Thursday, October 30, 2008


Been busy with workshops the last week - Helen Geier, Debbie George, and Nick Anderson. They were each really good in different ways. The most interesting one was Debbie's that she ran like a 'producer's session.' That is, everyone in class -- 20 or so folks -- was given one of 4 scenes, then we did the scenes one at a time. So, everyone with scene 1 had to leave the room, then come in one by one, do the scene for the rest of the class and then leave again. When all the people with scene 1 had performed, the class discussed the performances (while those actors stayed out of the room). When the group went back in, the students and the CD gave feedback. It was a bit nerve-racking, though good practive, and it was fun seeing 4 or 5 people do the same scene -- seeing what each brought to the role.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So Much For Fall...What About Fall TV?

Wow, that brief autumnal spell was just that: brief. It is HOT again here - 90 degrees. Lucky I've got a pool and an air conditioner to keep me cool. Oh wait, I don't. Never mind...

There have been several new TV shows on the networks this fall. I haven't seen too many of them, but my favorite of those I've seen is Life on Mars - which has a very cool 70's vibe (no doubt since it is set in '73) and a slick soundtrack. Fringe is pretty good, too - though it veers into the science fiction realm, so beware if that's not your thing. My DVR has the new Christian Slater show, My Own Worst Enemy on it, but I haven't seen the first episodes yet.

Anybody watch one you like? Let me know!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend & SAG Strike? News

Saturday was week 2 of my Helen Geier workshop at The Network Studio - another partner scene. I think it is good to work multiple times in front of the same CD; next week we all read one on one with her.

I also had an audition for an independent short film this weekend. I'm not sure when I'll find out about it, but it would be a fun shoot and good experience, so my fingers are crossed.

Softball: We evened our season record with a drubbing on Sunday. I was 5-5 with 4 HR and 11 RBI. Ahh, softball...

SAG sent out an e-mail containing the following info. They are asking a federal mediator to step in with the negotiations at a standstill (the Studios still REFUSE to negotiate at all). They are also requesting a 'strike resolution' from SAG members -- that would mean that the SAG negotiators could actually threaten to strike. Sounds foreboding, though it seems that any actual decision on work stoppage is months down the road:

“In hopes of moving the Theatrical and TV negotiations forward, the National Board hereby takes the following actions: SAG will formally request a federal mediator be brought into the negotiations.

The Board authorizes a referendum and accompanying educational information be sent to the members requesting their authorization for the National Board to call a strike in the Theatrical and TV Contract, at such time as the Negotiating Committee determines in its sole discretion that the mediation process has failed.”

Approval of the strike authorization would require 75 percent approval of members who vote.

“We hope mediation will help move this process forward. This action by the board demonstrates our commitment to bargain with the strength of our unified membership behind us. Economic times are tough for all Americans, but we must take a stand for what is fair,” said Screen Actors Guild National President Alan Rosenberg.

“Our number one goal remains securing a good contract without a strike,” said SAG National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen. “I am pleased by the board’s strong show of support for the national negotiating committee and look forward to meeting with the federal mediator and the AMPTP committee as soon as possible.”

Friday, October 17, 2008

Can't Seem To Find the Right Fit

Another fitting yesterday -- way out in El Monte. Unfortunately, they were seeing a lot of guys for one position - even when I was there, there were a few others. The other guys seemed like different sizes (taller, shorter) which is strange because you'd think they'd want specific measurements. Of course, maybe they don't yet know what they want...

How about that Red Sox comeback?! Wow, I'm not a Boston fan, but I do like to see history being made. Unfortunately, I was in class during that historic comeback. When I left for class, the Rays were comfortably ahead. So, I couldn't believe what happened when I watched the highlights on SportCenter. That's one of the great things about baseball: you can watch it for 10, 20, 50 years and still see something new...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Excuse To Eat Junk Food?

So, I had another 'audition' for a fitting job - at a clothing manufacturer called Limited Apparel. It would be a great on-going gig, but unfortunately, I think they ideally want someone with a 35-36 inch waist. Maybe had they given me some advance notice, I could have been loading up on donuts for the last couple weeks...

Another workshop at The Network Studio - Part 1 of 3 with associates from one of the big casting offices in town, Junie Lowry Johnson. Last night's was with Debbie George, and it was very cool because we all read directly with her -- instead of performing a scene with a partner in front of her. This is nice because it simulates what a real first audition is often like. My scene was one from Desperate Housewives (their office casts the show) which was good fun, and I look forward to parts 2 and 3 of the workshop.

Monday, October 13, 2008

There IS Fall In L.A.

This weekend marked the (at least temporary) arrival of Fall in Los Angeles. Temps were moderate with -- gasp! -- a COOL breeze. Went to a party in Santa Monica on Friday night and it was downright cold. Lovely! There is nothing like taking a deep breath of cool air - you know, the kind that slightly stings the inside of your nose because it is so crisp? Leaves blowing around. Sweatshirt and jeans weather. Football weather. World Series weather. Midwest weather. Good stuff.

A couple more CD workshops this week: Saturday was part 1 of a 3 part workshop with CD Helen Geier, and Sunday was a workshop with my acting teacher, Paul Kampf, CD Jason Wood, and manager Colleen Schlegel. Sunday's was unique because we were all able to get feedback from multiple people and do two different scenes. Made for a long afternoon, but it was very insightful -- and good practice.

After being shut out all game, my softball team exploded for 11 runs in the sixth to win 11-1 yesterday. With that win we improved to 2-3-1. In the second half of the season, we have a lot of room to grow -- especially defensively -- but we are having fun. And that's what counts, right? And as we keep playing, it helps to take my mind off my Brewers and their lackluster playoff performance...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Angels & Demons News

Hurray! Angels & Demons is now listed on my IMDb page - take a look: Jeff's IMDb page

Ah, I must celebrate small victories ;)

Also, this official 'teaser' poster was released this week (one half of the statue is an angel and the other half a demon.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Reading About a Reader's Infinite Read

My friend and reader extraordinaire, Greg Zimmerman, has taken on the task of reading the late David Foster's Wallace's epic tome, Infinite Jest. An accomplished writer, he is chronicling his experiences, thoughts and feelings as he reads his favorite author's most famous -- and some say inaccessible -- work. Greg's blog can be found here:

Good luck, my friend!

Monday, October 6, 2008

When in Rome?

So, this weekend I went to Rome – well, not really. But, since I had a little part in the film, I was invited to the Angels & Demons (sequel to The Da Vinci Code) wrap party (to celebrate the end of principal photography, it still won’t be released until next May.)

The party was held on the GIANT set that production built – a scale replica of the Piazza Navona in Rome. And it was cool. It actually did feel like Rome – giant sculpture fountains, cafes, music, caricature artists, photo booths, people painted like statues, and food, food, food. They even had a couple large movie screens set up that played some classics (Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita.) These pictures don’t really do it justice; it is an amazing set. And the trip to Italy, while brief, was a good one ;)

Friday, October 3, 2008

REPOST: New Blogger Feature: "Readers"

New Blogger Feature: "Readers"

Thanks to Brian, Sam, and Greg for becoming 'Readers!'

*If you have a Gmail address, signing up is very easy.

On the right hand side of this page, you can see a heading called "Readers" -- if you don't mind being listed as a reader, please just click on "Follow This Blog." The more people I know are reading, the more I'll try to keep posting regularly.

As always, thank you for reading!

Lay's & The Beermakers

Audition for Lay's potato chips. No, I didn't get to eat them. Actually it looks like they are going for a more 'earthy' approach in their next ad campaign. I was a potato farmer - they took pictures of my hands holding a bunch of potatoes and me shoveling the dirt. Unfortunately, it was one of those large cattle call auditions. I was #66 of who knows how many (they were up to #80 by the time I left). And there were guys of all ages, shapes, and sizes there, so it will be a long shot to get called back, but you never know...

After losing again to the Phillies yesterday, the Brewers aren't looking so hot in their first MLB playoff appearance in 26 years. But remember, in 1982, they became the first team to overcome an 0-2 deficit in the playoffs to beat the Angels, so maybe they can do it again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fit Jobs and Fish Stories

Yesterday was back to the L.A. I've come to know - mid 80's sunny and HOT. The sunny heat accompanied me around town as I had a pretty busy day.

Had to drive down to Long Beach for a fit model audition at West Coast Choppers. It was a long drive just to try on a pair or work pants and shirt, but if I could get a fitting gig, it would be worth it. As some of you may know, I did fittings for men's clothing company Bachrach back in Chicago for almost 3 years -- and it was the BEST JOB EVER. For a fitting job, they just look for someone with certain measurements and try all their new lines on that person -- so they can make all their clothes fit the same spec. So, if you are lucky enough to be just the right size, you get paid (pretty handsomely, usually) to try on clothes. Nice, hey? So, we'll see...

In the afternoon I had a print audition in Hollywood for Microsoft. It was just a few pictures and they asked if I knew how to fish. Of course I said 'Yes,' even though it's been a good 15+ years since I have done so! So, should I get it, I may have to enlist someone out here to show me the basics again...

Last night was my first Casting Director workshop at The Network Studios. It was with CD Jennifer Lare who works at Cami Patton Casting. The scene I got was from a sitcom and comedy is always a challenge for me - so much about timing and pace. We did it once and then got some notes and did it again. I felt okay about it, especially after the adjustments, but I do know that comedy cold reads are something I need to work on. She is mainly casting one hour dramas now, so hopefully I'll get a chance to read for her in that capacity sometime.