Friday, December 31, 2010

Coming Up Roses

Happy New Year's Eve, everybody!  Just wanted to let you know that I'll be walking in the Rose Bowl Parade tomorrow morning on New Year's Day.  I'll be dressed in a bellman outfit -- bright red button-up jacket and hat, black pants -- as part of the Canard Cruise Line float -- there is a band, dancers, 8 bellmen (I will probably be third of four on the left side), and a ton of flowers.  Supposedly the float is going to pass the 'TV Stand' at around 9:00.  So, if you watch, keep an eye out! ;)  I'm hoping for no rain...

And Go Badgers!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Badgers in LA

Last weekend my parents came out to visit.  We had some perfect weather and a great time wandering about town.  Here are pics from some of our adventures.  Come back soon, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Congrats to Gina Lucita!

Gina's episode of Brothers & Sisters entitled, "Resolved," aired this past Sunday night on ABC.  It was a great show, and so exciting to see the likes of Sally Field and Calista Flockhart saying her words!  Also, she has been assigned another episode this season and is currently writing it.  You go, girl!

Criminal Minds - Wed. 11-10 at 9/8c on CBS

The Criminal Minds episode I worked on, "Reflection of Desire" airs tomorrow (Wednesday) night on CBS at 9/8c.  I play a reporter during a press conference scene that is about half-way through the show.  So, once you see a press conference starting keep your eyes peeled, and -- if they haven't edited me out -- you should catch a glimpse! ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Staged Reading of 'The Wall'

Staged reading: when a writer/director/producer has actors come in to read a script so he/she can hear it aloud.  They vary in terms of how much prep/rehearsal goes in, how many people see the "performance," etc., but they are always good practice for an actor!

Recently a writer friend of mine, Boni (a gentleman who was in one of Gina's writing programs), asked if I would participate in a staged reading of 'The Wall' -- a new play he's been working on so that he and some folks he would invite could hear it aloud.  Of course, I said yes!  On the day of the reading, the cast of 5-6 actors met for a brief rehearsal starting at 4:30 (reading started at 7:30), and what was most unique about this experience is that the rehearsal was actually a cold read.  Many times, you will get the script in advance so you can familiarize yourself with the role(s) you are playing and do some prep work, but Boni was working on the script right up until rehearsal so none of us had seen it yet, nor did we know what roles we would be playing.  That made for an interesting, but also exciting, first read-through as everyone more or less discovered their roles on the fly.

I got to play several different characters, and making them each specific and truthful was a bit of a challenge for me without having any time prior, but it was a good challenge!  And I felt like I managed to do a decent job given the circumstances.  Boni invited about a dozen of so folks to watch the reading and from their reactions seemed to enjoy the play.  I imagine now that he has heard it, Boni has a few things he wants to change, adjust, add, as he continues the writing of the script, so hopefully the reading was helpful to him.  I met some really talented actors who I hope to stay in touch with, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the another creative process.

Friday, October 22, 2010

'Tis the Season

What season you ask?  Awards Season here in Hollywood!  It is that 3-4 month period starting in October every year when studios and filmmakers roll out the movies that they hope will bring home the Golden Globe, Oscar, and guild hardware come early 2011.  It is a boon for us film fans here in Los Angeles, since it means many, many free film screenings, often accompanied by cast/crew interviews/Q&A sessions.

The season kicked off for me last night with a Variety Screening Series preview of 127 Hours, Danny Boyle's beautifully shot film about Aron Ralston, the hiker who spent five days trapped in a remote canyon after being pinned by a boulder.  After exhausting all possibilities, Ralston takes extreme measures.  I'll hold off on specifics, though most who see the movie go in knowing how the story ends... In fact, when I first heard they were making this movie, I wasn't sure what I thought of it.  Or more accurately, I wasn't sure HOW they could make a film out of the story (this concern was echoed by writer Simon Beaufoy, who during the Q&A session admitted that when director and collaborator, Danny Boyle first gave him Ralston's book he thought that it was "the first book on mountaineering that was absolutely unfilmable.")

Danny Boyle mentioned that he had been intrigued about the Ralston's story since reading about it back in 2003 and actually met with him about a film around 2006.  However, at that point, the adventurer was only interested in making a docu-drama style movie.  But, after the success of the Boyle/Beaufoy team on Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, and events in his own life, Ralston finally agreed to the filmmakers' vision for the story. 

The way that they -- along with lead James Franco, who is fantastic -- went about crafting the film (which Boyle describes as "an action movie where the lead character doesn't move") is really clever and engaging.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Big Mo

Just like in sports, I've noticed that momentum is of vital importance out here in Hollywood.  External momentum is key, of course -- building on bookings, successes, jobs, roles, etc.  People always want to jump aboard a moving train, especially what those folks see as a money train... But also necessary is internal momentum -- staying positive and motivated to get you through the slower times.

With that in mind, I'm trying my best to build on booking and shooting my small role on Criminal Minds.  Sure I would like to get representation, but not likely that one more little credit on my resume will make that happen.  So, instead I've been trying to focus on other casting directors -- sending out postcard updates to CDs that I've met at workshops, etc. about that gig and the new reel I have up on my website.  My hope is that one or two might call me in for an audition (the thought being, "well, he's good enough for that show, maybe he could do okay on ours" or something along those lines.)  And maybe, if I can get a few more credits on my own, I could secure good representation -- again, the moving train idea.  But, even if nothing comes of it, at least it has given me a way to feel productive (see: internal momentum) over the last week or so.


Monday, October 18, 2010

A Funny Guy

Tonight I had the opportunity to see my friend Todd Kreisman perform his stand-up in Sherman Oaks.  Todd is an actor/writer/comedian from Chicago who has been in Los Angeles for a bunch of years, but after a lengthy break from the industry has only recently decided to get back on the horse.

It's a good thing!  Todd's comedy is hilarious, acutely observational -- and occasionally musical! And he has been booking gigs all around town lately.  In fact, he was asked to do a set at Eva Longoria's restaurant, Beso, in Hollywood next Wednesday October 27, and if you are around LA, you should check it out!  DETAILS

Todd also writes a blog about his doings, including but not limited to, his show-biz career and journey to get in shape:  Discard the Lard

It's always inspiring to see talented folks do their thing, so thank you, sir and keep it up!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Has Come to LA

The Los Angeles version of autumn is here, i.e. cloudy, cold and drizzly weather.  And it brings with it the rarest of rare: a softball rain-out in Southern California.  Oh well, guess I'll just have to watch some more football today...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spotted at 36,000 Feet!

Thanks to my friends, Megan & Chris, who spotted me as the train station sniper in The A-Team on their last cross-country flight and snapped this pic!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Print Audition, Finally

It had been a long time since I had a print audition, so I was glad to get called in for Sony at Taylor Casting yesterday.  It was one of those where they see hundreds of folks, but the good part was that my wait time was only about 1 minute!  They took several pics and sent me on my way.  A long shot with those odds, but at least it makes me feel like I'm still in the race...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Old Friends in New Places

This weekend brought a nice surprise: good friends from Marquette, Kris and Vanessa, who live in Phoenix were visiting LA and we were able to meet for lunch at the Pig N' Whistle in Hollywood.  I haven't seen the two in way too long, and it was really nice to catch up.  And when I mentioned that Gina writes for Brothers & Sisters, they were happily surprised mostly because their other friend who was due to join us is a HUGE B&S fan and they had all just been talking about the show the night before.  And sure enough, when Melissa showed up -- Gina was like a celebrity, and Melissa demanded a picture with her :)
Come back soon guys!  (or maybe I'll see you come spring training 2011!)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

C'est La Vie

I recently worked on The Artist - a French, silent, black-and-white, period piece shooting here in Hollywood.  It is an interesting production to be sure, and I'm not exactly sure what its distribution prospects are, though it will probably be a hit in France... Still, it was good fun to work on location downtown LA in a beautiful old theatre and Jazz Age restaurant and wear some authentic 1920's clothes.  Here are a couple pics:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Criminal Minds Shoot

I went to the studio for a costume fitting on Monday -- a really nice Italian suit (well-dressed reporters in this case, I guess!)  Tuesday's shoot was at Union Station downtown, and it was a lot of fun.  My call was at 5 p.m.;I filled out my contract, put on my suit and went through hair and make-up -- but they didn't end up shooting the press conference scene I was a part of until after midnight.  That was fine by me though as I got to hang out in my little trailer and read my book.  Without giving any spoilers, here is just a brief description of the scene itself: one of the main characters holds a press conference.  A TV reporter asks a few questions and my character throws a few questions in from the back -- ones which the main character doesn't want to respond to  They shot the sequence from a bunch of angles and that was that, we wrapped about 2 a.m..  The whole thing was a really good experience for me and next time (if I should be so lucky!) I book a tv show role, I'll know a little bit more what to expect.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I had my first official TV table reading today.  (quick note: before every TV episode is shot, most shows have a table read where all the actors, writers, and producers get together and read through the script...)  True to his word, Scott David got me on Criminal Minds a couple weeks after I was originally booked and that role was subsequently cut.  In the upcoming episode, I am playing a reporter at a news conference and have a couple lines.  My role shoots on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to it!

But, back to the table read: it was on the studio lot and there were so many folks there -- about 20+ actors and the writers and producers and studio folk...  Everybody was really kind; before the read (Brilliant Chicago actor!) Joe Mantegna came by and introduced himself to everyone, and afterward Executive Producer Ed Bernero came back and thanked us all individually for coming.  Anyway, it was nice that they made all of the guest cast (even those of us with only a line or two) feel a part of the process.  And most of all, it was nice to actually BE part of the process...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heat Wave

I'm not talking about the start of NBA training camp, though from ESPN one might deduce that the Miami Heat is the only team playing games this season...

No, I'm talking about the insane heat wave that hit LA earlier this week, culminating in an all-time high Los Angeles temp of 113 degrees.  I stepped outside and felt like I was in a furnace.  That evening, no doubt due to the abusing of AC units, the power on my street went out.  So, Art and I were very warm for the next 20 hours until I could use my fans again.  I slept with a cold, wet towel on top of me.  Temps appear back to normal, and now that the DPW replaced two ancient transformers on the block, hopefully the power supply will be healthy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

John Williams at The Bowl!

A friend of mine who works at The Hollywood Bowl got me a couple tickets to see the John Williams 'Music of the Movies' concert last night.  It was spectacular!  Under a clear, cool sky, Mr. Williams conducted the LA Philharmonic through several pieces from 'the Golden Age of Cinema' while images from those films/that era were projected onto the screen.  Highlights for me included a piece from Sunset Blvd and a couple from Herrman's Hitchcock scores - Psycho and North by Northwest.

After the intermission, Williams stuck to his own contributions to the history of film doing a medley from Jaws (including The Barrel Chase!), one from 1941, one from the Indiana Jones films, and closing with a trio of Star Wars tunes. For the encores, he came back with another one from Star Wars (Yoda's theme!), followed by The Imperial March which was greeted by HUNDREDS of lightsabers in the audience moving in unison to the music!  Finally, he closed with the Theme from Superman.  A great night for movie nerds like myself! 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

From Grace to Festivals

I've blogged before (and here) about the independent feature I worked on last year called, From Grace.  Here is a short making-of video about the process of putting together a movie from concept through finished product:


The next step: the director, Paul Kampf is planning to enter the movie in several film festivals to hopefully get some exposure.  To do this, we are trying to raise a little money to pay for the festival entry fees.  If you would like to help (for a minimum donation of $25 to the cause, you get a screener copy of the film, a CD with still images, updates on the festival progress, etc.), please check out this page on Breadline Productions website.  If you would like to help, but don't have a PayPal account, please let me know.

If you can't help right now, I completely understand, your moral support and encouragement is invaluable!  I promise to keep updating the blog with info about the movie.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(Not-So-)Easy Come, Easy Go

Got a call today that the role I was booked for yesterday on Criminal Minds is likely to be cut from the episode.  The casting office was very nice though and they said they would try to get me something "bigger and better" soon, so it could be good in the long run.  But, at least for today, I gotta say it was a little disappointing...  Onward!

Book 'Em!

My re-audition for The Closer on Monday morning went fine and I thought my afternoon audition for Criminal Minds went pretty well.  Then yesterday I had a message from Scott David's office (CD for Criminal Minds) asking me to call back.  Were there technical difficulties with their camera too?  Did I get the job?  No and not exactly.  When I called back, Becky (the associate, who is really great, by the way) told me that I did not get cast in the part I had auditioned for, but that they wanted to offer me a different one-day co-star role in the same episode -- as a Cop (side note: I actually auditioned for a 'villian'-type.) 

Of course I said, "Great!"  She didn't have a shoot date for me yet, nor details since it was still being written, but said the shoot would be sometime in the next couple weeks.  I'm not certain yet what exactly the part entails, what the scene is, or what I will get to say and do, but I'm very excited to find out! 

This town continues to work in mysterious ways...

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I got a call yesterday afternoon from the casting office I auditioned for earlier in the day.  Were they calling to tell me I got the part?!  Um, no.  Unfortunately.  Apparently there were some technical difficulties with the tape and need me to come back in Monday A.M. to read again.  Better than bad news though, right?

I guess I just have to look at it as another chance to get my face in there, and they must think I have at least a shot at the part, right?  Or else they could just not have called at all ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Okay, Okay, I'm Still Here

So, a few of you have noticed that I haven't been blogging too much.  I appreciate that you missed my random rants and often boring updates ;)  The main reason for not writing is that I haven't really been doing a whole lot worth writing about -- or reading about!  I have felt in a little bit of a lull lately career-wise -- though I've been informed by many smarter than me about the industry that feeling such lull-ness out here is a pretty common occurrence.  Still, I'm hoping that a couple recent developments can dig me out of said lull. 

I have been working quite a bit which is good in my pursuit toward qualifying for SAG health insurance this year; a few more days as a photo double on Horrible Bosses and background on a pretty fun Bud Light spot have been the highlights.

But, as for real acting stuff, I got called for two auditions yesterday. Yay!  One was because of a drop-off I did on Wednesday (drop-off = when you bring a headshot/resume directly to a Casting Director's office and, ahem, drop it off...)  I took a workshop several months ago with Ani Avetyan who is an associate on The Closer, and my drop-off worked: she called me in for a small role as a Paramedic on the show.  The audition went pretty well, and I feel like even if I don't have the right look (there were several ages and races represented by the folks in the waiting room), I did well enough that she'll call me back sometime.

Criminal Minds: I am heading BACK to Quixote Studios on Monday for another read in front of the C.M. brass.  This role would be great to play, and I'm looking forward to giving a good read!

Thanks to those of you who keep reading and I promise to be more diligent about updates -- hopefully, I will have exciting stuff to fill these pages with.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Criminal Minds Audition

Apologies for the lack of recent posts, a couple things since the last time:

I got in Scott David's office for another audition on Criminal Minds last week (that's the 4th time I've been in to his office since March...)  Once again, I didn't get the role unfortunately, but I felt like the audition went pretty well, and I appreciate that he keeps bringing me in for things.  Next time!

I did a reading of a script last night.  I've written before how many times writers/directors will gather actors together for an informal reading of their screenplay along the way to production.  It helps for them to hear things aloud, and it's good practice for us actors.  This particular script seems a ways off from being made, but it was good fun, and it was nice to meet the talented folks who were there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recent Work

This week I worked on a K-Swiss commercial.  It seems like they are really trying to shake up their bland, white shoe reputation -- their new campaign features their slick "Tubes" and looks to be a lot of fun starring "Kenny Powers" (the baseball playing character that actor Danny McBride plays on HBO's "Eastbound and Down") and NFL Linebacker, Patrick Willis.  I went to set to work background, but when I got there, they told me that they actually wanted me to be a principal (i.e. seen on camera and a boatload more money -- yay!)  I even signed the contract to do so.  Unfortunately, the production got behind schedule and they shelved the portion of the shoot that was going to feature me and/or my feet, so no principal work for me.  BUT, in addition to a brief background bit, I also got to do some 'double' work -- my hand/arm was used to substitute for Danny's as I shot off several rounds on a starter pistol.

Speaking of doubling work, I also worked as Jason Sudeikis' photo double on the film Horrible Bosses (notice the finely-tuned coif!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Acting Teacher in Backstage

I've written before about the serendipitous way I found my acting teacher, Paul Kampf.  In today's Backstage, there is a long article, "Hey Teach!" about searching for an acting teacher/coach in Los Angeles -- or anywhere for that matter -- and a brief part of my story about meeting Paul is mentioned.  Also, a friend of mine and classmate, Lindsay Evans (who has a fun actor-in-LA blog) discusses why she studies with Paul.  Good press for Paul, and well-deserved!  To find more about Paul and his teaching style on the PAI (Performing Arts Institute) website, click the link: LA acting classes

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I spent quite a few hours over the past week or so updating my website.  I've put up some new on-set photos and film clips as well as a new reel.  So, please surf on over and check it out when you have a few minutes.  Thanks!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Big A

My friend Chris scored a couple tickets to today's Home Run Derby -- part of the Major League Baseball all-star game festivities -- down the road in Anaheim.  "The Big A" as the home of the Angels is known is a beautiful ballpark, and it was a lot of fun to see so many stars out on the field.  We got there early enough to see the all-stars take batting practice -- Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, etc., while the pitchers played catch in the OF with their little kids running around...

The Derby itself was pretty entertaining, too.  I proudly wore my Brewer hat and Robin Yount t-shirt when Milwaukee's own Corey Hart dominated the first round but ran out of gas, and Big Papi, David Ortiz took the crown hitting some mammoth bombs.  Not a bad way to spend a Monday afternoon -- Thanks Chris!