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Happy new year!! I hope the holiday season has brought you mucho happiness and lots of cool toys! It's time for the end of the year wrap-up, and I begin, as usual, with the stats: right at 100 movies (more than a third on DVD) and 55 auditions. The numbers are smaller (though with a much higher booking ratio!) because I told my agents I didn't want to audition for low paying gigs anymore (and one of them went out of business owing me a lot of money), and because storage building hell continues. On the other hand, I went on many more out of town trips, and had far more stimulating conversations and more love than I've ever had in my life this past year! The not-too-explicit details follow.

As I mentioned in last year's letter, January 8th was punctuated by my first date with the lovely Diane Campbell, who, on October 21st, 2005, is due to become Diane Kolack! Diane does a little corportate accounting by day, and is a brilliant philosopher studying to be an interfaith minister and holistic health coach, and I hope you get to meet her sometime soon. In between seeing Diane a lot and trudging through half a foot of snow mid-month and a foot of snow late in the month, I saw my friend Jennifer Watkins' hilarious first try at stand-up comedy, started another two classes at The Cooper Union, attended my friends Kathryn and Ryan Hecht's cool wedding reception at a candy store, and shot a film (singles.com) which recently premiered at a NYC film festival, though I have yet to see it. I had worked with the director before, so it was nice to be asked to do another project without even auditioning!

Diane and Kevin
Diane and Kevin
(click for larger size)

In February, I taped my first commercial for Odor Eaters (in November, the producers asked me back for another one, again without an audition!), did more recording for Kirby on FOX, and I had my second audition for the Tony award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q, though I was apparently too tall for the part. The producers of last year's Colgate spot asked me to record some commercials for Clifford the Big Red Dog, I met Diane's fun family, attended a tea party at her house on a quick break from the building (she likes to entertain, too!), and helped my old friend and workshop guru Peter move yet again. This time, he finally has a decent (BIG) house for all his organic food and students! Although I "never" get sick, with the end of the month came some really intense virus I wouldn't wish on anyone.

In March, spring break brought…snow! Three straight days of it! My singing pal Mandy Droste threw herself a birthday party that was a lot of fun, as was the one my other pal Amanda Silaski threw for herself. Each year, Diane leads groups through Cameron's Artist's Way which kicked off weekly in April with us and friends Winnie & Jeffrey. The 12-week experience really gets you to think about doing what you really want to do every day. I had my 2-year LASIK checkup (still better than 20/20!), and we saw Ago perform Italian opera, attended a few dinner parties with the likes of Kathryn, Ryan, Trey Teufel, Shane Samuels, and "sledgehammer" Joe Droste, and took our first trip together to Washington D.C. In addition to staying in 2 different nice hotels and stopping in Philly for cheesesteaks and Vernor's on the way back, on the way there, we survived a 55-mile-per-hour blowout and tire change in the rain on the NJ turnpike. Completely unrelatedly, at this point, Diane and I began discussing her moving in with me. The Universe must have been listening, because the apartment she was due to vacate in May caught fire (no damage to her stuff), accelerating things by a few weeks. I am happy to report that we are totally settled in together (in addition to my full size upright piano which Diane plays beautifully being moved in- thanks Joe!) and the apartment is actually more spacious than before.

Kevin and Diane at Mandy's birthday party
Kevin and Diane at Mandy's birthday party
(click for larger size)

In May, we took my first trip ever to Coney Island...Diane was born and bred in Brooklyn (though she doesn't sound like it, thank God!) and had been many times. I declined the offer to share her Nathan's hot dog. Cooper classes ended, Peter threw a party, and we saw The Flaming Idiots in one of their last (juggling) shows. It was warm enough for us to take our first naked camping trip of the year. Diane gamely jumped right in, and Apple Montblanc & Anthony Valero and Jennifer joined us at Juniper Woods for a great weekend in nature (in the lovely heated/air conditioned trailer with kitchen and bathroom). Again, any of you loony friends of mine who are "prudists," please ask for the completely nonsexual details and join us there this year!

(Note to those who may be curious about the nudist/naturist lifestyle...I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, after you consider what perversions you harbor so as to equate the human form with sex or some sort of illicit activity, and what negative body image issues you may have requiring that you hide yours. Please visit the American Association for Nude Recreation to start.)

Pilot pal Mike Kendrick flew in again at the beginning of June, Artist's Way ended, we went camping again, and on the 18th, we held the first WillyBushWood Arts Festival with painters, a band, and movies shown 40 feet high on the side of the storage building. About 50 people were in attendance for 6 short films plus the premiere of the GREAT Storage commercial which was followed by my puppet Ralph (who I've now had for over 20 years!) asking Diane to marry me from the screen. Earlier in the evening, Diane had delivered a pizza to me with "will you marry me" written in pepperoni on it. We had decided to have an engagement day, so that we could both enjoy asking each other. (Note to aspiring brides: it takes much less than a pound of pepperoni to spell out "will you marry me.")

Diane's proposal     Kevin's proposal to Diane (5Meg streaming video file)
Diane's proposal         Kevin's proposal
(click for larger picture or 5Meg streaming video)

July 4th fireworks viewing from the roof of the building was really impressive, with panoramic views of all 6 launch barges along the length of the East River and a cookout with friends Tony and Becca. We went camping for 5 days, had dinner at Kathryn & Ryan's, and Diane scored us free tickets to the Cowboy Junkies/Shaun Colvin concert. Year one at the building ended, and trouble with the co-op board began that has yet to be resolved...My bathroom and bedroom have had leaks since I moved in. The ceiling is stained and unpaintable, but I gave up complaining about it years ago. My upstairs and downstairs neighbors have the same problem. The office got a new and incompetent manager who decided to blame the leak on me starting this summer. (Nevermind how I could cause the leak from which I suffer.) They knocked a 3 foot hole in my shower wall, never looked for the cause of the leak, and then never fixed the hole! After 6 weeks and 2 phone calls where the manager had no recollection of even making the hole, I fixed it myself, and was sent an eviction notice for an "unauthorized renovation." My lawyers are not amused and theirs has backed off. I hate to sue because it just seems so lame, but here's a lesson: if you can afford it, go condo.

The Smiths were up for a visit in August, we went rafting with Kathryn & Ryan and Trey & Emily, improv genius Robin Selfridge performed, and instead of camping, Diane and I took a 4-day yoga retreat at Kripalu, where she had been many times. Getting up crazy early, exercising, going to really stimulating talks about religion and the universe reminiscent of my college days, and eating lots of healthy food in incredibly beautiful surroundings, all with the love of my life...total recharge of the batteries, let me tell you.

I didn't take a trip in September, though Diane left town for a weekend to party at the beach with friends. Cooper classes began again and I taped a few episodes of One Piece on FOX. Robin performed again, and Diane and I went to the Queens County Farm. Yes, there is a farm in Queens. Okay, it's so far out on the outskirts that it might as well be in Nassau county, but the horses and cornfields reminded me of Indiana and Georgia. Sigh. (!) But darned if we didn't have another blowout on the LIE on the way there! So I guess, never having had flats before (in my own car), that's my quota for awhile.

October is when Diane and I celebrate our birthdays 7 days apart (hence the wedding on the Friday in between), and we partied with friends at a Tibetan restaurant for hers, and at the Marriott Marquis View restaurant for mine. (The actual view is still as impressive from the 46th floor in Times Square, but the restaurant itself, following a big renovation, is not the best-kept-secret and bargain it once was.) Earlier in the month, we had a "housewarming" party to celebrate the completion of the bathroom repairs (thanks for the tile saw, Jeffrey!), I booked a music video, we went camping one last time for the year, Diane got us cheap tickets to see Avenue Q, and we ate dinner with her family at the place where we'll be getting married. Water 's Edge is a 5-star restaurant on a pier in Queens with amazing views of Manhattan and the 59th Street Bridge. Since the building, despite making a dramatic turnaround very late in the game, is still not paying off as projected, I rejoined my old friends at JPMorgan at night, but not on Halloween, when we went to a roof costume party (warm!) at Mandy and Joe's.

Kevin on Halloween     Diane late Halloween evening
Kevin before and Diane after the party
(click for larger size)

In November, I booked a Sony commercial (anybody seen it?!) which wrapped a little earlier than I expected, enabling me to make an audition the same day that I thought I'd miss. I booked that gig too, and will soon be seen as a spokesman for Stream57. Kirby, One Piece, JPMorgan and Cooper continued, resulting in some 17-hour and even 23-hour days! Mike flew in again, and Diane and I headed up to Boston listening to a George Carlin audiobook on her IPod to meet Mom and Justin for Thanksgiving.

On December 16th, Diane and I went back to the pizza place where we'd met exactly a year earlier to have dinner. We told the guys behind the counter our story and they said, "that's nice...Next!!" Only in NYC, folks. Diane was heavily recruited from posting her resume on Monster.com and quit her no-longer-amusing job before the holidays. I taped a parody of the Apprentice and took a hiatus from JPMorgan following the end of classes at Cooper. (The disruption in sleep schedule was not as easy as when I lived alone.) Tony used the building for a photoshoot (things like that and the screening are what that place is supposed to be for!), we took my first ever trip on the Roosevelt Island Tram (no, the Gren Goblin didn't actually destroy it) and had a holiday party at our place just before Mom and her boyfriend Ron came up to visit for a week. We actually had a live tree and 2 houseguests…now that everything's cleaned up, the apartment seems HUGE! Tony & Becca and Winnie & Jeffrey joined us for ice skating in Prospect Park on warm, sunny Xmas day, plus we all saw a really lame movie. Also during the holidays, Mom and Ron met all the Campbells, we visited Justin and Dzian in PA, caught up with old friends Laurel & Chris Demaula and Hilary Eppley & Dave Murray, plus the Smiths were up for dinner, Slava's Snowshow, and a Kevin filmfest at the apartment. New Year's Eve was a nice quiet affair at home in 60-degree weather!

Have a fun and productive new year!

Kevin

Kevin & Diane's XMas tree 2004     Ralph, Louis, Esmerelda, T-Rex Tony, Kermit and the piano decked out for the holidays 2004
Yes, that is Upuers Snotty from H.R., the XMas booger, topping the tree. (inset)
(click for larger size)




 
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