|Volume IV, Issue 1|
FIRST, A LITTLE BUSINESS:
Welcome to our last issue of the year. Yes, we know technically there should be a V3N6, but with the Christmas season and so forth, the editors are going to hold off until January to put out another issue. But it should have a "new look", taking into consideration the suggestions all of the readers have made. (Our favorite, incidentally, was the call for "The Editors of the EWFC Newsletter Fan Club")
As mentioned in the last newsletter, we have a new web page and a new URL. If interested, check it out:
WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO ACTING?
At first nothing! All I had on my mind was baseball. But then it became about fun for me, I just enjoyed getting up on stage an creating a character, that was in High School. But baseball was still my first love. I had some injuries that helped me decide to not pursue it. As I already had a couple of plays under my belt I thought that I would give it a try and audition for a reputable college. When I realized that acting was the thing I wanted to do with my life I was already at a conservatory for acting, SUNY Purchase.
WHAT TRAITS DO YOU THINK IT TAKES TO BE A GOOD ACTOR?
First you have to really want it. Then you have to be willing to work for it. And then of course all the other stuff like, talent, charisma, confidence, and more helps. It's hard to say much more than that because it truly is a subjective business. What one producer or casting director thinks about one actor another may think just the opposite. So remember, if one has perseverance and truly believes in themselves they can be successful in anything they want, because GOD made it that way.
DO YOU FIND "THE HOLLYWOOD THING" TO BE AS DEHUMANIZING AS PEOPLE SAY IT IS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT?
It can be pretty rough, but in the end it's what you make of it. If you give it power it can be very hurtful. I personally go in and out of being OK with it. Sometimes it really gets me down, but then I remind myself that I have GOD on my side. And he is the one thing that no one can take away from me, ...and therefore I have everything.
SO WHEN IT ALL GETS YOU DOWN, WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL? WHAT DO YOU DO?
Well for instance Suzanne and I took a couple of days off and drove down to Mexico. We brought the kids with us and had a blast. Boogie boarding, horseback riding, lobster, fires on the beach, and great company...that did the trick.
SO WHAT ARE YOUR HOLIDAY PLANS THIS YEAR?
Suzanne, the kids and I will be spending Hanukkah and New Years Eve in New York with my family. That should be a lot of fun! We're looking forward to it. :>)
WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAKE THE HOLIDAY SEASON MORE MEANINGFUL?
I spend it with the ones I love....DON'T YOU?
ANY NEW WORK TO ANNOUNCE?
I will be appearing on the "MIKE HAMMER -- Private Eye" show. It airs on October 26th, the name of the episode is "False Truths." It airs differently everywhere, but if you want to find out when it airs in your area call your local cable company, or, failing that, the Mike Hammer production company at (805) 667-3929 and ask, but don't tell them I told you to call. They might get mad that I gave you the number. :>)
EDITOR NOTE: If anyone wants to write the production company that makes Mike Hammer, and tell them you would like to see more of Ed in other productions, I have tracked down the address:
Jeff Franklin and Steve Waterman
c/o Mike Hammer Productions, Inc.
Santa Ventura Studios
5301 N. Ventura Ave.
Ventura, CA 93001
Last book you read:
Favorite movie you have recently seen:
Jodi Foster's "CONTACT"
The last time you lost your temper:
I don't lose my temper often. But the last time I got mad was two years ago when I was being mistreated by a director. Boy did I let him have it!
Earliest childhood memory:
My dad came home late from NYC after playing a concert and bought a teddy bear. He put it in my bed with me. I remember that warm cozy feeling of a new teddy bear crunched up underneath my arm pulling it close to my face, and of course my dad giving me a kiss goodnight. WOW...I must have been five or so.
How did you find out there was no Santa Claus? (Or have you found
On Hanukkah, which is right before Christmas, they tell all the Jews the truth.(Ed gives a playful laugh) So I have always known.....but it doesn't mean that I still don't believe. All of the fun is in BELIEVING!
Tell us a joke:
A man and his wife are doing yard work. Husband says to wife, "Your butt is as wide as the grill." She ignores the remark. A little later, the husband takes his measuring tape and then he goes over to his wife while she is bending over working in a flower bed, he measures her rear end and gasps, "Geez, it is as wide as the grill!" Later that night while in bed, her husband starts to feel frisky. She calmly responds, "If you think I'm gonna fire up the grill for one little wiener, you are mistaken."
Hi. It is me, Byron, one of your editors. In the last year, I have had a chance to visit the B5 set twice with Ed, and I thought it might be of interest to you to hear what it was like.
It really is a strange experience to drive to a suburb of LA, see what looks basically like a warehouse, and to think, "This is Babylon 5." Even when you walk in the front door, it is pretty much like an office building. A temporary office building. These guys do not live - shall we say - high on the hog. Every cent, as JMS says, seems goes into the show.
The first time I went, I had the opportunity to meet Bruce and Jerry, and to talk to woman named Melissa Gilbert, who was with her baby. I am sad to say I had no idea who she was. I mean, she told me her name, but I didn't recognize it. In fact, it wasn't until I was being debriefed by my wife and made a passing remark about chatting with "some extra or something - her name was Melissa Gilbert." There was a scream, and the rest is blur - my wife must have hit me or something.
Anyway, Jerry was really more like Garibaldi than Garibaldi himself. I mean, that guy is the character. I only got to talk to Bruce for a second - you know, the ole handshake and 'I am a big fan' - and that was it. But they both time to pose for a picture with me, and later autographed it. Cool.
The second trip I met Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs, and Jason Carter. Mira was in her trailer, having her make-up done, and was a nice and polite as everyone says she was. Richard, I just did the handshake and fan remark. However, Jason was different. It was between takes, and Jason and Ed talked for about 20 minutes. I interjected a word here and there, but basically was enjoying myself too much to talk. He struck me as a really kind, sincere actor who works hard at his craft. Just as down to earth as can be. I was really impressed.
They were filming both times I was there. The second time, I watched them for awhile. Without giving away a spoiler for our non-US readers, it was while the Dr. and Markus tried to persuade some people in a cave to do something. You probably know the scene - it had a line about "Captain Sheridan sprouting wings and flying." Anyway, I am always amazed at how small the sets are. When you are watching it, everything seems so big. Also, there was tape all over the floors to mark blocking. I am surprised one can never see it on TV. And I always assumed that when they zoom in for a close-up, it was just a dial on a lens. But they actually moved the camera to within a few inches of the face. I am surprised people don't fog the lens. Also, I noticed that to keep focus perfect, sometimes they would get the actor to stand 31 inches from the camera - or whatever - and not move.
I am also amazed at how quickly the actors go from acting to not-acting back to acting. Night and day at the snap of finger. Also, on a different vein, I guess many people know this - I didn't - but they actually record silence on the set, to insert it into the audio if they need to. I always thought silence was simply silence, but evidently it sounds different at different places. I sort of get it, but it is weird, isn't it?
I also enjoyed chatting briefly with Adam Nimoy, completely determined not to ask him anything about his dad. Instead I remarked that an album I have by a group called Information Society has a 'special thanks to Adam Nimoy', and asked him what he did for them. He said he hooked them up with his dad to do a Spock voice on the album. So much for my resolve. (Interestingly, Adam also directed Ed in NYPD Blue.)
It was fun watching Ed on the set. Everyone knew him, and he seemed to know everyone's name, and something about them. He chatted with everyone, just seemed to have a whole lot of fun.
Ed took me to the front office to someone he said might be able to sell me some little merchandising momento. She said she was sorry, but the only thing they had were a dozen shirts that they had made as the 2nd season softball uniform shirt. In other words, they made like 40 of them, for the players, and these were leftover. Like a fool, I only bought three (after all, they were $15 each.) I didn't want to be greedy, but Ed told me she would probably have liked to have gotten them out of her office! (Don't even think about it, they are long gone...) But they are truly cool.
I don't want this to sound bad - but the props look goofy up close. I mean it looks cheap. I don't know how it is that everything on the film looks real, but it is a miracle. And there are rooms full of all the props, just stacked up. In one room, I would see G'Kar's quarters, those Minbari beds, some medical equipment, and so forth. And then other rooms are taped off - they are all perfectly set up for a scene. You can look in, but do not enter!
In short, the set is much smaller than I would have imagined. JMS says it is big, and I am sure it is, but I guess somewhere in my heart I was expecting - maybe not a five mile station - but two or three miles anyway.
Finally, I don't know if it comes across, but I had the absolute time
of my life down there. Wow. I had been afraid seeing how the trick is done
would have made me enjoy it less. Not the case. I only love it more.
It's that time again where I have the opportunity to say hello and thank you all for your support. My life is constantly changing and my spirit forever evolving. I look forward to the day when we, the world community, will all be at peace with one another. I went to temple this last week with Suzanne. It was Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Rabbi, I thought, was very progressive in his approach. He spoke about the differences Jews have amongst themselves and how the Prime Minister of Israel signed a doctrine supporting only Conservative Jews. What this doctrine basically says is that any Jew that is Reformed or Liberal will not be considered a Jew. Of course a large percentage of reformed and liberal Jews in the USA are very offended, because they support Israel politically and financially, not to mention the millions of Jews who live in Israel and feel like their country has turned their back on them as well. This could be one of the biggest mistakes of Israel's history. It's bad enough that they turn non-Jews away but now they're even denouncing their own kind.
Without going further into the politics of it all, let me share with you what the Rabbi said in temple. "Every one has the right to define their own relationship with GOD." And he went on to say that just because a Jew lights the candles on one Friday night and forgets the next Friday night, does not mean that he or she is any less of a Jew than the one who remembers to light them every Friday night and go to temple on the weekends. It just simply means that they have defined their own relationship with Judaism and/or GOD. He spoke about tolerance of one another's beliefs and giving room for people to be the kind of spiritual person they choose to be. Of course that should apply to all people who believe in different religions as well. As a free spirit on this plain and beyond, we have the right to establish our own relationship with the Universe. If you are a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Agnostic,...etc., there still is only one Universal energy that rules. It is an undeniable power, and if you want to call it the Cosmos, Cause and Effect, Karma, Universal Energy, Love, GOD, or Jesus what difference should it make? NONE! It's only semantics. It is your relationship and it belongs to you. I'm tired of religious rhetoric getting in the way of the truth, and there is only one truth. LOVE! When we come from a place of love the color lines disappear and the religious wars become nonexistent. I have faith that we will continue grow in the direction of a higher enlightened society.
MAHATMA GANDHI puts it beautifully, "There is a soul force in the universe, which if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results."
IYANLA VANZANT an inspiring writer says, "Each of us on some level tries to elevate ourselves to a new height, a higher standing, a better way of living. Unfortunately, that is why we don't get where we want to be, because we are trying to do it. The power is right where we are. The power is the essence of all that is good. The power is divine. When we believe in the power and seek to make conscious contact with it, the power, not the self, will bring into our lives the very things we are struggling to do. The power will operate in all of our affairs, going before us to prepare our path. The power wants joy, peace, perfect health, abundant wealth and loving relationships for us. The power is the living spirit with in buried beneath the personality, ego, perceptions, fears and doubts. The power is the truth of who we are. The power is available; all we have to do is invite it forward and move out of the way."
These quote from Mahatma Gandhi and Iyanla Vanzant can be found in a great book called, ACTS OF FAITH by Iyanla Vanzant. I highly recommend it.
Well I won't be talking to you guys until January, so I guess this is where I wish you all a very safe and joyous holiday season and Happy New Year!
Every person you meet along your journey is both a teacher and a student...KEEP THE CHANNEL OPEN!
Love and Peace,
First, last issue's contest results:
We are going to hold off announcing the winner of this contest. Mainly because we are thinking through what we are actually going to do with the newsletter, based on your suggestions. We couldn't very well give the award for idea Y and then decide that we are actually going to go with idea X. So as we think all of this through, we will weigh the 30 or so responses we got, and come up with a plan. The good news is that we are still taking submissions, up until November 30. The more ideas the better. So here it is again:
Contest # 10:
All right, time for a little soul-bearing. I know there are those of you out there who think that the life of a fan club newsletter editor is a wild, carefree event full of parties, trips on the Concord, champagne, and so forth. To a large degree, ironically, it is.
However, after the parties are over and the champagne is exhausted, there comes the time to actually sit down and crank one of these puppies out. And it is harder than you might think. I know there are probably those of you who would assert that a trained chimpanzee could do this job. But you are wrong. A recent Stanford study showed the newsletter put out by the chimpanzee, while it had better spelling, was generally not as interesting as ours.
So where is this long diatribe going? To sum up, this month's contest is a little different. I want you to think about how we can make the EWFC better and this newsletter better. Now, I know we are not curing cancer or anything here, but we want to please our loyal readers. The disloyal ones can of course take a hike. What parts of the newsletter do you like? Are any parts getting stale? What - use your imagination - could we do that would be fun and interesting? Do you want more emphasis on B5? More editorial? (Yeah, right...) Charitable events? Pictures? Drop the newsletter and go to just a web site? Distribute in HTML? What? Be honest (not brutal, mind you, we have feelings.)
And because this is a special contest, it will have a special prize. Winner will get a "Thank you for making my fan club better" phone call from da man himself, Ed Wasser. And if we end up merging two ideas together we will consider it a tie and have Ed call two winners.
Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contrary to the rumors you may hear, we are not on the lam from the law. You can contact us. To subscribe, email to email@example.com. Conversely, when you have had enough, firstname.lastname@example.org will do the trick. If you want to contribute anything, we will most likely print it, assuming it pertains to Ed, Morden, Shadows, B5 (i.e. doesn't ramble on about the "incredible, edible, egg".). Email to email@example.com. Letters to Ed are also welcome, and they are all read and answered by him. Ed's email is, you guessed it, firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a web page for us at: http://www.wasser.com. Contest submissions are sent to email@example.com.
|Volume IV, Issue 1|