Archive for September, 2013
September 30 – October 6
RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
WHAT’S HE DOING IN THE SUNLIGHT?! If you’re a fan of the original “Dark Shadows” TV series of the 60’s, you’ll love this shot. After the great Jonathan Frid (“DS” vampire Barnabas Collins) passed away a year ago last May, I acquired some mementos from Jonathan’s personal effects through his relatives. The major item was his personal silver wolf’s head cane he used at convention appearances. I also acquired a lot of family photos from his archives, including this one. I’m not sure of the location, but it’s obviously during a tropical vacation where Jonathan found himself parasailing over lush sands and rich blue waters. Jonathan’s family gave me permission to share these photos with his fans on-line, so little by little I’m featuring them here on my website. This is the fourth one I’ve featured so far, and I have seven more that I’ll be posting over time. If you’re a fan of Jonathan’s, feel free to share and enjoy!
Just before dinner last Sunday evening Edi was playing her Looking Glass CD in her car, and one of my favorite songs of theirs came up on her player. And since it’s very catchy, I’ve had it in my head ever since. (I especially like when the violins come in during the last part of the song…VERY 70’s sounding!) This is called “Wait” from the early 70’s band Looking Glass, and I highly recommend that you pick up “The Complete Works of Looking Glass” on CD very soon!
Monday the 30th – WHATCHA GOT? – That’s how I answered the hotline in my bedroom when my agent woke me up at 11am to let me know there was a “Tonight Show” script in my inbox. I must’ve been having a dream or something, because that’s an odd way of answering the phone. The writers wanted to do a bit with a Clint Eastwood sound-alike, so I listened to the reference they sent me of the “It’s Half-Time” commercial Clint did, and I sent them over an audio file. They also wanted the same script done in a normal voice, so I gave them two options. They called back and said there was a second script for me to do. I was really excited to jump on the bicycle and head to work because it was a beautiful day, but by the time they called me to record the second bit it was getting too late. It would be cutting it much too close. Rats! I got to work and did the show, and then I headed over to Target to pick up some large sealable plastic bins for my underground storage area. I had stacked some boxes in there but once I got to thinking about it, I figured if there was ever a water leak the boxes wouldn’t make it. And all of the belongings inside would be ruined. I have lots of scripts and paper goods in there, so keeping them water safe was imperative. I bought 8 bins that each had a 66 quart capacity. I’ll try those out and if they work well, I’ll probably need to pick up another 20 or so. I grabbed some food at the Wendy’s drive-thru and headed home. Just as I got home my pal Genta texted me to meet her for dinner at the Studio Cafe. I hadn’t seen her in awhile so it was good to catch up. When we finished dinner I got home and did my auditions, and did some work around the house. I fed and walked Roxy and then got ready for bed. I had an early session on Tuesday morning so I needed to turn in early.
Tuesday the 1st – HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN ONE DAY! – It was early to rise for me as I was due at Warner Brothers in Burbank at 10 to do a videogame session. I can’t say any more about it, but it was a great time. And though I was booked for a 3 hour session they only really needed me for one hour. Which is great because I could find my pal James who works in Post-Production Services and hang out on the lot with him. We had lunch and did some shopping in the Warner stores. I bought a few Elvis t-shirts for my pal Edi, and a Blu Ray of the HBO-produced Liberace bio-pic. I had heard great things about it, so I wanted to check it out. I had some time before my next session to head home and walk Roxy. There were a few last-minute auditions in my inbox, so I turned those around and sent them in to my agents. Then I went over to Voice Trax West to do a commercial for an east coast pizza company called Marco’s Pizza. I played the voice of Provolone cheese. Voice Over is always a wonderful and surprising journey. You can say with a totally straight face that you just got done playing the role of Provolone Cheese as an italian operatic tenor. So between the videogame, the last-minute auditions and the Marco’s Pizza spot, I had already been about 6 different characters. And the day was only half over! I stopped by CVS pharmacy to get some supplies and then headed off to “TTS” early to hang out. As I sat in the audio booth relaxing the day had started to catch up with me. I got really tired. I actually slept in the chair for a few minutes enjoying a little catnap. I did a comedy bit for Anthony Caleca, one of the writers, and then did the opening of the show. At the end of the day I collected up all my personalities and voices and headed home. I came home and played with Roxy for a little bit with her favorite tennis ball. Then I went inside to feed Spook. I checked my e-mails, did some work around the house, got a few more of my voices and personalities out to play again to record some more auditions, and took a nice relaxing swim and a dip in the Jacuzzi. I was so relaxed I fell right asleep on the couch. In fact, it was a four hour nap! When I got up I did some more work around the house, and fed and walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood. It was a cloudy, overcast night so we couldn’t see many stars. I did some more work on the computer, and then made a Wally Super Salad and headed to bed to enjoy another episode of “Kojak” from the Season Four DVD set. And just before I dozed off, I caught a few episodes of “The Garfield Show” on Boomerang at 6am! It’s fun to see the episodes on TV once they’re finished. Some I don’t even really remember doing because we recorded the voice tracks for them so long ago. But some I do remember, and they hold fond memories.
Wednesday the 2nd – WHAT BECAME OF BRANDY?! – A series of hotline calls came in late morning so I got up to do some bits for “TTS.” I tried to get back to bed to sleep some more, but the hotline kept ringing. I figured it was time to get my butt outta bed and start the day. Shortly after noon I swung by Voicecasters in Burbank to do an audition for a TV commercial. I hit McDonald’s fast for some quick drive-thru and then headed towards Studiopolis to do a few episodes of “Naruto.” I have a character on the show that recurs in frequently, so it’s always fun to go in and work with voice director and actress Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. I’ve actually known her for almost 20 years, when we first met at “The Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue” at Universal Studios Hollywood. I was Beetlejuice and she played the Bride of Frankenstein. She can really belt out those ballads! We finished the session at 3 and I headed over to NBC to check in for “TTS.” I’m glad I arrived a little earlier than my usual call-time because I recorded a comedy bit for writer Rob Young. We taped the show and I drove home. I fed Spook and walked Roxy. I did a few of the auditions that were in my inbox and got ready for a special dinner. I was meeting with my new pal Elliot Lurie, the lead singer of the 70’s band Looking Glass. Hopefully you remember how my obsession with the music of Looking Glass began (if not, review the past several weeks’ worth of Wally’s Week!), so it’s always fun talking to Elliot about how the band’s creative process worked. Plus, my pal Edi was coming by to meet Elliot, as her favorite song of all-time is “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).” She was elated. Even her daughter Ems was impressed. We also got to meet Elliot’s daughter Ally, and we all had a great time chatting and munching on some of Jerry’s Famous Deli’s finest delicacies. As we were walking in, my pal Bruce Kulick and his fiance Lisa were just walking out. I was jazzed that Bruce got to meet Elliot as they’re both terrific musicians, but from different musical backgrounds. During the conversation Edi and I asked Elliot, “So what became of Brandy?” If you recall, the song ends with poor Brandy pining away for a man who was more enamored with the sea than the love of a good woman. Unrequited love at its musical best. Elliot thought for a second and smiled…”She ran for Mayor of the town and won, and married a hot 30 year old guy.” Edi chimed in, “And she now owns the bar she used to work at!” Elliot loved the idea. And I chimed in, “But she still wears the braided silver chain with the locket around her neck, and when her husband asks her ‘ What’s that?’ she coyly smiles and says…’Oh…nothing.” Good Lord I think we have a sequel! What a fun dinner! I asked him what the name on the locket was. What was the sailor’s name? He wouldn’t answer with anything other than, “It doesn’t matter.” (But I HAD to know!) Elliot said that the song was written about a girlfriend of his named Randy (but Randy didn’t sound good in a song) who didn’t understand why he had to run off and be a musician, touring the country, instead of staying home and being with her. He said the whole song is a metaphor for a musician who has to decide between life with a good woman, or life on the road as a working musician. He also explained that the whole “sailor and sea” thing was a much more interesting story than “musician leaves girl to play music.” I agreed. “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” is one of the greatest story songs of all time! I went home and finished up my auditions, then grabbed a quick nap on the couch. When I got up I did some work around the house, fed and walked Roxy, scanned some checks to get a bank deposit ready, and did some Planet Wallywood, Inc. bookwork. Ugh. I hit the hay and called it a day.
Thursday the 3rd – DOGGIE DOWNERS? – Roxy and Spook ganged up on me and woke me up at noon. Roxy was very hyperactive and jumped up and off the bed. Spook soon joined in by jumping on the bed, and walking all over my sleepy body. As I grumbled I got out of bed and walked Roxy. Despite how I was feeling about them, I gave them both a treat. I got a text from NBC to record a bit for “TTS” in my home studio, so I headed back inside, recorded it, sent it in and got ready for work. I hit the Taco Bell drive-thru for lunch, and then stopped at the bank to make a deposit. I dropped into It’s a Wrap to see if they had any great specials yet on their Halloween inventory, and then I headed over to the “TS” studio to enjoy my lunch in my car. I got inside and got my script, rehearsed the opening, and then opened the show. After we wrapped I found my pal Scott Zillner and his girlfriend and her mother in the audience. I brought them backstage afterwards and showed them around. I drove home anticipating a free evening by myself. My assistant Sara dropped by to finish up some work, then I walked Roxy, took a nice relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi and came inside to nap on the couch. I set my alarm for 11:30pm so I could get up and record the audio of “TTS.” I had three bits airing on the show and I wanted to make sure and grab them. I’m in the process of putting together a demo of some of the work I had done at the show over the past four years. So if I know a specific bit aired, I try to get the audio pulled off the air and on to a CD-R for future editing. I started pulling stuff from my collection that I want to have autographed that Saturday at the Hollywood Collector Show. I did some work on the computer, fed and walked Roxy, and then turned in to watch another “Kojak” episode.
Friday the 4th – YAHOO SUCKS! – After I got a hotline call at 11am informing me about a “TS” bit that needed to be recorded, I got up and noticed that Roxy had peed on the marble in my vanity area. I guess I’m not going to be able to leave her water dish down during the night any longer. Luckily it was on the marble and an easy clean. Since Yahoo e-mail took us Classic Mail users hostage last June and forced us to switch over to their “new and improved” (more like “screwed and unproved”!) e-mail interface, I’ve had nothing but troubles. Apparently the “geniuses” at Yahoo didn’t test their new program very well before heaping it upon poor unsuspecting users like myself. My pal Edi told me about a number she called to get help with Yahoo mail. I knew they had forms that you could fill out on-line, but I had never heard of an actual phone number where you could talk to a real person! So I called it. A guy named Edd with a strong Indian accent came on the line. He asked to be able to look into my computer via an on-line program like Team Viewer. I started asking him a bunch of questions about Yahoo and he just kind of side-stepped them. I told him about all the unresponsive buttons on the new interface, but once he was into my mail all he did was click around from folder to folder, not really accomplishing anything. He showed me all sorts of error messages and started drawing circles around them with his red digital marker, showing me all of the problem areas. He explained that somebody in a foreign country had gained unauthorized access to my Yahoo account, hacking my computer looking for banking info. He said that they were hijacking all the info that my modem was sending back and forth to computer. He kept circling all sorts of random technical-looking sentences and error messages and he said, “Oh dear…OH DEAR!” Now I’ve dealt with a lot of computer techs in my day and not one of them EVER said “Oh dear” or acted like this. I sensed some fear-mongering going on! I also smelled a scam. Considering that I had asked him a lot of Yahoo questions like…if this isn’t Yahoo’s fault, then how come all of my problems started right around the time of the switchover in June?…that he wasn’t answering. I tested him by asking him if he could look up the date I first signed up for Yahoo mail. He sidestepped the questions and was adamant that it wasn’t Yahoo’s fault, but rather those who were hijacking my system. He wanted to put me over to talk to a “certified Microsoft technician” to clear up my problem. He went on to explain lots of overly technical stuff in a rapid and mostly unintelligible way. I knew I was being suckered. I started snapping photos on my digital camera of the web pages he was bringing up. When he got to the page where there were repair packages offered by the “certified Microsoft technician” I knew the game was up. They said that they would diagnose everything and get everything cleared up. I wanted to show this to Julio my new computer guy and get his take on it. When the guy pressured me to pick a package of repair options I told him I was unable to do anything without my computer guy’s consent. I told them I would call them back later. I terminated the call and realized it was all a scam. I immediately called Edi and told her to NEVER call that number again. Her friend Chris Googled the number and found out that it was indeed a scam. I restarted my computer in case they were still trying to access it, and I severed the connection by shutting off the modem for the rest of the afternoon. Boy, there are really evil people out there waiting to take advantage of people all the time. Good thing I’m older and wiser now, as I started to smell a rat almost right away. I mean, a guy from India named Edd? Really? (Sidebar: As I was writing this entry in my Yahoo mail to send to my webmaster Scott, Yahoo mail erased a good portion of my entry and took me back to a sign-in page when I tried to delete a superfluous sentence. When I went back to what I was writing, a ton of stuff I had just written was gone. GONE! I’m washing my hands of Yahoo this week if it’s the last thing I do! What horrible junk Yahoo mail has turned into!) When my computer came back up I did full virus scans of the entire system to make sure nothing lingered from those idiots. What a waste of a perfectly good afternoon! I got ready and headed into work. Once I got to NBC I went to the world-famous NBC Commissary and saw two very attractive ladies (in full hair and make-up) getting food from the counter and heading to their seats. I said, “Wow! Models really DO eat!” They laughed and said, “Yes we do!” I asked them if they were dancers on the show and they said they were back-up singers for Nelly, who was the musical guest on the show that day. We chatted for a bit, I got my sandwich and headed over to the stage. I wished them a “good show” and I was on my way. On Fridays we normally tape an hour earlier at 3pm, but there was a technical glitch with one of the consoles, so we had to delay the taping to 3:15. My pal Grigg from Detroit was at the show with a few friends, so I ran out to the audience to say hi to them. After we wrapped I went out and got them and brought them backstage to get the tour. They got to say hi to Jay in the hallway, and the two singers for Nelly were in the hall as well. I said to them, “Great job!” One of them ran over to me, threw her arms around me and gave me a great big hug! Grigg and his friends must’ve thought at that point that I had the greatest job in the world! I found out her name was LaTrell, but her friends all call her Munchie. I said, “Well, you’re not short so I know that name isn’t based on being like a Munchkin, so…” She said, “Yup, it’s because of my eating habits!” I said, “But you’re so thin, how do you do it?” She said she works out constantly. She certainly was a perfect vision of beauty. I told her that someday I’d probably see her when she had her OWN record deal and was singing solo. She said, “Then you can say HI MUNCHIE and everyone will wonder what you’re talking about!” We had a good laugh, and she walked out of my life. If you’d like to see her perform, go to “The Tonight Show” website and look up the musical guest from Friday October 4th. On the way home I stopped by the dry cleaners to test some fabric. The heavy cotton twill fabric I had printed with the famous Tony Clifton orange damask pattern (scanned from an original 70’s tuxedo jacket) would work out fine for Tony tux jackets. But I needed to color test them to make sure they wouldn’t fade. So I cut off a quarter of the piece of fabric I had printed, and gave the rest to the dry cleaner. When it’s cleaned and I pick it up, I’ll compare it to the swatch I kept that wasn’t dry cleaned. And if there’s no color loss, then the fabric will work for jackets! I drove my Mustang through the parking lot of Bob’s Big Boy in Toluca Lake so I could see all of the cool classic cars that are there every Friday afternoon. I picked up my mail at my mailbox and headed home to feed Spook and walk Roxy. Then I hopped on my bike and headed to my hairstylist’s to get a cut and color. I wanted to have her trim the ends and freshen up my jet black, which had faded a little. When I got home I showered and waited for Edi and Brittney to come over to pick me up for dinner. We had a great evening of entertainment and Italian food at Miceli’s by Universal Studios. My friend Genta joined us as well. With all that pasta, and the long day I had, I was feeling pretty bushed. I went home and organized my stuff for the autograph show the next day. Since I was going to get up early, I didn’t watch my usual Friday night episode of “The Saint” on DVD.
Saturday the 5th – BO KNOWS! – Though my alarm was set for 10:00, I woke myself up at 9:45. I walked Roxy and got ready to go pick Sara up for the Hollywood Collector Show down by LAX airport at the Westin Hotel. I had a few things I wanted Bo Derek to sign, who was one of the big draws that day, but most importantly I wanted her to sign a poster I’ve had of her since I was 18. The edges are a little tattered (complete with thumbtack holes where it attached to my bedroom wall) but it was overall still in pretty good shape. Though 33 years have passed since she starred in “10” she looked phenomenally beautifully. In fact, she actually got BETTER looking. That’s right! She’s now a 12! She was very pleasant and we discovered we had a few mutual friends. Some of the James Bond girls were there, so I was able to add about 6 autographs to my Bond 50 Blu Ray booklet. Cindy Morgan signed my “Caddyshack” Bushwood Country Club hat, and I bought Julie Newmar’s new book called “The Conscious Catwoman!” I enjoyed talking with Kevin Dobson about “Kojak” and he had a ton of funny stories. Since the fourth season episodes were fresh in my mind, I asked him about specific things in that season. He’s a great guy. My pal Grigg from Detroit was there with his girlfriend so we all grabbed lunch at the Daily Grill in the hotel while I waited for my photo op with Bo Derek. They were running a bit behind so I had time to give my lunch a leisurely finish. I also saw my pal Mark Evanier, Producer, Writer and Voice Director of “The Garfield Show.” He said the fifth season has been announced by the production company, but he didn’t have a firm start date. It’ll be great to get back to it and see everybody. I’ve missed my castmates! My friend Emily joined us for lunch too, as all five of us crowded into the tiny booth. I got a text from my pal Bryan that the line was forming for the Bo Derek photo op. So I wiped the mustard off my mustache, rinsed my teeth and headed over to get a shot with Bo. The photo op was brief, but it was the greatest 12 seconds of my life. I took one final lap around the dealer’s room to look at the merchandise, and I saw something that immediately grabbed my eye. It looked like a vintage-style Brooks Robinson jersey. It had B. Robinson on the back with Brooks’ famous number 5 in orange. And it looked like the signature of the famous Baltimore Orioles third basemen right by the number on the back. During the 10 minutes of my life when I was actually into sports, I was an ardent admirer of Mr. Robinson’s. I had met him when I was 10 in Minneapolis at a Minnesota Twins game. I used to write him a fan letter every week, and I would get back hand-signed color postcards. But one time I put my artistic skills to work and drew him a hand-drawn birthday card. He sent me back a personal letter on Orioles stationery! It’s still one of my prized possessions! So I knew Brooks Robinson’s signature VERY well. And the autograph on the jersey looked VERY legitimate. The lady at the table didn’t really know what she had. She said it was Brooks’ jersey. But after closer inspection I saw a tag inside that said Cooperstown Collection, size Medium. Officially assigned Major League Baseball jerseys wouldn’t have that tag, nor would it say Medium. They are categorized by chest sizes…40, 42, 44, or in Boog Powell’s case…56! So I told her it wasn’t actually his jersey, but I asked about the autograph. Where was it obtained? She said the guy she bought it from acquired it at a golf tournament. Though I’m not longer the least bit interested in sports, I do occasionally check up on the whereabouts of Brooks Robinson, and I know that he attends golf tournaments when his health allows. (He’s been battling cancer for a few years now) I was expecting her asking price to be astronomical, but when she told me how much she paid the guy for it, and that she just wanted to make her money back, I knew I had to have it. I whipped out the cash and handed it over, and took the jersey and left. Awesome! I texted a picture of it to my old pal Bob Japs in Minnesota (who was ALSO a huge BR fan when we were growing up in Aberdeen, South Dakota) and he asked if there was another one for sale. Unfortunately, I had already left the show, and unfortunately there wasn’t. But after looking around on eBay for something similar to it, I found a LOT of signed BR jerseys in all sorts of styles through the generations. But this vintage-looking jersey was my particular favorite. Though I’ve never been able to find one like it anywhere on the web! (Sidebar: You may be wondering why I was a Baltimore Orioles fan when I was living in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Shouldn’t I be a Minnesota Twins fan growing up? The local baseball team in Aberdeen was the Pheasants. And they were a minor league for the Baltimore Orioles. So Bob and I would go to games and see players that would eventually head to the Orioles after they had proven themselves with a good playing record.) I saw Orioles great Paul Blair play in MANY a game in Aberdeen! Ahhhh, those were the days! My Bo Derek photo hadn’t been printed yet, and I needed to head out. So my pal James agreed to pick it up for me and bring it to movie night that night. I drove home, inventoried all of my treasures from the day, and got a quick nap. Sara came over at 7 with food for movie night, and she cleaned up Planet Wallywood a little before guests arrived. It was a fun movie night with a FULL house! We watched “The Bride of Frankenstein” on Blu Ray. We’re getting into the Halloween spirit by watching classic monster movies between now and the 31st. After my guests left I grabbed some paper towels and 409 and headed to the Chaney Room. When I was giving my friend Alex’s boyfriend a tour earlier I noticed that the main display case in the Chaney Room was pretty dusty. So I took out all of the collectibles, delicately washed them down with water, and cleaned the glass shelves with 409. Then I replaced all of the collectibles and rearranged them to my liking. A resin Lon Chaney garage kit was covered with dust and needed a good wash, as did the original make-up kit belonging to “Willy Wonka” actor Leonard Stone. Though it took a few hours, it was time well spent. It looks fabulous now! I did a little work on the computer, logged in the autographs I had acquired during the afternoon, and got ready for my usual “Saturday Night Salad and Saint” just before bed. I fed and walked Roxy, and it was VERY chilly out! On the sidewalk just outside my house, I saw a small dark lump. From the silhouette it looked like a dead sparrow. Roxy was quite interested in it, but I pulled her away. Some cat was bound to come upon it and eat it and tear it apart. So I took my little gardening spade, dug a nice deep hole under the hedges outside my place, and buried the little guy. I wonder what could have killed him?
Sunday the 6th – IT’S A DOG CHASE DOG WORLD! – Sleeping all day on a Sunday is one of my favorite things to do. I woke myself up at 3:45 (what’s with my body clock this week…it’s working TOO well!) and took Roxy outside. It was a beautiful day and she found two other little dogs to play with…Ridley and Fern. Ridley actually “smiles” when he sees you, and Fern is not quite a year old. She’s a wiry little chihuahua who loves for Roxy to chase her around the courtyard. But Fern is really fast, and when she gets going she’s virtually a blur. I told her owner that I know where the artists at Warner got the idea for Speedy Gonzales. I got ready for evening church and walked over. It was a beautiful evening. Edi and Ems showed up and joined me at church. When it was finished we went back to my house to wait for Amanda so we could go to dinner. We went over to the Coral Café and had a terrific dinner while we caught up on the news of the week. I stopped at the dry cleaners and got my Tony Clifton fabric, and it didn’t fade a bit! We’re in business! I have four yards of the fabric coming and I’m going to make a prototype tuxedo jacket. I went home and grabbed a quick nap on the couch, then got up to do auditions and e-mail them into my agent. I fed and walked Roxy, and came inside to bake a Tombstone pizza and watch another episode of “The Saint.”
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK