RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
After hearing Priscilla Presley talk about all of the girls who used to hang around Elvis Presley when she first met him, I thought of this picture. Is this the Elvis of the poultry world?
After my random encounter with rock legend Eddie Money last Friday night, I couldn’t get “Baby Hold On” out of my head. He’s had so many great hits…”Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Maybe I’m a Fool,” “Think I’m In Love,” “Shakin,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Everybody Loves Christmas,” “Walk on Water,” and “I Wanna Go Back.”
Monday the 6th – MAD, MAD MONDAY! – Early morning is not my friend, and early morning Voice-Over sessions REALLY aren’t my friend. My voice just seems to work better later in the day. But this week, three of the five workdays I have early sessions scheduled. Not my choice, but whatever. I got up at 9 for a 10am session at Wild Woods studios in Hollywood. I’m narrating a brand new 12 episode series that’s fascinating. The session was supposed to take 3 hours (my eyes start to blur after 3 hours of reading this stuff) but it ended up taking 4.5 hours. I was on my feet (I always stand when doing Voice-Over) for almost 5 hours and I was exhausted. Sometimes that’s the way it happens in a new show; you’re getting the voice right, tweaking the energy and intent, etc. I got home and walked Roxy and hit the Jacuzzi to soak my back and legs. I went inside to grab a short nap on the couch, and then I got up to do a little work. My pal Pat the Batman Fan came over to drop off some photos he wanted me to autograph for some friends. I did my nightly auditions, typed out Wally’s Week, and hit the hay for another early Voice-Over session on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday the 7th – LET THERE BE LIGHT! – For the second day in a row I had to be up at 9 for a morning Voice-Over session. This time I’d be driving down to Marina Del Rey to do some more voice tracks for American Airlines. I love hearing from my friends who fly American, when they tell me they just heard me on their flight. My pal Bruce Kulick travels with Grand Funk Railroad all the time, and he takes American almost exclusively. He’s always texting me to let me know that he’s hearing me on his flight. I got to the studio at 11am and by noon we were finished. I went over to the T-Shirt Warehouse to buy a t-shirt for a character to wear in an upcoming episode of “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys.” Then I went over to Cash N Carry Office Supplies to get some supplies. When I lived in Culver City I used to love going to this store; office supplies stacked to the ceiling! I love it! It’s still a great store. I went to Pier 1 and bought 3 director’s chairs, and then went to my favorite Mexican restaurant to get lunch. Again, when I used to live in Culver City, I was a regular at Campo’s. Delicious food, but they don’t have one where I live! I scampered off to Regenix to get a follow-up exam on my scalp, as well as pick up some new supplies. I stopped by Light Bulbs Unlimited and picked up some lighting for my patio. I stopped by International Silks and Woolens to check on some fabric that I ordered. But it hadn’t arrived yet. I drove back to Wild Woods studios to pick up my iPad that I had left there at the session on Monday. I was so exhausted when I left I totally forgot my iPad there! When I got home I realized that one of the lighting sets I bought was defective. It had two female ends, but no male connector. Oops. But the other one was perfect. I checked some e-mails when I got home, walked Roxy, and got set up to install the lighting on my fascia board on my patio. The lights can change colors, flash, blink, stay solid, and dim. It’s a great little set of LEDs, similar to the lights I installed in my Tranquility Zone (my bedroom). I had to run over to the local hardware store to get some cable staples to mount the lights. The double stick tape they sold me at the lighting store wasn’t much use. The lighting looks cool but I’m anxious to see how it looks at night. My pal Jasmine came over for a bit, and then I grabbed a nap. When I got up later I turned on my patio lights. The dark blue lights looked amazing, and it was on the dimmest setting possible so I didn’t drive my neighbors nuts. I mounted the lighting strip up under the fascia board about 6 inches, so the patio’s canopy has a gentle glow, as opposed to being able to see specific lights. It’s gorgeous. I made some lasagna and watched another episode of “Lost In Space” before bed. It was a great night because I didn’t have to get up early for a session the next morning.
Wednesday the 8th – WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY! – At 2 when I awoke I did a last-minute audition and sent it into my agent’s office. Then I went back to the lighting place to try and figure out why the set of lights I bought had two female ends. They put on a new male-to-male connector and I was on my way. I hit Taco Bell for lunch, and then went to Michael’s Crafts to get some iron-on letters for an upcoming character in “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys.” I got back home and fed the pets, and then my pal Brittney Powell came over for a bit. She thought the patio lighting was amazing. I took a short nap and then got up to do my nightly auditions. But my stupid Time Warner internet was out, so I busied myself with work around the house. I stitched an embroidered patch on to a cap I bought, and I cut some more KMET magnetic stickers. There was a legendary radio station in Los Angeles that ended operation back in 1987. When it switched over to The Wave I started working there playing Smooth Jazz. The KMET bumper stickers that the station handed out were legendary and were seen on all kinds of cars. One of the ladies who worked at The Wave was a holdover from KMET. She had a bunch of old radio station swag left over and she was going to dump it. But being the collector I am, I asked her if I could have it. I got a bunch of stationery, promotional mirrors, keychains and of course, about 100 of the legendary bumper stickers. But I know that most people don’t want to stick an actual sticker on their nice cars any longer, so I buy magnetic sheets at the craft store. I stick the bumper stickers on to the magnetic sheets, and then cut them out. I’ve given several of them out, and people love them. It really brings back memories. I have one on my Gran Torino, in fact. Since there wasn’t any internet, I stuck and cut a bunch of KMET bumper stickers. They’re awesome handouts. I paid some bills and logged some receipts, and did a few more odds and ends around the house. The internet finally came back on, so I did my auditions and sent them in. I made a pizza and watched another “Lost In Space” before bed.
Thursday the 9th – PAT AT PATY’S! – When I got up at 2 I was starving. I arranged to meet my pal Pat the Batman Fan and my assistant Sara at Paty’s for lunch. I even brought Roxy along as a special treat. We had a very nice dinner. I got some mail at my mailbox, picked up my comforter at the cleaners, and then headed home to do some work. I grabbed a short nap and then got up later to do my auditions. I went over the two scripts for the upcoming episodes of “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys” and then headed to bed so I could be up for the THIRD early morning session this week! (YAWN!)
Friday the 10th – TWO TICKETS TO PRESLEY-DISE! – This was going to be a VERY long, but exciting day. It started at 8am, when I sprang from bed to get ready for a session at Warner in Burbank. I was doing some more Riddler voice tracks for a super-secret project. It’s always fun doing the Riddler, and I hope I get to do him for a very long time to come. A fan recently wrote me and said, “Wally Wingert is to the Riddler, what Mark Hamill is to the Joker.” WOW! I was touched and moved beyond belief by those words. That was really nice! When I finished the session at 10:30 I met up with my friend James, who works at Warner in Post-Production. My friends Tony and Crystal were already on the lot to visit the Warner Museum, so we all met up and had a great time. One of the museum attendants came up to me and introduced himself. He said I had signed a photo for him several years back and he thanked me for it. We chatted for a bit, and he introduced me to one of the janitors who mentioned he was from Iowa. I told him I was born in Des Moines and we had a great time chatting for several minutes while Tony and Crystal looked around at the exhibits. We grabbed lunch at the commissary, and then did some shopping at the Warner store. I bid farewell to James, Tony and Crystal, and then headed to my mailbox to get my mail. Then I grabbed a nap on the couch. It was going to be a very long night so I needed to rest. Later in the afternoon I got up and got ready to pick up my “adopted grandma” Shirley and head to Thousand Oaks for “An Evening with Priscilla Presley.” My friend Officer Mark had bought VIP tickets, which not only gave us fourth row seats, but also a Meet ‘n’ Greet after the show to meet Priscilla. Shirley was very excited! We hit the freeway and I couldn’t believe our luck! It was 5:30pm on a Friday, on a Los Angeles freeway, and the traffic was at top speeds! We were going 70 mph! We made it to Thousand Oaks by 6 for our dinner reservations at PF Chang’s and had a great dinner. As we were entering the elevator to head to the theatre I noticed that rock legend Eddie Money was on the elevator with us. Too cool! I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to bother him, but he seemed like a cool guy. We got our passes and got seated. The show was amazing; very informative and classy! Priscilla Presley is terrific! After the show Shirley stood in line in front of me to meet Priscilla, and she was just a tad nervous. Shirley’s sister was a HUGE Elvis fan growing up, and Shirley knew that her sister was going to be VERY jealous! I saw Catherine Bach from “Dukes of Hazzard,” and knowing she is originally from South Dakota, I leaned in and asked her if she was from Rapid City. She lit up and said she was. We chatted for a bit, but the line started to move. Officer Mark mentioned that Eddie Money’s daughter was with him and that spurred a fun memory from the past. But more on that later. Shirley went up to speak to Priscilla and I didn’t hear what she said, but Priscilla said, “Oh, thank you!” And she gave Shirley a big hug. Later, I asked Shirley what she told Priscilla and Shirley said with a wry smile, “I’m not telling.” They took a great picture together and then it was my turn. Though nobody else knew it, I had worn the perfect clothes just for the occasion. The suit jacket I wore was purchased at Lansky Brothers in Memphis, where Elvis used to buy a lot of his clothes. I bought that and a pair of blue suede official Elvis Hush Puppies at the store when I visited Memphis back in October of 2010. I also was wearing my silver TCB necklace (Elvis’ official, personally designed logo short for “Takin’ Care of Business) which I had bought at one of the Graceland gift stores. Even though I was wearing the necklace you couldn’t really see it with the shirt I was wearing. Then Officer Mark and his girlfriend Connie got their picture. It usually takes several days for them to e-mail the pictures to the guests, but I want it asap to post. We all stood in the lobby after the show and chatted with some people who were there for the show. Their hobby is traveling around the country and seeing Paul McCartney in concert. Having just seen him myself, we had lots of notes to compare. They’ve been to about 50 McCartney shows, and they go full VIP each time! WOW! But as we spoke, Eddie Money’s daughter Jesse came down the hall. I decided to relate my special memory to her and see what her reaction would be. I said, “Are you Eddie’s daughter?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Would you have been about 2 years old in 1989?” She said, “Yes.” I extended my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Wally. I’m your babysitter.” She laughed and I went on to tell her that while I was working at the Westwood One Radio Network in Culver City in the late 80’s, her dad had come into the network to do some pick-up vocals for an upcoming live concert event the network was doing. And he brought his 2 year old daughter with him. But she couldn’t go into the booth with him. So the recording engineer Richard Kimball said, “Hey! Wally’s got kids. Have HIM watch her!” So I took the watercolor markers that I kept at my desk and some paper, and we laid on the floor in Richard Kimball’s office and drew pictures together. Pretty soon Eddie Money rounded the corner and I related the story to him. Not only did he remember going to Westwood One that day, but he also remembered Richard Kimball. “How is he these days?” I told him I hadn’t seen him in decades so I wasn’t exactly sure. Eddie and I kept chatting for a bit and he looked at me and said, “You look like that guy in green pants who hurts his back.” I wasn’t sure what he was taking about right away. Normally when people start out with “you look like that guy” they’re talking about some bass player I look like, or somebody’s uncle, or they think I look like Weird Al. But the green pants? Hurt his back? It dawned on me and I said, “You mean the guy on TV that says…YEEAAAAAH!” Eddie said, “Yeah, that one! I said, “Yeah, that’s me.” Eddie smiled and it didn’t sink in. Then it dawned on HIM! “That’s really you!?” I said, “Yup.” He turned to his wife Lori and said, “Honey, it’s that guy from the commercial!” Apparently Eddie watches TV commercials. We started talking about the commercial, how it came about, who directed it, etc. We had a fun conversation. Then I introduced him to Officer Mark. Eddie asked how long he was on the force, and then talked about his own service as a Police Officer in New York before he became a rock star. What a fun evening, and what a random occurrence! It’s the first time I’ve actually been recognized by a celebrity! I gave him my card and we headed out. I also saw Wink Martindale, who was a good friend of Elvis’ from the early days. During the drive home I was trying to explain to Grandma Shirley who Eddie Money was. I was singing “Baby Hold On” all the way home. I got home and walked Roxy, worked on the computer doing some social media stuff, and then made some soup and a sandwich. I ate dinner while watching “Lost in Space” before bed. What a cool, strange, random day!
Saturday the 11th – CON-GRAD-ULATIONS! – My friend Secunda Wood had arranged a lunch meeting with a friend of hers’ who’s an aspiring Voice-Over actress. When I got up around noon the day was overcast and I could tell it had been raining. It was the perfect day to stay in bed and snooze. But I had to get going to this meeting. But I got a text from Secunda letting me know she was sick and on her way to Urgent Care. So the meeting was postponed until another day. I stripped off my clothes, put my pajamas back on and got back in bed! Awesome! Sometimes things just work! I got up later in the afternoon and my friend Caroline and I drove to Thousand Oaks for her niece’s graduation party. Emma’s a huge fan of Voice-Over actors, so we always have a fun conversation when I’m at her house. Dinner was delicious, and her grandpa Irwin Yablans (famous Hollywood producer) agreed to come to one of my movie nights to do running commentary on one of his movies. Neat! When I got home I napped for a bit, and then got up to get some groceries at 2am. I got home and put them away, did some laundry, and did some work on the computer. While I was working, I looked down into the living room and saw Spook acting strangely. He was frozen and staring in the northwest corner of the living room. I wasn’t sure why, so I said to him, “Spook. Spook. SPOOK!” But he ignored me and stayed focused on whatever was grabbing his attention. I went downstairs to look around but couldn’t see anything. Spook moved away. But soon he took up his position again…frozen and focused…staring in the northwest corner of the living room. I grabbed my flashlight and did some looking around. I looked behind the action figure cabinet and realized what it was that grabbed his attention. It was a black widow spider about the size of a penny! It was busy trying to build a web. Well, I sure didn’t want my cat or dog getting bitten, so I got some spray and killed it. Spook must’ve seen it walk in across the living room, but knew enough not to attack it. But he knew it was dangerous and he was letting me know there was something amiss. Good kitty! He got lots of good treats! I made my traditional Saturday night super salad and watched an episode of the old BBC show “The Avengers” before bed.
Sunday the 12th – JUNE GLOOM IN MY ROOM! – It was nice to sleep in until 3pm. I got up to get showered so I could host my friends Jeremy and Holly at my house. Jeremy used to work closely with Tony Clifton, and I hadn’t seen him in a while. We had a lot of catching up to do. We talked until it was time for me to walk to church. When church was done Grandma Shirley and my assistant Sara joined me at DuPar’s for dinner. I bought a cigar at the nearby cigar store and went home to grab a nap. I got up later for my nightly auditions, and then I fed Roxy and did some more work on the computer. I got some food to go at Denny’s and came home to get ready for bed. But before I ate and watched “Lost In Space,” I sat in my bedroom’s window seat to watch the morning come alive. It was wonderful and magical. It was overcast, and bluish/gray out. It was nice and cool. I put on some nice meditational music and just enjoyed the morning; watching the birds flutter back and forth, and watching the squirrels chase each other around the pool. It was peaceful, cool, quiet and gorgeous. I actually sat there for about 30 minutes just enjoying life and creation. What a morning. I want to do this every day while L.A.’s “June Gloom” persists. Words cannot describe it!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK