I did an interview on this web radio station. There was some technical nuttiness involving “lag” that interfered with us having a completely excellent time, so it was just an excellent time.
I haven’t been listening as I should… as I promised both of you. Please forgive me. I either miss GB because I go in later than usual or listen to music or talk to myself.
But, I finally listened a couple days ago and he seems to have rounded a corner since the rally. He talked about god answering prayers and that “the very gates of hell” are going to open up.
He still hasn’t said anything evil. He’s just talking about stupid religious stuff. I’m sure lots of the people who think he’s evil talk about stupid religious stuff. I will use broad strokes here and posit that since most of the people who hate him are on “the left”, they don’t go to “church” but do that thing that’s even worse which is call themselves “spiritual”. I prefer people who make a commitment to an ideal. Even if it’s so invisible as to not exist at all.
I respect fundamentalists christians more than someone who breathes a cleansing orange light into their heart chakra at a weekly yoga class. If you’re a fundamentalist who has actually studied, then you’re not a lazy know-it-all like the light-breathers.
It’s the same concept I apply to heroin addicts vs. wine drinkers. I don’t want to hang out with either one, but the heroin addict sure does make a commitment: “I want to get so high, I can’t feel anything” as opposed to the wine drinker: “Oh, dear no, the alcohol is secondary… I love the bouquet on this vintage… blah blah blah…” Liar.
Speaking of respect. It’s been a bad year for the show biz. So bad that both of us are losing our SAG health coverage.I put the word out among friends that I had very little time to earn $7k before we were kicked to the curb.
Only one friend came through and he came through in spades.
Thank you, old friend.
What you’re looking at is $740 in ones and change. Later this week, I’m going to put it in the bank and then maybe buy one of these just because I can.
Or, do something responsible with it. Whatever.
How did I end up with $740 in ones and change at the end of the year? Here’s how.
Never spend a one dollar bill. Ever. It forces you to save.
If you’re at 7/11 buying the best coffee in the world every morning like I do, you pay with a five. Then you put those 1 dollar bills aside. You can’t spend them the rest of the day. That way, if you want to buy something stupid, like gum or condoms (I jest), you must pay with a bill larger than a 1. It makes you think about the stupid little purchases you make every day.
Any 1 dollar bill gets put aside and at the end of the day, they all go in to a box. Along with the change you acquired that day.
I take the subway to work every day and it’s $1.25 each way, so I use quarters for that, but I still ended up with some quarters in my change box. The change came out to just over $100. If you can do remedial math, you can figure out how many one dollar bills I had.
I don’t actually have 640 one dollar bills. There were days where, for whatever reason, I did spend 1 dollar bills. Those days, I put a five in the box along with any ones I had.
That’s that. That’s my savings tip. Now, I’m going to end up on the “I Can Teach You To Be Rich” blog and be one of those assholes who talk about “the latte factor”.
The only thing I would do differently is use the sharpie to cross out “In god we trust” the day I put the bills in the box. I got bored. This also makes me realize, I have about 600 “Where’s George” bills to distribute.
Hmmm. I need more time.
Speaking of holiday cheer: Fuck the IRS. I mean, really. Fuck you guys.
Oh, speaking of fuck you guys: Here’s to CESD, my voice over and loser commercial agency who dropped me the week after Duncan was born. Fuck you guys. Way to destroy a career. Well played.
Happy Holidays everyone!!!
I signed up for that absentee thingy, so I already voted. My conscience is clear. I voted for the best candidate, not against someone.
There’s also a couple of propositions here in California. One of them is Proposition 5, which is an attempt to reduce prison overcrowding by not incarcerating simple drug offenses and some other stuff which seems obvious to most sane people.
The Incarcarex folks have done a version for Yes on Prop. 5.
Apparently, every living governor of california is coming out against Prop. 5. In my contrarian book, if every politician thinks a proposition is bad, it means it’s a good proposition.
Regardless… feel free to watch, delete, forward, enjoy, loathe or something else.
OddComment #2 is done and uploaded and set to go. I think.
Patrick Labyorteaux, Stuart Fratkin and I sat and watched the flick (for the first time in a lonnnnng time) and reminisced about the actual good old days of going to Canada with sort of a script.
http://www.oddcomment.com/2008/07/05/ski-school/ should be working and available for your downloading enjoyment.
It is hot off the audio presses here at the OddComment command center. If you enjoyed Ski Stool, you’ll enjoy this.
A friend of mine, David Lawrence, suggested that I offer to create outgoing messages for veritable strangers who might be unable to leave their own or want the voice of the guy from that movie on their voice mail.
Check the OGM link. I made it fairly price prohibitive, so one really must want one.
I’m a great salesman. Gee.
As part of my nut Libertarian craziness, I did a pro-bono (cough… free… cough) voice over for my crazy friends who want drugs to be legal… imagine, letting free people control what they do with their bodies… which you can see here: The Incarcarex Video
Well, Canaduh wanted their own version except for the first time in history, it’s not a rotten, not-as-good, knockoff of an original.
It’s an actual Canadian version.
Man, I love the multi-colored bong. It makes me to laff.
Last year, I did an interview here at the house for the special features for the 20th anniversary of Summer School. The bride and I watched it and I didn’t come off like a dickhead, which is always my biggest fear. Pompous or pathetic. They didn’t use the “funny” stuff I did like show the thing Carl Reiner wrote that said “If you don’t become a big star I don’t know anything…” and offering to take him on a walk around my estate here in North fucking Hollywood.
That was probably a wise move on their part.
This weekend, the bride went to a wedding in Le Vegas…
Another reason to hate weddings – “Hey, we’re getting married!!! Why don’t you ruin your long weekend, drive in horrible traffic and pay inflated hotel prices on a holiday weekend and give us some gifts!?!?”
…so after she left, I figured I’d watch the commentary Reiner and Mark Harmon did.
About 5 minutes in Reiner says “everyone thought he’d break out and hit it big… shame… someone should have done something with him” or something to that effect.
As I shut it off, I couldn’t help but think “Um, Carl Reiner, you know *you* could’ve done something with me.”
That’s fucking showbiz, innit?
I wonder if people would be interested in audio commentary from me and the other people who were in Summer School. I wonder if people would pay for it.
I will be finding out within two months.
oooohhhhhh how very cryptic!!!
oh, i’m in trouble now. he’s gotten an attorney from orinda to write my agents and let them know that i’m unprofessional. i bet that will kill my career even more than it already is. i should never have taken him on. that was a mistake. he is a powerful man with powerful friends and an ATTORNEY ON FUCKING RETAINER!!! and i am totally and utterly fucked. crap. i’m doomed. i’m really doomed. what really sucks is my plans to make millions and millions by stealing a play and calling it my own are now dashed upon the rocks! shit. how can i ever get over this? i’ve crossed one more hollywood superpower mogul and i bet it’s my last because this is going to really drive the dirty old career in to the dirt. i wouldn’t be surprised if the ATTORNEY ON RETAINER managed to get all of my shitty movies pulled out of late night rotation on cable.
how can i get him to forgive me. i can’t. i just can’t. i’m doomed to even more unemployment.
crap. will i ever learn? damn. damn. damn.
I sent the following fax to all the parties involved. unprofessional with a capital u.
16255 ventura blvd 509
261 holly lane
orinda, california 94653
fax – 925 886 6793
“dean cameron’s agents”
10635 santa monica blvd
los angeles, ca 90025
apparently, the right honorable john pappas was upset that I didn’t return his calls in a timely manner and has gotten a “lawyer acquaintance” to waste your time as well as mine. I apologize for that.
i’d attempted to help the writer get a theater for his “casual” reading but he decided to have it in long beach on a Monday which was inconvenient for me.
the most frightening thing about all of this is that, instead of following my regular procedure and having him send the script to my mailbox, he seemed like a good egg
and i wanted to expedite the proceedings so i gave him my home address. now I’m actually scared for my safety and that of my wife and I’m hopeful that he won’t show up
unannounced, demanding the 5 bucks it cost him to print a script and send it out.
to protect his privacy i had edited the call before I put it up on my web site to remove his name. I often post calls and correspondence I get from stalkers and other crazy people.
i’ve gone ahead and posted the unedited version with his name included, as well as the fax with the official looking “attorney letterhead” with the p.o. box. it would seem that he’s hurting for business. maybe the two or three people who visit my site each week could use a malpractice attorney.
below is my reply to the “writer’s” harassing voice mail. make special note of the section where I request him to perform an unnatural act upon my primary sexual characteristic as if another, lower, part of that area is full of air and he is drowning. my choice of words, of course, are a bit more “earthy” and the follow-up is truly vile. (though quite pleasant, truth-be-told.)
regardless, the request remains open-ended. (a pun!)
though, having a vengeful person that close to my little dinky may be a bit more excitement than this old almost-ran can take. perhaps it’s included in the attorney’s retainer. i can dream, right?
yours in abject terror,
From: dean cameron
To: John Niko
X-Smtp-Server: smtp.gmail.com:dea ncamero n@gma il.co m
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v919.2)
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 19:14:06 -0700
I didn’t bail on you and I really don’t understand what the
condescending message and anger at me is all about? Maybe you’re joking.
I tried to get sacred fools for you and when that didn’t work out, I
offered to help you get a theater but you said you were going to have the reading at someone’s house. I asked you if you wanted me to get the info just in case and you said no, you were going to have the reading at someone’s house because you didn’t want to spend any money.
Then you called me in the middle of the day saying you were going to go look at the theater and i should meet you there, somehow assuming that I was around or available. I wasn’t. I’m not. I don’t have much of a life, at all, but I’m not able to drop everything and scurry over to east hollywood to hold your hand and look at a theater that I’ve seen a whole bunch.
You don’t need to call and talk to me in a condescending voice like
that. Spend three fucking dollars at kinko’s or print it out like the
rest of us.
Maybe you’re joking but it doesn’t sound like it. I tried to help you
and you’re angry at me. Fascinating.
Instead of me sending the script back, how about this:
Suck my cock like you’re drowning and my balls are filled with air.
Then I will roll over and you can tongue my shithole.
this is great:
This is a dangerous email for me to send out.
Because I happen to know a thing or two about how to make money on the
Internet, and I’m concerned that if I speak my mind and voice an unpopular
position, I will suffer at the hands of my fellow performers.
Ironically, I’m writing this from my hotel room in Las Vegas, having just
spoken at BlogWorld on the need for podcasters to hone their craft and find
their natural voices – to be more professional at what they do.
But…I’ve made my living as a talk show host and talking head for years,
taking positions that, to me, make eminent sense, yet to others seem
counterintuitive. And I’ve also figured out ways to make several millions of
dollars on the Internet over the last 15 years or so, affording me a unique
perspective on what works, what doesn’t and why (thanks, Howard Fine!) -
along with what will work in the future.
So, here goes.
I’m saddened and angered that the WGA has gone on strike. I think the WGA
strike, and the approach to these contract negotiations, have been the wrong
way to fight the wrong battle. I think they’ve squandered any goodwill they
had in this negotiation by picking the wrong area over which to have a
fight. And the danger goes far deeper than that, as my other unions echo
Let me explain.
No one, I repeat, no one, is making real money on the Internet with
webisodic content right now. I’m always amazed that anyone is willing to pay
me, other actors, writers and other performers to be in webisodics – and I’m
on a fair number of well-known and well-respected webisodic series myself.
Please watch Goodnight Burbank and Infected on Revision3. Save the ones
artificially monetized as a blatant corporate sales tool (I’m happily in
Pepsi/Mountain Dew’s Cyberpunx, taking SAG-level pay), none is making any
Few are spending money – actors are working for free, green screen rooms are
begged, borrowed or stolen, cameras and cinematographers are being cajoled
into supporting their fellow performer, but very few dollars are being
spent. Most of the breakdowns we see for these shows are copy, credit and
meals. The rare payments to performers in this space are welcome and
You know I’m right. You’ve seen Actor’s Access, Now Casting and LA Casting.
It’s all a big experiment, with relatively few real production dollars at
risk and none coming back in return. People are dabbling. And spending very
little producing to receive absolutely nothing in income. Zip. Nada.
The income side is just as abysmal. If you’re producing content for the
Internet, for YouTube and that ilk, if you’re aggressive, you can count on a
few dollars in subscription fees (I own ShowTaxi.com, so I see the numbers)
and even less in advertising dollars. We’re talking pennies here. And not
So the Internet’s Emperor currently has no clothes (or food or shelter, for
that matter). And if we’re honest with ourselves, we must ask: why fight for
money that doesn’t exist? And (this is where you’ll have to trust that I
know what I’m talking about) – WON’T exist for several contract cycles.
My problem is, I’ve suffered through this righteous indignation on the part
of my unions before. And I didn’t speak up. I regret that.
See, a few years ago, AFTRA pulled a similar stunt, negotiating what they
thought was a very progressive victory: a triple session fee for a performer
if a performer’s commercial appeared on the Internet. Great, you say? We
AFTRA performers all make more money, you say?
No. Not even close.
It resulted in the ad agencies that produced the spots simply refusing to
authorize Internet play of those spots, and forced radio stations to
drastically change their online automation playback, and to blank out those
spots with AFTRA performances in their live streams with public domain
classical music. So AFTRA performers never got paid that hard fought triple
session fee, and AFTRA unnecessarily burdened every commercial radio station
The current landscape in Internet production of video, audio, Flash, YouTube
videos and the like, is still, and will remain so for the next several
years, a speculative one, and one with no foreseeable income.
Here’s why. While the public loves to consume online content, no one has
successfully gotten them to pay for it. No model has emerged, including
subscription and advertising, that generates even the most meager incomes on
the most runaway popular videos.
And when does emerge, like iTunes, it gets called not a godsend, and what
consumers want and are willing to pay for. No. It gets labeled “the ruin of
the music industry” by NBC/Universal’s leadership in their zeal to maintain
outmoded budgets. Slap.
This is the important fact: the most outrageously successful videos on the
biggest outlet online, YouTube, generate 7-figure plays, and low 2 and 3
figure *monthly* incomes, with short-attention-span shelf life of a few
months at best, as users find the next darling to virally spread. And no one
is madly clicking on the ads on YouTube pages or anywhere else. How many
times have you left a video playback page on YouTube by clicking on an ad?
I find myself shaking my head in rueful concern over next summer’s actor’s
contract negotiations when I see my SAG leader, Alan Rosenberg, sending me
an email stating that “their fight (WGA’s) is our fight.”
Let me be very clear. I loved him as the alcoholic lawyer on The Guardian a
few years back on CBS, but here, today, Rosenberg is dead wrong, and he is
endangering our chances to negotiate proper and real increases in our pay
rates and health benefits. He is doing so in favor of chasing after the
Internet market. There is no Internet market to fight over yet. There is no
market in the foreseeable future on the Internet.
Certainly, he and others are distracted by the fact that some websites like
YouTube and Facebook have moronic, emotion-filled capital valuations the
likes of which haven’t been seen since the dot-com bust, but none are making
money, and none have the near- or mid-term potential to make the kind of
money that merits those valuations. Thankfully they’re not individual public
companies, and today’s Henry Blodgetts can’t hype them to death on the
Unfortunately, what those websites do have is the ability to take viewers
away from network and cable TV, and what have been very, very lucrative
network audience and ad dollars, but darn the luck…they don’t replace the
lost network ad money with online ad money. And no one running these
websites are telling the truth on that – it would harm their negotiations to
be bought by the likes of Microsoft, Google or Yahoo.
No, it’s just the same old romantic dot-com hype the mainstream press has
been known for since they started covering the Internet, cluelessly, in the
90′s. And in the end, the Internet’s really just another delivery mechanism,
another wire, with a more painful-to-watch output point (gather the family
around the computer monitor?), not an incredible new market place.
And to make matters even worse, the mainstream media, in their zeal to cover
sites like Napster, BitTorrent and Kazaa with such glowing admiration, has
trained a whole generation of users to steal, or at the very least, expect
everything to be free. That means that if a market does emerge, we have some
really damaging speed bumps in getting the public to pay and advertisers to
That, so far, has been the reality for the folks on the other side of the
Certainly for some producers and writers, they might make money with very
little outlay by making a great piece online, creating a demand for that
creative work via viral success, then selling the series as DVDs or by
creating series that air on traditional channels. That’s self production.
That’s creating your own content, so go negotiate with yourself. Most of the
people producing webisodes now are doing so, hoping they’ll hit a home
run…and a network will notice. That’s not revolutionary at all. It’s what
indie artists have been doing for years on the music side of things.
So the WGA, our acting and performance membership, outspoken activist
celebrities and our Guild and Federation leadership are, to me, out walking
the picket lines, encouraging us to do the same, posturing themselves and
our futures over a vast empty wasteland that currently is being experimented
with – to no predictable success.
I believe that we are far too early in the infancy of this delivery
mechanism to be defiantly sticking our chins out, demanding money that
doesn’t exist, when DVD sales and on-demand cable plays are clearly
demonstrable and are far more lucrative to producers and distributors, and
from which we should be able to extract a more reasonable percentage. My
advice? Go back to the table, demand to rework the DVD and VOD formulas and
keep an eye on the Net over the next few years, looking for real income, but
don’t throw down the precious gauntlet over it.
I believe that if the WGA gets what they want, they’ll find that they fought
over hardly anything, and squandered an opportunity to do something useful
for their membership.
And before the conspiracy theories start, I am no shill for the producers. I
believe that you train people how to treat you and how well to remunerate
you – and that we, as performers, are usually woefully underpaid. We deserve
as much money as we are willing to demand and that the other side is willing
But in saying all this, I fear that some of you will shun me as that smart
ass capitalist Ayn Randian objectivist Ruth’s Chris steak-eating barbarian
who doesn’t grasp the fundamentals of what it’s like to be a struggling
artist. And there, you would be correct, right up to the “doesn’t grasp…”
part of that sentence. I struggle every day as an actor, a writer, a
filmmaker, a voice talent and more. But those of you know know me, know that
I often find a way to success, especially on the Internet.
Not, however, as a webisodic producer. There’s no money in it. Yet.
So there we are. What do I do?
Do I keep silent, knowing that if I speak my mind, from what I consider to
be a very informed position of first hand knowledge, I could be ostracized
by my fellow performers? Or do I clearly and succinctly speak up, hoping
someone, somewhere in the WGA leadership receives this message as a forward,
even a “can you believe how stupid this guy is?” forward, and changes their
tactics to deal with the real and pressing issues they have?
I’ve made up my mind. Here goes:
I support the troops, but I don’t support the war.
I support my fellow writers’ quest for better pay and better benefits, but I
do not support the WGA strike over Internet production I think it is a
mistake to get wrapped around the axle on demanding monies for Internet
usage. And, I believe that not only should the WGA take this demand off the
table, I believe that if SAG and AFTRA pick up this fight next summer, they
will be doing all of their members, including me, a grave disservice. The
producers will balk, knowing there really, really, really is no money to be
shared, and will not be willing to capitulate. And then we’ll strike, and we
will all waste more time on the picket lines, labeling our employers
incorrectly as being “unfair”.
I urge you to pass this on to others in our community. And I welcome your
comments, screams, threats and more at 888-488-DAVID. You can also send your
email to me here or at [email protected]
I look forward to hearing the tales of the death threats and weeping “what am i going to do!?!” emails to him.
In Chicago. Sort of a paid vacation. Doing two shows.
Nice dinner with Victor this evening after our flights.
Not only did Victor have to wait for ME for the first time ever before we left, I seem to have forgotten to pack the “Dean Cameron” robe and the Ibrahim Abacha clothes.
Ah well. Fortunately, WE’RE NOT IN SCOTLAND and they have shops here where you can purchase clothes for not so much money.
In other news…
I’m pretty sure I make no secret that I’m one of those silly Libertarians who believe that people do best when left to their own devices and most folks are fine if you leave them alone to enjoy their lives.
A sort of tangential group, The Drug Policy Alliance, aksed me to record a spot for them and I jumped at the chance. I love doing stuff where I can actually do work for them, after they’ve helped me (to feel extremely lonely and sad that most people want a senator to do everything for them) to examine lots of things I used to believe and then change those beliefs and, most importantly, educate myself a bit.
Apparently, it recently passed the 100,000 views mark. Not too bad.