Monday, December 10, 2012


First shot of the day, as David Kerry...
Last week marked the beginning of the filming process for Amnesia -- the first PAI Film Lab project.  Some long days to be sure, but it was a wonderful experience!  Here are some shots from the set...

A later interview with Garrett (Chad Evans), DP Rene Jung
Director Paul Kampf explains the meaning of life, with Gwen (Erica Simpson)
Gearing up for a big scene
In-between takes
David and wife, Monica (Victoria Smurfit)

A little beaten up
My movie sisters (Whitton Frank, Heather Long)
My best friend Ron (Chris Martin)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Adding Negative Value?

I got a residual check this week from the episode of Criminal Minds I worked on awhile back.  The usual categories came up: Foreign, Pay TV, DVD, etc.  But, also, for the first time I noticed a NEGATIVE value on a residuals statement -- under "Internet Rental."

Hmm, does that mean that we actually had to pay some folks to watch it online? Or that people who did watch it were so disgusted that they demanded (and received) refunds?  I'm not sure.  I'm just glad that the plus amounts were greater than the minuses.  I'd hate to have to write out a check for being on the show...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Giving Thanks

Two of the best reasons to visit home...
For the first time in 6 years, I was at home for Thanksgiving.  I was hoping to see some fall colors on the trees, but the leaves were mostly gone -- still it was beautiful to see what remained...

It was so good to see Leia and Jude, my niece and nephew.  They seem to grow so much in-between visits!  We had a lot of fun hanging out, and I hope they can someday come out here to visit L.A.

Thanksgiving reminds me how fortunate I am.  I'm very grateful for the support of my family and friends in the Midwest -- many of whom I was lucky enough to see during my brief visit.  I look forward to being back again soon!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Film Lab - Final Push!

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU to the many friends and family who have already given generously to support Film Lab -- we have raised nearly $25,000 for the new production arm of the Performing Arts Institute.  We are now in the final hours of our raise, so please consider parting with a dollar or two to support independent film and opportunities for actors. 

Every dollar will go up on the screen, and I am excited to start shooting my role in the first production, "Amnesia," this Sunday!

Thanks again for supporting the arts!

Monday, November 19, 2012

NCIS: Shell Shock - Part II

Gina's first NCIS episode of the season, "Shell Shock - Part II" airing Tuesday, November 20 at 8/7C on CBS continues the story of Captain Westcott as he tries to retrace his steps to track down a terrorist.  It is an amazing and powerful episode that shines a light on PTSD which affects thousands and thousands of our veterans, servicemen and women.  Please watch.

Friday, November 16, 2012

MU Opening Night: The Bad and the Good

Sadly Marquette's much-anticipated season opener last week vs. Ohio State aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown, never got going due to condensation on the court.  Sounds like bad planning to me...
BUT, a good friend from my own MU days, Nick, and his fiance Ece, happened to be in town passing through on their way back to Chicago from New Zealand/Fiji (niiiiice!)  So, despite the basketball game being cancelled, we still managed a great night of catching up, and -- as you can see from the picture -- an outstanding spread of condiments!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cat Fancy: Art and Moofy Update

Many of you have asked how our cats are doing...  Moofy and Art have been living together for a year now.  While it would be too strong to say that they have become friends, they certainly are progressing. 
Moofy now tolerates the younger and more energetic Art -- to a degree.  He wants to play and cuddle, but she's not having any of it.  Still, she lets him hang out by her -- complete with the occasional head-licking -- much more than she used to.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Working the Dream" -- Paul Kampf on LA Talk Radio

My acting coach/director, Paul Kampf, just did an extensive interview with LA Talk Radio where he covers many topics; from his experience in theatre and film to his training philosophies, from Film Lab to his long-term plans and goals.  

If you are interested about hearing what it is like living/working/teaching and taking class out in LA, or just need some motivation to keep living the dream, give a listen to the interview with Paul -- so much good stuff! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Playing Dress-up: Part 28

Channeling my inner eighties-gangster on the set of a recent film. Not pictured: my white pseudo-wingtips...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thinking Outside the Industry

I found out that the Ricki Lake episode they were planning to shoot this week has been postponed until December, so stay tuned as far as that goes...

As it happens, I was telling the Ricki Lake producer that I think one of the most important things for actors/writers to do when they come to LA is to get involved with something completely OUTSIDE of the industry -- whether it be a gym, book club, hiking, knitting group, whatever.  It helps to keep career things in perspective... 

For me, one of those outside things has been softball.  Through playing, I have found a competitive outlet, manged to keep (a little bit) fit, and met some of my best friends out here.  This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a really, really good team.  An amazing group of guys, a long day of games, and finally success!  We defended our title from last summer (in matching shirts this time!) and will be rewarded with "Glendale Tourney Champs" hoodies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ricki Lake Show?

Out of the blue this morning, I got a call from someone at The (New) Ricki Lake Show -- which launched in September -- asking me some questions about moving to LA to be an actor.  Apparently, they may be doing a show on the topic next week.  And after getting my name from a friend (a producer on the show), he wanted to hear my story.

It was a 15-minute chat on everything from leaving Chicago to joining the union to workshops and classes to advice for folks moving here... He said he would be in touch, and the show would tape next Tuesday, so perhaps -- in a most unexpected way -- you could see my mug spouting about acting on daytime TV sometime soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Film Lab

I'm part of this unique endeavor launched last week which seeks to provide opportunities for actors and change the way independent films are made.  When you have a few minutes, please watch this short video about the project. 

If you have a buck or two you can part with, your support would be invaluable (the volume of supporters is just as important as dollar amounts as we try to get exposure on the site) -- and you will have intimate access to the movie-making process.
Thanks for taking a look!


Friday, September 28, 2012


Amongst all the junk mail I got last week, there was an ad for a gym in the neighborhood, Burbank Athletic Club, offering a 1-year membership for $99.  Now, I've tried to stay active and exercise, but due to my various ailments and surgeries, I haven't actually lifted weights for a looong time.  But, with this pretty amazing deal staring at me (vs. the $60/month I paid for the Y), I thought it would be good to give it a shot.

So, now my two workouts this week are more than I've had in the last 18+ months.  And they weren't pretty... But it's a start -- here's to feeling the burn!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Story Editor"

Now that Gina has been promoted to Story Editor, she gets a shout-out every week on NCIS!  She still writes episodes, and is on set now shooting her first one which will air around Thanksgiving...

The season premiere on Tuesday night garnered more than 20 million viewers -- good work guys!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stand and Deliver...Lines

A couple weeks ago I got a call from a place I do quite a bit of work for -- they asked me to audition to be Alec Baldwin's stand-in for his next round of Capital One commercials.  The commercials are fast-paced with a lot of dialogue and all about timing, so they wanted to be sure whomever was standing-in could handle that.  They sent me a script and I went to read the next day in Santa Monica, meeting a few other gentleman up for the same part...

Well, I ended up getting the job and worked 4 days last week -- two days to rehearse the two spots and set-up lighting/movement, and two days to shoot with THE MAN.  We shot at Sony Studios and on location in Long Beach. It was a great gig; I even got to work on a Saturday (which means a double rate!) -- I hope they will ask me back next time!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

University of Phoenix, Rising?

Last week I had a print audition for University of Phoenix.  I've written about these types of auditions before: you drive across town, wait in line with tens/hundreds of guys your type, get a few pictures snapped, then battle traffic back home.  Still, always grateful for the audition because it makes me feel like I'm doing "something" anyway!  I thought nothing more of it until I got a call from my agent a couple days later asking about my availability because they were interested in casting me for the job. Yay!  BUT, my hair already pretty short, I felt I had to let my agent know that I had gotten it cut even shorter since the casting.  Ugh.

She said she would check with the casting director, so I took a pic of my shorn skull on my phone and e-mailed it to her.  Having not heard back, I finally contacted her Monday because I needed to know if I should still keep those days open for the shoot.  She informed me that they passed on booking me (damn expensive haircut!), but she promised to get me on another one...

Then yesterday morning I get a call from my very-same-agent who said that casting had a change of heart and wanted to book me after all - Whew!  So, I had to quickly fill out and return a bunch of paperwork and the shoot is scheduled for either next Wednesday or Saturday.  Then you may just see me as one of the smiling folks on the University of Phoenix website.  As long as they don't change their minds again...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Sis!

Wish I could be there!  You'll just have to come out here again sometime to celebrate.

Playing Dress-up: Part 27

I got to spend the day as a Korean War-era soldier for a recent project.  At a jazz club.  Good stuff.

Monday, July 30, 2012

12 Hours in the Sun

Last Saturday I had the privilege of playing in the Glendale Softball Tourney with a great group of guys.  Some pretty crazy games, but we ended up going 6-0 en route to the championship.  My legs weren't happy with me on Sunday morning, but it was definitely worth it.  A year ago this week I was under the knife for my hand, so it felt extra good to be out on the field...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Congratulations Leah & Mike!

The beautiful couple.
Congratulations to my cousin Leah and her new husband, Mike!  Thanks for letting us be a part of your special day recently.  It was was so nice to see the family -- even if it was for a brief time.  Come and visit L.A. sometime, kids!
My nephew Jude looking handsome.

Gina and I battle the heat.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yay Softball!

Last night we got the trophy for winning our Wednesday night softball league.  B+ is the highest division in LA Muni -- Good stuff for the first year this team has been together!

Monday, June 18, 2012

That's A Wrap!

When Gina's season wrapped in late April, the entire cast and crew was invited, along with their families, to a circus-themed wrap party in Santa Monica.  There was plenty of food and drink -- and carnival games galore.  We even managed to win a couple stuffed toys.  Thanks NCIS!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Solving A Mystery

For the second day in a row, we heard a strange banging coming from the other room.  This time I brought the camera...

Monday, April 2, 2012

SAG-AFTRA Merger Vote Passes

As of March 30, it is now official: passed by an overwhelming majority, there is one actor union and it will be known as SAG-AFTRA.  Here is a good article from the New York Times outlining the ramifications of the deal.  Exactly how it will affect the working-class actor remains to be seen, but what is certain is that no longer will there be two unions undercutting one another for the same jobs.  And no longer will actors be trying to qualify for two separate health/pension plans.  It's about time!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Moofy & Art

No, Moofy still doesn't really like Art.  But sometimes, like today, she tolerates him being close...

Friday, March 23, 2012

March Madness

Okay, so the Wisconsin teams didn't come through last night, but it was still a great season for both teams.  March is a great time for sports fans, and even greater for me because it means my dad comes to visit to watch the first weekend of games.  As you can see, watching 16 games on back to back days can get exhausting! 

As a bonus, here's a picture of my nephew, Jude, sporting Marquette colors.  Perhaps he'll be a member of the 2030 MU NCAA Tourney squad...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sweet Dairy!

Of the 300+ NCAA Division 1 basketball teams, just 16 remain.  The Sweet 16.  And our Badger State boasts 2 of them!  Both Marquette and Wisconsin play tonight.  So, dig out that cheesehead and Ring-Out-A-Hoya!

On Wisconsin!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gina's NCIS Episode, "The Tell" Tonight!

NCIS tonight (Tuesday, March 20) at 8/7c "The Tell" is a new episode that Gina wrote, guest-starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Sean Astin -- set your DVRs and check it out!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Eating On The Roof

This weekend we had brunch with some friends at a place appropriately named The Roof, as it's located on the roof of the Hotel Wilshire.  It had a very cool view of the city, and in the distance you can spot the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Park Observatory. 

There was also a pool up there, but alas, we didn't swim.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

There was a time when we used to wear matching striped socks! 

(I'm lucky enough to have my dad coming out to LA this week to continue his tradition of joining me for the first weekend of NCAA hoops.)

Have a wonderful day, Dad, and I hope it's not too cold in Wisconsin!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pepsi Print Audition: Not a Hardware Store Dad

I had a Pepsi print audition this morning at Taylor Casting.  I was grateful for the audition, but the breakdown was even more confusing than usual:

"A dad with an interesting look and style. This is not the dad you'd see in a hardware store commercial - he's a real guy..."

Umm, not sure what that even means?  The dads in hardware store commercials aren't real guys? Or they don't look like real dads?  Neither?  Both?

Not sure if they are looking for mohawked, skateboarding rocker dads or Ward Cleaver or something in between...  In any case, the audition was a handful of photos and then a brief "interview" about interests.  I felt okay, but my audition rust was definitely there.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bob's Big Boy

This week I had a lunch meeting at Bob's Big Boy, just down the street from my apartment.  It was actually a table read for an upcoming webseries that a friend of mine wrote.  It was fun to read and I look forward to filming later this month...

Bob's is always a fun place to go to -- an authentic 50's-style diner, very nostalgic.  In fact, every Friday night, they have a classic car show in their parking lot and weekend car hop service.

The past couple weeks, there has been an empty space out front where the iconic statue usually stands.  He was being repainted, and as you can see, he's all shiny and new.  Welcome back, Big Boy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Shopping With the 1%

Recently, I joined Gina on a trip to Beverly Hills as she returned some make-up to Barney's.  It was pretty amazing watching the ladies and gents (and kids) who shop in the land of thousand-dollar shoes and five-thousand-dollar+ suits -- and the incredible cars that were valeted right outside, because apparently rich people don't believe in the parking garage.

After Barney's, we stopped in the Ralph Lauren store because we were told they had some vests on sale.  Unfortunately, if they had any, they were long gone and their vests ranged in price from $200 - $800.  Or about 5-15x what I was hoping for...  However, judging from the crowds milling about the shops, as well as the crazy-expensive inventory these places have to carry(!), it's evident that there are quite a few folks out here who are oblivious to any sort of recession going on.

Anyway, if you want to people watch on a beautiful sunny day, you could do worse than take a stroll down Rodeo Drive...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Boys of Spring

Spring training baseball doesn't cause quite the same visceral reaction living in California as it did when I lived in the Midwest.  That is, when snow is on the ground and the inside of your nasal cavities freeze whilst walking outdoors, there is something amazingly magical about watching Cactus League baseball; there is green grass, warm sun and short-sleeves.  It is a promise that spring -- and better weather -- is just around the corner...

Living out here now, I have all those things (today is 85 degrees and sunny and I'm wearing a t-shirt.)  BUT, there is still something mystical about seeing those green Arizona fields and those grown men playing the most wonderful kids' game of all. 

Despite a couple of early injuries to Corey Hart and Shawn Marcum (guh!), I have high hopes for my Brewers this year.  And if anyone knows where I can score a hat like the one this guy was wearing for the opener yesterday, pick one up for me!