This week I am sharing a very interesting trip I had in California the past few days. I have been talking about the calls I have been getting from Hollywood, over the past few weeks so let me fill you in with what actually happened.
I responded to a casting call I saw online. I didn’t quite know what it was when I did but hoped it was something I wanted to do if called. Well it is. After the casting call process, which was a couple of emails and telephone interviews, it progressed to a videotaped interview that I had to send in.
Then I waited. I got called by a couple of different people from Original Productions over a couple of weeks spread out seeing if I was still interested in being a part of project they were going to pitch to a network. I didn’t understand what that meant but agreed to be available if they ever selected me.
This was another journey for me. I didn’t know where it was going, and didn’t have one answer to half the questions the Mrs had for me but I remained open to it.
A couple of days ago, they called and said if I was still available, they wanted me to come out Hollywood to audition for a new gun show that SpikeTV wanted. The didn’t have a working title. Didn’t know when it was going to air. Didn’t have half a quarter of the answers the Mrs had for me but I was going.
I used my vacation time, and immediately after delivering one of the best sermons I had ever done at our church on Sunday, went home and packed. Flight and hotel arrangements were made for some place called Valencia, California outside of Burbank, north of Los Angeles.
I left early Monday morning, with Mrs blessing for one of the few times on one of my “dreams.” Her love for me is incredible. My daughter tweeted “good luck.” My son gave me some “dap” before he went to bed. I was too excited to sleep. I listened to the Mrs sleep, hugged her and wept. Everything was right. I praised God in the early morning. I was determined to enjoy the journey no matter what the outcome. It didn’t matter if I was not what they were looking for. For the first time in a long time, I experienced joy. It was not conditional. It was not depending on my circumstances.
I upgraded the ticket they sent me when I checked in to first class for the 4 hour flight to Phoenix. That was the first time I had ever did that. It was providence because it got me past a big crowd of cruise line traveling young people that were dressed for the beach too early and clueless about pretty much everything else.
In first class, the steward looked like David Hasselhoff. It might have been him because I haven’t seen that dude around anywhere lately. He was really touchy and kept reminding me that I could get more stuff than I asked for. I didn’t ask for anything but water actually. And he kept that glass cup full of ice and water till my eyes were turning yellow and my back teeth were floating. I had to do the “excuse me ma, I got to go shuffle twice before we landed. When I wasn’t hopping I was sleep.
When I got to Phoenix, I didn’t have first class anymore but was just a few seats behind them on a smaller jet that took me to Burbank. When I arrived at the Bob Hope airport the locals were enjoying a sudden cool snap in weather. No humidity, and under 80 degrees. Thank you Lord. It was almost a 100 degrees in Washington, DC.
My cell phone battery was dying again, and I was worried that I was miss the van that was supposed to pick up the “talent” arriving. I liked being called that for the next four days. I called the driver named Chris, who said he was waiting for the other guy coming in 45 minutes later from Boston. I waited in the sun and let the rays of God rain down on my skin like a cold blooded reptile might do to get recharged and warmed.
I met Jeff Whitney a good looking ex Army, now fitness trainer and sales rep for Target climb into a white van driven by a sun tanned dude with Yakuzo style tattoos that was an actor once but now was a production assistant, part time bartender and pretty mellow dude. The three of us talked life, women and Los Angeles on the hour ride to the Hyatt Regency hotel in Valencia, CA. I did a little counseling along the way. I like them. Jeff told of his girl woes and I wondered why. The dude was pretty and could sell soap if he wanted to.
I got hydrated and found a Johnny Rockets hamburger joint and continued to enjoy the occasion. I had no idea what was going to happen tomorrow so I had to live in the present. Found a cigar shop across the street and bought a Ashton VSG to celebrate the trip.
A few hours later, the production assistant and financial dude called to invite Jeff and I to dinner and answer any questions. The three hours I had lost were slowly working me but I was still buzzing from caffeine, the cigar and the possibilities. We had a nice dinner at a place called B.J.’s where I ate a salad and drank a home brew. It was a good day.
The next day started early. We had to meetup at 0645 outside the hotel. I soon met the other six contenders for three spots of a host on a new cable show about guns. Our mission was to find out who we worked best with. We were going to be put through a series of crazy scenarios, shooting guns, teaching, and interviewing on camera to see how we looked on camera.
All but Jeff and I were local to California. The fellas were new school. Michael Bane would call them Gun Owners 2.0. I was the oldest on them all.
They loaded up their favorite guns that they had been asked to bring and we boarded the van white van to a movie set used in familiar movies like Iron Man. It was here that I learned about them all. The next oldest guy was a celebrity that I didn’t know but had been a producer and actor already. He was a trainer of stars and had a lot of knowledge about little stuff. He actually showed me how to limit the power consumption of my cell phone. Brian Peeler, owner of Peelerbilt is a NC native living and hustling in Hollywood. He knows how to play the redneck character but he is no dummy. When he is not acting the fool, or saying something crass, he is spitting knowledge of business.
The other oddities beside me where a Asian American (Burma) named Adrian who was a school teacher, movie producer and character all his own. He came dressed in a suit like an Agent on the Matrix. According to what I overheard, a last minute substitution was a guy named Harp who played the fool better than anyone I have ever seen. He was like Jack Black, Seth Grodin or one of those Jackass guys.
I wasn’t the only black guy. A younger version of me was there named Derrick. He was a war veteran. A US Marine sergeant and now member of LAPD. He was no joke but not sure if he was ready for Hollywood. He was a good looking new father that I have the utmost respect for. He has a tough beat and is in the area where Denzel Washington patrolled in Training Day. He is hoping to get into SWAT if he wasn’t already there. He is like a younger brother to me and a new friend for sure.
Actually, this Magnificent Seven was unique.
The second day, we actually were driven to a range called “A place to shoot” way out in the Angeles National Forest. It should be noted that there are no trees I would call trees in this forest. This was mountainous desert, scrub brush, prickly stuff, jack rabbits and rattlesnakes. I think several shows like the History Channel’s “Top Shot” have used this place.
I shot .50 caliber musket ball in a .75 caliber replica of a flintlock dressed in a three cornered hat like Jack Sparrow and a orange wool coat that would make Barbosa proud.
To hear the rest of the story listen to episode 278 of The Urban Shooter Podcast.
- Barbara’s comment on the shooting
- Kenn’s comment on the shooting
- SAF and the UN Gun Treaty
Bones Hooks and the Temptations “Can’t Get Next To You”
by Sarah Greene. A song written and performed by her, dedicated to a fallen Marine, all who serve and debut’s here. It will be available after July 21, 2012 on CD Baby, Amazon.com and iTunes.com.
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Rev. Kenn Blanchard, internet radio broadcaster, online advertiser, veteran, concealed carry activist and harley davidson motorcycle enthusiast shares whats on the minds of hunters and concealed carry permit holders. http://blackmanwithagun.com
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