Friday, October 28, 2005

Oh my God! You flunked Kenny!

Got an awesome wrong number today. I didn't answer because I didn't recognize the number and the message that was waiting for me was AWESOME.

There was an angry lady leaving a message who spoke broken English. Apparently, Kenny hasn't been turning in his homework all week and if Kenny doesn't start turning in homework he's going to flunk English. So I need to check Kenny's homework before he leaves for school. And also, the Parent-Teacher conference is next month and I really need to show up so I can meet all of Kenny's teachers. And also, Kenny isn't turning in his homework and I need to do something about it before Kenny flunks English.

The lady sounded pretty upset so Kenny, whoever you are, if you're reading this, get off your butt and turn in your freakin homework.

What he said

Sometimes I know what I want to say but can never come up with the exact wording or phrasing to express it. My buddy Justin is not that way. He has a series of blogs called "Answering Questions" that is not only amazing to read, but no matter what side of the topic you are on, also quite compelling. Stop by and check it out. It's not fair to have this much talent, but it's good to see he's putting it to use.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Is George home?

So something actually happened at my night job worth talking about...

For those of you who don't know, I work in the evenings at a place that works with mutual fund companies. I call shareholders and ask them to vote along with the board of their funds for their shareholder meeting. Thrilling, I know. But it's work, and it's at night so I can hit auditions during the day. They're also really cool about letting me take off to film movies and do improv so I can't complain.

Tonight I was calling people on the west coast and one of the names I had to call was a guy by the name of George Lucas. Funny huh? I mean, really, what if it were the George Lucas. I looked at his holdings, and this guy had enough that it actually could have been. Then I noticed that he had some holdings in the name of his daughters. So I Googled George Lucas and found an article online that mentioned his daughters names...and they matched. I was about to call Mr Star Wars himself!! I was really stoked and there was a nice little buzz in the office.

So I called the phone number and I got an answering machine. I was excited. I bet George Lucas has an awesome outgoing message!

It was a female voice and it said something like "This is Sardita, leave a messsage." And that was it.

Wrong number, or just George Lucas covering his tracks so schmucks like me won't post his phone number online? The world may never know.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just a Regular Day for Ed

So Ed, what did you do today?

Oh, you know, the usual...went to work on the set of the new film The Devil Wears Prada where I got to work in some scenes with Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Heidi Klum, and the designer Valentino.

What an odd day indeed. I got the call last night from my agent a little after midnight that they needed extras and I was out the door at 9:15 this morning for my 10am call. The shoot took place down in Chinatown, not far from where I work with Accomplice NY.

Extras were being held in the basement of a church. There were probably about 150 of us there and it took about 2-1/2 hours for wardrobe to look at the change of clothes we brought along, to approve them, and to let us know what they wanted us to wear (there were 4 different set-ups to be shot with 3 changes of clothing).

After they got us straightened out, we went to the set which was a short bus trip away. It was in a beautiful building (I don't know what this place is during regular business looked like a cross between a church and a restaurant and a hotel). They had one area set up with white sheets all over to shoot a party that takes place backstage after a fashion show. I was chosen to stand right next to Meryl Streep and Valentino as they enter the room and I believe this is where I got my best shot at some nice screen time. It was fun.

After that, we were led into the main room where they had a fake fashion show runway built and we all portrayed the people in the audience. They shot 3 different fashion shows and changed the set each time, so if you ever see this movie you may have to watch it on DVD to pause it and pick me out each time. But I'm in there, trust me.

It only took 14-1/2 hours to shoot all of this, so needless to say I'm a bit tired but I had a lot of fun. It was cool seeing Stanley Tucci. He's actually pretty witty.

I could go on but I won't. I'd bore you and I'm tired anyhow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And to think I shop at Old Navy

Just got a call from my agent and tomorrow I'm wanted on the set of the movie The Devil Wears Prada. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. I've fooled them all.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Me & the McBobs

Yesterday was a great day in New york indeed. I'd been looking forward to it for some time now, as my buddies Justin and Amy from San Francisco were in town. They'd both been to New York before, but since they're always on the road traveling from one gig to the next, they never had time to stop and see the city the way they wanted to.

I met them at Penn Station and then it was off to Times Square to pick up a friend of Amy's she hasn't seen for a few years who would be hanging out with us as well.

Our first stop of the day was The Met. Good night, this museum is huge!! At first the "suggested" admission price of $15 might seema little steep but by the time you've gone through the place (or at least attempted to go through it) you find that it was more than worth the admission price. They had an amazing Van Gogh exhibit there. Absolutely huge. You have to understand that the last art museum I was at was the one in Nashville, where a Van Gogh exhibit might be two actual pieces, so it was nice to be blown away by an actual real museum. We spent a few hours there and also visited the displays of art from Prague and by then we were starving and just trying to find a way out. I felt a little guilty rushing past paintings by Monet and sculptures from ancient Asia and Egyptian mummies and sculptures by Rodin and medieval stained glass without giving them a second look. "Yes, yes, I know you're steeped in culture and history and probably worth millions of dollars, but right now I just need a burger." I'd like to go back and see everything I missed. I could try to go on about how huge this place is, but you get the point. If you're in town, check it out.

From there it was on to Central Park. It was an overcast day yesterday, a little chilly, but not even close to what I would call cold so not a lot of people were out and about which was fine by me. The park wasn't very crowded at all and we were free to walk side by side wherever we wanted and hog up the entire walking path. We took some fun pictures and bought some nuts from a street vendor and saw a Japanese woman in an ugly outfit being photographed on some steps and a film crew filming a dog and a lady in an ugly multi-colored 70s shirt talking to what looked like a Jawa.

We managed to come a good way and Amy realized she had forgotten her camera case further back in the park on a bench. Justin and I went after it, not knowing if it would still be there or not since almost an hour had passed. And it was! So thanks for that New York City!

We stopped at a Cosi diner for lunch/dinner and then the girls were distracted by an H&M store. Justin and I went down to FYE while they were shopping for clothes and then we waited inside for a while and were told we could't sit where we were sitting so we went back outside and commented about the passers-by and then went back in and wondered some more how long they were going to be.

Finally from there we went back to the Upper East Side to a little club called something like BT-UT. It was pretty cool. We had S'mores and Rice Krispie Tootsie Roll treats and drinkns as the evening drew near to a close. We made our way back to Penn Station (saying goodbye to Amy's friend at Times Square along the way) and I made sure Justin and Amy got to their train safely at 11:14pm.

What a great day it was. Laughs abounded. Random references to earlier occurances in the day were shouted out at the appropriate times (Segway! Gant! Ever so lightly! No touching!) and there was much laughter and taking of pictures.

Nothing like a good day in the city with friends.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


As I returned from my lunch break at work this evening, I saw a lonely umbrella on the sidewalk leaning against a fence next to a scooter. I really wanted to steal it. Well, I guess it wouldn't be stealing so much as it would be taking. It looked like a really nice umbrella, too.

But I didn't take it (nor did I steal it). But not because of my extreme sense of responsibility as an upstanding citizen. No, I didn't take it because it was a large umbrella and when it rains in NYC and everyone has their umbrellas out, large ones are annoying. And I don't want to be annoying.

So, umbrella owner, whoever you may be, your umbrella is still right where you left it. And you're welcome.

And in the role of Cliff Robertson...Me

Earlier this year I was in a production of Sunday in New York in Nashville. Last week when I was at the library I found the old movie version of it starring Jane Fonda and Some Guy. The part I played was played by Cliff Robertson. It was interesting seeing the differences in line readings and approaches. It was also interesting that for the film they wrote a lot of extra scenes with Adam (the character I played). I wonder if that's because Cliff Robertson was a big star back then and they wanted him in the film more often, or if they just wanted more of that character. I don't know, and I'm too lazy to research my speculation.

At any rate, it was an interesting viewing. It was an OK movie. The play itself isn't the most brilliantly-written piece of American literature but I liked the changes they made in parts of the film and the way they flushed things out a little more. All in all, I think the film was better than the play (and how often can you say something like that). But, with that said, if I had watched the film without previously knowing anything about it I think I would have been bored.

So really, this is kind of a waste of a posting. Sorry about that.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Money for Nothing (Kicks are Free)

Last night I worked as an extra on a TV Pilot called "The Black Donnellys." It was written and being directed by Paul Haggis, the guy who wrote the films "Crash" and "Million Dollar Baby."

It was crazy cold last night, and I was there from 5:30pm until about 12:30. A cold night in Spanish Harlem indeed. Loyal readers will recall other occasions where I'd done extra work and some of the other extras who showed up were not used. Well, last night was my time to sit out. Didn't do a thing, but I got a really good meal and I got to watch them film a fight scene and I still got paid, so I'm not complaining one little bit.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Natural High

Last night was my first rehearsal with the National Comedy Theatre. I had a blast; so much fun! It's just really cool to be doing what I love to do so much once again. There are about 6 of us from the audition who got hired but a couple of the people couldn't make it last night. The theater also offers improv classes and a few of the people from their 3rd level class (what they refer to as the minor leaguers) were there as well.

Those of us who are brand new will be rehearsing on Wednesdays for about 6-8 weeks and then we will switch over to Tuesday nights when the rest of the troupe rehearses and we will then start doing shows. At first it seems like a long time, but if you think about it, since rehearsals are only once a week we are only rehearsing about 8 times before we are up there and performing. A lot of improv theaters require that you pay to take classes before you can get any stage time, so I am fortunate that's not the case with these guys.

Last night went really well. The other new members are a lot of fun to work with and we played a couple of games I had played before and some that were new to me.

If you live in an area that offers improv classes of some kind, I highly recommend looking into it. The adrenaline rush is amazing.

On a side note, has anyone else seen the new show Everybody Hates Chris? That's my pick of the litter for the new season (or at least of all of the new shows of the new season). Between that show and Arrested Development, Lost, Desperate Housewives, and SNL TV is my friend.

Hollywood and New York

If there's one thing that living in New York has revealed to me, it's the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of how the city is portrayed in film.

If I'm watching something on TV that is set in New York and one of the characters is hanging out on the street or walking down a sidewalk, it is suddenly very obvious to me if they are the only one walking down that street. It's such a small, minute detail but I am amazed at how startlingly obvious that seems to me now, because you're never the only one. I was out last night walking around at 3am and I wasn't alone, so don't even get me started on the daytime.

The other thing that struck me is often times in movies when someone gets thrown out of a restaurant or an establishment, they often land on a huge pile of garbage bags that are conveniently lined along the sidewalk. Oddly enough, that is true. I always thought that was just a device Hollywood made up but lo and behold, I was mistaken.

So the next time you're watching a movie set in New York pay attention. If the characters are outside and alone, then it's wrong. If they're thrown onto trash bags, then everything is fine.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oh no, wait, I'm just a dork

So I didn't hear from the improv theater this weekend. Bummer. I just got a new phone last week (actually a new account on an old phone) but then yesterday I realized that I hadn't heard from anyone.

Long story short, I didn't realize I had to go into my voice mail and turn on the message notifier thing, so I had three messages that I didn't know I had. And, wouldn't you know it, I did get a call from the National Comedy Theater. And they called me again yesterday and left another message that I didn't know about, asking me to join their merry little band.

If ever there was a dork, I would be he.

I was able to reach the guy who ran the auditions, Gary, this morning and it sounds like I'm in. I'll be rehearsing with them for a few weeks before they throw me into the shows (which are Friday and Saturday nights) so I'll keep you posted on those developements. One of the best things about it all? It doesn't interefere at all with my work at Accomplice NY.

Sometimes things work out perfectly......

....too perfectly.....

(cue dramatic music)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Malcolm & Lara

Over the weekend I was able to hang out with my two favorite South Africans, Malcolm & Lara. I met them a couple of years ago when Dee was working on the cruise ship. In the three weeks I spent on the ship (and the week I was in LA while they were in rehearsals) the four of us hung out quite a bit and we became fast friends.

They're still performing on ships and were in port in NJ Friday so we were able to get together and hang out. Dee was really sick (food poisoning we think) so she wasn't up for company but the three of us had a really good visit.

We got a quick bite to eat and just had an all-around nice hang. They could only come into town for a few hours, but I haven't seen them for a few years so it was nice to catch up. Hopefully I'll be able to see them again before their ship begins porting out of Miami in November.

I mean, these are the people who introduced me to the phrase "Howzit?". How can I not love them??

What's wrong with me???

When I was a kid, my brother and I had a record album called Goofy Gold which was basically a collection of funny songs from the 50s and 60s. It had songs like "Monster Mash," "The Purple People Eater," and "Chantilly Lace."

I woke up this morning with "Pepino the Italian Mouse" from that album stuck in my head.

What the...?

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Well, I didn't get a call from the American Comedy Theater, so I guess I didn't get the improv gig with them. But at least I know.



Tonight after performing with Accomplice NY I hung out again with everyone for a bit and chatted. Had a really good talk with one of the other performers, James. He's a good man and we see eye to eye on a lot of things from comedy to work ethics. It's always nice to meet and hang out with new friends who think on the same weird brainwave. Good times.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Off the Top of My Head

Big audition today at the National Comedy Theater. They're an improv theater here in Manhattan and they had a call today to cast more troupe members. There were probably about 25 or 30 of us who showed up (I'm bad at estimating).

The audition itself lasted about 2 hours and they basically had us play a bunch of different improv games, usually in groups of 4. There were a couple of guys there that I thought did a great job. I had a lot of fun. You know me, it's always good to do improv again, and I was pretty happy with how it went.

A time or two, after doing a scene, I had a couple of short bouts of second-guessing myself or what I did, but you can't hold on to that for too long or it'll just mess you up, so it was onward and upward. All said and done, I feel pretty good about it without letting myself expecting anything.

After the audition was over they told us we'd know something by tomorrow evening so if we get a call, we're in, and if we don't, well, you don't. That's always good to know. A lot of times after auditioning you wonder how it went with no idea of how long before you might hear something. So at least with this I'll know for sure one way or the other by Monday.

And you know what they say. Knowing is half the battle.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Today I went to an audition for a new VH1 show, "Whatever." They were looking for people with improv skills and that's all I knew going in.

The audition was in Soho (I think that's where I was, I don't know) and the people there were really friendly. The girl auditioning me, Karen, told me that basically it's a show set up like the interview segments on "The Daily Show." Not the celebrity segments, but the parts where they find a kazoo whittler or whatever. You know, where the person being interviewed is totally serious and into it and not realizing that the rest of America is laughing at them. So that was the set up.

They brought in a guy named Bob who was to play an old man who was in a "Jazzy" race (you know, those little scooters for the elderly) and I had to interview him. I had a lot of fun. After that, Bob left and Karen filmed me as if I were doing a nature show in Central Park and wanted me to talk about the two animals I was in search of. I chose "a bird" and "an old Broadway has-been actress with Botox injections." Don't ask me where that came from, this is improv people.

Finally I had to do a sign-off report as someone who just witnessed a race between an Olympic athlete and a heroin addict.

So, again, who knows. I got Karen to laugh quite a bit so that was a plus.

Another plus was the doorman/security guy on the way out. His name is Ira, a native New Yawk-er, and he gave me the names of some of his favorite places to eat in Manhattan.

And there you have it. Good times.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Today I saw something on the street that was so funny (or at least to me it was) I had to stop and write it down. I walked up another half-block, ducked under the awning of a hotel, pulled my book of funny thoughts from my back pocket, and wrote about the Big Scary Black Lady For Jesus.

On the corner of (I think) 6th and 47th there was this tall Amazonian black woman dressed nicely in a black and white power-outfit. Black skirt and white top. She looked like your average businesswoman except for the fact see she was waving yellow pamphlets and screaming angrily.

As I got closer I heard what she was yelling about. She was mad about The Good News. Not that she was necessarily a fan, she was just mad about it. "Think about how good God is to us!!" She wasn't just raising her voice so she could be heard, she was actually yelling at people like she was in the middle of a fight. "Think about how good God is to us!!" Not suggesting people think about it, but demanding it.

Then a short little bald white guy walked by and she got right in his face and screamed, "THINK ABOUT IT!!!!"

I'm not exaggerating. She yelled it right in this guy's face and I laughed my crazy head off. People walking by probably thought I was the crazy one because I was walking by myself, laughing, but man it was worth it.