Out to Lunch

Store Owner
That’s a nice hat; why didn’t you buy it from me? I carry hats like that.

Your door was closed.

Store Owner
The sign said out to lunch, didn’t it?

So that’s why I didn’t buy it from you.

Store Owner
I was going to come right back.

I was here for a couple of minutes and you weren’t.

Store Owner
You could have waited.

Down the street I didn’t have to wait. Besides…buyers don’t wait. Sellers wait.

Store Owner
I don’t understand.

It’s very simple. Don’t go out to lunch. Eat at your own private desk. Be a king in your own country.

Actors should always find a way to eat at their own desks. Being out to lunch is not an option. Your kingdom is waiting to be served. While you may be the king; and it’s good to be king (“Thank you Mr. Brooks”), wiggle room is not a welcomed characteristic for an aspirer to have. You may be a one-person kingdom consisting of just you, still you must constantly and continually aspire: To what, you might ask?

You must always be the king, or queen who is well prepared to serve his or her domain. Yours must be a realm where doors are never closed. Let those who seek you out, find you involved with the day-by-day process of intellectual growth necessary to serve those who find yours to be the “forever” open door.

No need to become a star. Being exalted will be quite enough!

Aspire to become exalted. But be forewarned, it often takes years of exertion before one reaches a state of exaltedness. Actor, director, producer, writer; how many will reach the heights? Your star on a boulevard or the naming of a street is not by itself the only qualification for an exaltation bestowal.

And Then There’s A Thing Called Self Exaltation

I have chosen to use my time on the freeway; twice each day, going and coming, as a time to write and to paint: Not to text. Fact is…I don’t know how to text. I’m not breaking the law. I have those stupid little white things plugged into each ear in the event someone finds a sapient need to reach me. I dislike my cell phone with a great passion. I don’t even like calling it mine. Yet, I find myself in the seldom-revered minority. To stay in touch with someone, anyone at all times, is the acceptable thing to do.

Yesterday at the train station, while awaiting our connection to return from a tour of a beautiful and most tasteful adventure in the Santa Barbara wine country, I was astounded by a group of college students who were returning from somewhere. There had to be at least fifty of them. Almost without exception each of them was armed with an up to date, state of the art cell phone. All were plugged in and talking. Without hesitation the reporter in me took over. Who could these young derelicts be conversing with at 6:PM on a Sunday evening? They were there together that day, or weekend on what had to be a wonderful sojourn, sharing the God like vistas of northern California. They stood together without touching, without looking into each other’s eyes, and certainly unaware of anything transpiring around them. They refer to it as “social networking”. Of course my questions will forever be unanswered. But my mind wanders; now back to more pleasant thoughts. It wasn’t my intention to make this about me. This shouldn’t be about me. …but since it is, what the hell! This is be about what I do with respect to driving the freeway each and every day of the week, in order to meet with people dedicated almost totally to their own glory search. These are the multitudes who strive to remain as breadwinners. Just as the cave people in their respective eras, they wander in order to eat. As is the case today, there is no glory in being a caveman or woman. There is, however a chance to achieve exaltation.

Going to work in the morning definitely differs from the drive I take on the way home each evening. In the morning I am definitely more adventurous than in the afternoon or evening.

Between seven and eight each morning I enter the freeway with the same goal in mind, to get over as far to the left lane as possible, as fast as I can. I treat the on ramp as my launching pad. With my left turn indicator signaling I step on the accelerator and I’m well on my way towards the sixty-five mile an hour lift off , as the wheels of my truck touch the far right lane of the freeway, exaltation! Within seconds I have moved from the far right slow lane across to the far left speed lane. As I glance at my speedometer a hint of a smile crosses my lips; I’ve reached the seventy-mile an hour mark, and I’m on track towards a new record; continued exaltation. This of course won’t qualify for a new record. (Because) It’s Saturday morning. I’m working this Saturday morning. In twelve minutes flat I arrive at my Burbank studios. From Encino to Burbank, a trip, which can take me as much as an hour during a weekday morning excursion. What a difference a day makes. The vast majority of working folks don’t realize what a great day Saturday is.

Long before I became aware of my custom, it had turned into a continuing daily practice. I gave no thought to the enormity of the project. Each morning and evening my changing cast of players performed for a different audience. The players appeared; some more fleeting than others; dependent on the flow of traffic.
They’d be there similarly disturbed, or undisturbed by this writers cause.

Some would call this lengthy maze a road, or a highway, or a freeway. Few would see this as a stage of players. But what if they were just that? What if it was the largest cast ever assembled on any one stage. Could I ever have the skills called for by the producer of this epic in order to stage this play?

There for me with each sight leading to another then being dismissed without cause, instituted by me. It becomes an endless stage with all players within this system hidden by the steel surrounding them on all sides.


• There are exactly 53 Saturdays in this year 2011. Each weekday morning it takes me on average forty minutes to travel from Encino to Burbank.
• On Saturday mornings my average travel time is fifteen minutes; representing a life saving twenty-five minutes for each and every Saturday I work.
• If I work fifty Saturdays this year I would be saving 1, 250 minutes, or a total of close to 21 hours.
• Is it any wonder then how many people like you and me become frustrated as they sit in their cars stopped on any number of local freeways?

A person could do a lot of reading in twenty one hours, or spend some valued part of this life on a cell phone.

One Comment

  1. Before working from the home studio became the "norm" in our industry, we used to spend the day traveling from audition/job to audition/job. Thankfully, regular unleaded had yet to pierce the $3 level. However, the uncertainty of LA County traffic was always the wild-card that would inevitably get my stress-level and blood-pressure above acceptable standards when the mass of brake lights would appear in front of me … forcing me to attempt to decompress when successfully arriving at my destination so as not to bring my traffic-induced angst into the recording booth.
    Nowadays, I am afforded the luxury of working from home (about 95% of the time), which allows me much more time to spend with my family, pursue relaxing interests such as reading or fishing, or even to cultivate more work in this competitive VO market. Plus, when I am forced to leave the friendly confines of my home studio, I now have one of those "up to date, state of the art cell phones" to call and inform the client, agent, or casting director that I am caught in the 101 or 405 morass. A MUCH better alternative to the pager/pay-phone combo most of us used to have to employ, back when cell phone per-minute charges were equivalent to the price of an ounce of gold.
    As for texting, I'd rather not, thank you! Utilizing the "Call" function on the same wireless device, we could have the complete conversation and be done in the time it would take me to type out the first reply, of what will almost certainly be many, of our "textversation". Think of all the fish I could have caught in that time!

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