The L.A. Report Part 3

03-16-1999

 

Hi Everybody!

I know it's been awhile since my last report but I've been a busy boy!

One of my main goals in my move to L.A. was to get an agent.  After sending
my headshot and resume to 121 agencies, I got called by four of them.  The
first one asked to see my demo tape and called me back to say they couldn't
represent me because I "would be in conflict with several other clients they
already represent", which I think is supposed to mean that they already have
several actors of my type and we would be competing against each other.
'Course it could have just been a nice way of saying they weren't interested
in me.  The second one called me in for an audition but never called me back
for a second reading.  I made an appointment to see the third one but had to
cancel it because the fourth one accepted me!  I don't know if the agency
(Carter Wright Talent Agency) is any good or not.  They've been in business
since 1957 (good sign) but it's run by one guy who sometimes works 'til
midnight (good sign) in a tiny, crappy office (bad sign) on Hollywood
Boulevard (good sign) that represents an actor I talked to who says they
send him out on a lot of auditions (good sign).  So we'll see.  The worst
that could happen is that he wouldn't send me out enough and I'd drop him
when somebody better came along.

I've finally started doing some extra work.  I worked on Mad About You one
day last week.  I was in an New York street scene, pretty close to the main
actors so you should be able to see me.  The best part of it was that Carol
O'Connor (Archie Bunker) and Carol Burnett were both on the show; they play
Helen Hunt's parents.  Carol Burnett looked just how I remembered her but
Carol O'Conner looked very different (old with white hair (he must be 75 or
80 years old)).  It was the last episode for the season and the show is
ending this year so it was the last chance to work on it.  It should be on
sometime in April or May.  It's on Monday nights on NBC at 8:00 Central time
(I think) but I think something else is temporarily running in its place.

Today I worked on The X-Files.  I played a participant at some kind of
convention for defense contractors.  When they take a break in the meeting
and we're all milling about, some guy walks in and shoots a woman who was
one of the panelists.  I was right between the gunman and the victim so you
should plainly see me here, too.  They even used a slow-motion camera so I
should be quite visible.  Scully comes in at the end of the scene to look at
the victim.  That was a long day (14 and a half hours), although Scully
(whatever her real name is) was only there for about an hour.  I think that
episode is the second to the last of the season so I don't know when it will
air - probably April.  It runs on Fox, I think on Friday nights, although it
may have something else running in its place right now, too.

Most actors out here seem to take a lot of classes.  There's an actor in my
apartment complex who works on General Hospital and he said even he was
feeling rusty and felt like taking a class.  So I've taken a few classes and
done some showcases.  Showcases are meetings of 10 - 20 actors or so where
you perform scenes for the group and usually at least one representative
from an agency and one casting director.  Sometimes you're given feedback
and sometimes people have landed agents from these or have gotten called in
for auditions.

I'm also still looking for a computer contract.  I had an interview Friday
for one but it was in a DOS (antiquated, clumsy operating system) shop so I
called the agency representing me and declined it.  I have another interview
this week for a contract in a MVS (most common, most current operating
system found in large companies) shop.

I'm enjoying the Oakwood Apartments.  I had to move to a different building
a couple of weeks ago because my cell phone wasn't able to get reception in
the first-floor apartment I was in.  So now I'm in a third-floor unit and
it's much better.  My new address is 3654 Barham Blvd. #Q310, Los Angeles,
CA  90068
.  Phone (323) 878-6151.

It's nice having all this wild land behind me.  I've heard a Great-Horned
Owl on several nights so a couple nights ago I went out in my parking lot
and saw him.  I could just see his silhouette at the very top of a tree about
50 feet from my building.  And speaking of birds, I saw a hummingbird in
South Central L.A. last Friday and another one on my running route the next
day.  When I run at the Lake Hollywood Reservoir I hear lots of birds that I
can't identify, too.

My apartment is a good place to meet people, too.  Probably 80% of them are
actors, writers, directors and producers.  I've met lots of nice people, one
of whom donated one lobe (one fifth) of his lungs to his sister who has
Cystic Fibrosis (it's true, I saw his scar).  Her husband also did it so she
has two functional lungs.

I've also met quite a few people contra dancing.  One guy is in Avid film
editing school and we do stuff once in awhile.  I've also had a few dates
with a woman I met there.  One day we went to Laguna Beach and walked and
waded along the shore.

Quite a few of my friends and acquaintances from Minnesota have moved out
here so I've gotten together with some of them, too.  I even ran into one on
the set of The X-Files today.

The contra dances here are in four or five different locations so it's been
a great way to explore the area.  Pasadena and South Pasadena are especially
nice, with quaint areas and lots of great restaurants.  In fact, there are
lots of great restaurants all over L.A. and most of them are open 'til 2:00
a.m.
or so on weekends.

I went up to the Griffith Observatory a couple of weeks ago when Jupiter and
Venus were together.  It's really an interesting place with a big telescope,
great displays and an INCREDIBLE view of Los Angeles.

Just for the fun of it (yeah, sure, Jay), I looked at some more houses.  One
day I saw three that I really liked.  They were 5, 6 and 700,000 dollars!
Like my mom used to say, I have a champagne appetite and a beer pocketbook.
There are a few small homes in nice neighborhoods in the $260,000 range,
though.  I could buy a brand new three bedroom townhouse for $165,000 but
it's thirty miles away (in Santa Clarita).

For those of you who can receive e-mail attachments, I'm attaching five
photographs.  The first one is the view from my apartment, the second one is
the road (closed to traffic) around the Lake Hollywood Reservoir where I run
every day, the third one shows the reservoir, the fourth one shows a street
intersecting Hollywood Boulevard and the fifth one shows the neighborhood I
run through to get to the reservoir.

I see you've had some pretty warm weather lately - just enough to turn that
16-inch snowfall into slush, I imagine.  Well, hang in there; the worst is
probably over for the season.

Talk to you later,

Jay

 

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