Thursday, March 24, 2005

March 24, 2005
I worked last night on a scratchboard of three heavily armed riders coming up the Charleston Road towards Tombstone on the evening of December 28, 1881. I had good reference of Dave Daiss and Tate Wilford and a friend of theirs riding together out at Pioneer. Got to stick in a mining hoist A-frame in the background with tailings galore. Growing up in Kingman and all the mining there I kind of have a feel for that look.

Switched gears and started a trip-tic of the suspects in the shooting. I was inspired by a poster I saw in Flag at the Buffalo Exchange. It was for the play "Where Have You Gone Jimmie Dean?" or "Come Back to the Five & Dime," or whatever that play is, and they took a black and white photo of Dean and roughed it up, lots of scratches and noise. Repeated the image for several frames, a la Andy Warhol. I stood and studied it for some time (I'm sure the Goth clerks thought I was a homeless old man, or a harmless old pervert, and they would be half right).

Got into the office at eight and had Gus scan those images and we placed them in the layout for CG (Classic Gunfights) for June. Went home for lunch with Melrose to give him the partitions in the garage for his new office, but the pack rats got to 'em first and really ate 'em up. Damn little Bastards. I put cayenne pepper all over the engine walls of the '49 Ford and they are still in there. This means war, he said, knowing the little insurgents will fight to the death with their little teeth chewing on my spark plug wires like little toothpicks and laughing at me and my dogs with, "Eh, what's up, Dogs?"

Starting to get feedback on the new train issue:

"I received my Train Issue yesterday. I must admit I opened the magazine fearing the possibility of some unwanted over exposure of certain parts [rear end reference]. I was pleased to see the photos were great and did not strike fear or scare small children and animals. The issue is great. I don't recall reading a magazine cover to cover as I do TW. Thanks for a terrific product. And a personal note of thanks to the photo screener/editor.”
—Hugh Howard, Maniac#9, SASS# 49890

"I like your magazine, and the way you have some articles of substantial interest and topic. Too many just have trendy stuff and what the rich and famous are doing in their boots. The train article was good. Thanks for introducing me to this."
—(name withheld because she advertises in the trendy magazine)

A month or so ago, Kathy and I were watching the DVD of Seinfeld and a repairman came to Jerry's apartment and Kathy yelled out, "Oh, my God, that's John Apasella!" John is from Phoenix and went to Hollywood and has scored some decent bits. I Emailed John and asked him what it was like to be on an episode of Seinfeld. Here’s his reply:

"I actually auditioned for the role of Kramer in the pilot episode—along with a few dozen other guys—though Seinfeld and David and company were only mollifying the network by going through those motions: Michael Richards was the only guy they ever wanted, and they wrote the part for him.

"My little role was in show 13 or so, early in their first full season. The show was not yet a hit —was actually still in peril of cancellation—but the atmosphere on the set was cheerful and relaxed. I was impressed with how hard Michael [Kramer] worked, using an entire lunch hour one day to practice his entrance, perfecting the particular goofy way he'd come up with that week to burst through Jerry's door.

"I was even more impressed with how Seinfeld himself gave most of his best lines to other actors, saying, 'George should say this,' or 'Isn't this an Elaine line?' I've been on plenty of sitcom sets and this is not normal behavior, but it's indicative of the creative mindset that eventually made the show such a unique success.

"One detail I recall is that the 'craft services' table (where they keep the snacks) had a cereal station with an enormous selection of breakfast cereals, just like the huge collection in Jerry's TV apartment.

"David Steinberg directed the episode and was a lot of fun. We'd met previously through Didi Conn and David Shire, so we had lunch together one day and he regaled me with showbiz stories. He told me this one about Milton Berle: Milton was of course famed for the size of his manhood, and David was in the locker room of the Friar's Club and saw Milton naked for the first time. 'My god, Milton,' he cried, 'I heard it was large, but... Good lord! How big does it get when it's hard?' 'I don't know,' Milton replied, 'I always pass out.'

"I've run into Jason Alexander a few times since then (we have mutual friends), most recently at the opening of AS YOU LIKE IT at the Ahmanson last month. He's a very friendly and open guy, and very into the theatre world.

"I've also auditioned about three times for Larry David's show (CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM). The audition is just you and Larry and a couple of the other actors on the show. You get a little slip of paper describing your situation and you improvise from there. I guess he likes me 'cause I've been asked back repeatedly, though I haven't gotten hired yet.

"So that's all I can tell you about my brushes with the SEINFELD world. Thanks to the DVD release I've gotten a new rush of residual payments. The last one paid for about a month's rent, so statistically your DVD purchase bought me about 1.3 minutes of time in my apartment this month. I hope I spent the time doing something worthwhile and not just scratching."
—John Apasella

After lunch I whipped out an aerial view of Fifth and Allen in Tombstone. Brought it back to the office and Gus scanned it and I placed it in the layout. Not sure I like it. I always have an image in my head that is so hard to duplicate. I can just see it! But often I don't have the talent to get it out of there.

"There are no accidents, only nature throwing her weight around. Nature will pick up the cards we have spilled, shuffle them, and begin her game again."
—Camille Paglia

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