Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SAG Card

Woohoo! I got my SAG card in the mail last week. I'm amazed how fast and easy my acting career has gone. I took my first acting classes in May and in September I'm already in the Screen Actors Guild. I met plenty of other people this summer who've been trying to get into SAG for years. Being in SAG has got me receiving a lot more availability checks so far, but since I already have a "real" job nothing has fit my schedule since Edge of Darkness at the beginning of the month. Being in SAG has however gotten me bounced from the independent projects I was supposed to be in. Since I had auditioned before I joined the union I was assured it was OK for me to be in them, but the producer is intimidated by SAG and thinks he can't use me now. Even if it was a problem, it would only be a problem for me not him, since I'm the one in the union. But like I told him, I don't need to argue with anyone just so I can work for free. That just tells me they doesn't really know what they're doing anyway, so I'm actually glad I won't get sucked into some nightmare of a production now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Washington DC

We're back home after a week down in DC visiting with Matt and Vee who live in California but spent the summer in Washington. I'd only visited our nation's Capitol once when I was in the 7th grade so we did all the traditional tourist sites, memorials and monuments. Our first tour of the city was on Sept 11 - so that was kind of weird, seeing all the flags at half-mast. But the whole week was a blast. We stayed in Georgetown so there was no end to the fantastic restaurants and bars and there were plenty of fellow Red Sox and Patriots fans all around. The only thing Lori really wanted to see was the Holocaust Museum, I thought it would be interesting but it was way better than that. We were told most people take 2 to 2 1/2 hours for it. We spent four hours there and easily could have spent two more, there are still sections we never got to and parts we raced through. There was a lot of history on Hitler's rise that I didn't know and the emotional impact of the rest of the exhibits, photos and stories took me by surprise. We even got to hear a survivor give a talk while we were there. The next day we checked out the Newseum - which again was much more fun than expected. We spent four hours there and it would have been longer but they were closing. There was a big 9/11 section and we got to watch an interview with two photographers who worked that day, including the guy who took the famous shot of the firemen raising the flag at ground zero. Between 9/11 and the Holocaust it was a much more emotional weekend than I would have figured for visiting friends. I recommend both museums highly - and plan on spending the whole day at each to really experience it all. Once again proving our compatibility, Lori and I breezed through the entire National Gallery of Art in just a couple hours.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Record Set At Fenway

Not only did we see a great game at Fenway Park last night when the Red Sox beat the Rays 3 to nothing to move just 1/2 game out of first place in the AL East, but we were part of a new Major League record; 456 consecutive sellouts. Everyone got commemorative tickets as we entered the park and there were videos and messages throughout the game listing 456 reasons for thanking the fans. My favorite was a video of Jason Bay saying "Thanks for welcoming the new guy." We were treated to a tremendous pitching effort from Jon Lester, a double by Big Papi, a home run by Jason "not Manny" Bay and a fist-pumping, river dancing save from Jonathan Paplebon.

And of course much of the talk in the crowd was about Tom Brady being lost for the season. But I'm psyched for an exciting NFL season. I LOVE that the Patriots will be back to being the disrespected underdogs - they thrive that way. Being expected to just blow everyone away just doesn't make for exciting games. So bring on the Cassel era (at least till next season).

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Unthinkable

For New England fans, the unthinkable has happened. Tom Brady has gone down. After a preseason that gave a peek as to what football life would be without Tom Terrific, him going down in the first quarter of today's season opener against the Chiefs was very eerie. I didn't see the hit on Tom as I was busy watching Randy Moss lose the ball as he hit the ground. But I quickly saw Tom Brady laying on the ground being treated and then limping off with help. The Gillette crowd showed some class in applauding Matt Cassel as he entered the game - a huge turn of events from the boos that rained down on him in the preseason. Most fans were very surprised that Cassel survived the final cuts and even made the roster, now the game (and possibly many more games) rely on him. Matt did enough to win, which is all we can ask for. The most shocking thing wasn' t seeing Tom get hurt, but the fact that he didn't return. That has never happened before. Tonight the stories are that it's a major left knee injury for Brady. The season just got a whole lot more uncertain and interesting.

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Edge of Darkness

Yesterday Lori and I both worked as extras on the Mel Gibson movie "Edge of Darkness." Robert DeNiro had been in it as well, until Thursday that is. News broke Friday that DeNiro was out due to "creative differences" with director Martin Campbell. There were plenty of rumors on set regarding "fired" or "quit", but I'm just bummed I didn't get the chance to see DeNiro in action. What we did get to do was join over 300 other extras in taking over South Station in Boston for the opening scenes of the movie; Mel arriving at the station to pick up his daughter. We had to be on location for 5:30am, get checked-in then cleared by wardrobe and makeup then a quick bus ride to South Station. We were on set around 7am, rehearsing by 8am and rolling the first take by 9am. Lori and I were part of a group of people arriving from a train - we just had to exit the train and walk down the platform towards the station a few dozen times. I saw lots of other actors I had met earilier this summer on "The Surrogates" and even recognized one actor and a grip from the first movie I ever worked on, "A Question of Trust" way back in 1996. Also had a chance to talk to the electrician from "Illegal Aliens" as he was working on this crew too.
Later in the morning we moved inside South Station and were part of the crowd of commuters. I had to walk in front of Mel as he entered the scene, then later picking up other shots of that scene my starting point was literaly a foot in front of Mel. He was very good natured and clowning a bit. He looks much older than the 52 he's listed as, I thought he was in his sixties.
Since South Station was still an open and operating train station there were many retakes due to regular people wandering into scenes. At one point a Japanese couple came close to taking Mel out with their luggage as they rushed through the crowd to get to their train. Earlier I was positioned by a set PA to stand and chat with a girl then walk across the scene after a couple beats. Before we started rolling I asked the girl if this her first day on the movie. She said she'd been to South Station a few times before. Then I noticed she had her MBTA card on the table, so I asked if she was part of the movie. She said "What movie?". I flagged down the PA to let him know she wasn't an extra so we explained to her that we were shooting a movie and she had wandered onto a hot set. So she went to sit somewhere else and wait for her train. We worked until around 3pm, blowing right thru lunch, then the extras were all released. Yay! Cause I was spent and starving by then. Hopefully we'll get called again for Darkness, it is shooting through December.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Death Magnetic. Best. Album. Ever

Last night Metallica debutted about half of the new album "Death Magnetic" which will officialy be released next Friday Sept 12. And though I've only heard 6 songs so far - it's not a big stretch to say this is their best album yet. You can check it out yourself:
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/BLABBERMOUTH.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=104111

Sweet - just got phone call from Boston Casting, I'm working on "Edge of Darkness" tomorrow. Lori was booked for this a few days ago, now we both have to be at South Station in Boston for 5:30am, so goodnight!

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Acting Family

Back in July Lori and I both went to an open casting call for Showtime's TV Series "The Brotherhood". Well she got the call last week and yesterday was her first day as a professional background performer - that's the politcally correct way to refer to extras these days. She was set to play the exciting role of "neighbor" and in true pro acting fashion her first day went as many days do; she wasn't used at all. But she had fun being on set and meeting other people including some of the leads like Jason Isaacs (whom she didn't realize was the evil Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter until she got home).
Tonight we are off to see James Ray live in Boston. James was one of the people featured in The Secret and I've been hoping he'd come to the area for years. I've read his book "Harmonic Wealth" and have heard many interviews and calls with him but haven't seen him live ever.
And then Sunday we have the much anticipated home opener for the Patriots where we'll see if the winless preseason matters or not. Then Monday we've got tickets for the Red Sox - Rays game and I still can't believe the playoffs are going through Tampa Bay this year. Those guys came out of nowhere and have stayed on top all season. Amazing.

Update: Damn! Lori just got called to work on "Edge of Darkness" this Saturday in Boston. I've got to stop bringing her to casting calls, she's taking all my work!