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?