A Note

Volunteering at the dog shelter has been occupying way too much time as of late. I’ve been scratched and nipped, I have felt uncomfortable, sad, angered, frustrated… but I also have felt love, hope, joy, excitement, and happiness. Cleaning up dog excrement may be far from glamorous… but it is completely honest. Opening gates and leashing dogs you don’t know or trust can be nerve wracking the first times you do it, but if no one walks the dogs, what chance to they have of not going mad, or finding homes? Heck, even most of America’s most hardened, incarcerated, criminals get an hour of yard time a day, and most of the dogs at the shelter did nothing wrong, they just happened to get lost, misunderstood, old, under-trained, or circumstances changed in their owner’s lives that forced them to give them up…

When I volunteered yesterday, I was delighted to have received a thank you note and picture of two elderly dogs that found a new home a few weeks back… I was also elated to have a terrified dog want to spend time with me (in her kennel) wagging her tail the whole time… I was overjoyed to see video of a dog that was too scared to come out of her kennel walking around and moving freely in the yard after one of the key volunteers carried her there. 

It really is a tragedy that so many shitty people are in the public spotlight, humans who are the furthest thing from positive role models in my opinion. Most of the time doing “good” work is thankless. At the shelter, 95% of the time we never hear from the people that we help or see pictures of the happy dogs in their new homes. [Though maybe I’ll start implementing a new idea I just came up with… creating fantasies of receiving letters and pictures directly from dogs who I feel like I may have helped improve their lives while at the shelter or by finding them a new home.]

We all matter. Everyone. All creatures are part of the greater WE. I grew up being told that WE are all God’s creatures, and that we should treat others the way WE would like to be treated. WE should treat others the way WE would want others to treat OUR mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, friends, or pets. Have I failed at this at times? Unquestionably yes, but we/I are/am flawed, and today and tomorrow are new opportunities for all of us to become better.

Regardless of whether or not WE receive thank you notes, WE can all choose to make a positive difference, to matter, WE can choose to help, to improve the lives of people in and out of our communities, or animals, whether it is when WE are being paid to do jobs, when WE are volunteering, or even when WE are just walking down the street.

It really does cost nothing to be kind and decent, but it really is worth so much. Thank YOU for every selfless, positive, and amazing thing you have done in the past, that you do today, and that you choose to do tomorrow.

– Quiche Out

Two Thank You Notes & a T-shirt.

ThankYouNotes April 2014

Honestly, I’m not really sure what I’m doing with my life right now, or what I want to be when I grow up… Those who “follow” my career know that the cards haven’t been falling in my favor with theatrical (TV and Film) work as of late… And though it’s easier to blame others, I have to take full responsibility.

So, when I was asked to help out with a few things this weekend… To help others with their pursuit of “dreams,” I had a hard time saying “no.”

I didn’t run the ideas up flag poles, ask my agents or manager, I didn’t consider ramifications, my career, what I might be giving up, or even take a public opinion poll…. I just said “Yes.”

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I don’t know if my drive to UCSB, and time on a Sunday, was truly appreciated by any of the students who asked questions, or if any of the answers I gave were truly valued by the people asking… AND it’s not really for me to say. BUT I will tell you that the reason I was asked up there to speak, was that the senior organizing the event, remembered me from speaking at UCSB 4 years ago, when she was a freshman… And on Sunday, before we started, she told me that a piece of advice I gave, at that point, had helped her focus her future career goals over the past three years.

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And on Friday and Saturday night, while it was an ego challenge to play a tiny cameo, in a tiny basement theater in Silverlake… basically sitting in the audience for an entire show, not smiling or enjoying myself, not recognizing friends… Playing a character in order to support others on stage who were being talented, funny and the “stars”… On the second night, I got two surprises while exiting…

The first one was as I was actually being highly praised by a woman from Orange County, that I didn’t know (“How did you not crack a smile the whole time? You’re amazing!”)… Her friend, stunned me, when he ineffectively whispered to her, how he has heard me sing a few times at different venues in Los Angeles, and how, “great” a singer I was… And how she had to hear me sing live.

It was sort of  like a sketch and slightly comical when she then turned to me and said, “I hear you’re a great singer too.”

The second surprise happened when I sat down at the bar… When the bartender delivered my drink, he disclosed that he had really enjoyed my work in a stage show years ago… And when he told me the title of the show… I was again floored. That show was over 10 years ago!

So… While thank you notes and T-Shirts don’t pay rent, don’t go towards pensions, buy fancy cars, get highlighted on tabloid TV shows, don’t get talked about in deal making lunches, make you a “name” and help you book a series regular role or feature film… Doing things that aren’t “career moves,” “don’t add up,” “make sense to do,” or “make you a star…” Well… They do have value.

– Quiche Out

PS. The weekend’s experience, led me to saying “Yes,” to something next weekend… Just ’cause you never really know what happens when you do say, “Yes.”

PSS. The show was very funny on Friday & Saturday and I recommend it if they ever do it again, and the students at UCSB on Sunday were all very sweet, and I wish them all a ton of good fortune.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Breaking Bad” – Gift

A few days ago I wrote a blog… “Classy Moves ‘Breaking Bad'”
Yesterday, a gift from “Breaking Bad” arrived.

“BREAKING BAD UPON THE MOUNT”
http://www.pyramidcar.com/breaking-bad-print/

Thank you Vince & Breaking Bad.

– Quiche Out

 

Classy Moves – “Breaking Bad”

1010872_10151603088211809_721146189_n 27695_407824851808_2871481_n Yesterday my manager called… Apparently the production of “Breaking Bad” wants to send me something, as a thank you, for choosing to be part of their show. I don’t know if it’s a note, or a small bag of crystal blue meth… And it really doesn’t matter… I so appreciate the thought, and how classy the production and people of the show have been all the way through.

It really doesn’t take much to make people happy in this world, to acknowledge and validate others. I hope I’ve learned from the nicest, most classy ones, and always remember to follow their examples.

Do you have an example you’d like to share in the comment section below? Something I can learn from?

Below are a few examples of classy moves from my past… There is no way I can list all the great people, productions or scenarios throughout the years… Theater, TV, and Film… And it’s not about notes, gifts or swag… A smile, a handshake, a “welcome,” “hello,” “can I show you around,” “I can take that picture for you,” or a “thank you,” goes a long long way.

  • 3rd Rock From The Sun… Jon Lithgow, invited the entire cast to 3rd Rock sketch - smallhis dressing room before the live taping and gave the guest cast a sketch of the episode. The show followed up with thank you & Holiday Card.
  • JJ Abrams, sent a thank you note after I worked on Alias.
  • On the set of The Glades, Ron Underwood, the director, sat with me at lunch, and we chatted undisturbed. The next day I worked, he came up to me and mentioned all the Closet Singer songs he had watched.
  • I worked one-day, with one line on the movie The Animal, with Rob Schneider, and the production sent me a cast jacket…

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Thanks & Fun 19 Seconds

First a big thank you to all that came out to Twisted Misters & Sisters… I’ll most likely write more this coming week, but thank you. There are some pictures posted on the Facebook page... https://www.facebook.com/TwistedMistersandSistersBPokL4UCcAA6gWx

Another thank you goes to John Mitchell, who I worked with years ago, and out of the blue asked me if I would be game to interview two writers on camera. I loved the experience, and while I don’t know how it will come out… I loved the experience. It helped that the project “Two Boys From Brooklyn” sounds fascinating, and the writers were great, friendly, talkative people. More on that all later… But I just wanted to thank John for giving me the opportunity to try something new… Maybe there will be more interviews in my future.

Next… Recently I posted all four promos that I did for Comedy Central, and you can see them all individually if you read posts from last week… Or by watching Comedy Central, online or cable. Today I decided to attempt to cut them together for fun… I couldn’t seem to make the 4th one fit without going to black, a title card or using some other footage… But here are the 3 cut together, using only what they aired… See it below. Let me know if you dig it.

Lastly, I’m in the process of cutting something from The Glades episode, and may have that up soon, but you can still see the complete episode online http://www.aetv.com/the-glades/video/-episode-407-gypsies-tramps-and-thieves-36143683842

– Quiche Out

Excuse Me – A Thank You To Steve Martin

A week ago I wouldn’t have imagined writing this blog, however, about 5 days ago, while I was checking out a few plays and music books from the Atwater Branch of the LAP Library, I stumbled across Steve Martin’s book on CD, entitled “Born Standing Up.”

Having once again hit a bit of a show biz and life funk, in a period of obvious career retardation, I figured, maybe it would bring me a chuckle in-between rewrites of the book I’m working on, the rare audition I’m going out for, the memorization of lyrics to a few new songs I’m forcing myself to learn, while I wait for that big ass phone call to come in telling me I’m good enough, or those Internet projects I’ve recently shot to blow up go viral and “save the day.”

Now, I have to say while I’ve enjoyed Steve Martin’s humor for as long as I can remember, (SNL, Johnny Carson…) I now understand why I didn’t get all his jokes and material when he first broke on to the scene.  He is one of the leads in one of my favorite movies, “Parenthood,” his “The Jerk” stops me in my tracks whenever it’s on a TV I’m passing and I quote it on occasion, and I can’t help think of his stand up whenever someone says, “Excuse me,” no matter how they say it. But with those examples and dozens of others, I have to say that listening to him read from his book, while driving around Los Angeles this past week in my hybrid SUV, this book may now be my new favorite.

While it’s easy enough to say you’re a fan of someone, I don’t know if ever do that. I admire people’s talents, or work… I’m impressed with their drive, or passion… I enjoy what they do from project to project or how they’ve expressed a simple or complex idea. And up till the beginning of the first disk, I was most impressed with the things everyone knew about Steve Martin, his most known works. “Wild and crazy guys!!!”

However, after listening to those four CDs, I’m now possibly more impressed with the things I had no idea about. I do believe timing IS just about EVERYTHING, and had I heard this CD years ago, it wouldn’t have had the same effect or have been recorded, but as it played on my factory installed stereo system, parts of it deeply resonated in my brain and soul. His two audition stories, his willingness to continue to bomb, his willingness to try new things, to push envelopes, to dissect comedy. His first fifteen Tonight Show appearances. The fact he didn’t live in Los Angeles or New York City, two places that I have had difficultly living. His seemingly long road of poverty, his stubborn belief, his television writing career that he walked away from, his constant evolution, development, and reincorporation of things he had learned or discovered. Where the arrow came from, and why he chose to wear a  white suit with a vest. How bits evolved, how and jokes and life imploded. Just as fascinating were his words and thoughts about after his act sharpened, and the public became more and more aware of him. What issues came up after he had become one of the biggest comedy draws in the world, selling millions of records and selling out stadiums… It was all personally fascinating.

While I guess I had always felt he was a man of unquestionable talent and great timing, what was left with me after I returned the CD today, was actually a quote that I had recently read, which, only after I handed back the autobiography I had mostly forgotten.

“Believe in your passion. Believe in your power. Believe in being stubborn.”

~ Diane Warren

Whether or not I ever have any greater level of success then I’ve already achieved in my local fairground roller-coaster of an entertainment career, I can honestly say that while I have no idea how, I truly feel that I will become an even better artist, performer, creator, actor, singer and writer for having picked up that book on CD and having listened to him read his words…

So, thank you Steve Martin for having the balls to blaze the path you chose to take, for all the laughs along the way, and for the bravery to put this particular book out there so that I could hear it this past week. I hope you continue to evolve and challenge yourself and your audiences. I look forward to seeing what’s next.

Thank you,

– Quiche Out