Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A New Mexico Xmas

Holiday Greetings from Albuquerque New Mexico!

I'm happy to have tagged along with my producer pal Gilley Grey and his lovely fiancee Kim Griego for a New Mexico Xmas.

Gilley has become such a great pal. One of the few highlights of 2009. We got to be pals via his interest in my real estate expertise from having been the development manager for Oprah's Harpo Studios.

I've enjoyed seeing Albuquerque and offering him my two cents on the fate of Q2 Studios. Look for an announcement about Q2 here soon.



I hope in some way I've repaid Gilley for his kindness in helping me keep my Hollywood dreams afloat since my eviction last fall with some of my real estate expertise and manual labor on his New Mexico residence.

And speaking of fun Gilley treated the whole family, me included, to a trip to the movies to see Avatar, which I give 6 out of 7 years on the 7 Years in Hollywood scale. It's a gas.





I even had a fun date with a casting director pal of Gilley's out here from Santa Fe. Yep, Gilley Grey and Kim are the bright spots in an otherwise depressing year I look forward to putting behind me.

Meet Gunny. Kim's family dog:)


Thursday, December 10, 2009

KiLL BILL 2

First time I heard the title KILL BILL I hated it. So imagine my surprise 6 years ago, half a year into my Hollywood adventures, that I ended up seeing the film 6 times and having it become my favorite film of all time.



I watched Tarantino's epic action flick with roomies Kim and Gilley tonight. It was Kim's first time seeing the film. She liked part 2 best.

Kim was hurting a bit as the fitness center she worked at today let her go because she's basically too sane. So KILL BILL was a welcome distraction. The KILL BILL DVDs are the first thing I have bought post eviction. It felt so good watching this great film with Kim and Gilley. Like coming home.

I run a little music channel on Blip and there's a KILL BILL music tribute there, one of the best scored films of all time. Nice work RZA and Rodriguez.

Go here to listen up blip.fm/7yrsinHollywood

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Looking Forward to 2010

I've always admired people who've picked one profession, mastered and savored it. I'm a restless spirit, learning one job until I master it them moving onto something else, in search of something more.

I began fresh from college as an interior architect from from Layton School of Art. I rose swiftly to the top of my profession and was designing world headquarters for corporate giants like Target, Allied Mills and Toro for a pair of straight guys in the Gay world of design, Burt Richmond and Peter Cohen. I had worked my way through college selling Rainbow vacs door to door. Burt and Peter put the polish on me.

And then I hopped into commercial real estate, landing a job from one of my clients, a genius named Wes Irvine. Wes was was a party man par excellence of the go-go 80's who liked to go-go to King Arthur's Restaurant on Adams for Bloody Marys and prime rib smothered in butter. Between drinks and steaks Wes would teach me the world of brokering world headquarters and I grew richer than I ever dreamed possible.

And then I would leave Wes' employ to start my own shop and quickly got into development with the easy credit of the 80's. How easy? Easy enough for a guy with no skyscraper building experience, but more importantly knowing how to fill an empty skyscraper, marketing 3, to get a loan for $162 million for my first project. My second development project? Oprah's Harpo Studios in Chicago.

But the 1991 real crash would melt this Icarus's wings and my divorce would crack my nest egg for starting projects to Humpty Dumpty bits.

So I started looking for something new. Something that would combine all my creative power with my business power. And that something, starting with part time film projects in 1995 was producing. Eventually writing, directing, editing. scoring and self distributing would follow. My backers? Former competitors from the Chicago real estate world.

And I was doing OK, high on creating and looking for the first big strike from Kids Talk Politics when PBS, who had aired my 2000 show as the lead into the presidential debates, took a pass. I'm the kind of personality who when rejected won't be denied. It's how I win. So I started self distributing the DVD on Amazon and mastered social networking. But I underestimated how bad this economy is, and overestimated how fast we'd recover under Obama and ended up broke again, worse than I was in 1991.

For 2010 I plan to do some real estate again along with my films and ad work. I will seek to fuse all I know into one force. I feel excited about 2010 like I never felt excited about any year in my life when I will begin my 8th year in Hollywood.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

KILL BILL

Wow. I almost forgot what it feels like to relax. Maybe it's a sign life is on the mend that I managed some relaxing this weekend after my sexy viral video shoot for Podi Shoes.

I went for a long walk for some cold meds a friend recommended to nip a cold in the bud. Zicam. Tasty stuff. I hope it works. I'm doing creative visualization the germs are Bill and The Bride's my ant-bodies. Go get 'em Uma.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sexy Shoes

I may be biased but I think we have a viral hit.

This was filmed on Ventura Boulevard in the heart of the city. If I told you what I made this spot for you might not believe me. All this with my editing FCP software limping along at half screwed up.

Thanks for the great repair job, Apple.

Noel Baker stars as the hottie with the black Porsche and Donny Mecham as a nerd with a fashion flare. Many thanks also to my pals Gilley Grey and Kim Griego who donated their time and talents for the shoot.

Enjoy.



And fun look behind the scenes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Good Day in Crazy Land

It's days like today, calling for pitch meeting to studios, that I realize maybe I am getting better at all this. Even the no's were pleasant today and surprisingly quick and direct yet wildly encouraging.

Hmm. The better the idea the faster the no with a spin in the right direction?

Doesn't pay to overanalyze Hollywood.

Enjoy this video for laughs. Talented insanity.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hollywood Harvest Moon?


As the moon rose over the San Fernando valley today I was having buritos with my producer pal Gilley at Hugo's on Coldwater Canyon. I was struck by how fast time passes out here. How many full moons have passed on my struggles in this strange city.

7 years and I have little to actually show for it. But then again you accomplish more than you think. Hollywood sneaks up on you in ways both good and bad. Heck, half the stuff I've done is not even up on IMDB.

Tomorrow Gilley and I embark and trying to sell a pilot script. This is my third so I'm no longer very excited about the hunt. I know we'll hit the screens, get sent down hopeless dead ends. But this is a good script and maybe, for once, I've created something that has an actual chance of catching the eye of mainstream Hollywood.

Hope springs eternal. So I hope is that it was a Hollywood harvest moon we saw today. A sign of good things to come for my newest writing. Gilley provided a safety zone for the work and the inspiration for the story idea. There's good karma here.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Unbelievable" Thanksgiving













Wedding Scene from THE GODFATHER

Mom and Dad got divorced when I was but the tender age of 30. I had thought the way these two tried to kill each other so many times that I'd feel happy about their divorce. Instead I was stunned how deeply their official break-up bothered me, how strangely orphaned I felt.

Both of them quickly remarried and soon I ended up with two sets of parents.

1. Dad and a sweet stepmother named Jackie, from Oshkosh by gosh.

2. Mom and a tough but lovable Sicilian from Milwaukee named Nick.

This proved to be a nightmare for the holidays as both Mom and Dad and the new steps were spread hours apart. Plus there were my ex Gloria's father and his bride, the mother-in-law from hell, to visit.

The divorce, when I hit 40, simplified things a bit and I was down to two families for the holidays again. Nice and simple.

Simple that is until two Thanksgivings ago, 2007. That fateful year I, along with my brother Fred, visited Mom and Nick in Vegas where they retired to some 20 years ago. In fact Thanksgiving in Vegas had become a regular tradition for my 7 years in Hollywood, where Fred would visit with me a few days in LA and then we'd drive over to Vegas for a few days.


Mom's a great cook and her Thanksgiving feasts have been my favorites my whole life. So imagine how pissed I am that my stepfather has thrown a wet blanket on that day.

Back to Thanksgiving 2007 for how this holiday got whacked up. On his visit with me in LA Fred and I went to watch a football game at the Sportsman's Lounge bar in Studio City. The waitress suggested their spicy buffalo wings. Man, that waitress was not kidding; these wings were spicy as hell. Fred wouldn't touch 'em but that left more for me and I gobbled 'em down during the game.

By the time we hit the Sportsman's parking lot I was already feeling sick. And by the time we hit the apartment I was hitting the toilet, barfing my guts out. I'd say I was barfing my brains out but I lost those a long time ago beating my head against the Hollywood wall.

The drive to Vegas the next day was a nightmare of short hops between gas stations, since I now had a case of the "Sportsman's Lodge spicy buffalo wing shits" that makes my butt hurt just thinking about it. Oh my aching writer's hemorrhoids.

So when we arrived in Vegas I was not in the best of spirits. In fact, the entire first 3 days are a blur. Thanksgiving dinner is in there somewhere and I may have gotten down some mashed potatoes. I spent all my time alone in the condo while the family went out and partied. Nothing gets in the way of gambling for my family.

Thanksgiving 2007 was the truly worst vacation of my life and it was about to get worse.

After we saw Fred off to the airport and I started to pack, CNN reported a major fire was happening in Agoura Hills, Caly. Right where I lived. "Fuck me," I said as Nick had taught me in true Sicilian fashion.

Now, I'm allergic to the fire retardants that get in the air when there's a big fire. So I decided to stay over an extra night in Vegas at my folk's home. I was feeling a whole lot better and was ready to finally party.

But, as Mom and Nick gambled all their fun money away while I was busy shitting out the last Sportsman's buffalo wing in their toilet, all we did was sit in their little one bedroom condo and watch cable TV for hours on end.

Whoo hoo.

Nick and I battled for the remote. I wanted to watch the news to see if my home was going up in fucking smoke but he wanted to watch old Turner Classics. Nick and my mom were approaching 80 at the time and so they liked to keep the temp about their age, about the low end of a sweat lodge.
And after being stuck in that sweltering condo, a toilet my sole companion for 3 days, I needed to cool the sweat lodge down a tad. So I snuck over to the thermostat and lowered it by one degree, hoping the natives might not notice.

A few minutes later my mom shouts from the back hall, "It's freezing in here! Who lowered the thermostat?"

Nick groused, "Not me," and glared over at me.

I grinned and said, "I confess. I lowered the temp one degree."

"Unbelievable!" bellowed Nick, "You want to give your mother pneumonia?!"

Here's the part where I should have calmly said, "Of course not, Nick. I didn't think it was that big a deal." But instead I said,

"One degree? You're busting my balls about one fucking degree?!"

"We're old! You want to kill us?" Nick hollered as Mom ran into the room, realizing she had somehow set off World War 3.

"Fuck you, you crazy old bastard! " exploded from my mouth.

So much for all my anger management therapy. I angrily tossed all my stuff into the car and shouted up the stairs at Nick and my horrified mother,

"Next time your husband ends up in a hospital for a heart attack don't call me to help. Happy fucking Thanksgiving!"












A few days later I apologized to Mom and Nick for my making things worse than they already were with my outburst. I explained that being sick all those days and the pressures of Hollywood had gotten the best of me.

Momma Mia quickly forgave me but Nick, who had been as close as a second father to me up until I spewed, "Fuck you, you crazy old bastard! " all over his living room, was not moved to forgive and forget.

For the next two years every time I'd call on the phone Nick would act like the black plague was on the line and hand the phone to Mom.

A few months later my brother, without my knowing or consent, would intervene. Nick said an "I'm Sorry" card, which I'd sent a week after my mouth explosion, and phone call apology were not enough. Nick told Fred that he needed me to apologize to him face to face.

I always listen to my amazing brother Fred, and so Thanksgiving 2008 I made the trip again to Vegas. I stayed at the nearby New Orleans Hotel and Casino, hoping as Nick promised to Fred that my eating humble pie would end the "One Degree Feud."

At Mom's turkey dinner I gathered my nerve, swallowed my pride, what was left of it after Hollywood, and went up to Nick just before the bird came. I profusely apologized once again to Nick in front of Fred and Mom.

Nick's response? A grunt of disgust and silence all through the meal. I shot Fred an "I tired." look of despair. The meal tasted like Sportsman's buffalo wings.

So this year I was not in Vegas for Thanksgiving at all. Not that I could afford to be with the mess my life is in right now. Two full years have passed in "The One Degree Feud" and, when Fred and Mom broached the topic of my forgiveness this 2009 Thanksgiving in my absence, Fred told me today in disgust, that Nick claims he never remembers that I apologized at all.

Now that's "Unbelievable!"














On the bright side I had a pleasant family free Thanksgiving dinner this year at Marie Callender's with my unbelievable roommates Gilley and Kim pictured above. But I still missed seeing Fred and Mom.


















Moral of the story: Never get on the bad side of a Sicilian... even if he is your stepfather.

Any who, some fans who've read my Italian stories ask me how the dialogue is so authentic. Now you know. Here's a taste of the sauce.



Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Pal and Client on CLTV!

My pal Dave Curry is a genius inventor. Back in the day when we worked leasing Chicago real estate who would've known he was this creative? I mean seriously, the most creative thing we did as real estate guys was match up the right space to the right client.

Dave has invented a whole new kind of shoe that changes. Watch the video to get the picture on why I'm not exaggerating about how cool Dave and his new shoes are.



This coming week I am making Dave a BuzzBroz viral YouTube spot to help him get the word out. If you drop by his website http:podiwear.com to buy some shoes tell him Ken Sheetz sent you and look for the special sale code bottom of the page for an unbelievable bargain.

Podi is running a huge sale for a limited time. $99 buys you the shoes 4 covers, a backpack, a T-shirt and free Shipping! That's $30 off the spring price you see in the video!

Visit http://podiwear.com and enter the code PACKPLUS1 on the order form to get the $99 super bargain price.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

From fellow JELLYBEANS producer Gilley Grey's Q2 Studios blog

It has been an incredible week. We are moving forward with our next feature - JELLYBEANS. We had a great meeting with our Casting Director, Sheryl Roberts who has done casting on Beverly Hills 90210, Face Off, and Rocky III and is as excited about this story as we are. Its a comedy about the importance of a good sexlife in a marriage. You can follow the production updates on Twitter or Facebook HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Zombies to Stuff

My dissertation on stuff continues.

Today I sold more of my last post eviction stuff at a pal of Gilley's garage sale. The mission: Generate some walking around money.

Shit. I'm still kicking myself because this cash shortage is something I caused myself.

How? By accidentally screwing up the address for my new PO BOX, you see correctly in the video below HOLLYWOOD CUTBACKS.



But instead I goofed up the address and the check went instead to the Shoalin Temple of LA, as I bitch about in my last blog "You are a Total Duchebag Grasshopper."

Today I walked into the dimly lit storefront temple during meditation to gongs and the smell of incense.

In hushed whispers I learned that the Shoalins monks had received my check letter but that they returned it to the sender.

How Zen.

This return was instead of holding onto it for me as one monk agreed Thursday. Guess monks don't talk to each other just like the rest of us schmos.

Therefore, sadly for me, it could be another damn week until I get my next paycheck.



Total sales for stuff sales today: 1 HD TV, 1 DVD player, 1 Desk Lamp, 1 Herman Miller Aeron chair, 1 Masia Warrior Stick from my ex girlfriend = $110.

This scavenger cash allowed me to pay Gilley back for his loan from yesterday. That felt good. But until I get my blown payment from my new client I'm almost back in the hole after groceries and a little relaxing today.

It's stunning how much stuff costs versus how much stuff is worth in today's messed up world. I feel like I am living my favorite video game FALLOUT 3, battling for survival in the Capital Wasteland.



So I'm feeling tired from the sale, for which we got up at 6 AM to set up. The buyers were primarily Hispanic, or should I say the shoppers. Buyers were about 50% white and 50% Hispanic.

I'm left feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead of me of rebuilding my life from the ash heap that is Hollywood.

You are a Total Duschebag, Grasshopper,...

... said the Shoalin priest as I searched for my missing check in the mecca of Hollywood on Ventura Blvd.

I f'd up royally this week. I was expecting a check from Podi Shoes for BuzzBroz, my commercial division of my vast production empire. But since I'm mildly dyslexic, something which almost killed me through school life, I had transposed two numbers and instead of the check going to my new mailbox it ended up going to an, and I shit you not, amazing place called the Shaolin Temple of Los Angeles.

So instead of being able to pay rent, phones and hold my own, I'm broke as hell and leeching off Gilley. Shit, I devoured his pantry this week like a swarm of descending locusts.

My client is going to return the check to the right address when they get it again so I will repay Gilley soon. But at the moment this grasshopper feels like a total duchebag.

The only thing helping me keep my last shred self respect is that I did write an entire script for a sitcom pilot that Gilley and I dreamed up with Kim, inspired by her real life work at a stripper fitness shop.

Will write for food.

Last night a beautiful Brit producer took Gilley and me to see a BAFTA screening of NINE, starring the great Daniel Day Lewis. The Q & A was awesome as Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and Kate Hudson kept us all laughing. Judi is a natural comedian.


I had the pleasure of almost meeting Penelope Cruz 6 years ago. It was just before word that she and Tom Cruise were over as a couple.

I had just made it to the top of Griffith Park's trail to the peak across from the Hollywood sign and she was crying. I showed some class for once and left her to her tears.

A week later I was able to piece together why she was crying. Penelope is far more beautiful in real life, if you can imagine that. Penelope steals the show in NINE. She's worth the ticket alone in this film I give 6 out of 7 Years in Hollywood.



Tonight I tagged along with Gilley and Kim and was treated to an amazing performance of Dennis Quaid. The man has great talent as a musician. It was a genuine blast.

After 4 beers I was calling Dennis Randy to anyone who would listen to me. I met a nice writer who I at first thought was a dentist but she was only correcting me for calling Dennis Randy.

Not my brightest week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Universe is Flat! - Brain and the Blonde

Gilley Grey. Stuntman, producer... astronomer?! Yep, Gilley is an actual rocket scientist who worked at Sandia National Laboratories that led to his flying AWACs in Desert Storm.

Watch out when you give Gilley his green iced Starbucks tea. Yesterday we ended up making a Twilight Zone style video HOLLYWOOD CUTBACKS (see it on yesterday's blog post). Today it was THE UNIVERSE IS FLAT, the first of what we are aptly calling our THE BRAIN AND THE BLONDE series, featuring a new beautiful blonde whenever we can manage it! Noel's gonna be hard to top, she's a great talker.



But coolest of all was that we played Sagan's video before on my new Blackberry and that inspired all this. The kicker? The Gilley Grey/Noel video I filmed is linked on this page on YouTube. So Gilley Grey, Hawkings and Carl Sagan are together somewhere now on Google on the theory of a flat universe.



I'm blessed to have met the brilliant and talented producer Gilley Grey and now be a renter of a studio with a day bed in his and Kim's home. It feels like my 7 years in Hollywood has just begun. And, yes, I have found an actual rocket scientist to figure out this crazy mazey tinsel town.

Sill don't believe the universe is flat and that ancient man was actually ahead of his time thinking the Earth was flat?! Check out this Wikipedia story Gilley showed me.

I'll close with a video that cracked Gilley and Kim up tonight. Agent Smith's voice is replaced by Carl Sagan's theoretical lecture. Morpheus' expression is how Kim reacts to Gilley's lengthy flights of scientific fancy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hollywood Cutbacks

Wow. Starbucks on Ventura rules. Gilley's girl Kim had off today so the three of us had a leisurely coffee. We started talking about how a lot of us in the biz work from home and use PO boxes for our business addresses.

As we talked about tough times in Hollywood over coffee the idea hit me to make a comedy short! And we did, right after coffee.

My address for Overactive Imagination Pictures is a cozy little mailbox at 13457 Ventura Boulevard, #240, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. Drop me a postcard, a donation $, or better yet, drop by and visit me...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meet My New Girlfriend Riese

OK, I still don't get YouTube. How does junk food like FRED get a million views in a week and hot quality new web series like RIESE only pull in 72,000 viewers?

Who cares? RIESE is great entertainment and the kind of show that gives me hope as a struggling filmmaker.

Distribution? We don't need no stinking distribution! The web is going to change Hollywood forever, if we don't let the fat cat millionaires in congress, owned by the corporations, screw it up for us.

Here's the first episode for RIESE. Solid production values and fine acting make this a web series worth watching.



And did I mention, it has a hot young female lead, Christine Chatelin, my new girlfriend? Well, on Facebook anyways.
Rating: 6 out of 7 Years in Hollywood.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

End of the World?

Got up early today after a dream about losing my wonderful dog Sophia in the eviction. So to forget my cares I did what I always do and went to the movies.



I guess the eviction blues caught up to me today. Or maybe it was the typical feeling I get after watching a great movie and realizing how far away I am from the goal I set for myself 7 years ago of producing a theatrical release.

As the 2012 credits rolled that little dickhead voice in my head chuckled, "You're a loser, Sheetz. Pitiful. You've only been able to produce about 500,000 Youtube views, 2 DVDs on Amazon and a pilot optioned to TV network that went bankrupt for all your stinking 7 years in Hollywood. You've sacrificed way too much of your life, missed seeing your kids, friends and family. Go the fuck home to Wisconsin and check into a nut house to cure you of your Hollywood addiction."

As usual I told the voice, "Shut the fuck up, I ain't quitting."

Before I came out here one of my real estate pals warned me, "Ken, Hollywood is not an investment, it's a sickness." Yep. I got it bad.

My pal Gilley went to a lecture by Mark Fergus this week, who with his partner wrote the awesome screenplay for IRON MAN. Mark described writers as people with big egos and low self esteem. Accurate. Guess I'm a writer after all.

Any who. I miss my dog and 2012's got my "This movie's so good it makes me want to fucking quit or jump off a cliff!" seal of approval, folks.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Titus & The Curse of Too Much Stuff

Coffee Break with Titus

Gilley Grey, founder of Q2 Studios, and I made a run to Starbucks today, and thanks to Gilley being his usual likable self, I met Christopher Titus. Chris worked with John Amodeo (my partner for the DISCOVER ME show) on TITUS, one my favorite sitcoms of all time.











I am a huge Christopher Titus fan. The guy always makes me laugh. By the way, you never want to sit in front of me in a theater when I really get laughing.  My laughter is loud and explosive enough to knock off a toupee.  

And I frequently explode with laughter watching Christopher Titus perform.  His honesty about his family life is what does the trick. 



And to get to meet him and share our respect for John Amodeo who's produced such great shows as ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and SAMANTHA WHO? and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE was a genuine hoot.



I told Chris I shared a similar father figure and he said, "I feel for you, man."

Slaves to Stuff

And then on the way home we came across a Yard Sale that reminded me of my eviction all those many days ago. I'm on quest to find out why we care so much about stuff, so I asked the beautiful yard sale ladies about their thoughts on the topic of stuff.


Rachel Welch "1,000,000 BC"
My pal Gilley Grey has a cool theory about stuff. He believes humans became attached to stuff from the caveman times when the man with the biggest and best club got to breed with the hottest cave ladies.

I think he's onto something. This still exists to this day, you must always have the best weapons to survive. I thought about my new Blackberry Storm 2. My portable stuff. My high-tech weapon in the Hollywood wars.
















This cool pic is the gigundo stuff Gilley Grey flew in Desert Storm when he became a war hero flying the AWACS into Iraq. It was one big assed plane for what purpose...?

Locate Saddam's stuff; the scuds, jets and tanks to blow that stuff up!

Photo courtesy of Gilley Grey

The pyramids were built for the Pharaohs' tombs to hold all the ridiculous amount of stuff they had so they could lug it along with them on huge barge across the river of death.

Imagine what the poor slaves must have been thinking as they were walled into the pyramids alive...

"What's with all this sand pouring in?! They said there was gonna be virgins! Why the fuck am I being buried with all this fucking stuff?"



Gilley and me just brainstormed something we should put on T-shirts, wet T-shirts worn by large breasted women...

"Doing stuff is more important than having stuff."




Are boobs stuff? Hell yes. In Hollywood -where most are bought and paid for with an Amex - they are silicone stuff!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Goodfella's Play While Kim's Away

I'm from Chicago, birthplace of improv, so it blew me away what a great improv guy Gilley Grey is. How dare this guy from New Mexico be better than me!



And what led to all this improv fun? Gilley and me are carless as Kim's car is in the shop and she borrowed Gilley's. So I took Gilley out to enjoy the joys of walking in LA. A city no one walks in because of the drive-by shootings.



As you see Gilley bought a gigantic mirror to surprise Kim with. All the enhance the sripper/fitness lessons that will soon be coming to our apartment. Sigh...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gilley Grey & His Magic Bag to the Resuce

Wow. Did you ever have one of those days? Well, if you ever do it'll be OK if Gilley Grey and his magic bag are around to save the day. Why? Because Gilley Grey, top Hollywood stutman/coordinator, producer and founder of Q2 Studios, has a gift, the gift to always have whatever you need in his magic bag.


I met Gilley this past summer when he sought me out for advice on his new Q2 Studios in New Mexico. Why me? Because I built Oprah Harpo Studios, so I know my way around a construction site.
John Lamb, Oprah, Jeff Jacobs, Ken Sheetz

I liked Gilley instantly and happily introduced Gilley to my pal Jim McShane, of McShane Construction, another can do spirit, and the two hit it off.

When I hit rock bottom in the bad economy two weeks ago and, yes, ended up evicted from my luxury apartments, Gilley pulled a guest bedroom with it's own private bath out of his magic bag for me to crash in. A recovery that's coming along nicely with my new BuzzBroz company doing video content creation and Social Networking to build buzz.

This morning I woke up only to find my Apple G5, usually super dependable, was frozen up and needed to go into the Apple shop. So I thought I was out of business for few days. But Gilley dug into his magic bag and pulled out a spare laptop computer.

As I sat in amazement while Gilley set up the laptop, grateful as hell, he started to tell me the story of his magic bag that always seems to have what people need, from checks that saved another pal's home to the button for a girl in an airport in this video GILLEY GREY'S MAGIC BAG.



I have to thank Oprah one day for the thread that brought Gilley into my life. We are going to make a lot of magical movies together.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ok, Was I Evicted or Did I Die and Go to Heaven?

Tonight we celebrated over sushi because Gilley's fiancee Kim has new job at a workout place that uses stripper poles for exercise!



The other morning I was doing my nerdy writing thing in my office/bedroom when I heard something heavy hit the floor. I rushed out into the living room only to see Kim and Gilley, ahem, erecting a stripper pole for Kim to practice on.

Sigh... women will be coming here to the apartment for stripper pole lessons. Stay tuned 7 Years in Hollywood Fans!

And I thought evictions were a bad thing. Well, at least not in Hollywood. I've had more fun in the last week since I got ejected from Agoura Hills than I had in the last 6 months.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Seeing the Light

Gilley Grey as Blue Face in BUFFALO GIRLS

My spirits were good today for my second week post Agoura Hills.

I am enjoying being back in the city. My room at Gilley and Kim's is spacious and I have a bath all to myself.

I did my first laundry yesterday and I don't miss having the washer and dryer in the apartment. Reminds me of my place back in Chicago.

Kim cooked tacos New Mexico style for dinner. Mt first home cooked meal since Thanksgiving 2008 in Vegas at my mom's.

What really made the day, aside from a new BuzzBroz account with Podi Wear, coolest shoes on the planet, was this pic I got from Mandy showing Sophia's new bed. My baby dog looks happy with her new masters.

I was in a good enough mood to clean up the utilities mess I left behind in Agoura. Gas, electric and ATT all a wrap. As I walked back from the UPS store where I had returned my Internet server I stopped off in one of my favorite stores in LA, Illumination Lighting & Design on Ventura Blvd here in my new home with Gilley and Kim in Sherman Oaks.

I earned a scholarship back at Layton School of Art & Design with a lighting project and I have a real love for lamp stores. Illumination is a beauty. Hundreds of high end light fixtures glow in the handsome store from all over the world.

Layton School of Art is a sad story. In 1972, my Sophomore year, the administration fired the teachers when they joined a union. They then went onto hire a new staff of non-union teachers. But the fired teachers took Layton to court and by my senior year the school was stuck with contracts for the old and new teachers. The school teteered on closing for that year and finally bankrupted and I became part of the last graduating class for the 70 year old school.


I'll close with a pic of a new Twitter follower's pic. Likely this is not really what this spam bot looks like:)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Having Good Times in Bad Times

Having fun in bad times is like spitting in the eye of fate. Great Halloween Party at Gilley friend Joy Ellison's last night.

Joy is an A list dialect coach who has worked with the biggest stars in Hollywood. She and Gilley are best friends. I helped Gilley help Joy with the party.

Joy has a wonderful a serene energy and a wonderful circle of friends. It was an honor an a pleasure to be at her party. Her adopted son is a cool kid.

Kim had the best costume at the party. She was dead prom queen haunting her killer, Gilley. The makeup was first rate.

The other beautiful woman in the photo session is Tara. She makes a hot Elvira.

I got some nice compliments on my Satan. And then it was off to Santa Monica Blvd where we partied with 500,000 people in costume. I'll never forget the experience. It made me feel like zombies could be real.

Earlier this week Gilley and I dug out our golf clubs and hit the links at Whittset. Good cheap fun, only $9 for 9 holes! But the amazing thing was how fast Gilley learned from a little coaching I gave him. Makes perfect sense though. As a stuntman physical memory is a basic survival skill. Gilley calmly told me at lunch the other day he has set himself on fire over 250 times without an injury, in movies and just for fun.

Right. Setting yourself on fire is fun.

Enjoy some Cranberries with your Zombies.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Life With a Power Couple

As for me I have made a perfect 10 landing from the parallel bars of the eviction Olympics. I could not be happier with the amazing couple I am living with in Sherman Oaks, a place I love for it's location and beauty. We're just 2 blocks north of Ventura Boulevard, at the heart of it all.

Gilley is building a new film studio in New Mexico Q2 Studios. In fact that's how we met. I built Oprah's Harpo studios back in the 90's and Gilley sought me out. I've been giving him some guidance in hooking him up with my builder pal Jim McShane of McShane Construction.

Gilley and Kim are a power couple. Perfectly suited to each other. They are a rare match of compassion and smarts. It's fun for me to help them while they help me. The synergy is unbelievable. I'm here with them to get back on my feet and be on my way in 90 days. Hopefully on my new round the world reality show. This time is very special for me and I am enjoying their company and sharing my connections and talents as they are in return.

I miss my little Sophia but what a great way to get over that loss. To be in the company of such a happy couple.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Climb

Sing it Miley!



So how do you get cash from friends when your bank accounts are frozen like Castro's after the Cuban missile crisis?

Happy Sad Landing

I'm happy and sad at once today. Happy that I have found a wonderful home for Sophia, yet very sad to lose her.

The hip young couple who officially adopted Sophia today live in a high-rise loft in downtown LA. The husband works from home and so Sophia's little life will go on it is has with my work at home life plus the bonus of a mommy who works in a film distribution company during the day. Sigh, my baby is living in a two income family now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dumpster Explosion

I was just "THIS" close from making the dump of some of my vital docs into the dumpster when the bag exploded, sending my papers everywhere. You gotta laugh if you don't want to cry.

Social Security

He's baaaack.

Hey Fans, Friends and Family. I've landed in Sherman Oaks at the home of an amazing couple, Kim and Gilley. Gilley Grey is one of the top stunt people in Hollywood. Gilley's a Desert Storm war pilot who flew 707's in the first mission into Iraq. Kim is a beautiful woman and great person too. She's former Social Security worker who met Gilley in Albuquerque New Mexico.

The amazing pair met while Gilley was starting up his new film studio, Q2 Studios (click the link to see a YouTube page and logo video test I created for them as a thanks today), that he is building in New Mexico to house a part of the explosion of filmmaking that resulted from New Mexico's big film incentive program.

Sounds like a love story movie in itself. A story I am happy to be a minor character in. Kim and Gilley now spilt their time between LA and New Mexico. Kim's dream is to leave the security of government employment of Social Security behind forever and open a dance studio.

I'm not religious but I must admit that some force is watching over me to land in such a nice spot. A bedroom and a bath all to myself while I get back on my feet. Last night Gilley and Kim treated me to a movie to celebrate my first night on their futon. We saw PARANORMAL. And it's a scary as you've heard.

A black woman sitting a couple rows behind us got so scared at the end she could not keep herself quiet and shouted at the screen, "Oh no she diiid't! That's some fucked up shit!"

I turned to comment to Kim and she had her hands over her eyes. As we drove home talking about this blockbuster made for pennies, ala Blair Witch, Kim told us she had her hand over her eyes for the entire last 45 minutes of the film. Adorable.

As Gilley wheeled the rust colored SUV up Laurel Canyon I said I'd have nightmares tonight and we started talking about dreams. Gilley and Kim are both big dreamers like me. Gilley has the ability to conscious dream. A firefighter after Desert Storm, Gilley dreams in action dreams like his amazing stuntman career that has taken him around the world and given him the chance to work with the greats like Nick Cage, Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron.

Gilley told me a dream where he was flying a fire rescue mission and his chopper lost control, crashed and burned, killing his crew. Gilley rewound the dream and got everyone safely off the chopper.

Kim told a grisly dream she had about working in an office for a demonic character who stapled her throat shut so that she could not talk back. She tries to answer the demanding boss back by plucking out the staples from her bloody throat.

Gilley asked me if I had nightmares and I talked about one from last night. A little ghost of girl appeared from under a counter wearing a tiny bride's gown. I grabbed the train of her dress and tried to hold her as I shouted for help, "I've got her!" I shout in my sleep in addition to snoring. As I tell my dream I hope the door between out rooms can keep out the noise.

I've been plagued by horrible nightmares my whole life. I realize as we speed down Laurel into the lights of the San Fernando Valley that I may have found some soulmates in Gilley and Kim.

But lately who needs to sleep for nightmares? Like this video about losing my little Chihuahua Sophia.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Last Cuddle With Sophia

As the Super Duper Eviction sale draws to close -- and I should be packing -- I could not resist some last hugs with my baby dog Sophia who goes for an adoption "audition" today. It the couple watching her for a week like Sophia she's all set. They a fine young couple and live in high-rise condo in LA.

Fingers crossed Sophia could be living the life of luxury unfazed by my financial hiccups!

This video and the song from that I wrote for DESERT SILHOUETTES, but which never made into the film, will soon be on IMDB for its festival rounds. I'll always think of Sophia and cuddling her one last time as we made our last appearance together.




DESERT SILHOUETTES has been recommended by YouTube's Citizen Tube as art meets politics.



I play Zack but Sophia stole the show. An official selection in 8 festivals and co-stars Ed Asner of Pixar's hit UP.



I'll try to keep blogging but I'm evicted today so apologies in advance if I am away for a while.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Psst... Wanna Hear Something Rotten About My Landlord?

So I'm in the free office center in the gorgeous club house at our apartments and Tony, the manager for Archstone, sees me making flyers to put my dog up for adoption.

She's painfully nice as she tells me without asking my intentions, "Please only post those on the community bulletin board. You're not allowed to post them around the complex like you did with you Eviction sale flyers."

"OK, " I say. But as she turns to go with a happy smile of accomplishments and I add. "But if I change my mind and do post these flyers about giving my dog away, what are you going to do besides tear them down?"

"You must obey the rules long as you live here."

"Huh. So if I break the rules does that mean you'd evict me faster than the 48 hours I have left?"

Tony's momentarily speechless. "You must obey the rules," and she blurts and huffs off.

I'm sure my plight embarrasses Archstone to no end. No good for community moral to see one of their longest residents, and I am after 3 years here, go busto.

A month ago this lady was evicted forcibly. I never could get the details. But they need six squad cars, a fire truck and a swat crew armed with rubber bullet guns to take her away.



While I was filming this poor woman scream in the ambulance I tried to get details from Tony but she wouldn't fill me in of course. I smiled at Tony and said, "When my eviction comes I could only top this by dowsing myself in gasoline and lighting myself on fire."

I sent the clip of this lady to a few networks but it never got picked up. I wonder why?

Here's a story about an angel of a landlord. Makes me wish I'd followed my gut and leased from a person and not a giant heartless corporation. I'm only 50 days behind on the rent and getting evicted after being a tenant to Archstone for 7 years solid, here in Agoura and back in Studio City.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stuff is Stuff but Dogs are Family

I'll let the videos do the talking today. Sing along with the amazing THOSE WERE THE DAYS, last video in this post!


"That's Why I Burried Mama in Our Backyard"

Warning. I am not a professional singer. Hell, I'm barely an amateur singer.

I do love to karaoke. Helps to have a telepromoter. I'm like Obama that way.

Read a sad story a few weeks back that to save money some people are burying loved ones in their backyards. Got me thinking. What happens when the bank repossesses your house and Mama's buried in your backyard?

Sounded like the ultimate country western song to me so I wrote one.



I invited my backer Lee Golub to have his great charity band perform and they could keep the proceeds. But Lee's avoiding me like the plague these days.

Sure miss that Lee. He was my best backer. With me the whole seven years until this spring when he gave up on me. And who can blame him? 7 years is long time for an investor to feed a filmmaker. Lee deserves an Academy Award for that!

Any who, here is the world premier of "That's Why I Burried Mama in Our Backyard".


Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Megan Fox Conspiracy

A lotta tire kickers. Should be a busy day tomorrow I'd say.

ONLY 3 DAYS LEFT IN THE SUPER DUPER EVICTION SALE

I managed to squeeze out a new episode for LincolnisBack.com.

I say squeeze because I found it hard to concentrate today with the eviction getting so close.

This episode explores a the notion of corporate conspiracy behind the lack of movies about real humanity that have been choked out by the stranglehold "Junk Food Movies" have on the market.

Megan Fox is an awesome looking woman and maybe one day she'll learn to act.

But I'll take Meryl Streep over her any day as person I'd rather be stranded on a desert isle with.

Told you I was nuts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stuff Sales are Brisk

Sold a bunch of stuff at my SUPER DUPER EVICTION SALE today.

It's just stuff to me. Getting rid of the old stuff will allow me to get new stuff eventually.

I'm touched by how people are so emotional about my situation when to me it's just stuff. Stuff I can't afford to store and lug around. Stuff is only stuff.

STUFF AT AMAZING BARGAIN PRICES! DON'T MISS OUT ON KEN SHEETZ'S SUPER DUPER EVICTION SALE! MAGICAL STUFF!

Here's George Carlin's famous standup about STUFF!



Like most things in life if you face up to them they are as bad as you think. Wait... did I say that right?:)

The old adage that if you have your health you have everything is still the best, except when you live in the sewers under Las Vegas and it rains and all your stuff is washed away along with you. Sewer story here.



Let's close this brisk day of stuff sales with this video about someone having fun with their stuff.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Super Duper Eviction Sale!

Wow. These really are shitty times. "The Jobless Recovery" I heard it dubbed on CNN yesterday. Two of my best real estate buddies in Chapter 11.



I don't mean to be flip with the above Flip video. But you've gotta have a sense of humor to survive until the good times return. And they will, bigger and better than ever for us all.

Perhaps I am rationalizing in thinking I have any control over my life anymore. Hell, maybe I'll be living in a damn tent soon. I truly believe I'll pull it out and if you've been following my blog you know have a great family to stay with back in Wisconsin worst case. My own dysfunctional WALTON'S. I can hear it now in my Dad's Wisconsin farm house...

"Night, John Boy!"

"Shut the hell up and go to sleep!"



Nope, despite how life's turned to shit, I am not giving up on my 7 yrs in Hollywood. I want to stay out here in America's bankrupt state. I fit right in.

I actually was set to go back home and then Dad had a Bell's Palsy stroke. It's kept me out here and that unexpected twist is how I ended up going into eviction. I'll make the best of it all. It's my home, but it is just an apartment. I'm fighting this best I can so I can hold onto my beloved Chihuahua Sophia.

A lady from the apartments today said my story is sadly common these days. No shame. No anger. Well, a little for the banks who have not circulated our taxpayer money back into the system. They are strangling us all.

And Obama will be a one term president unless he stops that bullshit and helps the people. It's why I created the story of Abe Lincoln returning from the dead he's so fed up with today's politicians, to haunt Reps and Dems alike. I am going to try to finish a few more webisodes until they kick me out of here. www.lincolnisback.com.

Long as I am clearing the air about Obama, back in January I sent he and his family a copy of my DVD I made about his election. Never heard a thanks. I mean, how many documentaries about his election from the POV of kids that's #1 on Amazon can there be? No thanks? Order it here is you want to help me recover from this disaster, www.kidstalkpolitics.com.

In the spring, rather than bitch about getting ignored, I know Obama has a country to save, when investor money started to run out, I sent a desperate letter asking for an interview with our kid reporter talking to Sasha and Malia. I did not ask for bailout. Just the big interview that might have sold us enough DVDs to reward me and my backers for all our good old American work.

That was June... I did not have high hopes for hearing from the man for hope and change.

Nope. Despite the fact that I actually had a high level intro from a backer this time, no one from the White House ever even thanked us for the DVD via a form letter. Ouch.

Ah, well.

I have a killer reality TV show pitch off to some big networks and a pack of movies to get made. Heck, Jim Carey was living in a car until he got his big break. Time to really lean it up!

I've been blessed with a lot of nice stuff. Too much stuff. So I am selling stuff to the walls to raise some cash. If you live in LA come on down for a bargain! 818-825-8498