Monday, August 22, 2005

Becca, you rock.

Becca's memorial service was this past Saturday, August 20. It was a really low-key affair in a backyard in Venice, and the amazing number of people that showed up was a real testament to how many lives Becca had touched throughout her life. There wasn't a service or ceremony really, just a bunch of friends and family who brought photos to look at, stories to tell, hugs to give and tears to share. There was a circle of people playing some tribal drums throughout most of the afternoon. There were some friends I hadn't seen since high school there. Becca's little girl was running around naked on the grass. It was all quite surreal, really, but talking to people, reminiscing and looking at photographs really reminded me of what an amazing life she had and what an amazing person she was. It definitely lifted me out of the haze I'd been in since she died. Enough so that when I went to a birthday party later that night, I felt like some weight had lifted surrounding her tragic death. It was a perfect circumstance in a way, to memorialize someone's death and then celebrate another's birth, and the irony was not lost on me.

Becca Howard-Wilkins December 27, 1973 - August 15, 2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Becca Howard

A friend of mine, Becca Howard, died yesterday after a long struggle with cancer. She was a beautiful person, inside and out and had a fire in her I thought would never be extinguished. I've known her since high school and was always inspired by her confidence, spirituality and kindness. She just put something out there, something natural and easy that people gravitated towards. I'll miss that. I'll miss her. The world is a colder, darker place without her in it.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Meet Mike

Continuing to introduce the characters of the upcoming webcomic, Working Actor (in progress)... Of course, the characters and their likenesses are subject to change by the time the strip comes out, but this is who they are at the moment:

Mike is a loud, overweight, Italian actor who smokes pot all day and parties all night. Although he's prone to being overdramatic and emotional at times, he's usually very laid-back and likeable. Everything comes to him easily, including booking acting jobs, much to the frustration of Jeff. Although he doesn't realize it, Mike is what Jeff dreams of being : a working actor.

I know I said it in my last post, but just to clarify: although there are similarities, I am not suggesting that Mike and Michael, my roommate in "real life," have anything in common. Mike's pot-smoking and partying are traits I have come up with for the webcomic character. For all I know, Michael is a member of D.A.R.E. and I'm almost positive he doesn't have a shirt with a pot leaf on it.

Meet Jeff

Since the launch of my webcomic, Working Actor (in progress), is still at least a couple of weeks away, I thought I'd introduce you to some of the characters that will be featured in the strip. Of course, the characters and their likenesses are subject to change by the time the strip comes out, but this is who they are at the moment:

I know I said I was going to have a lot of friends making appearances, but that's probably not realistic. It makes more sense to have a few regular characters the reader can familiarize themselves with rather than to dillute the comic with a whole swarm of guest appearances. There will definitely be a bit of everyone I know in the strip, but their essences will be incorporated into the main characters. Anyway, here they are, hope you like 'em:

First off is Jeff. As you can guess, he pretty much represents me... well, at least certain aspects of me. He's the "working actor" of the title, and since the webcomic will parallel events in my life, hopefully in the future "working" will refer to Jeff's work in the entertainment industry and not his work at his graphic design job. But until he can pay his rent and bills solely through acting, expect as many strips in his work office as in the casting office.

Tomorrow you'll meet Jeff's roommate, Mike. He's loud, overweight and Italian, but that in no way suggests that he's based on my own roommate Michael, who also just happens to be loud, overweight and Italian.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I wants it, my precious...

YessSSsss... I wants the E-Ring. And I had another shot at it today. The audition was for a character not quite as cool as the one I went out for last week, but still cool nonentheless. Actually, I didn't get the whole script so there might be more to him than was apparent in the sides, but even still, I wouldn't turn it down. Was strange, the casting was done at a U.S. Embassy where they were filming the show not more than a few hundred feet from us. Made for a strange atmosphere seeing crews setting up and all the activity of a big TV show - it almost felt like I had already booked the gig and was on set, only, I hadn't and I wasn't. Weird.

I'm not sure if them calling me in has anything to do with the audition I had for the show last week, but I'd like to think so.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Movie Reviews

Well, I ended up seeing a few movies this weekend and it's a good thing I didn't pay for all of them as they were mostly crap. Actually, this summer has been pretty crappy in general as far as movies are concerned. I probably average two movies a week, and there have only been a few this summer that I've actually thought were pretty good.

Anyway, first up was The Dukes of Hazzard. Now, it wasn't all crap, but it was about 75% crap. It was well shot, Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville were sufficiently likeable, and the car chases were pretty cool, but man, I was just bored throughout most of the movie. I guess there's only so much General Lee and Bo and Luke mugging I can take and add to that an awful performance by Burt Reynolds and well, I guess I was lucky I didn't just fall asleep. Or maybe that would've been better. As far as Jessica Simpson is concerned, well, I've never really been a fan, but I must say she's super-hot in this movie. Her character, Daisy Duke, was kind of lame, and had a supernatural power to appear whenever/wherever she was needed, but yeah, she was hot. See it when it comes to cable.

Next was Sky High with Kurt Russell. Yeah, I know, I deserve what I get for even going to see this movie, but actually, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. The movie definitely didn't take itself too seriously, which really helped out, had some good special effects, a decent 80s soundtrack, and a storyline similar enough to the X-Men and New Mutants comics without screaming "rip off!" Overall, not a must see, but if you see it in the videostore and there's nothing else, pick it up for a rental.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the last movie I saw over the weekend, and was very disappointed as I had been looking forward to this one. Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors and he does what he can to keep us entertained, without stepping on Gene Wilder's wonderful performance from the original movie, but again, like with "Dukes" I became bored with the movie about halfway into it. Actually, the movie had me hooked right up until they entered Wonka's factory, then it was back to doing grocery lists and times tables in my head. I liked Charlie and his family, and the race to find the Golden Ticket was handled well, but then, just when you think the movie is going to explode with imagination and color, it just kind of sputters. Pretty much everything that goes on in the factory was done better in the original. From the Oompa Loompas, to the songs, to each of the children (except for Charlie), the original seemed to have more vision and fun. I liked the squirrels in this possibly more than the geese from the original. I liked Johnny (but even he didn't have much to do really, besides smile and walk around pointing at things). I think I dug two of the Danny Elfman songs, but other than those things, I can't remember much else to recommend. The characters didn't really react to their surroundings all that much, and even the parents seemed to be non-reactive whenever their children were in danger, which made me non-reactive as well. Meh. You can wait for this one to come to your local video rental store, but buy the original.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Sorry my posts have been less-than-regular. I've been planning to add a new feature to the site in the near-future, and my excitement over it is making me lax in updating the blog. That new feature will be a webcomic! After enjoying the work of many other webcomics for years, especially PVP and Penny Arcade, and including VG Cats, Applegeeks and 8-bit Theater, I've always had that itch to do a webcomic of my own. Well, after my experiences down at this year's San Diego Comic Con (for that story, click here) and working on the comic-to-be, 60 Minute Broadway, I have the confidence and discipline to finally get one out. It's all still in the early stages of development, but basically, it's going to be about my life and the people in it (chances are, if you're a friend or family member of mine, you'll probably be making an appearance), with a leaning toward the conflict of becoming a working actor while working an office job.

I'll post updates about the webcomic (title pending but "Working Actor (in progress)" is the frontrunner at the moment) in addition to my regular posts in the upcoming weeks to its release.

Oh yeah, in addition to the acting biz and office stuff, there'll probably be a small robot somewhere in there, too.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Busting the E-Ring

I had a great audition today for NBC's upcoming show, The E-Ring. It's about the inner workings of the Pentagon and it's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, so I think it's pretty safe to say it's going to be worth taking a look at. Anyway, the character I read for is awesome; he's got a great arc and a lot of emotional stuff. Would be so much fun to play. Actually, the audition itself was a lot of fun. And the casting director, Barbara Fiorentino (of Fiorentino/Mangieri/Weidman) was really great to play off of and very supportive. Not to say that a lot of other casting directors aren't supportive and ready to play... actually, yes, that's what I'm saying. Just a great experience. Man, I hope they realize how right I am for this role.

To no avail

Well, my avail period for Invasion has run out. Hopefully the producers will keep me in mind for future shows and the awesome casting directors over at Lieberman/Patton will keep me in mind for future roles.