RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
I just felt it was time again for another cute puppy pic. That is all.
It started several weeks ago when Michelle and I were eating at El Pollo Loco. A song came on the music system that stood out from the rest of the stuff they were playing. I made note of the lyrics and looked the song up on-line later and bought it. But it seems like everytime we’re at Denny’s, their music system plays this song too. We’ve heard it a lot since our initial exposure to it. It’s called “Can’t Behave” and it’s by Courtney Jaye. It’s not a new song, but I’ve never been aware of it until now. I LOVE this song!
Monday the 19th – EYEBALLIN! – When I finished doing some work on-line, I sped off to my effect guy Jim Ojala’s studio to pick up my potential Cookie Monster eyes. I found some perfectly-sized plastic Christmas ornaments at Hobby Lobby. The only downside was that they were made out of very thin plastic that would buckle at the pressured touch of a finger. So I asked Jim to pour some liquid plastic into the hollow ornaments and do an ersatz “spin cast,” so that the plastic would harden on the inside of the plastic walls to fortify them. They’re still hollow, but now they’re a bit more weighty, and more robust. I will need to drill a hole into each eyeball to mount Cookie’s famous “spinning pupil.” So it’s nice to know I actually have something durable to drill into. I got lunch at the Burger King drive-thru and then I went over to grab my mail and packages at my box. When I got home I found out from my new on-camera commercial agent that I had a callback for an audition I videotaped last Wednesday. The call back would be at 10:30am the next morning, so I needed to take the new white paper background I made over the weekend and mount it over my showcase next to my computer so I could do a directed callback audition via Zoom. I sanded one of the Cookie Monster eyes to get the seam out of it, and then primed it. But it didn’t cover evenly so I had to sand it again. I need to get more fine-grain sandpaper the next time I’m at the hardware store. But I think these eyeballs are going to work out great! I did my nightly Voice over auditions, typed out Wally’s Week, set everything up for the Zoom audition the next morning (lighting, tripod, camera angle, etc.) and painted my fingernails black. (The audition is for a rocker guy) Then I managed to get a few hours’ worth of sleep before the audition.
Tuesday the 20th – COOKIE CUTS! – Bright and early I leapt from bed, showered and blow-dried my hair to look more “rockerish.” I dressed in the outfit I had selected for the audition, got my ersatz studio set-up, and then signed into the Zoom room to get audition instructions. Much like an in-person on-camera audition, all the other actors were there (about four of them not including me) and we all got instructions for the scenes we’d be doing. Then, again like an in-person on-camera audition) we were temporarily closed out of the Zoom room so the Casting Director could record us one-by-one. With a “W” name I’m used to always going last, and sure enough, after waiting a while, they got to me. The original audition had lines associated with this part, but now it was more “sight gag” types of things. They told me to act as though I’m walking into the room with my guitar very hung over and out of it. After only a few hours of sleep I didn’t have to act very hard. I was disappointed that the character’s lines in the piece seemed to have gone away. I’m not that interested in being a sight gag, and it looked as if one of the other potential picks would have been a better selection for that. Also, I don’t actually play guitar so that may have hurt my chances. But no big deal. It was interesting as it was my first on-camera callback audition since the whole Wu Flu thing. The best thing about it was that I didn’t have to drive an hour and a half to a casting office for a 5 minute audition, and then drive another hour and a half back home. I think that old protocol might be gone for good in this ‘new world.’ Let’s hope so. I did a little work, napped a bit on the couch, and then got up for a last-minute Voice Over session at Rocket Sound in North Hollywood! I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get some supplies, and I was elated that their deli counter had lots Ghoulash! (They call it macaroni and beef, but when my mom used to make it she called it Goulash. But being a monster kid I like to spell it Ghoul-ash!) However you spell it, it’s DELICIOUS! I got enough to have for dinner, and then have some left over for a few days later. I was determined to create an example of the “eyeball support plate” for my Cookie Monster replica Muppet to see how it would work with the new eyeballs. The Christmas ornaments I’m using for eyeballs have a little stem on them. A plastic cap goes over that stem and that’s where you put the hook to hang it on your Christmas tree. But I removed the cap so it’s just the bare stem, and my idea is to seat that stem into an appropriately sized hole in the plastic support place that sits underneath the top fur on Cookie’s head. The stem measures a little bit over 3/8” in diameter, so I drilled a corresponding hole into a piece of styrene plastic. I’m looking for a very tight fit, so I didn’t want to make the hole too big. Of course the hole was just a bit undersized, so I took an Exacto knife and started doing some whittling to open the hole to the correct size. Of course, as is my luck, the knife slipped and I sliced a half-inch cut into the outer side of the third knuckle of my left index finger. It didn’t really hurt, but it bled badly and I was angry at myself for making such a rookie move. Luckily, I eventually got the hole in the plate to the perfect size so the stem of the ornament just snapped right into place. It’s attached firmly into the plate, but it still swivels. So I’ll need to drip a few drops of plastic glue at the join when I get the eyes positioned how I want them. But I was VERY happy with how they turned out, and I think this is really the way to go. But “note to self,” I’m going to go to the hardware store and buy a round file to finesse the size of the hole for the real support plate. No more Exacto knives for me! I did my nightly auditions, and then my girlfriend came over to begin her weekend. She was hungry so we hit the only place open at that time of day – Denny’s!
Wednesday the 21st – DOUBLE DENNY’S! – The day started with a half hour pick-up session in my home studio. I had done an hour-long session last week for a client that was pretty fun. The tone of the original audition was “mock seriousness.” I’m pretty familiar with how to do those types of characters, but in the session the director said the client asked that I ‘soften’ the approach a bit from my initial audition. So we did the ‘softer’ version of a ‘mock serious’ character – I call it a ‘mock NOT-so-serious’ character. We got a lot of selections we liked at the session last week. But the client wanted to re-do what we did, because after hearing the takes we did last week, the client asked that we go back to the original ‘mock seriousness’ of my audition. So we did several takes back to the original specs and I was on my way with Michelle to Voice Trax West. I have a new comedy song I’m tweaking and we’re in the final mixing stages. But this one is tricky, so the mix has to be perfect in order for it to be effective. I spent some time with Evan the Engineer moving and tweaking things, and I think we hit on a good formula. After the session I met up with Michelle and we went to Panera to grab a bite. I got back home and did some work on-line. There was a considerable amount of paperwork that needed to be filled out before my long video game session on Thursday. I also did my nightly auditions, but by the time I finished the only eating place around us that was open was – you guessed it – Denny’s. So we went back to Denny’s to get some late dinner. I got back home and QC’d the Christoween on-line catalog to check for last-minute fixits before we go live. I did some prep for my Thursday session and hit the hay.
Thursday the 22nd – KLUNK! WHAT’S KLUNK?! – The weather was going to cool down for several days, so I made the perfect plan to get my Torino out for a little bit and drive it around. So I did some more prep for a four hour video game session that started at 2. I poured Pure Leaf iced tea into four aluminum tumblers (the kind that keeps the drinks cold for 24 hours!) and added the right amount of Splenda. I’ve found that in sessions, I usually go through one tumbler per hour. So a four hour session equals four tumblers of iced tea. Since studios no longer have their kitchens available to actors (it’s a Wu Flu thing) we have to bring our own snacks. So I packed some Cheetos and some blueberry bread. Another post Wu Flu request from the studios is headphones. They love it when the actors bring their own headphones. There was a lot going on outside my house on this day. My next-door neighbors are having flooring work done. A neighbor a few doors down was having her house’s interior repainted. And a sidewalk was being repaired outside of my house. So there was a long line of work trucks parked outside my garage, and one was even blocking my garage. Busy day! Luckily the work next door subsided for a little bit so I could get a last-minute audition recorded and submitted. While I was in the session, Michelle was going to do some shopping for an upcoming photo shoot (she’s a model). Because the studio where I’d be recording is literally two blocks from where my Gran Torino now resides, I’d go swap cars after the session. The session was great and the director was one of the most enjoyable directors I’ve ever worked with. The four hour session FLEW by! I drove to the parking structure and pulled my Mustang up next to the Torino. I swapped cars and I was on my way back home. As I was driving, Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” came on my stereo. That song always makes me drive a little faster than I legally should. Plus, there was a VERY slow-moving vehicle ahead of me. I pulled around slightly and saw that their plodding pace wasn’t due to a lot of traffic ahead of them, they were just going too darned slow. The road was wide open ahead! So while Curtis sang away, I gassed the Torino and pulled around them at lightning speed. It felt good. Until – KLUNK! What was that?! I heard a klunk under my car! Soon I saw my ALT light come on. Why was my alternator suddenly having trouble? In order to preserve the battery I turned off my stereo and headed home. What in the heck could THIS be?! Was it because I accelerated? I was baffled! Was it a coincidence, or did my acceleration somehow cause the alternator to go bad? I’d have it looked at soon! But once I can get it in my garage I can put it on the trickle charger and at least keep the battery charged! I got home and met up with Michelle. I made some final tweaks to the Christoween merchandise page and Michelle and I went over to Coral Café for dinner. After being on my feet all day at the session I was treated to a much-needed Michelle massage. Then she took off for home. Her weekend was over and her work started up again the next day. I had a ton of auditions to do, and then I cleaned up Planet Wallywood to prepare for the maids on Friday. It was quite an exhausting day, and the Christoween merchandise page would be launching tomorrow during San Diego Comic Con weekend! I decided to make some Buffalo Mac and watch an episode of “Mod Squad” before bed. I’m in the final season of the show and so far haven’t really been impressed by the episodes. But they’re starting to get good again. And this one was star-studded! Of course, back in the early 70’s when this season aired, these actors weren’t stars yet. But several of them would become HUGE stars in their own right! First off there was Tyne Daly, who would go on to ENORMOUS TV success in “Cagney and Lacey.” Then future soap opera star Anthony Geary appeared as a burglar. A dirty cop was played by Leif Erickson, who was at that point in the autumn of his illustrious career. And his son was played by Sam Elliot – who would later become HUGE in movies! It was quite an enjoyable episode!
Friday the 23rd – AN AUTO DOCTOR A-HA! – I phoned up my pal Mike at the Burbank Auto Doctor and explained what happened with the Torino. I told him I accelerated, I heard a klunk, and the ALT light came on. He said it sounded like I ‘threw a belt.’ That would explain everything. The alternator belt snapped off, hit the pavement under my car, and since it wasn’t generating power to the battery any longer the ALT light came on. But it would be Wednesday before he could get it in to look at it! They were swamped with cars, plus they were down one mechanic. I’m thankful it happened when I was on my way home, instead of sometime in the future when I was out and about. So I would only drive it sparingly if I had to for the next few days, and I would make sure the battery stays charged since the alternator won’t be able to keep it charged up. I did some work on-line, and we put the Christoween catalog up! We have some great products, and even though the stories won’t be released for a little while yet, we need to sell a certain amount of product to comply with some trademark office requirements. Until the stories get up on-line for people to enjoy I plan on offering several unique incentive plans to move Christoween merchandise and get it out into the public! The maids came by to clean up, and then I did some more work on Christoween stuff. Later I did my nightly auditions, and did some work around the house. I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched another “Mod Squad” episode. Of all the weird things, in the episode I watched one of the characters mentioned that it was July 23rd! I was watching it on July 23rd! What are the chances!? The episode featured a character actor named Nehemiah Persoff, who worked in tons of TV shows as a guest star through the years. Every time I see him I remember a funny story Paul Michael Glaser told me about him. Both actors worked together in an episode of “Kojack,” and in one scene they had together Paul brought tears to his eyes while emoting during his performance. He said that Nehemiah told him privately that he was overacting, and he’d never be very successful in acting doing that sort of thing. Considering that in every performance I’ve ever seen Nehemiah Persoff give (and I’ve seen him a LOT!) he’s always ‘chewing the scenery,’ I thought this was odd advice to give to PMG. Oh well. I think we all know by now that Mr. Persoff’s advice was erroneous, given how PMG’s career worked out in contrast to Mr. Persoff’s. While I’ve always enjoyed Persoff’s guest shots in TV shows, he didn’t quite become the household name that Paul Michael Glaser did.
Saturday the 24th – ANOTHER VOICE ACTING LEGEND! – I’m not sure why, but I’ve been bumping into Voice Acting Legends these past few weeks. After visiting my stylist Andie to get a touch-up on my color, I realized that I share her with the legendary Jack Angel. He came in after I was finished and we had a nice conversation. I also had a nice time visiting with his wife Arlene, who is a top Voice Over agent. I ran over to the store next door and picked up a few items including a nice cigar to enjoy later. I walked back home and got inside just in time to order a Domino’s pizza and settle in to watch the Cartoon Voice Actor panel on the San Diego Comic Con website. Once again, the con was held strictly virtually. But as moderator Mark Evanier said in the panel, he hopes this is the last year they do this. It was a very fun panel and in case you missed it, you can view it HERE. Later I worked around the house just doing random stuff; putting laundry away, putting the dishes away, putting fresh sheets on the bed, and rearranging my sock drawer. Yeah, I know…exciting stuff. But I needed to consolidate some stuff in my drawers to make room for all the new t-shirts I’ve been buying from Retropolis Tees! Later I took Roxy on a long walk through the complex and enjoyed the nice, quiet, cool night while enjoying part of my cigar. I came back inside and had the idea to do a Christoween store graphic for Twitter. And I made my first sale! (Thanks John!) I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad and watched another episode of “The Saint” before bed.
Sunday the 25th – LAME RAIN! – Sunday is to be a day of rest, so that’s exactly what I did. Rest. After the intense week I had I figured I deserved it. I rested. And rested. Got up for a bit, and then rested some more. It felt really good. Later on that night, the weather said that it was going to rain at 3am. Excited, I went out to my patio and sat on a chair to welcome the rain. I felt a few drips and drops, and then got impatient and went back inside. It did rain a little more intensely, but was nowhere near what I was expecting. The weather in L.A. has been uncharacteristically humid this summer, so it was nice that the rain helped get things back to normal. Not sure why we’re getting the humidity this summer, but some nights I’m reminded of the old days living in South Dakota. Though the humidity here isn’t quite THAT extreme! But as I listened to the gentle rain outside at 4am, it sure did smell nice coming in through the windows.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
The ornament snaps nicely into the styrene support plate, and with a few small drops of glue, they’ll be perfect!