RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
My 103 year old WWII vet pal “Bazooka” Joe wasn’t the only one I know who handled bazookas in the military. My dad also worked with them, even though (unlike Joe) my dad was (thankfully!) in the Army in peacetime.
Though we’re not quite into summer yet, it has been a VERY nice spring! And a few of the days have “hinted” at summer. Which makes me think of this song by Weezer called “Feels Like Summer!” I sing this when, well…it feels like summer.
Monday the 11th – TO SING OR NOT TO SING? – Before I sped off to start the day I prepped the house for Roxy’s dog sitter. I typed out a list of care guidelines, and then headed to Foam Mart in Burbank to buy some more L-200; a spongy, rubbery material that you can get in large quantities. I bought a piece that’s 4 feet by 8 feet so I can double her area in the living room. Since she’s no longer able to control her bladder as long as she used to when she was younger, I have a sheet of L-200 on the living room floor to protect the carpet. It’s also nice and soft for her to lie on. But I felt her cordoned off area was a bit cramped, so I wanted to increase it by twice as much. I hit Burger King for lunch at the drive-thru, and headed to Igloo to do a five hour session for the foreign sitcom I’ve been dubbing for the past 5 weeks. I wrap up at the end of the week, and the six week full-time gig will come to an end. Most sessions I’ve done have been four hours, but they need five hours today. Even though it was a long one, it flew by very quickly. It was so much fun crafting jokes and fine-tuning the scenes for the English-speaking audience. We’re at the end of the second-to-last episode, and we only have one more episode to go. We’ll have all of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to finish that up. And yes, we’ll need all of that time because these episodes are very “dialogue dense.” I stopped at CVS to pick up some supplies, the grocery store to get some food, and then I headed home to feed the kids. I relaxed a bit and then recorded my nightly auditions and wrote Wally’s Week. I also recorded another segment of Wally the Elf for this year’s “Christmas Across the Lands” radio show. I’m so excited to be a part of that program, and hearing myself on last year’s show was a thrill beyond belief, as it’s my favorite Christmas radio show! I made some spaghetti and watched the final episode of the foreign sitcom to prep for the final four days of sessions. There is a lot of singing in this episode, and I’m hoping they keep the music in its original language. But I’m not sure if they’ll have me sing the songs in English or not. I need to be prepared for anything.
Tuesday the 12th – ENGLISH!!! – After grabbing a salad-to-go at Paty’s, I headed over to Igloo to eat my lunch and then do a 4 hour session for the foreign sitcom, which included some pick-ups from the first few episodes. “Pick-ups” are lines that were missed during the first pass, or changed from their original form. While I was doing the pick-ups I got to hear some of the other English Voice Actors in the mix and it was fantastic! Since I was the first actor hired, I was acting against the other actors speaking in a foreign language. But now it’s great to hear me against the other English actors. I got home and Roxy had messed on the padding. So it looks like I’m going to have to take her out every 4 hours religiously. Poor ol’ gal can’t hold it like she used to. I’m going to need to hire a dog walker every time I have to leave the house for longer than that. Very sad. But what was even sadder, was when she got up her back legs must’ve been a little asleep, and she was “knuckling.” Knuckling is when they can’t feel that their feet are on the floor, and instead walk on their knuckles. I helped her work it out, but it brought back horrible memories of when Sassie had her neurological myelopathy, and knuckled on a regular basis. I had to put corrective booties on her back feet to keep them level so she could walk on them. I got some rest, and then I recorded an important animation audition.
Wednesday the 13th – IN FLUX! – To begin the day, I got a text from my agent letting me know that my 2pm call time for the foreign dubbing job had been moved back to 3pm, so I had a little more time to get ready for the gig. I did some work and then headed to Chick-Fil-A to get some lunch. But when I arrived at Igloo at 3, I got another text letting me know that the call time had been moved to 3:30, but I was already there. Apparently some technical issues at the previous session necessitated my session to move back a bit. But since I was already at the studio, they ended up taking me in around 3:15. So I ended up working 2 hours and 45 minutes. On the way home I stopped at the post office and mailed off some autographed items, and picked up some packages at my box. It included a new curved monitor for my computer. I had seen the curved monitors at Igloo and loved them, so since my computer guy is coming by next week to shore up my system, I figured I’d get one to integrate into my personal system. He’ll be adding a back-up system and a new keyboard to the system, in addition to doing a routine clean-out. I got home and was all ready to relax, when I realized with horror that I had a dinner meeting in 20 minutes!! I zoomed back out the door and headed to the Smoke House to meet with my buddy Troy, who writes for the “Ellen” show! We had a great dinner and chatted for hours. With my tummy full of yummy food, I headed back home to nap in the Puppet Room to the sounds of a croaking frog outside my house. VERY relaxing! Later I recorded a ton of auditions, made some lasagna and watched a few more episodes of “The Lone Ranger.”
Thursday the 14th – ALMOST WRAPPED! – The thought of a few chili cheese dogs from Weinerschnitzel was very appealing, so I grabbed a few on my way into Igloo studios. I got to see my buddy Dan Roebuck, who was also at Igloo recording on the same foreign sitcom, but in another studio. I recorded for 4 hours and headed home. Hard to believe that the six week gig wraps up in one day! It flew by! I got home and fed the kids and ordered up a Domino’s pizza. I did a little work in the garage to find some items I needed, recorded my nightly auditions, and rested up. Later I finished up a few personal projects and prepped for the final day dubbing on the foreign sitcom.
Friday the 15th – FIRST TO ARRIVE; LAST TO LEAVE! – As I was enjoying my morning shower to start the day, I noticed some water spritzing out of the connection from the shower head to the shower arm. I moved it around a little bit to try and determine the cause, and the adjustable shower head mount just snapped off in my hand! I had recently bought a snazzy shower head and assembly from a TV ad I had seen recently. I love the shower head, but the swivel ball (the little piece that allows the mount to swivel around to the desired position) was made out of cheesy, chromed plastic! I turned off the water, got out of the shower, angrily took a picture of the broken piece to send to the manufacturer to complain, and finished my shower in the Puppet Room. I rushed out of the house to get to Igloo studios for the final day of the foreign sitcom gig. But first I needed to get gas in the Mustang. It cost me over $70 just to fill up that little gas tank! I can barely imagine what the people who own SUVs must be paying! Unbelievable! I hope that they someday hold the morons who are responsible for this accountable! I got to the post office to send off some more autographed items, and then got some packages from my box. I hit Paty’s for a salad-to-go, and went to Igloo to enjoy my lunch before the final day of recording. Since it was Good Friday it was very quiet around the studio. In fact, I was the only actor who hadn’t been wrapped yet. All the other English actors had been wrapped on the previous day. I recorded two hours to finish up the final episode, and the third and final hour was spent just doing pick-ups from the previous episodes. It was a very fun gig, and I’m so glad I got involved in it. I can’t wait for it to be released so I can tell you more about it! Though I have dubbed hundreds and hundreds of hours of content in the past, dubbing in this particular context and format was something I had never done before. I figured it would be a challenge and I leapt at the opportunity. I delved into it wholeheartedly, doing my due diligence in researching as much as I could about the sitcom’s origins, actors and premise. I made new friends, and got to work with old friends. As we wrapped up, the director (who directed all the sessions remotely – yes! We’ve never met!) said the nicest thing to me. He said he had never worked with an actor who was so dedicated and committed to the project, and he appreciated all of the extra research and preparation I put into the role. That was very nice. It was an amazing collaborative experience that included improvising, rewriting jokes and gags on the spot so they work better for an English-speaking audience, and engaging in multiple levels of character performance. I can’t wait to tell you more about it once I’m allowed to, but suffice to say that the acting and the technology were both wonderfully challenging. I got an e-mail notification that some more mail had arrived at my mailbox in the late afternoon, so I went back to my box to grab it. Then I drove to my seamstress Shelley’s house to drop off some fabric for two new bowling shirts I want to have made. Since the convention world is opening back up again, I’m anticipating hitting some cons now and doing some traveling just as soon as the mask mandate on airplanes is dropped. I stopped at the store to get some groceries and happened to run into my old pal James from church! I hadn’t seen him in years! I believe that last time I saw him was at a Good Friday service where he and I performed music from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” VERY ODD that I would run into him again on Good Friday many years later! Hmmm. There are no coincidences in life, as I always say. I got back home and fed the kids and got settled in for a nice, restful evening as I enjoy the afterglow of wrapping up a fun 6 week gig. I set about e-mailing the photos of the broken chrome plastic piece to the company who sold me the new shower head. I composed an e-mail describing the problem, and attached the photos. But just seconds before I sent the e-mail I decided to look at the photos I was sending more carefully. When I enlarged them on my computer screen I suddenly decided not to send them. IMPORTANT NOTE! If you’re photographing items with a reflective surface, make sure you’re wearing clothes! Because you will be reflected in the surface of the item! Yup, since I had just come from the shower as I was photographing the broken piece, I obviously wasn’t dressed. I deleted those photos immediately and took new ones of the broken piece…fully clothed. I took a metal swivel ball joint out of an older shower head and put that in the new shower head mount assembly. It will work temporarily until I can get a brand new metal swivel ball connector. I was happily exhausted! I opened up some packages from my mailbox which included more Funko Pop boxes that fans wanted me to sign. The Renji figure was released recently as a Funko Pop and lots of fans have been sending them in to me to be signed and returned. Apparently the Renji figures are in high demand! In fact, there have been so many, I’m having to concentrate on keeping them all organized so they go back to the right people! Once again I napped to some soothing frog sounds out behind my house, and then got up later to pay some bills, reconcile my receipts and balance my checkbooks. I headed to Denny’s to get some food to go, and enjoyed watching the final two episodes of “The Lone Ranger” from season 3 of the DVD set. The failed one-season experiment the producers attempted in using an actor other than Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger was finally over. It was painful, to be honest, as the replacement’s acting skills were barely above that of a young actor in a high school play. I’ll be glad to see Clayton Moore return in season 4.
Saturday the 16th – BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! – There’s a long list of things I need to get done now that I have free time again. I got up early afternoon to wait for the maids to arrive to clean Planet Wallywood. Until then I did some work around the house. After they finished up I walked over to the hardware store to get some plastic cord holders, and a metal swivel ball for my shower head. But all they had were…you guessed it…chrome plated plastic. So buying that really wouldn’t have been much of an advantage, considering the reason I was needing a swivel ball for my shower head is that the other one broke. It would probably be the same thing with this one too. Oddly enough, as I was leaving, a guy came in and asked the clerk if they had a connection for a shower head mount. I pulled the broken one out of my pocket and said, “Like this?” He said it was that exactly. He said his swivel ball had snapped too. Good grief. Where is the quality!? I walked over to Roxy’s vet to pick up some meds, and then headed home. My friends Emily and Sabrina came by so we could go to dinner. I couldn’t wait to wrap my tongue around a few slices of pizza at Little Toni’s, but when we got there they said there was a 40 minute wait. But there were plenty of tables open. I suspect they simply didn’t have the server staff available. So we went across the street to get burgers at a place called The Habit. Since Emily is a trained massage therapist, I treated Sabrina to her first-ever professional massage. She loved it as much as I thought she would. I’m trying to teach her how to relax, meditate, think positive, and not stress so much. But being a young person, that can be difficult sometimes. I grabbed a short nap late in the evening, and I got up to work all night on organizing my cables, and completely reorganize my shipping supply cabinet and drawer. The drawer was so full I couldn’t even open it! I separated all of the envelopes, mailers, cardboard, plastic, etc. into different areas. It all fits now! Heck, I even organized my stamps into different denominations! It all needed to be organized very badly! But close to the dawn of Easter morning I had quite a bad headache. Then I realized it was most likely due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything in about 12 hours! So I got ready for bed, made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad and watched an episode of “The Saint” before turning in.
Sunday the 17th – HOPPY EASTER! – Normally Sunday is my “comatose” day, but it was especially needed after having just completed a 6 week run on the foreign sitcom. I managed to get up later in the evening to meet my pal Sara for dinner at Little Toni’s (yup, I was still craving that pizza!) and while I was there I ran into my old Voice Acting pal Audrey Wasilewski! I hadn’t seen her in well over two years and it was great catching up! I got home and did a little work, rested some more, and later I worked on Wally’s Week. I ate my leftover Little Toni’s pizza and watched the pilot episode of a 70’s show called “Ghost Story” on Blu Ray! I loved 70’s shows like this! Lots of great guest stars, and terrific writing!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
This never gets old!