Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My Online Court TV Appearance. Maybe.

I got an email today from the director I worked with for the Court TV project I blogged about a week or so ago. Apparently the game is now online and ready to be played, so spread the word.

He mentioned in his email that not everyone who worked actually made it into the final game. I'm running on a lame dial-up connection and my computer is having issues, so I'm not able to explore the whole thing to even know if I made it or not. So maybe I did, and maybe I didn't. I don't have the patience right now to find out. If someone with a faster connection spots me somewhere in the game (the scene I shot was me sitting at a table...it was all green screen, so I can't give you more info than that) leave me a message and let me know.

And if not...well, at least you go to play a game.

If you missed it above, the link is http://www.courttv.com/contest

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Get a Job

I start my new job on Monday. It's a part-time job that I got through a temp agency (none of the agencies I went to that I mentioned in my earlier blog). It's a job at a finance company where I have to call shareholders and ask them how they want to vote on issues. Granted, it doesn't sound like the most exciting job in the world, but it's a night job (5:30-11) which means I have my days free to go to auditions!!!! YES!! I am loving it!

The job is in the Wall Street district and during my interview we were in a room overlooking the water and I had my first ever real-life glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. And can I tell you? It was a lot smaller than I imagined.

Whenever you see it in a movie it's always a swooping helicopter shot up close and everything, so this time when I sqaw it I was in a huge skyscraper that seemed to dwarf it and I was like, "Huh." Still though, it was cool. But since I was in an interview, I couldn't really take the time to gawk and sightsee.

So that was a good time. In the meantime, I've been working on stand-up material. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

So, by the way...

I updated my blog earlier today and when I went to post it there was an error and it lost it all. I don't feel like re-typing it all, so I'll re-cap:

My improv gig on Sunday went really well and I had a lot of fun.

I tried selling tickets for The Improv on the street today but it didn't go well.

I got tickets for The Late Show with David Letterman.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Improv and Discovery

I had a meeting yesterday with a guy named Tom to see about doing some improv on the weekends. We were to meet at a Starbucks and (I think) we were in the village. It was bound to happen sometime, and yesterday was the day. I got a little lost. Not much. Just a little. I accidentally got on the express subway instead of the local train and we shot right past my stop. Only one stop past, but to get back on the train going the other way, you had to leave, cross the street, and pay to get back on, and I ain't's got the money to fool with that. So I tried to find my way on my own. I know this makes me sound like a dork (or a cowboy!) but I can usually tell which direction I am facing from the position of the sun (for real!). But at the time it was high noon, so I was sort of out of luck. I was able to ask a friendly mailman for directions, shooting the whole men don't ask for directions theory down. Turns out I was only 3 blocks from where I wanted to be, so not too bad.

I got to the Starbucks about 5 minutes before Tom so all was well. And I must be honest, Tom threw me off a bit. Tom looks just like Ben, the guy who fired me from the record label because he claimed radio did nothing to promote albums. So psychologically it took me a bit to actually put that past me and like the guy. Tom was really cool, though, and he told me what the improv gig was about.

The name of the show is Accomplice NY and it's sort of a cross between a murder mystery party, a scavenger hunt, and a walking tour of Manhattan. A group of eight or so people sign up for this thing and they don't know what they are supposed to do. All they know is where to meet. They are then approached by actors who are all playing shady characters and are asked to deliver some stuff for a crime boss. They're given clues as to what to do next, where to go, and who to look for. They end up going to like 10 different places all around Manhattan, never knowing if the people they meet on the way are actors or if they're just real people walking around. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun and Tom asked me if I could play a paranoid, crazy guy who was a genius. I said sure and he said "Let's see it." So there we sat in Starbucks, him talking to me as I carried on in a sort of Doc Brown-crossed-with-a-guy-named-Sherm-I-knew-in-college character I made upon the spot. After about five minutes he started laughing and just said "You're hired." So I go in Saturday to watch them do it a few times and then on Sunday it's all me. Right now they only do shows on weekends, but I am really stoked!

After that I had a shoot for the Discovery Channel. I don't want to divulge too much because of the confidnetiality thing I signed, but I'll tell you a bit. I doubt their lawyers are reading this, so I'll just tell you what they posted on the audition notices that I already knew going into it. They are holding callbacks for a show that takes place in a cab. They are only looking for actual cab drivers, and they had it narrowed down a bit. They were also looking for actors to come in (me) and play the person in the back of the cab so the auditioners had someone to play off of. They were filming these auditions for the head honchos at Discovery to watch. So it was kind of fun doing an audition that had zero pressure because I knew they weren't really watching me, it was all about the cab driver. It was a lot of fun (and I got to do it in front of blue screen! This week I'm getting a lot of training with the whole blue/green screen thing...where are the Sin City 2 auditions?)

Afterward the executive producer brought me aside and asked me if I could come in on Monday and do it again as they tape the final auditions. They were bringing in some big hotshot agent for these final callbacks and he wanted me to play the passenger. I told him "Sure!" and he said that it would be a really good opportunity for me to be seen by her. So who knows. I've never heard of her (the name rang a bell with Deanna) but apparently she is a real mover and shaker. At any rate, it'll be fun. I'll be sure to bring an extra head shot and resume.

A full day yesterday. Whew! I love it!

I've run out of head shots so until I can afford to buy more photo paper, the hunt for a part-time job continues but as always I will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Mean and the Nice

Today I encountered my first mean and/or rude New Yorker. I'm not surprised that I met someone grumpy because hey, this is New York. That's just a given. I'm actually more surprised that it took this long. I'm not changing any names to protect the guilty. I'm a New Yorker now and as a New Yorker, I say screw them.

I was out looking for temp work and went to a place called Winmar Temporary Services. I got up the elevator, rang the bell, and the door opened a crack and some lady in her 60s opened the door. She wouldn't open the door any further because apparently my identical twin was there last week and kicked open the door and attacked her with sticks.

She asked what I wanted and I told her I was looking for temp work. She got really upset and said I needed to call to make an appointment. I said OK and then, even though I already had their number, I asked for their number anyway. She looked at the door where it said "804" and again got mad and asked what I meant.

I said, "So I can call to make an appointment." Now bear in mind, I wasn't being rude or copping an attitude. I still had on my polite face and was using my polite voice. Instead, she looked at me in disgust and said, "You know, you have to have a resume."

Well duh, lady. I have 20 of them in my backpack and if you'd like I can take them out and give you a papercut with each one right across your face. I'm not sure what it was about me but she definitely didn't think I'd have any idea what a resume was, not to mention there wasn't a chance I would actually have one.

But instead of getting upset or becoming annoyed I just decided to laugh at her. And I did. Not a full-on belly laugh but a snicker/laugh that said, "Well of course I need a resume, you IDIOT." I said, "Yeah I have one." I went back into the elevator and when the doors closed I flipped her off. I called them on the phone and the guy who answered asked me to email my resume to them. I don't think I will.

I also went to a temporary staffing service place called CTI and when I asked for work the girl gave me an application and questionnaire. Inside were all sorts of questions about being a waiter.

1. From which side do you serve someone in French service?
2. When all of the waiters serve a table at once it is called _______ the room.
3. What is French service?

Huh? What? How the freak should I know? I just want to sit at a computer and type stuff. So I filled out the questionnaire to the best of my ability and when I didn't know the answer I made it obvious. By the way, my answers to the above questions were as follows (for real...this is what I put):

1. The right
2. Feeding
3. Treating you with a fake sincerity whilst secretly loathing me for being an "American swine."

I turned in my test and told them I knew nothing about being a waiter. It was a different girl behind the desk and she asked why I filled out that particular application. I told her that's what was given to me, I just want to type on a computer and she said, "Oh. Then I just need a resume. You don't want to be a waiter?" I told her to look over my test and see if she thinks that's my strong point. She laughed and I wished I was still in bed, sleeping away.

As I left I got stopped at a street corner and was waiting for the WALK signal. There were three people with British accents pointing and ooh-ing and ahh-ing. I looked up and just down the street was the Empire State Building. I think. It might have been the Chrysler Building. That's not the point. The point is, it was beautiful. The morning sunlight hit it just rioght and was reflecting off of the windows in a brilliant prism.

So thank you, English People, for pointing that out to me. I needed to see that and it was a nice way to cap off the morning.

I could go on about my afternoon where I got a gig doing improv and filmed blue screen stuff for the Discovery Channel, but for now I am all pooped out. I'll tell you more stories later, kids. But it was a great afternoon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mamet & Court TV

Well, last night I booked a shoot for Court TV and went in to do that this morning. It's actually for Court TV's website. Some kind of new interactive such and such or something...part of their new promotion or look or what-have-you. I played a diner at a fancy French restaurant. And hey, did I mention it was my first time doing green screen? Pretty weird, I must say. I basically sat across from a lady and we had to mime a table between us. We looked pretty goofy there with our elbows suspended in the air on nothing, but I am eager to see what the final project looks like. When it's online, I will be sure to post the website here so you can see it as well. I'm sure it will be good for a nice laugh.

After that I decided to go to an audition for the David Mamet play, Speed the Plow. All I know about the play is Madonna did it on Broadway back in the 80s and got horrible reviews. So who knows. I could hear some of the people doing monologues in front of me, and they all sounded like mean, angry rants with lots of swearing (typical Mamet). But I started to second-guess myself, because the monologue I had prepared (the only one I have right now, really) is a comedic monologue from Steve Martin's book Pure Drivel. And the closer it got, the more nervouse I made myself. What if I do my monologue and then they ask if I have something more dramatic?? Then, as the guy took us to go in, he said they are looking for a monologue 2 minutes or less, and preferable comedic. YES!!!!

The audition went great. The people I auditioned for were the producers of the show. There were four of them, three men and a woman. I did the same monologue I did for the Martin Short audition yesterday and they laughed the whole time. It was a blast!! I felt really good about it and after I was done the lady pointed at me and said "Is that from Steve Martin?" and I pointed right back at her and said, "Yes it is!" There's nothing quite as fulfilling as going to an audition and knowing it went well. Whether or not anything comes from it, I'm really happy with how it went.

On the way home I stopped and filled out some applications at some of the area theaters. I ran into our friend Illeana at one of them (wow, only 4 days in New York and I already saw someone I know!).

Good times. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What I Almost Stepped In

One of the fun things about being in New York City is the vast cornucopia of items you can step on (or almost step on) while traversing the streets. Today my favorite thing I almost stepped on was a jumbo pretzel. I'll keep you updated on those fun facts.

This morning there was an audition for the new Martin Short show. I think it went well, thanks to yesterday. Yesterday (did I already mention this?) I had an audition for Spamalot, the Broadway musical verion of Monty Python's Monty Python & the Holy Grail. It was my first "big" audition in NY and it was basically a cattle call (meaning, there were a zillion people there). I went in, sang my song, they smiled, and I was done.

I'm not an amazing singer by any sense of the imagination and singing auditions get me kind of nervous (just let me do my funny monologue and I am good to go), so it was a good chance to go in, do it, and get in the mode.A nice warm-up.

Today's audition for the Martin Short show was a lot better. Actually, there was hardly anyone there and most of them were girls so that was cool (not because I was there to pick up girls, but because that means less guys competing against me). The auditioners wanted a funny song (actually, just 16 bars of it) and a comic monologue. Cool. Let's do this.

The people that went in before me were flustered when they got back. They said the people were nice, but they gave no reactions; had no expressions. One extremely effeminate guy came back into the main holding room, waved his hand over his face, and just said "Ssssstonefaced."

Another girl said "They're nice enough, but they're so young!! They just sat there and watched and didn't react at all. No expressions. I can't believe how young they were." And then the people began to murmur about the casting people being so young and how horrible it was.

I didn't get it.

I went in and there they were. The pianop player, and two girls behind the desk (one of whom I learned was an intern). I guess they were young, but I still can't figure out what the big deal was. It's not like I've never seen someone in their 20s before.

They were very friendly and carried on niceties and then when I began, their expressions went blank. Just staring and watching and I was determined to get them to laugh. I did my song (it was OK) and then my monologue. I've never done my monogogue and not gotten a laugh and these people had made up their minds to not to laugh at anything. And they didn't laugh. So in my head I decided they had been instructed not to laugh to see how that affects our performance and I was determined it wouldn't affect mine.

And I did my monologue and when I was done, and they knew I was done, they both started laughing. Cool. They thanked me and I was on my way. When the piano player gave me my music back he told me I did a "really great job." So even though it doesn't really matter what the piano player thinks, that was good to hear. And at least I got them to laugh.

So that was fun and cool. It's good to be doing the grind again.

Then, on the way home, is when I almost stepped on the pretzel.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Start Spreadin' the News

New York....finally. I'm still exhausted from a week of seemingly endless driving and furniture moving, but I'm here now with Dee. I have some fun auditions lined up this week and this morning went to an audition for Spamalot. The usual waiting, but the audition itself was quick and painless. I'm currently on the hunt for a PT job to supplement before a gig comes along, but I have no complaints. Give me a few weeks. I'll find something.

But really. I'm just up the block from Avenue Q and Glengarry Glen Ross. So I'm in good company.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Just got back to Indiana from moving all of our junk into storage down in Nashville. Drove down Thursday, moved all day Friday, and just got back. I need sleep. Leaving tomorrow for PA.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Back in Nashville...really?

Only took me 6-1/2 hours to get here from home! A new record! Never before did I have such smooth sailing. No traffic at all. Yee!

What kept me company on the way here? Hmmmm...... Dane Cook, Stephen Lynch, Spamalot, Fatboy Slim, and various mix tapes.

Onward ho!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dane Cook 2. Yea, it's that good.

Finally got out to grab the new album by comedian Dane Cook, "Retaliation." No such thing as a sophomore slump with this guy. I almost hit 2 people in my car driving home listening to it (No fair making me laugh so much I can't see the road!).

You may have read my blog earlier about this CD and believe, me, it's worth it. 2 CDs and a DVD for 15 bucks? Come on. You can't NOT afford that. Get off your butt and support some good comedy.

My brother must have been adopted

While visiting with my brother the other day he informed me that he hates -- hates -- Will Ferrell. Huh? How can that be? There are some people who could say that and I wouldn't be surprised, but as goofy and crazy as Ray is, I don't get how he could find Will Ferrell un-funny.

Considering the adventures Ray has had so far in his new job as a mailman, if someone were to make a movie about Ray's life, I would cast Will Ferrell to play the part. Not only do I think it would be hilarious, but also because I know it would drive Ray nuts.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Free Books!! (and hi, Shayne)

Did I mentions that the Waanders Bookstore in Auburn IN has free books? Have I written about that in any of my blogs yet? I'm too lazy to go back and look, so if I have, well, you can never hear too much about free books.

Walk inside the door and turn right. In front of you, on the very bottom shelf, are free books! The sign encourages patrons to "help themselves!" I took four the first time I went in and went in and snagged three more yesterday. They are advance copies of books coming out soon; I didn't see anything by anyone I'd heard of before, but found one really good one: Torture the Artist by Allen Goebel. It's basically a really nice social commentary on the state of entertainment. So, you know, if you happen to be in town for the big car show thing they have every year, you might want to swing by (and then be sure to visit my uncle's Mexican restaurant right next door. Their PHATT STUFFED CHIMI is amazing...a chimichanga with cajun spices!!). And while you're there getting free books, pick up some books you have to pay for at the same time. Support your independent bookstores!!

I also got to talk with one of my best friends from high school, Shayne, yesterday. She told me that she comes online and reads my blog all the time but she hasn't signed up for MySpace because she is only online at work (a bank) and she's already lost her email account for, you know, non-banking emails (sorry, Shayne).

So Shayne can read my blogs but never respond. And that gives me a freedom like you wouldn't believe. But I won't abuse that. I will say, however, that yesterday on the phone Shayne said she refers to one of my relatives (I'm not saying who) as "the prancing pony." I told my dad, and he laughed like a crazy man.

Monday, August 08, 2005


From E! Online News:

Photographer Brad Diaz was shot in the leg with a BB gun while standing in the street about 200 yards from a Malibu home where Britney Spears was a guest, authorities said. No official word on who fired the shot.

I did it. It was me. I confess. Interview me, please.

OK, maybe I wasn't actually there in person and pulled the trigger but it is my sincere belief that I have wished someone would shoot a paparazzi so many times and with so much conviction that I willed this incident into existence.

No need to thank me. It was my pleasure.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Up the Creek...with a paddle

Yesterday my dad and I went canoeing...canoing? How the heck is that word spelled? Anyhow, we went down a river in a canoe.

How far did we go? Fourteen miles, my friend, fourteen miles. And I had a blast. It took us about 4-1/2 hours and it was great. I knew for sure I would be sore by the end of it (or at least by the next day) but you know what? Not at all. Not sure why. I was tired, but no aches and/or pains. Even today I feel just as good as I did yesterday morning at this time.

Go figure.

I guess that's what happens when you are a model of physical fitness.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Atta Boy, Dane

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Steve Martin fan (go ahead...name something he's done that I haven't seen....can't think of one, can ya?). I've been listening to his stand-up albums for as long as I've been able to listen without my parents finding out. But alas, Steve doesn't do a lot of stand-up anymore. So, about two years ago (I think) when I discovered Dane Cook's comedy, I declared him my new favorite stand-up (or at least one of them).

Dane's new CD/DVD Retaliation has just hit stores and it's only the 2nd comedy album ever to go higher than #5 on Billboard's album sales chart. It debuted at #4. The other album to break the top 5? Steve Martin's Wild and Crazy Guy. Can I pick 'em or can I pick 'em?

I haven't had the chance to get the new Dane Cook CD/DVD, I have only heard snippets, but if you're a fan of outrageous laugh-til-you-puke comedy, then I highly recommend Retaliation. You can thank me later. And all of you to whom I introduced Dane's first album, Harmful If Swallowed can testify that I know what I'm talking about (the Kool-Aid Man bit, for example).

It's the weekend. Go nuts, and buy a comedy CD. When was the last time you bought a CD that actually put you in a good mood and made you laugh? And while you're at it, go ahead and grab Wild and Crazy Guy, too. You know it's been too long since you gave it a listen.