Show Biz And Marriage

I must confess that it is really difficult to describe some of the wacky commercial shoots I work on to the average civilian, let alone my wife. I have been on sets where we stuffed an old lady in the trunk of a car so she could bake cookies, had an actor wear a pair…

Christmas Starts After Thanksgiving, Dammit!

­I saw my first Christmas commercial ten days before Halloween this year. Well, okay technically it wasn’t a “Christmas” commercial. It was a “holiday” commercial with lots of red and green decorations, decorated fir trees in the house, snow on windows, stockings over fireplaces, presents, squealing children, Menorahs near the ham . . . but,…

Hollywood Habitat Hell

Holy smokes did we have a dilemma at the Brakeman household. It started a few days ago when the kids found out that I would be working on a PetSmart commercial. I had tried to keep this secret from them, for reasons that will become obvious, but their little snoopy eyes are everywhere. When they…

The Pier That Time Forgot

As the Unofficial Chronicler of all things Southern California, I recently had the pleasure of spending a day at the Redondo Beach Pier, or the Land That Time Forgot. Let’s get some business out of the way. The Redondo Beach Pier is conveniently located in Redondo Beach, and by the ocean. Coincidence? I think not.…

The Great Jello Assault

Kids love Jello. Or so we are told. But as a kid, I never “got” it. I saw it as a worthless food-like substance that didn’t taste like it looked, frequently contained hidden fruit, and never satisfied like crunchy chocolate anything. But later in life I discovered a much different use for the wiggly, stiffened…