Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Attention NYC Pedestrians

Effective immediately, I will no longer move out of your way.  Additionally, when we bump into each other, I will not apologize, or even recognize the fact that we collided.  I will just continue on my way.  For too long I have swerved my shoulders back and forth, maneuvering the not-so-crowded-that-these-fuckfaces-should-be-bumping-into-me-this-much streets.  It ends today.  And to you turdburgers with umbrellas and no sense of space, if your umbrella hits me in the face, I'll knock it right back.  I hope you didn't spend too much on it. 

There I said it.  If you see a 6-3 260+ pound mid 20's dude with a goatee, look out, or hold your umbrella a little bit higher/lower.  It very well might be me.  

Weight Loss

I'm curious about whether or not my weight loss will open up more acting doors for me. While I understand and am totally fine with not being a "leading man", I wonder if I will become more marketable or less limited due to my weight loss and what I continue to lose. I am a big guy. I played HS and College football and enjoy good food and drink.

Consequently, after college I weighed in at around 290 pounds. I think my all time high was 292. SR year of HS, 9 years ago I was 252, but rock solid. Today I am 265. I started working out 5-6 days a week November 1st 2009. So that brings my total weight loss to about 30 pounds. I'd like to lose another 40 or so. I started out just lifting and doing light cardio (eliptical) 5-6 days a week.

Then when I switched gyms I started hitting the free weights pretty hard, then I took up a boxing class. Ive been boxing since mid February. When that started I was 282, that's where the serious weight loss started. Prior to that I definitely noticed larger muscles and a bit of weight loss in the gut and face. Before starting to box I would run for 10-15 minutes on the treadmill and feel like I was gonna spew lunch all over Synergy gym. Yesterday, I ran for an hour at 4.5 speed. I attribute that to boxing.

Look. I have a good opinion of myself, but at the same time I have to be realistic about the business. No one wants a 300 lb dude hocking their product or playing a character that people will have to look at for an extended period of time. TV shows and the commercials that pay for them are all ultimately a product. You can't sell or market a product with a clunky jingle or a confusing message......this is the same way. After all, this is the same business that made a beautiful woman, America Ferrera, into an ugly girl. If that is what can pass as ugly in show business, then man oh man, do I have my work cut out for me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sweet ass commercial background

Yesterday I was doing some commercial background for a "Loews" spot. It's funny, I spent about 10 hours yesterday in a semi-covered area in a polo shirt carrying potted plants from spot A to spot B to spot C in 45 degree a polo shirt and was 100% content. As opposed to working a day in real estate and having total flexibility and (while still staying positive) not being fulfilled in the slightest.

It was also a funny moment when I saw the principle of the commercial, I see that guy at call backs every now and then. I was bummed that I had to miss my boxing class, but excited at making pretty great money for the day. I was in proximity to the actors when they were working, and I really don't think that anything separates them from me in terms of talent. While it was a bit frustrating, when I was able to relax a bit I realized that its a good thing. I can't be much closer than I am right now.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Supposedly I should be a bounty hunter....

...or at least that's what the final conclusion was at the Actor's Work Program's "Career Exploration 101" said. I value: Independence, Time Freedom, Stability and Security as my core values. And I am excellent at: Performing/Entertaining, Improvising and Creating Ideas. After pinpointing these core values and skills, the great folks over there were able to say that I would enjoy being a bounty hunter. Like Dog.

This was the pride-and-joy barn burner of an idea that took two different 2 hour sessions to create. Oh well, it's not like it was a horrendous waste of time or anything.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Improvsing during auditions

Have you ever been on an audition, specifically a commercial one and the CD tells you: "The script is really rough, so you can just riff and improv a lot if ya want!"? This has happened to me a bunch. The wheels start to turn in the back of my large head and the hamster (yes, it's a hamster) says: PhillyRay, they want you to write the commercial for them. It's true. This actually happened to me on a specific ad. It was for Fathead. I said a line, they all cracked up. I left, I didn't hear back.

That was, until I saw the commercial. And guess what. They used my line! Totally lifted from the audition. My line had nothing at all to do with the original script and was so bizarre and far fetched to be duplicated unknowingly. "Am I God? No. But I do have the ability to - through my photographs- to grant athletes ever lasting life."

Did I complain? No. I wanted the casting house to call me again for something else. They didn't anyway. Oh well.

Readers (if there are any of you) - have you ever had an improvised line stolen from you and put into the finished ad? Am I alone on this one?

Sparring roughed me up

For real. My jaw is a little achy. My acting teacher dismissed my boxing passion the other week in a roundabout way. He told me of a time he was rehearsing for a play in college or wherever and one of the actors came in with a banged up nose. The director asked him where he was and how he got that way. The actor told him he got banged up playing rugby. "Are you a rugby player or an actor?" snapped the director. End story. I think I caught my teacher's drift, ha. It's not like I'm going to do gold gloves or anything, I'm just looking to lose weight and if I develop a nasty hook in the process, then it's cool.

I coulda been someone! I coulda had that mayo money!

So I got released from the Kraft commercial this morning. Am I bummed? You bet. Who wouldn't want to make upwards of 10-20k for one days work? Am I upset or defeated? Hell no. Hellllllllll no. My agents will think of me more now.....much more. They HAVE to. They sent me on two things (one of which I basically set up by myself) and the other thing was this one. It was a national campaign and I got a call back. So hey, I'm chalking this up as a moral victory, if there ever was one. Not a Pyrrhic victory.

I just gotta keep on keeping on is all. My folks should have landed in Spain a few hours ago and I bet they are having a blast. I woke up this morning and went to the gym for a 30 min run. I did 2.5m and I have my acting class tonight. I'm doing a scene from "Hedda Gabler" and "Pineapple Express" and a monologue from "An Everlasting Piece". In boxing news, my hook is coming along and I'm keeping my hands up in the right place when I punch with the opposite arm. I sparred against a much more seasoned boxer, who obviously beat me up. But it's all good because my agent will send me out more, ha.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Callback went well

My callback time was at 145, I showed up at 115. When I arrived, I was informed that they were running about 45 minutes behind schedule. That's cool - more time for me to relax and focus. The funny part was, I had no idea that actors were so negative! I overheard so many actors saying things like "This is ridiculous, 5 more minutes and I'm out!" Guys, it's a national commercial! This could be upwards of 20k! Ill sit in a room all weekend for a shot at that kind of money!

When I auditioned, I was fortunate enough to go in with the same woman I auditioned with originally. She's really great. Physically she was very close to my real wife, Dawn, so it was comforting in a strange way. We took two takes. The first take went well and the director gave me an adjustment to pay less attention to my wife and all my attention on my sandwich. I did this to the max. Also, at one point some mayonnaise started to squirt out of the bread, so I scooped it up with my ring finger and licked it off. That got a big laugh from the director and company.

This shoots either Friday, Saturday or Sunday. We'll see what happens. But I really honestly feel like I nailed this thing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Positivity begets positivity

So I have a call-back for the Mayonnaise audition. Bam. This week was pretty effing good, if I do say so myself. 2 real estate deals and a call back for a national commercial. Wow. My father, who is the textbook definition of a self-made man and a salesman, told it to me like this...

"Business is never good. Business is never bad. It's all about what's between your ears."

To this day I have not heard anything ring more true. Hands down. Hands down. If you focus on working hard, good things will eventually happen. This was my 2nd audition that my commercial agency sent me out on. But, really it's the first. The motorola thing I wrote about 3+ weeks ago was something that I spoon-fed them. I saw it and told them to submit me for it. This was all them. So in the most positive way I'm batting 1000, in the most negative way I'm batting 500. Which is still stellar. This is just such a huge relief. I was beginning to worry that I would not get a callback in what my agency believed to be a substantial time frame and get dropped by them. Then I'd be back to square one, and oh man oh man, that was 5 years ago.

But now, at the very least, they'll think of me more often. At the very most, I'll book this and earn like 15k and they will sign me to a contract and commit to me for x amount of months - I believe 18.

Call backs are tomorrow at 1:45.

Gimme that mayo money. Ha.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air

I decided a few days ago to just work hard when at my real estate job and treat it as a way to make some side cash while still pursuing acting. It works. Oh boy does it works. Of course I WANT to be a full time actor but.............I NEED to make money. I closed one rental deal this week and put in another application yesterday, the results for that one are still up in the air. It's an exciting time.

Because I was able to chill about finances a bit, I stopped worrying about my lack of auditions. And then I got the call.

It was my commercial agency, they had an audition for me. For a national commercial. For a well known mayonnaise brand. The casting breakdown called for a 31-36 year old Caucasian male. A "Kevin James" type. Fucking bingo. When the casting director came out (who was a fabulous French lady) she said: "WOW! You are zo perfict for zees!" I was paired up with a really funny actress who looked the part. She was even tinier than my wife in real life, so the sense of play and the physical difference between us was hysterical.

The CD had me make a few adjustments and I felt really good about what I did. We'll see. But man oh man, a national commercial. Pay to the fucking day.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Slow week

This week was slow for both real estate and acting. No auditions and just two appointments. Wednesday's acting class went well. It's fun to go there and usually pretty exhilarating. I performed a voice over to the class - meh. I need to work on "speaking directly" to the listener. Like I'm just having a conversation, and not barking about car insurance or whatever. This week however I sparred in my Monday boxing class. That was a lot of fun and very very tiring. I went 8 2-minute rounds. Most of the guys in the class compete. Of the guys who compete a few are high ranking amateurs and one is a pretty decent boxer in the "Masters Division" (which means he is older than 35). But the dude looks like he is younger than me.....for real. I have class tonight too from 730-830. I look forward to my classes. All 3 of them. It's nice to let the beast out of the cage, so to speak.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Got out of Jury Duty - HOOORAY

I had to be at the Jamaica Civil courthouse at 830am yesterday. It took me an hour+ to get there. N train to Qboro, 7 train to Jackson Heights, F train to Sutphin Blvd. Yikes. There were about 200+ potential juries in the waiting room. It was a petit jury summons, which means (as I learned yesterday) that the prosecution and defense needed 6 jurors and 2 alternates. The case that I was possibbly going to juror was about an older gentlemen was was injured at the dentist office. "Ouch!" I thought. But it wasn't by the dentist, it was because a fiber composite ceiling tile fell on his shoulder and he is suing for compensation. Fiber composite boards are about 2 feet by 2 feet and weigh less than a pound. I was raised by a father who told me to "shake it off walk it off." I had no sympathy for this cry baby and the ambulance chaser he had posing as an attorney. Dismissed.

Today I am going to the Actors Fund to check out their job search and resume clinic at noon. I am excited about it. While I have come to terms with having a sidejob again, I don't really want it to be in real estate. But.....I still need the flexibility. There in lies the rub.

Monday, March 8, 2010

my coworkers....

....order food from a place called "Schnitzel Express." I just wanted to throw that out there.

Can't Think That Way

I can't be negative about things like in the last post. No good can come of it. Done. So what if I'm back doing real estate? Plenty of actors have survival jobs or side jobs, and by plenty I mean 99% of them. I guess that I had enough of a taste of an "actors life" to become addicted to the pure joy of it. I've been going at this for the pat 5 years. On the one hand, I'm tired of essentially living paycheck to paycheck and not loving what I do, but on the other hand, if I turn back now, all of my sacrifices, struggles, achievements and hard work would have all been for nothing. Now that would be a shame.

I had a really good performance in lat Wednesday's class. I received a "print" and a "handshake". Before I came to class, the print was the highest accolade you could achieve in class. The teacher had it that way because that's the closest to praise you will receive on set. "That's a print! Moving on!" But a few months ago (wow it's been that long) I was in a fantastic scene from "Of Mice and Men", and it received a previously unseen herald. The teacher walked up to us and gave us a hand shake, proclaiming that we are now his peers.

This past week, I received a print for a Hedda Gabbler scene and a handshake for a scene in "Welcome to the Reilly's" - a nice film that was in Sundance this year.

Oh well, off to take pictures of apartments and post them on craigslist.