June 16 – June 22



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

When I came back to the house after walking Roxy I saw a beautiful Praying Mantis sitting on her tennis ball. I almost didn’t notice him right away because their colors match so well. But he stood perfectly still while I got a few shots of him. Stunning!

As Sergio and I were working on the Cowardly Lion bust in Planet Wallywood, I had the 70’s channel playing on the satellite. This song came on and I lit up. I’ve always loved this song! The Dramatics and “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get!” I miss the 70’s!

Monday the 16th – MAGNETIC QUANDRY?! – When I got up at noon I walked Roxy and got ready to welcome my pal Pete Tassler from “Hawaii Five-O.”  We were going to sit around all afternoon and toss around ideas for some writing projects.  Like me, he’s a huge 1966 Batman TV series fan. So we always have a blast talking about all the latest toys and some of the new ones that are coming out.  Sara brought over the mail from my box, and the final component of my new 2014 Voice-Over Promo Kits arrived!  My personally engraved light up pens from Windy City Novelties, my pal Mike’s company in Chicago!  That meant that I could start putting together my kits later that night for mailing.  Pete and I finished up our session and I hit the computer to start writing Wally’s Week.  When I finished that I started stuffing all my goodies into my Promo Kits.  Each kit includes…an aluminum tumbler with inserted graphic of some of my animated characters, a refrigerator magnet, a glossy color postcard, an engraved light-up pen (perfect for writing in dark places) and my 9 new Voice-Over demos, links to my relevant internet webpages, and 10 headshots all contained on one tiny flash drive.  It’s a fun little kit that I’m sure will get lots of love!  Since my schedule for the past four and a half years hadn’t allowed me to see the Casting Directors for animation, promos and commercials very often, my graphic says “We’ve Missed You!” Hopefully now that “The Tonight Show” has wrapped up, I’ll be able to see a lot more of them.  I enthusiastically packed all of the tumblers with the goodies (they all fit inside very well) and got them packaged up and sealed…ready for mailing!  Then I had a horrible thought.  What if the magnet somehow affected the information on the flash drive?  Was a flash drive like an old cassette tape, and could the memory contained on it be corrupted by being too close to a magnetic field? EEK!  I unpacked a few of them right away and tested the flash drive. So far so good. I called a few computer expert friends and they assured me that the memory on flash drive would be in no way affected by a magnet.  I also Googled the question and found the same answer to be true.  Just to be safe I packed the magnet OUTSIDE the aluminum drink tumbler in the box.  Whew!  Scary thought there for a while though!  I had 100 flash drives pre-loaded with all my demos etc., and the thought that I would have to re-load them all myself was frightening.   After I got several kits ready for mailing, I got on the computer and created labels for the recipients’ addresses, and my return address.  I took a quick nap on the couch, then got up to do several auditions and do some work around the house.  It was a VERY busy day!  I made some soup and a salad and settled down to watch a “Wonder Woman” episode from the season 3 DVD set before bed.

Tuesday the 17th – KITS AWAY! – Sara came over at 2, just after I woke up, to pick up the first batch of Promo Kits for mailing.  She also did some ebay stuff for me.  As I was purging and cleaning out my closets recently, I came across a bunch of clothes I no longer wear.  I can’t really give them to Goodwill because the style of many of these items wouldn’t really be big sellers at Goodwill. So I had her list them on ebay.  I don’t care if they sell for a dollar, at least I’ll have them out of my house, and they’ll have a good home. Strangely enough some of my wild shirts have been selling for almost 50 bucks a piece!  Crazy!  After I walked Roxy I drove over to see my pal Carroll Day Kimble at Carroll Casting to give her a Promo Kit.  I went by Kalmenson and Kalmenson Casting, but nobody was there.  I grabbed a bite at McDonald’s and swung by Studiopolis to drop off Jamie Simone’s kit.  Then I headed to Voicecasters for an audition for Best Buy. I dropped off their kit while I was there. Convenient!   After the audition I headed home to finish filling up the final batch of Promo Kits.  I kept some in my car for personal hand-outs, but the majority of them were going into the mail; being sent to addresses supplied to me by my agents.  When I finished up I figured I deserved a “Jacuzz and Snooze,” a dip in the Jacuzzi followed by a quick nap on the couch.  When I got up I did a bunch of auditions, finished up some writing, and watched another “Wonder Woman” episode!

Wednesday the 18th – TAKE CARE OF MY TOMATO! – Around 11 am I sprang from bed and found some last-minute auditions in my inbox. I recorded them, sent them into my agents, walked Roxy, and hopped in my 1974 Gran Torino to head over to my mechanic Bodie’s shop for some minor repairs. Bodie runs BS Industries, and has been so busy it’s taken me a few months to get my car in.  But today was the day!  I needed to have a lot of little things done, nothing major thankfully!  When I made it over to the shop just after 1, Bodie had already left for an appointment, but his assistant Chinh helped me pull the car in, and then gave me a ride home. We stopped at Burger King on the way home to get some eats.  When I arrived I met up with my pal Sergio Lopez.  He was there to start working on my Cowardly Lion “Wizard of Oz” bust.  He started doing preliminary on it to prepare it for all of the intricate hair work that he’ll be doing.  We poured over several photos of the original Lion.  Sadly, the original production used an actual skin of a lion as the costume.  Since we’ll be doing no such thing, we have to replicate the effect the best we can using synthetic materials.  Once I finished up with Sergio, I got a call from Baron’s Hats in Burbank.  The Scarecrow’s hat was finished several weeks ahead of schedule!  COOL!  I put the Scarecrow bust in the car and headed over to Burbank.  It was a perfect fit, but because the hat was so new (and had lot of stiffening put in) it was going to take some work to “relax” it into the classic Scarecrow of Oz look.  Since I was right down the street from Kalmenson and Kalmenson Casting, I gave a call to see if my pal Harv Kalmenson was there. Sure enough he was!  I dropped by to give him a 2014 Promo Kit and had the weirdest experience!  The actor who just finished reading for an audition was Peter Mark Richman, a prolific character actor who was seen in tons of my favorite shows all throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!  In fact, I had just seen him the night before in the “Wonder Woman” episode I was watching.  He played a surgeon who was attempting to implant the brain of John Carradine’s character into the body of a young athlete.  I just had to stop him on his way out, shake his hand and tell him of the strange coincidence!  We had a good laugh about it. Only in Hollywood, folks!  I drove home with the top down, enjoying the day.  Every time I got stopped at a light, I would grab the Scarecrow’s hat and work in in my hands to soften it up.  That’s what Omar the hat maker said to do with it.  I couldn’t wait to get inside and start working with the Scarecrow.  I put the hat on him and realized the brim still needed a lot of work to be floppy enough to simulate the look from the film.  I started working on the hat band.  I took two strips of olive green material that I had sent through the washer so it would get soft and frayed.  I twisted it and braided it together, while continuing to fray it and distress it all the while.  I fed Spooky and walked Roxy, then got ready for dinner with my agent Pat Brady.  We were going to toss around ideas for strategy in this post-“Tonight Show” environment.  She loved the Promo Kit, as hers’ had arrived in the mail that afternoon!  It was a very enlightening meeting, and I learned a lot!  I felt like I was being debriefed after four and a half years of suspended animation…like Austin Powers!  When I got home the Scarecrow hat was looking great.  I had put a rubber band around the brim and left it while I was at dinner…hoping the continual pressure from the rubber band would freeze it in the position in which I wanted it.  It was nice and floppy!  I started doing more work with the hat band and was liking where it was going.  All the while I was referring to several screenshots of the Scarecrow from the movie so I could ensure accuracy.  Once the hat band gets where I like it, I’ll sew it in place on the hat so it won’t move.  I grabbed a nap on the couch until 2am!  I was tired!  I got up and fed Roxy and sent out my weekly movie night invites.  For some reason I was in the mood to watch the classic “Superman” movie again on Blu Ray.  I walked Roxy, made some dinner and watched “Wonder Woman.”

Thursday the 19th – HAIR APPARENT! – Sergio came over at noon and we started working on the Cowardly Lion.  He covered the entire bust with foam rubber to pad it up.  Then he covered that with a layer of tan canvas.  This would give him something solid to sew into once he started stitching in the strands of hair.  Because a lion’s fur isn’t all one color, he’s going to have to do a bunch of blending to approximate the effect of an actual lion.  I started printing up more labels for my Promo Kit mailouts.  After our dinner meeting my agent Pat had e-mailed me a ton of addresses for producers and casting directors in animation.  When they were finished, Sara came by to take them to the post office.  I was supposed to be at Regenix at 3 for an appointment, but time was running short. Sergio needed my opinion on the work he was doing, and I wanted to get the Promo Kits mailed out right away.  So I called Regenix apologetically and rescheduled my appointment for next Tuesday. I’d be doing a  Garfield session at a studio in the same area as Regenix, so it would be more convenient to do it then.  Sergio and I hopped in the car and drove over to Wilshire Wigs in North Hollywood. We “combed” through the boxes of close-out wigs and we found some amazing candidates.  We packed up the wigs and headed back to Planet Wallywood.  Sergio covered the bust with a “base fur,” which you probably won’t see much of once the figure is complete. But it will give him a base for blending the other hair in.  The Scarecrow, meanwhile, was coming out nicely!  I was really pleased with the hat!  Sergio worked until 7:30, and then took off to go have dinner with a friend. I crashed on the couch for a few hours.  When I got up I did some writing, worked on my computer, did an audition, and went out to get groceries.  I came home and unpacked the groceries and started working on the Scarecow’s hat band again. It was coming out very nicely!  I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched a horrible “Wonder Woman” episode.  These third season episode are pretty hit and miss (mostly miss) and this one about a sci-fi convention was one of the worst I had ever seen.

Friday the 20th – FREE-DAY the 20th! – It’s nice to get up knowing you have a completely free day to do what you want to do.  Kind of like the Bruno Mars song called “The Lazy Song.”  I had nothing planned, just a few phone calls and some busy work around the house. Given the fact that my following week was going to be totally nuts, it was good to just relax and prepare.  My neighbor’s dog was attacked by another dog in the complex so I went to comfort her.  He was going to be in surgery all afternoon, getting patched back together.  Her niece Emma was there too.  She’s very keenly interested in doing Voice-Over and has taken several classes.  So it was nice to keep their mind off of their doggie while Emma and I discussed the world of Voice-Over.  I went back home and kept working on the Scarecrow hat. I got a call from my pal Barry Dennen, one of my favorite performers who’s been in virtually everything!  He’s one of the few people I know who has worked with Wonder Woman, Batman AND Superman!  He’s seen them all in costume on the set at one time or another!  He’s probably most famous for doing Pilate in both the record and film versions of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  He had some great news.  He would be going to Italy for three months later this year to reprise his role in a stage production of “Superstar” with his fellow castmate Ted Neeley as Jesus!  I sure wish I could see THAT!  I finished the hat band and stitched it to the hat permanently, and then I used some Raffia (craft straw) to embellish the hatband like in the movie.  I’m very pleased with how it turned out!  I got an order of food from Domino’s, then took another “Jacuzz and Snooze;” a dip in the Jacuzzi and a nap on the couch.  I got up later in the evening and cleaned the house, made some stew and watched “Wonder Woman.”

Saturday the 21st – BIRTHDAY SURROGATE! – When I got up at 1 I headed to Paty’s to grab some lunch on the patio and listen to some music.  But my Bluetooth headset was out of juice!  Apparently I had forgotten to shut them off properly the last time I used them.  Lesson learned.  I hit my mailbox and got some mail, and picked up some grocery items…including a birthday cake for my pal Scott Sebring.  At movie night that night we were going to surprise him with cake.  His birthday is the following weekend, but I’ll be out of town in New Jersey at this year’s Starsky & Hutch convention.  So I had the lady in the bakery write his name on it and off I went.  I grabbed a short nap, and Sara came over to clean up the house for movie night. My pal Amanda came early so she could swim.  But it was a fairly warm evening so she ended up leaving her bikini on all evening.   We waited for Scott to arrive, but no Scott.  Apparently he wasn’t going to make it.  Well, not being one to let a good cake go to waste, we printed up a picture of Scott from his website, and made a mask of his face.  We put it on the bikini-clad Amada, who was acting as a Scott surrogate, and took some shots with the cake. It actually ended up being fairly hilarious!  We all took lots of photos and had a good laugh (and some good cake!) Watching “Superman: The Movie” on Blu Ray was amazing, and we had a blast!  My pal Larry and his daughter Kathy showed up in their Superman costumes, and I wore my Superman pajamas!  When everyone left at the end of the evening, I started working on a piece for the stuffing in the Scarecrow’s chest.  I took some leather and cut a rectangular piece.  Then I glued a handful of Raffia to the back of the leather rectangle.  Once the glue started to set, I folded over the other half of the leather to seal the Raffia into the leather pouch.  Once it set, it would be a perfect little piece that could be inserted or removed at any time.  I glued a piece of male Velcro on to the back, and I’ll stitch in a piece of female Velcro inside the tunic to attach the bundle of straw.  I’m going to do the same sort of thing with the stalks of wheat that are sticking out of his head and neck, but I’ll wait until after my effects guy Jim Ojala does the repaint on the face so the burlap bib and his face are color matched.  I made a huge salad and enjoyed another “Saturday Night Saint and Salad Night” just before bed.  I only have 4 “Saint” episodes left, so I’m wondering what I’ll do after I finish them.  I guess I can always start over again????

Sunday the 22nd – AUNT BEA! – At 2 I met my friend Bea Lydecker and her niece Ashley for lunch at Jerry’s Famous Deli.  Bea is a famous author, homeopathic and holistic healer, and a pet psychic.  I had contacted her many years ago and had a reading done on my dog Sassie and my cat Spooky.  I was having some trouble with them and needed some insight.  I found her to be remarkably accurate!  We’ve kept in touch all these years and she informed me she was going to be in LA on vacation with her niece.  My friend Brittney Powell joined us for lunch and we had a wonderful conversation.  But Ashley and her “Aunt Bea” had to travel up north to see some friends, so we bid them farewell.  Brittney and I headed over to evening church and enjoyed the service.  The message was about finding “The Promised Land” within yourself!  Great!  After church I got some frozen yogurt and headed home to do some work and grab a nap on the couch.  I got up and did a ton of auditions, paid some bills, went through my bank statements and reconciled everything, and input my receipts from the previous week.  I also did some prep for the upcoming “Garfield” cartoon sessions this week.  I also did a little work preparing for my upcoming trips to New Jersey and South Dakota over the 4th of July holiday.  As I mentioned before, this coming week was going to be VERY busy indeed!  I made some dinner and watched another “Wonder Woman” episode.  This one was so horrible, I actually considered turning it off.  It was physically painful to watch!  But I made it through.  I can’t believe a show that had so much promise in the first and second seasons, was reduced to this.  Pretty sad.  I’ll be glad when I’m done with the set and can move on to “Twilight Zone” and more “Magnum, P.I.”

And how was YOUR week??

PIX FROM THE WEEK


The “Surrogate” Birthday Boy!


My 2014 Voice-Over Promo Kit includes everything you see here.


Sergio draped the base fur over the lion bust to get an idea of sizing.


When we came back to my house with all the wigs we bought, we draped them over the bust to get an idea of what wig pieces will go where, and how the blending of the different hairs will be done.


Though it’s a long way from being finished, I’m starting to get the visual!


The brand new Scarecrow hat is very perky…


… but once the stiffener is worked out of the brim, it’s shaping up nicely.


The straw embellishments are added to the hat band..


…and he’s almost ready for display. In addition to the color matching job that will be done by my pal Jim Ojala, a few other minor things will be done. But he’s about 90% there!