Happy St. Paddy’s day! I haven’t managed to get my 2006 year in review done in a timely manner this year, but better late than never! I managed to go to 141 auditions in 2006 resulting in about a dozen shoots in addition to repeat biz, see 148 movies (100 on TV or DVD, due to movie theater prices at $11 now in NYC for a sub-par moviegoing experience- basic courtesy and the laws of economics apparently don’t apply!), and hit the theater a dozen or so times.
We came back from New Year’s in CT at a friend of Diane’s wellness center (Diane is not a skiier!) and promptly indulged at the Waterfront Crabhouse with the two Jennifers (Watkins and Wieland). I played the blind lead character in the off-beat drama “Elephant in Love” which shot for two weeks in Brooklyn and two cities upstate. Before shooting one day, I had an audition and callback for a role in Law & Order: SVU, which I booked, shot in the dead of cold one night in NJ, and which aired in September and several times since. If you missed the 30-second scene, you can watch it on my web site. Between the private dressing room and good food, I can definitely say I’m in the right business and that this show knows how to treat me right! They liked me so much, they had me back to play a different character in March. In other acting news, it was down to me and the proverbial “one other guy” for M. Night Shyamalan’s AmEx spot with fantabulous casting director Avy Kaufman, I shot a very cool pilot called “The Scene” with some very cool people in CT, and I performed a staged reading of a play. Cooper classes began again, and in more fabulous friend news, we got to visit with Winnie Jamieson & Jeffrey Carl, see movies with the Jennifers, have lunch with Tracy Edwards during a brief stint when she wasn’t on Broadway, have dinner at Tony Gale & Becca Jarrell’s place, and chow down with Mandy Droste and Kara McElhinney.
In February, Diane continued the tradition of doing Mikki Baloy’s taxes, and in return, she took us to Mario's for an awesome dinner. I did some repeat business for the Odor Eaters and “One Piece” folks, and we started looking at used cars so that we could replace the manual Toyota truck (which I bought in ’94) with an automatic that would be easier for Diane to learn to drive. She got her license when she was 18, but living in Brooklyn, never drove once after her test! In the end, we found an almost identical ’94 4-Runner with power everything (we’re getting spoiled, though the repairs have not been cheap) and sold the truck exactly a month later. We had a nice blizzard with over 2 feet of snow in an otherwise mild winter, during which I shot yet another short film the director never sent me a copy of. I also recorded the lead role in the funniest animated feature film I’ve ever seen- let’s hope it gets distribution in the US. Diane had her graduation from the School for Womanly Arts (soon to be a feature film with Heather Graham), and Diane’s mom ended up with a new car as well, following a relatively minor run-in with a bad Brooklyn driver. We visited Justin and Dzian in PA briefly, and I continued my helicopter flight lessons, limited only by a busy schedule, the difficulty in getting to the airport in NJ, and the cost which I imagine is only slightly less than that of a serious drug habit.
I spent a long weekend in March at the beach in NJ, shooting a feature film in 3 days with a great group of people led by OD McConnell, with whom I’ve since collaborated several times (I love that team building!). I shot a few other small projects (“Big Baby Billy” and “The Blame Show”), we had an Oscar party, I got new headshots taken by the talented Tony, and got to visit with lots of friends (Mikki, both Jennifers, Amanda Silaski, Lindsay Teed). I also caught up with old friend Solomon Chertok, who I’d been in a movie with in 1998 (never finished), and who sponsored a film festival every Sunday in March where several of my films were screened.
In April, we discovered that to play tennis at the public parks in NYC, you need a rather expensive permit, so the tennis rackets we bought on Craigslist haven’t gotten much use! I shot the horror film “Camp Story”, we went to the amazing Cooper Union Culture Show, I did a little chemistry tutoring, and we went to see Peter, Paul and Mary in concert with Diane’s mom. Mikki came over to show a good crowd of us (Erin McReynolds, Tony, Becca) pictures from her Nepal retreat, Kathryn Hecht came over for dinner, Peter Sklar and Rob Chapnick and I saw a crappy movie, and I finally shot my parody of the Sopranos at the end of the month. I didn’t expect it to take nearly a year to recover the master tapes and complete the editing, but it’s now online!
Cooper classes ended in May, Rick Flynn and Peter and Lindsay and I saw a not-so-crappy movie, I attended the animated section of the Tribeca Film Fest and caught up with old friend and animator extraordinaire Bill Plympton, and we got to use my towing insurance for the first time ever as the new 4-Runner broke down on our visit to City Island in the Bronx. I got food poisoning or something wacky at a friend of Diane’s family’s wedding, passed out while getting a blood test at the doctor (!), had a fun shoot at Robin Selfridge’s school with a group of filmmakers I organized, and also shot an excellent short with my pal Gabe Klavun. Tony got me a gig as a model (a cop) on a photoshoot of his, and in return, we went over to his house several times to eat too much.
June brought a trip to the NY aquarium, dinners at Amarin and Waterfront Crabhouse, a quick visit to Beginnings with Robin, and a quick trip to PA to help Justin move from his townhouse to another of his houses there (he has since moved back!). Jennifer Watkins, who had gotten a nice apartment a few minutes away from ours only recently, decided to move to Seattle before entering the Peace Corps, so she stayed with us for a few days after moving out prior to me driving her to the airport.
We took a wonderful trip to Niagara Falls in July and stayed at some amazing resorts. We did some actual tent camping along the way (still at a campground with a pool and hot tub, of course), had the resort in Canada pretty much to ourselves, and got an amazing deal on a room overlooking the falls one night. While in the middle of nowhere in Canada, as the only NY license plate on the road, we were ticketed for speeding by the largest Canadian Mountie you’ve ever seen. Interestingly, he pulled us over again a mile down the road and took the ticket back! I really love our neighbors to the North. Upon our return to NYC, we were among the hundreds of thousands of people without power thanks to the goofballs at ConEd. Luckily, Diane’s parents had power, so we stayed with them at night to avoid the sweltering heat. Due to a power surge, our immediate next door neighbor’s apartment caught fire, though our place was miraculously unscathed, and the FDNY did not knock down our door, unlike 5 of our neighbors who had to deal with no power and then no front door for several weeks thanks to the incompetence of our co-op management company. Mikki had a nice birthday party, we went to Sky Farm twice (though we decided not to rejoin due to the difficulty in getting out there), Justin was in town for a gig one night, I shot a project in NJ one day, and Winnie & Jeffrey made us another amazing dinner.
Robin had a skeeter-free cookout this year, but our apartment was invaded by mice thanks to the fire and blackout in August. Winnie & Jeffrey trekked with us up to Juniper Woods for a weekend, and both Mike Wallace and Jennifer Watkins were in town for visits. We watched “The Secret” for the third time or so with Jennifer Wieland, and we hosted dinners for Robin, Carmen & Max as well as “Limbo” producer Chris Hale and his wife Meredith.
In September, Uncle Ray got remarried, Diane restarted interfaith seminary, I restarted the WillyBushWood Film Festival at friend Alex Kahan’s restaurant Satchmo's Place, and I taped commercials for GameTap and Snugglers. We saw one of Diane’s favorite bands, Pink Martini, in concert, had a dinner party with both Jennifers and Kara, repainted our bedroom two very nice bright yellows, went to a surprise party for Carmen (gotcha!), and I shot a short film as part of a 12-hour film festival. Writing, shooting, and editing all done in 12 hours, and it didn’t turn out bad! (We won second prize.)
October is, of course, party month! We celebrated our birthdays and 1-year anniversary with a big party and ate year-old cake. Robin and I thought it was as good as the first time around, but others weren’t so adventurous. I spent 5 days in NH shooting a film with another great group of people, including Jeremy Mohler and Andrew Byrd. We took a nice cruise up the Hudson River and attended our first cohousing meeting- there is a community starting up a few hours north of NYC for “green living” that we’re very interested in. Mandy and Joe Droste had their annual blow-out Halloween party, and we took Diane’s parents to see “Flags of Our Fathers.”
In November, I shot another short as part of a 2-week film fest with the same group as September’s contest. I also saw Amanda’s very cool aerial dance show as well as “Shameless” pal Larry DeFelice at a comedy club and hit “I’m Okay...” pal Wendy Kaplan’s party all on the same day! Mikki moved into an apartment Diane found around the corner from us (yay!) when her lease in Brooklyn ended, we partied with Winnie for her birthday, and saw a couple of the “Whose Line is it Anyway” guys in concert with Tony and Jennifer.
And then in December, I shot “Spider-Ham” with cinematographer extraordinaire Jumbo (which enabled me to edit very quickly!), we went to Diane’s law office party and had lots of champagne, we hosted our own holiday party, and trekked to PA to visit Laurel & Chris DeMaula (thanks for letting me drive the Crossfire!) and Milissa Bolcar (thanks for the pizza!). New neighbor Mikki was over for dinner, as was Mike Kendrick when he was flying through. Mom arrived for the holidays right as we got back from a few days of yoga at Kripalu. We got to see Justin & Dzian as well as Aunt Sherry & Uncle Tom. For the warm New Year’s, a party at Mikki’s just a short stagger away!
Here’s to hoping you manifest everything you desire this year,