Tuesday, July 25, 2006

'Wildfire' set, with 'Dana Hee'

Tuesday came fast this week due to the casting call for the made for TV third season series 'Wildfire' that I received from 'D'... She really showed up and I got to meet her. She is prettier in person than even on the phone. (thank you 'D' as well as your very competant and helpful associates) Now this was a fun day. The waiting, for time on the set was a little long , but the afternoon camera time was worth every hour of wait. Only about 6 or 8 people got bit by the ants that we shared the floor with. A little powder fixed the problem quickly. The ants went to bed early on this day. The 'holding' tent was then ant free.
A lot of friends from previous films were present. Oom-Pa-Pa Mau-Mau was there. As a matter of fact I turned in the wrong road and she honked her horn to get me to follow her to the correct road...Isn't she sweet? She was sitting next to the Auctioneer, as his very attractive assistant. Several of the people from Comanche Moon, Wild Hogs, and even Bierfest II were there. During the filming of Comanche Moon, 'Curly' killed an Indian several times after he was dead, we joked about it while we had a reunion of sorts under the big old cottonwood near the extras holding tent, at Algodones NM North of Bernalillo. The Horse farm was real and had grass with a small amount of mud instead of blowing dirt. Now that is even better. We got to stay clean.
I had the extreme pleasure of meeting a very beautiful, tall, blond, young school teacher that lived in Gallup for a couple of years. She decided to try the acting business for a change of pace. She will do just fine. She seemed to like the 'trade' and will probably become famous some day. Look for her at the auction ring next to a tall dashing young man, wealthy young Patrons no doubt. I wish you well my young friend and hope to see you again on many more future film sets.

Now for the treat of the day. If you Google 'Dana Hee' you will find another beautiful young fiery redhead actress, stunt woman extraordiaire'. I had the once in a lifetime priviledge of being alongside her during one of her stunts. During the 'Wildfire' Auction scene, Dana reached out to touch the beautiful talented black horse named 'Taz' as it pranced past us. She was accordingly, 'quite tipsy' as the old films described it. She flawlessly executed a dramatic tumble into the path of the passing black horse. She did this many times to get everything exactly correct for this 'incident' She is a professional through and through. It was my extreme pleasure to have worked with you 'Dana', Have a great and wonderful career. I sense that you already enjoy life to the fullest. Keep it up, you are a doll.
The black horse can do a lot of tricks and seems to really enjoy the performing. He even reared up and tapped his hoof on the table of the arena Patrons, sending all running. Again, that was done several times to perfect the image for the camera. Watch for the scene when Dana's action sets off the chain of events causing the Stars to put on a great performance trying to calm the horse. (actually the horse even has a double) The announcer was repeating "Mr Ritter, please control your horse". Matt Ritter as well as Pablo, Charlotte and John sipping his wine and remaining calm, "ride 'em Cowboy" was his line, are all involved in this scene. The other background actors ran and did the fine acting that followed. Cameron Diaz was present as well. Another Honor. I was priviledged to observe all of this action while being with the 'Perp' Dana. The day ended all to soon. I look forward to seeing all of my new friends on another film set some time...Now honestly, isn't this business fun?

Monday, July 24, 2006

'Ray Tracer' to 'Raster'

Well today is Monday about 5 AM. Walking the two miles round trip to the nearest Mc Don's is on 'My Agenda'. (more about that later) Their new coffee is really good and a lot more reasonable than Starbucks. Mc Don's is 50 cents for seniors. They open at 6 AM so no rush. I can do the mile in about 10 minutes. Obviously no speed record. The Dawn comes a little latter each morning now as the days shorten on the morning end. A grocery store opens in the area at 6 AM as well. The Magazine rack has a few new publications to peruse while sipping my coffee. A man from Singapore gets torqued at my 'reading without buying' method. I do buy when I find a good issue like the Scientific American has at times.
It seems each publication no matter what it is, has an ..'Agenda' ..We all do of course. Now the thing that is difficult is to sort out the ones that agree with your own. We shall call them ..'Us'..the ones that do not agree with our own we shall call ..They'.. Sometimes refered to as ''They Say'', said with a disgusted look on our faces. What is your 'Agenda' ? I for one, have changed my 'Agenda' several times in my life depending on my Faith, beliefs and observations of the world. The influence for change is aquired by reading the facts woven into the 'Agendas' of others. None of us can know with any surety, what is correct to do at any given time. All we can do is draw on our lifes experience and History, which has documented the experience of others.
Some people paid dearly to make their mark in 'History'. Others have gained fame and notoriety in History by doing something that paid off in the long run against all odds. Abraham Lincoln ......'was' .....the most hated President in History...Enough said?
Only 'History' will tell. I am talking about long term, not the next few years. I am not even sure hundreds will do. Some things do not change for hundreds of years.
The Technology field is the only one I am aware of, that changes every few months. The film industry is slowly changing from 'Film' to digital. The new availability of massive amounts of memory and the speed of processors is bringing about this change. The older 'Raster' technology is being replaced by 'Ray Tracer'. The extremely prosperous video gaming industry is the driving force behind it. Better and better graphics is the result, as any 'Gamer' can tell you, (if they want to).
We will be better served in the airline industry by the availability of cockpit terrain videos that are true 3 D images of the mountains surrounding the ends of the runways. The pilots will see in real time a terrain that looks clear and real, even in total darkness or fog and storms. Some pilots in the past paid dearly for not knowing what ly ahead during takeoff and landing. Gulfstream is one of the manufacturers that is placing some of this new technology in front of their pilots. John Travolta owns a Gulfstream. (trivia) The possibilities are endless for this newest of imagery. The medical field will be totaly revolutionized. The doctors will be able to see inside without cutting open and looking around at the exposed parts. Star Trek is happening Doc!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

MH Grease Job

The day is Saturday, so no big exciting happenings other than an oil change I accomplished on the Jeep. Getting it ready for a trip in tow behind the Motorhome. It takes me longer than it used to. I have no idea why, other than the years have removed some of the 'speedy' from my crawling around under the engine and doing the grease job, changing the filter and recalling how many quarts of oil each vehicle takes. It requires a look at the book lately.
I used to have all of that memorized. I will say my priorties have changed from my younger years.
The Motorhome is much bigger but similiar in process. A lot more grease fittings. the Jeep has only two, one at the top of each steering knuckle. The thirty-five foot class A Motorhome has a total of 13, if you include each of the three seperate linked drive shafts and their 4 universal joints. It is a long 'creeper' ride from the front to the back under the framework. You get to take a rest while locating each fitting.
The motorhome had a vibration when new and dealers could not find it. I finally found a universal joint that was bolted in place, off center enough to cause it. I loosened it and banged it back to center and all has been great ever since. The dealerships also do not have a 'fitting' to fit the hard to access, grease nipples, so it never got grease for the first 10,000 miles, other than the factory installed grease. I also addressed that problem right away, I made my own.
It has about 44,000 miles now. It sees a lot of this great nation. It will see some more soon. the price of gas is worth it in exchange for the adventure. The citizens of the USA pay less than most any country in the world, especially when you take into consideration our earnings compared to theirs. Look it up on Gasbuddy.com or any of the other gas sites if you don't believe it.
Remember 'they' sell and price their gas in litres. Roughly 3.8 litres per gallon, all men should know this, it is printed on the Urinals in men's restrooms in the USA. Most of the other nations have exhorbitant taxes to allow only the very wealthy to drive. That keeps us lowlife at home or on buses in those countries. Enjoy life in this wonderful USA, it's a little pricey but worth every dollar..

Friday, July 21, 2006

Duke City Shootout

Today started at 2 am when I woke up to a revelation from my first years of life. I started a blog but lost it due to not being fully awake. I recieved a notice of another casting call from my friend (first Lady of the day) during Comanche Moon. We met at the 'Satelite Cafe' on central to exchange Resumes with one of the casting people for the Duke City Shootout, the 48 hour filming to be done this weekend. Of course we mildly inflated our lifes (this years) work in the industry. Now what would you call a resume like that? 'Dreamworks'? No, that is a real production company..I may have to think about this a little longer, enough to get some more film experience. Of course then I will be worth more... and will then be too expensive...Then I will not be able to find work...Just what we need, another out of work actor. Maybe I will stick to just having fun and enjoying this film stuff..Whadda Ya Thank?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

'Il Vicino'

We just returned from an evening meal at MYKONOS Greek Cafe on 5900 Eubank blvd NE in ABQ NM. Greeks seem to know how to cook don't they. We enjoy the Pita with 'Kabobed' chicken and their sauce. I'll try the word, Souvlaki? It is great with a beer or wine.

We took my wifes Mom with us. She is 94 years old and still drives well during daylight hours. Her sister is almost 103 and lives in West Texas. She no longer drives the tractor. Now maybe a mule or two at plowin' but no tractors for her...Ha! That country livin' and food must bring longevity.

The day was a regular with two or three mile walks. It's less boring when I bounce a tennis ball down the street At 5:30 AM. I like the sound of it..Neighbors sleeping ,..Whadda Ya Thank?

Another little Cafe we like is IL VICINO at 11225 Montgomery NE ABQ NM. The name gives it away as Italian. Bubba still throws and spins the pizza high in the air during his 'Bubba Show'. The 'Big Lion' Oven has a large open mouth with the wood fire inside. Nice place in the winter months for comfort food. Summer time the patio is great. Wine and Brews are special as well. I missed seeing any actors there this week.

Food takes up this blog tonight. tomorrow brings another story from the 'Mile High' plus city of ABQ NM. Ya'al Come Back Now, Ya Heaa!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Call for 'Wildfire'

Aha! The phone just rang and the 'Casting call' just came in for me to be in the TV series 'Wildfire'...One day only, so far, but thats allright. I'll take it for now. I will be in the 'California Horse Auction' scene as a background Extra. I will be dressed in a suit or upscale casual. I need to bring three different wardrobes to be picked from.
Now that is what we 'Extras' look forward to. Hearing the phone ring and being asked if we are available to be in a film. I like the sound of my 'Characters appearance' already. I like horses anyway having owned a few, years ago. I did attend the auction's a few times myself. The same casting director that I worked with on 'Wild Hogs' called me for this. Now isn't that the greatest feeling. Being remembered by anyone is good, but to be remembered out of many other applicants is really a good feeling...Thank you 'D'

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Turtles are quite the best pet you can have in the back yard, according to my wife of 38 years. Turtles only come to the backdoor to eat the food (canned catfood with a shot of cod liver oil) as well as a couple of Superworms (like the ones 'people' eat on Fear Factor) Papiya and Apricots, when the snail supply gets scarce.
You do not have a monthly Vet bill. No one in the neighborhood needs know that you have an unregisterd pet. They do not kill the neighbors cat. (Some neighbors get a little upset at that sort of pet).
They do not 'bark' at night (at least not that I can hear), We can go on vacation without leaving them in someones care. They are not destructive. Turtles mate pretty quietly. No loud carrying on like other species. (Cats)
A few turtles we have, respond to my wife calling them, That is fact, I have seen it from time to time. They also look at you when the food given them is gone, as if to say 'More'?
The Superworms give a fair amount of fight, that seems to excite the turtles, carnivores/omnivores, that they are. 'Prehistoric', is the look they have.
Now isn't that fun to save something 'Prehistoric' in your own (Jurasic Park) back yard?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Selling Cars,experiences

Perception? How we are percieved by others seems to be one of the main driving forces in our day to day life. I learned that simple fact from Jack, my Mazda Mgr. during the time I sold cars. Jack was referring to the type of car most people chose to purchase. The type and color of car they will be seen as owning and driving, not only by their friends but by perfect strangers.
Steve, my Subaru Sales Mgr, Taught me how to come across as gracious as possible, even when the customer was being, shall we say, Difficult.

Dave, the Finance Mgr. taught me how to read people by their credit records. That does not mean 'everything' as he showed me many times after getting their 'paper' 'bought' by a bank. He had to 'Sell' the good qualities about the people to the Bank.
Angelo taught me how to smile when things were not going 'Smiley'.
The rest of the sales force taught me the art of giving the customer a good first impression of yourself. 'Perception', Their first 'perception' of you is the one they remember. Repeat sales depends on their first 'perception' of you as their sales representative.
What does this have to do with our 'trade'? Well for one, it gets us a job as an 'extra' in the film we are applying for. The Casting people can read people very well. They are, as you well are aware, seeing 'Actors' every day.
Now comes the hard part... What image, through language or dress or behavior, are you giving people in your everday relationships with others? ..What is our societies 'Perception of YOU?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wild Hogs set with 'JOHN TRAVOLTA

Reading the Sunday Journal today, shows the amount of money now being spent to educate the New Mexico College crowd in, among all things; the Film Industry. Our Universities are offering courses in Digital 'Animation' as well as other Crew trades. Now those are what we need instead of more mundane courses like 'Law', we have more than enough of 'that' to go around.

The person I admired the most on the set of 'Wild Hogs', filmed in Madrid NM, is John Travolta. What a nice man. He walked over to me twice during the breaks in filming. Both times we spoke about his passion for flying. I gave him a book 'Born to Fly' by shane Osborn. You may recall the US Navy Lockheed Orion 'survellance plane' rammed into by the Chinese fighter jet, in international waters off the coast of China during the first weeks of the Bush administration. (the first crises) John said he was reading it before bed and liked it.

A great book to learn the truth about what actually occured, without the 'Media Spin'. John has an apparently semi-photographic memory. He seldom rehearsed his lines, yet made no problems, to be 'cut'. Astonishingly Johns stunt double, stand in, is not only of the same character as john, walks and stands like him, but also walked up to me twice to talk about the area and our filming. I could not say the same about Tim Allen. He had to constantly re-learn his lines. This gave him the appearance of being 'standoffish'.

Martin Lawrence was pretty darn good. William H Macy was very funny and great at improvisation when things went awry. the dance floor scene was complicated when Marissa Tome' spun off the floor. William H Macy kept the flow moving through the little flaws, seamlessly. Robbie, the director is in the scene wearing a dark flowered cowboy shirt. He, like Alfred Hitchcock likes to be placed somewhere in each film. Look for him in his other work.

Remember Roscoe P Coltrane in 'The Dukes of Hazard movie years ago? Well he, MC Gainy, is one of the two bad bikers looking for 'The Wild Hogs'. You would never recognise him today. Fun guys to work with. I was in the 'Carnival Scene'. I parked the 'Rolling house' in Madrid for 11 days and worked for nine days, or should I say a few all nighters, Dusk to Dawn. The nighthawks loved the first nights with the brilliant lights and the flying moths.

A 'Grip' is a hard working person that I truely respect. The 'Techs' are very intelligent and fun to speak to. In most cases, they will inform you of what is going on if you just ask. Do not ask at the busiest time. When the 'Grip' is supporting the difuser screen during a breeze and takes the time to tell you just what he or she does, now that is 'Quality' time.

On the set of 'Wild Hogs' I ran into just such a person. We all enjoyed his comments and knowledge. He came from a backgroound in Modern Dance of all things. Are not people just the most surprising things? Have you ever asked what people have done in their lives? It may surprise you to find out they are interesting people just like yourself. When I meet the people in 'Wardrobe' or any of the other 'Crafts' represented on the set, I always think to myself; What have these folks done before? What is in their future. What 'Goals' are they heading for? The same questions can be asked about all of the 'Extras' as well.

I tend to observe the people around me. I especially enjoy waiting in line for the chance to present yourself at 'The Casting Call'. Most of them will share with you, their experiences of life and what plans they have for the future. Now that is 'Quality' time spent during the long wait for the words ; Background...Action!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Audition for '48hr'

Da Flikkers I just returned from two casting calls. One is the 48 hour film coming up next weekend. I had been practicing the last few days, my story of The Edmund Fitzgerald but They handed me a script to read from, in front of the camera. It was a part for a 'Geezer' (I can do that) leading a group of ner'do well senior citizens out to change the local world. As is the custom...They said "we will call you".
Next stop was for 'The Hitcher'. Had to wait in the sun a while for that one. I will be unavailable for more than a few days of filming on that one. They are doing another film in September that they might call me for. The HItcher is scary . Sounds like a fun film to work in. It involves a 'psycho dude' hitchiker, if you read the Amazon.com revue of the one made in 1984. A lot of people waiting in line to sign up for that one. We got to stand for a 'headshot', were given a number and then they said "We will call you","NEXT" as is the custom. Maybe something will come out of this day. I saw a few old friends from other films. Thats always fun. I heard that Wild Hogs 'wrapped' last night in Madrid NM. I liked doing that one. Matter of fact I like all of the films I had a part in.