Saturday, October 31, 2009
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 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
Sunday, October 25, 2009
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
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
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?
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.
Any who, here is the world premier of "That's Why I Burried Mama in Our Backyard".
Thursday, October 22, 2009
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
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
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.
That was June... I did not have high hopes for hearing from the man for hope and change.
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
Monday, October 19, 2009
They will literally kill you with kindness out here as you starve to death with no work. It's a waiting game and they want you to fail and go home. So they tell you how great your stuff is, while the leeches and scam artists, with their endless, "Let us help you thourgh the Hollywood maze," BS, drain your pitiful bank account. Your cash flows down the Hollywood drain like the blood in Hitchcock's famous "Psycho" scene. And before you know it, you're dead as Janet Leigh's Marion from loss of cash.
Friday, October 16, 2009
The owner is still on the fence so I asked him for some food for Sophia since she ran out today. So I officially worked for dog food this week.
Yesterday a new client was supposed to pay me. I must take cash payment these days because I'm overdrafted at the Bank of America by $500. So off we went to the ATM after I finished the job. Bing! The ATM informed us as both our faces dropped that his card was overdrafted.
I wasn't mad. He's sweet guy. It's just everything is so damn tight.
I have another friend of 6 years. Usually super dependable. She owes me $750. She keeps lying that the check is in the mail. I asked her in a voice mail why the lies? I'm not some asshole bank doing a collection. The truth is always best. Let's face it. There's no shame being broke in these times. But now she's not even returning calls. Thing is without the lies I'd easily forgive her.
Funny thing all I can think about through all this crap is Bank of America. What fucking hard asses. I had a little check of $9 that came in the mail a few days ago. I got excited. Holy cow I can buy some nice grany smith apples! But BOA refused to cash the $9 check because of the overdraft.
"You won't cash a $9 check? My tax dolllars at work, huh?" I said to the embarrassed looking Bank of America teller.
She suggested since it was drawn on Chase bank, this was an AT&T check mind you, that I go over to Chase.
I calmly explained, "Already did. They are still offically Wa Mu for 2 more weeks and can't take a Chase check yet."
"Sorry," she smiled waiting for someone to give me my homeless man walking papers it seemed.
"20 YEARS AS A CLIENT AND I GET THIS? BANKS!" rang in my head.
Once upon a stressful day, this Barclays Bank asshole who shall go unnamed, a workout specialist, glared over the marble table in their fancy conference room at me. He looked at me like I was personally responsible for the international real estate crash from Bush the first's great handling of the economy.
The Barclays asshole said to me, with a straight face, "Sorry (bankers love that word). But, Mr. Sheetz, you are on the hook personally for 12% of the $162 million loan in default. And since you signed on the loan personally - I hate this part of my job..., " he said with a shit eating grin, "... We are going to come to your house in Lake Forest and photograph every single bit of clothes and furniture you own. We're forced to take your bank accounts, stocks bonds, the house and everything you own it, Mr. Sheetz."
I smiled calmly back at him, "Sorry back at you. My wife has everything and we are getting divorced. You can't touch a thing. And if you show up at our house she will call the police and have you arrested for trespassing. Sorry."
The Barclays asshole went beat red. And before he could say another stupid fucking thing, seeing I had him beat, I added. "I know you want to sell One North Franklin for fifty cents on the dollar to Sam Zell (a vulture fund real estate player, aptly dubbed by The Wall Street Journal back in the day as "The Grave Dancer"). I wish you and Sam well, even though I'll never understand long as I live ( and I still fucking don't) why you won't cut a sweet deal like that for us after we all worked our asses off to build this building and the problems in the economy have nothing to do with us."
The Barclays asshole shouted, "This is all a fraudulent conveyance! Your divorce is bullshit!"
Odd note, one ex partner to this day blames me for taking the deal down by quitting the fight with Barclays. Yeah. I was going to fight a bank with billions in assets when I was flat broke and everything was in my wife's name. I love this guy but he drives me nuts with this fantasy battle shit of his. If anything I always fight for something too long. I'm Rocky on steroids.
How well I remember my lawyer Tom Homburger advising me, "Now, Ken, this plan we are putting in place will protect your wife and kids from Barclays, but if she ever divorces you... Well,you're screwed."
One day, they are all a blur of choking dust and pain, in our Lake Forest kitchen over breakfast, I sweetly asked Gloria if now that the Barclays Bank mess was over and we won if she'd put everything back in both our names.
Now here I am in the dregs of 2009. My investors, all real estate pals, are hurting so bad they've all left my ship out at sea. One shared he's going Chapter 11 on his biz. Most of my newly poor pals don't return calls or emails as of this writing in fact. So I am pushing on in Hollywood all by myself with my new BuzzBroz biz. Working for dog food.
So I glare at the lady behind the bank teller at BOA, stew about the billions the taxpayers thanks to Bush and Obama gave BOA to survive, knowing I'll never see a penny of the loans I've been begging BOA for and say, "Put the $9 against my overdraft." The words feel like gravel in my throat.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I built a poodle sized green screen set next to the poo poo can outside my apartment for Gabby of Doritos fame to wheel her cart past.
Turns out Gabby the poodle and I have a lot in common when it comes to our frustration with those damn Hollywood middle men!
And the finished web-mercial up on BuzzBroz YouTube channel where there are more LeFifi videos.
And another for their fall and winter collection. I could run BuzzBroz for another 100 years and not find a cuter brand to market.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Well, blown up as you'll read.
Dana, Hollywood Fireball is dedicated to one of my true heroes in Hollywood, Dana Brunetti of Triggerstreet and Triggerstreet.com fame.
Follow Dana on Facebook. Dana has without a doubt one of the most entertaining and nitty gritty pages if you are into Hollywood. Dana bitched recently on FB:
"I am done swimming with the fucking sharks for today. What a fantastic, yet shithole business that I am in."
Dana, Hollywood Fireball
By Ken Sheetz
EXT. HOLLYWOOD GAS STATION - DAY
A red Porsche rumbles up to the pumps.
DANA (Speaking to Cell Phone)
Ouch! This fucking Iphone bug-zapped me!
Fucking made in China shit!
Dana crams the phoney Iphone between his ear and hunched shoulder to free his hands. He flips open the Porsche's gas tank cap.
Are you on fucking smack? Spears can't act for shit!
Dana selects Premium Grade and jams the pump into his shiny red Porsche.
Faint gas fumes shimmer in the air.
One day, I swear to Christ, this fucking shithole film biz is
gonna kill --
Close on the Iphone. ZAP! Gas fumes IGNITE.
Dana catches fire. Dana screams and staggers.
His flaming arm knocks the gas pump from the Porsche.
Premium gasoline gushes onto the gas station tarmac.
Help! I'm on fucking fire! Help me, you
fucking Hollywood duchebags!
CUSTOMERS run from Dana, Hollywood's new human inferno act. Some jerks hop into their BMWs and Priuses, burning rubber as they race off.
GAS STATION ATTENDANT, black, 310 pounds, dives on Dana.
GAS STATION ATTENDANT
Didn't yo mama teach your sorry ass
to drop and roll!
A flame hops from Dana for the spilled gas and IGNITES. Fire races for the pumps like a lit fuse.
A small ball of fire silently rises in the distance below.
Sound of the fire ball finally reaches the bird like faint rolling thunder.
Bird goes merrily on chirping as the fireball fades to smoke, rising for the sun.
The true article that inspired this story about how cell phones might blow up Hollywood is LINKED HERE .
Pictured above Teri Fruchiante from Discover Me!, Dana Brunetti (a real life Hollywood Fireball in the good way) and Ken Sheetz
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Great day for Lincoln is Back. I felt like all the pain I put myself through take courses on how to properly set up a website for marketing really paid off today. Seeing Obama in all those funny photos below inspired these from me. It's greenscreen Photoshp but mighty cool.
Perhaps somewhere in deep space where aliens watch our lives in the web they'll think these are real.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Article by Gary Shusett
BEFORE THE FAME / NO Mc DONALDS JOB FOR SCHOOL DIRECTOR
Over the years I tried to attend any kind of award show that I thought I might meet at least a few known professionals. During the eighties I found myself going to a rather pleasant show called The American Comedy Awards.
At one show, a young woman rushed briskly by me. To this day, I am not quite sure why she grabbed my attention. She told me that she primarily did standup comedy but hadn’t done
much acting. My feeling was if she could try acting that it could change her life because she had a real gift.
But she really didn’t put much stock in my appraisal of her. I did feel kind of bad, because it was obvious that I had offended the woman who was called Ellen, the one we all now know as Ellen DeGeneres.
Several years later, Sherwood Oaks came upon an opportunity. Both Dustin Hoffman and Alec Baldwin agreed to do a class for us. We scheduled it for the day before my birthday on Saturday, July 18, my birthday being Sunday July 19. Paramount Studios gave us their new 500-seat theater to use. Dustin would speak for 4 hours then Alec would have the remaining two hours.
Before we knew it, 300 enrolled in the Saturday extravaganza. We were all anxiously looked forward to a very special day that would be taking place.
I guess that I was feeling pretty confident in the days that followed, anything seemed possible.
The very next time I saw Ellen, I told her that we would be thrilled if she would come and speak. Of course, I told her who was attending on Saturday. I think my joy of the coming program somehow moved her and she agreed to participate. I explained to her that 500 filmmakers and writers would be in attendance. We had two speakers on Saturday so she committed to attend on Sunday, July 19th. I could not help but wonder if a birthday present gets any better that this.
Then, eight days prior to the event Dustin’s secretary called with the startling news that Dustin could not make it as he was taking his kids on a trip across the United States, and unfortunately soon after Alec also bowed out.
Ellen’s class was to be held at Raleigh Studios, a smaller space because I surmised since our two big names dropped out, the number of students attending Ellen’s appearance that would be significantly smaller.
I tried to mention the change to Ellen’s manager but I was not sure if she ever got the message. I now began to become very nervous about Ellen’s class Sunday, July 19, my birthday. It didn’t help when my 75 year-old mother phoned with the frightening news that she was going to be in attendance to see her “glamorous son’s” appearance with the TV celebrity. At that point I would have happily traded my stressful job with anyone working behind the counter at any McDonald’s.
As I crept into the theater, Ellen was just arriving with her manager and her then girlfriend Anne Heche. As they glanced into the theater and noticed the skimpy crowd, she twisted her face like she was sucking on a lemon.
I tried my best to be cordial and appeasing. Her manager was irate as he explained Ellen and Anne were most disappointed and feeling they had been deceived and as a result, would probably leave shortly. My birthday was turning out to be anything but fun.
Suddenly, her manager and Anne explained Ellen would speak briefly so as not to disappoint
the meager crowd. I felt as though the governor had just spared me from the chair at midnight
and I was more grateful that the three of them then they would ever come to realize. As everyone settled into their seat, Ellen and Anne sat down. Ellen chose to sit on the other side of Anne to avoid being too close to me. I felt guilty but tried my best not to show it.
My uncomfortable feelings suddenly greatly expanded when I could hardly ignore the fact that my own mother had now plunked herself down into a front row seat smack in front of Ellen. It seemed like a formula for real trouble.
As the crowd began to quiet down, my mother raised her hand. What was I to do? I sensed that I was heading down the road of no return. I had to call on her, she was my mother. She rose very slowly and I couldn’t tell if it was because of her age or if she was aiming for a dramatic effect.
She then turned to face the puzzled crowd and with great pride, announced she was the mother of Gary Shusett. I sunk very low in my chair, and everything began to blur. Meanwhile the audience was definitely intrigued, I was mortified. It would continue to get worse.
Going forward, she then explained it was her son, Gary’s birthday and everyone needed to join her in a rousing stanza of the happy birthday song. I looked over to Ellen, she swiftly shot back a dirty look. This is what was going on and the class was only three minutes old, and it was not going that well to say the least. I wasn’t entirely sure that I could endure the entire day. Now I have to admit to being the target of a number of humiliating experiences in my life as well also on many of my birthdays. But never have hadI experienced such a humiliating birthday. All I could think about was fantasizing about golden arches and wearing a McDonalds apron. I just wanted to be anywhere but in that theater at that moment.
I tried to settle down as the seminar proceeded. But I do admit that I was still somewhat flustered from my mother’s leading the group to sing happy birthday to me. About fifteen minutes passed, and as I looked over to the side, Ellen’s manager was frantically giving me the wrap up sign. So I leaned over and said “Anne, I guess you and Ellen may have to leave soon.” She shot back, “not really.” Okay, Ellen continued talkingas I shook my shoulders in pantomime toward her manager’s seat.
He looked anything but happy. We continued on. It almost seemed Ellen was beginning to find the experience almost worthwhile, if I might go so far to say enjoyable. I do know that she seemed to have the the audience of mostly gay woman mesmerized and hanging on her every word.
Another half hour passed. I was handed a note from the manager. It read, “Haven’t you done enough damage, this is getting completely ridiculous, you must stop immediately. I beg you to put an end to this travesty by ending the session now!!”
I tried to be co-operative. I turned to Anne. “Well, it’s really been great having you. I know you’re really pressed for time.” Anne looked and said, “it’s not a problem.” Ellen continued. I couldn’t help but sneak a look at the manager. He was becoming furious and almost a shade of red. I wouldn’t have been that that surprised to see him charging the stage and begin strangling me, thank godness he didn’t. Soon after, I eased into ending the session and shook hands with both guests, but not the manager. There was a good hearted and warm wave of applause by the extremely appreciative audience.
As my mother slowly left, she nodded an appreciative, well done, son glance. This time she seemed quite sincere, and she made no attempt for even a minor dramatic effect. I guess I wouldn’t have to wear that McDonald’s cap after all. Although it did seem quite an attractive arrangement if I could have gotten those burgers at a discount.
A couple of days later. Ellen’s manager called. “So what’s going on over there?” as he opened our conversation in an accusative manner. Desperately trying to present a positive face, I said “just offering our worthwhile events for film professionals.” “Like whom” he shot back in a hostile tone. “Just whom have you had in the past?” Without pausing for even a second I casually
replied, Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro, Matin Scorsese, Paul Newman, Steven Spielberg.
“Yeah, he battered on, but who recently” “Well, Warren Beatty recently spoke and
also James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino.”
Rudely interrupting, he whispered in an intimidating tone, ‘come on, just level with me. Everything you have said is a falsehood. And in fact, isn’t Ellen the most famous person you have ever met?” “Well that’s one perspective.”
The next day I sent him copies of photos of more than 100 of Hollywood’s most famous
celebrities often with me in the photo and sometimes with the Sherwood Oaks logo behind us.
I never heard from him again. At that time, I was just beginning to write a book about my experiences at Sherwood Oaks. What a great line he gave me for the last sentence of my book.
To this day I occasionally see Ellen at award shows. In spite of the awkward experience,
when I see her, she always acknowledges me in a positive fashion. And I maybe perhaps just
imagine this, but by the slightest twinkle in her eye, I get the idea that she knew that I was one of the first to recognize her outstanding gifts that she had to offer that allowed to connect to so many people.
In addition, her key role in playing such a significant dent in the wall of prejudice that still exists.
You know… I guess that it really wasn’t that bad of a birthday after all.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Where to start? I've had a pain in my right side of my rib cage for weeks now. I thought it was an old rib injury I got when I was attacked at the movie theater by some teen thugs on a "field trip" from a drug rehab clinic.
But this is different. The pain grew worse last night (tonight it's 3:51 AM as I write) and I've been having difficulty breathing. Like many people in Hollywood struggling to make it I don't have health insurance so I'll be checking into a hospital via America's only safety net, the emergency room.
I need to call a sitter for my adorable dog Sophia and I want to hold out going to hospital until I can...ARGGH! Comedian to the end could not resist. But seriously the writing does distract me from the pain and Mandy my dog sitter is likely not going to be up until 7 AM. Whatever the hell this is can wait three hours.
I have no idea what's wrong with me. I've led a stressful life and at age 57 things may be catching up with me.
I've grown to love writing these blogs for you and for myself. I hope to see you all again on the other side. But if not there's some people I want to say goodbye to.
First my amazing brother Fred who you've reading about in many posts. I'll miss you most of all if I don't pull through this hospital ordeal. You've been a tower of strength when I've needed you most. The anchor who kept me grounded. Well, as grounded as a crazy guy like me can be:)
Next my two kids, Jon and Janelle. Janelle's the artist who did my portrait you see in the blog. I am sorry my journey to Hollywood has taken me so far from Chicago these last 7 years. My dream has been to build a film company I could leave you. I hope to get well and finish what I started for you. You are both so talented. I'd love to grow this Hollywood/BuzzBroz thing to the point where it could support us all.
Next my Mom and Dad and my steps. You've all been so wonderful. And I hope people who read this blog know how much I love my dad despite how tough he was on me as a kid. He lost his father at young age and never had the right kind of teacher on how to be a dad. We made our peace years ago thanks to his heart transplant.
Next, my dear Uncle Jim. I am so sorry this has all taken so long to get going that we've run aground in the worst recession of our lives. I must get well to pay you back.
Next my buddy backer Rick Cavenaugh. You've become as close to me as a brother. I love you for the great human being you are and thank you for your faith in my talent. More than any backer should, you've stuck with me as the economy has cut us both down to size.
I still want to bounce back from whatever is making take this trip to the ER and get you and the other great guys, Lee, Steve, Gerry, Paul, Jeff, John, Greg, Dan, Jim, John, John (no medical typo I'm blessed with three John's as backers) and Bill. We really spent so little money in terms of the possibilities I still believe I will make this work if fate sees me through this mess. Actually with the many screenplays I wrote out here in my bookcase maybe you don't really need me to pull through to make your money back:)
Hey to my great partner for the DISCOVER ME pilot, John Amodeo. What an honor it is to have you in my corner. You've taught me so much and been one of the best friends I've ever had.
And to my new partner and friend Tom Katsis, Abe in my new web series www.lincolnisback.com, I guess this is going to slow us down a tad, pal. Keep 'em crossed but worst case at least we got half the episodes up before this unexpected break.
Living in Agoura Hills, just outside the insanity of LA has been glorious. I want to say hi to all my great neighbors and the friendly staff at Archstone. I've met great people like Nick and Jessica, Shawn and Sahuna, Gilles and Randall, Al, Anne and Richard. You're all a joy.
Well, there's of course more I'd like to say but it's getting kinda weird. I hope to be back to you soon dear readers.