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.