Sunday, August 31, 2008

I oughta be in pictures

I must confess, there are few things more exciting than seeing yourself in the paper or on TV.

This morning I was skimming the Chicago Reader and there I was on page 11. After a long absence, the DePaul campaign has apparently been resurrected. And here I was taking it personally that I was seeing myself a lot less than the other actors featured.

And I suppose I'll be seeing myself on TV at some point soon. The bank commercial I shot in August is supposed to air here and in a couple of neighboring states. One big benefit of SAG is that the first residual check has already arrived, a mere three weeks after the shoot. That's compared with non-union, where the standard is almost always at least 90 days, which is crazy-town. 

I've said before that the delay is a real motivation killer on marginally-paying jobs. "Want to make $200 (minus agent commission) as an extra on an all-night shoot Saturday in Schaumburg?" Um ... maybe. But then you think about the check arriving sometime after the holidays and it all becomes ridiculously abstract. 

Anyway, I have never once caught one of my own commercials live. I seriously must watch all the wrong shows and stations, so I'm not holding my breath. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

Speechifying

When I was hired into a big PR firm back in 1995, it was very much a sink-or-swim environment. I didn't have a specific role or assignment from Day One. They pretty much hired me because they liked me and thought I had potential and figured I would fit into the organization and bring value somehow. (This was the booming '90s, after all.)

So those first few weeks were a little odd. I didn't have any one "boss" or belong to any specific practice or team. Various team leaders would give me a project and I would do them just fine, but in that environment people were understandably averse to taking a risk on an unknown, untested newbie. That was really tough for some people -- a few would go on like that, never quite finding their way, and eventually get frustrated and leave.

But I had a breakthrough. One of the managing directors asked if I could write speeches. "Sure," I replied, having never quite technically done so before. But I wrote it and the director and the client seemed pleased. Next thing I knew another managing director popped his head into my office and said, "Hey, I heard you write speeches."

From there I was pulled onto a client team and a project that would pretty much solidify my career there. I became, as I called it, "Speechboy" and eventually developed into the chief speechwriter for the CEO at the client. I later went on to lead the team and others, but over time I have written hundreds of speeches for scores of high-level corporate executives and managers and a handful of CEOs.

There's something about it that feels utterly natural and almost effortless. I guess that means you're doing something you're meant to do. But capturing the voice of the speaker, to the extent that they say, "Wow, these sound like MY words -- this is exactly how I would say it." Telling a story, making an emotional appeal to your audience, creating a rhythm and flow with words. (In a lot of ways, I think this was an early "tug" for me in the direction of acting.)

So I love watching a good speech being spun, and this week's convention has been like a feast. Sometimes its like John Nash where he sees all these hidden connections and patterns in random information. I see the structure of the speech in the air -- little headings and subheads and bullets and boxes and lines. Or I just get swept up in the emotion of it.

Anyway, I don't know if any the great ones from this week (both Obamas' and both Clintons' speeches) will stand the test of time, but it's been 20 years really since I've heard great political rhetoric like this.

Here's a snippet of one of my old favorites, from Jesse Jackson in '88:

Most poor people are not lazy. They are not black. They are not brown. They are mostly White and female and young. But whether White, Black or Brown, a hungry baby's belly turned inside out is the same color -- color it pain; color it hurt; color it agony.

Most poor people are not on welfare. Some of them are illiterate and can't read the want-ad sections. And when they can, they can't find a job that matches the address. They work hard everyday.

I know. I live amongst them. I'm one of them. I know they work. I'm a witness. They catch the early bus. They work every day.

They raise other people's children. They work everyday.

They clean the streets. They work everyday. They drive dangerous cabs. They work everyday. They change the beds you slept in in these hotels last night and can't get a union contract. They work everyday.

No, no, they are not lazy! Someone must defend them because it's right, and they cannot speak for themselves. They work in hospitals. I know they do. They wipe the bodies of those who are sick with fever and pain. They empty their bedpans. They clean out their commodes. No job is beneath them, and yet when they get sick they cannot lie in the bed they made up every day. America, that is not right. We are a better Nation than that. We are a better Nation than that.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A tip

When I'm performing other people's words, it reminds me of a little something I learned in Speechwriting School (where I am the sole student, teacher and dean).

If you're ever writing something that's to be spoken -- a speech, a video script, a champagne toast -- be sure to READ IT ALOUD before finalizing it.

It helps you avoid creating tongue twisters and such for the poor sap who has to deliver the words. Seriously.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ow my larynx!


Oy, tough shoot today.

It was an industrial for a pharmaceutical company introducing a new drug. So new that in the scripts sent out for auditions it was called "Product X." By the audition it had a name. By the shoot it had SIX names! 

Apparently it's so new that they haven't yet finalized the name, and so they have to cover all their bases. Which meant I had to do major chunks of the video over and over again, dropping in each of the name options. With multiple takes of each, of course. (Though a lot fewer than they expected, I think.)

It could have been worse, I suppose. There are actually about a dozen different names, but one of them is spelled six different ways but pronounced the same, so I could cover all of those options at once.

So it was grueling, and long, and I was sweating profusely. At one point in the afternoon I got a call from my agent, saying they were wondering if I was available for another shoot day later in the week, which I was glad to do. As it turns out, they were concerned we wouldn't make it through the whole thing in one day.

But we did. It was weird. I was in a zone. There was this one 5-paragraph chunk that I had to do not just six times, but twelve times, because another variable was introduced. But I just locked it in, like I was on autopilot (yet with warmth and rhythm and cadence) and we plowed on through it.

Everyone was very, very happy, and it was great to get the feedback after a couple of gigs this month where I felt not as much in my element. I think I excel when I've got lots of words to say, and when I'm on my own instead of in a scene with others.

Which is kind of like it is in real life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Convention wisdom

I am so glad the Olympics are over, so I can stop wondering what I'm missing by not watching them.

I am, however, watching the Democratic National Convention, or what I can see of it between the bloviating. I thought Michelle and Hillary's speeches were among the best I've seen. Right up there with Jesse Jackson in '88 and Mario Cuomo's "shining city on a hill" speech.

Or maybe they were great in a different way. It was the context -- there were so many expectations, so many specific issues to address and marks to hit. Probably in 20 years they won't stand up like those other speeches did because we'll be wondering why the next first lady had to prove her patriotism or why the loser was greeted as the victor.

But from a pure communications standpoint, they were beautifully written and delivered.

All of this reminds me of my former life, where politics was everything. I remember the excitement of attending the '96 convention, and seeing Clinton speak on the trail (a couple of times) in '92. Even shaking hands with Bush Sr. in the Oval Office. I kept the official photo framed over my toilet for years. Who knew then how much abysmally worse a Bush could possibly be?

And I'm still surprised sometimes to see how little politics matters to most people. (An old client once scheduled a major meeting on ELECTION NIGHT. WTF is that about?) But I'm glad to be doing what I'm doing now. That was a tough, often thankless life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

To SAG or not to SAG

Just got back from Agent B's, where we discussed SAG and other things.

For years I figured when the opportunity presented itself I'd go "financial core" but now I'm not so sure. "Ficore" is a sort of quasi-union status that: a) costs less; b) provides fewer benefits; but c) allows you to do both union and non-union work, the latter representing a pretty hefty percentage of the work that's out there in the Chicago market.

So there's a principle at stake here. Ficore might just be the most expedient and beneficial thing for my career -- availability for more jobs means more money. But the whole Ficore thing exists in the first place because of a supreme court case that created this exception for people who objected to their union dues being used for certain political activities. It definitely has its roots in anti-unionism.

Do I want to be pro-union or pro-ME? On the other hand, a rationalization can be made that Chicago doesn't offer enough union work, so it only makes sense to go this way. On the other, other hand, maybe Chicago has so much non-union work because so many actors are willing to do it.

Joining might indeed result in a drop-off of work (and certainly a drop in the number of auditions I go on). On the plus side, the work I would get would probably be better, and better paying. I might even get into more union auditions than I do now as a non-union actor. And there's definitely something symbolic to it. An imprimatur, if you will (to use a word I've never once used!) -- something that says, "This guy's serious about his career, is willing to invest in it and (presumably) is a pro."

It's ironic that in my "regular" career one of the things I specialized in was representing corporate management (from a communications standpoint) in union negotiations. And while I never thought I'd want or need the protection of a union, I don't like having the whiff of union-buster on me.

At least the decision, either way I go, is ultimately reversible.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And booked

That's cool. Four bookings in a month -- that's never happened.

The money's not what I'd call super-terrific -- sort of average -- but a milestone nonetheless. Just two-thirds of the way through the year, I've got as many bookings as I normally have in a full year, and totaling more money than I've ever made from commercial work in a year.

Wow. I could quit my day job. All I'd have to do is cut back on living expenses by 75%!

And now for the cocky ...

So now I'm back to thinking I deserve to get booked for every audition I do. And actually, one of the two from yesterday just called to check my availability, so maybe I'll get that.

That happens after a couple of bookings -- I suddenly get all super-confident. I think it actually manifests itself in some good auditions. But usually what ends up happening is I go back to normal and don't book anything for weeks. We'll see. Three bookings in a month -- is it a trend or just the law of averages balancing itself out?

Also, Agent A asked this week about me going exclusive, which Agent B has also discussed with me. This week really brought to light the difficulty in being multi-listed. Agent B had me booked for Tuesday in Milwaukee and Agent A for Wednesday in Columbus, and there had to be some juggling and accommodating on both ends for them both to work. It would have been much simpler if one agent was representing me on both.

So I really think I have to make a decision soon. It's tough. Agent A has been most consistent over the past few years, but Agent B has come on super-strong this year and is giving me lots and lots of love and making it a genuine relationship. I'm leaning to B, but would feel disloyal firing A. And I'm just crazy enough to consider things like loyalty and integrity.

I guess option C would be to keep the status quo, but that has consequences as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Step to the left -- you're blocking the duck


Absolutely fun and hilarious shoot yesterday. Who knew Columbus was such a hotbed of creativity?

This was a photo shoot for a big financial services company and their in-house marketing people are putting together a library of images to use in future advertising and marketing. Needless to say, they were going for very atypical, non-literal images. The complete opposite of Tuesday's warm, happy family moments shoot. This was all post-modern and ironic.

The shoot with the ducks was the most fun. Think of 20 or 30 (non-obscene) ways you can pose with a big plastic duck in your hands. Then do it again with a little plastic duck. (I have to say, I preferred working with the big one. The little ones, with their smily beaks and jaunty sailor caps were trying a little too hard, while the big guy was all scoldy and mean.)

They had all these crazy props they found at flea markets and other places and found new, interesting ways of bringing everyday objects, like duct tape, to life. And they had us wear various odd-to-outlandish retro outfits (I finally got to wear those faded, red preppy pants that a succession of girlfriends strongly advised me not to buy) and strike a range of poses and expressions, from deadpan to odd.

So it was a very long, but successful and lucrative 40 hours or so. The travel logistics mostly went off without a hitch and, best of all, I had free wireless at both shoots, so I actually stayed in touch, got client work done, and frittered away time on the Internet.

Nice to be back to the routine. Back to the gym today. Then two auditions this afternoon ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't go back to Rockville


I got both gigs, which is great, but it's been totally planes, trains and automobiles. Without the trains, I suppose. Unless you count the El.

Drove up to Milwaukee early Monday, did the photo shoot all day, then down to O'Hare, flying into Columbus at midnight and now prepping for another all-day shoot. 

Hopefully not all day. Maybe before flying back I'll get a chance to see some of this town (beyond this shot of the hotel's coffee table book). It's been at least five years since I've been here. (And, wow, more than 13 years since I lived here.)

Gigwise, I hope today's goes better that yesterday's. It was fine and all, but I was playing the dad in a family where all the other actors were actually family. A mom (my wife), her parents and her kids. Her husband, apparently, the only one in the family not willing to go on camera. They were really nice people and had a beautiful house by the lake and a really funny dog (to whom I managed to teach a couple of new tricks), but jumping in there and being "dad," and figuring out how to playfully "horse around" with my "son" was kind of a trick in itself.

At least the hotel's nice. Even if I got the butt-side view of the city from my window.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Uncertainty

Scenic Michigan City, Indiana
August 16, 2008

Okay, I may or may not be in Milwaukee tomorrow.

And I may or may not be in Columbus on Wednesday.

One thing I do know is I am definitely going to be in Park Ridge this afternoon, which makes planning for all this -- transportation, clean wardrobe, etc. -- kind of difficult. 

It would be nice to know by noon exactly what's going on. But I'm not counting on it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Booked!

That's good news. A good client, good money -- makes the past couple of weeks worthwhile. Mostly. I mean, that's still a lot of auditions that didn't turn into anything. (9, to be exact, unless I hear from a couple of the latest ones.)

So they're telling me it's a 10-hour shoot instead of the planned 8 hours and they'll try to get me a little more money for that, which is cool.

Then I'm talking to the wardrobe person and get wind that it's being shot in Milwaukee! Which was not in the plan. And also was news to my agent.

Milwaukee is very different from Chicago. So we've got to figure that out. I would give almost anything (short of the fee for the job) to not do a four-to-five-hour round trip to Milwaukee on top of a 10-hour shoot. What with the gas, and the renting and all of that.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day off

No audition tomorrow! Yay! 

Ahhhhhhhhh ... I feel ... LIKE A LOSER! I suck! What's wrong with me? What's going on at O'Connor that I'm missing out on? Why do my agents hate me?

Actually, I'm cool with it. Though it does feel a little weird. 

Today at the do-over audition I ran into this guy who's sort of my Benign Nemesis. He's a good guy, about my age, what they call a "booker." It seems everything he goes out for, he books. I did a print gig with him a couple of years ago and he booked two other jobs over the phone that afternoon. He quit his waitering job last year because the commercial work has been so good to him.

He's got the perfect look. Very mainstream, very guy-next-door or authoritative executive type. Every time I see our names together on the same schedule I think, "Crap!" I did beat him out on that architect gig last week at least. But for every "architect" or "artist" or "slightly edgy guy" role, there are at least twenty for "dad" or "spokesman" or "executive." Plus he's just plain good at what he does.

The worst thing is, he's a super-nice guy. Fucker!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Merde!

Literally THREE seconds after posting about killing myself if I had to get back on the Halsted bus tomorrow, my agent calls again.

Oh, good, I'm thinking, they decided that fast and want to book me for that job!

Actually, no. This is one for the books -- totally unprecedented. Apparently, the casting agency had a wee little problem with the tapes from today's audition. Which means ... DO-OVER!!

I'm stunned. I have to go back there tomorrow. AT LEAST now I'll be prepared. I can dress like an office worker. And I have some recollection of the scripts.

But, damnit, I have to get back on that motherfucking bus. (My agent said go ahead and cuss.)

Kill me now.

Waiting patiently for the phone not to ring

I figure one more hour and I'm in the clear -- meaning no audition tomorrow.

After 13 auditions in 11 days. And at least one every day so far this month -- except for the day I was on a shoot and therefore couldn't make Would-be Audition #14.

It's a terrible thing to hope against, I suppose, but I am fried. Yes, it beats having the other problem -- not auditioning enough -- which is bad beyond the obvious reasons. When you go out too infrequently you find yourself arranging your calendar around callbacks you haven't gotten and mentally spending money from bookings you haven't been booked on. But too many and you start losing focus and messing up and, well, whining a lot.

Still, though, I think two things have happened in the past couple of weeks. I've been called to random stuff that doesn't really fit me (latest was Tim Taylor/Bob Vila type). And I've gone to auditions not having a clue what was expected. I think the agents and casting people and ad agencies are just as swamped as I am, so info hasn't always been reliable or forthcoming. 

Like today's. I had no idea what this character was that the breakdown called for. My agent couldn't explain it either and just told me not to overthink it. So I get there and half the guys are in suits and ties and the other half (including me) in casual clothes. Some of them got scripts beforehand, some didn't (including me).

Crap! The phone just rang. It was my agent. Urg!

Turns out I am still on hold for that job, but they need to adjust the dates. And from what they tell me, I'm their leading candidate. So that's all good.

Still, I would do anything not to have to get on that damned Halsted bus tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another step toward OldFartdom

Graceland Cemetery
August 10, 2008

First it was the crossword. Then the Jumble®. Now lately I've been getting into trees. Not "into" them as in climbing them -- more like identifying and recognizing them.

I've always liked when you to go certain places, like parks or, I don't know, arboretums, and all the trees have little plaques telling you what they are. Well now at least there's google, and this cool site that helps you identify trees by their leaf patterns.

It started with an awesome tree I've had my eye on for a while now. Thick, thick, deeply grooved bark, tall, tall, trunk and massive shading canopy. Turns out it's a cottonwood. For years I thought cottonwoods were an entirely different tree, based on one in our backyard when I was a kid, which I believe my Dad identified as a cottonwood. Turns out is was a sycamore. 

So I'm getting pretty good at this. The trees with those long string-bean shaped pods and big heart-shaped leaves? Catalpas. Helicopter trees? Silver Maples. The one on my street that lost a huge branch in last week's storm? It was an ash. (Green or white -- that's as close as I could get.)

But the favorite so far? It's got to be the cottonwood. Check out that bark! 

At least I'm not a birder. When I start birding, that's when you can put me to sleep.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Invisible Man

Being on a set is an intense microcosm of the acting business in general.

When you're not in the shot, when it's not your scene, you might as well be invisible. Your sole job is to stand by and be ready when they need you. But up to that point you might as well not exist.

It's a weird thing to get used to. It's not personal, and it's completely understandable. No matter how cool and calm the production people might be, it's still a very tense, intense situation -- they've got lots of work to do and usually not enough time to do it and it requires all their focus on the task in front of them at the moment.

Then for a little while you're at the center of things, because you've got what they need right then. And then just as quickly, you're done. They check the gate, sign your voucher or contract and release you. Then they're on to their next scene and you're suddenly invisible again. You'll usually get some nice goodbyes and often even some thank yous (mostly from the client -- not being in the business, they can be more easily impressed. I tend to do very well with the easily impressed) but for all practical purposes you are no longer of use.

It's not even a case of "What have you done for me lately?" It's "What can you do for me right now?"

Not a complaint, just a fact.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fore!


I managed to get one of the two auditions I couldn't do Wednesday rescheduled for today. And I'm glad because it was for one of my work clients. I don't know if the tapes will make it my actual client contacts, but it would be funny if they did.

This is also one of two different castings for two different clients going on this week for golfers, which has created a lot of confusion. "Did you get called to the golf thing?" "I guess I didn't get a callback then. Wait, what's the commercial for?" "Huh? They didn't tell me to bring clubs!" "You've got to be a really avid golfer." "Wait, I heard all you had to do was credibly swing the club!" "No, not the front waiting room with those golfers -- you're in the back room, with the other golfers." The ones who didn't have to bring their own clubs.

I'm on hold for another job, with a callback on Monday. For the life of me I cannot remember what I did or what I wore in the original audition, which was just a week ago. I keep telling myself to make notes in my book after the auditions with wardrobe and other observations, but I don't. And now I'm screwed. Well, not too screwed. They want me back at least.

I can't even remember who sent me on what (though I do write that down). But I ran into Agent B (rapidly becoming Agent A) today on the way to the audition and I talked like she sent me on it, which was not the case. It was Agent A.

So that's 10 auditions in 9 days (6 from Agent B, 3 from Agent A and 1 from Agent C). It's insane.

Still getting sent out on the occasional red herrings, though. Like tomorrow: a factory worker named Tony who drops his "g"s. Yo, Adrian! It's ridiculous. I'm tempted to go there wearing manpris and sandals.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The not-so-great pretender

A very strange day. All day I felt a little -- I don't know -- back on my heels? A bit wobbly?

The shoot went well, I feel like I did my job, all of that. I just felt a little off. Intimidated? Just because it was a SAG job? They had tons of people there. I'm sure between the crew and clients it was easily 50 people. Maybe more.

Or maybe I was just tired. (I sat for 4 hours past my call time before I got into the action -- that tends to drain you.) During the waiting I spent some time chatting up the other actors about SAG, and the pros and cons and such and I now have a very different view about going financial core. So I'm totally rethinking that, and need to do more research. So maybe it was that dynamic that put me in a low-status kind of frame of mind. Not fully confident in myself and what I was doing and whether I belonged.

Maybe it was the job itself. It was at the same time ridiculously simple and devilishly complex. I had to open an envelope, let a little piece of paper fall out (which actually happened maybe half the time), pick it up and study it, put it down, type on the computer, click the mouse and answer the phone. Duh. But I had to do it all the same way from 5 or 6 different angles. (Pick up the envelope with right hand, flip to the back and vertically, with opening facing right, pull out, pick up fallen piece of paper with left hand (after dropping envelope with right), hold paper in upper left and lower right corners, put it back down with both hands, reach for phone, etc.)

So there was a lot of focus on the physical movements and continuity, and not as much on the actual acting. Plus, throughout the auditions and the shoot they very much emphasized that they wanted everything small, minimal, simple. So I felt like I wasn't doing much or doing enough or doing what I was doing well enough. And I appreciated their appreciation when I nailed it, but at the same time I kicked myself, thinking, "Just hit your marks, you dumb monkey!"

So it was just sort of that all day. I didn't feel completely strong or confident, and I hope it didn't show. One of the things you're supposed to do is project confidence to put the clients and director at ease about your abilities.

I don't know. I couldn't help thinking, maybe this is one of those jobs where it really is all about the look.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"I always wanted to pretend I was an architect"


Tomorrow I've got a commercial booking. An actual commercial this time -- not an industrial. One that looks like it will even air locally (as well as in a couple of other states). Hopefully on a channel that I watch.

Once again, the glasses. They get me more gigs. Clearly they say "architect."

It's also a SAG spot, so it looks like I'll be joining the union. I'll probably go Financial Core, meaning I can still do non-union work, since that represents the vast majority of on-camera work that's done in Chicago.

This being only my second SAG job, so far I'm not seeing a big difference. It's 4:43 pm and I have no idea when tomorrow's shoot is or how long it will take. I did ask and found out where, which is nice. But other than that, I'm not feeling a whole ton of entitlements here.

And the money's kind of mysterious. With non-union you get a lump sum buyout that covers a specific period of time that the commercial will air. Here it's all based on residuals, with a complex formula that, apparently, makes it hard to determine what you'll actually make.

And, of course, as I'm trying to figure out tomorrow's schedule, other agents are trying to book me on two other auditions, and two different clients want to have conference calls. Yes, it alllll has to happen on Wednesday -- apparently that's the only day this week has.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Swimsuit Competition

I've never been so comfortable going to an audition before. Shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops. It was awesome.

Up until the actual auditioning part, of course. I guess context is everything. Stripping down to a swimsuit at the beach? No problem. In an audition room in front of two (virtual) strangers? A bit of a problem. Even though my agent assured me they "aren't looking for specific body types -- think of the people you see at a theme park." Ouch. And the breakdown called for people "somewhat in shape."

Anyway, it would be a cool gig. Eight hours in a great big water park riding rides and getting wet -- no waiting, no lines. Hell, I'd almost do it for free. This would be right up there with my top three ungotten gigs: 1) cab driver for Nick Lachey; 2) rehab patient with Ghostface Killah; and 3) dad in pizza commercial.

And for the record, it was indeed a Speedo. (Board shorts.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Three shower day

I don't believe I've ever taken three showers in one day. Two is pushing it. But I've come a long way since the record I proudly set in fifth grade: 21 days straight without a shower! I was in the pool everyday, though! That was my defense then. Yeah, pretty gross now to think of how many people use the pool as their bath.

When and how did that kid grow up to be so damned persnickety? Complaining about three auditions -- because it's hot, and public transportation sucks, and slogging around town in a suit with the dew point at 70 degrees bites, and the final trip home that should take 20-25 minutes, tops, takes almost an hour and a half really, really blows.

Anyway, reflecting my mood, my audition performances kinda declined as the day progressed. I started the day as smarmy, suited, jargon-spewing ad exec, and think I made nice work of that. Later on, corporate host/narrator was authoritative, but the warmth was getting hard to muster.

Finally, college football fan heckling the refs was downright ... oh, uninspired. I had to do two or three minutes improvising insults, and though I thought "Hey, Helen Keller" was pretty good (the casting agent said that was a first for the day -- several had said Stevie Wonder, but nobody else came up with Helen Keller), by minute three (especially the second time I had to do it), I was down to "you stink" and "go back to referee school."

Oh well, nothing that 60 hours in shorts, t-shirts and no socks won't cure. And at least for Monday's audition I'm wearing a swimsuit.