“And,when you want to truely see the world, all the world conspires in helping you achieve it.”

Archive for 2007

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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On The Set of Lost  (November)in Haleiwa--
As Terry O'Quinn's  Stand-In Body Double.

Michael Emerson and Ed Reif

Here with "Vincent The Dog", and Michael Emerson 

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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With Terry O'Quinn
First, you have to shave your head" is the life sentence to my great American novel life ---"Hair today.Gone tomorrow" Gone to Maui too. The best "career move" I ever made.

In the beginning, there was Michael. Jordan was the poster guy for the perfectly bald man. He made shaving cutting edge. He took "the shaved skull" from social outcast to rock star chick magnet status. The follicly challenged started doing the numbers . Shaved head= Shiny, Smooth and Sexy. You could count on being noticed.

Me no hair

Is bald beautiful? Perhaps. Is bald a high end haircut? Maybe. One thing for sure, Bald is a hair color. If you want to make the statement that says, I run my own life. Shave your head and join the Union!

Me no hair is a walking, breathing billboard and bullhorn that shouts, "I've got other plans"

Love Me. Love My Dog!
With Michael Emerson

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Informercials  over pay its celebrities for success and underpay for failure. Those long-format 23 minute commercials had several meteoric stars: Juice Man Jay Kordish Juicers, and Susan Powter "Stop the Insanity!" before and after you bought their products were all about  the call to action --your credit card and calling  1800 number. I had an action plan of my own. It wasn't about resources, but resourcefulness.

Jay would  extol the virtues of raw live juices and their Christ like healing powers, while handing out the Eucharist (carrot juice) to audience members. Militant Susan, the self proclaimed Lenny Bruce of Wellness, with her platinum buzz haircut, turned water into wine with her fat to fit solution of eating less.

 Yes I have a juicer, but the IN to my SANE  is  Tony Robbins, the guru of transformations and late night TV (Prime time is the worst time for these commercials) —that’s the guy “Tony” is not full of Baloney, he's full of red meat  and bad to the bone--Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power were reminders of  these basic things- 

"The quality of my life IS the quality of my communication"-YES. More importantly, "Success leaves clues. If I am committed, there is always a way. The past doesn't equal the future." 

And in his TED speech of 2006, (click link or view below), Tony discusses the invisible forces that motivate us to action

“Decision is the ultimate power. Decisions shape destiny.”

Success Leaves Clues

Tony is his own best life coach, going from living in his car, to flying a helicopter. I can relate  to his...

“In life you need either inspiration or desperation.”
Preparing  to change--- that takes time. Change itself occurs in an instant.

This is not some  life-changing transformation, but change  as a number of tiny actions that brings me  immediate results. Sure it takes training for a marathon, and you spell love t.i.m.e. but in Hollywood things happen at the speed of trust. And only when you trust yourself can you begin to live at full power.

Knowledge isn’t power, applied knowledge is. At  this point in my life, it was all about enthusiasm--Success is not continued enthusiasm despite failure after failure but outcome after outcome or results. There is no  failure, only Outcomes. Or as Tony says, Results.

I had a 90 day plan, after moving to Hollywood in 1997,  in the land of fruits and nuts Southern California, to get a SAG card.

What is a guild card, it is a Union card to work in the film and TV industry. It’s a classic catch-22. How do you get a role in a feature film? You need a SAG card. How do you get a SAG card? You need to get a role in a feature film. Just Ask Brad Pitt, OR Watch:

Aloha- If I am committed, there is always a way

As John Lennon sang “Beautiful Boy” on the radio, He was right--- life is what happens as you are making other plans. I was hearing "Let It Be"- the magic of letting go....

As it turned out, I was approaching getting a SAG card by collecting Union vouchers as a Background Artist, but when things went south, and work dried up, I was two days work shy of achieving the goal, but only 3 weeks to go on my 90 Day Plan, I was frustrated- As Tony would say:

 "Frustration is an action signal, it means you know that you could do better"

What could be better than a Brain Dump,going to Hawaii again, the place of recharge and inspiration. It was gonna be a break down or a break through. I took a chance on both-because as Tony says Focus Equals Feelings...and as the song goes ...feelings, nothing more than feelings..... 

“All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs.”

 I needed a vacation! from my vacation! and my job of "looking for a job", and "efforting". It was time for the law of least effort and the strength of loose ties to come into play. ENTER Hawaii

Environment Creates Mood And Motion Creates Emotion

I went to the well to draw water - Magical Kauai and The Best ,Maui for two weeks respectively. It was fun. I knew they were always shooting one movie in Hawaii somehwere. I found it ---the Harrison Ford Film, Six Days Seven Nights, in Kauai, but all I could do is hang out on the set a lot, eat some free food, and talk about L.A. stuff. I met a lot of per diem Transpo Local 399 Union guys making a fortune on this project, and the locals who worked the original Hawaii 5 O series, That was historically cool to see the pedigree -

These were the types who didn't go to film school to learn how to make a film. They went to film schools to rent the equipment. 

Real go getters. That's what production people are like. They can make it rain, tear down a set and make it snow.

Los Angry Cars

I flew back  to LAX, Los Angry Cars (Los Angeles) thinking I needed to drive a truck to earn real consistent money and break the 40K barrier. But  I was just grateful for a wonderful vacation, and when you are grateful, abundance has more than a chance to appear.

Shawn Mullins was my Bob Marley singing Lullaby "Everything is Gonna Be Alright"

In retrospect,  on Day 87, turned out to be my tipping point---  I was headed back to my apartment off of Fairfax, when I noticed a guy holding a yellow sign, That meant directions for the local union guys to park their vehicles-  I knew  they were shooting a movie. I used to Spec, or just show up (speculate) and get gigs. I’d get the Shoot Sheet, from the EIDC, the film permit guys, and drive over  to the location shoot, and get some last minute Union or non union work. In the seven Union vouchers I would get, four of them were by jusy showing up, and as Woody Allan said , 99% of life is just showing up… In my case 40% of my economic life.

"You’re Ed Reif…I worked with you on set last month” 

 “Steve”, yea, the AD (Assistant Director), you have a movie now,”

“No Ed , this is a Kate Capshaw film, Steven Spielberg’s wife, I'm hustling just helping out the location scouts, but I’m shooting a film starting tomorrow   “It’s an early call time 5AM, Just Show up and I'll see if I can get you a day or two”

“I live near there. I can walk over. I’ll be there”.

 I returned for  work on what was to be a   Richard Elfman film , with a working title, The Revenant. Later it would be released as Modern Vampires.

Modern Vampires (1998) Horror/Thriller
Director:Richard Elfman  Starring :Casper Van Dien, Natasha Gregson 
Wagner, John Fleck, Ed Reif, Kim Cattrall, Stephen Porter, Craig Ferguson,
Jason Ross-Azikiwe, Udo Kier, Natalya Andreychenko, Rod Steiger,
 Boris Lee Krutonog, Marco Hofschneider, Robert Pastorelli, 

Taft–Hartley Act

On Day 88 I worked a Day as a  Union Background Performer, On Day 89, I was given an audition, by Rick,(the Director) who asked “Can you act?” which  I replied  affirmatively, “Yes” and got upgraded as a day player, with a contract.

I  switched my union background voucher with   Actor John Fleck’s day player contract. John  had another project in New York, and had to leave, as we were shooting over time.

 Overtime to me was golden time- In the 12, 14 hours you can double and triple your money as a Union Gig. I was loving it..My own trailer, good food, lots of beautiful girls-living the dream. I got  "Taft–Hartley-ed" 

(The term Taft-Hartley has a special meaning in the entertainment industry. Specifically, for film and television actors, an actor not in the union who becomes a “principal performer” (says a line) is immediately eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild and is covered under the SAG contract with the production company for 30 days, at which point he or she must either join SAG or cease working on any union productions)

Steve, the AD, I met the day before , who originally hooked me up with the gig, I remember to this day, with his  clip board, and head set on  just rolling his eyes,  saying  

"Lucky Dog. You Spec'ed a feature film, get a Union Voucer, and then upgraded to a Union Contract-I have never seen that".

The Shoot-The past doesn't equal the future (I never took an acting lesson)

These were the  few lines  in a feature film,

“I’m an attorney, you’ll never get away with this”   

Then Vampires  Kim Cattrall (before SITC) and Robert Pastorelli , chopped off my head and ate my brains. Yuck. As we shot my scenes, I was so excited and amped up on Craft's Services Espressos, that I got close ups and lines that I was smiling and screaming at the same time.  

With no classical training, not even one single acting lesson, I was about to get my first from The Sound Man, his ears ringing, said, 

"Ed this is a microphone. if you whisper it will project more feelings in your face"

 But it is a Director's medium, as my regional accent kicked in, Rick, smoking an unlit  cigar, said

 "Let's go again, less New York". 

Konstantin Stanislavsky rule was  Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art. I broke it! I loved myself in the art.

Now I had 30 days to pay the Union Dues! A New "feeling" But As Tony Robbins says, Focus equals feelings!  I had a feeling I could sell my Super Bowl Ticket(s) (1997 Denver vs Green Bay in San Diego).

Read About American History X The Walla Group

Despite the undoubted camaraderie, the laughs, the jollies and the sense of tribalism that attends any acting project, the profession remains a notoriously lonely one. Friendships are intense but brief; when the gig ends or the curtain runs down, you can soon find yourself back home staring at your cell phone  and wondering if any of it really happened. Memories are short, time moves on, fame is transitory. 

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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American History X is a 1998 American drama film
 directed by Tony Kaye and starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong and (Ed)ward Reif

In film and TV walla is a sound effect imitating the murmur of a crowd in the background.

A lot of Actor's don't like to shave their heads- Since I already do it, I have been getting a lot of prosthetic work on Galaxy Quest, and did a Mocumentary for the Sci Fi network; and a Series Regular as a Cro-Mag Soldier on Jerry O'Connell's Sliders.

A group of actors are usually  brought together in the post-production stage of film production to create this murmur is known as a walla group. We did it live.

Here I am as Nazi Buddy Storm Trooper #4.  Check out the video for some Walla
"Hell No! F No!"

 below at Venice High School in the badlands of Los Angeles

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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I Got More Problems Than A Math Book. Maybe you're right 1+1 does equal infinity. 

Indiana University at Indianapolis was a bit buttoned down
In 1994
I don't work everyday on the TV set, so I teach the other times as a Substitute. The .students are sweet and it's not like LAUSD rough It's a lot more casual in Aloha land and a bit of culture shock ---less buttoned down, hanging loose, exactly as I expected from my previous trips. 

My first extended stay was on the cruise ship SS Constitution. I just wanted a different experience, and I took the first job I could get, which was a deck hand. We sailed for seven  days and each day we had a port of call. Starting off with an embarkation day at Aloha Towers in Honolulu, then a sea day, and we hit Kauai, Maui(Lahina and Kahalui) Hilo and Kona. It was the best! The weather was always temperate and I had the most energizing and spirtually uplifting time, enjoying the weather, the people, the food, the culture and the OHANA-family atmosphere of Hawaii. I have been hooked ever since

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Barbie was right"Math is hard"

A Pain in The English

Hawaii is beautiful

 The three reasons I became a teacher, June July and August are replaced by the four reasons I teach in Hawaii---Kauai, Maui, Oahu and The Big Island.

Paradise Found

Nature's Mirror

Big Island

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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In 1994 On Board The SS Constitution

My first extended stay In  Paradise was on America Hawaii Cruises. I just wanted a different experience, and I took the first job I could get, which was a deck hand. We sailed for seven  days and each day we had a port of call.

Starting off with an embarkation day at Aloha Towers in Honolulu, then a sea day, and we hit Kauai, Maui(Lahina and Kahalui) Hilo and Kona. It was the best! 

The weather was always temperate and I had the most energizing and spirtually uplifting time, enjoying the weather, the people, the food, the culture and the OHANA-family atmosphere of Hawaii. I have been hooked ever since on these beautiful islands.
The definition of ecstasy is that you are not doing your ordinary everyday ho-hum existence. Shoveling sunshine in Hawaii beats a day at the office.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Fire Training was the most fun

That hose nearly catapulted me back 1000 feet

Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. 
Some get greatness as a graduation gift.

We all got our SCTW Certifications and USCG Merchant Mariner Documents in June 2007, so we can work on Ships. NCLA was an all-American crew, flagged here in the USA, and "The Jones Act" of 1812 says that  NCLA has to hire Americans. I did a short contract(8 weeks!) as a  Head Waiter, but this ship life as a waiter is Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Midnight Snack. No time off and any time off, I just slept.

 In August I took a leap of faith(actually jumped ship in Maui)/ One good thing about Hawaii is that is still America-The money is the same, my t mobile phone works andI can hustle and find a job---which I did-- and started working as a Sub and plus, as an added bonus, have been a working Actor  on the set of LOST as a body double and stand in. I have a SAG Union card from 1999, so that helps  to get paid scale.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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I find it so much easier to think in Hawaiian since I only know, like four words:Aloha (Hello-Goodbye) -Mahalo (Thank You)-E komo mai (Welcome) and Ono (Delicious).

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Greetings from Caffeine Central, Bean and Nothingness: the 800 lb gorilla- Starbucks.

I don't live near one, I live in one; a mad, mad, Starbucks world. It's tomorrow,and tomorrow is my permanent address!

Just like Seinfeld is a show about nothing---Starbucks has nothing to do with coffee. Starbucks is just like Seinfeld Every year I find myself watching a little more of it.

SBUX---America's favorite drug dealer is serving up, what Europeans call "Dirty Water"They have persuaded tens of millions of people to spend $4 for what had been a $1 product." That's an amazing-getting less for more value proposition. Drinking OK coffee and standing in line to buy it. The cult of the amateur, the army of one, patronizing the YOUniverse. Now that's EGOomics.

Thank you Kid Starbucks--open-minded, we-centric, candid, devoted to progress, personally accountable, curious, and confident ---Kid Starbucks, Thank you for taking some of the quo out of the status, and the way things were before. The Model T way -" you could have it in any color, as long as it's black".

The CNN Effect hit me hard--- the constant 24/7 news cycle. I stopped watching push TV. I pull my media from the web. The medium is the message means ou have to look beyond the obvious---Starbucks is so obvious-It's the coffee -NOT

I am waking up and smelling --- The Starbucks Effect--Everwhere and Forever has its gravitational pull on me---exerting almost cosmic influence on my life!

First and foremost, it is the Wi-Fi hot spot, the air-conditioning of the Internet age; in the spirit of the 20th century movie theatre-- where cold “advertising air” was deliberately blasted out the open doors to help sell tickets, knowing on every corner there is a SBUX and a WI-Fi connection is one step closer to being "always on".

Next, comes the numbers of possible choices available to the customer at the average Starbucks--it is amazing. The most referenced number is around 21,000, made based upon popular choices! But I'm fighting back---I am one of those drip customers!add to Digg

Finally, The Sex of Starbucks is pleasure- I like going there, and I don't buy their coffee. I drink it. I love sitting in one of their epiphany chairs to self-reflect, write Hotel @nyware , or give in to a mood swing here or there. Do I even know what "venti" is? Oh yea, It's 20 in Italian!

From Starbucks To More Bucks

My Drug Dealer Starbucks is now pushing movies and music. Over the next 30 days, SBX is offering a free download from iTunes every day. Free iTunes Songs!

The Mug Life...Hanging Out And Starbucking is like love: it's s a verb not a noun. You Do it. It's a grammer of scorn and wonder... because there is no way of telling apart the espresso-sipping artist and the cappuccino-gulping banker and that means the democratization of providing anybody with an opportunity to create their identity by providing practically unlimited choice.

Location Saturation: I'm Getting Wet!

There is a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks! It's a convenience experience. The AMEX card- Don't leave home without it, but when there's a Starbucks everywhere---Don't leave home--because there's a "Home Sweet Starbucks" just around the corner.

This ain't no third place. This is my first place. I live at Starbucks. I'm a free agent and this is my hub. Culture is not always popular, but Starbucks is.

Could I please have a cup of SHUT THE F*&$ UP!

I've been to three today. I didn't have three cups of coffee. I went to three different ones; and on the island of Oahu, that's not like NYC. Even here in "paradise"..Pearl Harbor, Ala Moana, Waikiki.

Make Coffee Not War

I can see it now. We consume about as much coffee as oil. It's creative destruction. It's global capitalism and yankee doodle dandy imperialism. Shatter!

I am applying for citizenship. I am a patriot, just like those alpha geeks, Steve Jobs and passionate MAC (culture) users are.... I would go to war for Starbucks and Google.

Did you know? In 1511 coffee, AKA The Devil's Cup, was banned in Mecca as being too similar to alcohol. The ban was overturned 14 years later. I couldn't help myself. I saw The Kingdom this weekend.

Caffeine is not (really) a drug, it's a vitamin. The chain is off the chain--- Starbucks has become the new McDonald's (44 million customers a week), and "The Google" has become a 24-hour global exercise in collective intelligence gathering. When I say I live at Starbucks, I mean I live in the environment of it. It the U word-- Ok I'll say it----ubiquitious, like Google.

Yet it's not hard to deal with everywhere all at once.

Too Little Too Latte?

Pimp My Google- It's their world We just live in it and, serve in it.
My drug dealer and my pimp, the one two punch that Makes My Day, the in to
my sane. You complete me.

I really enjoy being inside a Starbucks; drinking from that paper coffee cup, sitting it in my car's cup holder to remind me of where I was, that shows "I voted" for Starbucks again. It's not about the coffee; it's about the lifestyle. Yea , I heard 7/11 and (DuDO's) Dunkin Donuts Coffee is cheaper, but it's not about the price---"Why pay less?" is my attitude. I don't buy coffee. I drink it. I love sitting in one of their epiphany chairs to self-reflect, write Hotel @nyware , or give in to a mood swing here or there.

Starbucks is a lot like Google. Starbucks is a network. And networks exist to bring people together... and to sell them stuff. No concept is too big and there can never be too many "hooks" into an (end) users life.

There is zero switiching cost involved in me "using" (Seattle's Best)Yahoo or (Pete's) Vivisimo or (Coffee Bean)MSN, but I don't care.Google has StartingPoint Power.It bestows alpha geek status on me, and, more than that, I believed in google before it believed in me. There was no start page on the internet, and I made Google mine.

Now, it is the industry standard, the default start page for everyone- It turns out that owning the starting point on the Internet is really, really valuable; and starting ones day out at Starbucks is too.

Google is my magnifying glass. Something good on Google looks great to me. Just like Starbucks, it's about the lifestyle , the value is on the search, not the content.

Google is not Starbucks competition, Google is its environment. Starbucks is not competitors with Google, They are partners. Starbucks has an interest in driving Google's success. Heck we all are partners with Google. We all have an interest in Google succeeding.

The Dogs of
Kitsch went on a world tour ---to satisfy mass culture, by spinning and packaging the shared hallucination of everlasting uncertainty, fueled by the disease of "more". Hello and Buy Buy to Val(shorthand for Valley Girl) like totally: How do you say---Shop till you drop, in Chinese? (More on that below). In my other writings, The Teaches Of Beaches- I have an edict--ALWAYS MAKE NEW MISTAKES. Chairman Howard stole my playbook--with the Forbidden City foray and their general lack of interest in the beverage, I mean culture-because isn't that what SB was selling? He sinned bravely.

Real China replaces Starbucks

Go East Young Man! It was the mantra of simplicity Zero sum minus some.The further East the Dogs of Kitsch go, the further West they get. People are the only thing that make a difference. It's not about high tech machines or your nice buildings and logos anymore. Apparently, the Chinese got sick of Corporate America's Death By PowerPoint Venture third round funding dog and pony shows---"all we have to do is get 1% of the people in China to buy our product." Dim Sum and Then Sum...

Let's read the tea leaves: You can't teach an old dogma new tricks. Don’t mistake motion for progress.If you feel athletic, do you go to a sports bar? So, if you want to love things that can't love you back, go to a Starbucks It's the “democratisation” of boredom. Get your workout on, on the dehumanizing treadmill of materialism and consumption....

Starbucks is like, so prehistoric, and headed for extinction. Chinese like TEA not COFFEE--- Yet you wouldn't know it. The old wine is in a new bottle. The art of telling stories even when there is no story to tell.

The karaoke bar is singing the praises of Don't Worry Be Happy in Seattle. A cheap imitation of the once glory days of the first SB.

It's closing time for the karaoke crowd ---who actually cares that you can belt out the loudest tune after three martini's --It's still the S.O.S. Same ole ___ bland copies of the original. It just goes to show---The secret of staying young is lying about your age.

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- - -- by Ed Reif»
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I'm home from the sea, my soul(sole) melody
I’ve been away roaming far away from here
weathered some storms, my heart unafraid
crossed every ocean in the boat (of love) that you made

Been blowing my horn, scaring the spooks
No crotchets or quavers in my books
Gone sailing all night, straight in the vein
like Perry (a bird) on his own flight in his domain in the sky

Running in on the tide with the first of the stars
the moon on the water and the sound of guitars
Glide into the homing as the night falls
to tie up in the haven by the old harbour wall

And the hard-bitten stranger as deaf as a post
who stands at the fire where a poet’s dreams roast
He can’t know the story, he can’t feel the pain
and all of the glory falls around him like rain in the sky

You’re a light in the dark, a beacon of hope
and strong as a sea boat, strong as a rope
And the vagabond wind, whispers over the bay
and the songs and the laughter, are carried away in the sky

And Harry doesn't mind if he don't make the scene

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