#39 – Use A Neti Pot

The fact that I started dating someone is only partially responsible for the dramatic change in subject matter from Having A One Night Stand to now writing about my first experience with a Neti Pot.

She is pretty damn great and certainly detouring me away from my debaucherous end to 2014 , but it mostly has to do with the fact that last week my nasal cavity was more congested than the 405 Freeway when I need to be somewhere.

My pain tolerance is very high, and I have a lot of pride. That’s a bad combination for someone who is sick. Two weeks ago I developed a sore throat, so by my nature, I ignored it. My nose started to run, so obviously I let it go. I convinced myself I wasn’t physically sick. I went out seven nights in a row and didn’t go to sleep before 4am on any night. Clearly I was mentally sick, in addition to physically sick.

The runny nose and sore throat turned into a cough with chest congestion, which led to hacking up Double Dare sized slime balls of mucus. I didn’t make time to go see a doctor, so I called my buddy Vinny and he diagnosed me with a sinus infection. It’s OK, Vinny’s Dad is a doctor.

Dr. Vinny said to take Mucinex, Claritin, drink plenty of water, get lots of rest, and to use a Neti Pot. I heard many things about the Neti Pot, but never used one because I have an irrational fear of putting medical devices in my eyes, nose, or butt. I was desperate though.

I had some questions for Dr. Vinny. Does it feel like you are drowning when you use the Neti? Do you use warm water? If I get an erection that lasts longer than four hours, should I see a real Doctor? Ok, maybe not the last one, but the first two were real questions.

Since Vinny isn’t a real Doctor, I thought it would be a good idea to do research on Neti Pot’s before I bought one. So before I visited Rite-Aid, I checked in for a second opinion with Google, which yielded a typical response when searching for a medical diagnosis and/or solutions on the Internet in that it nearly frightened the snot out of me. Type in “Neti” and before you type “Pot” the second suggestion comes up, “Neti Pot death.”

Makes me want to sing, "I'm a little tea pot short and stout..."

Makes me want to sing, “I’m a little tea pot short and stout…”

Needless to say, I skipped Google’s offerings and went ahead with the purchase, despite the more than likely Internet hoax of someone dying from a Neti Pot. I’m not one for reading instructions, because I have this thing called “common sense,” but when it comes to medical devices, I give the manual more than just a look-see or a once-over. It’s the former journalist in me who proof-read obituaries and doesn’t want his obituary to be mentioned in the Darwin Awards for not having read instructions on a Neti Pot.

The device is pretty self-explanatory. Fill with water. Add solution. Pull a Taylor Swift and Shake it (off). Put the spout up one nostril. Place your head over a sink. Tilt head. Breathe through mouth. Allow water to drain out the other nostril. Before switching nostrils, blow nose and realize how disgusting of a person you are if you are judged solely by what’s in your nasal cavity.

I feel like the most important thing in the instructions was to remember to breathe from the mouth. And for some reason I kept repeating in my head, “breathe from my mouth” like after nearly 29 years I was going to all of a sudden forget that I can breathe from my mouth when nostrils aren’t an option.

First I stuck the spout in my right nostril. The water started flowing from one nostril to the other as I tilted my head to the side.

“Don’t forget to breathe from your mouth, Josh.”

“Don’t forget to breathe from your mouth, Josh.”

“Don’t forget to breathe from your mouth, Josh.”

I kept repeating that mantra. You know how when you repeat something often enough you either get it drilled into your head so you don’t forget, or you get sick of hearing the same thing over and over and you simply tune out the message. Well, guess what happened. I stopped listening to the message. A few seconds passed and water was going into my mouth.

Water everywhere...

Water everywhere…

For a slight moment I thought, “I’m going to be the idiot that drowns from a Neti pot.” That may be a worse cause of death than auto-erotica asphyxiation. At least with auto-erotica asphyxiation there’s momentary pleasure before you go. Although, with how congested I was, if the Neti Pot relieved any of it before I drowned, it might be more pleasurable.

After a couple seconds I remembered how to breathe and emptied half the pot in one nostril and out the other. I blew my nose immediately after and became disgusted with myself, which was not the first time that day.

The other nostril was easier to handle since I was a pro after doing it once. That nostril revealed even more mucus after I blew it. The feeling of relief was immediate. There was no more pressure in my head. I felt like a brand new person. It was the first night I was able to sleep because I could actually breathe and my normal voice was returning.

The Neti Pot is a reusable device, so I’m sure I’ll be utilizing it even when I am not sick, because my sinuses and allergies are really sensitive. Plus, it’s just fun to say Neti.

I'm an idiot

I’m an idiot

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#38 – 2014 Year In Review

I am not a perfect person, which is why I always start this annual entry with the stupid shit I did in the previous 364 days of the year.


Stupid Shit I did in 2014

  • Had a relationship end poorly

We weren’t right for each other, but we were good for each other’s progression in life. Despite my best efforts we couldn’t be civil in the immediate aftermath.

  • Had a one night stand with a woman who took my debit card

After my ex and I broke up, I went through a debauchery-filled period. Call it making up for lost time or whatever, but I “dated” a couple strippers, hooked up with randoms in bars, caught mono from one of them, and culminated with having sex with the stranger who had my debit card.

  • Missed family celebrations

I missed San Diego Padres opening day with my Grandpa for only the second time in my life. I missed his 85th birthday on Halloween. I missed my Grandma’s 81st birthday on November 1. There were other events too, I’m sure. I missed a lot because I worked a lot.

I did make it back home to San Diego to spend my birthday with the family.

I did make it back home to San Diego to spend my birthday with the family.

  • Drank way too much

I consider myself a social drinker. The problem is I go out every night. I started the new year off extremely hungover after partying until 5am on new years eve. Minus the month I took off drinking for “The Doctor’s Diet” to go on the show in January, everything I did seemed to include alcohol. Throughout it all, I only threw up once, and that was in Austin, TX. Tequila and my stomach don’t mix well is a lesson I’ve learned many times. This will probably be on my list of Stupid Shit in 2015 too.

Drinking with my sister on her birthday.

Drinking with my sister on her birthday.

  • Didn’t update my blog more

I’ve mentioned more than a few times how this blog resurrected my career back in 2012. It really fell off once I got busier with work in 2013, but in 2014 it nearly died. This is only my third entry in 2014 and I didn’t write my first entry until mid-October. My last two entries got a great response, I think because I was being extremely vulnerable, and wrote about things most people do but don’t talk about. I intend to do more of that in 2015, so this regret isn’t on my list of stupid shit next year.


Things I’m Proud I did in 2014


  • Worked on 6 different TV shows

Last year I worked on 5 shows and couldn’t believe how lucky I was. This year went way beyond my expectations. I steadily see the progress I am making in my career, and its thanks in part to my amazing peers and producers I have been allowed to observe and work with.


America’s Got Talent (NBC)

This show will always hold a special place in my heart, because of how it resurrected my career in 2012. Getting to work on it for a second season with more responsibility felt great. I couldn’t find a top-finisher like I did my first season on the show, but I had so much fun joking around each day with my co-workers as we dealt with daily Youtube fails.

Snapping selfies on set with Justin.

Snapping selfies on set with Justin.


The Chase (GSN)

I met friends for life on this show. It also started my year of work travel by going to New York and San Francisco. This show brought me back to working on a set after a six-month break from it. Brooke Burns and Mark Labbett are great on-air personalities that excel at what they do. This show also taught me a lot about the game show world and welcomed me to the GSN family.

Here I am playing game show host standing in for Brooke Burns on The Chase.

Here I am playing game show host standing in for Brooke Burns on The Chase.


Idiotest (GSN)

I didn’t work on this one long, but it was with people I love. It also became the second show I did for GSN this year. It was also great to see a show hosted by a comedian get a second season pickup.


Boom! (FOX)

This was the most trying show of the year. My level of frustration was pushed to levels way beyond I ever imagined. I had inner battles, outward arguments, and moments nearly on the verge of tears. I was placed in unfair situations, and at the time I didn’t know why I was put in those positions, but in the end I learned so much. I’m glad I went through everything I did because it made my skin a lot tougher, and I really got to see the inner workings of game show development.




Baggage on the Road (GSN)

Without putting down every other show I’ve worked on, I’ve never had a more rewarding experience than working on this show. I got to write a TV show. I got to travel. I got to work hand-in-hand with a living legend like Jerry Springer. He said jokes I wrote. I’ve worked with celebrities before, but he’s at a level of fame only a few people know. People chant his name everywhere he goes. And he couldn’t be nicer. And the people I worked with are basically like family to me now.

Probably my favorite picture from set.

Probably my favorite picture from set.

I Can Do That (NBC)

This was another show I worked on for only a short time. But it was a nice book end to my year, and again it was with people I love who are always there for me whenever I want to work and have fun while doing it.

  • Saw the country

Last year I put, “Didn’t travel more” under my “Stupid shit I did in 2013.” This year I made up for that by traveling to New York, San Francisco, Austin, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, St. Petersburg, Waterbury, Hartford, Las Vegas, and San Diego. Next year my goal is to not remember every city I visited.

New Orleans on Halloween with my coworkers was a blast.

New Orleans on Halloween with my coworkers was a blast.

  • Bought a brand new car

Not going to lie. I grew up spoiled. My Mom and Grandparents bought me my first car, a used 1995 Ford Escort when I was 16. Then my Grandparents bought me a brand new 2004 Nissan Xterra when I was 18. That car lasted nearly 200,000 miles until this year when I bought my brand new 2014 Scion tc. I feel like a grown up now.

Sad to see my old car go after so many great memories. But now I'm making even better ones with this new one.

Sad to see my old car go after so many great memories. But now I’m making even better ones with this new one.

  • Helped other people get jobs

Several people recommended me for jobs this year, for which I am eternally grateful. So, I tried to pay it forward, and each person I did it for, didn’t disappoint me. It’s amazing to finally feel like I have solid people in my peer group that I can rely on.

So glad I got to work with Tessa on a FUN show.

So glad I got to work with Tessa on a FUN show.

  • Remained involved with my alma mater

Cal State University, San Marcos is very important to me. It showed me I could write. I had no clue this was something I could do until I went to college. I have always tried to remain involved with the university in any way I can. One of my favorite former professors asks me every year to go back and be a guest speaker to her current students. I couldn’t do it in 2013, after I did it in 2012. This year I was able to make it back and it was a blast. In addition, the student affairs and alumni association contacted me and asked if they could interview me and write a story on me. It was filled with some of the nicest words anyone has ever said about me. They made me sound a lot cooler than I actually am.

Here’s the article CSUSM wrote on me.

What I love most about that article is that they spelled my last name incorrectly in the headline, but got it right everywhere else in the article. They said such amazing things, but know how to keep my head from getting too big, which is why I continue to love my alma mater.

Here’s to an even more fun-filled 2015. Happy New Year everyone.

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#37 – Have A One Night Stand

I over-eat, over-drink, and over-analyze.

So why not over-share?

I had a one-night stand last month.

I didn’t realize it, but I never had one before. I generally always go back for seconds, hence the over-eating problem.

I did six TV shows this year. I love to work. It keeps me out of trouble. When I’m working it’s usually all consuming, so when I have a break I tend to make up for lost freedom.

I spent nearly all of November traveling the country. On my first night back in Los Angeles, a Tuesday, I went to the Hollywood Improv, my home away from home. Since I didn’t have to be anywhere early on Wednesday morning, I closed down the Improv bar talking to a woman. I probably could’ve taken her to my place, but I was trying not to go down my usual path of hiatus destruction, and was actually more interested in sleep after not having done it for a month on the road.

The next morning I went to the movies, and afterward I went to Subway for a salad. Yeah, I’m the weirdo who orders a salad at Subway. Probably because I don’t like the judgmental look from my sandwich artist when I order a sandwich and say, “no cheese.” Anyways, when the cashier handed me back my platinum blue Wells Fargo debit card, I noticed something was different about the card this time. “My name isn’t ‘Stacy.’”

I had someone else’s debit card. Why didn’t I notice this at the movie theater? Oh yeah, I was hung over. One of my two favorite bartenders at the Improv, Eddie, must’ve gave “Stacy” my debit card when she closed out her tab and he gave me hers at the end of the night since her card looks exactly like mine. Simple mistake. I wasn’t mad.

I had never lost a debit card before, so my natural instinct wasn’t to immediately call my bank and cancel the card. My mind operates in the world of social media so I opened Facebook, typed “Stacy’s” full name into the search box. Through some deductive reasoning I landed on who I thought might have my card, so I sent her a message with my phone number.

I love social media

I love social media

We talked on the phone, had a pleasant conversation, and realized we weren’t serial killers so she asked if we could meet to exchange cards. I cancelled mine already, but I suggested we meet at the Improv, since I was planning on going there again and she obviously knew where it was. She agreed to meet around midnight.

A couple hours passed and she sent me a text message saying she wasn’t going to be able to make it to the Improv at that time, but asked if I’d be willing to drop it off at her place on my way to the club. I said I’d be getting to the Improv at around 8pm, so I’d stop by her place at 7:45pm.

On Facebook I must look really trustworthy or really innocent, because I had her debit card and she gave me her address. All I needed next was her social security number.

Another hour or two passed and she sent me another text message.

It would be rude to say no, and my Mom always taught me to be polite.

It would be rude to say no, and my Mom always taught me to be polite.

I like free beer.

When I got to her apartment she invited me in and told me to grab a seat on her couch. She gave me a beer, and sat across from me on a chair. She was wearing a skirt and didn’t cross her legs. I thought that was weird, but then again, I’m a complete stranger and she invited me in to her place. We talked for a little bit before we moved to her courtyard, so she could smoke. She brought me another beer before I even finished the first one. Looking back now, I think she was trying to get me drunk. Before I realized, an hour passed and her attempt was successful. To that point, all I had to eat was that salad from Subway seven hours prior.

Now, this blog entry isn’t titled “#37 – Have Debit Card Stolen,” because otherwise the story would’ve ended at Subway.

We had sex.

It was pretty damn good. Unexpected sex is always good. I was drunk. She was drunk. She made the first move, because I’m dense and don’t know when a woman is interested in me. We watched “Hello Ladies” in between her orgasms, which is underrated. The TV show, not the orgasms. I got home at 6am Thursday morning, tried to sleep, and couldn’t.

I usually can’t sleep after sex, because I question, “why did I do that?” If you’ve never asked yourself that after sex, then you’re probably a well-adjusted person in a healthy relationship. So congrats to you.

But I’m the type of man who has sex with a stranger that has my credit card just an hour after meeting her, so you can imagine how many times in my life I’ve asked myself, “why did I do that?”

In fact, I am kind of asking myself that question about publishing this blog entry.

I mean, I know why I “did that.” No hassle vagina, and a great story. Plus, I’m attracted to women older than me and “Stacy” was seven years older than me. I’m also attracted to women younger than me since at 29 years old I am at that weird age where not too old and not too young women are interested, but that’s beside the point, because I didn’t even orgasm. So, really why did I do that?

Over the next week she hit me up multiple times for a return trip, but I was frightened by the degenerate slope I was slipping down just one week off from work, so I didn’t return phone calls, texts, or Facebook messages and decided I should go back to work. I got an offer to help out on a new show until the end of the year, so I took it.

I don’t need to spell it out, but there is so much that frightens me looking back. I mean it would be easy for me to say she was crazy for inviting a complete stranger into her place. But I was even crazier to accept the invitation

“Stacy” eventually revealed to me that she was in the middle of a 10-day bender and that she also had a boyfriend. Despite that, I still gave thought to her offers to hook up again, because after all, vagina. But I didn’t.

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#36 – Go on an Online Date

I don’t date.

I never really have. All of my past relationships were a result of the woman pursuing me. That’s not bragging. I’m just lazy. And I think I inherently know that romance leads to heartbreak, so I avoid it unless someone brings me into it.

More or less, I’ve spent the majority of my life having the no strings attached type of relationships, which consist mainly of banging and leaving, and that wasn’t just me doing the leaving. That is until my recent relationship of nearly a year and a half, which was a brand new record for me.

Prior to that relationship, I had “Go on an online date” on my list of Discomfort Blog ideas. I never did it, because I am not that good on paper. I’m more attractive once you get to know me.

In the duration of my past relationship, Tinder hit the world hard. I took enjoyment seeing friends swipe right during down times in their daily lives. I never thought I would create an account on there, because when you’re in a relationship you think it’s never going to end. Plus, I always thought it was kind of silly that people were so desperate to meet someone that they would force a meeting.

After my ex broke up with me I decided to revisit the idea of going on an online date, you know strictly to write about something, not because I’m a horny dude or anything. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal of online dating. If you fear rejection, it’s not face to face unless you want to meet up, and there’s even less risk with Tinder since you only talk to people who think you are attractive as well.

So, I scavenged through my Facebook for skinny pics and joined up a few weeks ago. I got quite a few matches rather quickly. More than I actually thought I would, which is a result of having a poor image in my head from being a former fatty. I did a whole bunch of messaging, but didn’t meet anyone in person. Frankly, I was too busy to meet anyone. I just started working on a new TV show, which ironically is the dating game show “Baggage on the Road” hosted by Jerry Springer. Only I would become recently single and start working on a dating show.

My Tinder profile pictures equipped with emojis and a cheesy line.

My Tinder profile picture equipped with emojis and a cheesy line.

The night before I left for Austin, Texas to start shooting the show I got a match from a woman who gave me her number within five messages. While out of town she text asking if I wanted to go to a concert at The Wiltern. I thought she was attractive and I appreciated the forwardness since like I mentioned previously, I’m lazy when it comes to this dating game. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at her forwardness since she is 37 years old, nine years my senior. Women that age tend to not waste as much time as younger women.

I didn’t flinch at the age gap, because I’m a bit of an old soul and I’ve been in relationships with larger age gaps. When I was 23 I dated a woman who was 35. Before you start thinking I have Mommy issues, my last girlfriend was six years younger than me.

I rescheduled with her for the Sunday after I returned from Austin. I had no idea what we would do, because our exchanges were very limited. She didn’t have a bio on her profile, and all I knew was that she liked yoga and posing with the man who we in Los Angeles call “Sunset Jesus” because he walks up and down Sunset Boulevard dressed as Jesus. I didn’t even know how to pronounce her name. It looked French, but she didn’t.

She suggested we go to a concert again. I told her I couldn’t because I agreed to be a guest on a podcast that night. Since it was Sunday, I asked if she liked football. She said “no.” I almost broke up with her right there even before we even went on a first date. She suggested a museum. In my head, I laughed because after all it was Sunday and football is my religion. Long story short, I suggested the Grammy Museum at LA Live, because if I’m going to have to go to a museum it can’t be a real museum.

I arrived to the museum first. It pains me even writing “museum.” I sat there semi-hoping she wouldn’t show up. I know I set the date, but I was already regretting it now that it was real. Plus, I could see the Chargers driving down the field on a TV in the distance.

She showed up and looked like a slight variation of the four pictures she had on her profile. I wasn’t disappointed. I mean you have to assume that online everyone puts their very best pictures up. She was exotic looking. From her pictures I had no idea if she was African American, Native American, Indian, or all of the above.

We went through the typical get to know you questions. I did my best to take interest in her likes, but I could tell we didn’t have a lot in common. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that awkward, mainly because I can converse with just about anyone thanks to years of being a journalist and working in casting. The only level of discomfort occurred when she asked, “So what do you do for a living?” I’m honest, so I told her, “I work in TV.”

I should have assumed her follow-up question would be, “What show?”

But I didn’t think anything of it when she asked, so I said, “I’m writing this dating game show called ‘Baggage.’”

“Wait, a dating show, I’m not on it right now am I?” she said without missing a beat. “That’s not what this is right now, is it? Is this one of those hidden camera shows? You’re not going to use anything from this date on your show, are you?”

Only in LA.

After I answered “no” four times, and got past that hurdle, we conversed some more. I wish that was the first time I’ve had to reassure a woman I wasn’t filming her.

She was nice, and the next day instead of telling me to take a hike she asked if I wanted to go for a hike at Griffith Park. So, I guess that means the date was a success. But I really had no interest, so I passed.

Overall, I really don’t think online dating is for me. I don’t like forcing a meeting. I prefer chance and circumstance. Tinder definitely serves as a great ego boost, but for me I don’t think it goes beyond that. Plus, my favorite thing has been stumbling upon women I know in real life and texting them screenshots of their profile.

Side note, I’ve got way more matches in cities outside of Los Angeles, like San Diego and Austin, which I think speaks to the superficiality of online dating in the plastic town of LA. As much trash as I’m talking about online dating right now, I just realized I’ll be in Baton Rouge, Tampa, Hartford, Las Vegas, and San Diego in the next seven weeks and the road is lonely. So what I’m really saying is that I’m full of shit and I love Tinder.

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35 – Write A Second End of Year Review

It’s time for my second annual list of Stupid Shit I Did & Things I’m Proud Of from the past year.

Stupid Shit I Did in 2013

I know I am getting older, because I look at the things I’ve written below and there’s no raw-dogging chicks or falling asleep with strippers in my lap. My regrets are also far less in numbers, and a bit more personal in spirit.

  • Quit a TV show: I have always been astutely aware that I am fortunate to work in television. The fact that people pay me for this shit is ridiculous. I never thought I would quit a TV show. But I did. Some days I regret it. Most days I don’t. I was good at the job. The people I worked with liked me. I was even friends with the host. I had job security. I left it all though. Maybe I gave up too early. It was a stupid move at the time, because I didn’t have something else lined up. The thing that bugs me most is that I gave up. And I’ve never given up on something before.
  • Gained 10 pounds: I put in a lot of work to get down to 150-160 pounds in 2012. And in 2013 I put in a lot of work in my career, which meant significantly less time working out. Add in the stress eating and drinking, I find myself at 170 pounds at the end of 2013. The fat boy inside my brain will always think I need to lose weight, and even though I know 170 is still skinny for my height, I still consider this to be something stupid I did in 2013.
  • Didn’t Travel More: Last year it seemed like I was in Las Vegas every other weekend. I’m ashamed to say that I only went three times this year. I did go to Chicago for the first time as well. And in traditional form I also went to San Diego a dozen times or so, however, work prevented me from cashing in on trips to New York and San Francisco. I should’ve taken the time to venture out of Los Angeles more often.

Things I’m Proud I Did in 2013

The one thing I learned from the list below is that I worked a lot. I think I need to find a balance between fun and work, because last year was my party year and this year was my work year. These accomplishments, however, are substantial, which is all that matters.

  • Work on Five Different TV Shows: This was the first year I worked on more than two shows. It’s the first time I’ve actually felt like I have a legitimate TV career.

January-February: “America’s Got Talent” on NBC

Career-wise, this show started off my hot year.

Career-wise, this show started off my hot year.

April-May: “The Test” by CBS

I found every opportunity to nap on The Test. 100 hour work weeks will do this to anyone.

I found every opportunity to nap on The Test. 100 hour work weeks will do this to anyone.

May-July: “Let’s Make A Deal” on CBS

Working on set of "Let's Make A Deal" was a blast. Felt food to see people excited to be on a show, after spending the prior month sleeping at my desk.

Working on set of “Let’s Make A Deal” was a blast. Felt food to see people excited to be on a show, after spending the prior month sleeping at my desk.

July-August: “Wall of Fame” coming to NBC

Just messing around with Jason. Means a lot working for someone who will look out for you. Had a blast in Chicago working on Wall of Fame with him. With LMAD and WOF I learned a lot about game shows in 2013, thanks to him.

Just messing around with Jason. Means a lot working for someone who will look out for you. Had a blast in Chicago working on Wall of Fame with him. With LMAD and WOF I learned a lot about game shows in 2013, thanks to him.

September-November: “Operation Repo” on TruTV

It felt great to get back into the field on "Operation Repo." Working as the AD on this show was my highest ranking credit I've ever had, and I think it's taking my career down a new path. We shot in cars, planes, and boats, and I had the time of my life in all three.

It felt great to get back into the field on “Operation Repo.” Working as the AD on this show was my highest ranking credit I’ve ever had, and I think it’s taking my career down a new path. We shot in cars, planes, and boats, and I had the time of my life in all three.

October-Present: “America’s Got Talent” on NBC

  • Start A Relationship: I’ve been serially single. I’ve always said I would remain that way until I found someone who was just as intelligent as me and worked in the same industry, because that’s the only type of person who wouldn’t give me crap about the amount of time I put into my career. I found her, and have been happy for eight months now. Probably not impressive to most of you, but definitely a new record for me.
It has been pure joy with this one. A lot of laughs, for sure.

It has been pure joy with this one. A lot of laughs, for sure.

  • Help Make Someone Else’s Dreams Come True: I spent the prior five years in Los Angeles working with people who I thought had my best intentions, but really were pieces of shit. In November of 2012 I told a comedian friend he should audition for the reality competition show I just started working on. He was hesitant and just like me, not in a great point in his life. 10 months later, Taylor Williamson finished in second place on “America’s Got Talent, is selling out comedy clubs, and is a household name. Talking out his strategy each week from the initial unaired audition to the season finale in Radio City Music Hall was an amazing experience. Unlike the assholes I associated with in prior years, he had my back, and ensured that the higher-ups on AGT knew what I did, thus securing my return to the show. We helped each other out, and he restored my faith that there are good people in show business. Below is my favorite performance that he did on AGT and the conversation that went into the development of it was one of my favorites from 2013.

  • Quit a TV Show: I quit “The Test” after five weeks because I was working over 100 hours per week. I was falling asleep on the way to work in the morning. If it was four years ago I probably would’ve put up with the abuse because back then I didn’t know when I was going to find another TV show to work on. I quit “The Test” with no promise of another show, but I ended up working on the three shows immediately after, so I pumped up my resume and got my life back.
  • Have Sex with a Friend and Not Have it be Weird: I dated this one girl in 2012 and even though we stopped dating, we remained friends. Before I got in a relationship, we even had sex in 2013 as friends. It wasn’t weird the next morning, I think because we actually have respect for one another. Who knew sex with a friend could be a thing?
  • Continue My Journalism Career: Journalism was my first love, and every year I try to revisit that passion. This year my buddy Jon Gold hooked me up with two gigs when I was in between TV shows. One was to cover an NHL game between the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks and the other was to cover an MLB game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers. Journalism still provides an adrenaline rush that TV doesn’t give me, but I have way more fun in TV.
Getting paid to watch sports is almost as unbelievable as the fact that I get paid to make TV.

Getting paid to watch sports is almost as unbelievable as the fact that I get paid to make TV.

  • Move Into Hollywood: I lived in the Valley for six years. That’s six years of driving with a buzz. That’s six years of spending far too much money on gas. That’s six years of unbearably hot summers. That’s six years of…
  • Not Repeat Stupid Shit I Did In 2012: This definitely means I am growing up.
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34 – Visit Jewish Temple

I am not a religious man….unless you count my devotion to the NFL. And if that’s the case, then Roger Goodell is my Lord and Savior.

I grew up Catholic. I had a communion. I had a confirmation. I have gone to confession. All that means to me is that when I walk into a church I can eat the wafer and drink the Jesus juice.

I guess some people use religion to feel like they belong to something greater than themselves. Others may use it to explain things that are unexplainable. Some people I imagine just use religion because they were told to believe and never questioned its purpose.

I question pretty much everything which is why in the past 15 years I haven’t been in a church other than for a wedding or funeral. I know, the obvious joke is, “what’s the difference between the two? Am I right, fellas?” But I’m not going to say that joke.

Well, that all changed about three weeks ago when the woman I’m dating asked if I wanted to go to Jewish temple on Sunday morning for her younger sister’s Hebrew naming ceremony.

At first, I made the obligatory jokes like, “Wait, Jews don’t get names until you’re 10 years old? Do you just go around saying, ‘Hey Jew, yes Jew, come here.’” For some reason she was not amused.

Then I was offended. I had been dating this woman for nearly six months and she had the audacity to ask if I wanted to go to her place of worship at the exact time on the exact day that my organization of worship, the NFL, holds its ceremonies. It’s like she didn’t even know me anymore.

I did not want to go. I don’t even like my own religion, let alone one I am unfamiliar with. But I went anyways, because I knew it would make her happy, it would give me something to write about…and I was told there would be snacks.

We arrived before her family, so we explored the compound. I made sure to be on my best behavior, because despite my disdain for organized religion I realize other people take it quite serious, and I wouldn’t like it if they treated Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, with disrespect.

The woman I'm dating told me it's a Jewish tradition to kiss this plaque on the wall before entering. Part of me believes she was just trying to see how gullible I am. Either way, I made out with that wall and turned it on pretty hard.

The woman I’m dating told me it’s a Jewish tradition to kiss this plaque on the wall before entering. Part of me believes she was just trying to see how gullible I am. Either way, I made out with that wall and turned it on pretty hard.

A female member of the temple greeted us at the front of the compound and asked if we had an appointment with the rabbi. Before I could joke, “I think it’s pronounced ‘rabbit,’ I realized that this woman thought we were there to discuss marriage plans with the rabbi. After I regained consciousness and accused her of planting that woman, we ran into her family. Other members of the temple gathered around shortly thereafter.

A few people introduced themselves to me and everyone was quite friendly. They asked what I do for a living, offered me snacks, asked where I’m from, and other typical get-to-know-you questions. Fortunately, Jews run Hollywood, so I was safe there, and I work on “America’s Got Talent,” judged by Howard Stern, one of the most famous Jews in show business.

I’ve met the father of the woman I’m dating before and that was fun because of how much he enjoys sharing embarrassing stories of her. He had more of those this time around, as did the other family members whom I was meeting for the first time. Meeting family is generally awkward, but this was not, perhaps because all of my concern was focused on trying to grasp my surroundings.

The woman I’m seeing then brought that to a nails on the chalkboard tire-screeching halt when she announced I am not Jewish.

I was feeling like an honorary Jew, one of the chosen people, until she called me out. I even was in full garb.

I was feeling like an honorary Jew, one of the chosen people, until she called me out. I even was in full garb.

“Don’t worry about it,” the rabbit said. “You fit right in with that nose of yours.”

After laughing at my large Native American/Mexican/Catholic nose, we discussed more Howard Stern, Chargers football, and they kept offering me more chocolate candies. The Jewish people were making me feel right at home with their inappropriate humor, love of sports, and infatuation with tasty treats. Boy, do the Jewish people love to offer you food. Not so different from my Mexican people.

I love free candy at 8:30am. Maybe I was born to be a Jew instead of a Catholic.

I love free candy at 8:30am. Maybe I was born to be a Jew instead of a Catholic.

The woman I’m dating explained to me that it is a very progressive temple, and not all of them are like that. I got the hint of that once they started slangin’ jokes like it was open mic at the Hollywood Improv.

The naming ceremony commenced with each young child approaching the front of the room with family in tow, repeating a prayer and answering questions about the name they were given. Her father asked me to snap some pictures and capture some video on his iPhone.

While the individual ceremony took place, other families chatted quietly and munched on their provided candy and coffee. If that was church, I would’ve been hushed several dozen times. In temple, not the case, and I was provided Twix instead of a bland wafer. Other religions should try the chocolate and caramel method.

Apparently that ceremony was not a typical one in the Jewish culture. I was told that the motivation for it was that the children did not know much about their family origin and where their individual Hebrew names derived from, so the teachers felt it would help them learn. I believe in knowing where you came from, so I actually did feel honored that her family would allow me to partake in the ceremony.

I don’t think I could be a real Jew though. I like bacon too much. And the hat is too small to cover the messy salad on my head when I’m too lazy to comb my hair in the morning. I’ll stick to dating one.

I think I'll stick to my New Era ball caps. I do think I can rock the scarf though.

I think I’ll stick to my New Era ball caps. I do think I can rock the scarf though.

Overall, the experience was enriching. Prior to the visit, my whole knowledge base of Jewish culture derived from reruns of Seinfeld and Woody Allen flicks. While that is still my foundation for the Jewish culture, a few rabbits have enlightened me beyond just entertainment.

P.S. the woman I am seeing remained nameless at her request. She claims she doesn’t want people associating an actual name with all the jokes I write on Twitter. After re-reading this blog, I completely agree with her.

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33 – Quit a TV Show

I’m now working on the TV show “Let’s Make A Deal.” Three weeks ago I was working on a different show.

I thought that other show was going to be the perfect 4-month gig. It is hosted by one of the nicest comedians I know, on a major studio lot, for a three-letter network.

One month into the gig I quit because…

The following blog has been interrupted by Joshua’s common sense. He signed a non-disclosure agreement prior to working on said show and under no circumstances does he want his bank account negatively affected with the threat of a lawsuit by said company.

Prior to this, I only quit one gig in my career, and that was after 13 months at the Los Angeles Times. When I quit that place I knew I no longer wanted to be a full-time journalist. Back then I didn’t have another gig to move on to. I just knew I couldn’t waste any more time there, so I left. And I left in a boisterous fashion, with an e-mail to the entire Tribune company where I admonished the assholes and celebrated the scholars.

I don’t think I can get in trouble by simply talking about me, so here goes…

I didn’t want to quit. I loved the people I worked with. That happens when you spend an abhorrent number of hours a week with the same people. (I’d tell you the actual number of hours, but I’m sure that would get me in trouble.) From the host to the production assistants, they are some of the most genuine people I’ve worked with in TV. The only people I didn’t enjoy working with were…

Once again, the following blog has been interrupted by the lawyers inside Josh’s head. We are simply trying to keep him out of trouble. We apologize for the lack of typically fascinating content in this blog. We promise it won’t happen again, unless of course Josh makes another bad career decision.

For years, colleagues told me that talk shows are the most difficult TV shows to produce. I always thought they were bull-shitting me. They weren’t. I’ve done comedies, animation, game shows, talking head shows, competition shows, and many others. Combined, they don’t compare in terms of difficulty and stress.

I was good at the job. But I wasn’t happy. I was falling asleep on my car drive to work. When I got out of work at 1am I’d pound five beers before the bars would close. I was stress-eating and gained at least five pounds. It was the first time working in entertainment that I wasn’t happy. I chose this business for a reason; I didn’t want to be miserable if I was going to put long hours into a job like I’ve seen so many people do.

Working hard or hardly working? Clearly working hard.

Working hard or hardly working? Clearly working hard.

I really didn’t know how to quit. I didn’t want to leave my co-workers in a bind, because I genuinely liked them and went to battle with them. I gave some of them warning before I made my final decision, and they all told me that if I had something else to move on to then I deserved to make the move. That’s all I needed to hear. I rarely care what others think of me (see my full disclosure in past entries of this blog), but I did care what this batch of co-workers thought of me. Since leaving, my mind has been put at ease. I still talk to most of them and they treat me like I never left.

In the past, I’ve given up important things for my career, like relationships, friendships, and sanity, but this was the first time it didn’t feel worth it, because I was unhappy. I think people tend to forget that they are in control of their own happiness. Yes, others can have a huge impact on your emotions, but ultimately you are in control of whom you choose to be around. I didn’t want to be unhappy anymore, so I did something about it.

This is what my breaking point looks like.

This is what my breaking point looks like.

Besides growing up in the entertainment world, I’ve been doing this “writing” thing for nine years, and working in TV for six years. If this was three years ago, there is no way in “heaven” I would’ve quit a television job. Back then I didn’t know where the next gig was going to come from and how long it would take to find it. To a certain extent, I still don’t know where the next gig is coming from, but I’m now secure with where I am in my career. I am a machine. I can handle anything. I could have handled this for another three months, but I didn’t need to, which is a nice place to be.

The most positive thing to surface from quitting is that I now realize my self-worth, and that is a dangerous thing for those who want to compete with me.

*Side Note: The only other time I was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement was when Girls Gone Wild was going to hire me to be a Casting Director. That story, ladies and gentlemen, is a tale for another day.

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#32 – Cover NHL Game

I didn’t know someone was listening when I said, “You’d have to pay me to watch an NHL game.”

Last Monday, I woke up to a message from Jon, an old sportswriter friend I started with in San Diego. He asked if I was interested in covering the San Jose Sharks take on the Anaheim Ducks later that night.

Before I became a “clown” who spends nights in comedy clubs and works on TV shows, I was a full-time journalist for five years and spent my nights in press boxes and newsrooms. I worked for outlets like the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.

A few months ago I went out to support Jon doing stand-up comedy. I think it was like his second or third time ever on stage, so I felt a need to support, since our careers were crossing over. That night I mentioned to Jon that I was looking to pick up some sports free-lancing opportunities, because I missed it. He’s one of the few sportswriters I started with who has actually built up a nice career out of it.

Never mind the fact that I had a hangover. Never mind the fact that the last athletic event I covered was in 2009. Never mind the fact that I had only ever been to one hockey game in my life. Never mind any of those things, because I didn’t know the next time I’d get an opportunity like it.

“I’m way down,” I told Jon. Fact is, writing about sports is my first love. Don’t tell my entertainment career that I still look fondly back on that time of my life. Your current lady doesn’t want to hear about your exes. I enjoy watching sports more now, but writing about them produces a feeling I have yet to find doing anything else.

The first thing I ever got paid to write about was a baseball game between La Costa Canyon high school and Fallbrook high school for the U-T. I was 18 years old, and barely out of high school myself. I was frightened. I knew a lot about sports, but I didn’t know a damn thing about writing. Next week will be my nine year anniversary of becoming a writer, and I barely feel like I’ve found my voice.

Legendary Dodgers player Duke Snider was at that baseball game because he lived in the Fallbrook, CA area and frequented the high school’s games. He must’ve realized my nerves because midway through the game he approached and said, “you’re new, huh?” I knew who he was, and just like those early days in my writing career, I couldn’t find the right words to say. So, he said, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

Duke was right, but not when it came to journalism. If it were entirely up to me I would’ve been a sports journalist my entire life, but I quit the journalism field full-time in 2008, because opportunities to work in entertainment kept being presented to me, and I quickly realized how spectacular I am on a production set. I am not being modest there for a reason.

I showed up to the Honda Center Arena about two and a half hours early, just in case there was a problem with my press credentials. My mind is exhausted with terror thinking about every possible scenario that can go wrong, and once I realize the horrible outcomes aren’t so bad I get down to business. That goes for every scenario in my life, not just sports writing. It also explains how frightening it is to spend time in my conscious.

I pulled up to the press parking lot, stated my last name, and they thought I was Curt Sandoval from ABC7 in Los Angeles.

No relation.

No relation. Bet you couldn’t tell.

“Curt does TV. Does this look like a face for TV?” I joked with the parking attendant. “Joshua is my first name.”

“Well, I wouldn’t boot you out of bed,” said the cute parking attendant.

“Wait, what?” is all I had in my head. If I didn’t have a million thoughts wondering how I was going to get through the next few hours pretending to be proficient in hockey then I probably would’ve flirted with her and got her phone number. But just like usual, my career always takes precedence over females.

“I don’t have you on the list, but I’ll take care of you,” she told me as she placed a parking pass on my car’s windshield. “Go right ahead.”

When I arrived at the media check-in table inside the arena, the kind gentleman dolling out credentials directed me downstairs to the media room where a buffet was being served.

No autographs? No one is gonna want my autograph. Oh, you mean I can ask players for autographs? I don't think we will have a problem there, unless Kobe Bryant or Albert Pujols decides to lace up some skates.

“No autographs?” No one is gonna want my autograph. Oh, you mean I can’t ask players for autographs? I don’t think we will have a problem there, unless the Ducks just acquired Kobe Bryant or Albert Pujols.

After indulging in pork chops, macaroni and cheese, green beans, bread rolls, ice cream bars, churros, M&M’s, popcorn, and sodas I ventured upstairs to the press box with an eventual upset stomach and about an hour to kill before puck drop.

I checked my name on the board to see where my assigned seat was located. You non-sports writers are probably questioning the elementary school treatment. Well, sports writers are kind of like children, and it would be straight chaos if there wasn’t assigned seating. Grown people who make a living talking about games have more in common with the typical pre-teen than you’d think. To prove that point, just re-read all the junk food I ate.

Damn, it's not hand-written. Guess I can't switch seats.

Damn, it’s not hand-written. Guess I can’t switch seats.

When I saw my crappy seat assignment compared to some of the star reporters like my ex-colleagues at The Times, Helene Elliott and Lance Pugmire, I immediately made comparison to my new world and thought of the unspoken parking lot caste system on studio lots. On studio lots you can tell a lot about what executives think of you based on where you are told to park your car for your meeting.

Regardless, I was in the box and in the building. I grabbed some popcorn, soda, and a cookie and got comfy against the glass. Don’t judge, free food is free food. I then conducted some last minute research and went over the game notes given out by the Ducks sports information department. In between, I attempted to create conversation with some of my colleagues, but they quickly reminded me that sports writers can be curmudgeons in their own little world. I was probably like them at one point during my five-year run where it’s hard to differentiate one game from the next and one day from the next. Monday night, however, transformed me from a 27-year-old 150-pound “clown” back into that 18-year-old 250-pound pudgy ball of nervous excitement. I was getting paid to watch and write about sports…HA!

Despite my bitching, not too shabby of a view.

Despite my bitching, not too shabby of a view.

It didn’t take long for me to get back into sports writer mode. Over the past few years I kept my journalistic mind fresh by doing free-lance entertainment reporting for The Times, U-T, and Men’s Fitness Magazine, but sports writing is a different “story,” don’t pardon the pun. The puck dropped and my mind didn’t stop trying to process everything on the ice until the moment after the final buzzer sounded. After a fight erupted within the first three minutes I immediately wished I would’ve covered a hockey game much earlier in my career.

In between the first and second period I started working on my story. You’re probably not aware of this, but sports writers are writing throughout the game in order to make deadline. I contend that the 18-minute respites in between periods weren’t put in place for players to regain their breath, but rather so journalists could work toward their words quota.

The moment I began to write under deadline, I experienced that high that I lived for in my past. It’s hard to describe. It’s a better high than any drug or substance can create. It’s a natural high that takes me to a different world. I think everyone has a unique way of experiencing that feeling. I think it’s a feeling that you only get when you’re doing something that you really, truly, purely love. I don’t know if it’s as repeatable in other forms as it is in journalism, but I hope you have something like it. Words move from my mind and on to my computer screen quite easily. Adrenaline pumps through my body, nothing else in the world matters, and it’s like I don’t even exist. I think I’ve been chasing that same high since that day back in Fallbrook when I was 18. It’s never quite the same after the first experience, but last Monday came pretty damn close. It takes trying something new to feel that way again.

I get a different kind of high working in TV. In journalism, the high for me is more extreme because the deadline is so much tighter. In TV, the deadline can take place over hours, weeks, or months; and it’s scripted. Covering a game is unpredictable. For example, I couldn’t have guessed that the Ducks were going to score three goals in a three-minute time span in the second period, which forced me to stop and change sentences in my story multiple times.

The Ducks ended up winning 5-3. I was the rotten egg in the elevator down to the locker rooms to conduct interviews, which as the last person in meant I would be first one out the box. On the long ride down I did my best to not shatter the awkward silence of 15 journalists. I fancy a joke to break up awkward situations like 15 people facing one direction in a steel box, but I simply wondered what was going through all of their minds. How many of them were happy? How many of them wanted to be there? Did any of them see me take the last chocolate chip cookie in the press box?

I stepped out the elevator and since it was my first time in this arena I allowed another journalist to lead the creative cavalcade toward the locker rooms. I ended up in the San Jose Sharks locker room first, because unbeknownst to me I was following a Sharks beat writer.

This is Joe Thornton of the Sharks. I think it captures the agony of defeat pretty well.

This is Joe Thornton of the Sharks. I think it captures the agony of defeat pretty well.

My least favorite part about being a sports writer was always the post-game interviews because I don’t enjoy the smell of sweat, hence why I’m a writer and not a construction worker. That sweat smell isn’t sweet and it hit me the moment the locker room doors opened. If I weren’t prepared for it I probably would have been physically knocked over.

In comparison, this is Emerson Etem holding the puck from his first ever goal in the NHL that night. I think this captures the happiness of victory.

In comparison, this is Emerson Etem holding the puck from his first ever goal in the NHL that night. I think this captures the happiness of victory.

After interviews were over I jolted back to the press box, finished writing my story, inserted some quotes, and was out the building by 11pm.

I actually fit in way better than I anticipated. The only time I looked or felt out of place was when it came to finding my way around the arena. I also probably should’ve mentioned in my article about the Ducks announcing during the game the contract extension they gave their star player Corey Perry. That was my biggest NHL rookie mistake. If it was my beat I would have known that was a significant thing to mention.

I compare covering hockey to when I speak Spanish. I am fluent in Spanish, but I rarely use it. When I do speak it I don’t talk as fast as I would in English. That’s how I feel about my capabilities when it comes to hockey. I speak MLB, NFL, and NBA, but I am fluent in NHL even though I rarely use it. Make sense?

I had a blast covering the game. It allowed me to revisit my past with an aspect I never got to experience before. I’m not leaving the entertainment and TV worlds any time soon, but I do want to revisit my journalism roots more often.

Anyways, here’s a link to the article if you’re interested in checking it out. I’m actually impressed that I was even able to incorporate some hockey lingo into my vernacular. Click here for the article on Yahoo!

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#31 – Write End of Year Review

I could write a traditional end of the year blog, which states all my accomplishments from the past year while discussing what big things I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Most writers do that and that’s not original. Plus, let’s be honest, we fuck up more than we succeed. So, below is a list of the things I am proud of and not so proud of from 2012.

I will mention, however, that I am extremely happy with where I am presently in my life. I certainly wasn’t in the same mind set last year at this time when I started this blog. My intention was to showcase my writing and creativity twice a week. I wanted to post every Monday and every Thursday. I borrowed that schedule from Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast schedule because just like Marc when he started his podcast, I was not in a good place. I couldn’t get any TV or journalism gigs and was seriously questioning what the fuck I was doing wrong after getting a quick start to my career from ages 18-24, and hitting a bit of a bump at age 25. Instead of moping around I took action. After just a couple of weeks into the new year, Men’s Fitness Magazine hired me, a comedian brought me in on a pitch at Comedy Central, and other opportunities kept piling in as I continued to post on here. I resolved that the more self-created work I put out there, the more others were willing to approach me with opportunities, because they saw I was hustling and wanted that same hustle on their team. So, Trevor and I created a sister site www.DispleasureVlog.com and a TV pilot with Bert McCracken. As a result of my busyness, this blog suffered and I was lucky if I could post once a month. I still intend to keep this thing alive, and even have plans to create another personal project that I am a bit frightened to take on in the new year.

So, if you’re in a shitty situation, my advice to you is to take action and quit bitchin. You have more control over your aspirations than you think.

In the meantime, here’s my 2012 Year in Review. First, the dumb shit I did:

Stupid Shit I Did in 2012

  • Jumped out of an airplane (I didn’t experience the rush everyone else feels, nor was I nervous, so the risk of death wasn’t worth it to me)
See how calm I look.

See how calm I look.

  • Drunkenly raw-dogged a chick (Don’t worry, ladies, I’m clean. I got checked. And don’t worry, Mom, I’m not a Father)
  • Ended a friendship with someone I produced two TV shows, and a short film with who was like an older Brother to me (Mostly his fault)
  • Lost a new friendship because of my ego, lack of communication and one drunken night (Mostly my fault)
  • Was difficult to work with on occasion (Many apologies to my producing partner Trevor)
  • Fell asleep in a Las Vegas strip club with a stripper on my lap (Being awake for 48 hours straight still was no excuse)
Went to Vegas a lot this year. I love it more with every trip.

Went to Vegas a lot this year. I love it more with every trip.

  • Went a 3 month stretch without visiting family in San Diego (That’s shameful given that I only live 1 hour 45 minutes away in Los Angeles)
Not sure why I spend so much time away from this in San Diego.

Not sure why I spend so much time away from this in San Diego.

  • Unintentionally chose work over a girl I was dating (Not the first time, and probably not the last time I’ll do that)
  • Had sex with a co-worker (Not the first time, and probably not the last time I’ll do that)

Things I’m Proud I Did in 2012

  • Jumped out of an airplane (Regardless that I didn’t feel a rush, its pretty damn cool to be able to say, “I jumped out of an airplane”)
  • Participated in a scientific experiment (My body is a freak of nature, so I’m glad I was able to help people with my shared chronic illness)
  • Trevor and I convinced Deadmau5 to shoot an impromptu video with us
  • Got a tattoo on my foot to honor my Grandpa (Don’t worry he’s still alive…as of this entry)
  • Got a job on America’s Got Talent (More than any other show I’ve worked on, this one has taught me many things, and it kept my streak alive of working on a TV show every single year I’ve been in LA)
This job has taught me so much I can't even begin to explain.

This job has taught me so much I can’t even begin to explain.

  • Gave up drinking alcohol and caffeine for the first 3 months of the year (I made up for it the following 9 months)
  • Shot a TV pilot with Bert McCracken, lead singer of The Used
  • Got my weight down to 149 pounds, the lowest in my adult life, officially losing half my body weight from its highest point at 300 pounds (I’m now probably around 160, because living at 149 just wasn’t healthy)
149 lbs looks good on me, but probably wasn't living too healthy to maintain it.

149 lbs looks good on me, but probably wasn’t living too healthy to maintain it.

  • Worked as a Writer for Men’s Fitness Magazine (What other job allows you to interview Lou Ferrigno one day and on the next day write about four different kinds of cheeses?)


  • Was a Guest Speaker at my Alma Mater (They molded my writing ability and I got to do the same for future writers)


  • Stopped dating a girl and actually remained friends (Never thought that was possible)
  • Pitched TV show ideas at 4 different networks, and 20 different production companies (For the first year in my career, I didn’t have to use a gimmick to bust through the front door)
  • Started this blog
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#30 – Shoot Vlog With A Celebrity

It’s a writer’s job to tell a story by painting a scene of events with his words. I’m still having difficulty finding the right words to describe what happened to Trevor and me last Saturday when one of the biggest musical artists in the world gave our Displeasure Vlog his endorsement.

For the most part, Trevor and I get along pretty well. Every once in a while, however, we get frustrated with one another, and aren’t really productive in our business that we need to conduct. That’s natural for any business partnership and friendship.

Saturday was one of those days. Because of my new gig on America’s Got Talent, my free time and flexible schedule has changed dramatically. The combination of re-adjusting to an office job and the past nine months of hustling has resulted in pure exhaustion. On Saturday we set out to shoot some vlog entries for the upcoming week, and my brain just wouldn’t kick start into joke-writing mode. When we tried to shoot a video in a parking lot we were hassled by two Paul Blart’s. Then when we tried to shoot a video inside K-Mart we were kicked out. Things were not going well, and we were pissed at each other on the only day of the week we entirely have free

Hunger set in, so we decided to temporarily scrap the shoot and find some food to eat. Trevor just started driving as we sat in silence, and we ended up back at his house. Pissed off that he didn’t tell me what his plans were, I called him out for not telling me that we were heading back to pick up his brother Tanner and then go eat. I was under the assumption we were going to write jokes for the Vlog while we ate. He could’ve told me we were on our way to free lobster dinners and I likely would’ve had a problem with it. The same goes for anything I said, just because of the back and forth petty bullshit we had been going through.

After another 20 minutes of nonsense discussion in his garage we finally went inside and kicked back for a minute before heading out to Souplantation. (If you’ve never been, stop reading now and go to Soupy P’s. I’ll understand.) I hopped in the backseat and Tanner jumped in the front seat. As we cruised down Melrose toward La Cienega Tanner broke the silence in the car when he calmly stated, “Kat Von D and Deadmau5 were just cruising down the street back there.”

With those simple words, Trevor and I got into work mode. Whatever disagreement we were having we immediately put to the side. No matter how much we couldn’t stand to be next to one another just five seconds prior, we realized what we needed to do.

Trevor’s natural reaction as a former TMZ paparazzo is to flip a bitch when someone shouts a celebrity’s name. He quickly recognized Kat Von D’s car, and pulled up right behind it. His camera was sitting on a tripod next to me because of our prior attempt at shooting, however, he didn’t have his flash. To get the equipment from his house across the street he played Frogger in the street, and dashed back through traffic to return 1 minute later. Upon his return I suggested to him, “fuck the short term money of selling pictures, let’s ask them to shoot a Vlog with us.”

Trevor’s eyes lit up, and immediately got to thinking about which topic we could discuss. I spent the prior 4 hours bitching about how tired I was and how I couldn’t muster up the energy to properly form thoughts. Realizing that we were about to ask the most famous DJ and the most famous tattoo artist in the world to help us out of the goodness of their heart gave me a shot of adrenaline, and sparked Trevor to say, “When your friends think they’re a DJ.”

Bam! That’s something that really bugs both of us. The new trend of everyone trying to be a DJ is annoying, because there are very few people who professionally make a living off of that, and even those guys are simply just making money because they mix songs created by SOMEONE ELSE! Deadmau5 on the other hand is actually a music producer, and doesn’t just mix other people’s songs.

Trevor provided the topic, and wrote his first line, which is what I asked of him hour’s prior, so that my limited free time is maximized. He said he couldn’t provide a starting point without my help. I calmly pointed out to him that this was proof that he could. I guess all we needed was to be put in a situation where we had no choice but to come up with gold. I then came up with my line, and told him we needed to acknowledge Deadmau5 after each of our lines, differentiating him between the people who call themselves DJ’s and someone who actually is one, like him.

Meanwhile, paparazzi started to notice Trevor standing on Melrose. Despite his absence from the scene for quite some time, they still played a hunch that he was waiting for someone to come out of Vivian Westwood. Trevor played it off to his former paparazzo amigos that we were just chillin’ on the street, waiting for a friend. The paparazzi eventually moved on.

I could see the anxiety build in Trevor’s body while we waited for their exit out the store. I got into “Coach” mode and pulled out a pep talk for him. I reminded him that he has created contacts with billionaires like Mark Cuban, super producers like Brian Grazer, and other people of equal stature to Deadmau5 and Kat. I put him at ease by reminding him that we talk to musicians and tattoo artists all the time. The only difference is that Deadmau5 and Kat have fame. Simply put, I was lying my ass off, because I was equally nervous. But in the hours prior Trevor kept reminding me that he feeds off my energy, so when I am in a shitty mood he tends to be as well, hence why we weren’t productive earlier in the day. I had to be positive and provide a calm demeanor.

Tanner gave us some background on Deadmau5 recently making comments about how he dislikes how everyone is claiming to be a DJ now, which made us feel more comfortable about approaching him with the topic. Trevor and I can relate to his sentiments, because Trevor despises how anyone with an iPhone thinks he’s a cameraman, and I despise how everyone with a blog thinks they’re a writer. We’ve made a living off those professions, just like Deadmau5 makes his living off his profession.

“Here they come,” I told Trevor as he picked his camera up off the ground.

“Hey Kat and Deadmau5, as a former paparazzo I just shooed away the paparazzi for you guys to make a clean escape.”

“Thanks so much,” Kat replied first.

“I have one question for you guys though. We have a blog about things that bug us and one of the things that bugs us is how everyone thinks they’re a DJ now,” Trevor said.

“Deadmau5, would you be willing to go on camera with us for it?” I asked.

“Let me answer that for him,” Kat said.

“Of course I will,” Deadmau5 responded.

Wait, what? That was way too easy. Tanner later brought up the fact that other than reminding Kat that I did LA Ink, we didn’t even have to drop any of our creds on them. We wondered who they thought we were. I think he agreed to shoot, because it was a topic he has gone on record saying that displeases him. Also, we look like them. We are tatted up, young, and look like “misfits” of society. I also hope that they admired our gumption.

Kat grabbed her bags, started packing up her car, and told us to make it quick. We knew we pretty much just had one take to make it happen, since I imagine they have busy schedules, but her statement reaffirmed that. You can see her in the background of the video.

The moment Deadmau5 agreed to shoot, I think Trevor and I both blacked out. The last thing I remember was Trevor telling me to move to the right side of Deadmau5, because in our videos Trevor always stands to my left and I stand to his right.

Trevor and I are in motion before Deadmau5 changes his mind.

We also generally do at least 5 takes on every vlog. The only time we did one take was when we were drunk and our buddy Andrew was sleeping, because once he woke up we knew the take was going to be done. We killed it in that vlog, and I think we killed it in this vlog. You be the judge.

I am glad, however, that Trevor and I started the Displeasure Vlog so that we can retrace what happened, because sometimes words can’t simply do justice to a story. Sometimes, just sometimes, pictures are worth more than 1,524 words.


The Displeasure Vlog with Deadmau5 can be viewed here.

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