Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Yesterday was the big Wrigley Field shoot on the set of "The Break Up." It was long, hot, and draining but still a lot of fun. I checked in at 6am and signed out at 10pm. I got home around 11pm and crashed. It was the first time my roommate's loud clump clump footsteps and loud slamming of doors in the morning didn't wake me up. It was nice.

Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston were there once again, along with Jon Favreau. It was a good time. In between shots, Vince did a really good job of keeping the crowd entertained and our spirits high. As hot as it was yesterday (there was a heat advisory!), and since we were sitting in the sun all day, that was no easy task but he is the man. At one point, Vince was introducing the different people working on the film and he pointed out a guy named Peter Billingsly (he didn't clarify if he was a cast or crew member). I knew I knew that name but couldn't figure out from where and then Vince told us that if you ever saw A Christmas Story (and who hasn't?), he was the lead kid who played Ralphie! Ha! I never would have recognized him in a million years. Our Ralphie's all grown up!

I don't think I got any screen time yesterday but I can't complain. I spent all day in Wrigley Field in the sun and got paid for it. We even got a few hours of overtime, which is always good.

This weekend in my attempt to spend absolutely zero money, I stayed at home and watched some new TV shows (or at least new to me). They are all HBO series and I gotta say, I love HBO! Entourage is amazing...the half hour flies by and it's a lot of fun to watch. The Comeback is also really well done and sort of like Curb Your Enthusiasm with Lisa Kudrow, who does a great job of shedding her "Phoebe" persona. The last one I got was Unscripted. I haven't watched it yet, but am looking forward to it.

So....how are you?

Friday, June 24, 2005

TWO degrees of Kevin Bacon!

My good friend Val just brought to my attention how close I am to Kevin Bacon. We all know the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game (and if you don't, go home. I don't have the time to explain it). Val e-mailed me to let me know that now that I have been in a movie with Jennifer Aniston, I am very close to Kevin Bacon.

Ed was in "The Break Up" with Jennifer Aniston.

Jennifer Aniston was in "Picture Perfect" with Kevin Bacon.

Two steps, baby. Two steps. Thank you Val, for making my Friday the best one I've had in a long time. :)

No pity for Oprah

Maybe you've heard about this on TV or online. Oprah was in France and wanted to go to some fancy boutique and got turned away. So she threw a big stink about it (how dare they not let her in!) and even hinted at racial discrimination. Before I comment, read the article below about the incident that I snagged from E! Online....Hermes Apologizes for Oprah Snub

    Oprah Winfrey may be the world's most powerful celebrity, as well as the reigning Queen of Daytime, but apparently those titles hold little sway with Hermes. The luxury goods retailer has issued a red-faced apology after refusing the talk-show host entry to one of its Paris boutiques last week. According to a statement from Hermes, Winfrey and "an entourage" tried to enter the Hermes boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore at about 6:45 p.m. on June 14. Though the store's normal closing time is 6:30 p.m., many high-end retailers routinely make exceptions for celebrities and other VIPs.

    However, according to Hermes, the boutique was in the midst of setting up "a private public relations event" at the time Winfrey stopped by. "Hermes regrets not having been able to welcome Madame Oprah Winfrey and the people accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermes is committed to giving each of its clients in the world," said the statement. "Hermes expresses its sincere regrets for any misunderstanding that these circumstances could have caused."

    However, Gayle King, a pal of Winfrey's, who was with her at the time of the incident, disputes Hermes' version of events. "People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store," King told Entertainment Tonight. "Oprah describes it herself as 'one of the most humiliating moments of her life.' " Not that Winfrey is letting the incident keep her down. "She's really okay," King said. "Her position is, 'I will shop where people appreciate my business, and I don't believe that any longer includes Hermes.' "

    Winfrey's Chicago-based Harpo Productions confirmed that the daytime diva canceled a recent order for one of Hermes' Birkin bags following the incident. The exclusive purses can cost as much as $6,500 and Winfrey reportedly already owns a dozen of them. Winfrey also informed Robert Chavez, the American president of Hermes, that she would no longer be patronizing his stores. Meanwhile, though The Oprah Winfrey Show is currently on hiatus, a spokesperson for the show confirmed that Winfrey plans to devote a show to her "Crash moment" in September. Crash, which stars Don Cheadle and is currently in theaters, paints a bleak picture of racial intolerance.

    Last week, Winfrey was named number one on Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100, up from her 2004 standing of number three. Her 12-month earnings were estimated at a hefty $225 million. And that would buy a lot of bags. Too bad, Hermes"

Now I'm sorry, but I have absolutely NO sympathy for Oprah. Did anyone else but me notice that the store was CLOSED when she went there? Granted, it had only been closed for 15 minutes (which is why some last minute shoppers were probably still lingering). I've worked in a store before, and sometimes after you lock the doors, there are still people milling around who haven't finished their purchases. It's not like they were letting other people in but not Oprah. THEY WERE FREAKING CLOSED. Plus, they were trying to get ready for a huge function of some kind (probably celebrating Oprah's purchase of an independent island nation).

Welcome to the real world, Oprah my dear. Welcome to the world the rest of us live in. Where, if we show up to a store after they're closed, they DON'T open the doors for us. Where we don't ride in diamond-encrusted limos and just because we choose to read a book it means everyone else in the world has to read it. For Oprah to cry racial discrimination is bogus. Bogus. I wanted to go get some ice cream the other night, but they were already closed. So I couldn't get ice cream. No big deal. It didn't become a national incident, but when little Miss Everyoone Must Bow To Oprah does the same thing, it's on the front page. Guess what, Oprah? You're a billionaire. Your show is on hiatus right now. YOU CAN AFFORD TO FLY BACK NEXT WEEK.

The only thing worse than a whiny celebrity is a celebrty who whines because they get treated like the rest of us would have been treated.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I think I blew it

I went in today to meet with an agent who specializes in voice overs. I had sent in a resume and demo a few weeks ago so it's about time they got back to me.

Anyhow, I went in to meet them and did a kind of trial audition to see if they wanted to associate themselves with me. I got there and they gave me about 6 sample scripts to look over, then we went into the studio where I recorded them. The lady (Linda) who was engineering would edit them all together and them play them for the rest of the people at the agency later so they could sit together and listen and vote me in or out.

The scripts were your basic radio promo scripts (one for Mcdonald's, one for Gatorade, one for Healthy Choice, an airline, and a couple more). I felt pretty confident as I read them but then the engineer didn't seem too happy with them. She said it was a little too radio-announcerish and not conversational enough. So we did them a few more times. I was listening to her direction and (I thought) giving her more of what she was looking for but she didn't give me the impression that I was getting close.

She was nice enough and very cool and her direction was good but I don't know. When I left we talked for a bit and I got the feeling that it was probably the last time I was going to see her. I hope that's not the case, but that's the vibe I picked up.

In the past when I've left an audition and knew I didn't get the part it just kind of rolled off my back and on I went; never really bothered me. But today was different and it was weird. Rejection is part of the biz and it never ever got to me, but today when I left and got off of the elevator I was really bummed and I couldn't figure out why it depressed me. I think mostly because I felt like I did a really good job but it still wasn't what she as looking for. Who knows. Or maybe it's because I really want some work.

Maybe the rest of the gang at the agency will like it and my being bummed is just a waste of time, but I'm not placing any bets.


Oh well.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Coming to a theater near you: Jennifer, Vince, and Me

Well, today I was on the set to display my awesome roller blading skills in the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn movie, "The Break Up." And I'm stoked because I think I got some good screen time! We'll see. The actors and "important people" were watching the dailies and they wouldn't scoot over to let me see if I was in the shot, so I smacked Jennifer Aniston on the head. It was fun.

She's a tiny little thing and just as cute in person as she is on TV. And Vince Vaughn is cool and laid back and like TWICE as tall in person as he seems on the big screen.

It was a full day at the beach today and a hot one. I felt bad because we were there all day and some of the extras never got used. But at least they still got paid to be at the beach all day.

The first scene we shot was along the lakefront in a park-type setting. The scene is focused on Jennifer Aniston and Some Other Girl walking through the park talking (one of those shots where they are walking toward the camera, and the camera guy is in front of them walking backwards). And behind them comes Ed on roller blades! Yeeeee! Another guy and I were the designated roller bladers for the shot, so we skate up behind them and then pull over and rest on a bench. We did it like 10 times because they kept laughing about somethng, so maybe we'll make the blooper reel too. I was tempted to just kept going and slam into Jennifer Aniston, screaming like a burning midget all the way, but I didn't.

After that we broke for lunch (yay for dinner with Jennifer and Vince!) and then went to the beach for a beach scene. At first it was a little like gym class all over again because we all lined up and the wardrobe and set people chose 10 guys and 10 girls to be in the shot, seated in various positions on the beach sunning themselves. And I didn't get chosen because I wasn't studly enough. I didn't feel too bad, though, because I was happy about where they put me in the first shot. But then they came back and grabbed me and a different guy for ACTION. So where all of the hot people got to sit on the beach in the background, I actually got to WALK BY. So, when you are watching the film, there's a shot of the Not-Jennifer-Aniston girl at the beach talking on a cell phone with a couple of kids in tow. Behind her, walking from right to left and carrying a duffel bag, walks Ed! Depending on how they framed the shot, it might just be Ed's Legs, but ladies, don't pretend like you don't know them when you see them.

All in all a fun day. Most of it spent waiting around, but that's to be expected on the set. I am going back next week for a scene at Wrigley Field and there are always possibilities of more scenes, so as always, I shall keep ye posted. And one of the agents I submitted my headshot/voice demo to called today to set up a meeting, so hopefully something will come of that. And quickly. All this movie stuff is fun, but I gots bills to pay.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Wanted For My Skates

This post refers back to my blog from yesterday where I mentioned being booked as an extra in the new Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn movie. Although I am booked to appear in the baseball stadium crowd scene, we are still allowed to be an extra in other scenes. They have a hotline to call to find out what kind of extras they are seeking for the next day's shoot and if you fit the description you call them back at another number and tell them you're available (i.e., for one scene tomorrow they are looking for parents 40-50 years old, any race).

I called the number today and they said they are looking for extras to roller blade along the beach (but you must have your own blades). Well, wouldn't you know it, right before I moved out of Nashville I was digging through a box and found my little-used roller blades. Deanna and I each bought a pair about 5 years ago when we were in Pennsylvania. Dee returned hers because she knew she would never use them and since I didn't have anyone to skate with, mine remained in the box, brand spankin' new. I didn't have the heart to return mine because I figured I'd use them SOME day. I always wanted to blade, but..well...just never did. I didn't know when I WOULD use them (there aren't a lot of parks in Amish country for skating), but knew if I returned them I'd probably never go blading. And who wants to look back on life and realize you've never gone roller blading?

After rediscovering my skates in Nashville I decided I would bring them with me to Chicago because, doggonnit, I was gonna use them. My buddy Amy and I went blading this past weekend down at Lakeshore Drive but Amy's blades were purchased from a used sporting goods store and a wheel fell off and she had a nasty spill (don't worry, she's OK. And now when I replay it in my mind, it was kind of funny).

So I figured thus endeth the blading of Ed.


I have my own blades, I know how to use them (you won't find me on a halfpipe any time soon, but I can at least skate without falling down), and now my refusal to get rid of them and determination that they would come in handy some day is actually paying off. In a weird weird way that I never imagined.

Cool, huh?

The moral of the story is: Dont' get rid of your skates. They don't take up a lot of room anyhow, and when you need them you got 'em.

The Break-Up

So yesterday I got booked as an extra in the new Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston film, "The Break-Up." It's set to release in February 2006 and the scene I'll be in takes place at Wrigley Field (Go Cubs!). There's a chance I might be able to do some extra work in other scenes as well, so I'll keep you posted.

I was at Wrigley Field about 15 years ago to do extra work in the film "The Babe" about Babe Ruth (that's where Ron Sarrazine and I met John Goodman and Kelly McGillis!). The cool thing about this time around is

a) it takes place in present time, so we don't have to wear suits and junk
b) we get paid
c) Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. No offense toward John Goodman and Kelly McGillis, but come on...let's be honest.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Yesterday I went to a little bookstore here in Chicago where Cheech Marin (yes, THAT Cheech) was speaking. Cheech is a collector of Chicano art (his collection is currently touring the nation and is in Chicago for a short time at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum. It's free, so if you live in the area there's no excuse not to go). He also has a book out ("Chicano Visions") featuring some of the art in his collection and he spoke about the art, the artists, and being a Chicano artist. He spoke for a little over an hour and it was really cool. For those of you who wondered if Cheech is the man, yes, he is. Yes. He is.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

"Ghost Hunter" - A SHORT STORY

For regular readers of my blog, you already know about the writing group I am a part of. And for those of you who are new, I'll sum up. My friends and I gather every few weeks to give one another a 5-10 page writing assignment. All of the stories must contain certain elements, and this time around our stories had to include: a johnny carson impersonator, a coconut, a monkey cage, and the line "I never thought I'd see something like that when I woke up this morning." this time around we also drew genres out of a hat, and the one I drew was horror. This is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it. I'll be back with my next short story in about 3 weeks!

Inside the house Jack swept his flashlight back and forth across the room. The dust swirled around in a misty haze and the boards creaked beneath his feet with every step.

He checked the monitor at his side. Two green lights, just the way it should be. Three green lights was also acceptable. Four was iffy, five was watch your back, and when the red light turned on it meant to make sure everything is on RECORD and get ready to run at the drop of a hat.

The house had been abandoned for 18 years but it looked like it had been longer than that since any visitors had dropped by. Most of the rooms were empty with a random wooden chair here, a small table there, or an old crate with a sheet thrown over it lurking in the corner. Everything was covered with a layer of fine dust and the prints left behind by Jack’s Timberlands were like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs that would lead back out of the forest.

Jack closed the front door and it slammed shut harder than he had intended. He paused, waiting for the sound of bats flapping their wings in response and the feel of their sharp teeth and claws in his hair. Nothing. Jack cursed at himself for letting his imagination get the best of him. He waited a second or two and took a cautious step. Just before his heel hit the floorboard he heard a definite THUMP from somewhere above him.

He froze and listened.

Jack knew he was violating the first rule of ghost hunting: never go alone. Not that ghost hunters feared evil spirits attacking and killing an innocent investigator like one might see in a Wes Craven movie but because it was just safe common sense. A lot of ghost hunting is done in old abandoned locations. If you take a wrong step and a floor or staircase gives way, you’ve got someone there to lend you a hand.

Somewhere above him Jack heard the squeak of an old board. He froze and waited, but heard nothing else. The house settling; a cat creeping around…there were a million possibilities and there was no need to get nervous. A creak in an old house is as common as a Bible in a church sanctuary.

Jack checked his EMF Recorder. EMFs (electro magnetic fields) are released by a number of common items: a television or power lines to name a couple. Many ghost hunters believe that spirits and entities also give off EMFs. It’s a highly debated theory in the world of the unexplained, but Jack always had good luck. Whenever all four green lights were on, he had gotten some amazing pictures of orbs and swirling mists. He’d only seen the red light come on once in his career and before he could get his camera positioned and readied he’d felt something reach out from the darkness, grab the Nikon, and smash it to the ground. Jack had tried to run but felt two strong arms push him into a wall. After a few minutes Jack’s screams brought his assistant Mitch running from the other end of the warehouse they were investigating. By the time the young apprentice had arrived it was over.

Jack was about to ask Mitch why he hadn’t come sooner, but he found his answer before he could say anything. On Mitch’s head were a pair of earmuffs so big they looked like someone had cut a coconut in half and glued them to the sides of Mitch’s head.

“What are you doing wearing those? No wonder you couldn’t hear me screaming,” Jack chastised him.

“I’m trying to hear EVPs,” Mitch answered.

“Then why aren’t you wearing the electronic voice phenomena headset?” Jack could tell by the look on Mitch’s face that he didn’t have a clue. “You grabbed earmuffs out of the van by mistake you stupid son of a bitch.”

Still replaying the moment in his head, Jack aimed his flashlight at the rickety staircase before him and began his upward ascent. He made his way up two steps and paused. The sound of his feet on the old wooden stairs didn’t seem right. He listened. He could have sworn he heard footfalls coming from somewhere above him but attributed the phenomenon to his ears not yet being accustomed to this strange place. Sometimes in these old houses the echo of your own feet made it sound like the staircase wound into an endless eternity above you and sometimes, like tonight, it sounded like you had a visitor walking around up there. If Mitch were here, Jack might be able to get a second opinion.

But of course Mitch was late as usual. Jack grumbled under his breath and promised himself to put an ad in the paper tomorrow in search of a new intern.

Although Mitch had been excited to come to the hunt tonight, he had also been very nervous. Mitch had been on twelve hunts with Jack before, but this afternoon he had seemed just as antsy and jumpy as we was on hunt #1. Jack had to admit he was surprised Mitch had lasted with the company this long. But if he had, where was he now?


Jack heard the soft whispering echo through the house. Or perhaps it was only an echo in his mind. Surely he didn’t hear it correctly. After all, what kind of ghost would chant Mitch’s name? There were definitely scarier things one could choose to moan in the dark. Regardless, Jack had to focus. Who knew if and when Mitch might show up, but Jack didn’t like waiting.

“Yoo hoooo,” Jack called out, smiling at his own foolishness. He was just glad Mitch wasn’t around to hear him make such an un-manly call. After a few seconds his “yoo-hoo” came back to him in a perfect echo. Just the way it should.

Jack heard a sound like someone walking on the landing above and heard the faint blip of the EMF recorder at his side as the display went from two green lights to three. Nothing to worry about yet but Jack anticipated feeling a cold rush of wind sweep past at any moment.

Jack reached the top of the stairs. He was greeted by a long hallway. There were two doors on the left-hand side and the corridor dead-ended into a third and final doorway. On his right was a wooden handrail that looked out over the floor below.

Jack started with the first door on the left (“Always go left”) and it was just as he had expected: the bathroom. The fixtures had been removed and all that remained as evidence of where the sink, bathtub and toilet had resided were pipes sticking out of the floor. Jack crept over to what had been the toilet drainpipe. Something was sticking out of the end and Jack hoped to God it wasn’t what he thought it was. As he got closer his nose told him this was not his lucky day.

There, sticking out of the pipe, was a turd. A human turd. Someone had actually taken the time to relieve themselves and then carefully place the turd into the pipe. Jack looked around the floor and saw no trace of toilet paper, tissue, newspaper, or even rubber gloves. Someone had done this either with their bare hands or by simply squatting above the pipe and slipping the turd right in. Jack never ceased to be amazed by what kids will dare each other to do during a full moon. That had to be the only explanation. Not even a spirit from the other side of the netherworld would be this foul.

“Well,” Jack muttered, “I never thought I’d see something like that when I woke up this morning.”

From out in the hall Jack heard what sounded like a broom being dropped to the floor. The thin THWACK sound made Jack jump and reminded him of what he was here to do.

If the stories about this house were to be believed, then there was something in the house that was bad. It wasn’t the ghost of a Civil War general or a woman who died in childbirth or a young boy who was kept in the cellar locked in a monkey cage. Whatever was supposedly alive in this house was nothing more than pure evil.

Jack left the bathroom and cautiously made his way down the hall. He kept a close eye on the floor but couldn’t find the source of the noise that had just sent his heart racing.

He came to the second door and it let out a loud creak as it opened, the hinges screaming for just a drop of oil.

Inside was what had once been the master bedroom. There were large windows overlooking the property on three sides but the dust that was caked on them made it appear the house was engulfed in a sinister fog.

In the middle of the room stood a tall wooden post that stretched from ceiling to floor. It was perhaps two inches in diameter, not nearly large enough to be a load-bearing structure. Jack approached to investigate, oblivious to the fourth green light on the EMF Recorder that had blinked to life. Besides this mysterious find the room was empty.

He grabbed the wooden pole that had been bolted down years ago. He jiggled it and found it was loose. As he shook it small fragments of plaster drifted down. Jack coughed. His hand came across a cold metal outcropping on the post that was sharp to the touch. He brought his flashlight closer to investigate.

A coat rack? It couldn’t be, but there seemed to be no other explanation. The jagged pieces of metal appeared to be the individual coat hooks that had obviously snapped off years ago. How odd that someone would install such a fixture but Jack assumed the bed was probably placed nearby at one point, and there’s never accounting for personal taste. In his mind’s eye he could see a bright pink bathrobe with matching fuzzy trim around the neck and sleeves hanging from one of the hooks. It was joined by a long velvety Merlot-colored robe dangling from another.
The EMF Recorder made a small BEEP as the red light sprang to life. “Holy shit,” Jack said, snapping out of his daydream. He hadn’t realized how cold he was. He could feel every individual hair on his arm raised so high they seemed like they would shoot out of his skin. He exhaled and could see his breath wafting in front of him. He looked around at the picture windows and realized it wasn’t dust that was obstructing his view outside but ice had formed on the inside of the glass panes.

Before he could begin to make sense of any of it all Jack heard a creak behind him. Right behind him. Jack didn’t have time to turn around when he felt a cold heavy hand slap down on his right shoulder.

“Ouch,” Jack said without realizing. It wasn’t an exclamation in response to the hand’s powerful grip but because of the extreme cold it spread through him.

Jack was spun around and came face to face with a terrible darkness. The Shape let out a horrible scream that shook Jack’s being and he shrieked in response. Jack took a step backward and stumbled against the coat rack. His full weight was no match for the pole and it ripped loose from its constraints. Bits of plaster and dust showered down upon him as Jack fell backward. He felt the pole beneath his back as his head hit the floor hard.

Jack’s only thought was The Shape that had grabbed him and where it was at the moment. All he saw was the flare of a bright flash of light.

Then, as quickly as it came, the light was gone. He continued to lay there and everything around him grew silent.

After a short time Jack slowly got to his feet, opened his eyes and immediately regretted it. The dust hadn’t finished settling and it coated his eyeballs with a grainy haze. Jack squeezed his eyes shut and began to rub even though his better sense told him not to. After a few seconds of rapid blinking most of the remnants were gone.

Jack brushed himself off and his confusion was rapidly replaced by fear. What had he heard? What had he felt? And was it still here?

He frantically searched for his flashlight amid the rubble. He found it partially hidden under a large shard of plaster and clicked it on. Nothing. Jack slapped the side of the flashlight, creating a small cloud of dust. The faint tinkling sound from within the housing of the bulb told him that it was no use.

He turned and surveyed his surroundings. His eyes had become adjusted to the darkness and he was able to see the hazy outline of the room. Outside of the house in the distance, far below him, he heard the sound of a car door slam.

On his way over to the window Jack’s foot kicked something small and solid. He reached down and picked up his EMF recorder. None of the display lights were blinking. He jostled the recorder a bit and nothing happened. He flipped it off, turned it over, found the battery case panel, and removed it. He shook the batteries out and he felt a crusty film on his fingers. The batteries were starting to corrode. Jack was infuriated. He had specifically asked Mitch to check the batteries in all of the equipment, especially the EMF Recorder since it had been on the shelf for some time.

He managed to replace the batteries and the panel cover and switched the machine back on. This time all four green lights lit up as well as the red light. This usually indicated extreme electromagnetic activity, but Jack knew that this time it meant that the machine had been extremely dropped. He jostled the unit again but the lights did not waver. He flipped it off and stood still. No cold spots. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck was completely relaxed. Somewhere he thought he heard the sound of a door closing.

Jack turned the EMF Recorder on once again and, once again, all of the lights lit up. Jack was enraged. At Mitch, at the machine, at himself. He threw the recorder back onto the floor and muttered, “Fuck it.” It clunked on the boards and came to rest, its lights still insisting that something was afoot.

Jack made his way to the window, a board groaning its distaste in being trod upon along the way. The ice that seemed to cover the window just moments earlier was again just a small film of dust. With his coat sleeved he rubbed clean a small circle on the window and peered to the ground below. He saw his car alone, abandoned, and basking in the moonlight. The car door he had heard sounded like his own but he saw no movement below.

There was only one other room on this floor and even though he no longer had his flashlight and EMF recorder, he decided it would be a waste of time to not investigate. If he found something, he wouldn’t be able to record it but at least he’d have an idea where he should start the next time he was around.

He made his way out of the room, started down the hall and paused. Footsteps. And this time he was sure it wasn’t an echo. In an old house with wood floors and no furniture or carpeting to absorb the sound, you could never quite ascertain where a noise originated from but it sounded like it came from below.

Mitch must be here. It had to be Mitch. Perhaps he had decided not to brave the rickety bridge at the edge of the property and parked his car at the bottom of the hill, walking up the rest of the way. He had opened Jack’s car door, saw he wasn’t in there, and then made his way into the house. That would explain his own car door slamming, the sound of the front door closing, and the footsteps below. That was Mitch. He may be late, but he always showed.

“Mitch?” Jack called out and heard his own voice reverberate its way down the stairs. “Mitch?”

Jack stood still and listened. From below he heard a faint “Yoo hoooo.” And it sounded just like him.

That bastard Mitch was downstairs and now he was trying to be funny. Jack wondered how long Mitch had actually been here, watching him. Even though a Ghost Hunt wasn’t the place to fool around Jack loved a good joke as much as the next guy so again he called out “Yoo hoooo” followed by a much quieter “Bastard.”

Jack had to admit Mitch’s “Yoo-hoo” sounded a lot like him. Mitch was always doing voices and it usually got old, like a bad Johnny Carson impersonator that doesn’t know when to stop.
He’d never heard Mitch’s “Jack” impersonation but he was sure the other guys had – and probably laughed their asses off. He wouldn’t be surprised if they had put Mitch up to this but he was about to show Mitch who was the student and who was the teacher. His EMF recorder was no longer working so it wasn’t really like he had anything to lose.

Jack heard Mitch below making his way up the steps and quickly darted into the room at the end of the hall in waiting. When Mitch went into the master bedroom to investigate he would find that revenge is indeed a dish best served cold.

Jack made his way into the far room. There was no door, just three lone hinges on the jamb with nothing to latch onto. Jack flattened himself against the wall inside and slowly poked his head around the door frame to sneak a peek into the hall. He looked just in time to see Mitch’s dark silhouette approach the restroom. Mitch was going into the rooms as Jack had gone into them. Always go left. Otherwise you might inadvertently skip a room. “Always go left” was the rule of thumb. Start with the first door on your left, check it out, leave the room, go left, and check out the next room you come to. No stone unturned. And Mitch had gone left. Just like Jack did. Just like Jack taught him.

“Atta boy, Mitch,” Jack said, “You’re starting to redeem yourself.” Jack knew Mitch would head to the master bedroom next because that was the next door on the left and that’s when Jack would sneak up behind him and show him how to really scare someone. Jack watched the lights on Mitch’s EMF machine disappear into the bathroom doorway.

Jack waited for Mitch to inspect the wash room. “Please don’t let him touch that mystery turd with his bare hands,” he thought to himself. A quick look around and Jack ascertained there was nothing much in this room, most likely the spare bedroom. The only thing here was a large picture frame hanging on the wall against which Jack was standing.

The frame was made of thin wood, probably pine. There was no canvas stretched over it. The fact that it was just an empty frame made it just as interesting (if not, more) to ponder than if there were an actual picture inside.

Jack touched the frame gently and as soon as he did the piece of wood on the bottom portion fell to the floor. Jack froze. He didn’t want to give his position away to Mitch and ruin the joke. Hopefully Mitch would think the noise came from the hall or even perhaps downstairs.
Jack remained in hiding as he heard Mitch leave the bathroom. He listened as Mitch slowly made his way into the master bedroom. He heard the slow creak of the door opening and Jack realized he didn’t recall ever shutting it. Again Jack peeked into the hall. He could see the shadows being thrown around from the beam of Mitch’s flashlight inside the bedroom and Jack silently slinked down the hall. He crept to the open doorway and stole a look. What the hell was Mitch doing?

Mitch had his back to the door and was obviously trying to reposition the coat rack that Jack had broken loose. As Jack continued to approach Mitch from behind he saw Mitch had actually fixed the coat rack. But that was impossible. His eyes were playing tricks on him. But the wooden post was once again bolted to the floor and ceiling and the plaster above was unmolested.

Obviously when Jack had taken his tumble he hadn’t brought the pole crashing down with him as he had thought. It had all happened so quickly some of the details were bound to get a little twisted around like a victim of a car crash trying to recount the incident.

Jack was now close enough to touch Mitch, and Mitch was none the wiser. “Someone’s going to have to work on their observational skills,” Jack thought to himself. He reached out his hand to give Mitch the scare of a lifetime. With his final footstep the floorboard let out a long squeak. Before Mitch could react Jack grabbed him on the shoulder. Why was Mitch so warm?

“Ouch,” Mitch mumbled, and something about it puzzled Jack.

Jack spun Mitch around and realized it wasn’t Mitch at all. He had been sneaking up on himself. Jack looked deep into the eyes of someone (himself!) about to die and screamed at the top of his lungs.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My Turn Part II

Just a quick follow-up to yesterday's blog. I got a callback from the theater today that I auditioned for last night! So cool! I was really stoked and excited to hear about that! I go in tomorrow night at 7:30 for the callback and I am looking forward to it. I am also going in tomorrow afternoon to interview to let a research lab do tests on me. Needless to say I am also really stoked about that as well. How cool is that? Robert Rodriguez, here I come!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My Turn

Things here in Chicago have been going well for my little band of friends. Amy has been auditioning like crazy and now the offers are starting to come in. We're all really happy for her. I believe she has three (count 'em, three!) offers floating around right now, which is awesome!

Tonight Erik just found out he got the role of Charles Ingalls (Pa!) in a production of "Little House on the Prairie" and again, we were all really stoked for him!

And now its my turn. I have about 5 auditions within a week's time. Tonight I went to one for a show called "Beyond Therapy" by Christopher Durang. It went really well. They laughed a lot at my monologue which was cool (and they laughed in all the right places) and they had me do a cold reading from the script with another lady. I thought that went well, too. I had a blast. They told me that they would call me tomorrow if they want to see me at the callback on Thursday night. Whether or not anything comes from it is beside the point. I really enjoy the audition process and it was fun to be back out there again.

One of my favorite things about auditions is watching the other people who are there to audition because no matter what time you get there, whether you're in the front of the pack or one of the last to be seen, there's always one person there who loves to draw attention to themselves and be, well, an actor about it. It's a lot of fun and tonight was no exception. Nothing like a bunch of actors to keep me entertained.

Good times.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Book Maniac

I just finished reading "Haunted" by Chuck somebody (the guy who wrote "Fight Club"). My buddy Erik read it and was telling me about it so after he finished it he passed it along to me. We get into pretty good discussions and I am sure this book will inspire some interesting conversation. It's basically about 23 people trapped together and each of their individual stories. I really enjoyed maybe 3 or 4 of the stories. All of the others I found myself just reading to find out what would happen in the next (and hopefully more intriguing) story. I'll give it 4 out of 10 stars.

Amy just finished "Life of Pi" and raved about it. I thought I'd give it a shot. I started reading it today, figuring I'd see how the first chapter goes and I am hooked. I had to get up because I've been reading non-stop and am already about a third of the way through. Whoever wrote it (I'm too lazy to get up and check the author, but I'll post it below) is really good at drawing in the reader so who knows. I'll probably finish it this weekend.

Because I am awesome.

I Own This Town

Last night was weird. Cool, but weird.

It was laundry day here and Amy said that whenever we wanted to do laundry we could go to her aunt & uncle's so we wouldn't have to pay to do it at a laundry mat. So last night we took her up on her offer and it was cool.

Her relatives have this awesome apartment on the 10th floor of a building downtown that overlooks the lake and you can also see the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. Oh, did I mention that while the laundry is being washed we also have access to the pool, workout room, sauna, and hot tub? And because most of the people who live in the apartment building are a bit older, all of these amenities were 100% deserted. It was awesome.

At one point I was the only one in the pool. It's indoors, but there are windows all around that almost give you the feeling of being outside. It was dark (about 9 or 10pm) and all of the pool lights were turned off except for one lone light in the water at the "deep end" of the pool. I just stood in the pool and all around me were awesome skyscrapers and buildings and lights and the lake and it was just a really really cool site. It was peaceful and nice and I couldn't wait for my clothes to get dirty so we'd have to come back and do laundry again.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

There and Back Again

I'm off to Nashville to pick up another carload of things to bring back to Chicago. Mapquest says it is an 8-hour trip, but everyone knows they always seems to add an extra hour to their estimation. I'll be picking up a TV, microwave, books, CDs, kitchen stuff, and shoes (you know...the essentials).

I have my Elmore Leonard book on tape and the new Will Smith CD to keep me company. I'll see you when I get back.