Traveling By Land, Sea and Air Hotel @nyware: 2007

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Archive for 2007

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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 

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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

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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. 

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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"It seemed like only poker legend Stu Ungar had the guts, or even the know-how, to fire a third barrel on the river. It’s a fact that all of today’s Internet poker superstars are capable of the three-barrel bluff" Daniel Negreanu

Annette_15's Podcast

WSOPE Champion ---Annette Obrestad- will raise ATC (any two cards) be re-raised by players also holding a range of hands from 88 to A 10, and re-shove back over the top of them.That’s The Power Of New Americon Poker—the language of betting, a slang that rolls up its sleeves, spits in the street, screams strength possibly more than any other and gets the work done. Tells Don’t Tell – People Do with the language of their betting. Poker is a game of partial information and the language of betting "last in" is information dominance.

Making a bet that leaves no option available to the opponent other than to call is asymmetrical warfare. It disarms their can of whoop ass-- deep stack arsenal. Hands which are ok to try and re-steal from a loose aggressive player are frequently horrible hands to call that final bet with. No one likes calling big all-ins with hands like 88 or A-10 regardless of how sure they are that a player is stealing from them.

The Power of New Americon Poker is about being the last in the pot. It too can be an extremely effective way of accumulating chips in spite of your hole cards, not because of them. Lights Out Poker is about playing 'in the dark': betting that your opponents DON'T have the cards rather than that they do.
If Phil Ivey is the Tiger Woods of Poker, than Annette O is Norwegian Wood-"knowing she would" re-raise her own "first in" money with marginal holdings to be the last in the pot. You still can't call, unless you have a monster. Most opponents know nothing more than to fold out of position or out of flop weakness.

Two years after they first invaded America, The Beatles, John Lennon said "We're More Popular Than Jesus". Annette doesn't have to say it--she is already more popular than Chris"Jesus" Ferguson. Can our Lord and Savior be far behind? Like the Ed Sullivan" premiere, the WSOPE is her Ticket to let it ride. Annette is The Fifth Beatle. She's playing Rock Star Poker!

Here's a great bluff from Annette 15 at Dublin 2007 , mashing up Dan Harrington on Holdem's "First In" Vigorish with last in money betting that her opponents DON'T have the cards rather than that they do.

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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.

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He wasn't just any grinder. Many, including his best friend and business partner,Doyle Brunson, consider Chip the greatest cash-game player who ever lived.

He graduated from Dartmouth, stopped in Vegas on his way to Stanford Business School and never looked back. (He won a tournament for $60K and continued to grow his bankroll to over $100K.)

Game Over--The People's Poker Pro vs. Larry Flynt-One Of The Richest Side Games in the Country.

When I played NLH in L.A's Hustler Casino during the Moneymaker era, right next to me in "The Sunday Big Game" -there were cash specialists Chip Reese , Barry Greestein,Phil Ivey, cutting chips like they were nothing against Larry Flynt, sitting in his $80,000 gold-plated wheelchair. They were not playing together, but were not playing against other either. They were there to win Flynt's money.The game was a $2000-$4000 Seven-Card Stud with a $500 ante. An average pot was around $40k.

It was so cool. Reese set the standard for professional gambling. Chip's demeanor at the table was even keeled. He never steamed or went on tilt. He took his bad beats and the monster wins the same way. I knew I had to "Level Up" to my credible mentor. I started to think of the game more as excelling than winning or losing.

Part Midwesterner "Main Street USA" and part Ivy League New Yorker Wall Street, Reese's road less traveled was admired and emulated by all of us. He was cool, not in the Sammy Farha -James Bond-Humphfrey Bogart way but in the Daniel Negreanu-Jimmy Stewart-John Wayne way. He proved that being friendly and nice---is good for the game of poker.

The Bear, Chip's close friend, has a wonderful tribute to him on his audio blog.

Chip once said,“It's not winning that makes a winner, but losing. The excitement is not from the winning, it's avoiding the disaster, because you're flirting with it every day." I couldn't agree more about that fine line we walk between success and ruin.

The three time WSOP bracelet winner, including the first ever $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event in 2006 is gone at 56. He was one of the the best all-around---- tournaments, Stud, ring games, heads-up, and mixed games poker player alive.

The top dog in cash games for over 30 years, of all the players who played in the big cash games---it's not like there are that many-- Chip was his own man. He never signed with a web site or wore a hockey shirt.

He was a well-known generous man, and he helped many people out---In the order of paying people back he was often down the list, but he knew that, and gave anyway.

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Every poker player wants to go to poker heaven, but no body wants to die.
Patrik Antonius was an Angel of death and creative destruction, a Finnish wrecking ball to the human hangover Sammy Farha: on Episode 14 of High Stakes Poker.
Patrik sent Sammy straight to Hellsinki, leaving poker's wiseguy with that "out of money" experience and a concussion, with, yes--a pair of nines verses a king high flush draw---believe it or not.

Antonius moved all-in with his flopped top pair of nines . Sammy Farha was feeling lucky with his king-high flush draw and two overs, and insta called. They must have read the cliff notes to Malcolm Gladwell's Blink.It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens without thinking, in a blink of an eye....and then you go broke.

At first it looked like Sammy was going straight to HELLsinki, but then when The Finddagrinder agreed to mercy him--and run it four times, things cooled off. It was more like heck---a 50-50 split pot situation--Antonius, however, won three times, walking away with about $750,000. Sammy, Patrik want's to thank you for not smoking your signature unlit lucky cigarette!

Sammy is fearless at the table. You have to give him that. Yet, feeling 100%fearless and playing deep stack poker is like feeling athletic and going to a sports bar. It’s a bad decision. It is the in to your sane, a kind of voluntary madness. The surest way of getting nothing from something. The road less traveled-the psycho path!

Denial is not just a river in Vegas

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"Don Dolleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your table on the biggest hand of televised poker history-Luca Brasi
10-2 offsuit- sleeps with the fishes and dines on the whales!

Doyle Brunson took Cirque du Soleil billionaire Guy Laliberté to clown college last night on High Stakes Poker---to say it was a circus, would be an insult to the bearded ladies, mimes and interpretive dancers. A moment of silence was in order as Guy was nearly drawing dead.

Doyle did "that thing with the thing bada bing-all-in" to Guy aka Moe Greene. It was the difference between Doyle's lightning Ad10d Suited verses Laliberté's lightning bug, Ace Rag.

Doyle agreed to run lightning twice and it struck in the same place twice!--- taking down the largest pot of record so far in Season 4---- $818,100; keeping the HIGH in High Stakes Poker. Spot on Texas Dolly.

Eating What You Kill Is So Money but it wasn't personal. They were not playing together, but were not playing against each other either. It was like...the smell of Napalm in the morning---Victory.

When the minimum buy-in was raised to $500,000 a few weeks ago, it was only a matter of when not if a huge heads up pot would be contested. Doyle, however, has been pretty tight-is-right. While Guy was loosey goosey, mixing it up, splashing pots, and making good calls, like calling Jamie Golds bluff the other night.
Doyle raised to $11,200 with Ad-Td, and got called by four players, including Laliberté who held with Ah-5h. The flop comes rainbow Ac-Js-4d. Doyle bets $40,000 and only Laliberté called.

Brunson fires another bullet when the 2d fell on the turn, betting his nut flush draw--$110,000. Any easy fold for Guy. Instead, Laliberté raises! to $310,000; putting Doyle almost all-in. Brunson Makes the right mistake (a 75% favorite to win) and calls. They run it twice. Guy loses both times--Brunson takes down $818,100, keeping the HIGH in High Stakes Poker. Spot on Texas Dolly.
One thing is for sure---Infinite patience brings immediate results to your deep stack game, and Doyle proves this time and time again.
Let there be flop!

Doyle Gets his Freak-onomics On: Hay Mr. Laliberté---When you don't have good cards, somebody else probably does: "You can't lose what you don't put into the pot." Too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH player---does that make Laliberté, one of Forbes rated richest in the world, a good one?

Well in an upcoming (unreleased) Episode (15)---the largest pot in High Stakes Poker History $1.2 Million! --- Guy, Quebec's second largest cultural export after Celine Dion, lets fellow francophone David Benyamine off the hook in a "Let them live" move with top two pair and David shoving all-in on the flop, drawing to the nut flush, a huge dog. In Ben's case--you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

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