Sitting at the airport relaxed and feeling fine, waiting for the plane to take me off to mine, people watching, it's a crazy mix, I'm certainly getting my fix, one more wine and I'll think I can rhyme! Oops too late, well at least I'm not too drunk to post this!
Wow been a while since I blogged! Have to say I'm having a blast on the show I'M IN THE BAND. recently we shot a scene with snakes... Real snakes... And a six foot python named Titan
They squeeze you to death... Titan.. Get it? -- so needless to say I wasnt too happy when they placed him around my neck! But I'll tell you this, we bonded pretty quickly, we're gonna hang again real soon.
He was so cool, you can feel yhe sheer power of six feet an forty pounds of muscle, and its humblong. Titan was an albino, white amd yellow markings and he was a babe, the Brad Pitt of snakes.
Goes to show that preconceived notions are often wrong, now I wonder if its the same with humans.... NAH! Steve
Why do we have unions? They are here for the members, that's it. To protect, fight for and ensure fair deals and conditions. So why are so many actors pissed off at their unions? We feel they have let us down. Although our dues pay their wages the employees seem to think it's ok to ignore concerns, not return calls and betray us in gross and illegal manners. Soon I wil detail my struggle with AFTRA and how it has completely let its membership down, and beleive me, I'm not the only one who feels this way!
Although I have never been an outspoken political type, it's time to speak up. It ain't all glamour folks!
I have been sooo busy launching a new show that their has been zero time to write. Learning guitar, singing lessons and a long sitcom schedule knocked me out these last 3weeks. Now we are hitting our stride I can pull the trusty (?!) iPhone out and blog from the make up chair as my awesome rocker wig is being attatched!
The show is called IM IN THE BAND It follows the life of teeanger Tripp Campbell as he joins his all time fave 80's Rock band IRON WEASEL as they vie for a comeback. I play lead singer and rock legend in his own mind , DEREK JUPITER. I have not had this much fun and laughed out loud so much in years! And I'm not just saying that coz I'm in it! The reason I chose to do this show was the scripts were hysterical! The band let's the kid join as long as they can live in his mums guest room! It's Spinal Tap millenium style and it's a blast, I hope you will all check it out when we premier in January on Disney XD Talking of Disney, the Wizards of Waverly Place movie prems in August, It was a challenge to shoot as I had a parrot on my shoulder the ENTIRE film! But she (parrot) was very affectionate and we had fun together! They say never work with kids or animals but this shoot proved that wrong! The WWP cast were lovely to work with and we all had fun off camera too. It was shot entirely on location in Puerto Rico, which, with the exception of the over 50 spider and mosquito bites I endured, was a beautiful location! Well, wig is on, make-ups done, time to change and go shoot! We are starting with a scene where we rock the bands new song PRETTY BITTER, a break up song that takes no prisoners! Ciao peeps luv y'all! Stevie V
So I'm up at 530am (230am LA time) getting picked up in 30 mins. Time to fly back home.
An uneventful night, had some wonderful suggestions from the twitpack about where to eat but crashed. Would love to return to Atlanta someday, apparantly they offer tax credits for filming so their's a good chance of that! Sitting here thinking of all the places I've visited to work and film, the adventures I've had so far and it brought a smile to my hangovered crumpled morning face.
Everyone should travel as MUCH as they can. There are peeps I went to school with, in my home town of Southend, England, who's idea of travelling is 'popping down the pub'.
There is sooo much to see, I have only just scratched the surface, I've seen rainforests and deserts, beaches, jungles, mountain tops, villages and huge cities, amazing architecture and mud huts, passionate tango, magic, incredible cemetaries and simple graves of complicated historical figures, protest marches for peace and pot, beautiful oceans, volcanos, a frozen lake with a stunning church in the middle of it (Lake Bled) and the people, the people are wonderful!
The press and media perpetuates the myth that the world is seeped in hatred, war and violence but I haven't experienced that. That's not to say it isn't there, I've worked for USO type army tours, entertaining troops in the Falklands, Northern Island and Belize, I've heard bombs go off during my show (and I'm not talking about the jokes!) it is out there but I've seen so much more! I've seen successful peeps who share their wealth, others with nothing that are truly happy and share their love, people who are sick and dying who are more concerned about others than themselves, generous people, warm, loving and giving. THAT is the common denominator wherever I go and it rocks!
No real point to this mornings blog, other than to say to the world how much I appreciate it.
Go see it for yourself, you can' t have an opinion on politics, religion or fashion, ;), until you have seen how others live, its worth it trust me, as the Captain of the Titanic once said 'have I ever steered you wrong!'
So I used an iPhone app called BLOGPRESS, works like butter! Awesome!
Here's an awesome pic of Ziggy, can't remember if I posted this yet but it's the Zig playing with a pals dog, yes this is playing! He's very alpha with other pooches VERY ALPHA always has to dominate... Just like his dad! Loves flirting with the ladies ..just like his dad, always licking and sniffing.... Just like.. A dog ! Come on people!
So my pal Chris Amerouso, he of glamour and animal photography fame, knew I needed a dog before I did. He's an animal lover and supporter of many charities, as am I, but he's also kind of a tattooed Dr Doolitle.
Anyway one day he comes to me and says that our mutual friend, Linda Blair, of head spinning fame, now runs an amazing PIT-BULL rescue and has a dog for me. His name is Snowflake and he's at her compound. Snowflake needed a minor operation and had been dropped at the pound by a family unable or unwilling to spend the $200. Linda had rescued him just a few days before execution. (when you put it like that it drives home the fact huh?)
I wasn't sure a Pitt-bull was the right dog for me, but I love them anyway so went to visit Linda at her World Heart Foundation Compound.
First of all Linda does an amazing job rescuing Pits, and she runs the place solely on charity donations. She is a truly dedicated and brave person and must have over 50 dogs at her compound and knowing Linda she will find a home for all of them!
So I was finally introduced to snowflake, the dog Chris and Linda thought would be just right for me, there, in the middle of the room, ruling a pack of huge pitbulls, was snow flake, a JackChi! Thats a Jack Russell/ Chihauhua mix. I wasnt sure how to take that! A JackChi? What am I Paris Hilton with the little dog! ?
But then he trotted up to me wagging furiously, not just his tail but his whole body! I was hooked!
That was it, we were instant pals and he has lived at the Valentine compound for two years now.
One thing I knew for sure, the name Snowflake HAD TO GO! He had such a strong alpha personality with the Pits he deserved something cool and hip and strong.
I never knew how agonizing it can be finding a name for you pet, seriously !!! It took me weeks!
Finally I settled on the name Ziggy, but named after which famous Ziggy? As that would surely be the question,
So here it is, the announcement of his full name, Ziggy Marley Stardust Valentine III.
I always joked about people who had photos of their dogs on their cell phone....but THAT day I just had to take one, and now of course the phone is jammed!
I was at a coffee shop, we had just adopted Zigs and I wanted some java, a lady approached with her very young child,
"can he pet your dog "
I told her I had literally just picked him up and didn't know how he was with kids. she said...
"thats OK I'll take responsibility"
I was a little stunned but having a few witnesses I let the two meet,
Check out the pic,
Ziggy loves kids, he loves everyone, it's true what they say, a rescue knows he's been rescued.
By the way the rescue I'm talking about...is me
Go find one today,
Your perfect companion is sitting, waiting, wagging, on death row...go save him.
money, no job, just a passion to try and succeed. I thought I could work as a magician while setting up an acting agent, etc. I had heard of the Magic Castle, a mythological place where only the greatest Magicians in the world get invited to appear...literally, I knew it was in California but had no idea where!
The first apartment we stopped at was on Orange Drive, run by an english couple, we wanted to rent but had no credit, no jobs and not much money (about $2000 if I remember right). These guys were angels, they not only let us rent there but helped us find jobs!
I recall mentioning how I hoped to work at the Magic Castle, when the husband, Norris, frowned and took me outside, less than a block up the road, glistening in the sunlight WAS THE MAGIC CASTLE! Needless to say I auditioned to work immediately.
I must have performed THOUSANDS of shows there over the years, even winning a few awards.
Last night I took some friend up there who had never been and the wonder and joy in their faces reminded me of my first time, such a wonderful evening of magic and memories, and drinking and eating !
It's a fantastic place, I hope it stays around forever.
Their are times in life where you jump BEFORE looking, you
have to because if you see the challenges ahead or allow yourself to think of them you will never do it!
Sometimes just having faith in yourself, that everything will be alright, is enough. Having angels sent to watch over your journey cant hurt either!
I have always been a member of the 'jump in and just do it' club. You want to do somthing strongly enough and for the RIGHT REASONS the doors will open, maybe not immediately and for sure not in the sequence you may wish for, but they will open.
remember the ROLLING STONES, '
"you cant always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll find you get what you need!"
Looking back to 1989, it terrifies me to think about where we may have ended up, if it hadn't been for that lovely warm couple who managed the Orange Apartments I don't think I would be writing this today,
Thank you both
Martin Nash , the greatest card cheat in the world, and I next to our Magic Castle Caricatures!
With Tippi at Shambala fundraiser , that's a whole other blog!
So, its hard for me to say this, but...I live with two ghosts. SCOUTS HONOR!
How do I know this and why don't I run?
I shall explain. I moved into this particular house a number of years ago, it's a four story and the basement room, which opens out to the garden, was very cold from day one but this is to be expected from the lowest floor
Every time I went down to this room I felt irritation in the air, annoyance, like I shouldn't be there. Well I ignored it. Over the next two years there was a fair amount of drama in the house and so I didn't pay attention to the vibe in the basement.
After my divorce the house was empty for a while and then I moved back in. Now it was even MORE irritable in the basement and at time I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up as if someone was right behind me.!
Normally a person may run , but I've had a number o bizarre experiences in my life so it just pissed me off!
So I performed a completely improvised burnt sage ritual in every room. Just made up the words as I went along, basically saying
HEY THIS IS MY HOUSE NOW, IT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD, DEAL WITH IT, IF YOU DONT LIKE IT LEAVE.
Things seemed OK after that... then I had people stay over...
A pal who house sat for me called to ask if I had ghosts (hadn't told a soul..hard to get sitters if you do!) she said she had felt like she was being chased around the house when she was alone, more than one presence... as if to say
WHY ARE YOU HERE YOU SHOULD LEAVE!
She really didn't want to continue the job.
Now believe me when I tell you I was was not happy! So I Saged the house again on my return, this time very forcibly explaining the DEAL to whatever it was that wanted the house to itself. Im not afraid of these things and I let them know. This battle would continue on and off for a year. Then my GF at the time started feeling it. Now she is a lucid dreamer and has the ability to stop and confront something IN a dream if she doesn't like where its going! She had one experience where she felt I was sitting on the corner of the bed telling her she should wake up and leave and a vivid dream where she was being chased around the house by two men, one huge and one small. They were telling her she needed to get out! She stopped the dream and told them THEY should leave. They told her it was their house and they didn't want anyone else there, THEY HAD GOT RID OF THE WOMAN BEFORE AND THEY COULD GET RID OF HER!
So I made one final sage ceremony but this time I made them a promise it went like this
I HAVE FILLED THIS HOUSE WITH LOVE AND LAUGHTER, IF YOU DONT LIKE IT I COULD CARE LESS...BUT..IF YOU DONT QUIT RIGHT NOW I WILL SELL THIS HOUSE AND MAKE SURE I SELL IT TO THE LOUDEST, LARGEST, MOST OBNOXIOUS FAMILY I CAN FIND. YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD BEEN GOOD TO ME ! SO ITS TIME TO LIVE HARMONIOUSLY OR GET OUT!!
It has truly been peaceful since then, no visitor has experienced any weird vibes....although as I write this the hairs on the back of my neck are starting to rise....
This morning I had breakfast with Scot Williams, Scot was a writer and producer on Crossing Jordan, then moved over to co-ep BONES and now will be working with the big TV cheese himself....Jerry Bruckheimer! Way to go man that's awesome! Best of luck!
Scot is also the co-founder of SHANES INSPIRATION a truly wonderful positive charity, please check it out and donate if you can, The recession has hit charities so badly, and any help will always be appreciated..plus I will like you more !!!!
Soooooo excited to start shooting a new series for Disney XD, we begin July 8th, just saw the pilot it's looking goooood, show is called VIPER SLAP! About a 14 year old boy who joins an 80's rockband searching for a comeback. Here's a pic of me in full make up! is that my real hair..hmmmmm
The other awesome video game, DRAGONAGE, that I completed this year will be premiering in October. its amazing! Check out the trailers
I think I recorded close to 6000 lines of dialogue, well more really, approximately 3000 lines and three or four variations on each, so it adds up!
Here is a pic of my character, Alistair, the reluctant hero. who kicks ass!
I am constantly amazed at the detail in these games, this one is truly majestic!
So you see, an actors life for me, to play such different roles, inhabit so many lives, taste the worlds I might have entered and those I steered away from. That's why I love it, it makes this life I'm leading now...more like a multiple role playing game..split personality existence, without the prozak!
Sunday photo shoot with Karen Soltero, gonna rock that!
you all have an amazing weekend, now lets seeeeee...who do I want to be today.......
Yesterday I was continuing my year long adventure working for Naughty Dog on the sequel to their blockbuster, UNCHARTED. It's a Sony playstation game and we are close to finishing it. They have some amazing surprises with the sequel, the motion capture elements, directed by Gordon Hunt, are a blast to work on, look stunning on film, and the all in one motion capture jumpsuits we have to wear, absolutely humiliating!.
It has been inspiring to work with these talented actors who can break out a million voices and impersonations, at times its hard to keep a straight face! I am playing the character of Harry Flynn, he's so much stronger, braver, handsomer and rugged than I am, but then that's the grea thing about motion capture, look at Beowulf!
I have been given permission to blog the new trailer for the game, its like a motion picture, the game play itself has incredible detail,
As with other sites and blogging, I will try to read as many comments as I can, but it will be impossible to respond due to time constraints. I value your opinions. Anything inappropriate will be deleted and blocked.
Thanks for reading this...the most boring of all my blogs
So to make up for it here is a picture of me as a diminutive gardener in a super silly short I made for the internet!
Recently took a trip to New York to walk the runway for DRESSED TO KILT. Sir Sean Connery's annual fundraiser. was a blast on the runway but backstage was another experience. Met some wonderful people, passionate about the charity and their lives, people taking risks and following their passions, people who appreciated the chance this event gave them, to help others.
But I also had a classic 'don't meet your heroes' moment, an actress I have long enjoyed who was a complete B***** to me. For no reason and I mean NO REASON! I simply said hello and had to endure, not just her bitching about the event, but the disdainful looks and eye rolling she sent in my direction.
The bigger they were, the rougher they fall!
It's funny, DRESSED TO KILT for me embodied everything I love about ' The Biz':
People giving their time and stature to a charity for the shear joy of participating and raising money...
and the worst of 'The Biz':
'celebrities' who have forgotten what it is to have manners and be polite, who have insecurities and entitlements so vast they have lost touch with the simplicity of
being a human being.
If it wasn't for Inna that may have ruined my night, (I have a tendency to let rudeness get to me) but she convinced me to focus on the elephant...
Have to say though, all in all a fantastic event, I will be taking part in more and more this year, including SHANES INSPIRATION, a wonderful positive charity that puts to use every dollar it raises.
THEY SAY NEVER MEET YOUR HEROES. I disagree, meet as many as you can, for one thing you will often be pleasantly surprised, but the truth is you will see them as simply human, people as fallible, flawed and scared as you and me. Let this inspire you because lets face it, if THEY can become successful, then so can you.
I have been in Hollywood for 20 years now, many more 'heroes' stories to come...