Archive for February, 2015
February 23 – March 1
RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
This week’s RPOW isn’t a single photo, but rather a slideshow of pics. A few selected photos from the interview I did with Leonard Nimoy back in 1981 at KELO-AM radio in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The unfortunate passing of the legend Leonard Nimoy this past week had me humming this little ditty from the 60’s. A catchy tune, and darn fun (and weird) to behold! Isn’t it ironic that in this video, Leonard Nimoy is the only one NOT wearing pointed ears???
Monday the 23rd – DRIVIN’ IT HOME! – Though I had been having neck problems the entire weekend, when I woke up today they were much better. Good thing too because I had a long day ahead of me. In the late morning I did a quickie VO session for Go 96.3 in Minneapolis in my home studio. I sent over the files and then hit my e-mail. There were a few contracts to sign and some scripts for my 1pm session in Santa Monica. I printed them off, signed the contracts, scanned them and sent them over to my agent, and got ready to go. I got to Eleven Sound in Santa Monica to do an ADR session for the car commercials we shot over the Christmas holiday break. It took a while for them to animate the character to the vocal performance I did live on the set last December. But the spots looked amazing and I can’t wait until they get on the air! I did ADR (additional dialogue recording) on all five spots, completely re-doing all of the lines I originally did. Why, you ask? Because the audio quality is going to be much better in a controlled studio environment (like Eleven Sound) than it would have been in a live location shoot setting. It also allowed me to fix little performance things I wanted to tweak from the original performances, even though the head writer and producer really loved what we did originally. The session lasted five hours with no breaks. We had to blast on through to get everything done, because they were due to mix the spots for delivery the next day! The producers were in from out of town, so it was imperative that we get it all completed! But I was happy to do it because these commercials are some of things I’m most proud of in my career. It was a long drive home, but I made it. I went out to dinner with a gal who I had recently met. She was of Russian origin, and kept talking about how great Russia was. I kept thinking to myself, “If it’s all that great, why are you here?” She loves to travel and told stories about different parts of the world she’s visited. Fascinating! I got home to do auditions and I was completely exhausted! I’m going to try and sleep all day Tuesday!
Tuesday the 24th – WITH EXTRA ‘CATCH-UP’! – Even though I remained passed out until after noon, when I got up the craziness started all over again. I did an audition and sent it over to my agent. Then I talked to my agent about the VO session I had done the previous day in Santa Monica. I typed out Wally’s Week, and then headed off to the bank to take care of some end-of-the-year/beginning-of-the-year corporate banking stuff. I stopped by to get some cat litter at Rusty’s Discount Pets. The litter I had been using was drawing a lot of little black “weevil” bugs. Come to find out, the litter is actually ground up corn cobs! And the weevil larvae are actually inside the ground up cobs. When the temperature reaches a certain level the larvae hatches! That’s why last August I was inundated with all sorts of little, annoying black bugs all over my house! So I had to switch cat litter to a pine-based one. I headed over to Fast Signs to discuss getting some new signage made for Planet Wallywood. If you remember from a few months back, I was discussing the difference in color between the old signage and the new signage I was having printed up. My printer upgraded his color copy machine, and the new machine didn’t know how to properly interpret the color of blue used in the old signs. So I’m going to look into having them all completely redone by a professional sign company. They’ll all be printed with white letters on bright blue vinyl and attached to foam core backing. They will look amazing! I was starving but I didn’t know what I wanted. Then it hit me. JERSEY MIKE’S! A sub would taste great, so I stopped by and grabbed a giant sub. When I got home there were a few bits to record for the “Ellen” show, so I laid those down and sent them over to the staff. I rested for a bit on the couch, and then got up to get dinner with my friend Portia, a make-up artist. I came home to do my auditions, and then met my friend Kylie for late-night pancakes at DuPar’s. YUM!
Wednesday the 25th – WACKY WEDNESDAY! – When I woke up there was some more copy for Go 96.3 in Minneapolis for me to record waiting in my inbox. I laid it down and sent it over the guys in Minneapolis. I drove off to have lunch with a fellow VO artist who’s up-and-coming in the industry. She wanted to pick my brain about a few professional issues. We met at a healthy juice bar, and at first it looked like there wasn’t going to be anything for me to order. I did find a turkey wrap that looked pretty good, but the lemonade they brought me looked like the green slime they used to drop on kids’ heads in the old Nickelodeon shows. I excused myself, went next door to the Shell gas station and got a Diet Pepsi. Who knew that somebody had figured out a way to screw up good old fashioned lemonade! I got back home and did some work, and then sped off to Studiopolis Burbank to do some voice work on a Marvel project. I got back and fed and walked Roxy, and then enjoyed a dip in the Jacuzzi. My pal Brittney Powell came over to enjoy dinner with me, and then I came back to grab a quick nap on the couch. I got up later and did auditions, scanned and signed some contracts from several gigs, e-mailed them back to my agents, did some corporate bookkeeping, enjoyed a bowl of Count Chocula and hit the hay!
Thursday the 26th – MY BABY’S BACK! – Around noon I got up, walked Roxy and did a quick session at home. But as I was editing the files for delivery, my computer started acting up. It was weird. I would edit out the unnecessary stuff but an error message would come up that said I didn’t have the authority to do that. WHAT?! I finally figured out how to fool the computer into letting me do what I wanted to do, and I sent the files to the producers with no problem. Then I met my friend Ken at Jerry’s Famous Deli for lunch. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while so it was good to catch up. Unfortunately I found out that his wife had passed away last October, so that put a bit of a damper on my day. I used to work with her on several Voice-Over projects in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, so it came as quite a blow. I drove over to my accountant’s office to settle all of the issues for my 2014 corporate taxes. I also brought him all of the info for my personal taxes as well. Yup, it’s that time of year again. I stopped by my mailbox to pick up some packages and headed home. Late in the afternoon my pal Bodie Stroud dropped off my Gran Torino! Undented, repainted, and good as new! It was good to have her back again! And his guys did a fantastic job fixing up the boo boo I had caused last December. I drove her down to get her gassed up (gas has gone UP again!), and then went back home to do some work. I drove it over to Jerry’s Famous Deli to have dinner with my friend Chanel; and actress and model. Then I came home and did a bunch of auditions and hit the hay.
Friday the 27th – ANOTHER LEGEND GONE! – It’s that time of year when I had to get on the computer in the morning and sit in an on-line waiting room to get my badges for this year’s San Diego Comic Con. I got on at 9:30am and entered the waiting room. Their computer HAL wouldn’t start randomly issuing badges until 10am, but at least I was securely in the staging area and ready to go. At 10 sharp the computer would start allowing industry professionals (randomly selected by HAL) to sign up for their badges and secure a complimentary guest badge. As I waited I checked the news. The legendary Leonard Nimoy had passed away during the night. I had heard he was ill, but it’s always tough to hear about the passing of someone who was so internationally beloved, and someone who was so important to me growing up. I never ever heard one bad story about anyone having a negative encounter with Mr. Nimoy. In the limited interactions I had enjoyed with him, he was always pleasant and funny. I first met him in 1981 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when he was touring with his one-man play “Vincent.” He came to the radio station in the morning to do an interview, and I was the lucky schlub who was chosen to do the job! (I wonder where that interview is today?!) Though I was working late nights at the station, I made sure to get out of bed early enough to meet Mr. Nimoy. After all, I had been a “Star Trek” fan since I was 12, and now at the age of 20 I would be meeting Mr. Spock himself! But when he came in he was as far from Spock as one could imagine. He broke the ice with a joke, a smile and a handshake. I knew right then that I would be in for a fun time! THANK GOD I had my friend Mark Anderson in the studio snapping photos the whole time. At one point the microphone wouldn’t stay positioned on its boom, so Mr. Nimoy himself grabbed a little screwdriver and started working on the equipment. I later laughed with my friend Mark how ironic it was to have Mr. Spock working on the radio station equipment! I went next door with him to the TV studio that adjoined our radio facility, and watched him to an interview on set. I didn’t get to see “Vincent” because the tickets were sold out immediately, but I was glad I spent some time with this amazing man. Years later, in August of 2004, I was photographed with the entire living cast of the original “Star Trek.” The package I bought guaranteed that not only would I get my photo with the cast, but they would all sign the photo as well. As things sometimes happen at conventions, something screwed up. A pressing family matter forced Mr. Nimoy to leave early, so I never got his signature on my photo. But the producers knew my work and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Leonard had agreed to sign all of the stuff he didn’t get to at the convention a month later at his house. So the producers invited me along with them to Mr. Nimoy’s estate in Bel Air. Awesome! I remember seeing the model train set that sat high on his living room wall, and encircled the entire circumference of the room. I bought him some copies of the photos we had taken back in 1981. He signed my photo but I had to get going to a “Simpsons” Voice-Over session at 20th Century Fox. He was kind enough to give me directions to the studio from his house. What a day! A few years ago, when I had heard that he retired from doing autograph shows, I was devastated. Though I had plenty of “Star Trek” related stuff signed by him, I really needed his signature on my “Mission Impossible Dossier” book that I had purchased at the estate sale of Max Hodge, a former TV writer. I made a goal of having as many stars and guest stars from “MI” sign it as possible. I had about 75 signatures on it, but was still missing Leonard Nimoy’s. Out of desperation I contacted my pal Jeff Nimoy to see if he could help. I would be happy to send the book wherever was necessary with the appropriate payment for the signature. Jeff said that Leonard wanted me to send it to his office and he’d sign it FOR FREE! I sent the book Fed Ex with return postage, and it came back in a week. Totally cool! What a nice, nice man. I totally get why he entitled a book “I Am Not Spock.” Because he isn’t. Mr. Nimoy seemed to be emotional, compassionate, caring and warm; none of the qualities of Spock. But as a poet, writer, director, actor and singer…he sure encapsulated all of the amazing tenants of an “emotional” performer! By 10:20 I got the notification on my computer that the complimentary professional guest badges were gone, but I would still be able to buy a guest badge if I wanted to. I figured why not. By 10:45 I had purchased a guest badge, signed up for my badge, and my mission was complete. It was a gloomy day, and it was expected that we’d get rain over the next four days. Later that day I would put the Torino away in my auxiliary garage. I don’t like to drive it in the rain. I ate a small lunch and grabbed a dip in the Jacuzzi. It was fun laying back in the hot water, enjoying the cool, overcast day. Staring up at the dark cloud formations was amazing! It was the end of the week and I had nothing to do but relax. And I accepted the challenge wholeheartedly! Since I had gotten up so early for the Comic Con badges, I napped a bit on the couch. Later my assistant Sara and I met at Ernie’s Taco House for dinner. After dinner I got some items at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and then went to the grocery store to pick up a few items. I stashed the Torino in the auxiliary garage so it wouldn’t get rained on. My accountant e-mailed me to get some additional information for my taxes, so I did some bookwork and found the info he needed. I made some Buffalo Mac and watched the second to the last “Mannix” episode ever.
Saturday the 28th – WAITIN’ FOR THE RAIN! – The expected four day rain showers had been delayed. I figured while I still had a nice afternoon I would drive Roxy over to Paty’s to have lunch with my friend Heather. Though we were there waiting, she was delayed quite a while. She texted me that she had been pulled over by a cop for her tail light. Time was ticking away, and I had to get going. So I told her we would meet another time for a bite. I got back home and started gathering photos for my Leonard Nimoy slideshow. My webmaster and pal Scott Sebring had finished up early with his photography job so he came over to chat before movie night. That night the gang and I watched “The Girl Who Knew Too Much” starring Adam West. It was the first film he did after “Batman” ended in 1968, and it had just recently been released on Blu Ray. Next week I think I’ll put together a Leonard Nimoy retrospective. As movie night ended it finally started to rain. So I enjoyed a Saturday evening at home by the fire, doing work and listening to it rain outside. Wonderful! I fed and walked Roxy, made a huge salad (my Saturday night tradition) and watched another episode of the old “Avengers” TV series from the U.K. on Blu Ry.
Sunday the 29th – SERIOUS WATER! – No, that’s not the name of my new band, but it’s what was falling from the sky. It was much too rainy to walk Roxy to church, but I grabbed my Darth Vader light sabre umbrella and walked over myself. What a great evening, walking along, feeling relaxed, strolling through the raindrops. It was a good thing I didn’t bring Roxy, because when the service was over it was raining pretty hard! So I headed back home to have a cozy night by the fire with the pets. But first, one of my favorite things…a dip in the Jacuzzi in the rain. At first it was pleasant, feeling the hot water surround me while the cool drops fell on my head. But then it started to get heavier and heavier and the experience started to suck. So I grabbed my towel and robe and headed back inside! I napped on the couch by the fire until I heard the rain increase in intensity by midnight. Then I got up and did my auditions and finished up some other work. I made a pizza and watched the final “Mannix” episode. Not just the final episode of the season, but the final episode ever. The episode called “Hardball” from the end of season eight featured John Ritter and my buddy James Hampton! Normally Jimmy plays a funny, loveable guy, but in this episode he was a sadistic jerk. A great acting stretch for him! I e-mailed him after watching the show and he wrote back with several fond memories about working on the show. Plus, one of the sport jackets I purchased from Mike Connors a year ago was one of those he wore in the final episode! It’s really too bad the show ended because season eight was a strong season. But to all things and end must come. Next, I’m starting in on season one of the “Batman” TV series on Blu Ray! WOW!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK