Friday, December 30, 2005

A suprisingly busy week

Hollywood pretty much shuts down this week, but somehow I ended up with five auditions...had a callback today for a national SAG commercial for, a political organization backing the democratic party. I think they were trying to get me to say what political party I affiliate with at the callback, so I told them I was communist. They laughed. I was sort of serious.

I did have a good audion and chemistry with the people in the room though. They will call by tomorrow night if I got it. It shoots Monday.

Last night Debbie and I went on a real date to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary coming up in a few days. We haven't been able to go out as much lately as when we lived in Vegas. It was a very good night. We saw "The Family Stone" and we both loved it. There were a few trite and predictable parts, but the actors were phenominal across the board and the story was strong. I actually cried for the first time in a movie theater since Mr. Holland walked into the gymnasium to a standing ovation.

Deb's working a lot this weekend and I'll be hanging out at home with the boys. Going to Lifelines's birthday night.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Holiday Plans, Devil Girls and AFC North Champs

Christmas approaches...

I'm looking forward to the holidays this year. It's always hard for me when work slows down, but once I embrace it, it's a good thing. Today is Eli's last day of school, both he and Aidan have the next 16 days off...

Mom and Dad are visiting in early January and it will be nice to have them here. Dad hasn't been out since we moved here.

In between Christmas and their visit Debbie and I will celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary. In a bit of payback for the last two years (in which I had to work on new years eve, our anniversary) Debbie has booked a party and will be away for most of the day and night. It will be odd being at home with the kids on NY Eve as we normally spend it with our friends in Vegas. Odd, but fun in its own way. We can watch a little Spongebob and call it a night. That's the way a 32 year-old father is supposed to party anyway. Heck, we might even pop open a few fruit boxes and do some Capri Sun shots...

Almost forgot two important things:

1. I booked a part in a SAG feature film called Devil Girl. I play a televangelist...which should be very fun. It shoots in early January.

2. How bout them BENGALS? I have no idea how to live life with my football team still playing in's all so backwards. Maybe the Reds will make the playoffs too! I know, one miracle at a time.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Only 95 shopping days until my birthday...

We have wrapped the sitcom pilot. I spent the last few nights filming. I actually think it's going to be funny when all is said and done. Debbie had a big night last night with three of her parties going down at the same time. So...a very busy weekend for our family.

I'm working on General Hospital on Tuesday, but that's all that I have scheduled next week at this point. The Holiday lull is in full swing I have a feeling.

Friday was very cool. Lifelines organized a holiday meal for the local homeless people. I was able to spend a few hours hanging with some friends from Lifelines, as well as our guests. It was good to hear stories from them all and offer what little we had to help.

I received a copy of "Emerging Churches" by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger in the mail. I was interviewed for it three years ago. It was very interesting to see my own persepective back then and how it has evolved in one way or another. I've only skimmed through it, but it seems like a good resource for anyone out there struggling to translate the gospel into the life and language of the emerging culture.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Back to work, or not...

I'm neither auditioning nor working tomorrow. It's the first weekday in awhile where that is true. It's amazing how the insecurities of it all come crashing in on a day like that. You'd think that actors are neurotic enough, but the freelancing aspect of it pushes us over the edge. Things should start slowing down as we approach Christmas though. No matter what, the sitcom pilot shoots this week on Friday and Saturday. That will be nice for many reason, not the least of which is that it shoots less than two miles from my house.

I've been logging my auditions and it looks like I have a chance of hitting 100 auditions since moving here in July. That's unbelievable, especially considering it only accounts for half a year. If you had told me that I would have had 100 auditions in my first three years here, I would have been ecstatic. Granted, some of it has to do with my union status. I'm currently able to audition for both union and non-union projects. I'm now an AFTRA must join and will be a SAG must join after my next SAG gig. I'm thinking I will be joining both early next year. After that I can't work on any non-union projects, but the auditions I do go on will all be significant.

I did book back in Vegas for a convention in mid-January through a friend at church here in Costa Mesa...a little confusing I know. I'll be there four days on the convention floor running a game show both. Another great case of "who you know." Thanks, Bill...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Short Update

It's been a busy tiring week or two. The Punk'd callback went well overall. They had me there for almost three hours. They kept letting guys go and it went from 40 guys down to 9. Then they called us all in and the executive producer said we were all great and that we were going to do more improv. About 90 minutes later they let me go, along with another guy. About four guys were left there after we were dismissed, so I'm not sure if that means that they got it, or if I will hear back from them. It was the most exhausting acting experience of my life: three hours of improv with the constant possibility of being cut. I'm still recovering.

The last two days I've been working as a writer on the sitcom pilot. The script is complete as of an hour ago. Shooting late next week.

GH is over for now, but they said they will call again.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Days of our Life...

For all of you asking, it probably won't be worth the effort to try to see me on General Hospital. I think the six episodes that I appear in begin the week of Christmas. I pretty much just stand outside of the hotel lobby and let people in and out. No lines yet. I finally read for the casting director on Thursday and she said they will continue to use me as the doorman, and possibly some other speaking roles in 2006. So, it's definately a good thing, but nothing to spectacular on screen.

The bigger news is that I have the third and probably final callback for a series regular on Punk'd this coming Monday afternoon. That would be a pretty big gig for me at this point. One of the regulars last year is a new SNL cast member this year and some of the others have appeared in Ashton's movies, etc. The actual work itself would be well suited for me. It's not much different that what I did for two years at Tony n Tina's, except that people would have no idea I was acting...but I'm confident it's something I could do well.

All of this and the sitcom pilot that I've been working with is now in pre-production and should be filming just before Christmas. The year is definately ending in a chaotic burst of activity.

As for life in the family, we are all doing pretty well. The kids are excited for Christmas and we have decorated the apartment. Debbie is a party-selling machine. Stuff at church is good. I started a series in Matthew last night that I plan on continuing into the spring. It's good to spend time in the gospels. Jesus makes me want to follow him, even when his followers don't.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I was only actually on the set today at General Hospital for 15 minutes. I was at the studio for about four hours. I'm glad that I'm going back the next three days to try to understand it all a bit more. Soaps are definately different than the film and tv I've done so far. There's a good chance that everyday will be non-speaking. They originally weren't sure, but after seeing it all today I'm not planning on it.

However, I am getting to read for the casting director on wednseday before work. I'm not sure why really. I asked a guy today who has been doing background and "under five" (small speaking parts) at GH for years about it and he seemed surprised. He says its rare for them to do that. Who knows? I shouldn't try to figure that stuff out. Just enjoy being there and whatnot.

I will be able to make my Punk'd auditon tomorrow as well as an industrial callback. I don't report to GH until 7:00 pm and should only be there a few hours.

All for now...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lazy Saturday

Spent a few days in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving and had a good time. We decided to drive back at midnight on Thanksgiving which was a good decision in terms of traffic, but my sleeping schedule is a little off.

Debbie has a big party that she booked today so I'm planning on taking the boys to see Chicken Little. It's always a crap shoot taking them to the movies. Sometimes they love it, but half of the time we leave early.

I taught at Lifelines last night from Romans 13. It was just one of those nights when it felt a little rough. I usually have five minutes to teach on Birthday night (the last friday), but I had 25 minutes this week. Just felt a little off, but I'm sure something good was happening underneath. I was a little sleep deprived and carb-hung over from Thanksgiving.

I'm excited about working next week. I don't really know what to expect. I also booked a little industrial video that shoots friday. So it looks like I will be on General Hospital Mon-Thurs then working again on Friday. I have an audition Tuesday for Punk'd on MTV as a series regular. (One of the guys who tricks the celebrities...) I hope that I can work it around my shooting schedule. I generally do very well at improv based auditions. One of the most frustrating things about it all is that everytime I book I have to pass up auditions. I think that's a big part of why it is so hard to work constantly as an actor.

I'm off to enjoy doing nothing...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I was hired to work on General Hospital all next week...very small role, but five shows in four days. I play a doorman. Never been on a soap set. Never really watched a soap for more than five this should be interesting.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

UFO's , Jessica, and a new car

Much has happenned since my last post. Nothing too major, but all the same...

I had the callback friday for the UFO series. Crossing my fingers on that one. It went well...not stellar, but well. Afterward I ran into Jessica Simpson at the Arc Light Theater bookstore. She was reading US weekly and talking to her mom on the cell phone about the story in the magazine being untrue. Rather surreal, but left me pretty much unphased.

The van is still in the shop, but it will only cost $300, which is good considering they quoted me anywhere between $200 and $2000...I have a rental pick up truck now which is quite the gas hog.

And...we went ahead and bit the bullet on the new car. Traded in the Montero after a solid five year run for a Toyota Corolla. Not a sexy car, but very practical and much better suited for my travels. The savings in gas will nearly pay for the car payment each month.

Today was one of the busiest days since moving here. I had three auditions in LA this morning. They all went very well and, though I rarely say this, I'm almost certain that at least one of them will call. They were smaller projects and the directors were present. If they don't come through, no big deal. But a few of them are multiple day shoots starting after Thanksgiving. After my auditions I taught at church for Tim and followed that with my first performace at The OC Crazies. Good times. Debbie and the kids came. Aidan said I was funny. Eli said it wasn't fun because he couldn't run in the theater. Fair enough.

Tomorrow I teach three more services and follow them with the monthly Lifelines leadership meeting at Steve's house...then, Lord willing, I sleep!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My van door fell off and other stuff...

Quite a day. I had an 8:30 call this morning at a house in North Hills, north of LA, for the Age of Empires III commercial. It went great, but on the way there the sliding door in the minivan flew open and broke on a freeway exit ramp. I was pulling off of the freeway because I could tell the door wasn't fully latched. As I hit the gas to turn onto a street the door flung open and came off track...losing a few bolts. I managed to fix it enough that it stayed "on", if not closed, for the drive to LA. Basically, I drove over 100 miles today with the door stuck open though. I'm getting an OK paycheck for the commercial, so I'm hoping it will be a wash with the repair bill...

ANYWAY...this was a 60 second comedic spot...very funny in a silly "Bill and Ted" way. I wore an authentic British Red Coat soldier costume complete with knee-high boots, fake sideburns, funny hat and a real sword. They had my measurements all wrong (too small), so I could barely breathe, but it was good fun all the same.

I also found out today that I have a callback Friday to be the host of a new TLC/Discovery Channel show about UFO's. I feel strangely qualified for it. They are looking for a real host, not someone playing a character, so I would be my skeptical self investigating UFO sightings all over the USA. Here's hoping it goes well...would be a regular TV gig that could exercise both the creative and scientific sides of my brain.

That's all for now...gotta go to bed so that I can get up early and take the van into the garage...

Friday, November 11, 2005

I booked.

Finally! I actually booked the old fashioned way: through my agent. I have booked five projects since leaving Vegas but all of them were leads that I dug up myself, or someone who knew me throwing me a bone...thanks again, Gregg.

I booked a commercial for a video game (Age of Empires III) that shoots next week. I play a colonial British soldier...go figure. It is non-union, so no residual money but it is a definate monkey off my back. It's nice to think back to that full casting office and know that for some reason I was chosen. It means it can happen again.

I pre-spent some of the money on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." I took the boys to see it in the theater and they both loved it. They are watching it with Deb now. There is something about giving a gift to someone you love on a regular day...not Christmas or a birthday. It makes it more real.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Something's gotta happen...right?

Well...ten auditions in ten days. That's really good. I'm getting out there and I'm actually doing very well in each audition. I could use a booking for the old self esteem though.

I have joined the "OC Crazies", the longest running improv troupe in Orange County. They have their own theater and they are directed by an original member of The Groundlings, where I trained a few years back. My first show with them is in two weeks. It will be nice to get back to where it all began three years ago. Improv is still the thing that is the most fun for me. It's good to be back.

The TV pilot shoots in three or four weeks.

All else is well. Family is good. Life is moving fast.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This may not be the prettiest picture, but it says something...Eli went as a policeman. He was accidentally a sexy policeman because we haven't done laundry and didn't have any clean undershirts, so he showed a little chest. Aidan was a pretty cool spidey. We went to the OC Fairgrounds for a big Halloween bash and they loaded up on candy. Pretty cool.

Uncle Phaph (the spelling is uncertain...that's Deb's brother Dave) and Aunt Sara are here but they leave tomorrow. It's been a nice visit.

Four auditions in 24 hours and I'm a little fried. I'm starting to recognize other actors at auditons now which is nice. We talk about the parts we aren't getting together. It's struggling actor bonding-you wouldn't understand.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Things progress...

Nothing too exciting or devestating to report. School is going a little better for Eli it seems. My audition classes end this weekend and I can tell that I am auditioning better. Hopefully they will pay off, or at least pay for themselves, by helping book something soon. The sit-com progresses. We may shoot in two weeks. An OC based improv troupe has expressed an interest in me joining...which would be a nice return to the roots of it all. They want me to come watch them preform this weekend. I'm writing a bit more when I can find the time. Lots of creative plates spinning right now.

Debbie is at a rehearsal tonight for Lifelines, the recovery service. We have a band and sing the last friday of the month. It's also birthday night when people get chips for years of sobriety. I really enjoy those weeks.

For all of my talk about TV last blog I really only watch three shows every week: LOST, SNL and Commander in Chief. It kind of stinks that I like Commander in Chief so much because I would definately watch EARL and The Office which are on at the same time otherwise. When we are rich I will get Tivo. Then I can watch five shows a week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

More Actor Ramblings

Well, turns out the cast my part in The Metrosexual before I even got to audition. I was pretty depressed when my agent called with that news. I'm prepared for not getting anything I audition for, even a third callback...but I wasn't prepared to get the call that the audition was cancelled. For some reason that stings a lot more.

But...the pilot is going well. I'm very involved and have pretty much become the casting director now. It's fun to have agents and managers calling me and kissing up. It's a strange industry that can turn on a dime like that. I'm holding auditions tomorrow for three roles...then I have an audition in LA tomorrow night and another on Friday. I'm learning that the more roles you can play (not actor "roles", but business "roles") the better your odds all around.

I've started looking for a manager this week as well. I've never had one because every agent I've ever had had convinced me that I don't need to give away another 10-15%. I'm not desperate for one, but I'm looking for some help to break into the networks.

Eli has been sick and home from school for two days. He seems almost back to normal tonight though (fighting with Aidan and all that.)

Off to watch LOST has been nice to watch TV this season. It's the first autumn in three years that I haven't been stuck in the basement of the RIO every evening.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Good Things.

After two weeks and giving up hope, I received a third callback for the feature film, The Metrosexual. They are supposed to start filming November 2, so we should be getting close to the final decisions. At first I was called in for a supporting role, then called back to read for the lead. This time they want to see me as the sidekick. I definately fit this character description better than the others. I've read the script and this character is in most of the movie...a very big part. That's Tuesday.

Also, the sit-com pilot that I mentioned earlier is progressing very well. They have pulled me into the writing and production meetings. I haven't signed a contract yet, but they verbally promised to make me a writer and co-producer...which could be a very big deal if it gets picked up, financially speaking. We have a writer's meeting tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Nearly Normal

The weeks are starting to develop a pattern, which is kind of nice. We are getting used to school and pre-school, though Eli has been experiencing some "bully" issues. Debbie has been working most everyday and enjoying it. I'm averaging about four auditions per week and seem to be working at least once or twice a month on something. The teaching is still a rewarding thing for me on Friday nights. So far so good with church as a whole. Being part-time is great. I have no desire to return full-time...actually less than ever, but it has been nice to use my teaching and leadership gifts on a regular basis.

I have an audition tomorrow for a small part in a feature film and I also have my third class at Margie Haber Studios. They have been good for me. I can feel some sort of breakthrough coming soon with them.

The state of Nevada sent us $275 because they ran a surplus last year and wanted to return some tax money. It almost made me want to move back. Almost. I promptly spent it on new brakes for the mini-van. There is nothing more exciting than getting unexpected money in the mail...and nothing quite so depressing as using it to fix a car.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tar Pits, Heaven and a Booking

Here we are at the La Brea Tar Pit Museum in LA this weekend. Memaw and Papaw Colbert were here and we had a nice visit, though I wasn't able to be around much at all the last two days. Monday I worked all day on a one-hour documentary for the History Channel called "Heaven." I played the father of a ten year old girl who died and came back to life a few minutes later. The project was very interesting considering my background and all. It should air the first of the year.

Today I had my first of eight classes at Margie Haber Studios. I'm pretty sure that it will be a good thing for me. I had a quick audition for a cell phone commercial after that and then drove back to the OC to meet with a producer/director who is making a TV pilot in the vein of The Office/The Comeback/Curb Your Enthusiasm. We had already spoken on the phone and he offered me a leading role after the interview. He's a music producer breaking into TV and the project sounds very fun. They want me to be a writer as well. It pays a little upfront, plus some on the backend...and it could be big if it gets picked up. They will be shopping it to Showtime, HBO, etc. I'm not banking on it being my big break...but I am excited to collaborate and work in my favorite genre-mockumentary.

I'm hoping for a third callback on the film that I read for last week. It seems within the realm of possibility. As always...we shall see.

Tomorrow is a virtual day of rest. Debbie will be working and I'll take care of the kids after school. Doug and Jennifer Parks are coming in Thursday which will be nice.

Well...I'm going to bed now. I've been up before 5:00 am two days in a row. Most of you know how rare that is...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Day in the Life...

The last 24 hours of my life have been marginally interesting. Here is summary for those of you who wonder about the life of an aspiring (on a good day) or struggling (on a bad day) actor.

YESTERDAY 2:00 pm: All I know is that I have one audition at 3:45 the following day for a feature film called "THE METROSEXUAL". (I've spent the last few days with Gregg Stokes, so I figure I'm ready.) It is a very small part-one scene.

YESTERDAY 2:30 pm: I'm taking my kids for ice cream after school because Debbie is still working. An e-mail comes in on my Blackberry from a casting agent in Santa Monica. It informs me that I have an audition tomorrow at 11 am for a new NBA video game. It is primarily voice over, but they would use my likeness as well. The character is a Jerry McGuire type agent.

YESTERDAY 2:50 pm: Getting back in the car to take the kids down to the beach to eat the ice cream, though Aidan has finished his by now. (Eli has barely made a dent.) My cell phone rings. It's the producer of a TV show called "History of Heaven" on the History Channel. She calls to put me "on avail" for the following Monday for the a role in the TV show. Being on avail means you are almost hired, but something could still fall through. It also means that I shouldn't accept any other jobs that day until I hear back. I have her promise to call me by the end of the day the Wednesday either way. It's a non-union job with relatively low pay, but it's TV which is better than commercial work.

YESTERDAY 4:15 pm: Back home from the beach. As we walk in the door my agent calls with another audition for the next day at 11:15 in West Hollywood for THE MAN SHOW on Comedy Central. I would be the voice of a monkey who says "Nope." That's it. Pays $700 plus residuals. I tell them about my other audition which conflicts.

YESTERDAY 4:30 pm: My agent's assistant calls back to say that they were able to move The Man Show audition up to 10:30.

YESTERDAY 7:00 pm: After dinner I leave the apartment to study the sides (scripts) for my audition. The Man Show is pretty easy. The others take some work. I return home at 9:00.

TODAY 7:00 am: I wake up and put on my suit since the agent role is early in the day, take a change of clothes with me for the film audition, and drop Eli off at school on my way to LA. 40 miles, 100 minutes later I arrive at the casting office on Beverly Blvd. (This is the worst time of day to drive in.)

TODAY 10:15 am: I sign in for the Man Show audition, fill out a size card (as always.) I wait my turn and go in to read the line "Nope" three different ways. Edd Hall, the old announcer for The Tongiht Show, is there too. We have the same agent. On my way out I find out that the project films Monday...and I am on avail. I say nothing.

TODAY 11:00 am: I make the 12 mile trip from West Hollywood to Santa Monica quickly and sign in for my Video Game audition. It's non-union. (SAG is currently negotiating with the video game industry as to contract specifics anyway.) Pays $1,000/day though. I'm the first for the day and the Casting Director seems very pleased with my performance. I do my voice over auditon first, then some movement in front of the camera. I have now had my first two V.O. auditions ever, on the same day in the same hour. Weird stuff like that happens all the time. I change clothes in the mini-van and get an oil change, lunch and read a few chapters of Margie Haber's book.

TODAY 2:00 pm: The History Channel calls to confirm. I work Monday. I call my agent to let them know. Now I hope that I DON'T get the Man Show because they will conflict.

TODAY 3:30 pm: I finally arrive at the tall office building on Wilshire where my film audition is...on the twelth floor. I walk in the lobby and the elevator is broken. After ten flights I vow to go to 24 hour fitness and transfer my membership, which is still based in Nevada. I sign in and wait. I'm the last for the day it appears. The CD calls me in and immediately says, "I'm surprised we called you in for this role." I used to ignore these things, but I say, "Is there a better role for me to read?" She says, "No...just read it. You're too good looking though." (Sometimes what is bad for the career is good for the I read.) She gives me direction and has me read again. She looks at my resume and says "Groundlings and Second City?" "Yeah, I have an improv background...500 live improv shows in Vegas." She gives me the script for the film (rare), and tells me to come back Friday and read for the lead. "He's Jewish and you aren't. Other than that you are perfect." I leave and get to my car parked on La Brea at 3:59 pm. They start towing at 4:00 and there is a parking cop behind my car. I smile at him inauthentically and drive home. 40 miles. 2 hours. (This is the worst time of day to come home.) This concludes my third audition of the day and my 19th audition for the month of September.

Well, there you have it. No day is typical. This one was a little more action packed than normal. We'll see what's next.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Argh! My last two auditions have not been pretty. They were both for big SAG projects and I pretty much choked both times. I used to be so freakin' confident at auditons, before I knew any better. Since moving here I have struggled with SAG auditions because I psyche myself into believing everyone else in the waiting room is a pro and I'm still this non-union wannabe...even though I could join tomorrow and probablty have as many credits as most of them...blah, blah, blah.

So, I drove immediately from my big Coca-Cola audition to Margie Haber Studios and signed up for Audition Technique Classes. Margie is very well known around town and has lots of clients you would recognize. I had taken a workshop with her in Las Vegas last year and she remembered me after a few minutes, which was nice. They have three levels and they placed me in the middle one, which is probably best. The advanced level is really for people who have a lot of SAG film and tv credits and the beginning level is mainly for people who have only done theater and commercials...I'm definately in the middle. Classes start next Tuesday and run four weeks, eight sessions. I need them.

Otherwise, we are doing ok. Debbie's parents come in this weekend to visit for the first time. That should be nice. We will get to go on our first real date in four months! Babysitters are hard to come by these days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Back Home...

I had a great shoot in Las Vegas and Sacramento on the Intel project. It was very fun and refreshing to work with Gregg Stokes and his team. I hit the ground running with two auditions today and three more scheduled this week. I have always noticed that I audition better after working a few days. We'll see if anything comes of these.

This Friday the little film that I produced premieres at a film festival here in LA. Gerald, the director, is coming down for it. It will be nice to spend a few days with him.

Eli and Aidan seem to be adjusting better to first grade and pre-school respectively. It's fun watching them learn and take social risks. (Eli says he wants to be a Cub Scout. Debbie is worried that would put him on the fast track to nerd-dom, but I was a Cub Scout and I turned out...oh, never mind. Maybe she's right.)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

VIva Las Vegas

I'm leaving now for my first of three roundtrip flights between now and Monday. Should be quite a whirlwind. I'm looking forward to it. I was able to squeeze in a few auditions this week as well. One for a TV show.

More when I get back...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

It's Who You Know.

And I know Gregg Stokes. Gregg is directing a comedic video for Intel and asked me to be in it. So I'll be working three days next week, two in Vegas and one in Sacramento. I'm very excited about it. Unfortunately, I will have very little down time while I'm in Vegas to hang out with people. I fly in Thursday night, work Friday, fly home for my Friday night teaching commitment, fly back to Vegas friday night, fly home Sunday morning, fly to Sacramento Sunday night and back home Monday night. Crazy, huh?

It's nice to auditions pretty much everyday and then have a friend call and say, "You wanna work next week?" Very nice.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Lots of little things.

1. Labor day. It's actually a little depressing if you don't have a fulltime job. Luckily, the Caldwells came to visit which was nice.

2. Eli. He started first grade this week. We are all adjusting. He likes part of it and definately isn't too fond of some parts. Mom, Dad and little brother feel the same way about him being gone during the day.

3. Aidan. He turns four tomorrow. We've been playing baseball. He's good. He looks bigger all of a sudden.

4. Entourage. It's the greatest show on television and probably worth getting HBO for if you can afford it. It makes me want to be an...

5. Actor. Things have slowed a bit this week and last. A few auditions. Close call on a pilot, but no go. We had an audition for the entire family today. (Sometimes that use real families for commercial work.) It went as well as could be expected.

6. Chick-fil-A. We have been excited that there is a CFA within ten miles of our house. We go about once per week. Today we saw a sign advertising a new store...less than a mile from home. This is great news. After all, they didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich.

7. Katrina. I'm at a loss. I just know that many of my friends all over the world are doing remarkably selfless things right now because of it.

8. Football. Finally! Sure its unlikely, but for the first time in decades The Ohio State University and the Cincinnatti Bengals could possibly be world champions in the same year. Who dey?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pilots and Photos

Well, it looks rather certain that I did not land the Nissan spot. Too bad. Today I had a callback for a sitcom pilot. It went well. They said the decisions will be made on Friday.

My acting website now displays some of my new photos if you are interested. Check out

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I'm all better. I was hurting for 48 hours...mainly just a fever. Then I woke up yesterday and felt fine. The body is strange like that I guess. Lets talk about the "callback" for a second, shall we? Before moving here I had auditioned in LA for about ten projects. I had three callbacks (second auditions) and booked once out of ten. Since moving here I have had thirty-five auditions and booked three smaller projects but no callbacks! (The projects that I booked didn't have callbacks.) So...yesterday was my first real callback since moving here. It was for a national Honda commercial. (The nation is Canada, but what are you gonna do?) It's a very clever and funny spot. Callbacks are at once exhilirating (you realize that someone actually liked something about you) and incredibly frustrating (you show up to find twenty other guys who look exactly like you that they also liked.) It feels like you have almost booked it, until you get to the audition then it feels like even more of a longshot than the first time.

I was talking to a guy waiting with me yesterday. He was saying that his wife always ask how his auditions go and he says "fine." "She hasn't quite got the grasp of the whole lottery system of commercial auditions," he said. When he said that it hit me. At this level...the callback for a major's all about the client liking somebody's ear lobe or eye color or smirk more than the next guy. Somehow that relaxed me. So I went in and pretty much nailed it. Five times. They kept saying, "That was really great, just try this...", etc. I left knowing that in that moment I had completely delivered exactly what they wanted. I could just tell. Now I just have to wait this weekend to see if they liked one of the other guy's eye lashes or bone structure more than mine. Cause the other reality is, at this level, most everybody nails it all the time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I have gotten sick somehow. I was in bed for almost 24 hours with a fever and some stomach issues. I have to work tomorrow on a web-based teacher training video. So not getting well is not really an option. I'm also supposed to try to squeeze in an audition during my lunch break tomorrow as well. Should be an exciting day. Here's to hoping I don't blow chunks on the set.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Show me depressed..."Oh, I'm good at that one!"

It seemed rather vain to keep putting pictures of myself on my blog, but then I thought: What's more vain than having a blog in the first place? Since this journal is about my life and this week of my life has largely been about my new headshots, I figure I'll show off a few of my favorites. This one will be sent in for the CSI-ish shows. It reminds me of the guy on HOUSE for some reason. My agent hates my hair in this picture, but I'm going to keep it anyway. There is a lot of Joe in this picture. If that makes sense.

And...I booked again! (yea!), but it's still rather low pay (boo!). $100/day plus meals and gas money. I'd take that everyday if I could get it I guess. It shoots one or two days next week. I play a second grade teacher for a company that makes instuctional videos for the LA school district. I'll be working with little kids for the first time. We'll see how that goes.

I'm a little discouraged with no callbacks from the last few big SAG commercial auditions. I really thought that I nailed the DELL spot. They still may call, but at three days out, probably not. We are still doing well here and haven't gone seven days without a Las Vegas visitor, thanks to a surprise visit from Doug last night.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

New Headshots!!

I just returned from a four hour photo shoot! I have over 400 pictures to go through now to choose 6 to post on the casting websites and 2 or 3 to mass reproduce for paper submissions. I couldn't be more pleased with my photographer (Dan Chapman, if you are looking...) or my proofs. My agent saw them and said, "We have a lot of work to do...these are all great."

I'm so glad that my first Hollywood headshots were actually the fourth time that I have had them taken. I finally know the different types and characters that I can play, and more importantly, the types that I get called into auditions for.

Tonight I have to trim them down to 50 so that my agents can make the final decisions. (My agents used to be managers, which bleeds through. I really like it that way. Everytime I see them they pretty much tell me what to do. (ie: get a haircut, don't wear that shirt in public, don't lose any more weight, etc.) In a business where nobody generally gives a crap about anyone else, its nice to know they care, even if it's mainly about the 10% they get from me. Advocates and blunt suggestions are harder to come by then you might think.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

4 Auditions, 3 Shirts

I had a good audition for a Dell spot yesterday. It was the best I've felt in a long time afterward. We''ll see. Tomorrow I have three auditions: one for the LA school district, one for Diet Pepsi, and another for Pioneer. Tuesday I go to get my new headshots. I'm excited about having them taken so that I can have more options when submitting to people. Hopefully they will help me get more theatrical (film and TV) auditions. I have some new snappy shirts to wear. I guess if nothing else I get 3 snappy shirts out of the deal. One can never have too many snappy shirts.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Back To One!

The first time I was on a movie set they kept saying that and I had no idea what they wanted me to do...(see title). It means go back where you started and do the scene again. So...

Back to work! I had a rehearsal today for the comedic short that I will be shooting tomorrow and Saturday. It's funny...not very high brow, but funny. (There are more than a few farts throughout.) I have 7:00 am calls the next two days, so it will be early to bed, early to rise. Well, early to rise anyway.

Of course, I got called in for a great audition tomorrow which I can't do because of the shoot. It's a Volvo commercial that shoots for 7 days in Hawaii at 500 per day plus travel, food, 4 star hotel, etc. My agent is trying to get me an audition at the callbacks Monday, but I haven't read for this casting director yet, so that may not happen.

We signed up Aidan for pre-school today. Three days per week for the mornings. I think he will really like it. He always likes being in classes when we go to different churches. Eli finally said that he is excited about first grade. (He's not as big a fan of the classroom setting.) I hope he likes it.

I had to take the Keirsey temperament analysis for the first time ever. I came out an "INTP". It said I should consider being a mathematician or a linguist...the only two subjects in high school that I hated and didn't get A's in. But, also on the list were actor, writer and fine artist. The very first position on the "least common career choices" was "leader of religious organization." Hmmm....

It also said that other people with my personality were Plato, Einstein, Sartre, Descartes, Jung, and Tiger Woods. Which only proves if I was smarter or able to play g0lf I might have amounted to something by now. (I'm pretty sure that was a debasing self-destructive comment common to us INTP's...) It's really cool to say, "I don't believe in personality tests," so I'll say it now. I don't believe in personality tests. Too bad there's something to them.

I found at essay online about INTP's. We are less than 1% of that explains a lot. Also, it says that many INTP's become artistic photographers. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about that. I've always suspected that I can see beauty...I just can't create it with paint or pencil. I'm mainly intimidated by the actual equipment, cameras, etc. It's time to move past that. I'm going to start becoming a photographer now. Read the essay here if you want.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cuts, Bruises and Multiple Piercings

We took a few hits this weekend. Nothing major really, but lets just say we have been using our new health insurance. Eli cut his foot on a rock at the beach a few days ago. He's been to the doctor twice and they assure us that it's not a very deep cut, but he has it bandaged and hasn't been able to walk for three days. He's been crawling and hopping around the house.

Aidan followed suit by falling off the chair at the dinner table and injuring his finger. We don't think it's broken but it is very swollen and he reinjures it every few hours. I spoke at six church services this weekend and my throat is angry with me. I'm a little out of practice with the whole multiple church service can be more physically taxing than most people realize. Somehow Debbie has remained healthy, which is good since she is the bread winner now and all.

A few interesting things from tinseltown: 1. I booked another short film that shoots this weekend. It's very funny, in a potty-humor/SNL sort of way. I play the lead. It will be good to get in front of the camera again. 2. I have an appointment next week for new headshots with a fancy Hollywood photographer. My sessions in Las Vegas lasted about 20 minutes, this one will be 3 hours. I don't love photo sessions, but its part of it and I finally have a grasp on the sort of pictures that I need to get auditions I want. 3. I met a few interesting people at church with Hollywood connections. They are very excited about trying to help me, which is unexpected and exciting.

And oh yeah, Dennis Rodman was at church this Sunday and heard me speak, though I had no idea he was there and didn't see him myself. So...that's something I guess. A friend of mine went up to him and welcomed him, but she called him "Rodney." He didn't correct her.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I could have walked faster

I spent most of today on the 405. To be more exact, I spent over two hours on a ten mile stretch of the 405 between Santa Monica Boulavard and LAX. Friday afternoon traffic is the worst. I had planned on taking the 5 home, but the radio said to avoid it. It wasn't really as frustrating as you might think. I think I'm still just happy to be here. I didn't even plan on going into LA today but my agent had me drop off my headshots at a few places, one of which was CBS Studio City. The sumbission was for some comedy sketches on the Late Late Show. I normally watch Conan, so I had better catch an episode in case they call me in.

I taught on Jacob tonight at Lifelines. He was a real piece of work if you think about it. I told the story, but I still can't get my hands around God's capacity to bless such a selfish, manipulative jerk. That may be the point, maybe I'm that big of a jerk and God blesses me anyway. Who knows?

It has been a very Vegas weekend here. I saw Sean O'hair and Dale Neven in Hollywood yesterday, then Tim Dunfield and Gene-o were playing at a coffee shop last night in Fullerton. Sabrina spending the weekend here too. It's nice to be with family.

We haven't gone more than seven days without seeing someone from home. It looks like that may continue for a while...I like it that way.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Midweek Update

My ever practical friend Doug Parks came to town two nights ago and planted many seeds of doubt regarding my plan to buy the Prius. Allen's comments made me a little suspicious as well. I think we will be looking for something cheaper that gets good gas mileage.

No auditions this week so far, but I have two tomorrow. Debbie has been working more and more with the catering company, which she seems to really enjoy. It's a little strange for both of us to be working...a little odd that we now have three part-time jobs between us, but overall things are good.

I'm teaching again at the main church services this weekend for The Crossing here in Costa Mesa. That means I have the Friday teaching, two on Saturday and three on Sunday. I can see a Sunday nap in my future. I'll link the weekend message to my blog next week for those of you interested.

Sunday, July 31, 2005


My auditions thus far have, by and large, fallen into one of two categories: 1.) An interesting part that pays next to nothing or 2.) An uninteresting or embarrassing role that pays a ridiculous amount of money. I got an offer today. It's a leading role in a short film. It shoots for two days in Bakersfield next month. They're going to put me up in a hotel and pay me "a few bucks." But hey, it's a job.

Maybe I could land that nice Easter Bunny role to pay the bills...

Prius probability: 90%.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Auditioning at 18 mpg

Well, so far so good with the new agent. Two days and two auditions: a Nissan commercial and a video game commercial in which I would play the Easter Bunny. Ain't show biz grand? I think that I'm up to twelve auditions now in the last two weeks, and only one actual offer...which I turned down because it would shoot during the only time that I cannot work because of my teaching commitment. It would have been fun, but it didn't pay much. I'm learning that I tend to provoke a bigger than normal response when I audition, but that doesn't really mean anything. Most people get a "thank you" and that's it. I often get things like, "we'll probably call you back" and "the best yet" and "try to keep next Friday open." So I leave feeling confident and still never hear from them. I'd rather be obviously dismissed than so heartlessly toyed with...though I have booked a few times when I was sure that I had a terrible audition. You really can never tell at all what will happen.

They say you do 50 auditions in LA before booking...and I guess I have technically booked once here, for the American Idol spot. I have to admit, it's still a blast just auditioning. I'm living someone else's life.

I put 1,000 miles on the van last week. At this rate I will spend $4,000 this year on gas just from auditions. So...we may be trading the family van in on a hybrid Toyota Prius. If we do, that will make us a little more hip and green and eco-lefty. The kids might have to grow dreadlocks or something. I sat in one at the dealership and it feels like you are driving something from the Jetsons. You push a button to start it. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Fair Day

We just returned from the Orange County Fair which is taking place about two miles from our house. A new friend of Debbie's gave us free tickets and a free parking pass, which was very nice. It wasn't too dissimilar from the Ohio State Fair, which I went to every summer in Columbus growing up. I was a little surprised by that: lots of livestock and corn dogs and annoying hecklers trying to get you to pay three dollars to throw a dart at a balloon. The rides were very expensive, so we only did a few. I have never bought a photo after a ride, but for some reason I wanted this one. Eli and I did the log ride while Aidan and mommy rode the huge farris wheel.

This is my first weekday without an audition for eight days. None scheduled tomorrow either. Though I do have one for Thursday. It's strange that after a great week you can easily get discourged on the first slow day. I did sign with a new agency yesterday. (Stage 9 Talent) Telling my old agent was MUCH more difficult than I expected. She seemed hurt and angry. It sucked, but I'm pretty sure it was the right way to go. Only time will tell...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Double Agents?

I am the rare exception who actually enjoys the "struggling" part of being an actor. It's really three jobs. The first is marketing/sales. Basically, creating a brand. My brand is me. It's fun to have something to sell to the world. It's weird that its me...but at least I know me and don't have to learn all about SUV's or insurance or whatever else I could be selling. The second part of acting is research and networking. As a fairly nerdy guy, I can get into research. Always looking for the next project, the next person to partner with, etc. I spend hours each day looking for something or someone to help me out. The third part is the most fun: acting. It's the easy part in many ways...the reward of the other two.

Having said all of that, it looks like I may be about to do one of the parts of the business that I don't like. I have a second interview with a new agent tomorrow and I'm leaning towards signing with her. This would mean dropping my other agent, whom I like very much on a personal level. Everyone knows that it gets done this way. If I continue to work I will have to do this a few more times. But it sucks. I'm dreading the phone call.

I just need to make sure that I don't watch Jerry McGuire tonight and I'll be fine.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Mr. Mom

Debbie started her part-time job tonight at a catering company. I've been watching the boys and cleaning the house and whatnot. It looks like she will be working a lot on the weekends, but not much during the week, which will work out great for our schedule. It's been a long time since she has been in the work force, and never as a server. I hope that she enjoys it at some level. I think she will.

I taught on Abraham tonight at church. To me, his story is all about taking risks when God asks us to and then not trying to work out the circumstances apart from him after we take the risk. It's a good story to think about after a major life change.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Living the Impossible

Every few days I am reminded of something that happened to me four years ago. I was up late one night by myself watching TV. Things were difficult at that time-a lot of depression and emptiness and whatnot. Some channel was airing a two hour documentary on the making of one episode of Saturday Night Live. It followed the writers and cast and Lorne as they made the episode from nothing. Watching that show ushered me into one of the worst depressive moments of my life. I kept realizing, with every passing commercial break, how desperately I wanted to be a part of something like that. I had secretly dreamed of being an actor since I was a kid but had always pushed it away as "shallow" or "childish."

That night I added another word: impossible. I was simply too old at 28, too established, too submerged into my career, too "needed" by other people to chase a selfish immature dream. And I went to bed that night full of regret and grief. I think sometime after that I confessed to Debbie that I would like to take improv classes sometime as a hobby. I said this but I knew I would never take the time to do it. But the next Christmas she surprised me with the classes from The Second City. Then things started to change.

Today I was walking from an audition at the LA film school on Sunset to another audition on Hollywood Blvd. (For a guest star role in Barbershop, a sitcom on Showtime.) As I turned the corner onto Hollywood a fire engine with sirens blaring nearly knocked me over. I walked for a while and then looked down to notice the stars on the sidewalk. My right foot was on "Mr. Rogers." Then it hit me. I'm living a life that I thought was impossible four years ago. That's a remarkable place to be.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

So here is my official pass to get onto the Disney/ABC studio lot tonight for my audition. The security guard told me that my meeting was in building 21 and gave me directions. Building 21, as it turns out, contains the offices for the shows LOST and ALIAS. I have to say it felt nice to audition there, considering some of the odd and creepy places where I have auditioned before. I knew that the audition was for a non-union short film that pays virtually nothing, so I was confused to say the least.

My reading went very well. They had me read five times, which is always a good sign. They asked me to hold a day next week for the shoot which, again, is a good sign. I found out later that they were writers for LOST, looking to make a film for a festival. Needless to say, I was impressed but tried really hard to not be. "I like that show," is all I said which is completely true even though I've only seen one episode. (I've been waiting to watch them in order on DVD.)

I spent the next fifteen minutes wandering around the studios since I had my official pass. I saw the cast scripts for the next Alias episode and Jennifer Garner's box of fan mail. I left feeling like I could work some place like that someday...and still knowing it may never come to that. Either way, it has been a fun story to be telling with my life.

More auditions tomorrow, Thursday and next week already confirmed. And in related good news: Debbie landed a part time job working with a catering company. Looks like she can help put food on the table while I drive all over LA to get jobs paying minimum wage. She will generally work weekend nights and the pay is great. I've never had a sugar momma before...she seems genuinely excited about it, which makes me very happy.

Tomorrow we will take our first family trip to the local IHOP, which was a regular Boyd tradition in Las Vegas. I will have scrambled eggs, extra crispy bacon and tomato slices because I am on day four of the South Beach Diet Phase One...what I wouldn't do right now for a bagel or a strawberry...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I'm spending more on gas than coffee!

Auditions are generally hard to get, so I should be happy that I have another tomorrow and another on Thursday...both in Burbank. But, one thing I didn't really think about was the cost of gas. Every trip into Hollywood costs $10-20 just in gas. This means that the more days I work (without booking) the more it actually costs. On the other hand, I should focus on the fact that I will have had six auditions in my first week of submitting. That's pretty good. On the other hand, most of these auditions pay very little...always two sides.

Tomorrow I audition for a short film: low pay and all that, but it will be my first audition at Disney Studios. I'm not sure how this film is connected to Disney, but it will be fun to go there. I was given instructions as to what to say to the guard and all that. Kind of fun.

I should also say that I'm enjoying my other job of teaching as well. It has been very nice to get to study, prepare and, most of all, speak again. I feel somewhat mature and "seasoned" as a storyteller now. There is a greater ease and mirth and confidence. It has been nice to see it reborn.

Monday, July 18, 2005

OC: Overly Costly?

Tonight after dinner we drove down to Balboa Pier. It's still very strange to live so close to the beach. As you can see I picked up a very groovy vintage sportcoat from a thrift store next to an audition yesterday.

The reality of living in the one of the most expensive counties in America is starting to hit us pretty hard. We are weighing the options as to a third means of income. Debbie's considering a part-time job and I would love to find another job flexible enough to allow for auditions. It really seems as though God has had his hand in this I'm hoping he's got our back on the whole money thing. Neither of us have ever desired to be rich...but we don't seem to mind being middle class so much if you know what I mean.

I have a callback for a Nissan commercial tomorrow...I think. They usually call and let you know, though sometimes they just tell you at the audition. In this particular case, the casting director simply said, "Callbacks will be Monday between two and three." I assume he wouldn't have told me if I wasn't called back, so I'm going to show up and hopefully it won't be too awkward if he says, "Why are you here?"

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Fun with Fotos

So. It's a new blog and a new day. I'm actually going to try to post photos as we go along. So here is the view from our kitchen out the back patio of our apartment. We have the same amount of space here as we did in our last house, but the entire family agrees that it feels bigger here. It is laid out perfectly for us. We have passed on a dining room table and eat some our meals outside and some around a small table in the kitchen. You can see some of the aforementioned Ikea furniture in this picture as well.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Auditioning Again

Things started to pick back up this weekend. Today I had two auditions. One was for a British Nissan commercial in which I would play an angry preacher. Humorous, if not ironic. The other was one of those typically odd experiences. A casting director called me at 10:30 this morning wanting me to be at a theater in Beverly Hills by 1:00. Not impossible, but it was 45 miles away. I made it in plenty of time. I was told that it was a TV show and that I was reading for a New York agent. None of that was true. I entered the theater to meet a very eccentric director named Floyd. (Turns out he was executive producer for a few major films including Dick Tracy.) He had me read for a part that was obviously from a stage play, so after the audition I asked what the project was exactly. "A musical" he said. I didn't tell him that I don't sing very well. "It's going up in Las Vegas at the Paris Casino." (Second case of irony today...Alanis would be so proud.)

There's pretty much no way we can move back to I didn't think much of it...then, of course, I got called back for Monday. I figure if they ask me to sing that will be the end of it anyway, but I should go so the guy remembers me. He did mention "other projects" he was casting, so you never know.

I have two more auditons tomorrow for big parts in small paying indie films. One pays $100 per day and the other (drum roll please) shells out $20 per day. I wouldn't normally go on that one, except that it is a comedy set in an elevator for a "Will Ferrell" type comic actor, and it shoots here in the OC...I couldn't resist.

They say that in acting, auditioning is the work and acting is the paycheck. If that is true, I started working again today. What sucks is that "work" pays exactly zero dollars per here's to hoping for a paycheck soon!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Move

We left Las Vegas on June 8 with what was left of our eartlhly possessions stored in Dave and Amy Carder's shed. (They may not know we did this since they are in Iceland, so thanks guys if you read this.) From there we jumped on an airplane and spent ten days in Indiana and another ten in Ohio. Family time was great, but the trip was definately shadowed by the fact that we did not have a home, or even a hometown, to return to.

Debbie and myself flew from Columbus to the OC Airport on June 30. I spoke that weekend at The Crossing church in Costa Mesa, where I will be teaching every Friday night at a Revocery meeting. They have five weekend services and I haven't spoken at something like that for more than two years. I felt a little rusty, but overall I felt "different" in a good way. God seems to have taken away much of my church angst, allowing me to be a teacher without having to worry about much of institutional church life that frustrates me. This has been a great blessing.

Anyway, the kids stayed in Ohio with my parents for a week while Debbie and I found an apartment (we haven't lived in one of those for about ten years!), drove back to Vegas and returned with our stuff. Sabrina came back with us to help us get our home settled. She was a great help. We went to Ikea, which is a few miles away, and spent our garage sale money on new furniture. It's probably the nicest furniture we've ever had, but I had to put it all together. It took a few days, but contrary to form, I did it all without much complaining.

The kids and Memaw Boyd arrived a week later to find their room ready for them. They have been excited, a little too excited at time for apartment living if you know what I mean. We've been to the beach twice. Newport Beach is about ten minutes away, and Laguna is about fifteen. Mom left two days ago and we have been "just the four of us" for the first time in five weeks.

Now its all about registering the cars, switching addresses and the like. I'm actually writing this blog to avoid the DMV this morning...but no matter what I do I'm afraid the time has come for that. I'm considering a new agent and have my first audition since moving here on Saturday. The commute into LA is about 40 miles, which is insane at times, but Costa Mesa felt like the right place to have a family after considering pretty much every community in LA county. I've driven into LA three times and so far it hasn't taken longer than an hour, but I've heard horror stories. Overall, we like it here. It feels right.

There is a coffee shop within walking distance of our house called The Gypsy Den. It's full of hippies, lesbians and artists. So I love it. It does seem just a little inorganic. (Like some old rich guy started a coffee shop to appeal to hippies.) But I'll ignore that for now and enjoy it.

Well, thanks for reading all of this. I plan on returning to regular blogging now that we are settled. We miss our friends, but are excited about the future...
NEW BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, everyone who still comes around these parts, I've constructed a new blog. It is

This journal will be archived at this date...

A New Day

I'm creating a new blog to coincide with my new life in southern California. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Greetings from Southern Indiana

We are half way through our family vacation and will be traveling onto Ohio tomorrow after spending over a week here in Indiana with Debbie's family. The visit has been good, and seemingly brought about some measure of spiritual healing for me that I cannot exactly explain. (Nothing happened really, just some nice times of solitude and inner exploration.) I also took the time to read Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It's the first Christian book that I have read in at least a year. I loved it. His journey is very similar to my own, while being completely different.

Just to let you know, I'm planning a complete reboot of my blog upon arrival in California in July. I also plan on utilizing it more than I have the last few months, especially since it will serve a greater purpose now to continue to communicate with my friends and family in Las Vegas.

Both Debbie and myself are yearning for a home. I used to desire the nomadic life, but doing this trip without anywhere to call home upon our return has made me realize that wandering isn't nearly as fun without somewhere in the world to return to upon the adventure's end.

Lots of love...

Monday, May 16, 2005

It's Official

Tonight at Apex we announced that we will be moving to LA soon. We are leaving Las Vegas June 8 and plan on arriving in southern California in early July after a visit to see our families in the midwest. I've been waiting until after tonight to breach the subject here.

It looks as though I will be taking a part-time position teaching at a Frinday night church service in Orange County, though our primary motivation for moving is to pursue acting. We had decided to live in Burbank, which is near Hollywood, but now we are reconsidering some places between there and Costa Mesa, where the church is.

There were about five or six weeks earlier this year when I was driving to LA two to four days per week for auditions and work. Things have slowed down in May, but that's to be expected. It feels like the right time to test the waters. Debbie's excited for the adventure as well, otherwise we wouldn't be going. The kids sort of understand and seem excited to live closer to the beach and Disneyland.

We're sad to leave our friends here, but there is no doubting that God has had his hand in this decision. We look forward to how he will lead us in the coming months and years.

It's only 300 miles away. We plan on visiting often, and I will still be working and auditioning in Vegas often...probably monthly.

I have many more thoughts, but I think this gets the facts out. Much love to all of you who have shared the last ten years with us in Las Vegas. It will feel like home for many years to come.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

American Idol Spot

A lot of you have asked to see the spot that I did on American Idol. My friend Greg Campbell linked it to his blog. Click here to see it.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

I'm 384 months old

I'm older. Yesterday was my birthday. 32. I know everyone says this at every birthday, but I don't feel 32. I always do math equations at every birthday. 32 is halfway to 64. When I was 16, I was halfway to where I am now. Stange. 16 doesn't feel like half a lifetime ago. I've always been a little age obsessed. (Maybe I'm a little death obsessed...calling Dr. Freud...)

I have always felt this overwhelming urgency with life. It's that urgency that makes me try to make things happen before their time...causes me to throw my entire self into whatever seems most important at the moment, often ignoring whatever else is present.

However, its that urgency that has allowed me to pack so many lifetimes, so many versions of myself into my 32 years. Since I can remember I have feared normality...I've loathed the idea of just fitting into whatever the people around me say is a normal life.

As I write this today, I realize more than ever that I'm writing about the very core of myself. So much of an epiphany that I'm tempted to erase it all and move on. My biggest hope is that this urgency for life would disappear. That I could be content in all things as our fathers teach us. However, my biggest fear is that I lose the urgency. That I grow comfortable in a life without adventure, risk and mystery. I want both. Perhaps, for me anyway, that is salvation. To be compelety calm and at peace amidst the urgency of and knowledge of the brevity of our lives. And yet to claim the urgency, for my sake and for heaven' s sake, to live in the mirth and joy and adventure and creativity that this world affords. To be the pacifist mercenary, the violent healer, the insane lover, the beautiful wound, the enlightened fool that I was meant to be.

I do feel like most people don't take enough risks. This from a guy who has never jumped out of an airplane and is afraid of snakes and spiders...To me those things aren't risks...just very odd hobbies. As a poker player, I just feel like we don't go "all in" enough. I can think of several situations where I've gone "all in" in my life. Where I've risked everything for a greater payoff. To date, I can't say that these moves have proven profitable, not the way I had hoped anyway, and certainly not monetarily. But to imagine a life without that kind of risk-taking repulses me. My faith story is one of "all in" risk taking: Abram departing his home childless, slaves leaving Egypt, weaponless soldiers marching around Jericho, a whole nation sending a little boy with a rock to battle a giant...then it culminates in God himself going "all in" to humanity as a fetus and then again "all in" to death on a cross. Who are we to live an utterly cautious life and still claim this story as our own?

So...I'm closer to 40 than I am to 24. I'm the one year away from that age that Jesus died. Six years ago I had a steady paycheck and a house. Now I don't have those things...but I did pick up a couple of kids in that time. I think I got the better of that deal. Ten years ago I had a beautiful wife who loved me and supported all of my risky ideas. Today I have a more beautiful wife who loves me after knowing how hard that can be at times...and who still supports my even riskier ideas. 32 years ago I was born to two parents who loved me and love each other. They called yesterday. Nothing has changed. For all my appearant regret...I wouldn't change a thing.

Who'd have known I'd be this rich at 32?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This and That

Condensing my thoughts into a workable entry seems much more difficult than it used to be. Overall, things seem to be going well. I haven't worked at Tony n' Tina's four of the last seven weeks. I go back Saturday. More and more of my work is taking me to LA...either for auditions or actual work. I just feel a little mixed up. I did a wedding for a very nice couple at Sunset Station last weekend. And every few minutes I just felt myself being disoriented. I can't truly explain it, except that I kept feeling like I was in some strange city doing something that I had never done before. Maybe it was just being on the other side of town after spending a week in LA, but it was very odd.

Easter was good. It was very nice to teach at Apex. I've missed teaching. I want to do it more often. My faith is "settling" after a few years of quakes and darkness.

Career stuff is just plain goofy. Sometimes I feel like I'm destined to be a real working actor...then the next day I'm looking into real estate, or teaching, or dealing poker...

The boys are growing up and starting to show their talents and desires. Eli is really loving math. Aidan's a natural with a football and a frisbee. It's fun to watch.

I'll end this strange meandering with my favorite films of the year...

1. Garden State
2. Million Dollar Baby
3. Anchorman (I can't help how much I love Will Ferrell.)
4. The Aviator
5. Sideways

Overall, not my favorite year for movies.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Me-Vo...or Ti-Joe...

I'll be on your TV set twice this week...or only once if you don't have cable...or not at all if you don't turn it on.

Sunday, March 20: Travel Channel, "Vegas Urban Legends" 8pm and 11pm. (I play the guy choking on a poker chip...)

I also just got word that I will be shooting a spot on Sunday that will air this week either Tuesday or Wednesday. I guess a few people watch this show:

American Idol on Fox. I play the lead in a music video/Ford commercial with the Idols. It's the first thing that I've landed from an LA audition. It's pretty cool. I'm a little concerned about the cheese-factor...but it's my first network gig!

I've already filmed two other TV projects coming later this year: Breaking Vegas (History Channel) and Quake (BBC/Discovery Channel.)

I guess I'm almost an actor now...weird.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Still Alive...

Much has happened since my last post. The film is in the can as they say...being edited as we speak. The whole process was much more taxing than I thought it would be. I've gotten a lot of work lately. Things are good there.

Much is uncertain. When I think about the future I become both excited and frightened. I truly have no idea where we will be or what we will be doing in a year or two.

I have grown closer to God of late. Hard to explain, but I desire him more than I have recently. I feel as though a fog has lifted. My heart is seeking more and I sense a new expression of ministry on the idea what that means, but a sense...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Help Needed

We need background actors (extras) for two shots next week for my film. Wednesday (9am - 1pm) we will be shooting a bar scene at Paymon's Med. Cafe in Summerlin. Friday (8am-noon) will be a wedding scene outdoors at the Greek Isles Casino. No pay, but free food and a chance to be in movie. Let me know asap if you are interested.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

I don't feel like a Producer...

I've been busy of late producing this short film. I have actually really enjoyed most everything about it. It's everything I miss about my old job: team buidling, vision casting, storytelling, trouble shooting...and all without the existentialist torment.

We are shooting Feb. 15-20. There is a crew of 15 and a cast of 11 plus extras. The whole thing has been a very rewarding experience so far.

If you e-mailed me to be an extra, I should be in touch next week...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Good Month

January has been good career wise. I will do my third commercial of the month Monday. This one is for a time share spot. (I get to take my shirt off for a spa scene, so you all know how much I like that...) I wrapped a Bellagio in house spot this morning at 5:00.

I also booked two days next week filming an Apprentice spoof with David Brenner, the comedian. It pays pretty well. We aren't wealthy by any means, but I'm amazed to say that I will make more money acting this month than I used to make in a month at the old job. Who knows if it will sustain, but I hope so. I haven't had to sub teach in eight weeks...which is the greatest gift of all.

My play closes this weekend, with performances Friday and Saturday night. It has been a good thing for my confidence and personal artistic fulfillment, even though it's been rather lightly attended with no pay.

The short film progresses nicely. We are going to shoot either the third or fourth week of February. Funding is coming in...we have raised all but $1,000. Thanks if anyone out there has helped out.

Hope you are all well.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Boxed In

I opened a play last night called "Boxed In" with the STARK Theater Company. It's actually four one-acts and I play the lead in two of them. It felt good to be nervous again, after doing the same thing every night for the last year and a half. The plays are all original scripts from local playwrites. It's a good project.

It plays again tonight, as well as next Friday and Saturday night. It's at the Jewel Box Theater in the Clark County Library (Flamingo, just east of Maryland Parkway.) Come by if you want. (It would be rated R for language, so if such things offend you may want to stay away.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


I was hired for a commercial last night that never shot because of the weather. It's one of the national "What happens in Vegas" spots. They may or may not reschedule. But after a few hours of waiting they sent us home with pay and my third SAG voucher. This means that I am now eligible to join the screen actor's guild. It's not easy to get, so I'm very pleased. I probably won't join immediately because it costs $1,800 and I would have to stop doing non-union stuff in vegas...but it's a really big goal accomplished.

The film moves along. Thanks to all of you who responded to my previous post. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Wanna Help me make a movie?

I have been rather quietly writing and producing a short fim for the Cinevegas film festival this summer. My acting coach, Gerald Gordon, is directing it and it looks as though we have just landed a very talent Director of Photograpy from LA who is also a past student of his.

We should be shooting either the last week of january or the first week of february. It's a married man's love story...I'm looking forward to telling it.

I could use a little help if anyone is interested. It's mainly cast, but we will need some people for smaller background roles in a wedding scene, a bar scene and an opera scene. Also, if anyone wants to work as a PA (Production Assistant) during the shoot let me know. (This would mean being available the week of the shoot to help the director, cast and crew.)

We've had over $30,000 worth of equipment and services donated, but could use about $3,000 to complete it. I'm not asking my poor and struggling friends for money, but if you have some extra cash and have ever wanted to be an executive producer of a film...let me know.

Just Email me if you're interested in any such things... my email is linked in the upper right corner of my blog...