Sunday, October 16, 2005


Don't know if I can do this justice, but I looked at my dashboard today, and I noticed I've been to three of Hollywood's major studios for different reasons. (I've got three different vehicle passes for three different studios on the top of my dash.)

On Wednesday, of course, went to Disney, which owns ABC. For those of you outside of this area, Disney is all over Burbank, and I went to one of their many buildings.

On Friday, I had a meeting with my short film group. I probably haven't mentioned this before, but some folks from my improv class started a short film group called Guy in the Corner Productions. During the first meeting, around Venice Beach, a guy was in the corner of this coffee shop, listening to our brainstorming session. So, we called the group you-know-what.

The meeting took place on the Paramount lot, in the Jerry Lewis building. A girl from our group, apparently, is interning or working (I'm not sure which) at Paramount and we got to use one of their conference rooms. It's actually a cool environment for this sort of thing. More on that later.

That night, a guy was listening in on our meeting on the speakerphone. I didn't know who this guy was, but he was talking like he was actually there, giving feedback here and there. After the meeting, he suggested a "meet and greet" at his office, which is on the Universal/NBC lot in Studio City. So, at 9:30pm, a few of us went there for a "drive on," which means they give the security guard your name and they take your ID and let you drive onto the lot. We had to have one for the Paramount meeting, too.

We went upstairs of the 5225 building, otherwise known as the Owens Bradley building, and had a short meeting in the conference room that is normally saved for the folks who do "Crossing Jordan." I like this show, especially the woman who plays Jordan, who also was on "Law & Order" for a number of years.

The guy we met, it turns out, was a PA on the show. Actually, the correct terminology is Office PA, which apparently is a step higher than production PA.

You know, really, there's a lot of bullshit with these titles, and the guy admitted that. But he said he met a guy who said he worked on "ER," but really was just a production PA, and not a head production PA. Lot of bullshit, I tell ya.

I parked in the space reserved for the production designer of "Crossing Jordan." Then we had our meeting with this real geek of a guy who admitted he was just there to make the contacts. Other than that, he spends 16 hours a day in the office, often going in on weekends.

That night, we decided to meet the next day, which was Saturday. We went in at 1 p.m., again getting the drive-on credentials, and I parked in Ron Howard's spot at the Imagine area. Didn't know I was parking there at the time, but a tree happened to provide shade from the afternoon sun, so I took it.

A tram from Universal Studios Amusement Park drove by and I waved the obligatory wave to them, much to their excitement. (I've been on one of these and believe me, it's exciting when one of the execs on the lot waves to you.)

We then went in to the downstairs lobby and sat at a coffee table and had a 4-hour writers' meeting. It was actually very productive and we hammered out the "beats" for the first half of the short.

At 5, I had to go and get ready for my Cold Tofu appearance at 7:30, so we adjourned the meeting, which eventually took place upstairs in the "Crossing Jordan" office, just outside of the conference room we were in the night before.

There's not much to this office, really. Just a bunch of offices. Lots of offices. No cubicles. A secretary's desk. Many posters, awards, dry erase boards announcing the week's accomplishments such as moving up in the ratings. At some point, I went to the bathroom and noticed there was a shower in it. Apparently, a lot of people spend nights there.

Throughout the afternoon, a lot of the staff from "Crossing Jordan" brings their relatives and friends there for little tours and to show off. We saw about 7 people who were doing this. The guy we were there with kept explaining to the visiting staff that we were just waiting for some friends before heading off to lunch. Anyway, that was the story. We got a lot of work done, and hammered out the first half of the outline for our short. This guy (who works for "Crossing Jordan" as an office PA) is actually pretty good at outlining these things. I guess he sits in on a lot of these sessions. So, we got a lot done, in a short amount of time.

I think I liked the Paramount lot the best. I actually worked there last summer on a Ford commercial in the New York lot, and the entire studio really feels like a studio. Universal looks like an amusement park, and it seems the staff at Universal agrees. Every few minutes, a tram passes by, often playing some theme song for a famous movie, always at the same exact spot.

Then I went home, showered, took some herbs to make me feel spiritual (can't really explain this right now), and then drove to the Little Tokyo area where we have our Cold Tofu appearances. I always check the website to see how traffic was doing on the 101 freeway. It was bad, but getting better somewhere around Sunset.

I got on the freeway around 6:32, but was supposed to be at the Cold Tofu place at 6:30. Who cares? I'll be ready when I have to be, I thought. Sure enough, once I got there, I waited for about 20 minutes before we all went into warm-ups.

The performance was up and down. I had one really good scene. I'm tempted to say "great scene," but who am I kidding? It was really good, and I'm satisfied with that. However, I had one really mediocre scene which I'm still thinking about.

After the show, we went to Little Tokyo for food and libations. But at some point, I excused myself to head to Koreatown where my friends were entertaining some nice Korean girls. A few hours later, and $160 shorter, I left the parking lot. I didn't even get so much as a kiss from one of the girls. But that's to be expected. I didn't even get a phone number.

Now I'm home, exhausted, but not quite enough to pass out. I had a heckuva day. Writing, performing -- oh, and I bought tires from -- and hanging out with some lovely women.

All in all, it wasn't a bad day.

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