Category Archives: photos

Revisiting Wiggy Webs and Dog Rescue

Wiggy Logo NO Sub Heading

Rene and I are doing a lot of re-branding and building of our web presence since our commitment to take control of our careers this year. This happens to coincide with the end of any contracts that existed with my old production company, Wiggy VonSchtick Productions. The only thing that came out of that dissolution in any way intact was the YouTube channel Wiggy Webs where we auditioned some web content.

The most popular videos were a series called Make-up with the Wolf where award winning make-up and F/X artist Myke “The Wolf” Michaels demonstrated how to do Hollywood level make-up effects on a budget. I’m proud to say that the most popular video is of Rene getting transformed into a Buffy style vampire.

But as I was looking back at the video manager I found a video that I had almost forgotten about and thought was worth featuring today. It was for a group that was trying to rehome over 80 dogs because the rescue that had been their home was being shut down. A group of photographers, including Lori Fusaro, and dog clothing manufacturers got together to take good, happy adoption photos that helped get all of these animals new homes, most at a rescue in a different state.

Watching this again, I remember being at the rescue site and how all the dogs could tell that something was going on, even before all the photoshoot started. Some were nervous, but many were so happy to have as much human interaction as they got that day. With the number of unwanted animals in the United States, rescues and shelters serve as savior to many animals that would otherwise die. If you would like more information about how to help or adopt animals check HERE.

Even though Wiggy VonSchtick is shut down, Wiggy Webs is going to stay up as long as people keep watching it. And if we make the odd nickel every few months from Google AdSense that’s ok too.

Now back to the new stuff!

See you next time.

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January 21, 2015 · 8:41 am

Acting 101 – Headshots and Headshot Photographers

Headshots are the marketing lifeblood of an actor. They are on every casting site, website, social media page and with you at auditions. A good headshot can help and a bad headshot can kill. As important as they are, people don’t always take them seriously. For the actor just starting out the up front cost of everything can be a bit daunting: casting sites charge, classes charge, some showcases charge and then there’s gas and general living expenses… it makes sense to look for ways to cut costs.

Don’t skimp on your headshots, though!

I’m not saying to spend thousands of dollars – that’s excessive – but you should be prepared to spend between $150-$450 on a good photographer and between 2-4 different looks.

Let’s talk definitions:

Headshot Photographer – A headshot photographer is not:

    • Your cousin who has, “A really good camera.”
    • Your friend that took that really good picture of you once.
    • A portrait photographer.
When looking for a headshot photographer it’s important to know that they can shoot what is considered a “headshot.” A headshot is more than just a good picture of you, it is a marketing picture of you so it needs to show what you look like (what you really look like, not the idealized, super Photoshopped you), your personality and have that special “something” that will help it stand out among the thousands (yes THOUSANDS) of other submissions that are coming through the casting director’s inbox. There’s a reason why a good photographer costs and it’s because they have developed a way to get all of those elements into a picture. It’s not that any photographer can’t produce those results, but when you’re talking about your career, especially when starting out, do you really want to take your chances with someone who hasn’t developed this skill?
Looks – A look is an outfit or style of dress that you take a series of pictures in. In my last headshot session I did three looks: Casual Business (seen above),
Comedy Casual,
and Casual Commercial. 
There are plenty more you can do as well like Theatrical, Character shots (although those are less viable now a days), “Young Dad or Mom…” There are as many variations as you can think of. Know your type and plan ahead. If you have an agent then ask them if they have any looks they’d like you to shoot. They are trying to get you work, it’s a good idea to give them the materials they need.
So now you may be saying to yourself, “OK, I get it, I need good headshots. Fine, cool. Who do I go to?”
If you have an agent ask for their recommendations. They will usually have a list of people that they like. If you have friends who have killer headshots that you love ask who did them, then interview the photographer and make sure they can shoot what you need. If you live in California here are four photographers that I have used and recommend in no particular order:

Alan Mercer – He does a great job at capturing personality and making a promo photo look and “feel” like you. Lots of celebrity clients, but not celebrity prices:

Aaron Huniu – The nice thing about Aaron is that he will absolutely work with you to create what you need. He shoots documentary style, portrait style, artsy-fartsy, whatever you need:

Molly Hawkey – I just did my new headshots with her and she is an awesome shooter! Lots of fun, funny and, as you can see from the site, she likes to capture the natural “you.” :

The Schultz Bros. – 30-something years later and these guys are still kickin’. OC local and they can do everything. Fun Fact – The Schultz Brothers did my very first headshots over 28 years ago:

If you have questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

See you next time!

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Filed under acting, actor 101, actor stuff, headshots, how-to, photos

Bachelor Chow – Cooking For the Single Guy

I am not a single man, but was one once. And when I was a single man I had to eat. I had to eat food. And even though I ate them often, one can’t subsist on Western Bacon Cheeseburgers alone. So there are several things that I made for myself on a regular basis, one of them was bachelor chow.

I call it bachelor chow, but there are many different names for what I make. My mother-in-law calls it a variation on dirty rice. Other chefs may call it a good start to an interesting chili. My mom calls it dog food. She calls it that for good reason, that’s how I learned how to make it. The basis is from a recipe that my mom used to feed my first pet, Muffin, when she was sick and needed a special diet. 
The ingredients are simple: 
– Ground beef
– Chopped/diced onions 
– White rice, cooked
That’s it. Cook the beef and onions together and spice to taste; add the rice and voila! 
At least that’s how I used to make it. That particular preparation is actually pretty bland. Not bad in a pinch, but it doesn’t have much “wow” to it. When I did the No Wheats/No Sweets diet it was important to find things that were easy to make and that had no gluten and no sugar in them. Bachelor chow totally qualifies but I wanted to, literally, spice it up. When I started my experiments I had to work with the spices on hand. We had recently moved and most of our stuff was still in boxes. I had salt, pepper, garlic powder and mustard powder. It was good and warranted some perfecting. I now have my preferred mix of stuff and I live tweeted/Instagramed my preparation last night. 
Here it is in a single place just in case any of you single fellas out there want to feel like a single serving gourmet:

These are my preferred spices now: Coleman’s mustard powder, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, and Gilroy Garlic Festival Garli Garni – this stuff is key. It’s garlic, which makes it wonderful, and has all kinds of other great flavors in one convenient package. Rene and I get it at the Orange County Fair every year.

I’m very particular about my beef. I like Trader Joe’s because they are too. For this batch I selected Teva Kosher Foods Angus Ground Beef. It keeps well and cooks well. 85% lean means less chance of a heart attack.
Chop up half a white onion and add it to a large skillet with bell peppers. I used Trader Joe’s frozen Melange a Tois. The frozen part helps later.
Toss in the beef with the veggies. Then sprinkle on the mustard, Garli Garni and Worcestershire sauce to taste, I’m generous with the garlic and mustard.
I don’t use white rice any more. Since I’m getting older I’ve started using brown rice. It’s a grain. It tastes good. Again, this is from Trader Joe’s. It microwaves in three minutes and comes in a convenient bag. Good stuff.
Because the bell peppers start frozen they make a lot of liquid in the skillet. Simmering everything together really helps to blend the flavors. Also, since this is something I can eat through the course of the week, it helps keep it moist so that it microwaves well.
After the meat is cooked and the rice has been nuked I put them together over the medium heat. This finishes any cooking and the rice helps soak up some of the liquid. Each grain of rice becomes a little flavor bomb!
Here it is, the finished product!
If you try it let me know what you think or if you have a new variation.
See you next time!

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Filed under cooking, food, garlic, Gilroy garlic, meat, photos