March 12 – March 18



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

This was the St. Patrick’s Day message I Tweeted out last Saturday.

As I was working around the house I had my iTunes playing. A song came up from the late 70’s called “Second Avenue” by Tim Moore. It wasn’t a hit, but the radio station where I was working at the time played it quite regularly. I was reminded what a great song it is. Kinda sad, actually.

Monday the 12th – MUNDANE MONDAY! – Because I had slept on the couch virtually all night and woke up at 10, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I did a little work around the house, did a few auditions, made some food, and hung out. I was feeling a little “out of it,” no doubt because of all the cough medicine I had been taking the previous week because of my allergy-induced bronchial issue. I still had plenty of junk in my lungs and I was looking forward to having it gone, as it’s now been with me just over a week. I watched an episode of “Barnaby Jones” and ate some food, and then napped for a bit. I got up later in the afternoon to do some more auditions, and I fed the pets. I also did some accounting and bookkeeping. But the night was getting away from me, so I made some food and typed out Wally’s Week. I had to turn in early for a 10am session in Santa Monica the next day.

Tuesday the 13th – SWINGIN’ IN THE RAIN! – The alarm went off at 8, and I was up and on the freeway to Santa Monica just before 9. The drive was very pleasant; as it was sprinkly and cloudy out. Very relaxing! My session for Carvana took a couple hours and I was on my way back home by noon. Though I was on the mend, my voie was still just a bit “creaky” from all of the coughing I had been doing. After the session at Lime I normally would have stopped by my favorite Mexican restaurant in the area, but Lime Studios has a full-time chef that will make you breakfast to order! I couldn’t pass up the yummy breakfast burrito on their menu! I got home and did some work, and then fed Roxy and Spook. I had some fun doing some more work on my puppet project; in particular sanding and patching the nose I had made for him. My pal Brittney Powell came over, since she was in the area, so we went over to the Coral Café to get a late dinner. It was still a little sprinkly out, so it was the perfect weather to nap for a little while when I got home. When I got up later I did some work around the house, recorded my nightly auditions, made some soup and a sandwich, and watched another episode of “Barnaby Jones.”

Wednesday the 14th – IN-DirecTV! – When I got up around 3 I decided to call DirecTV to see why my bill had been continually growing over the past few months. I had a specific amount I wanted to cap it at, so I was prepared to call them and step down to the next lowest package. I’ve been a customer since 2000, so I have certain habits when I call them. But now that they’ve merged with AT&T, it seems like it’s all become a mess. First, I called 800-DIRECTV (like I did in the old days.) It’s a recorded voice saying they’re DirecTV, but it put me through a maze of phone prompts, before eventually disconnecting me. So I called 888-Directv. A lady answered and said it was Directv, but she was intent on selling me a “protection package” for my equipment and maintenance. I told her I wasn’t interested, but instead wanted customer service to reduce my bill. But she kept on me about the protection package. It was then I realized that the old DirecTV numbers I used to call have now been co-opted by other companies POSING as DirecTV. I hung up and consulted my bill for the real phone number. The wait time was over a half hour, but I hung with it. I wanted to reduce my ever-growing monthly bill. Once I finally got through to somebody, I could tell that the guy on the other end was very young. In fact, when I told him about the fraudulent companies using their old numbers and posing as DirecTV, he acted as though he didn’t hear what I said. He went on with a different conversation. He sounded like he just graduated the third grade! I asked where he was and he said he was located in the Philippines. I then asked to speak to his supervisor, hoping to get satisfaction. The Philippines? I always used to talk to somebody stateside when I had a DirecTV issue. After 15 minutes the supervisor finally came on the line. Again, the things I told him seemed like they were being spoken to a brick wall…no response. I kept on saying, “Hello?” because I thought the connection was bad. Realizing I was getting nowhere, I hung up. Next attempt was to try and contact somebody through their website. So I clicked on “CHAT” and got a person to respond. I asked to be called by someone from the United States who could consult with my problem. They assured me I would get a call very soon. About 20 minutes later a guy with an East Indian accent called. Again, unresponsive to the comments I was making, I realized I was getting nowhere. I asked where he was located and he said “Texas.” I said, “Oh, where at in Texas? How’s the weather there?” He then admitted that they were “globally located” and couldn’t reveal his true location. I had been “had” once again. No wonder people are cutting the cord like crazy! I told him I wanted to speak to somebody who REALLY was from the United States, and he placed me on hold. Just as I was about to disconnect my DirecTV for good, my “savior” came on the line. Her name was Chrissy and I could tell from her accent that she really WAS from Texas. She was delightful, and talking to her was a breath of fresh air. I told her about the DirecTV phone numbers being co-opted by other companies trying to sell me fraudulent protection packages and she was horrified. She said she’s report it to her management right away. When I explained the horrible hour and a half I had just endured, she was very understanding. She gave me a super-secret “Customer Loyalty” phone number to call with future problems. She said that would bypass the “globally-located” calls in the future. She also was able to reduce my bill WAY below what I was hoping for, and she threw in 6 months of free HBO and Showtime to boot! Amazing! Squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they always say. I spoke to her for about 45 minutes, but the conversation was 100% pleasant. I found out about her kids and family, she asked what I did for a living, etc. It was like talking to an old friend. Whatever DirecTV is paying her, I can assure it isn’t enough. She’s solid gold! I’d call DirecTV management to compliment her, but I’d probably be connected with some “globally located” person in Tanzania! NO THANKS! Anyway, she saved the day. I did some writing, and then decided to go get the Torino out. It had been a few weeks since I had it out driving around, so it was due for a little jaunt around town. I picked up my assistant Sara and we went to dinner at Lancers. We visited Toys ‘R’ Us (it had just been announced that day that all stores were closing) and it was kind of sad. They had a lot of the Jakks Pacific talking Batman figures that I voiced in stock. Perhaps when they have a big sale I’ll go stock up to give them out as gifts. They also had a new “Hey Arnold” playset which made me happy to see. Perhaps Nickelodeon is encouraged by the ratings for the new “Jungle Movie” and they may be planning bigger and better things for an “Arnold” reboot! Fingers crossed! I drove Sara home in the rain and put the Torino back to bed. The next few days was going to be very wet, so I didn’t want to drive it around in the bad weather. I have to keep it pristine because a production company is renting it for a few hours in early April for a TV show. I went home and napped and listened to it rain outside. Wonderful! Later I got up and brought up my big ladder from the garage. I brought down my two Austin Powers Fembots from their display areas. I’m going to auction them off at a future Profiles in History auction. When I grow tired of certain pieces in the collection, I put them up for sale so I can use the room to put up other pieces that I’m into. I had been considering getting rid of my “Smoking Jubblies” Fembot costume from the first Austin Powers movie, my Vanessas “Exploding Head” Fembot from the second Austin Powers movie, Austin’s Union Jack underwear from the second movie, and Sebastian Bach’s chainmail tank top from his 1989 tour with Skid Row. These need to be in a good home with somebody who appreciates them more. I worked on them all night and got to bed around 7am. I needed to be up at 9:30 to meet my pal Pat Evans. He was bringing his SUV over to pick up the Fembots (they wouldn’t fit in my car) and he would meet me at Profiles in History in Calabasas later that day.

Thursday the 15th – PROFILES WITH PAT! – After a few hours of sleep I met Pat outside my garage to load up the Fembots. Then I went inside to sleep for a few more hours until my appointment with Brian at Profiles in History at 1:30. I drove over, met Pat there, unloaded the Fembots, and filled out the paperwork for the pieces I would be consigning for the big summer auction. Just before I left to go back home I stopped at McDonalds and got some lunch to nibble on during the ride back. I was beat! I got home and slept for a few hours on the couch. I got up later and met some new friends for dinner at Jerry’s. Clay and his wife Mariah had just moved in from Minneapolis about five months ago. I had met Clay at a convention in Minneapolis called CONvergence back in 2007. At the time he asked my advice for getting into Voice-Over. About 10 years later he took my advice and moved here. It was fun chatting with them and catching up. While Clay is working on breaking into the field of VO, his wife works as a costumer at Disneyland! She’s a VERY talented seamstress with years of experience. It was a very fun dinner and I told them about my regular Saturday night movie nights. Hopefully they’ll be regular attendees. I got home and did work around the house, recorded my auditions, and recorded a birthday message for a Riddler fan. I was having a lot of fun with it. I sent it off to its recipient and then hit the hay to be up again for an early session on Friday morning.

Friday the 16th – PERFECT PUPPET PERSON! – At 10 sharp I was at Voice Trax West to record another round of spots for the electrical repair company I worked for last week. But my voice was in much better shape than it was for last week’s session. I offered to do pick-ups for the spots we did last week, since my voice was better, but the producers said the spots were all finished and already delivered. They said they ended up sounding great! That made me feel good. We did seven radio spots and it was a breeze! I was out by 11, so I met Sara at Panera for lunch. Then I went over to a seamstress recommended by my effects guy Jim Ojala. As I talked with Lynette she said that she also does fabrication. So I told her about the puppet projects I have been working on and she said it sounded like a lot of fun. Most normal seamstresses don’t know the “secrets” of puppet-making, but it sounds like I have found the perfect person for my puppet projects in Lynette! I was elated! She really “got it!” I got home and relaxed and napped on the couch for a little while. I don’t sleep a full 8 hours when I sleep, but I “catnap” quite regularly. It seems to work best with my schedule and bodily needs. When I got up later I checked my e-mails and saw a video of the recipient of my Riddler birthday message hearing the file. I love seeing people’s reactions to personalized things I record for them in the voices of my characters. It’s my favorite thing about doing what I do. (My second favorite thing is the money…I won’t lie!) I wrote them and asked if I could post the video and they agreed. So here’s Mitchell hearing his birthday message from The Riddler.

It was still rainy out, so I went back to the Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe and napped some more. I got up later to do some more work with my puppet project, cleaned up for movie night on Saturday night, made a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box, and watched an episode of “Barnaby Jones” before bed.

Saturday the 17th – HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY! – The day started with a trip to CVS to print some photos for my photo album project. Now that my puppet project has gone as far as it can for now, I need to get back to my photo albums. I went next door to the grocery store to get some movie night supplies, and then headed home to put everything away. Then Sara arrived to start organizing for movie night, and my guests began to arrive for a St. Patrick’s –themed movie night. We watched Sean Connery in his first movie ever called “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” produced by Walt Disney. We had a blast seeing a young Sean Connery 3 years before he became a household name as James Bond! After my guests left I napped for a bit, and then got up later to do work around the house. Later I made my traditional Saturday night Super Salad and I watched an episode of “SNL” from the first season DVD set.

Sunday the 18th – READY FOR AN INTENSE WEEK! – Shortly after 4:30 in the afternoon I woke up and got ready for evening church. Roxy and I walked over for the service, and there was another doggie there named Darla. Roxy enjoyed meeting her. Shirley and I walked to my house, I showed her my puppet project and then we picked up Sara and went to Miceli’s for dinner. I had seen Miceli’s in an old “Barnaby Jones” episode recently, but it was their former location in Burbank that was used in the show. That location, sadly, no longer exists. After some yummy lasagna I dropped them off at home and then I went home to nap on the couch for a little while. I got up to do my nightly auditions, got prepared for an intense week, and hit the hay so I could be up early for a meeting with my pal Elliot Lurie the next morning.

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Say goodbye to my Fembot! This is the one that I’m consigning through Profiles in History for their summer auction. I need the space that she vacated for a different display!

I was asked if I knew the origin of this enormous Pee-Wee Herman head, and I’m stumped. Does anybody know where this came from, or what it was originally used for?

Here are a few of the “Hey Arnold” playsets I found at Toys ‘R’ Us.

They have lots of talking Batman figures in stock! My assistant Sara had no idea it was me voicing the toy until I told her!

I saw this over the past week and thought it was extremely funny.