Archive for August, 2011

August 29 – September 5 (2011)



In all honesty, the song I’ve been humming the most this past week has been the country song I’ve been working on with my pal Alex. But since that’s not ready for public consumption yet, here’s the other one I’ve been humming. 4 Non Blondes and “What’s Up?”

Monday the 29th – AAAAAAND WE’RE BACK! – I started the day at Disney Character Voices doing a few lines for a new videogame. The microphone they had in the studio was taken from the Disney movie studio. Its home had been in one of the soundstages and all I kept thinking while I was recording was…”WHO KNOWS WHAT LEGENDS RECORDED ON THIS MICROPHONE!?” It was very cool. The session didn’t last too long, only about 20 minutes, and I was then on my way to Buzzy’s in Hollywood for another Garfield recording session. While we were recording “The Garfield Show,” Leonard Nimoy was in the studio down the hall recording something. It was cool seeing him in the next studio. We had another great session, doing one of the cartoon in almost one complete take! What a talented group of performers we have! But when our session was over the great Laraine Newman was asking Buzzy’s receptionist about a car that was blocking hers in. Come to find out it was Leonard Nimoy’s car! I laughed…ONLY in Hollywood would you have a legendary alum from “SNL” doing car choreography in a parking lot with Mr. Spock from “Star Trek!” Hilarious! I headed over to my former mail box to give back the keys. I was closing my old box because it just wasn’t convenient any more. They had reduced their hours of operation and were closed by the time I got finished with “The Tonight Show.” Plus, on many occasions, they would just close arbitrarily in the middle of the afternoon for an hour. Of course it was always the one hour I had available to come pick up my packages! Other times it was very difficult getting them on the phone. So I decided to get another box at a place with longer hours and on my way to NBC. So I got everything settled with the old mailbox and I was on my way home. I grabbed a few of my guns, my Walther PPK-S and my Smith & Wesson .357, and went to Guns Direct to drop them off to have them cleaned. Then I headed over to NBC for the taping of “TTS.” It was good to be back after two weeks off. Though I made a small mistake in my introduction. The line was “…and end of summer bargains from the 99 cent store.” I did it right in rehearsal, but for some reason I said “and ends of summer bargains from the 99 cent store.” Not sure how that extra little s got in there, but I guess I got rusty during our two weeks off. It was no big deal though. We just re-recorded it at the end of the show and all was good. I try to do it right each time, but about once every six months I make a little flub. Oh well, I’m human I guess. I got home and took a little nap. Then I was up later that night doing stuff around the house and getting back into the swing of things. I started watching the old British TV show “The Saint” starring Roger Moore at night, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit!

Tuesday the 30th – THE DUDE! – Around noon I was headed over to P.O.P. Studios in Santa Monica to record some more for Old Navy TV commercials. I had to make sure my tongue was in perfect working order today, because the scripts were pretty demanding. Lots of words to say in a short amount of time, but I love a good challenge! We got what they needed and I was off to Arby’s for a delicious roast beef sandwich. Then I hit the road for home. I checked some e-mails and then headed over to NBC. The guest on “TTS” was Jeff Bridges! He’s always great on the show and I had just recently seen “The Big Lebowski” for the first time a few weeks ago. NOW I understand what they’re talking about when they discuss “Lebowski” on the show. That evening I had dinner with my pals Sara and Edi, and Edi’s kids. I got some groceries and then went home to watch more of “The Saint.”

Wednesday the 31st – AN-I-MAL! AN-I-MAL! – Well, almost anyway. I can’t believe another summer has come and gone so quickly! Christmas is just around the corner! I woke up early to record two bits for “TTS” in my home studio, then I went back to bed. I got up around noon and went to Voice Trax West for another U.S. Airways session. It was a long session as we had to work on pronunciations for Moscow’s two airports…dahm-uh-DEH-da-va and share-uh-MET-yuh-va. I drove over to Radio Shack to buy another portable recording device. These are made by Olympus and are GREAT. They hold about 82 hours of recordings, have a built-in microphone and are the size of a large cigarette lighter. I’ve been recording stories, thoughts, feelings and opinions on my other recorder to save for future generations. How often I wish a recording device like this would have been around when my grandparents were young. I would love to sit and listen to their stories, adventures and thoughts as they went through life. So for any future descendants I figured I’d record some audio files. The idea is to record until the recorder is full, then transfer them over to a computer, then wipe the recorder and record some more. But the more I think about it, who knows what the formats for audio will be in the future? So my plan is to transfer the files over to my computer, save them on a separate external hard drive, but NOT erase them from the recorder! Audio formats may come and go in the future, but if the files still exist on the device upon which they were recorded, then anyone can figure out how to push a PLAY button. So not only will I keep a back-up on hard drive, but the original recordings will stay on the device. I’ll just keep buying more devices. They’re reasonably priced so why not? I had purchased a lavalier microphone awhile back to use for these recordings. That way I could clip the microphone to my shirt and keep talking away. But the little plastic cover over the ON/OFF button came off and it became really confusing. Without the cover on, when you push the switch towards ON it was off. And when you pushed the button towards OFF it was actually on! Very confusing and illogical. Unfortunately I found this out too late. After making several recordings, thinking that the mic was on, I realized that it was just chunks off blank space. So I clearly marked the ON/OFF functions on the microphone and continued on. I’ll have a clearer idea of what files are blank when I start downloading them to my computer. Boy, what a stupid design for a microphone! So just to be safe, I’ve been recording with the microphone contained within the recording unit itself. It’s my goal to record an entry at least once a week and recount all of the pertinent stories for the week, with additional anecdotes and stories. Who knows when/if these will ever be listened to???!!! But at least they’re recorded. Today at “TTS” it was a personal thrill. Animal from “The Muppets” was going to be guest drummer with the group OK GO. Miss Piggy did a bit for the “cold opening” for the show which was GREAT! Though I didn’t get to see Miss Piggy in person, I did get to see Animal getting set up at the drum kit before the song. As a Muppet fan since the third grade, this was a DREAM COME TRUE! As well as a personal professional milestone to get to introduce a Muppet in the show opening. I walked over to the stage where Animal was setting up at the drums. He saw me and must’ve thought I looked like an enchanted five year old, because he gave me the thumbs up. I returned the thumbs up and went back to the booth to watch the show. FUN! Later my sinus headache was returning again so I laid down for a nap. I don’t know why this has been going on for so long, but I don’t think the present course of action I’m taking, under guidance from my ENT, is working all that well. I want this to end! When I woke up I recorded some auditions in my home studio to e-mail to my agents.

Thursday the 1st – THE FALL IS NEAR! – I woke up after a nice dream about Sassie. She was resting on some front steps of a house, just sitting there looking around. I was walking down the sidewalk and saw her and ran up to her and pet her. I told her how much I missed her but she seemed very happy and well. I woke up feeling good. Ahhhh September 1st…soon it will be fall. But I feel that we’ll have some hot weather to get through first. It’s been a very mild summer here in L.A. for the most part, but I think we’ll be getting our obligatory 100+ degree temp days this month. Then in October it’ll probably settle back down. I was on the road heading back to Santa Monica for more Old Navy at P.O.P. studios. When I was finished I went home, changed clothes, and went to NBC to record a comedy bit for “TTS.” Then I went out to get lunch and headed back to the taping, which was scheduled to start early today. I think Jay had a gig in San Francisco that he had to get to that night. That guy just never stops working. There’s no stopping him! I wish I had his energy! (and his car collection!) I got home after the taping and took a nap. When I got up I did some auditions, made some of my famous spaghetti (the secret is putting diced Summer Sausage and a cupful of Parmesan cheese into the Ragu sauce!) and watched an episode of “Baretta.” I had finished the one disc of “The Saint” episodes my friend Deverill loaned me, and until I got some more I figured I’d watch the new fourth season “Baretta” episodes my pal Bob just gave me. The fourth season of “Baretta” is the toughest one to find. It was never released officially, so the best you’ll do is find recordings made from TV. I’ve seen every “Baretta” episode from season 1 through 3, but only about 1/3 of the episodes from the fourth season. So as they trickle in I’ll check them out, and hopefully the remaining episodes will find their way to me eventually.

Friday the 2nd – HALLOWEEN! – I originally had planned on attending the It’s a Wrap Halloween sale, which started today, from it’s opening at 10am. I normally get in line around 9:40 and wait for it to open to have first grabs at the goodies that were just released. But I got to bed so late I figured I’d pass on it and sleep in. But I woke up at 9am anyway. I figured since I was up I may as well go. But when I woke up I immediately knew what my Halloween costume was going to be. And it was PERFECT! In fact, I don’t know why I hadn’t done it in the past. It was SO logical and obvious. However, I’m NOT going to reveal it to anyone until Halloween. So SHHHHH. I got to the sale but didn’t really find anything too cool, unlike in years past. I found a couple of Captain’s hats, a hat that looked a lot like a Baretta hat, a pair of knee-high, high-heeled black boots that fit me perfectly, and a couple of gun holsters. One was a shoulder holster that fits my .38 special perfectly! My pal Bob met up with me and gave me a collection of DVDs of all the color episodes of “The Saint.” Woo hoo! I was back in business! I got some Taco Bell on the way home and set about finding the elements for my Halloween costume on-line. I found the main element I needed and it was perfect, but high priced. So I did the “Make an Offer” feature on eBay, and my offer was accepted. Great! A few of the other elements I needed I already had in my collection, but this was going to be PERFECT! Now I just hope there are some good Halloween parties this year. I grabbed a quickie nap then went to another early taping of “TTS.” During my work with “The Jay Leno Show” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” I’ve gotten to introduce two First Ladies, a Vice President, and a former President. Today I added another Vice President to my list, as the guest was former V.P. Dick Cheney, who was on the show to promote his book. In fact, he walked right by me in the hallway. Something to tell the grandkids someday. I headed home to do some work at home and I started writing a new country song with my pal Alex Zsolt. It spawned from an idea we had when he and I were together driving in a car. During our conversation we hit on something really funny, and I thought we should write it into a country song. I explained how the story in the song would play out, and he set about thinking of melodies. Because the idea for the song is so hip, funny and modern, we’re not telling anyone about it until the song is completed, a demo is cut and we have secured all the necessary rights. I don’t want to go blabbing around and give somebody else the idea so they can write it first. But suffice to say it’s going to be VERY funny and edgy. We’re looking for a female country singer with attitude to cut it for the demo. I’m going to see if my pal Bruce Kulick will add some guitar licks to really dress it up. Alex lives in Nashville so it’s perfect. He can throw the song around in Nashville and see where it lands. I got so engrossed in writing the song, and I was really in a flow, that I realized I was running late to my friend Chuck McCann’s birthday party. I went over in the clothes I had been wearing all day…shorts, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a cap. But when I got to the party at Robano’s I realized I was woefully underdressed! In fact, I felt a lot like “The Dude” from “The Big Lebowski.” But the party was great. They had four big screens all playing different things Chuck had done in his career. It was great seeing the vast characters he had played, all side by side. They played his film “The Comeback Trail,” “The Projectionist,” his character demo of some of the commercials and characters he had done, as well as the new shorts he’s been filming. It really reminded me why I admire his work so much. After the party I wrote some more lyrics to the song, then started in on the new Saint DVDs my pal Bob gave me earlier in the day.

Saturday the 3rd – RESTFUL DAY 1! – Since I didn’t have any pressing matters for the next three days, my goal was to just sleep all day through Labor Day. I had to get up for a little while around 11 to let the maids in, but once they were finished I went back to bed. I had though I may go to the It’s a Wrap Halloween sale at their Beverly Hills location, but I had heard from friends that there wasn’t much good stuff there either. So I went back to bed. Boy was I glad I did! I slept until 4 or so. Then I got up and prepared everything for movie night. This weekend we’re doing two movie nights because of Labor Day. I figured with the recent release of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” it might be a good idea to go back to the source material. The original 5 films, all in a row. An ape-o-rama. A L-ape-or Day weekend celebration. We watched “Planet of the Apes” and then “Beneath the Planet of the Apes.” Watching these films brought back so many good memories, and I could almost taste the bubble gum in my mouth as I held a new pack of “Planet of the Apes” trading cards in my hands. I noticed lots of people having allergy problems, so maybe my sinus headaches I’ve been having again is all part of the deal. After everybody left I sat down and finished the lyrics to the country song!

Sunday the 4th – RESTFUL DAY 2! – Again I slept in all day, as planned. My pal Terry came over in the afternoon to start doing some work around the house. Which included working on patching a crack in my bathtub. But the stuff he used stunk up the house and it gave my pal Amanda a bad headache. We went to evening church but her headache was so bad she had to step out for awhile. After church we headed home and the house smelled awful. So I put fans in the windows to try and blow the smell out. I had guests coming for movie night and I didn’t want everyone getting sick. Luckily by the time they got there it was all better. We picked up where we left off with the “Planet of the Apes” films with “Escape from The Planet of the Apes.” Then it was “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” and finally “Battle for the Planet of the Apes.” I was aped out by the end of the evening, but I’m glad I got to see all the films again. It really tied some stuff together. Especially when you see them one after the other, certain continuity things in the story were made clearer. And I had picked up on some references to the other films that I hadn’t caught before. All in all it was a fun experience! At the end of the evening I watched another episode of “The Saint” and hit the hay.

Monday the 5th – RESTFUL DAY 3 – LABOR DAY! – Again I slept really late and it felt good. I hadn’t had the chance to sleep in like that in quite awhile. At the end of the day Terry came back to finish up some work, my pal Brittney stopped by for a bit, and my friend Alex was moving in from Phoenix today. So we all met up with her to welcome her to town with a big dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli. I only had one audition to do, so I did that and e-mailed it in. Then I watched another “Saint” episode and prepared for the upcoming week.

And how was YOUR week??!!!