago was wrong. Instead of doing a straight ticket exchange, they were now just issuing refunds to everybody. So you had to start from SCRATCH if you wanted to buy tickets! And guess what?! All the great seats were already gone! Well if they hadn’t opened up the tickets to the general public yet, and were only letting previous ticketholders in to get new tickets, HOW did all the good seats get taken so quickly for all the Saturday night dates, given the fact that these prior tickets were all for a SMALLER venue?! It didn’t make any sense. Of course none of the morons I spoke with on the phone could give me a straight answer. All I got was, “There’s a chain of command,” and “I’m unable to answer that,” and “Our computers aren’t able to bring up that information.” What a circus. Would somebody please create a company and put this horrible company out of business for good?! I finally got seats for the third row, off to the right, for a Tuesday night. Since I had to leave to be at a job in 5 minutes I told the bozo on the phone that I would take them. Ugh. I feel like writing a note to Paul Reubens to let him know how Ticketdisaster is screwing up his show! I barely made it to Voice Trax West in time to do another session for HH Gregg. This time, my character HH is singing Christmas carols. It was a fun session, and it’s always a good time to get to sing in a session. Since it takes a long time for the animation to be completed, it’s necessary to do these Christmas spots pre-Halloween. If you’d like to see some of the HH Gregg spots using the HH character, check out You Tube. They have lots.
Here’s two in particular… and
They’re really great spots! When I finished I ran into Chuck McCann who was just coming into VoiceTrax to do some auditions. I went downstairs and found my friend Andy dining with a few friends at the Italian restaurant below Voice Trax West. So I joined them. And when Chuck was finished he joined us too. It was a great lunch! Then I headed over to the Leno show and did my usual thing. Even though today was show #20, I still get a thrill driving on to the NBC lot in Burbank and walking into soundstage 11. I still have yet to meet Jay officially, but I’m sure the time will come. After the show I went home and rested a bit. Then my friend Michelle came over to have dinner and watch TV. That night I went on-line and bought two tickets to the Kandy Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion for October 24th. I told my son Zak that I would fly him out for the party. It’s something that we can share together and he’ll obviously never forget it as long as he lives, so it’ll be totally worth it, and a really great time! I can’t wait!

Saturday the 10th – HOLLYWOOD COLLECTOR’S SHOW! – I picked up Sara and headed to another autograph show in Burbank. I met Michelle there as well, and all three of us had a great time! Michelle wanted to meet Deep Roy, from “Never Ending Story,” one of her favorite movies. In fact, she has characters from “NES” tattooed all over her back. We got a great shot of Deep and Michelle holding up her signed photos. Then Sara met Sean Astin, got a signed “Lord of the Rings” picture and a photo taken with him. I was there to meet some of my favorite character actors from the 60’s and 70’s, and have them sign my “Mission Impossible” book. But while I was walking around I recognized a guy named John Diehl. He wasn’t signing, but was just hanging out with a friend. I asked if he was John and he said yes. We had a great conversation about one of my favorite movies he was in called “Angel,” about a 16 year old hooker on Hollywood Boulevard in 1984. I must’ve seen that film with my friend Scott Maguire about 20 times. John was also Cruiser in the movie “Stripes.” We had a great conversation, and his friend Bill Sea told me that he was in the original “Frankenstein” movie. He was the little kid in the opening shot looking down into the grave! I immediately went on the search for my friends from “Famous Monsters” who were there doing interviews. When I told Robert Aragon who Bill was and what he had done, he flipped! They turned the camera on and interviewed him immediately. Bill is 89 years old and had great recollections about working on the “Frankenstein” set and working with director James Whale! Michelle, Sara and I went to lunch nextdoor at the Daily Grill, and ran into my “Garfield” boss Mark Evanier and his pal Earl Kress. I asked them to join us, and we all had a great lunch together! Mark said he was writing some new episodes of “Garfield” that we’d be recording soon. After lunch, I also met the legendary Jackie Cooper. His line was very long and slow moving, but it was well worth the wait. Even though he had been signing all day, he was still just as pleasant at the end of the day. After the show I met Scott and Vickie Sebring at Fry’s Electronics to buy two new CD/DVD drives. Then I went home to straighten up Planet Wallywood to get ready for Blu Ray Trek Night! We watched a couple of great episodes and called it a night. I’m really looking forward to sleeping in very late on Sunday! Whew! What a week it’s been!

Sunday the 11th – SLEEP-IN SUNDAY! – By the time I awoke, I drearily looked at my clock and it said 2:15pm. Wow! I really needed that rest. I got up and played with the animals for awhile, did some stuff on-line and went to evening church. After that I met up with Sara for a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy an electric blanket. It’s getting chillier now that fall is upon us, and my old electric blanket just isn’t rockin’ my world. Then we went to the Counter to have dinner, and after that we went grocery shopping. Sara was pretty tired so she headed home. I spent the rest of the night working on stuff here at home, doing auditions, and getting prepared for the new week ahead. It’s promises to be another VERY busy one!

And how was YOUR week??!!