Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pictures of Hollywood

From outside the KTLA studio lot.  I wonder who they're expecting...

If you have any photos you'd like to share, send them to

Friday, May 18, 2012

Miki Yamashita!!!

It's not often that I get to say I know someone sort of famous.  In fact, I'm probably the most famous person I know...that is until now.  One of my long-time fans (and the best voice in the Temp Diaries Tabernacle Choir) made her Tonight Show debut the other night in a "Jay Walking" segment about whether people can sing or not. 

Please enjoy Miki Yamashita.  She makes her debut at 1 minute into the spot.  When you're done watching it, please hire her.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tales from the bottom

Every once in a while, people get bored of my pontificating and decide to share their own tales of woe in Hollywood.  I prefer this because it basically means I get all the fun of good content without having to write it.

So if you ever have any good stories you want to share, please send them along to  For now, please enjoy this one I received the other day.

A few months ago I was working on the [singers' names redacted] music video in NYC.  I'd lived in New York for a little over a year at this point and had driven on many jobs.  But since it's mainly a walking/subway city, still was unsure of some of the streets downtown.

I was asked to go pick up [producer's name redacted] at her hotel in Chinatown and take her to location in Herald Square. I showed up an hour early with the car.  She gets in the car and is ready to go.  At a red light, I glance at the map on my phone to make sure I take the correct turn. 

She snaps, "Oh my God!  They sent me a PA that doesn't know NY, this is terrible!  Hon, if you look at that phone again, you don't work with me."

So I put down my phone and make my way up 6th Ave to location.  The traffic is insane, bumper to bumper.  She is immersed in her computer and snaps again, "You need to go faster!  The director is already there.  Do you want me to drive, because I will."  What she fails to see is that the street is PACKED and if I went any faster we would be inside the trunk of the cab in front of us.

So, to make her happy, I drive like a cabby -- pulling up in every open space possible. Then she goes, "Ugh! I can't do this!"  She grabs all her stuff and gets out of the production vehicle, walks to the (also stuck in traffic) cab next to us and hops in it.

I called the production office and told them what happened, they said to not sweat it and come back to pick up the line producer.  I went back, picked up the line producer and took her to location only to see [producer's name redacted] get out of the cab she ditched me for across the street. Then she bitched out the line producer and told her I was driving way too slow and that this shit wouldn't cut it in LA.

I worked a 22-hour day and was asked to come in the next day to help out in the office because "there's just too much to get done." I gladly did so. Then when I filled out the time sheet and put my hours in, the line producer said, "Why'd you do that? " Then crossed out my hours, changed it to 10 hours and said, "there's no OT on this job." This is the first I'd heard of that.

Then the check didn't show up for two months.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Great Moments in Product Placement History - Modern Family

It must have been "Corporate Synergy Week" or some other ridiculous edict, because last night's episode of Modern Family turned into a 30-minute infomercial for Disneyland.  Or perhaps they're just kissing a little parent company ass while contract talks are going on.

(And in the event you're keeping track, the cast says "Disneyland" three times and "The Happiest Place on Earth" once before the opening credits even run.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

To the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 2012...

I was recently asked to give the commencement address to the 2012 graduates of Emerson College. This is a decent honor (like most Emerson students, UT-Austin was my first choice), but I accepted it anyway.  In the process of writing this speech, I realized Hollywood execs are smarter than first thought.  Turns out it's much easier to remake something than it is to start from scratch.  

Following is a transcript of that address... 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 2012:

Sunscreen sucks.

If I could offer you only one tip for your future in Hollywood, skip the sunscreen. The short-term perks of a tan -- the healthy glow, tantalizing bikini lines -- have been proven time and again. The rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this nonsense now.

Sleep around.

It's fun. Everyone in Hollywood is good looking. When poolside at the Roosevelt, tell the model wannabe next to you that you're a producer on CSI: Miami. Then see what happens. Bottle service helps.


There's no better way to keep your body in shape than doing abdominal crunches while talking on the Porcelain telephone.

Be jealous.

This town is full of people who get things they don't deserve. Some day, that person might be you. And then you can look down on the masses and mock them.

Keep your old bank statements. Throw away your love letters. Only one of these is beneficial in divorce court.

Smoke cigarettes.

Parliament Lights. Marlboro Lights. Camel Lights. Any of them act as a fantastic appetite suppressant. Smoking makes you cool and it looks great on film. But don't smoke pot because it'll make you hungry.


Just tell everyone that your script is an homage to Chayefsky's Network, not a scene by-scene redo. (But hire a good lawyer just in case.)

Buy knee pads.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have an affair with the boss and get promoted. Maybe you'll accidentally get knocked up and have to have an abortion which your boss will put on his corporate AmEx and make you file the expense report. Maybe he'll go back to his wife because he can't afford a divorce in a communal property state especially in this economy.

Love is a relative term.

Whatever you do, don't ever stop self promotion. The key to success in Hollywood is convincing others of how great you are, even if it's not true.

Enhance your body.

If you see something sagging, bagging or dragging, it's best to nip it, tuck it and suck it. If God didn't want you to get plastic surgery, he wouldn't have invented Dr. 90210.

Lap Dance.

Because it pays more than temping and you'll meet more Hollywood executives that way.

Read the directions.

Because your boss's iPhone won't program itself.

Read fashion magazines. Inner beauty is for ugly people.

Get to know your parents. Because once you become a big Hollywood star, you'll blow them off in favor of partying at the Playboy mansion.

Be nice to your siblings. They've got dirt on you that they'll happily to sell to the National Enquirer if you screw them over.

Understand that Hollywood friends come and go because if they can't do anything for you, they're not worth your time. Plus it takes way too long to get from Santa Monica to Los Feliz.

Live in Hollywood once, but leave before you get stupid. Live in Burbank once, but leave before you get bored.

Drink heavily.

Accept certain inalienable truths. Reality programs are here to stay. Movie studio execs are mostly lazy. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, TV shows had scripts and some movies weren't remakes.

Suck up.

Nothing will get you further in Hollywood than kissing ass. Differentiate yourself by ass kissing in different ways such as the Spider-man Kiss ("You produced Spider-man 3? I love when Mary Jane sings!") and the French Canadian Kiss (It's like a regular kiss, but without union difficulties and with a better exchange rate.)

Find someone to support you. Maybe they have a trust fund. Maybe...oh it's probably a trust fund. But hold on with a vice grip because it's easier than working.

Use hair extensions because they look completely natural. Make sure you use a nice epoxy when installing them.

Advice is a way to helping others. Don't offer it. Dispense "recommendations" that won't work, because you don't want someone younger and with a higher, firmer butt passing you on the final lap.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"My life in Hollywood sucks" -- May calendar

Think your experience in Tinseltown is worse than everyone else's? Tell me how on the "My Life In Hollywood Sucks Because..." entry. Your tale of woe might just make it to the monthly calendar.