Happy holidays!! Yes, I’m saying it that way. After all, Jesus was born in what would have been October, like me and Diane, so there’s only so much Christ (not his last name) we can keep in Christmas. (Funny what some people will do to distract others from real issues. Anyway, our real issue here is the annual year-in-review!) I hope you’re having a great time during this season of inclusion and love, and that you have had an amazing year. Mine certainly was!
I managed to see 149 movies in 2005, not counting the two I saw twice (care to guess which ones?) or that we marathoned the entire first four seasons of Six Feet Under on DVD from Netflix (anyone have season 5?...please?!). My 73 auditions yielded a lot of work (though never enough! and not nearly enough of it high paying!!), including some repeat business I didn’t have to audition for. Some auditions were for bigger and bigger projects, and when “Love Monkey” premieres in January, please email CBS and tell them the show would be much better if they had cast me! (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT) Along those lines, please visit my web site and join my mailing list, so I can keep you updated about future letter-writing campaigns!
I started another semester at Cooper and Diane started a new job in January. Mom and Ron were off to the airport at 8AM January 1st, after spending the holidays with us. We spent a 60 degree New Year’s Day walking in the park, and then later in the month had a nice blizzard here in NYC, Diane got hypothermia waiting for the bus (which interestingly eventually reset her internal thermometer, and she doesn’t get cold all the time anymore!), and we hit the highly amusing Bridal Expo at the Times Square Marriott Marquis.
Diane’s job was high-paying, but really lame, so she left after 6 weeks to begin focusing on health counseling full-time in February. (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT #2) She does phone counseling, so if you have food/health/life/job issues, give her a call, even if you’re not in NYC! We attended a marriage success training seminar at the UVA/Yale club (seeing a pattern to the year already?), went to another great dinner party at Peter Sklar’s, saw "Spamalot" on Broadway on public opening night, and hosted a “Groundhog Day” screening party, an Academy Awards party, and Trivial Pursuit match with Tony Gale, Becca Jarrell and Mikki Baloy, and Diane’s feng shui workshop at our place. We also dog-sat Leigh van Swall’s little Japanese Chin for a week– we are definitely not going to have children anytime soon.
In March, Tony, Becca, Diane and I saw the elephants walk through the Midtown Tunnel prior to the opening of the Ringling Brothers circus (luckily well after another early-month blizzard) and I assisted Tony in his move, two days after his birthday party. It was a party month, with birthday bashes for Mandy Droste and Amanda Silaski, too! We had dinner one of many times at the amazing Waterfront Crabhouse, which has live Dixieland Jazz and much better prices than City Crab (which is really nice, too, though!). I booked a commercial that shot in April, which ended up being more of a Christopher Guest-style short film, which you can view on my video page.
Also in April, we saw my old beginnings pal Jill Twiss (co-starring with me in an indy film in January '06, and who, along with Jennifer Watkins, I was going to meet with the night I met Diane) perform stand up comedy. We also saw Mikki on stage, as well as an amusing stage adaptation of the Breakfast Club. I smoked stogies with Peter, we had a big sleepover, and later hosted a “What the Bleep?” screening– we highly recommend seeing this film which melds particle physics with religion. Diane recharged her batteries at Kripalu for a few days, and while she was gone, I got to see some former students perform “Proof” at Cooper with Amanda.
In May, Diane and I were refused entrance to Chuck E Cheese since we didn’t have a child with us (!) and I got a wardrobe makeover from Lisa Ashby and Diane. Nothing lame was kept, although I had some clothes so old, they were back in style. The building had a big yard sale to get rid of people’s stuff who had abandoned it, we selected our wedding videographer, Cooper classes ended for the year (I took the fall semester off since teaching would have conflicted with the wedding and honeymoon), I saw a band led by a friend of my friend Jennifer Watkins, hit the why-do-tourists-do-it “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” with Robin Selfridge and his school class, attended the Queens SGI Center opening, and ate more wonderful food at Chips, Waterfront and Donovan’s, home of the best burger in NYC with great friends Kara McElhinney, Kathryn Hecht, Trey Teufel, Peter, Lindsay Teed, and Rob Chapnick. Then, at the very end of the month, Sara Apple Montblanc and Anthony Valerio were married in a beautiful ceremony in CT, officiated by Diane!
Tapings for One Piece continued in June and we had a cookout for sledgehammer Joe Droste’s birthday at the building. I took a one day trip to visit the acting workshop with Robin...nice to be there and not be working! The 23rd of the month is a red letter day as it was the last real day I spent working at the building. Though it’s still nowhere near what it was intended to be, the bills are getting paid and it’s not bankrupting me, and I am eternally grateful that I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations. We’re not out of the woods yet in that I still don’t own the place and the landlord/seller is maintaining his policy of attempting to drive me out of business by not maintaining the elevator and filing frivolous lawsuits, but I have my life back for the most part. Halelujah! At the end of the month, after the party for her graduation from health counseling school, Diane and I did a housing swap with a nice couple from Portland, OR, and we spent an amazing week touring the Pacific Northwest. Jet-lagged, we took Diane’s mom out for her birthday dinner the day of our return.
In July, we trekked off to Amish country to see a double-header of Def Leppard and Bryan Adams in concert just after the second-annual fireworks viewing extravaganza on the roof of the building. We went naked camping again with Apple and Anthony (just prior to their going away party and subsequent exodus to CA) and Alena and her husband Todd, and had a great time relaxing and seeing "Fantastic Four" at the nearby drive-in (with clothes on), even though the movie was not good. I got measured for my tux, we had lunch with Kathryn and Ryan, and saw Amanda’s Shakespeare play in the park on an evening of great weather on the lower east side.
(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, plus here are 205 reasons and observations in support of naturism (nudism) by K. Bacher found on the Naturist Society web site. Also, here are three interesting articles about the naked form.)
In August, Amanda came over for dinner, we headed to Brooklyn for dinner at the Campbell’s, we joined a closer naked campgrounds, we went to Robin’s grape-picking party, went to Tony’s rooftop party at his Manhattan studio, I did a voiceover for Verizon, and had great auditions for "Aladdin Live" and two auditions for "Cash Cab" (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT #3, while you’re at it, email the Discovery Channel!). We hosted a sake party, saw a live telecast of Drum Corps International (woo hoo!), chowed down and went to the NY Renaissance Fair with Winnie and Jeffrey Carl, saw Mikki in another show, Mandy arranged for a group of us to head to the Hudson to watch “Dazed and Confused” on a big screen by the river, I had lunch with Daylyn Walz prior to her heading back to college, Trey and Emily had an engagement party, I went to the beginnings showcase and helped Lindsay find a dentist to cure her septic tooth, and we went to the Water’s Edge to taste the food we selected for the wedding.
September 1st, we headed to Curacao for our pre-wedding honeymoon. It was an amazing week, and we made some great local friends in Judith Van Roekel and Ruben Vanderkaa. Immediately upon my return, I got a frantic call from Mike Wallace who was shooting his feature film "Northern Lights" upstate and whose equipment was stranded in the city. I drove it up to him and spent a fun 3 days on the set helping out and acting in a few scenes. I returned to the set a week later, after completing the Landmark Forum which Diane had done in June, for another 5 days of work and the wrap party. Mike’s movie is “in the can” and currently being edited! Pilot Mike Kendrick flew in to town yet again and we were able to meet up for lunch, and Mikki was over for pot roast. We also met a gang of friends for “The Future of Food,” a frightening and angering documentary on genetically modified corn. With apologies to my friends who work there, Monsanto sucks.
Well, you know what happened in October...only the most amazing party ever!!! There are hundreds of amateur photos posted on our wedding website from the big day, and we hope to have the ones from the professional photographer posted soon, along with video highlights. My face still hurts from smiling so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who was there to share the day with us. The “small-world” connections of our two groups of friends continued to surprise us, even that day. (Cousin Daniel Kuhn’s wife, Dierdre, who I had never met, had played in a band with Diane ten years ago!) The marriage license took only 4 hours of waiting in line (hooray for lame NYC bureaucracy!!), but on the upside, getting my tux took only 10 minutes (Zeller was perfect), the flowers were perfect, and the wedding cake was exactly what we’d asked for, despite the Water’s Edge saying it couldn’t be done. In addition to the rehearsal dinner, we were able to have smaller dinners with Justin, Mom, Ron, and Grandma, Stephanie Castro and Mike Wemple, and all of Diane’s family from NY and MI. Earlier in the month, we visited Ellie Wolhandler, saw my friend Tracy Edward’s “Great American Trailer Park Musical” on Broadway for free via a friend of Diane’s (!), celebrated Diane’s birthday after she started interfaith seminary (she will stay out of school someday!), I shot another short film, we took a really, really last-minute flight to Los Angeles to appear on the Tyra Banks show (and have a nice dinner and a movie with Mike Wallace), we saw Robin on stage doing improv, we again stuffed ourselves at the Waterfront Crabhouse, and One Piece continued along with more taping on a cartoon I first worked on in 2000! After the wedding, I did another commercial for Odor Eaters (the voice of a spastic puppy) and we saw the "Lion King" on Broadway (another great wedding gift!).
In November, we celebrated my birthday a little late with a helicopter tour of the city (me) and boat tour of the city (both of us). This rekindled my desire to learn yet another new skill, and I began helicopter pilot training mid-month. I also taped a voice for the new “Pirates of the Caribbean II/III” game. We had a slumber party at our place with Jennifer Watkins and Rick Flynn (freshly returned from their cross-country trek) and Lindsay along with a screening of “The Wal-Mart Movie” which was scary, too- sorry to say it folks, but don’t shop there. Diane and I helped Jennifer furnish and move into her new apartment near our place, we went to Winnie’s birthday party, I saw my friend Emily Begin off-Broadway with Lindsay, and George and Kim Christou were back in town and joined us for a night of food and comedy. After hosting 11 people at our house for Thanksgiving, we headed down to PA for the day to visit Justin and Dzian. I also shot another short film and used our new wedding gift-Apple laptop to begin editing my comedic and dramatic “speed reels,” 60-second demos for agents and casting directors, which you can now see on my video page.
It finally snowed a little on December 4th, we saw “The Chronicles of Narnia” at midnight, having done the same for “Harry Potter” a few weeks earlier. There were kids at both midnight Wednesday shows! I did two tapings for the “Blame Show” which are being turned into a political mockumentary and shot another short film (playing one of the two leads, and doing the voiceover for the other character!), we saw Mikki in yet another play, helicopter training continued, and we got to experience the lovely transit strike (I shuttled friends to the airport two of the three days, but agree with the workers that someone had to take a stand- the workers on the other transit systems in the area, school teachers, etc. are all working without contracts). After a nice, quiet day at home, we had Winnie and Jeffrey and birthday girl Merryl Reichback (let’s keep the Merryl in Merry Xmas) over for Xmas dinner, then headed down to PA to visit with Justin, Mom and Dzian. I got some cool toys, and I hope you did too! For New Year’s, we’re off to a health-counselor friend of Diane’s wellness center in CT and her first ski trip.
Peace and love,
This year's tree is even better than last year's!!
(There was just no explaining to Ralph that the stocking wasn't meant for his foot!)
(Yes, Louis has a new hat from the wedding party.)
(Look carefully....who's that Richard Pryor (RIP...) is playing trumpet for?)
(click for larger size)