Singing & Acting

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Been a couple busy days, folks. Really.

On Friday, I tried out for the role of a racist food truck guy. Now those of you who know me also know what I think of racists. I actually turned a guy in for being one back in 1982 when I was at Ft. Meade. Got him tossed out of the USAF. The movie is by a young director who, like me, DESPISES the N-word, any use of it, anywhere, anytime.

So we got along fine. It’s only one short scene for me, but that is how I usually like it. No lead roles for me, please. I’ll be the bartender, hotel clerk, any bit part, because that is what I like to do when I act.

I got the role and will let you know when you can see the movie.

Next up, I just found out that a script I wrote for a guy who used to be a bookie/collector may be filmed in the next year. Low-budget, but high intensity. That came out of the blue.

Finally, on Saturday, I went to an acoustic open mike at The Music Cafe in Damascus, MD. Really nice place. Good food. Friendly people. And the other musicians who showed up were excellent. There were a couple of folk duos who did some great old tunes with great old harmonies. The two surprises were: 1.) A Caucasian gentleman, round about my age, got up on stage and started off with an acoustic version of Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions’ IT’S ALL RIGHT; 2.) a young Black man who got up and started off with RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD. Not what you would expect from either one so it was a breath of fresh air. Both of these men did these songs, and others, true justice.

This isn’t one of those Open Mikes that take place late at night, either. It was a 2PM-4PM Open Mike. And The Music Cafe is not one of those dingy bars where the walls, floors and ceilings are all painted black. It’s bright and shiny and has some very cool album covers decorating the walls. They have a door length painting of Jimi Hendrix on the Men’s Room door and one of Janis Joplin on The Ladies Room door.

And they have great chili!!

I got up and did SWEET JANE by Lou Reed, I’M THINKIN’ IT’S MY DRINKIN’ by me and WELL-RESPECTED MAN by The Kinks. The owner is a Lou Reed fan so he enjoyed my set. I was told by a couple of young ladies and a couple of male country singers who were there that I need to record THINKIN’. In fact, the guys asked me if they could do the song in their act and promised to let everyone know where they heard it.

The good news about THINKIN’ is that I will be recording it in Feb/Mar and will have it up for sale online. I also plan to send it off to some country stations that take submissions by unknowns.

It’s nice to be told that your work is worth the effort you put into it. And I really have to pay my respects to The Mighty John Spokus for his input to my songs. He and I are now The Bagworms again (a duo) and we will be making and recording more original tunes in the coming months.

You can hear our stuff here:

Please feel free to pass those links along to everyone. I would greatly appreciate it.

Now…off I go to work on a script.

Casting Call for Full-Length Independent Film

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I am writing the script based on notes by the director. If you, or anyone else you may know, is interested in acting, then please let the production company know that you would like to audition. And please DO share this with lotsa folks. Thanks.

CASTING CALL

Full Feature Film

We are a low budget Los Angeles based company and will be shooting in and around the Baltimore area starting in May 2014.

Auditions will be held on Saturday, Jan 25th and Sunday, Jan 26th, 10AM to 4PM

 

Girl – 18 years old – clean cut rocker type, must be physically fit to run

Girl – 18 years old – cheerleader type, must be well groomed

Boy – 18 years old – clean cut rocker type

Boys – 18 – 21 years old –  hikers/stoners

Boys and girls – 18 years old – School band, cheerleaders and drama class type.

Boy – 8 to 10 years old – little brother, bike rider

Girl – 14 years old – younger sister

School principal – 50 to 60 years old

Mothers – 40 – 45 years old – 1 well groomed, 1 regular mom

Fathers – 45 years old

Women – 30 years old – hippie type, Spiritual Medium

Doctor –  50 – 60 years old

Park Ranger – 40 – 50 years old

School band members

Cheerleader squad

 

Please send head shot, resume if you have one and or demo reel to bammproductions@aol.com along with contact info – email address, phone number and age range.

YouTube TV/Movie Reviewers

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I really can’t stand most of them. My attitude is this: If you don’t like a TV show or movie, then shut your yap and make your own.

A lot of the reviewers are smarmy and annoying. But even the ones who aren’t do not know how to act in front of a camera. The ones who do that pointing move to get you to subscribe need to stop it. YouTube is not new. We know how it works. We know where the Subscribe button is.

So, if I don’t like them, why don’t I follow my own advice and make my own?

Why should I?

Are you going to watch something just because I make a video telling how great I think it is?

Are you going to avoid a TV show or movie because I make a video telling why I think it stinks?

No. You aren’t.

That’s because you’re smart. You have to be. You follow this blog, don’t you? J

And since you’ve taken the time to check out this rant, I’m going to give you a present.

Go to YouTube and check out ChiqueGeeks.

They are 2 British girls who watch Dr. Who and Sherlock and film their reactions while watching the show so it’s not really a review.

And they drink alcohol while doing it. So the reactions get funnier.

I WILL Win The Geek War At Work. Tomorrow.

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I get to work with some very cool people. But we, once in awhile, try to out-geek each other. And today was one of those days. 

Now, before we go on, we need to go back. To the Spider-Man Clone Saga.

My wife, Leslie, was a HUGE fan of Ben Reilly, The Scarlet Spider. And she was disappointed that Marvel did not put a Scarlet Spider t-shirt up for sale. For those of you who don’t know what that would look like, it would be a light blue color with a large black spider symbol on the front.

Let’s move up to Christmas 2013.

And gifts.

I had already decided to get Leslie a nice chunk of gift cards to her favorite things: Barnes&Noble; Panera Bread; and iTunes. But I felt like it wasn’t enough and decided to do a little searching. And this is what I came up with:

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I put the cards in with the hoodie and, when she opened the box, the cards went flying as she yanked the hoodie out. Her family was a little shocked because they had never seen her act like this for a gift. But I’ve been at her side for almost 20 years and I know things about her that they don’t. Obviously.

She has been wearing that hoodie around the house on almost a daily basis.

So I figured that I would go back to the site where I found the hoodie to see if there was anything that I would be interested in.

WOW!!

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A S.H.I.E.L.D. sweater and hoodie!!! In my size!!! 

My Must-Have warning system went all 3-alarm on me and I ordered them.

And today they arrived.

You probably think that all I will have to do is wear just one of these to work tomorrow and I will be Geek Numero Uno. However, the nice people who I ordered these from just happened to throw in two unexpected presents:

A S.H.I.E.L.D. button:

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And a Stark Industries Keychain:

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So..tomorrow…I will not only be Top Geek…I will flash these two items and destroy all competition. FOREVER!!!

BWA-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!!

BTW, the site is WeLoveFine.com

Andrew Vachss & Why You Need To Read His Books

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I owe a debt of gratitude that I will never be able to pay. That debt is to a librarian, Bonnie Andrews, who ran the base library on Iraklion Air Station, Crete, Greece for well over 20 years. I hope that by passing along what she did for me will help lessen what I owe.

I was in the library one day looking for something to pique my interest. I had already read the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald and the available Matt Scudder books by Lawrence Block so Bonnie dug out a book called FLOOD by a lawyer named Andrew Vachss. Now lawyers get a lot of grief in their lives. This guy? He gives grief. He gives it in great big steaming heaps that turn into Grief Mountain and you can’t climb it or drive around it. So you gotta plow your way through it.

The best way to do that? Read. His. Books.

Start with FLOOD.

“Burke’s newest client is a woman named Flood, who has the face of an angel, the body of a high-priced stripper, and the skills of a professional executioner. She wants Burke to find a monster for her — so she can kill him with her bare hands. In this cauterizing thriller, Andrew Vachss’ renegade private eye teams up with a lethally gifted avenger to follow a child’s murderer through the catacombs of New York, where every alley is blind and the penthouses are as dangerous as the basements. Fearfully knowing, crackling with narrative tension, and written in prose as forceful as a hollow-point slug, Flood is Burke at his deadliest — and Vachss at the peak of his form. “An extraordinary thriller. . . . Vachss never flinches from the horror.” — Washington Post Book World “Burke would eat Spade and Marlowe for breakfast, not even spitting out the bones. [He] is one tough, mean, pray-God-you-don’t-meet-him hombre.” — Boston Herald” – Amazon.com

And, somewhere along your journey through the Vachss books, you absolutely, positively have to read this one:

Batman: The Ultimate Evil – When millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne experiences a revelation about his childhood and transformation into Batman, he follows a trail of perversion to Southeast Asia to destroy the Ultimate Evil . . . or die.

Yeah. That’s right: The Dark Knight kicking the butts of evil people. The only difference is that these villains, though presented in a comic book universe, are real. And they’re out there now. And you, yes, YOU, can do something about it. No need to be a millionaire playboy whose parents have been murdered in front of him. No need to wear any kind of costume. You can simply be yourself.

So go to the comments section after you’ve read one or two books by Mr. Vachss (pronounced “Vax”, like “Fax”. With a “V”.), and let me know what you think.

And stay tuned to this page, because I’m going to reveal to you the perfect way to get into the fight to protect children from evil.

http://www.vachss.com/

Hey! What’s Yer Beef, Stu?

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http://busycooks.about.com/od/hotsouprecipes/r/cpeasybeefstew.htm

This super easy beef stew uses only five ingredients and is healthy and delicious.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium red potatoes
  • 1-1/2 lbs. beef stew meat
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups frozen stir fry bell peppers and onions

Preparation:

Scrub potatoes and cut each into quarters. Place in bottom of 4 quart slow cooker. Mix flour, salt and pepper and toss with beef to coat. Add to crockpot. Add undrained tomatoes and water and stir.Cover crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours until beef and potatoes are tender. Add stir fry vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are hot and tender.

It says to add salt and pepper to the flour, but I threw in a dash of turmeric, and a dash and a half each of onion and garlic powder and I am substituting 3 cups of frozen broccoli/carrots/cauliflower for the stir fry vegetables.. BTW, I am DEATHLY allergic to raw onions. And I thought I’d tell you that so you can send me easy slow cooker recipes that do not call for onions. On the other hand, I do have this ingredient conversion chart handy as well.

http://www.familytime.com/asp/conversion.asp?chart=2&UserId=&key=

And now, you have it.