Dr. Benway

I have no idea why the site was down for a little bit this morning…but Loren fixed it, and we’re back in business, as they say.
There is a really funny contest going on at Worth1000.com featuring an image of yours truly. You should take a look. It made me laugh out loud.
Some people have emailed me, asking about the earthquakes we had here last night. I didn’t feel them, at all, which is weird. In our old house, if a truck drove by a half-mile away, it shook the whole thing, but in our current house, we never feel anything. I was watching the news at 10 last night, and they were talking about this 4.2 or something that had just happened, and the newscaster says, “Woah! We’re having an aftershock!” so I waited to feel it, and I never did. I’m not too upset, though, because there are much worse things than living in a house where you don’t feel earthquakes. Trust me.
Today, at work, we turn in our pilot for my show. I am so excited! We’ve worked really, really hard on it, and we’ve created something that I am extremely proud of. I’ll post details, as soon as I get the “OK” from the Big Bosses(tm).
One last thing before I leave for work: Today is the last day that you can vote in the 2002 Bloggies, and WWDN is a finalist in a few categories. If you have some time today, you should check out the finalists, and cast your votes. I guess the results will be posted late tonight. Wouldn’t it be cool if we won something?
I’ve spent all my spare time in the last three days reading up on CSS (and getting some very valuable help from my friend Roughy), and I’m getting a very good understanding of the whole beast. Thank you to everyone who sent in suggestions for books and websites. I realize now that I’m going to have to re-write the entire site, which will be a bear, but really worth it in the long run. I sense great things in the future…stay tuned!

Hazy shade of Winter

One of the things I love about my new job is that I can sit at my desk, and look out across Century City, and see the Hollywood sign and Griffith observatory. Then I can get up, walk for 15 feet, and look out across Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean…on a beautiful day like today, when we have lots of little fluffy clouds (to borrow a phrase from The Orb, who borrowed it from Rickie Lee Jones, from a conversation she was having with LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow), it looks magical, like an animated movie. On days like today, I am insanely envious of my friends who live in Northern California, who get to have days like this all the time.
Now that the sun is low in the sky, and just about to sink into the ocean, the sky has darkened, and the clouds have lost that friendly look, in favor of a sinister, brooding, stormy look. In the time it has taken me to write this paragraph, the sun has lit of the reflective sides of the buildings in Century City, and there are these beautiful pillars of fire and ice reaching into the indigo January sky.
It would seem that Winter has at last decided to come to Southern California. It’s about time!

Wil and FARK, sitting in a tree…

It has just come to my attention that I haven’t given up the love for FARK recently.
I really need to take a second out of my day, stop cleaning the house, and give up the farkin’ love for FARK!
FARK voted for me to be entertainer of the year, before lowtax and I were squeezed out by The Man!
FARK provides the world with boobies, weeners, and beer!
FARK may even have a Los Angeles FARKFest this year!
Fb- is the father, France surrenders, and Wil Wheaton sucks. Long live FARK!

Chile and Lime Chips

This week has been the busiest week I’ve had in months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, at all. I like to be extremely busy. Matter of fact, I go absolutely nuts when I don’t have anything to do…so nuts that I make work for myself…like WWDN, for example. :)
I had 2 really big auditions this week, and I major deadline at work. I talked with my boss, and she said that I still can’t talk about G4 at all…but I can say that I’m doing some really cool work there, that I’m already very proud of, and I can’t wait until you all can see it.
Many people have this complete misconception about actors. They think that actors just have their agents call someone up, and then that actor is magically placed into a role, or into a movie. The way things really do happen is quite different. It sort of breaks down like this: After a role is created, the writer, and producer usually sit down, and talk about “types”, like “we want a Paul Rubens type” or “we need a brooding, mysterious, handsome man for this role”. They then think of all their friends and relations who don’t come close to any of these “types”, and try to make that square peg fit a round hole. Then they hire a casting director, and the casting director goes through his or her list of actors who he or she likes to work with, and the casting director brings those people in for auditions.
Sometimes, managers and agents hear about roles, and they submit their clients to the casting director, but, more often then not, the casting director doesn’t want to hear from an agent or manager, because the casting director would like to work with the people they already know.
This trend can benefit actors, because there are lots of casting directors who have good relationships with agents, and they’ll call those agents up, asking for a type to fill a role, and the agent can then tell the CD that he has a client who fits the type, etcetera, etcetera. This works out great for relatively unknown actors, but if you’re sort of known, like I am, it can hurt me.
There’s also this thing about not being wrong. The entire entertainment industry is extremely insecure, because everyone knows that they’re playing to a very fickle public, who can be in love with someone one week, and hate them the next (see “Mariah Carey”). So casting people get it in their minds that they “know” a person, and they don’t like to be wrong about that. They’re not adverse to “discovering” someone, but they are (sadly, understandably) reluctant to take a chance on someone, because, more often than not, the casting person gets burned.
So this process goes on for a few weeks, and, ultimately, it’s weeded down to me and one other guy, and they hire Jimmy Kimmel’s cousin.
Kidding.
Here’s why I tell you all of this: I recently added management to my team. I was really reluctant to do this, because I’ve had managers before, and they’ve never really managed to make any major difference in my career, as far as getting auditions or work goes. Basically, I haven’t been able to find a manager who works as hard as I do for me, and who cares about my career as much as I do.
Until now, that is.
One brief thing about managers, that you have to know, so this makes sense: Managers really should be an extra set of hands for an actor. They should be able to make calls when the agent isn’t able to get to somone, or is being told “no” by a casting person.
I think I’m a pretty good actor, and I know that I’m very dedicated to my craft. But that’s really not enough these days. For example, it really helps to be related to Jimmy Kimmel, or have a nice rack. As I’ve said before, many months ago, there has been this misconception within Hollywood that I was still 14, or still on Star Trek, or whatever. Casting people knew me as a strong dramatic actor, but not as a comedic one. They knew me as a child, but not as an adult. Basically, they knew me as Wesley or Gordie, and that was it.
This is where a good manager comes in.
My agents, who are simply amazing, awesome, hard-working bad asses, have struggled mightily the last year or so to convince casting people that I wasn’t that kid anymore, and to just give me a chance to change their mind, and the casting people were always saying “no”. Until two weeks ago, that was the end of it…but this time, things were really different, thanks to my new additions to my team.
My agent submitted me for a role in a very big MOW, that will end up being what they call “an event”. That’s just slightly bigger than “a very special” episode, I’m told. The casting director calls back, gives my agent a few reasons why she won’t see me, and that’s that. But this time, my agent calls my manger, explains the situation, and my manager gets on the phone to the casting director, does his thing, and I have an audition three days later, because the casting director decided to trust my manager and take a chance on me.
I have a final producers and network call back on Thursday for this role. I think there’s 3, maybe 4 of us left, out of the entire entertainment industry, within our type, going on this call back. How cool is that?! I went from “no way” to producers and network call back. I’ve been doing the happy dance all week.
Then, this morning, I got a call from one of my managers (there’s 3 of them, and they all work together. I’m sure this is terribly interesting to everyone. But it’s my damn website, so get off my back.). She had called a very important casting director at a major studio, and talked him into seeing me. He had told my agent that I was a great dramatic actor, but that he didn’t know about me for comedy. So my manager talks to him, gets him to give me a chance to change his mind, and he relents. I go into the audition, and I did a really good job with the material. As a bonus, I really liked the guy, and he really liked me (we know some of the same comedy people, it turns out). My manger was calling me after she’d gotten off the phone with him, where he raved about me, about how funny and nice I was, and told her that he was bringing me back to producers for his show.
I think it’s just awesome that these casting directors gave me the chance to show them what I can do, and I’m so thrilled that I brought my “A” game, and didn’t let them down.
I’m really excited about all of this…I think my years of suffering as the constant runner-up are going to come to an end, and pay off, finally.
Besides, Kimmel can only have so many cousins, right? :)

Rumble in the Jungle

Over at FARK, they are discussing who would win in a fight if it was Wesley vs. Annikin Skywalker.
The debate started here.
I spent some time thinking about it…read more to see what I came up with…

Continue reading Rumble in the Jungle

Wonky

I got an email last night that described the current state of styles on WWDN perfectly: it said that the styles were “wonky”.
My feelings exactly. I hope to have some time to work on it today.
If you happen to know of a really useful book about CSS, please let me know in the comments. I’m looking for something really useful, like an O’reilly or Peachpit Press-style book. Something that will teach me the underlying theory behind CSS, and how to set up div.classes (or however you say it) and the like. Moveable Type makes extensive use of the [div] tag, and I think I’m going to re-write the site to follow that guide…Imagine a world where the navigation menu looks cool! Someday, you may even be able to skin this site, like you can at domesticat’s.
I must confess, I never really fully understood how CSS worked…I was just able to make it go. Sort of like having a cool old car, and knowing how to do limited things like change the oil and stuff…now I have to rebuild the engine, and I don’t know how.
I think this is as close as I get to asking for help…unless you’re roughy or loren. Then you really get to hear me whine.
Thanks for the help :)

Satan is my motor

Good morning, everyone.
Boy, I’m still getting used to the new Moveable Type interface. It’s crazy. Cool, but crazy.
I just have a few announcements this morning:
1. Cake is playing a live concert on the internet, today. It starts at 11AM PST, which means I’ll miss most of it, because I’ll be on an audition.
2. I wrote another story for BBSpot a few weeks ago, and completely forgot to post about it here.
3. I saw this really cool story all about the history of video games, from 1889 to the present, at Gamespot.
4. I have some very exciting and fairly major news about some live shows that you can see me in, provided you’re in Los Angeles. I’ll make the announcement in the next few days.
5. Have you checked out the new crap^H^H^H^H cool stuff I added to the stores, just for Valentine’s day? Can you think of a better way to tell your sweetie you love her than with a WFS box of candy? Mmmm…Classy!
Har.
6. I got an email over the weekend, that I am a pre-finalist for several Bloggies

I have a dream.

Today, we in America are observing the birthday of the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I admire Dr. King for many reasons, among them his commitment to nonviolence. In the face of great violence and adversity, he chose a policy of nonviolence to bring about a very necessary change.
I think that Dr. King’s words about violence bear repeating, and ring especially true to me, today, given all that is going on in our world:

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it… Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Dr. King is one of my heroes, and today, I honor him, and his great legacy, by reprinting a speech he gave, which still moves me to tears when I hear it.
Dr. King delivered this speech on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. It is commonly known as the “I have a dream” speech. Within this speech, Dr. King said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I share this dream today and everyday for all people. Let us resolve today to judge a person only by their character. It will be a better world for our efforts.

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation
until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and
tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to
Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'”

At last, a picture

Quite some time ago, Anne and I went to the zoo. We took this really cool picture of ourselves.
I’ve also added quite a few items to some of the stores, for Valentine’s Day.
Also, I know that the styles are all screwed up right now, but I’ve got bleeding eyes. I’m going to take a break, and work on this some more later.

50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong

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