Wally's Week

September 13 - September 19

 
You can still check out Wally's Previous Week

 

All week long I had the song 'Smile' in my head. It was originally written by Charlie Chaplin, and has been covered by everyone from Michael Jackson to Robert Downey Jr. It's an amazing song. It gave me the idea to screen the 1992 movie "Chaplin" for my friends on Saturday night in Planet Wallywood. One of my favorite movies, scored by one of my favorite composers...John Barry. Here's the track 'Smile' from the "Chaplin" soundtrack. And remember....SMILE!

Monday the 13th - MANIC MONDAY! - WOW! This was a crazy day! It started out with a long trip to El Segundo to the Mattel building. I'm voicing yet another new toy (can't tell you any more about it unfortunately) but it's going to be a good one! When I finished up there, I went to Atlantis studios in Santa Monica. When I was doing the latest "White Knight Chronicles" game, we had forgotten to grab a couple of lines. So I went in, did 3 takes of 3 lines and was out in under 5 minutes. WILD! Then I went over to P.O.P studios in Santa Monica to do a new Old Navy commercial. In the new run of spots, I'll be the mock promo announcer you'll hear. I believe I got this job because of my work on "The Tonight Show," since I do a lot of that over there. Tim, Deb, Tiffany and the gang are awesome! Lotsa fun! Then I hit the vet's to get some more food for Sassie, and then it was over to NBC for "TTS'. They needed me in early to record some stuff for the show, so I got over there in lots of time. After the show I came home and relaxed. WHEW!

Tuesday the 14th - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! - It was a year ago today that I started on the primetime "Jay Leno Show!" A day I'll never forget it, and it was definitely a happy day! A lot has happened in that year! But the day started with an early morning gig at Voice Trax West for Del Taco. I voiced a webisode for them using an old 50's movie trailer-type voice. The director had a real specific idea in mind for the sound he wanted, so we had fun experimenting with different line readings and sounds to capture just the vibe he was going for. Then I went home and took a little nap. I hadn't been feeling altogether well, but after my nap I felt like a million bucks! I drove over to "TTS" for the taping. Jamie Lee Curtis was on the show, so it was a thrill to be able to say her name in the opening credits. Of course I've been a fan of hers since "Halloween," and she was terrific on the show. Plus, I got to read over The Tonight Show band with lead guitar licks provided by guest guitarist and rock legend STEVE VAI! GREAT DAY! As my pal Bruce Kulick (another rock guitar god!) said in praise of Steve Vai..."He is an ALIEN! Really scary player!" But the weirdest thing happened during Jay's monologue. A REAL alien, a religious heckler, started yelling from the audience. He said something about Biblical prophecy mentioning a huge earthquake in Los Angeles in May. To which Jay said, "Sir, you're a few months too late." People laughed but the heckler continued talking about how the Bible was the truth and how much he loved Jesus and that Jesus was his savior. Once he was removed by security Jay had some VERY funny ad-libs to the audience. He said, "And he's not even Muslim! He's one of OUR guys!" That brought the house down. Then Jay suggested that they stop serving mushrooms in the green room. I gotta tell ya, not only was Jay engaged in what the heckler was saying, but his rapid-fire quick wit was truly genius. What a way to celebrate my first anniversary on the show. When I got out of the booth during the first commercial break, nobody on the crew was even talking about it. I thought that was odd, so I asked Patrick the audio mixer, "Does that happen a lot?" He said it happened from time to time but there's not much you can do about it. Apparently the crew has been with the show so long that this sort of thing is old hat to them. Amazing! Then I told Patrick it would have been really funny if I would have slipped off to the wardrobe department, got a long white robe and some sandals, and stood out in the parking lot looking for the heckler so I could say, "My son, that's not the way to spread the word." We had a good laugh over that! Folks, if you want to get your message out, the absolute stupidest thing you can do is go to a taped show and heckle. It's going to be left on the editing room floor, and for what do you get for it? A nice visit with the NBC security staff and a possible trip to the Burbank police department. After the taping I went to 'It's a Wrap" to see what new items they got in for Halloween. I bought a pair of bright red plastic pants (why I don't know!), a holster for one of my .45 automatics, a cool gray jacket with an embroidered eye logo and the number 7 on it, a bracelet, two more captain's hats, and a bright red shit with rhinestones on the front that accentuated the pockets. I had just spoken with my pal Alex Zsolt, who's a Christian keyboardist that travels all over the country doing amazing concerts. I knew we'd be meeting for dinner, and I knew this shirt would be perfect for him. On the back of the shirt, it had the name JESUS in rhinestones. Campy, hilarious and dazzling all at the same time. I'm sure Alex would wear that for one of his concerts some day. I met up with Alex, my pal Rob (Alex and Rob were rehearsing for an album they're recording together) and Sara. We had a great meal and then went over to Chill for some frozen yogurt. There we met a bunch of people from my church. I had been trying to get them to see Alex play for some time, and here was my chance. We went back across the street to the church and Alex played about 3 songs for them. Needless to say they were all blown away, and ideas started flying around about having Alex come to our church for a concert. Just want I wanted to have happen! The wheels of progress were in motion! It was a great, GREAT night!

Wednesday the 15th - BACK AND FORTH! - One of the great things about my job with "The Tonight Show" is the fact that I'm virtually on-call for them at all times. If there's some comedy bit they need voiced it's not uncommon for them to call me in at 1pm, or a little earlier than my usual 3:30 call time around 3. But there was SO much comedy being produced today that I got called in several times! In the early morning I headed over to Voice Trax West to do the voice over for a breast cancer awareness spot for Southeast Missouri Hospital. Then I got a call from my agent to see if I could be at NBC at 11 for a quick v.o.! When I got finished I went to my dentist appointment to get my 6 month teeth cleaning and check-up. After I got a clean bill of health from my dentist, I headed over to KFC to get some crispy strips. Then I was due back at "TTS" to do another v.o., which involved doing some "foley" for a baboon eating potato chips. Foley is the art of adding sound effects to a scene, named "Foley" for the guy who created the process initially for film. One of the writers gave me a bag of Doritos and put me in the booth. He had me rip them open, rattle the bag for awhile, and then crunch some of the chips. Work is tough! I gave him crunching in the clear, then some crunching with the bag rattling. Then he had me do another v.o., and I was clear to go home for a few hours. I went home, walked the dog, grabbed a quick shower, and headed back to NBC. The first bit featured a montage of new TV shows that combined some of the most famous reality shows...and I did different sounding promo announcers for each bit. I ended up voicing about seven different bits. What fun! After the taping I went home and got cleaned up for dinner. I met up with Edi, Sara and my pal Cher at Barone's to celebrate Cher's recent birthday. Lots of fun! I saw my friend Colleen O'Shaunessy at the restaurant too. She plays Wasp to my Ant Man in "Avengers." She also played my sister in "Gormiti." Always good to see her and her wonderful family. I got home and did some auditions, and then turned in. It was going to be another LOOOOONG day on Thursday!

Thursday the 16th - TONIGHT...ON A VERY SPECIAL CHIPS! - AAAAUUURRRGH! What a day this was! In the morning I headed over to Santa Monica to P.O.P. studios to do another TV commercial for Old Navy. Just as I was about to get on the 10 freeway from the 405, a California Highway Patrol officer with nothing better to do pulled me over for not wearing my seat belt. Don't get me started. The state of California can't balance its own budget, but it can waste time and energy to try and make you wear a seat belt. Give me a break. How stupid. Those guys in our legislature really do NOT have a clue and should all be run out of town. Shouldn't wearing a seatbelt be MY decision. I've already got a mother, I don't need one named the state of California, thank you. But I digress...the officer was just doing his job so I didn't blame him. When I opened the glove compartment to give him my license and registration he saw my boxes of bullets (completely LEGAL by the way). He then had me step out of the car and asked if I had a weapon in the car. I told him I did, and it was in the trunk (completely LEGAL by the way). He asked why I had it, and I told him I was planning on going to the target range later. He asked what range and I said Firing Line in Burbank. He wanted to know what I was doing in that neighborhood (West L.A). I told him I came down to do a job at Pacific Ocean Post for Old Navy. He asked what I did and I said I do voice-over...announcing for the Tonight Show, etc. He froze and stared at me. He said...REALLY? I assured him I was no threat, but he had me lock my hands behind my head and turn around so he could frisk me. It was cool, since this had never happened to me before, and I wasn't nervous because I knew I was completely within the legality of the situation (except for the stupid seat belt law, that is). He removed the gun case from my trunk and saw that it had a name plaque on it. (I name all my guns) This one is named KIT. He asked if my name was Kit and I said no, it's the name of the gun. He said, you name your guns? I told him I had a lot and it helped me keep track of them. So he took my gun out of the case, made sure it wasn't loaded, which it wasn't (completely LEGAL by the way) and he asked if I wanted to sit on the curb. I told him I would rather not get my pants dirty. By then another officer arrived to assist. After awhile he told me I could sit in my car, which I did. He gave me the ticket (after a looooong delay) and gave me back my bullets and gun. I also showed him my registration and insurance information, in addition to my membership cards to two gun ranges I belong to. When he gave me back the gun and said everything was in order, which I knew it would be. I told him again I had no reason to lie to him. He wanted to know why I don't wear a seat belt and I said I have a mortal fear of being trapped in a burning car. He suggested I buy a belt cutter. Not sure what that was, he explained that it was like a pocket knife. I said that if I had one of those in my pocket, he may have been threatened when he frisked me. He said no, he just would have taken it out of my pocket. The other officer (who was smiling the whole time, obviously aware of the ridiculousness of the situation) told me that they see a lot of "fatals"...people who were killed because they weren't wearing their seat belts. I asked what the statistics were for people who had LIVED because they weren't wearing their seat belts, people who had been thrown clear to safety, or escaped a burning car. He said he didn't have those statistics but since I was "curious" I was welcome to look the information up on the internet. (Oh brother!) Since I was making total logical sense, and in a totally fun and peaceful manner, he had no other option than to wish me a quaint "drive safely" and then gave me the wrong directions to the studio I was looking for. The other officer saw me grab a bottle of water out of my trunk and asked if that was my secret potion (meaning for voice over work). I told him that water was the greatest healer and cure-all. Then I told him that when working stressful v.o. sessions, taking a drink of water to lubricate the voice after each line helps to prevent laryngitis. I shook both their hands, introduced myself and was on my way. Needless to say I was late to the session, and managed to bang out one and a half commercials, but I'll need to return on Friday to finish it up. I'm going to have my seat belt handy to slide on in case I spot anyone who looks like a cop. I got home with just a little time to grab a shower and a change of clothes, feed the cat, and then head over to "TTS." After the show, I went to Voice Trax West to do another narration for Jim Hulihan and Multi-Media Assemblies. These are multi-media presentations around 40 minutes in length that are shown in schools all over the country, that promote safe driving, and discourage drug and alcohol use. I've been doing these for Jim for about 10 years now, and they're always fun. After we finished up, I met my pals Sara and Chuck McCann for dinner at Panera. I was literally exhausted! I've had about 2 or 3 sessions every day this week, and that involved getting up early and doing a lot of driving. And it looked like I wasn't getting a break until the weekend, which I was really looking forward to! After dinner I went home, took a dip in the jacuzzi, did a few auditions in my home studio and e-mailed them to my agent, and went to bed! WHEW!

Friday the 17th - FRIDAY AT LAAAAAST! - For the fifth day in a row, I got up early for a gig. I'm not complaining, mind you (work is GOOD!) but I'm not really used to getting up that early so many days in a row. Like Thursday, I was back on the road to Santa Monica heading to P.O.P. for another Old Navy commercial. I had my top down and YES...I had my seat belt on! After an uneventful drive, I had a great session with Tim, Deb and the Old Navy gang. Then I headed over to the Beverly Hills It's a Wrap location, and picked up a few new items. One non-related Halloween item was a cool hoodie. But I got a few Halloween items as well. I found another red satin rhinestone-studded shirt with JESUS on the back. The other I had given to my friend Alex, but I think I'm keeping this one for myself. Then I headed over to Wendy's for some quick drive-thru, and then home to walk the dog. Then I went to NBC for "TTS" and finished out the week with lotsa fun and laffs! Then I went to my chiropractor and got an adjustment. I got home and my masseuse Miriam came by to give me a massage. I hadn't had one in several years and it was good to get back in the groove again. Then I enjoyed a nice dip in the jacuzzi to relax all those muscles, and then a nap on the couch. I stayed up really late watching second season episodes of "The Man from UNCLE" and eating take-out from Denny's. FUN!

Saturday the 18th - MOM! - I got up around noon and my maids came to clean up Planet Wallywood. I went over to my box to get my latest shipment from My Publisher.com. I had designed a Lon Chaney photo book using about 70 of my favorite Lon Chaney stills from my collection of over 1300 photographs. I had been waiting for them to arrive for some time. I'm giving one to Ron Chaney (Lon Sr.'s great grandson) as an early Christmas gift, my pal Dan Roebuck, Hugh Hefner, and Gene Simmons. I'm keeping 2 copies for myself. They turned out really great! I named it "Lon Chaney For Dummies" so people familiar with Chaney's work could acquaint those who are less in the know about Chaney with his work and craft. In 70 photos, a complete newbie would have a pretty good idea of what he accomplished and the amazing things he created in the world of make-up. But on my way home I got a call from my sister Bonnie that my mom was being taken to the ER via ambulance in Sioux Falls for shortness of breath. My dad called 911 and had the ambulance take her to the hospital right away, which I think was very wise. My sister Bonnie was about 2 hours outside of Sioux Falls on her way back, and my sister Peggy was racing to the hospital as well. The doctors think it was just an arrhythmia and not a heart attack. They said there was no heart damage either (THANK GOD!). So now they're keeping her in the hospital to observe her and do testing. When I got the news I did my best to remain calm...I took deep breaths, remembering my training from meditation at church, and told myself she'd be alright, and that her healing was already taking place. It gave me peace, no doubt! When I talked to my dad a little later in the day he had calmed back down as well. So everything's good. I took a dip in the pool and the jacuzzi and got prepared for movie night. We watched an episode of "The Prisoner" (we only have 2 left to watch now), an episode of "Danger Man" from the U.K. (which many believe inspired "The Prisoner") and then watched one of my favorite movies..."Chaplin" starring Robert Downey Jr. I had forgotten how amazing this film is, and how amazing RDJ is in the film as the title character. Really great stuff! When everyone left I started working on another book on My Publisher.com...a redux of one of the first books I made. Now that I know more about the layout process and their program, I realize how I could have done my first books better. So I'm redoing most of them in the larger format with more flair. Then it was in bed for a snack watching "Man from UNCLE" and off to sleep!

Sunday the 19th - CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT! - I heard that mom is bored in the hospital, so she's obviously doing better. My friend Brittney was in the area so she stopped by to say hi, then I got ready for evening church. They were recording another service for an upcoming CD of the music, and the band was in fine form! GREAT music! I came home afterwards and grabbed a nap on the couch, after a dip in the jacuzzi. I've been having lower back issues and the jacuzzi really helps. I woke up to the phone ringing, and it was Chuck McCann. We met at Jerry's for a late dinner. He said he gave the "Lon Chaney For Dummies" book to Hef and he loved it! Sara joined us as well, and we had fun chatting over yummy food. Then I came home, did auditions and watched another "Man from UNCLE" episode. Ready for a new week, but hopefully not as nutty as this one was!

And how was YOUR week?!?!