I know I tend to always overthink
But tonight it’s as simple as this
All I need is a lovely little lonely kiss
I have a friend who’s always playing bands I’ve never heard of, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The 1975, Acceptance, Jimmy Eat World, Saves The Day, Bad Suns, and State Champs, to name a few. Ok, so I've heard of The 1975 and Jimmy Eat World but never listened to any of their music until she mentioned how much she loved them. I respect her opinion and want to understand the world through her lens.
If you watch the news, it's easy to feel down about a lot of things, and that's why I like to highlight some good news - like the occasions when an organization that I respect is making waves by doing good. The folks at Mattel are in the business of making children happy, and that extends well beyond simply making toys. One such initiative has been the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, and this week, Mattel announced a $50 million gift to UCLA Health that will fund an expansion of the facility, and "help establish a world-class pediatric care center and research hub focused on improving children's health."
The eleventh of January welcomed the return of the most rad thing to do on hump day night, Soundcheck Live at Lucky Strike. On parade every Wednesday, Soundcheck Live, at Hollywood & Highland, offers a rotating platform for artists of all musical divinations to give unique interpretations of the music that shaped them.
I'm at home near Chicago right now, but if I was in Los Angeles (my most-visited city away from home), I'd want to be at the Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®) - which kicks-off this weekend, running November 18-27. With the press preview having just-wrapped (showcasing debuts like Nissan's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story edition of their popular Rogue crossover, the Kia Soul Turbo, and Mazda's new RT-24P race car), the doors are about to open with family-friendly activities and all the best in vehicles and technology from all the top makers. Here's some highlights...
There was a time as a kid growing up, when I, like so many, had dreams of attending a "Hollywood Premiere." You saw it on television - the excitement, the stars, the glamour, the ideals that one typically thinks of as being "Hollywood." As an adult, my life and career has gone in many directions, and often in waves. I went after a serious career as a screenwriter and film director for awhile, aspirations that didn't quite work out as planned (or promised - long story) - but I did find some work as an actor and occasional crew member, and those are skills that still serve me well today as "The Rock Father," a position where sometimes it feels like I have to be everything. I still direct and edit music videos, I can't shut up write daily, I pop-up on-camera on YouTube (and sometimes television), but the closest I'd ever come to attending a Hollywood Premiere was back in 2002, when my wife and I attended the "green carpet" premiere of Pete Jones' Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-produced STOLEN SUMMER, the first movie to come out of HBO's PROJECT GREENLIGHT, when it made a huge debut at the Chicago Theatre. But my main gig now is that of a work-from-home parent, so how, in 2016, am I in Lake County, Illinois one day - then walking the red carpet at The World Premiere of Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK in Hollywood the next? Well, my life is wonderfully strange sometimes, and my I've been very fortunate to be in a position that allows for somewhat uncommon adventures.
I sometimes have a hard time explaining to people what exactly it is that I do - particularly because I do a lot of different things for a lot of different people. The connecting thread between them is that everything is linked by entertainment and pop culture. I've often said that I don't personally consider myself to be a "journalist" nor a "blogger," but a "writer" that sits somewhere in the space between those two things - even though the clients and partners that I work with will often deem me to be one or the other... titles I'll happily accept from others, depending on the assignment. But I've also been an actor, I'm directing again, and that's really just the tip of the iceberg for a time where to be involved in entertainment, you really have to be everything - and in my case, that means being a one-man army, a largely self-sufficient "Rock & Roll Gangster" (the definition of which varies) with "a particular set of skills, acquired over a very long career" - just like Liam Neeson in TAKEN. Sometimes, the strangest thing is that I feel like I'm living on two planes of reality - and those largely different elements are interweaving in an increasingly swift manner, with perhaps no more dramatic example than my most recent trip to Los Angeles. On a Sunday afternoon I'm hanging with the cast of FULLER HOUSE, and on Monday morning I'm 2000 miles away, vacuuming the play area with a three-year-old... working my most rewarding gig as an at-home dad. That's just what happened with my first on-the-road (and in-the-air) mission as a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.