Archive for May, 2014

May 27 – June 1


My Tin Man of Oz bust finished by Jim Ojala, construction by Terry Crisp. Amazing!

This was the first song that came up on my iPad’s “Palm Springs” playlist as I was getting ready for an evening of star watching in the desert sky. Somehow it fit just perfectly! William Orbit’s “To Have and Not To Hold” really strikes a mood!

Tuesday the 27th – ON FINAL APPROACH! – By the time I got up at 2pm it was already a very warm day. I walked Roxy and let her sunbathe for a bit, then I came back inside to make phone calls and do busy work.  I got in touch with my two animation agents and finalized my new 2014 Animation Demo.  This was the last demo that needed to be done in my new 9 demo promo package! Whew! They signed off on the characters included and the order in which they were presented, and I sent the tracks over to my pal Scott Sebring for final sweetening and editing.  Then I got on-line and ordered up 100 little flash drives inscribed with my name, agency and website.  All of my new demos, my headshots and actor reel will be contained on this little drive that I’ll send out in the promo package next week.  I sent some e-mails to random people, then I sat down to write Wally’s Week.  I called for an appointment to get new tires for my car and an alignment (before I drove to Palm Springs for the weekend) and my assistant Sara arrived with my mail from my box.  My cool new action figure arrived from My Face On a!  You send them photos of yourself from all angles, then they have a computer carve your likeness for an 8” figure on a color 3-D printer!  You can choose from a wide variety of clothes to adorn it with.  I took a brief dinner break and Sara and I went to Little Toni’s to get some food.  I saw my old pal Audrey  Wasilewski  there just finishing up her dinner.  We caught up and chatted.  When I got home I took a dip in the Jacuzzi and napped on the couch briefly.  When I awoke I did a few auditions and finished Wally’s Week.  When I fed Roxy she chowed down her dinner, but then puked it back up shortly afterwards. The food hadn’t been chewed at all, but was swallowed WHOLE!  That dog has got to start taking her time with her dinner and digesting properly!  I took her for our late night stroll through the neighborhood and noticed a dead squirrel on the sidewalk.  It looked to be the same one that was in the gutter the night before.  Had a dog dragged it up from the gutter?  I didn’t want the poor little guy to get ripped apart by some animal, so once I put Roxy away I got a hand spade and dug up some dirt next to a tree.  I couldn’t go too deeply because of all the roots of the surrounding plants, but I figured it would be a nice thing to do to bury him as well as I could.  I was hoping that it wasn’t one of the many squirrels who come to my house regularly for nuts, but it’s hard to tell.  I came inside and got ready for bed, heated up my pizza from Little Toni’s and watched an episode of “Magnum P.I.” from the third season DVD set.  Hard to believe that I’m almost through the third season!  I walked Roxy one last time before turning in, and saw that I had a few early auditions that had just come in and were due by noon!  So I recorded them before bed and sent them in!

Wednesday the 28th – MY CAR IS “TIRE-D!” – I hit the internet when I got up around 12:30 and finalized the purchase of my inscribed flash drives for my demo package.  Scott had mixed and sweetened the Animation demo and I sent it off to my agents for final approval.  This demo process was a long, grueling one…but it was well worth it.  I’m very happy with the way the new 2014 demos came out!  I drove my Mustang over to the local Firestone store to get my new tires put on.  Since it was close to my house, I left the car for service and walked home, stopping at Subway on the route home to get a sandwich.  While I enjoyed my sandwich, I uploaded all of the content for my flash drives to a server.  That way the flash drive company could access everything and pre-load the content before it’s shipped. This is going to save me a TON of time!  I made some calls, did bookwork, and paid bills.  Once I got the call that my car was finished I walked over to Firestone, paid them and drove home to do some final bookwork.  (I really HATE bookwork, by the way!) I drove over to Jerry’s Famous Deli to enjoy dinner with my pal, artist Steven Gordon and his wife Judy.  Steven had done some work on “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and I recently commissioned him to do an Ant Man drawing for my collection.  It turned out REALLY amazing!  When I got home I did auditions, then grabbed a short nap, and got up to start packing for my Palm Springs weekend! Even though I had been there in April with my folks, and again in early May for the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway party, I wanted to hit PS one last time before the weather got too unbearably hot for the summer season.  This trip wasn’t going to be about anything but pure relaxation, eating popcorn, drinking Cokes and watching the stars in the clear desert skies.  I fed and walked Roxy, then settled in for another “Magnum P.I.” episode.

Thursday the 29th – P.S. I LOVE YOU! – My first order of business, on what was promising to be a VERY busy day, was to swing by Studiopolis and pick up a check.  Then I headed over to Warner to do a four hour session for a videogame.  I had forgotten to get lunch before I got there so the producers were kind enough to order me a ham and swiss from the Commissary.  Neat!  We finished up just before 5:30, and I stopped by my pal James’ office in Post Production Services to say hi and show him my new action figure.  Then I sped over to a grocery store to pick up some of those little Cokes in glass bottles that I love.  I needed several before my trip to Palm Springs that night.  I also needed a couple boxes of Jolly Time Blast ‘O’ Butter popcorn, but they didn’t have it. So I had to drive over to another store to get that!  It was kind of a hassle, but worth it.  I called my mailbox to see if I had any mail, but they weren’t answering their phone.  Strange.  So I drove by on my way home and saw all kinds of utility trucks outside the UPS store.  Apparently they were using my mailbox location to film a movie.  It happens sometime in this town.  I got a call from my pal and webmaster Scott Sebring telling me that he was at my house with my assistant Sara, and since I would be passing right by the train station where Scott’s wife Vickie would be arriving, I told him to hang tight and I would pick her up for him.  I got home and hung out with them for a bit, and then Tony Mei stopped over with my upgraded 12” Adam West Batman figure.  The company that released the figures a few months ago wasn’t so hot on the details of the costume.  So I contacted Tony because he makes terrific upgrades, and fixes what the company got wrong.  It’s a beaut!  I finished packing up a few things, Sara came over to sit with the animals while I was gone, and I hit the road around 9pm.  But I was REALLY tired.  Shortly down the road I started fighting to stay awake.  Since Palm Springs is only a two hour trip away I stayed the course.  I did some recording on my little device, telling stories and recounting certain events in my life.  These auto-biographical recordings will be passed down to my descendants some day in case they’re interested in hearing about their crazy grandpa in his own words.  I tuned into my favorite Native American radio station…KTNN: The Navajo Nation on 660AM out of Window Rock, Arizona.  I love peeling down the highway at night, under a clear starry sky, and listening to the sounds of classic country music on a fuzzy AM station.  It brings back memories of the old days in South Dakota.  But what I heard shocked me.  Though the DJs speak the Navajo language between songs and play a few traditional Navajo songs, the majority of the programming is in English.  The country songs are in English, as are the network news reports and the commercials.  If you’re curious you can listen here…  During one of their commercial breaks I heard a Geico commercial followed by a commercial for Unisom.  I heard a character in the Unisom commercial say “Heere’s your morning traffic report…”   I thought, “WOW! That guy sounds just like me!”  The way he said “Heeeeere’s” and the way he lilted during the words “traffic report.”  The commercial came again a half hour later and I recorded it on my voice recorder.  BOY did it sound like me!  But I had no recall of ever doing a spot for Unisom!  Once I hit the 111 freeway into Palm Springs I phoned Denny’s to call in my dinner order, as is my tradition.  At Denny’s I saw my pal Mike, a fellow Elvis fan who I met recently at the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway party in early May.  Mike works there as a server and we had a great time talking about his Elvis collection.  I hit the Hyatt and the sky was clear and full of millions of stars!  I hadn’t seen this many stars in the sky in a LONG time!  Gorgeous!  I unpacked and grabbed a much-needed shower.  Then I spent a few hours on the balcony relaxing and enjoying the experience…the mountains, the stars, the shooting stars, the wildlife, and best of all…THE QUIET!  I turned in at 4:30am just as the sun was starting to rise, but I vowed to sleep all day!

Friday the 30th – THE QUIET HYATT! – I literally slept until 5pm!  For one reason, I was beat and needed the rest.  The second reason was that it was about 108 degrees outside.  It felt great to just lay in a dark air conditioned room all day and be lazy!  My friend Amanda drove over to say hi, and we hit the pool and enjoyed some poolside tacos and drinks.  Then we hit the North Palm Canyon strip to shop.  Our first stop was Fame Cigar and Wine store to get some cigars to enjoy later.  Then we had dinner on the patio at Ruby’s Diner, and then off we went to Lappert’s Ice Cream store to get a Dole Whip, my new favorite dessert!  It’s a frosty pineapple treat made by Dole, but I have it “Wally-ized!”  I have them add chunks of pineapple on top of it, along with shredded coconut!  If you’re ever in Palm Springs stop by Lappert’s and ask for a Dole Whip Wally-ized!  On the walk back to the room Amanda and I stopped by the Coconut Bar and listened to some of the karaoke singers.  Some were good, some not.  But a few were really good!  At Amanda’s urging I sang Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” and it was a blast.  A few of the other patrons came up to ask if I’d be singing again, so I said I would.  I did “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles and then we headed down the street to enjoy our cigars.  When we got back to the Hyatt we sat on these giant orange beds they have by the pool.  We laid back and watched the stars and saw all sorts of cool things in the sky.  We roamed around the hotel to try and find the darkest areas to get the best possible look at the sky.   Unfortunately, the construction site next door to the Hyatt still has their blaring lights going all night, which ruins the visuals somewhat.  I made a couple of calls about it to see if they could redirect the lights away from the hotel but nobody seemed to care.  Schmucks.  I spent the rest of the night on my balcony trying my best to block out the bright lights next door with carefully placed pieces of black plastic.  But still, it was a pretty amazing evening of relaxation and music.

Saturday the 31st – IMPROMPTU POOLSIDE 70’s TRIVIA! – I woke up around 10:30 and gave a call to my pal Ron Chaney to see if he was up for grabbing steaks later.  I went back to bed and again slept until about 5pm.  Amanda drove back over to hang out around 6 and we got ready to grab dinner at LG’s Steakhouse on North Palm Canyon Drive.  My pal Ron was able to meet up, so we had a great time chatting and watching all of the people stroll by on a warm Saturday night in the desert.  After steaks I headed over to Lappert’s to get another Dole Whip.  Back at the Hyatt, we took up residence on one of the giant orange beds by the pool to keep our eyes on the skies.  We saw Mars and lots of stars.  Amanda had an app on her phone that would tell us about the constellations and stars when you held the phone up to the sky.  Three ladies laid down on the giant orange bed next to us and asked if they were spoiling our evening.  I said, “Not at all! The more the merrier!”  They had clearly been drinking all day but were pretty funny. When they started in on 70’s music trivia I couldn’t resist.  They were singing “Rock Me Gently” at the top of their lungs.  I couldn’t resist. I said, “I’ll give you a dollar if you can tell me who sang that!”  They were stumped.  When I said, “Andy Kim” they said, “YES!”  Then the contest was on.  They talked about all sorts of 70’s music and asked how I knew so much.  Then they said the funniest thing all night…”What was the song that David Soul sang?”  Well now they were REALLY straying into my territory!  Amanda just laughed knowing what was coming.  One of the other ladies said, ”He was on that TV show…was he Starksy or was he Hutch?”  I was bursting at the seams!  I said, “He was Hutch, and the song you’re thinking about is ‘Don’t Give Up On Us Baby.”  They screamed, “YES!!”  We had a fun conversation about 70’s memories, music and movies.  But one by one they stopped talking.   One by one they got comfortable on the cozy orange bed and their drinking had finally caught up to them.  They were OUT!  Amanda and I snuck away so as not to disturb them.  We went across the street to order a pizza to go at NYPD pizza.  I got back to the room and got showered up and prepared for another quiet night on the balcony, listening to music and watching the stars.  The great thing about my star-watching hobby at the Hyatt, is that it appeals to every one of my five senses.  SIGHT – Obviously I’m enjoying watching the stars in the sky, the shooting stars, the owls fly over, and the late-night climbers on the mountain out behind the hotel.  SOUND – Listening to my specially selected Palm Springs playlist on my i-Pad is the perfect soundtrack for my experiences.  SMELL – I like to light a scented candle called Blue Suede and Sandalwood to fill my room with a pleasant aroma.  But since the mosquitoes have been bad in Palm Springs, I’m also burning Citronella candles which also smell pretty nice. TASTE – My balcony experiences wouldn’t be complete without my Jolly Time Blast ‘O’ Butter popcorn, ice cold Cokes in a glass bottle, and Little Debbie strawberry rolls!  TOUCH – Feeling the clean midnight desert breeze glide over me is an amazing feeling.

Sunday the 1st – TH-TH-THAT’S ALL FOLKS! – Again I slept until 5pm, and once the sun started to cool off I headed outside to make dinner plans.  My friend Darlene, who works at the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway, got off work at 8.  So I waited for her while I checked e-mail in the hotel business office.  We walked down to Ruby’s Diner and had a fun dinner on the patio.  Then it was back to Lappert’s for another Dole Whip Wally-ized!  We walked over to the Hard Rock Hotel so Darlene could show me some of the Elvis items they had on display.  Then I headed back to my room to pack up and get ready for my final night on the balcony.  Even though I had to get up Monday at 10am to check out of my room, I couldn’t resist staying up until 5am enjoying the final night at the Hyatt.  Now that the temps in Palm Springs are going to be consistently triple-digits for the next several months, I probably won’t be going back to enjoy another Palm Springs weekend until October.  But it sure was a great weekend!  And now…back to work!

And how was YOUR week?!!!


My amazing Steven Gordon original Ant Man piece!

The Tony Mei upgrade to the Adam West figure includes a new, more accurate cape, altered trunks, a darker hue to the tights and leotard, and a screen-accurate bat emblem in the proper scale. Well done, Tony!

From comes this action figure of…ME! Check out their website and get a figure made of yourself! It’s very inexpensive and it makes a great gift!

My effects guy Jim Ojala sends over a quick shot of his progress with the Dorothy bust! It’s coming along nicely, but looks inhuman without eyebrows and hair!