Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Gut Punch content coming soon and UPDATE

Gut Punch is scouting locations today for a Thursday shoot for our new client.  We are very excited about this new client and their business model.  I think that they will really take off and become the next big thing in social media.  When it's finished you can bet your ascot that I will tell you where to go.  Typically, I would have told you more about it, but we did sign a NDA.  Word.  We are also waiting on the finished product for the Jersey Shore Incredible Hulk parody.  That's gonna be pretty hilarious. 

Oh also, this is my 100th post.  I feel pretty good about it.  The blog is just a year old, and most of my posts have been, err, posted since March.  That's a pretty good frequency I think.  Tomorrow my acting class starts up again after a much needed 4 week break.  I love the class,  but its also good to step away and digest what I've learned and try to apply it. 

I'm going to work on a monologue from last season of "Breaking Bad".  For those who watch the show, it's Mike the Cleaner's monologue at the end of the "Half Measures" episode where he tells Walter about his regret of not killing a wife-beater back in the days when he was a beat cop.  The wife-beater predictably killed his wife two weeks later.  "...of course", the monologue goes.  It will be a great exercise and challenge for me to keep the tone down and tell a story and keep the tempo flowing.

UPDATE:  Well, its about boxing last night, not Gut Punch.  Boxing went pretty well, I came home drenched as well.  I'm up to the point where I am instinctively throwing counter-punches and following that up with a combo.   I used to think "Ok, here comes his left hook so dip and counter with a left hook to his body."  Now, I just do it.  I'm not saying that I am at Keanu in The Matrix kind of levels, but I can see th ings coming around. 

My footwork is improving too.  I think that has a lot to do with the jump rope I've been doing.  I begin and end a workout session with 300 jumps, varying up the speed and way that I do it.  Double rotations, single foot jumps etc.  I still cant do the cross, that's when my arms are crossed and I jump and I bring my arms back to the regular position and continue the jump.  Got what I mean?  I think that when that comes around I will be considerably more nimble and quick. 

We had a light sparring session last night.  Who I went against dictated what I could and couldn't throw.  Against a 3 year boxer I could throw everytyhing but no hard rights to the head.  Agaisnt a woman or someone new I could only throw a super light jab to the body to keep my distance. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Actor should always be on his game

"To be an artist is to never avert your eyes." - Kurosawa

In addition to awesome things like sushi and ninjas, Japan gave us Kurosawa, who gave us the above gem.  It's true.  As an actor, I am constantly looking at people, studying them.  Their movements, speech patterns, ticks - all of those things are fair game if I need to develop a character or endow an audition piece with some color.  I even take the quote a bit further and never avert my eyes from potential work.  You have to always look for work and for new ways to market yourself and leverage your talent.  It's a hard racket.  A lot of people want to be actors, so what separates you is of course, talent, but mostly drive and determination.  I don't believe in the big break myth.  It's bullshit - there, I said it. 

Oh man, what am I even talking about?  This is way too deep for me.  I'm not like that.  Here are some pictures of the bus I rode, cuz who really gives a crap about my life theory?  Look at the skylight on the megabus.  It's lifes little things that keep me entertained. 


Not bad eh?




The megabus conveniently leaves from 31st street and 8th ave.  Who needs the port authority.  It smells like bum breath in there.  And they have a room 100% dedicated for men who, apparently, like to stalk the handicapped and choke infants.  It's a terrible, terrible place. 


Hey, Port Authotrity, go shove it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

"When getting in good shape goes wrong" - Running Blunder

Today is going to be a busy day for me, so here is a "throwback jam" if you will from August 10th.

My loyal reader(s) know that on Mondays and Fridays I have a boxing class.  I hate to miss them, but acting takes priority over boxing.  Gut Punch is definitely acting, so I missed boxing last night.  Upon returning home I decided to take a run.  I went to this site to figure out a running path.  It looked good.  It would be 3 miles.  Not bad, I can handle that.  For those of you who have never been to Queens......this boro is why GPS was invented.  There are streets, avenue, places and drives most of them are numbered.  Some of them stop for no reason and pick up again a few blocks away. I've lived here for 3+ years and I still get turned around.

I think you know where this is going.

I made a wrong turn and wound up in the projects. Here is where I dun goofed up.  Scroll down a bit and the pointer should be right by Vernon Blvd.  Hint (it runs parallel to the river).  I was supposed to take Vernon to Main and take Main to 12th street, make a left on 12th street and take that to Shore Blvd, to the park, make a right on Ditmars, right on Crescent and run home.  But nooo-oooo.  I had to get confused by how Main breaks in 2 and becomes 30th Avenue for 25 yards.  Wahhh wahhh.

I made a left on 8th street and found myself smack-dab in the middle of the Astoria Houses.

It was like a scene out of "The Wire".  Doods playing dice, smoking, brown bagging it.  I even saw some old guys with fancy canes.  One fancy caned gentlemen told me as I ran by that I "can't just fucking jog down this street."  At this point, I decided to increase my pace, and about 50 strides later, realized I was lost, and how I got lost.  But there was no way in Hades I was going to retrace my steps past Slim Charles, Bodie and D'Angelo.  So I kept on running, by the time I got home I was drenched in sweat.  Even my socks were wet like sponges left in a soaking pot.

I went back to walkjogrun.net and retraced my path, I ran about 6 miles.  Ha. Those gentlemen in the projects were not particularly inviting.  Had the situation been reversed and had they gotten lost and wound up in some place with tons of white people (like a farmers market, baby gap or vampire weekend concert) I would have been nice to them.  Poo poo on them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Niche over type." Does an Actor need to have a niche market? Oh, also a Dr. Phil impression.

A comment in the last post asked for a Dr. Phil montage.  (hey Jamie!)  But while I will certainly do this, it made me think about what I was actually going to type and how I could relate it to the actor content of my blog.  PhillyRay, can you do that?!?!!?!??!

I totally can! 

I have heard from people that I am "limited by my type", or have "a specific type".  While I personally say to them "Hooey!" and bookend that with a raspberry, it made me think.....can an actor be so specifically a type that he invents his own niche? 

After all, wouldn't my loyal reader(s) say that Danny DeVito could be considered a type?  I say that he transcends "type".  I say that he is himself, he is the best Danny DeVito anyone could possibly be.  He is so fucking charming.  He is short, yes and not the most handsome man in the world, but he just oozes charisma, and I love him and his impressive career.  In other words, think "approachable blue collar type", and now think about the niche market that Kevin James has carved out for himself.  I know that Mr. James had a substantial stand-up career before becoming an actor, but my point is - he wouldn't have achieved such success without a tireless work ethic and strategic planning.  DeVito and James are two success stories that I crudely categorize as "niche over type". 

I am at a crossroads of sorts.  While I am totally cool with being a large man with a certain comedic genius, I am not sure that I am totally comfortable with attacking the acting world with said genius and creating my own sub-type, a nice if you will. 

Then again, niches can become extremely fruitful.  Take Dr. Phil, for example.  The man is a savant.  With his mustache and tan suits and down-home attitude, people immediately trust him.  And, of course, an Oprah endorsement can never hurt.  To me, the guy is just cashing in on common sense.  Is it the accent that sets him apart?  I really don't know.  Anyway, he'll have the worst people in the world on his show.  The worst, the absolute worst.  It'll be a meth addicted mother of a toddler, who only started doing meth when her child was a newborn.  Because he has earned money by putting others down, he will offer some sage advice such as this, and the crowd goes completely batshit with applause...


video

This got me thinking.....could I reinvent myself as a cheap knockoff of Dr. Phil?  I think I could.  I think that day-time TV viewers are so stupid that they would not realize they were watching sarcasm.  I could be the Andy Kaufman of Astoria Queens.  I think that there is a niche needing to be filled with someone who takes heinous people and tells them what they need to stop doing and what they need to start doing.  Heck, the "stop" and "start" issues don't even have to be related.  Besides, it's more fun that way.  Well, here could be a preview of the sage advice that could indeed, rocket-launch me to success. 

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Making bold choices when auditioning. Philadelphia, and the war of attrition.

Tuesday I hopped on my beloved megabus to ride to Philly for an audition.  It was my first time auditioning for this particular CD, so I was excited to meet a new face and make a good impression.  They had call-backs scheduled for today, and I did not receive an invitation.  That brings me to today's central point: acting is a war of attrition.  A talented actor whom I worked with on "The Taking of Pelham 123" told me this:

"We can all get our fifteen minutes of fame, it just boils down to how long you can wait for it."

I see, I see.  By fifteen minutes of fame, I am taking that he meant "success" rather than  a flash in the pan.  As I have mentioned before, I have no desire to become famous.  I have no desire to have paparazzi take photos of me while I sip my coffee and bolt across Lexington Avenue.  What do I desire?

What is my plan,  my goal? My goal is simple, and I believe humble.  I've always wanted to have a family and be the kind of father that mine was to me.  My only goal is to earn enough money acting that I can give my wife and (however many progeny we bring into this world), a comfortable life.  I don't mean multiple mansions and mazzeratis when they turn 17.  I mean being able to cut a check for each of them to go to college and pay it in full.  I mean, when my child needs braces, we get them. I mean, when my future daughter wants a dress for senior prom that costs $400 and not the $75 one, I pay for it with ease.  That's what I'm talking about.  That's all I want.

And I am willing to wait and pursue my dream until I achieve this goal.  Look, I am 27 years old now...well 27 and a half to be pretty precise.  It's too late anyway, and I can't imagine being tied to a desk.  I have passed the point of no return, methinks.

Anyway, on to the actual audition.  I arrived pretty early and forgot my umbrella, it was a pretty aggressive mist.  Luckily I had a hearty flannel on, so it didn't look wet on camera. The script was confidential.  The actors didn't receive it until they were among the next two couples to audition.  Basically without getting too specific, it's about a cable installer who is really really really (I repeat) really, into his job.  So when he finds out that she has to install a new customers cable he yells with excitement.

For the twenty plus minutes I waited in the holding room I could hear auditioneers screaming, and I mean screaming "WOOOOOOOOOOOO".  It sounded like Ric Flair was having sex in there.  Most of these guys were huge too.  I am a large guy (6-3 250), so when I say that these doods were large.....trust......me.

When it was my time to go in, I asked the CD if she had been getting yelled at today.  She laughed and said that she was.  I asked, "Is this guy super macho and a meathead or is he just really excited about installing cable? " She told me the latter.  So instead of screaming "WOOOOOOO!" like I was juiced up on roids, I let out something like this (which provided a funny contrast to my size).

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I made a choice........and hopefully, while it didn't work out this time, this will make the CD remember me as bringing something different to the table.  Who knows?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Busy week so far (long entry)

At then end of my last post, I mentioned that I would write about a Philadelphia audition.  While I will do that eventually, first I have to tell you about my audition on Monday for The Onion.  I haven't had auditions this close to each other in quite some time, so it's hard for me to keep track.  Anyway as Bob Costas says "We rewind..."

I was about to board the beloved and late arriving megabus and my bling starts to ring.  I answer the call and its my legit agent telling me that I have a requested audition for The Onion.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I adore The Onion.  I read the website literally every day, I have done so since I was about 16.  Even on my honeymoon I had to find an internet cafe.  Side note: internet cafes in Venice are predictably expensive.  The Onion is in the midst of launching two television shows.  The Onion Sports network is going to be on Comedy Central and The Onion News Network is going to be on IFC.  This audition was for the OSN.  Normally I would be elated, but this time, my heart dropped to me knees.

An old friend was getting married the next day in Kennebunkport.  We needed to allow 6-7 hours for the drive up, the ceremony was at 430pm, my audition was at 1030am - that was the earliest possible time.  I told them, that I sadly, could not attend. F#############ck I thought. We drove up to Kennebunkport, forgot about the lost chance and danced the night away.  I had been having trouble with my blackberry's reception, so I just put it on silent and left it in the hotel room.

When we were in Portland my phone alerted me to a new message.  It was my agent!  My agent is usually very sweet, this time she sounded a bit perturbed.

"Phillip, its _____.  I don't know where you are......but you have an audition for The Onion.  Call me, 212 xxx-xxxx"

In her defense, I ALWAYS pick up the phone.  Literally.  On the first ring.  My acting career comes first.  So if I were to go MIA, well....this could definitely be a cause for concern.  The time was 6pm and it was Saturday, of course the office wasn't open.  Nevertheless I left a message.

"Hey it's Phillip calling!  I am confirming for Monday.  I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but I'm up in Maine and my reception is in and out.  I hope the audition is still on the table and I'll call you Monday to re-confirm.   201-xxx-xxxx"

I called at 930am Monday morning  and the audition was on!  Hooray, I was all set for 330pm.  I got the sides and I noticed a peculiar piece of direction.  Typically before the words you are supposed to say there will be directions in parentheses.  It will look like this...
                                                        
                                                               AGENT
                                                              (perturbed)
Phillip, its your agent.  I don't know where you are......but you have an audition for The Onion.  Call me, 212 555-6823!

  As you can see, if you are auditioning for the role of my agent in the made for TV movie based on my life, "Banished to Extra Work: The PhillyRay Story", you would read the lines with a bit of an edge, add in some conflict and perhaps raise your voice a bit here and there.  Got it?  Great.  Now the sides for the onion had a bizarre word in parentheses, eh not really bizarre, just uncommon.  It was "inscrutable".  I remembered that the word existed, but that's about it.  I looked it up into google.searchmachine_internet (all one word) and typed "define inscrutable."  Apparently it is synonymous with mysterious, clandestine etc.   

Bingo.  One of my guideposts that my sensei has taught me is mystery/secret/confidentiality.  When I went in to the audition room, the CD asked me if I had any questions.

I said, "Yeah man, I do.  When you say inscrutable.....you want me to say the line with an element of mystery, you want me to hold back on what I know, like I'm not telling the whole story?"

The CD's eyes lit up.

"Ya know what?  I haven't seen that yet, I'd like to."

Realizing that I had potentially dug myself into a black hole of perilous acting I said "So would I! Ha."

As background, the role I was auditioning for was a professional body surfer who earns a comfortable living doing so.  His line was "I just try to keep my body straight and go as far as I can go." So I endowed the character with a sense that he knows that he is making a killing at a sport that chubby 8 year olds can do, so he wants his secret to be safe.  Boom, I did it, and the CD asked me to stay put because he had yet another script he'd like me to read.  That also went well.  After my second attempt at the second script he clapped his hands and said "Perfect!  Just like that!"

Ok, let's digest.  The difference between my audition and previous actors' auditions was that I looked up the word "inscrutable" and applied it to the frame work that I know.  His reaction was a pleasant one when I asked if he'd like to see it in a mysterious way.  To me, that means that no other actor tried that, at least successfully.  Will I get cast?  Who knows.  Do I have a fighting chance because I made a smart decision?

Absolutely.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Maine! (CHAPTAHH TWO!)

We arrived in Portland around 11am and the Holiday Inn was courteous enough to prepare a room for early check in, normally check in is around 3pm.  Cheers to you, Holiday Inn.  I had been salivating the whole ride up because I had my first taste of Shipyard microbrew the day before.  We put our bags in the room and went to the concierge to ask about local breweries.  Sweet J informed us that there was a kick-ass brewery that gives tours, but we forgot the name.  The concierge told us about Shipyard brewery and it all clicked - "That's the one!" I thought.  She circled it on a map and was like "You should go there."  So we did, and we arrived around 1145am.

Note: I felt a little degenerate-ish going to a brewery with blind faith that our arrival would coincide with a tour time.  Wouldn't you?

Well it turns out that Bacchus was smiling down on us that day, because the next tour started at high noon.  There was a brief powerpoint illustrating how awesome and cool they were and we were given a lecture about how the assembly line works.  Big ups to my steel trap memory, because I remembered that the assembly line can fill up 159 bottles in a minute.  That gave me a full free glass when the tour was over.  All the other people, nay all the philistines had to be sated with 1 oz portions, but I had a stately 3 oz portion of each beer!  Hooray!

We ate like Vikings that day.  2 lunches, 2 dinners and ice cream on the walk home, and about 4 lobster rolls during the day - they are soooo cheap, how could you not?  I recommend: J's Oyster Bar (cheap oysters, steamers and salty locals).  I'm talking 13 oysters for 12 bucks.  That's bonkers cheap, that's batshit cheap.  I also recommend a wood fire restaurant called The Grill Room and Bar, specifically - everything on the menu.  But we were drawn there when we walked past the place and saw a chalkboard appetizer special.  Grilled chicken livers with an egg and sweet onion sauce.  Yes please.  Our ice cream place was called "Mt. Dessert".  I had a carmelized plantain ice cream and Dawn had blueberry basil sorbet.  How cool?

The next day we had brunch at The Front Room (owned by the same dood as the grill room).  Awesome manly brunch.  And good Lord, is Portland beautiful.  Here is a video of some parks there.  Enjoy! 

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Coming next: East Coast Tour continues as I go to Philly for an audition and more Gut Punch news.....stay tuned!

Maine! (CHAPTAHH ONE!)

We loved Maine, we had so much fun.  As I mentioned in the last blog, Mrs. PhillyRay woke me  up around 6am to get out of town and head up to Kennebunkport for a college friends wedding.  It wasn't a bad drive up, we missed all traffic on 95 in Connecticut and zipped all the way to Kennebunkport in around 6 hours.  We chatted the whole ride up, so it seemed even shorter. 

Kennebunkport is a great town.  Really charming and fun.  We went to "The Clam Shack" on Western Ave right by the bridge that joins Kennebunkport (where the wedding and reception was) and Kennebunk (where our hotel was).  Dawn is a lobster fanatic, so naturally she ordered a lobster roll and I had a haddock sandwich.  So fresh so good.  A word about lobster rolls in Maine: you can not have a bad one and they are everywhere. Literally.  They are sold in gas stations, and even there they are still great.  Its lobster meat in some kind of bread, usually a hot dog roll.  They usually give you a mayo packet with it.  You - can't - go - wrong. 

The outdoor ceremony was gorgeous.  It was right on the water and the setting was intimate.  I was chomping at the bits because these are old fraternity brothers and most I haven't seen since our wedding in September of 2008.  Great cocktail hour, passed food and a full bar, top shelf all the way.  I had my first taste of local Maine brew, too.  Allagash White is a kick ass, I repeat kick ass wheat beer and Shipyard Export is effing delicious and crisp.  It's a "full bodied ale with a hint of sweetness upfront, a subtle and distinctive hop taste and a very clean finish."  I suggest you get on that....now.

We had a great time and, of course being with some old school Chi Psi brothers, got really really tanked.  The hours flew by and we did our best to give "Sweet J" and Lauren a great send-off. 

Ha.  One more thing. After the reception there was an after party at this bar in Kennebunkport called "Federal Jacks".  There was a Jenna Bush sighting.  Apparently, her family vacations there and seeing her around is n.b.d. 

Coming soon:  Maine! (CHAPTAHH TWO!) Portland, brewery tour to second dinner.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pittsburgh Audition and family visit.

I had a lot of fun.  It was really swell to see my cousins again and audition for a new casting director.  I took the megabus over there, it's hard to argue with a $35 round trip from NYC to Pittsburgh. You'd spend more money on tolls if you drove yourself!

So anyway I had a lovely time with my cousin Johnathan and his wife Jaynie.  They have a really nice home in Pittsburgh and his sister and brother in law came over with their adorable and hysterical son, Isaiah.  He is going to be an actor, mark my words.  His father enjoyed a nice career as well before making a career switch to youth ministry.  Johnathan's parent's came over too.  His mom is my dad's first cousin, that's how the relation works.  Pittsburgh is a really pretty city.  There are so many bridges and hills and it's just.....really really cool.  I suggest you head over there, for real. 

So cousin Johnathan dropped me off a few minutes before my 1pm audition last Thursday and I had a chance to relax, shake off the nerves etc.  I arrived there with sides for a different character than what I was auditioning for.  I was auditioning for "Sledge" a 250 lb gorilla who gets his kicks by working his job as an enforcer for a notorious mob boss, "Casket Mike", played by Eric Roberts.

When I walked in to the audition room, not only was the CD there but the director himself was there.  This guy, he was really laid back, cool and complimentary. He'd be great to work with, methinks.   The CD asked me who I was auditioning for, I told her "Sledge" and she told me that I was physically right for the role.  She also informed me that I did in fact have sides to read that are specific to my character.  For those of you who do not know, sides are bits of dialog for your character.  Sometimes it's just 2 sentences, like this one was, and sometimes it can be 5 different scenes, like the "Memphis Beat" audition I went on, (at the time called "Delta Blues".)

The CD asked me if I wanted to go over the lines for a second and come back in.  I thought to myself......Phillip, you're already in the room, the vibe is cool, you work on cold reading all the time, just do it.  I said "I feel comfortable cold reading it."
"Really?  Are you sure?" 
"Yes, you either think I am right for the role or you don't, you either think I can act or you don't.  I also don't want to hold up the audition times, so I am comfy going."
"Well OK then, slate your name." 
"Wait, am I looking at the reader or into the camera?"
"The reader."

I slated my name and I crushed it.  Totally.  My acting coach was right.  ("Like him" on Facebook! The widget or whatever you call it is on this very page.) If you just even arbitrarily assign guideposts to things and endow peoples names with some sort of an opinion and vary up your rate, inflection, pitch and dynamic......it will come across great.  They all told me that I did a great job, which they didn't have to say at all.  I left and took a cab to downtown Pittsburgh, met up with my super great and sweet agent, Tara.  We hadn't seen each other in 4 years!!!!!!!  Then I went to Primanti's for lunch.

Sweet googly moogly Primanti's is great.  They serve massive sandwiches with tomato, coleslaw and french fries in between the bun.  I repeat: in between the bun.  Hot DAMN!  And the place is covered in Pittsburgh sports memorabilia.  I am a ginourmous Steeler fan.  Check out the mural.





Then I was back on the bus at 5pm and arrived in NYC around 1am, got home to my wife whom I missed oh so terribly around 215am - damn you N/Q trains!  We woke up at 630 to go to Maine for a wedding and a mini-vacation.  That is for another blogpost though.  I am still digesting my trip.  Literally.  I ate half my body weight in lobster, oysters and clams. 

It was a nice but cramped drive back.  Pennsylvania is a gorgeous state.  I leave you with a sunset kissing the ridge mountains from my trip back......

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

El Boxeo

I realized that it has been a while since I typed to you about boxing.  I missed the last 1 1/2 weeks of classes due to work related stuff and weddings etc.  Yesterday I returned and promptly paid the price.  It's amazing how a week and a half of not working out and indulging a bit will kill your progress. 

We started off with some light jogging.  Well, not light in the true sense of the word.  We ran for 10 minutes, but with 5lb weights in our hands.  30 seconds with regular arm motion, 30 seconds with our arms extended in front of us, elbows locked and 30 seconds with our arms hoisted above our heads, once again, elbows locked. 

This left me a bit winded.  Then it was time to shadow box.  3 minute rounds of furious punching, breaks of one minute, we did this 3 times.  Shadowboxing is really hard.  Common wisdom claims that you spend more energy when you punch and miss than when you land a punch, and I believe this.  Shadowboxing is nothing but missing punches if you think about it.

We then did "one-two's".  That's when you square up with a partner and tap gloves at a furious speed (left right left right left right etc etc).  Hence the term.  You do this for four two minute rounds with a one minute break.

Then it was time for the slap games.  We pair up and stay on the balls of our feet hand in gloves at our hips and we try to throw a haymaker slap to the persons shoulder.....and sometimes face if its ok with both of you.  Ordinarily I'm cool with face contact, but I have my Pittsburgh audition Thursday and I have to look at pretty as possible.  We did this for 3 rounds of 2  minutes.  When the shoulder slap was over we took off our gloves and kept on our hand wraps and did the slap game with the inside of each others knees.  It looked like a lame version of the Kumatai from "Bloodsport". 

After this, it was time for conditioning.  We would take 5 lb weights and punch as fast as we can doing the 1-2-1-2-1-2 etc for a minute straight then do "down thrusts".  Normally, something with that name is pretty appealing, but not this time.  You fall down to all fours like you are doing a push up and thrust your knees up to your chest and leap up with your hands in the air and land on two feet and repeat.  We would punch for 60 seconds, down thrust for another 60 and rest for 30.  We did this 4 times.

I then went home, showered and passed out to the Jets and Giants game. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good times good times

So the aforementioned conference call went well.  Nothing is official yet, and I never consider ANYTHING official until the check is in the bank; but, the conference call seems to have yielded some fruit and by that I mean money, moolah, wampum, scratch, papers to be stacked et cetera.  This development kicked off the weekend in glorious fashion.  Celebratory BBQ with Gut Punch and friends, back to NJ for a pool party and then back to NYC on Sunday to film a very funny bit with Gut Punch. 

We should have a rough edit in a day or so.  It's a spoof on the Incredible Hulk and Snooki from "Jersey Shore".  We cast a young lady from my acting class to play the....let's call the character...."Incredible Guidette".  She worked out great.  We are very excited about recent events. 

So, I'm in NYC today and tomorrow, leaving for Pittsburgh Wednesday AM, returning technically speaking Friday AM around 1, and leaving for a wedding in Maine this weekend the very next morning.  Moral of the story is, don't be expecting much in the way of new posts after tomorrow until next week. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gut Punch Greatness and success

A few posts ago I mentioned how we missed the boat on an e-mail as it went unchecked for 4 months.  I also mentioned that we shot an apology video to send to the client.  Here it is:


Fashionably Late Reply from Crandall Miller on Vimeo.



Funny huh?  Why, thank you.  And guess what?  It worked!!!! HAHAHAH.  The client wants to have a conference call at 2pm today.  This of course is subject to change.  Stay tuned for updates. 

Update:  Conference call at 4pm.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

EPA 2DAY 4 MOV (Updated 8/12)

That's code.  Code for what?  Code for "Equity Principle audition today for 'Merchant of Venice'".  That's what!  I am excited.  I got my trusty if not lucky 2:50 audition time.  I like that time.  It works well with real estate showings.  A lot of people like to see things on their lunch  break or after work, so consequently, 2-4pm is kind of slow, and at times, dead! 

I'm very excited for this audition.  I believe that I am right for the role of "Lancelot Gobbo", and a previously aired shakespearian monologue on this site was indeed Lancelot Gobbo's.  So, wish me luck.  But also, wish that the role is not yet filled.  That's the tricky thing with Equity auditions.  They by union rules have to hod auditions.  This remains true even if the role has been filled.  Often times you have no idea, until you walk in the room and there are 8 people (role is up for grabs), or there is 1 person, usually an ASM, and the role is painfully so, already cast.

Oh yeah, a few days ago I mentioned that I joined twitter.  Well, yesterday I canceled it.  Meh.

UPDATE:  The audition went really well.  I had her laughing, smiling and genuinely enjoying my take on Lancelot Gobbo.  However, it was just a casting associate; who knows if the role has/hasn't already  been cast.  She was very kind and created a supportive environment.  I'm officially putting it out of my head............now!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Two pickets to Tittsburgh please!

I mentioned in this post that my PA agent was going to submit me for work in Pittsburgh.  I asked my loyal reader(s) if they would go to an audition in Pittsburgh.  There was one response involving my childhood station wagon.  Needless to say this was not the deciding factor for me to choose to accept the audition time and go to "The Mighty Burg".  Some deciding factors are: I need to get something under my belt ASAP, the role sounds like a juicy hamburger, the CD is LA based, I have family in Pittsburgh and Megabus only charges $35 for a round trip.  Additionally, my wife thought it was a good idea.  On top of all of that....it's not like I'm exactly swamped with auditions at the moment....so, why the heck not?!!?

The audition is on the 19th, so I'm heading in on the 18th.  After the 7 hour and 40 minute bus ride (!) I will stay with my cousin Johnathan and his wife Jaynie.  I also get to see my agent, Tara!  She just got a new office in Pittsburgh.  I haven't seen her in maybe.....4 years? I look forward to all of this!

The movie is called "New York Heartbeat".  It's about gangsters in the 1950's.  The director looks pretty great too.  This guy has directed a lot of stuff but this will be his first bigtime movie.  I'm excited.  I'd eventually like to entertain the idea of doing the bi-coastal thing, and an LA based casting director could serve as a catalyst.  Sidenote: I love the word catalyst.  (one more time)....CATALYST! I'm going out for the role of "Sledge", a 250 lb gorilla.  An enforcer who takes pride in hurting people and get his rocks off when he does well for his boss, whose name is "Casket Mike".  That role is gonna be played by Eric Roberts - really cool.

Gutpunch is meeting up tonight at 6 to film our apology video.  I look forward to this. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gut Punch evening

In a rare instance of life imitating art (obnoxious hint: it's usually the other way around) actual companies have been contacting Gut Punch for advertising work.  Most of the time, the companies are in on the joke, but sometimes we are not so sure.  Tonight we are going to reply to a new business lead we have.  The only problem is, and I find this to be a rather hysterical problem, we are four months late on this response.  Ha.  In typical Gut Punch fashion, since we all had access to the general e-mail account, no one actually bothered to log in and check messages.  So here we are, 120+ days after the fact about to reply to the query.

Needless to say, a simple email back to the guy will not suffice, we have to make a video to send to him essentially apologizing for the egregious fuck up.  We have a few ideas, and all of them are funny.   I'm pretty excited about this.   UPDATE: Because we have such an amazing group mind, filming has been pushed to Monday,  more updates to come. 

After that Mrs Philly Ray and I are going to the RUMBLE ON THE RIVER!  This tough guy I have trained with and have sparred with, Sergio is going to box tonight.  He is making his amateur debut.  Guy is really really good.  I outweigh him by probably 100 pounds, and he destroyed me on the reg.  Anywho....tickets are free, its on west 44th street and the West Side Highway and tickets are free, should be awesome. 

I joined twitter.  If Troy Polamalu can tweet, I suppose I can too.

Small thought: The 7 train is like........the Noah's Ark of people.