Tuesday, December 29, 2009
"Three Days"-- Actors and other persons gather to perform a radio-version of Hamlet, in three days. Stories ensue.
And we have the go-ahead for:
"My Year With Yang" by AJ Montecinos with Art Spander, an inspirational chronicling of an unlikely story; a journeyman Korean pro-golfer joins forces with a former college star player and stun the golf world with an unforgettable year.
Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
This clip from NBC's long-running political drama West Wing features Alex confronting White House communications director Toby Zeigler (Emmy winner Richard Schiff) during their visit to Orange County, California. Originally aired in 2005. Filmed on the Warner's lot.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
We miss you kids, AHW---Punch
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This is land where western culture, specifically southwestern culture, lives on. The land of the Navajo pueblos, ruins from centuries ago as well as small casino’s along Hwy 84; the land of enormous sandstone mineral sculptures marking the territory as some sort of otherworldly Badlands, equally potent as pictures from Mars may seem to the first-time viewer; the land where time moves more slowly simply because there is more to experience, which is the wonderful bonus, the dichotomy, from and about being here (here as we are for the whole summer, working the ranch). The ten weeks will go quickly, I know that, yet the day moves at the languid pace of a French feast, or a pontoon at Hyde Park’s Serpentine, or a great round of golf. Already, after only one full week as a family (me having preceded by one week in order to orient), we have become proficient horsemen, lousy fisherman, dead-eye shots with the Daisy Buck BB Rifle, most tolerant of the bugs, beetles and ants that belong here even more than we, kitchen clean-up, siesta taking veterans of life on the frontier. One can easily imagine a life where time spent regularly here works like an Epsom salt bath for the soul, adding the precious life-strengthening minerals to help replenish what we don’t even realize we are depleting; effects relative to time, space, inner life, purpose, influence, risk and danger. For this is, indeed, a place for forgiving people; in, however, a most unforgiving land. It is simply beautiful here. And being here, in this most honorable way and for this most glorious length of time is the rarest of experiences and opportunities. The reader may feel here that I am searching for superlatives; suffice please to say that we have settled in nicely and, having removed the capstone seal, are peering in to the limitless past and future so prevalent in this country, and find that living in the present here is so very easy to do and comes with great reward.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Early this morning we were visited by the 5-pack of wild burros that populate the ranch. The food here is fresh and plentiful and today was Benji the cook's birthday. The first couple of days here i had a few mild headaches, most likely due to high altitude. Drinking water helps acclimate. Got certified in CPR/First Aid yesterday. Ended today with a fine hike of 1.5 miles and 600 ft. higher to a place called Chimney Rock.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
The Thursday and Friday rounds at Riviera offered both player and spectator alike a fair chance at gratification and excitement. With the predominant ocean breeze more of a factor on Day One, how remarkable was the chance of Hole 4, the redan-style classical Par 3, yielding any two's, let alone the three in two groups seen when Harrington flagged it with his hybrid, followed by Mickelson inside it with his four-iron. Immelmen's twenty footer completed the hat trick. The new stands behind the green held loose 70 or so souls, rewarded with "giveaway" cards for birdies on 4. Once redeemed, in the last tent before the exit, the patient spectator chose a swag item: water bottle, cloth bag, sunglass clip or notepad.
Retief Goosen looks fit and if he can shake the broom may be poised for a return-to-form year.
Luke Donald is a fine iron player but is out length-end at Riviera. If he was stronger he would win a lot.
Ryo Ishikawa is a 17 year old Asian tour two-time winner, ranked in the top 70 in the world. Hello! His exemptions so far this season on the PGA Tour include here, Bay Hill and The Master's, Augusta National's Easter blessing. He had a large gallery following him, before packing up on Friday night.
There is no more interesting player to watch than Podraig Harrington for his attention to the inner game manifest in his movements thru the course of play, on the course of the day. Seemingly innocuous to any outcome, he displays an obviously graceful respect for the game, and seemingly by extension, the manner of life he lives because of it. Harrison Ford displays the same quality, rarely excepted, in his acting. Tommy Armour III is tearing it up, his grandfather finished 2nd to Macdonald Smith at the first Los Angeles Open, in 1929 at Riviera. Bobby Jones filmed here; Ben Hogan drew and rolled his way to golfdom's highest peak here. Golf grew a thicker skin because of Riviera. It's not particularly long but the terrain's elevation changes challenge the unfit, and the grabby nature of Poa Annua and Ziosa (sic) grasses brought by Will Rogers to populate the nearby mountain meadow Polo Fields have turned the land into a living tapestry of unexpectedness.
I once had a round of a lifetime in my grasp, under par most of the day needing pars on 17 and 18 to stay there. It not the place to chicken count; for when my safe hybrid, instead of iron, popped up from fairway left's first cut and a missed put counted double-bogey 6 on the eighteenth, my 73 felt more spiked than smooth.
The round at Riviera leads you, the player. Every hole has a mainstream, and woe is the merchant traveler who doesn't take it at the flood.
Phil Mickelson shot a third-round 66 last year that belongs in an Art Museum. Effortless, technically marvelous and brutal was the way he lunged and parried. He is therefore this year's defending champion. The previous year he almost won it, some blaming the Rancho Santa Fe commute on his dulled few final holes. He shot 63, minus 8, on Friday. That's eight birdies. His gallery growing larger by the minute, he did me a nice favor by stiffing it on 7 allowing me to move on, staying ahead of the crowd. I fancied as much of Harrington, Johnson (Zach), and Goosen as I could get, and they were always one hole in front. Phil is very strong. He gets the best equipment, and is skilled at tinkering. When he achieves the correct alchemy he is the best in the game. He doesn't have Tiger's, or Jack's, will force which makes them Immortalis Moderne, but he is one of the greatest ever we will see at conjuring up his imagination's perfect solution. He must hit it close to the hole to dominate. When he does, he does.
Note: this article was written and posted after completion Saturday's third round and, as it is reportage of the two previous day's play, makes no mention of Mickelson's 62 which puts him four shots ahead moving into Sunday. Weather-permitting, good viewing is on offer with a good man conducting his own symphony.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
After watching a nice race from Santa Anita online, i licked my wounds with a pub lunch at
Ye Olde King's Head in downtown Santa Monica where my friend, and fellow actor, Raul Dourado (a Irish Spaniard) tends bar. I gave him one of the Kennedy half-dollars. The gals next door at the Store gave me a UK/US lapel pin for my birthday, thanks very much, then i rolled home for a coffee. After loading the family in the van, we headed south to Playa Vista for a 4:30 set visit and final prep for Tintin.
What an interesting, cool, stage. It's a big room, the size of a small high school gymnasium. On the floor is the set: actors, props, cameras. Courtside is the village-- and about 20 cameras all synched to the director's (Steven S.) handheld console. I don't understand how but, seemingly, all the angles are routed, in real time, to a single control and what appears on the monitor is an animated (enhanced) version of what the cameras see. For example, a cage holding black-suited actors Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Cary Elwes becomes a biplane with full suited characters.
My camera helmet was fitted, and my facemask marked with the motion capture dots which the camera recognizes and adjusts from--it's really the most marvellous technology, with all the digital information rendered as it goes by a bank of computer "engineers" sitting, looking thru the plexiglass to the set. At first glance, the places look is part sports competition and part bond trading floor. They wrapped around 5:30 with Steven saying "why don't we stop here." He drew the Friday night raffle prize of almost $600 which went to our greeter and minder, Cochet. That was a bit of luck, allright and kind of neat that he was the first guy we met on set. I gave him one of the Kennedy half-dollars. As Steven was leaving, i greeted him, thanked him and introduced Jack and Shelly to him. He was most warm and welcoming. Saw a couple of friends, Andrew the Stills Photographer (who commented that "this was a really big thing to be a part of" which was nice, and Larissa the sparky. An added treat was meeting Peter Jackson, Steven's partner on the project, who was flying back to New Zealand .
We were there until almost 7pm, when we joined our friends Elisa and Alec Rose for dinner at Casablanca. What a great family, friends and movie day. Thank you. Punch
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Trailer of Capture (also pictured) is where the 3D facial scan, a procedure similar to that of Lasix Surgery except that you can drive home, renders almost instantly the (my) face, glowingly opaque; a Disneyland Haunted Mansion ghost. Met with my friend Nickolai Stoilov, a fine London-trained Bulgarian actor who appeared in our production of Yeat's The Resurrection last Spring for a coffee and cigar. Had a good actor's day; hope yours was good, too.
Friday, January 23, 2009
All sorts of things:
My personal website has down for over a month due to a few letters on a server address, for one. Glad that it is not further evidence of our infrastructure needing critical care, just an example of having too many web-chefs. Am with a very inexpensive yet attentive group for webhosting and server, Oklop. I recommend them highly. For any re-design work and larger corporate needs try old friend Ruth's outfit at McCartney Marketing, in Playa Del Rey.
Cashed in our lone Christmas present of 3 Phantom tickets and spent a beautiful afternoon at the Pantages Theatre yesterday (Jan. 22) for the first matinee of the six-week run. Must see for fans of the show, which i first saw in NYC mid-80's. Spent a couple of months in 1999 shooting a horror version in Budapest.....
Have enjoyed seeing many of our friends and much of the photographed Nation celebrate the assumption to power of the new Obama administration. Was chagrined in the moment of handoff when the oath fumble occurred and, as a showman, lamented that perhaps they hadn't bothered to rehearse that part—which really is the only necessary business of the day. In the end though, seeing and hearing such re-affirmation of faith in our American Spirit is heartening and long-overdue. With the majority of sentiment gathered in this direction I hope for three things: 1) No terrorist attacks on our soil, 2) Credit relief for individuals, 3) Clear-thinking when it comes to such terribly important matters as State Government such private-sector health services as the Motion Picture Country House, which is threatening closing it's most needed long-term critical care wing and displacing over 100 patients and almost 300 employees. My Dad, Wilfrid, spent his last few years there before dying in relative peace in 1991 and I remain grateful to so many of the nurses who enjoyed his wit and great character. Even then, there was an emphasis on "ability-to-pay" that may have felt at odds with their we take care of our own motto. If there can be a way to close the $10 Million annual gap and keep this service to our aged industry veteran, it would be a wonderful step in the new age of Can do, Must do.
Some good news on the creative front: am creating the role of Thomas Jefferson in Franklin and Jefferson written by James Gabler, of Palm Beach and Vic Bardack, of Beverly Hills. We started Spring 2008 with a one-night read in NYC, at the Coffee House in mid-town and have now committed to Feb./Mar./Apr. dates at Greystone Manor just off Doheny and Sunset. It's a new play about two fact-based meetings between the irascible Franklin and the complicated Jefferson, with plenty of wine, innuendo and free-thinking. As any new play, it's forming each time it's is played but, it does have the feel of something that can travel long and well and I am certainly enjoying being in on the founding of it. For a Georgetown boy (who left at age 17) with intimate knowledge of Harper's Ferry's "Jefferson Rock" it's feels like a triumph.
With best wishes for a graceful time I remain sincerely yours, and am turning 50 on Jan. 30.