An Actor, Los Angeles, And A Show Called Leverage

As many of you already know I have been an Actor in films and episodic television for some time. I enjoy working in front of the camera, I enjoy the people, the pressure and working with really talented artists. I’m not just talking about the talent, but the crew as well. From Grip to Greensman, from Director to PA, they are all artists.

I have just recently started working in front of the camera again. I had taken a break for a while to work on other projects that interested me. For us Actors, sometimes that can be very rewarding. Other times it’s a career killer. For ME it was rewarding.

I stayed in the business, I was a Locations Manager for Viacom for a while, found places to shoot things like “Ladybugs”, and “Father Dowling” and “Perry Mason” TV movies. Denver was nice, and we shot a LOT down there.

Then Raymond Burr died.

I moved up to Portland Oregon. At first I enjoyed the green culture (Not THAT green culture!) and the fresh air. I explored photography, started an Indie film Company that won a small award one year at Palm Springs International, and even met my future wife. All good things. But I’m an Actor, an Entertainer.

I volunteered in children’s theater, caught some roles in adult theater, and then started doing commercials again.
It’s a weird thing this Acting gig, sometimes the work just finds you, even if your hiding from it.

Finally I got a small role in a Harrison Ford/ Brendan Fraser film called “Extraordinary Measures”. I was slowly getting hooked again. It didn’t take much. I was still on the fence about really JUMPING back into that whole world. I was not 12 years old and working on a show like “Father Murphy” anymore. I was never a big name, I’m a working Actor, and if I DID jump back in, it would be just that, a whole lot of work. A lot of thoughts crossed my mind. I would have to move BACK to L.A. , what would my new fiance’ think? She had not really signed on for the type of bull you can run into in this industry, and I’m older now, I’m a “New” product, as someone I know had recently mentioned…he was not talking about me personally, but he was right. It’s true of all “Child” Actors that take on the business later on in life.

And then came “Leverage”.

I went onto that set my first day as an Extra, pretty much at the bottom end of the food chain. I went in with four or five OTHER Extras that had been called and we did what you do on set all day. Keep quiet and hurry up and wait. I had a lot of time to watch and reflect. Did I really want to do this again? The long days that turn into even longer nights? The auditions, the rejection, the running around in L.A. traffic.

I guess one of the Grips had kind of been watching me. He was a Teamster type, 300lbs of tough. I saw him walk up to me and right away I thought I must be in the way of something. Teamsters are always telling people to get out of the way, but hey, THAT’S THEIR JOB! Much to my surprise he hands me a cold bottle of water and says “Hey, are you ok? You look like a guy in deep thought”.

I had not heard that from a Teamster/Grip before, and surely never my first day on set. I was an Extra, a stranger.

We chatted a lot during the couple of days of that first episode of Leverage. I felt comfortable and welcome, in FACT I went back to do TWO more episodes. I met up with him again at my last Leverage episode, “Reunion” (Season 3) and we had lunch together. Leverage is shot in Portland, and my choice had been made. I moved back to L.A. and it was not long before I started finding work, and it started finding me. I’m a lucky guy, I get to do what I like and what makes me happy..I also get paid for it. My Fiance’ had decided and we jumped into this together and things are GREAT. I learned that not everyone in this business is an ass. Not Everyone is a shark. Don’t get me wrong there ARE those out there, but you attract what you put out. I was back.

So what’s the icing on the cake?

I get a Tweet from Dean D. from Leverage, a public Tweet that there will be a special SNEEK preview of the show at the DGA Theater, and if you RSVP you could get a ticket to see it. We went, and one of the episodes they screened was the one I was in. What a treat!

After the screening I got to chat with a fellow Actor that was a Guest Star in that same episode who was genuinely glad to see me, as was Dean. I felt at home, like I had never left L.A.! It felt nice.

When you work on a TV show for any length of time you bond with your cast mates. I still talk to friends from shows years back, and some of them even come on my talk show now and then. But it’s RARE to find a group of people that make you feel so at home on set as they did on Leverage. It’s not such a bad business after all.

All because one crew member handed me a bottle of ice water.

Thanks Man!


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W00tstock 2.4 San Diego, CA. and why I am going.

I don’t go to concerts, well, at least I have not been to one in YEARS!

I think the last concert I attended was KISS at The Forum back in 1975. Hey, I was hip. I wanted to “Rock And Roll All Nite”, and COULD party everyday! Yea, I have the “ALIVE” album, and knowing that I was there and, in a very small way, part of history, still brings a smile to my face. I know, I know, and YES there were over 1000 people there, but sometimes I think I can hear myself screaming along with everyone else. After experiencing KISS (And yes it IS an experience) maybe I felt it could never be topped.

I’m going to another concert, a different SORT of concert, I’m not even sure it can be CALLED a concert.

I confess, I’m a nerd. I’m a geek. I have the android phone with twitter, facebook, cinch and myspace all set on the main display. I also have the I-Pod Touch, just in case I miss something, I guess you can say I’m pretty hooked up.

Wootstock is 3 hours of geekfest hosted by Adam Savage (Mythbusters), Wil Wheaton (Star Trek TNG), and Paul and Storm who are two of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet. Their music and comedy are legend. You have likely heard them on Dr. Demento and didn’t even know it. One thing is for sure, you laughed.

Wootstock is (according to what I have read on the web) “A night of songs, readings, comedy, demonstrations, short films, special guests, and other clever widgets born from and dedicated to the enthusiasms, obsessions, trials and joys of geek pride.” In other words, a total geek/nerd fest, and you can even buy a T-Shirt to prove you were there. (Yea, I have one that was given to me by Adam Savage).

I was supposed to go to the Portland concert, the ticket was bought, hotel was reserved, and then a twit talking on her cell phone had to run a red light and plow into my Toyota.

So much for the Portland Wootstock. I was in the hospital for a week and a half! Bummer! At least I lived to tell the tale. Some people are not so lucky. Please make your car a “No Phone Zone”. The life you save MAY be your own.

Then there was Wootstock in Minneapolis, MN. a few weeks later. The show sold out before I could get a trip together. Lastly, there was Chicago, IL, missed that one too. Most people would have gave up by now, but not me. This is the 2nd year that the guys have toured, and I had missed the first tour all together. I was NOT going to miss this experience.

Now I will finally get my chance. Am I excited? Hell yea! I’m also hyper vigilant about crazy California drivers these days, I’m not going to miss this show because of some idiot!

Wootstock 2.4, Thursday July 22nd. in San Diego California. Close enough to drive to, enjoy the show, MAYBE get an interview with Adam Savage for “The NeverHood Show” (It’s in the works). And to top it off, my “Budskie” John lives there. I have not seen my friend in 7 years or so. The whole deal is a win win for me.

So why?

Because I KNOW it’s going to be fun. I want to have 3 hours of hanging out with people that “Get It”. 3 hours of not having to explain to people why I blog, twitter, facebook, etc… Not even my own Father REALLY understands it. “Why do you do that NeverHood Podcast if your not getting PAID for it”? he asks. My simple answer is “Because I CAN”, and I enjoy it. He’s much happier now that I have an On-Line store that sells “NeverHood” gear like hats and t-shirts. I could have just as well not had it, but I added it “Because I CAN”.

I want to hear what Adam, Wil, and Paul & Storm have to say. They speak my language. Bring on the geeky stories that Wil is legend for, bring on Adam with videos and Paul & Storm with the nerdy music. It’s about being a part of something, and simply understanding each other on a slightly different level. I want to be a part of that. I want to experience it, blog about it, do a podcast around it and tweet while I am there. I’m FINALLY going to W00tstock.

While it may not top KISS, I know it will have it’s own special place in MY nerdy world, and you can BET I’ll be buying the T-Shirt!

-Ethan Tudor W.

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Welcome To The Ethan Tudor W. Blog

I’m an Actor, Radio Host and a Writer.

Now I’m a “Blogger”.

I guess that’s what happens when you are late in the learning curve in a digital world. I have been writing for years. I have leather backed journals, spiral notebooks, even a 2000 page handwritten book! I’m that guy that has a writing desk with notes here and there of things I want to touch on. Opinions, observations, and just some truly absurd stuff. You tend to experience a lot of the bizarre after some 35 years in the Entertainment business. Yea, I admit, I’m THAT guy that even owns a quill and ink set. There is something to be said for the sound of the nib scratching on a fine piece of paper. I suppose if you are a writer that makes sense to you in some sort of way. Typing my thoughts has never seemed quite as natural to me.

I hope you will find my blog interesting, maybe even inspiring at times. Why am I doing this? Is it for the fans? Is it for the show?

In a word, no.

It’s for me. If that sounds selfish, well so be it. But, as many of you who have recently discovered the joys of putting pen to paper, you know that we do it for ourselves. We are a creative lot us writers, and I know that even though I have been published, over the years I have written utter crap and forgetful rubbish. But, every now and then there is a GEM. Sometimes we keep them to ourselves and other times we share them. I hope you will forgive me for the content. But maybe, JUST maybe, you will find a gem in my musings.

Thanks for stopping in, and don’t stop being curious! I hope I learn as much from you, the guest, as you do from me, the writer.

-Ethan Tudor W.

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