Archive for April, 2019

April 29 – May 5 (2019)



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

Years ago, an agent friend of mine had purchased a bunch of promo kits for various things. In one of the kits were slides from an event held in 1991 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of “The Rocky Picture Show” at the Fox lot in West L.A. My friend Don Kyle had taken me and we got great seats in the front few rows. If you look closely, there’s a very 90’s-looking me sitting in the audience watching the movie! He spied me in these slides and couldn’t believe his eyes! He sent me scans of this and one other image. What a small world!

 

In dealing with the music of the 70’s for my Labor Day radio show in my hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota, I’ve been listening to a lot of the music from those years. While I was walking Roxy I heard a band playing Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You” during their soundcheck for some event going on in the neighborhood. Then while shopping this week, I heard a Muzak version of “If I Can’t Have You” on the store’s music system. Of all the weird things. So..here’s the real deal. Enjoy!

Monday the 29th – DOVE LIGHT! – After sleeping all day, I needed to be up and ready for a 5pm interview with my old pal Brian Talbot and his co-host Randall Ryan. They do a podcast about Voice Over. I’ve known Brian since the old days of working at 94.7 The Wave in L.A. I even tapped Brian’s studio engineer ability a while back to have him help me with my parody song called “Face” that I was producing at the time. He even mentioned that in the interview. Good times! When the interview was over, I got a script from my pal Troy who writes for the “Ellen” show. He wanted me to record a bit for the show that would be used later on that week. After I recorded that and sent it over, I Googled if birds can see color. I have a mommy Mourning Dove outside my patio sitting in a tree on a nest she built last week. Not sure if there are eggs yet, but I always walk by and say hi to her. I wanted to make her as comfortable as possible since I really love Mourning Doves, so I had an idea to put a set of lights on my patio that would make her feel at ease. Come to find out, not only can birds see color, they can see many more colors than humans can. This all has to do with identifying other birds for potential mates, etc. Orioles most favor orange, Bluebirds most favor blue, etc. etc. The website I found said that for the more timid birds, like doves, green is a good, comfortable color for them. So I set my patio lights to a nice, mellow green. Hopefully they make her feel at home and comfortable. I normally have them set to blue for a few reasons. First, I like blue lights and it makes ME comfortable and at ease. Secondly, I do it in support of law enforcement as I’m a proud Blue Lives Matter kinda guy. But I can leave them as green for a little while. I make them green over the Christmas holiday period too. I grabbed a short nap, and then got up later to do a ton of auditions. I typed out Wally’s Week, walked Roxy, did some other work around the house, ate some cereal, and hit the hay.

Tuesday the 30th – HOMEWARD L.A. – Just after 4 I woke up, did some work around the house, walked over to Rusty’s pets to get some more supplements for Roxy, walked over to Studiopolis to pick up a check, got a 12” tuna on white at Subway, and then went home to do some more work. I printed my portion of the script for the Homeward L.A. event I was involved in and headed off to the rehearsal in my church’s theater. Homeward L.A. is a 10 day citywide event, where productions are mounted all over the city to raise funds for the Midnight Mission on Skid Row. It features actors reading first-person monologues from people who had been formerly homeless, but found new life through assistance from the mission. A really good cause! I decided for my birthday weekend this year, instead of going to some movie or having a party at my house, I wanted to be involved in something that would help others. So I told my friends that, instead of giving me any sort of gift, if they bought a ticket and attended the event I would consider that a wonderful present. After the rehearsal I came home to check e-mails, did my nightly auditions, and grabbed a short nap. I got up later to do work around the house, and then hit the hay to be fresh for a long session the next day.

Wednesday the 1st – TALKIN’ AND TACOS! – At 3 I was due to be at Bang Zoom studios in Burbank to do some more work on a digital assistant project I’ve been working on for the past four years. It takes a long time to program a digital assistant of this nature, so it takes lot of voice tracks to build the application. We finished up at 6 and I headed home to do my nightly auditions and wait for my pal Brittney Powell to come by so we could grab dinner. We had a yummy dinner at Ernie’s Taco House in North Hollywood. With a full tummy of “pre-Cinco DeMayo” festive foods, I napped for a little while. When I got up later I did work around the house, and then hti the hay to be up early for a session on Tuesday.

Thursday the 2nd – THE PHINAL PHASE! – Early in the afternoon I walked over to Voice Trax West and did two hours’ worth of voice tracks for my American Airlines gig. There were a lot of difficult city names so it was pretty slow going. We’ll finish up the script at some point next week. After the session I walked back home, showered up and headed to my oral surgeon’s office for the final phase of my implant surgery. The implant itself has been in my upper left jaw for several months now, and once the surgeon has deemed it a success, he needed to open a small aperture in my gum, place a metal cap in the implant, and stitch around it. This will expose the implant for my dentist who, in a few weeks, will take the cap off, place a post in the implant (which will eventually host the crown) take an impression of my teeth, and then remove the post and replace the cap until the crown is ready. Then he sends the impression off to the lab and in a few weeks I’ll have a tooth up there again! It’s amazing technology, but it takes forever to accomplish. So now that I have the cap on and the stitches in, I need to heal for a few weeks…get the impression taken…and wait another two weeks. In about a month, I’ll have a new tooth back there! I was remembering back how I’ve always seemed to have a problem with my #14…even when I had my baby tooth there, which had a filling in it. I remember the filling falling out when I was a kid, and there just being a chasm back there in my mouth. Eventually the tooth fell out and was replaced by my adult tooth. In 1999 it needed to be filled again because it was causing great pain, and the dentist I had at the time used white filling instead of the old silver-style stuff. Bad idea. White fillings (unless the technology has improved greatly over the past few years) aren’t as strong as the silver. So as luck would have it, the filling cracked and got abscessed; causing great pain one Thanksgiving. The only option was to do a root canal and place a crown on it. I remember the root canal taking about 3 hours, and the dopey dentist didn’t really know what he was doing. Had I known that dentists, as a rule, really shouldn’t be doing root canals (that’s more for an Endodontist to perform) I would have run far away. I knew at the time that something wasn’t right, as the dentist had to take a break halfway through the procedure because it wasn’t going well. Well, as luck would have it AGAIN, that crown fractured a few years ago and became abscessed all over again. But because I no longer had a nerve in that tooth, I only felt pain in the surrounding area. My dentist at the time (a different inept dentist) said it was just “allergies.” When the weather would change the tissue surrounding that tooth would swell causing discomfort. He should have had me go in for a CT scan the minute I complained about pain. But he just wrote it off as “allergies” for years. Fast forward to 2017 and I get a whopper of a sinus infection that won’t go away. I have surgery to correct it, and everything is pretty good. But the following year I’m starting to have a lot of pain again. Thanks to a CT scan, my doctors discovered that the root from my #14 tooth had grown so long it penetrated my sinus cavity on the left side, and had been injecting abscess DIRECTLY into my sinus like a hypodermic needle! No wonder I couldn’t get healthy! By then the abscess had created a lot of surrounding bone loss, so I had to have a lot of reconstruction done in that area before an implant could be installed. Now in 2019, I’m finally ready to get the crown on my #14. But it’s odd how that one position in my row of teeth has always been a problem. With my mouth still numb from the procedure, I came home to relax and do some work and some writing. Then I took a nap. When I got up later I wrote a few new verses for the kid’s stories I’ve been writing, and then recorded them and sent them off to my friend Scott for a remix of the audio file’s music track. I walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood, grabbed something to eat and hit the hay for another early session.

Friday the 3rd – ADVENTURES, ARIEL & AVENGERS! – When I have an early morning session scheduled, I usually don’t get very much sleep before-hand. It’s because I’m naturally a night person, and forcing myself to sleep through the night and get up at the crack of dawn isn’t conducive to my body clock. So after only a few hours of sleep, I got up at 7:45 and headed out by 8:30 to Outloud Studios in Burbank for a session. I did 3 characters for an interactive adventure that was REALLY cool! I got to work with the talented Sara Sherman as Voice Director, and the writer Ross remembered me from work we had done together decades ago at the E! channel for a few of the E! True Hollywood Stories! Hard to believe I’ve been in the business that long! WOW! It was a fun session and it finished by 11. I drove over to KFC to get lunch and then got home just in time to let the maids in to do their work cleaning Planet Wallywood. While they worked I got busy scheduling songs on the programming clocks I created for a radio show I’ll be doing over Labor Day in my hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota. It’ll be during my 40 year class reunion, and one of the stations there asked if I would go back on Aberdeen radio and do a commemorative show. The 6 hour special will entail some of my favorite 70’s songs, as well as stories and remembrances about my experiences during my time living in Aberdeen between 1969 and 1978. Then a friend named Ariel came over to meet Roxy and Spooky. I’m going to be using her as a new house/pet sitter while I’m traveling this year. I’m going to be doing a lot of things this year that involves travel, so I needed somebody who was reliable and available. But first I wanted to start off with introducing her to the pets. They seemed to really like her! I think I found gold! But by late afternoon I was really tired, so I took a nap for several hours on the couch. I got up later for a late evening showing of “Avengers: Endgame” with my friends Emily and Edi. I had seen it the week before and was aching to see it again. I’m glad I saw it a second time. I caught a lot more stuff the second time around! When I got home later I made some lasagna and started watching the final season of “Taxi” on DVD. The first episode was great, but some of the episodes definitely “feel” different. It’s almost like the formula had been changed a bit and they had lost the magic. Not sure why. I can’t put my finger on it. But they just didn’t seem as good as the previous seasons.

Saturday the 4th – HOMEWARD L.A. AND PRE-BIRTHDAY! – Since I knew I was in for a long evening, I slept as long as I could all day. Around 5 I headed to my church’s theater for a quick tech run-thru of the “Homeward L.A.” presentation we’d be doing later that night. Then I ran home, showered and changed, and drove back to the theater to do the show. It went VERY well, and the amount of money the shows had raised to that point had already way surpassed what they raised last year. It was an amazing event to be a part of. The theater was full! When the show was over a bunch of my friends who had attended the show met me at Barone’s for a late dinner to help me celebrate my birthday on Monday. It was a ton of fun with good friends and amazing (as always) food. I came back home and grabbed a short nap. Every Saturday night I watch an old episode of “SNL” before bed while I enjoy my Saturday Night Super Salad. I realized that the very next episode in my queue was the one hosted by Carrie Fisher in season 4. Of all the odd things! What are the chances that the Carrie Fisher episode (which had a lot of great “Star Wars” references) would automatically come up on May the Fourth!? (May the Fourth be with you – May the 4th is celebrated by fans all over the world as “Star Wars Day.”) I tell you honestly, I hadn’t planned it that way. It simply worked out that way. Serendipitous, I know! And as a bonus, one of the bits involved the use of my pal Elliot Lurie’s song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”, and had Carrie Fisher actually PLAYING Brandy! It was a pretty great episode. I went back downstairs, still a bit charged up from the “Homeward L.A.” show and the pre-birthday festivities, and I sat down on my computer and worked on my Labor Day radio show for a while. I got so into it, that at one point I looked at the clock and realized it was just before noon. WHAT?! Time flies when you’re having fun! I went to bed to get a few hours of sleep before evening church.

Sunday the 5th – WEEK WRAPPED UP! – Three hours of sleep didn’t seem to be nearly enough, but I had to be up to get to evening church to meet up with my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley. When church was over we drove to Paty’s for dinner. I met up with my friend Alicyn Packard (fellow Voice Actor) and her mom who was visiting from Boston. I drove to the dry cleaners to drop off a comforter, then took Shirley back to her home. I napped and then got up later to do a ton of auditions, eat some reheated leftover Barone’s pizza (YUM!), scan some checks for a deposit, reconcile my receipts in my checking accounts, and do some more work on my radio show. I have the first hour of the six hour show completely scripted! Sitting there writing the show and working with the music of the 70’s was a great way to welcome in another birthday on Monday May 6th. But more of that in NEXT WEEK’S Wally’s Week.

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Performing my monologue entitled “Stacy”

With pictures of the subjects of our monologues projected behind us, we take our bows.

Our producer Jane Elliott gives a few words after the performance.

My old pal GloZell Green was one of the performers too. Always good to see her!

My pal Joey Torino gifted me with this amazing Starsky & Hutch jersey!

My ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley surrounded by two James’…Ojala and Braddock!

It was nice to see my old friend Andrea Romero again!

Pretty girls always make Joey smile!

Bob takes his yummy leftovers and gets ready to hit the road to end the evening

My pal Valerie Perez is always a welcome addition to any function!