Sex scenes.

Note: This was originally published on August 2nd of this year. 3 months later, it seems like I should repost because it’s a question I’m getting all the time: “Do you enjoy sex scenes?” I certainly do. 

Quick addendum: Sex scenes do not materialize out of nowhere. On a professional television show you sign a separate waiver before any nudity. The set is “closed” which still leaves 5 – 15 people, but whatever. The idea that actors are bullied into these scenes is preposterous.

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When actors are asked whether or not they like sex scenes, the prevailing answer seems to fall somewhere between “no” and “they’re just sorta awkward”.

Really?

Here’s the how the answer should go: Sex scenes are tremendous. Exceptional even. For starters, people are in various states of undress. That’s neat. Second, you get to smooch another person and then simulate intercourse. For guys, like myself, you get to wear a “cock-sock”, which wallops you right upside the head with a heavy dose of humility. Why? Because it might be the most ridiculous, embarrassing apparatus a human being has ever worn. It’s like the putrid sweater your grandmother insisted you wear for a family holiday, only many thousand times worse. In short (no pun intended), you can’t help but laugh at yourself. (Always important.) Then there’s the broader element of being paid to pretend you’re fornicating. Do you think the gentleman laying fresh pavement in the middle of the summer wants to hear about you fretting over the guy operating the boom mic catching a glimpse of your scrotum? Me thinks not. There may be specific instances where the actor doesn’t totally mesh with their scene partner, but that’s sort of like complaining about the side dish accompanying your 14 ounce Kobe steak. When Hung premieres this fall, people will ask me about sex scenes; I will tell them, what I’m telling you: They couldn’t possibly be more enjoyable.

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Heading east tomorrow morning for the 8th Annual ‘Cuse Road Trip. A road trip to Syracuse sounds peculiar, right? Not so. Road trips – any trips, really – are what you make of them. If you head to Augusta for The Masters with 3 buddies who spend all weekend texting their wives, that’d be awful. The ‘Cuse is a great trip because Tim (co-founder, co-captain, co-conspirator) and I embrace the quirks of Syracuse and meld them into tradition.

5 am – That’s when we leave. That’s when people who are serious about road trips leave.

Bob Evans, Batavia, NY – For the past seven years, Peggy has greeted us at the door and Beth has been our waitress. The food at Bob Evans isn’t so much bad (and it is bad) as it is comical. They don’t have cream, they have creamer. We’re talking meals that are easily enough calories for a long weekends worth of consumption for under eight bucks. AMERICA!

The Econolodge – Our first trip in 2004 was during Homecoming weekend (as is this one) and the only hotel available was the ECO-lodge. Is it in a good part of town? No. Do nefarious things take place in the parking lot? Of course. Are the rooms well-designed? Uh-uh. They’re peculiar. Do they offer free toiletries, muffins, coffee and various breakfast treats. They sure do! And does the owner make an effort to call Tim every year and wish him a Merry Christmas because we’re valued customers? He does. (True story.)

Syracuse Football – They’re 1-6 during our trips, including one year when we saw a basketball game. (The basketball team was heavily favoured, proving, almost irrefutably, that we’re a direct jinx on the universities athletic programs. Maybe we should start supporting water polo just to see if we could cause a near-fatal drowning.) 1-6 is terrible. Last year the team showed signs of life before we rolled in for a Saturday night game. The Carrier Dome (more on it in a minute) was packed and lively. First play of the game, ‘Cuse had a wide-receiver streaking down the sideline. He was open. The quarterback missed him… We knew immediately. (They got destroyed.) This year it’s a Friday night matchup against 15th ranked West Virginia on ESPN. Maybe it’s our year?? Probably not, but maybe.

The Carrier Dome – Oddly located, poorly lit, terrible field turf, $5 beers… It’s heavenly. Tim upped his game big time this year by purchasing season seats in the first row for something like $180 bucks. I find this endlessly entertaining. Pretty sure they come with little cushions. Don’t hate everybody… Don’t hate.

Our Local Bar – Always the same spot. Always the same spot at the bar. Always the same music. Beer and liquor are so inexpensive that Tim and I once had this exchange: Me, What could we get for a sixty dollar tab here? Tim, We’d never survive. Tim is correct.

Once we get to decade mark we’re going to have to introduce some next level shit. Themed Clothing? A third or fourth member? A field pass? We don’t know… Here’s what we do know: The fundamental elements of this trip outlined above will never, ever change. Tradition is what makes a weekend, everything else is secondary.

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Hello. This post was originally published on October 12, 2010. All the things I wrote remain true. Originally, I was going to write a new post about the feelings of familiarity I’ve had for the past several weeks. It’s coming. In the interim… check out this 1,000 word missive from back when I wrote 1,000 word missives. For clarities sake, last night was the 2011 Kings home opener. Our second as season seat holders.

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Does this mean I really, really live here now? Settling in LA has been a process. (Don’t believe me? Kindly peruse the 300,000 words of content on this webblesite.) However you define an arrival to a new place, I think we can all agree that there is a difference between living in a city, and living in a city. I’ll be the first to say: I Love LA. I really do. I love the weather; I love the people; I love watching sports in the morning; I love the tourists that walk along Hollywood Boulevard; I love the enthusiasm for cinema and all facets of entertainment; I love running through the Hollywood Hills and trying to decipher who’s having a party at their house and who’s shooting a porno; I love Dodger Stadium; I love stupid, ridiculous, excessive Hollywood hot-spots; I love the dive bars littered throughout the city with $3 draft and free pour whiskey; I love the WEATHER; I love the stores specifically dedicated to sneakers; I love sneakers; I love the inclusionary nature of Hollywood residents (be who you want to be, as enthusiastically as you want…); I love my friends and the similar nature of our professional / personal goals; I love walking Louis The Dog in Runyon Canyon until he lays on the floor, passes out and starts to twitch. I love it here.

And tonight, I loved the LA Kings Home Opener. My cousin Robbie and I have startling seats four rows off the ice in the middle of the Kings offensive zone for the 1st and 3rd period. These seats cost roughly 1/85th of what the Maple Leafs would charge. The Kings fans are raucous, inappropriate, passionate and, most importantly, ready for a winner. The organization has bent over backwards to placate Rob and I from the moment we hopped on board last May.

Some people will think the Kings seats only represent sports. Not quite. First, this is about family. Our grandfather was on the board of directors for the Maple Leafs during the 1960′s. Both of our fathers have entertained us with stories about Saturday nights at the Gardens when, you know, the Leafs weren’t owned by a monolithic corporation that seems hell-bent on destroying everything good about sports. $19 beer anyone? (There isn’t enough hyperbole, sometimes.) Half a century later, it’s time for two Amell boys to carry on a tradition. Different city, different team, same idea.

And second? Well, if you don’t understand following a team from (arguably) the two best seats in the house, through the ebb and flow of a regular season, into the greatest playoff tournament in professional sports, with a doubling as the teams best player… I don’t know what to tell you. Go Kings.

EDIT: I couldn’t let this post drift away without some leftover game thoughts.

  • , from 8 feet away, on skates, looks like he should have some type of electrical cable sticking out his neck.
  • The Kings offensive zone is directly infront of us for the 1st, 3rd, Overtime and Shootout. So what’d we do in the 2nd period? We went up to the ICM luxury suite for free beer like a couple of assholes. There’s no guarantee that we’ll do this every game. Conversely, there’s not NOT a guarantee.
  • During a fairly stagnant 1st period for the Kings offense, two guys rode the linesmen so hard that he gave our section an eff-you wink. Seriously. What’d they say to garner a reaction? I’ll paraphrase: Shove the puck in your (expletive) ref! / You’re missing a good game… You (expletive)! / This isn’t the NBA, you (expletive)! Can you imagine that sort of chatter in the Air Canada Centre? How quickly would the ushers throw these people out? This digs to a larger point about the juxtaposition between American and Canadian sports fans: Boisterous and passionate seems to be the default position of the former. Before the game, I could barely spot anyone that wasn’t wearing some sort of Kings paraphernalia. (Count me among the minority. I’ve been searching high and low for an old-school Kings hat with no success. Going to find it before Friday. Dammit.) The latter part of this point needs it own bullet…
  • Kings fans are a blue collar group. This seems counterintuitive, I know. After all, the team plays 20 minutes from Hollywood and the . The Lakers dominate the scene in LA, USC / UCLA take care of the football appetite, The Clippers cover masochists and racists and The Dodgers dominate the Hispanic community. The Kings? Well, they’ve got every transplanted Canadian, every film crew member that grew up in the Northeast as a hockey fan and a few Hollywood big-wigs (Jerry Bruckheimer has an on-ice luxury suite, which should be impossible). It all adds up to a formidable hockey crowd. Last night, we were loud. The playoff game last spring against the Canucks was one of the loudest crowds I’ve ever been a part of.
  • Check out this ! Anze Kopitar (23), Brayden Schenn (19), Dustin Brown (25), Wayne Simmonds (22), Drew Doughty (20), Jack Johnson (23) and Jonathan Quick (24).
  • 12 Canadians on the roster not counting Anze Kopitar who in the opener against Vancouver and potted a spectacular goal in the shootout. We’re making him honorary #13.
  • In the process of researching this post, I stumbled on . A thousand times, yes!

  • The Kings emerge from a castle door before the start of each period. The castle door has fake flames on each side of it, with a dash of fake smoke and red-ish floor lighting. It’s entirely ridiculous. Boy, do I enjoy it!
  • Finally… I found some footage of the Kings taking the ice before Game 6 against the Canucks last spring. Robbie and I were there. This sold us.
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Hung: The Home Viewing Party.

For a day that I’ll (probably) never forget, there are very few specifics from Sunday that I actually remember. At 9:30 in the morning there were 6 people in my apartment. By 1:00 pm that number doubled. At 6:30 there were upwards of 20 people, huddled around my television. It looked exactly like the living room of an NBA player right before they’re about to get drafted. Sadly, it was all friends. I would have liked for my Mom to be there with a bedazzled Hung t-shirt on and a huge sign that read, “My Boy’s About To Get NEKKID on TV!!!”, maybe next year. It sounded like an arena when my name played in the opening credits. Then we sat there for 20 minutes. Everyone enjoyed the episode… I enjoyed the episode later that night and the next day. Through my first viewing – and really, there should have been a camera on me – I looked like a guy whose buddy was making him watch his wife’s birth video. (Rigid expression / very little blinking / hand over mouth.) And… it was over. But not before a phenomenal song – a phenomenal song - to close the show. The whole theme of 2011 for me has been work. I exchanged high fives and hugs and kisses with 20-ish people while a song called Work ricocheted around my apartment. Fantastic. Thanks to my friends, thanks to and thanks to everyone who watched. Things are just beginning. (Literally.)

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Wrestlemania VI Redux.

In 1990, the WWF was the biggest thing in my life that I wasn’t related to. This culminated with Wrestlemania VI, when my hero (seriously) Hulk Hogan went up against The Ultimate Warrior. It was at the Skydome. In the days leading up to the big event, I’d wake up at an ungodly hour and bike out to the end of our street to buy a newspaper. (They were covering the event like it was the Superbowl.) Was I actually there? Of course. It was my friend John’s birthday and his father rented a luxury suite. For the next four hours people ate, played games and opened presents. Not me. I sat – by myself – with tunnel vision out towards the ring, clutching a Hulkamania bandana. I cried.

21 years later…

I’ve been waking up early (same); scouring google for reviews (instead of looking for the paper) and feeling a general bonery sensation. There will be plenty of premieres (hopefully), but this is my first time and it’ll probably be over before I even know what happened. (You know… just like…) Thankfully, I’ve learned my seclusionary (not a word) lesson and will be surrounding my television with friends Sunday for the east coast feed. Then it’s off to an official viewing party to watch it again. Then I’m going to The Piano Bar and singing songs. Then I’m going to come home. (And watch it again.) I don’t think there’s a “Hulk losing” element in play unless HBO has CGI’ed Jesse Metcalfe’s head onto my body. We’ll see.

If you’ve ever read or if you’re going to watch. Thanks.

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This Sunday.

Hung airs this Sunday on HBO (and-HBO-Canada-thank-god). I’ve muddled around with the title of this space over the past few months. It’s been Amellywood, I don’t know what to call my blog and probably something else at 3 am for a few minutes before I hastily changed it back. Through the latter half of 2009 until spring of 2010 I composed roughly 200 entries; some angry, some heartfelt and some a little too personal… even for a blog that’s fundamental element is a personalized experience. Since last summer the post-rate has slowed considerably. For a few months, I scrapped it entirely because there wasn’t anything to write about that fell under the original inspiration to start the page. Ultimately I took pride in the number of words and thoughts (and rants) even though most have been made private. (There’s a methodology behind that, mind you. I’m going to string them all together one of these days into something bigger.) There is something to be said for a verbal chronology of your career. Especially when that career arc mixes so fully with your person. As an actor, this wasn’t always true for me, but it is now. To steal a phrase from Stephen Lewis, working at acting feels as right and as good as breathing.

I’m sticking with the original title because I’ll always be in the Prelude. This Sunday you can catch my name in the opening credits of the Sunday night block on HBO. Fucking Sunday Night on HBO. That is everything I’ve written about for 2+ years… and yet, all my thoughts center around wanting something more. The more isn’t monetary. And it certainly isn’t connected to a Q-Rating or Louis The Dog and I appearing in US Weekly. (Though, that would be lovely.) The more revolves around sustaining the sense of calm doing something I love for a living has given to me. Another job is never, ever, guaranteed. So you just keep hustling.

Enjoy the show everybody. (Fucking HBO!)

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Chatty Kathy…

Slight backstory. I had just met Adrian Grenier, who was wearing converse sneakers; and I knew the person interviewing me. Her name is Lindsay and spotting her on a red carpet always makes me happy. We’re not quite at a Johnny Carson / Don Rickles level of comfort, but we’re getting there. (I don’t care if nobody gets that reference.)

 

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Just awesome…

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Auditioning.

There is no way to replicate the feeling you get in an audition room when things are humming along. In the best rooms you get a sense the creative team is watching their vision – singular or shared – come to life; that process validates them, the same way it validates you. And… it’s over. You wait for a decision. It’s sort of like the initial ascent on a roller-coaster. The payoff is supposed to be the first big drop… I always liked the anticipation of the climb better. C’monnnnnnnnnnnn job.

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Late night letters.

12:38 am: A couple weeks ago (maybe) I wrote a post called “angryblog” in which I railed (whined? whimpered?) over the outcome of two separate auditions. Lo and behold, one of these opportunities refuses to die. It won’t go away. It has lasted longer than Cedric Benson’s time in prison. (As does almost everything.) If GMail didn’t categorize your life into fileable conversations with dates and keywords aplenty I’d seriously doubt my ability to land a guess within a fifteen day perimeter of my first audition.

This process is maddening because the project is stylistically different than anything I’ve encountered throughout my career. The auditions are improvised. There are scenarios and directives and other actors and… go. As a result, you can’t prepare. When you can’t prepare it directly effects my ability to lend any weight to the project and the artistic opportunity it might afford me in spite of the fact that I really fucking want to do it. Throw in the elaborate and somewhat exotic aspects of the shoot and I have a difficult time rationalizing its very existence. Bahhhhh.

1:02 am: Bill Simmons doesn’t like Hung. It doesn’t suit him. I knew this when I booked it. (Quickly… Who is Bill Simmons for the uninitiated? Bill is a columnist for ESPN and is now running his own online venture under the ESPN umbrella called Grantland; he’s my favorite sports writer. When you play that game where you invite three people to your ultimate dinner party, he almost always makes the cut.) Essentially, I consume all of Bill’s content. This consumption – over the past 10 years – has probably covered 8 months of my life. Seriously. His columns are gigantic, the podcasts are lengthy and his last book was 700 pages. Up until now, I’ve always “known” Bill from a distance and his opinions haven’t carried any consequence that might directly effect me. (As an aside, he doesn’t like Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones and he spent the majority of today’s podcast lambasting the series finale of Entourage despite a tacit allowance that he’ll miss the show.) Long story long… I’m worried that Bill’s opinion of Hung will negatively impact my ability to enjoy his work.

This is not a humblebrag. If anything, it’s vaguely homoerotic. Let’s just move on.

1:13 am: If you haven’t already guessed, I can’t sleep.

1:14 am: Chad Kultgen has written three books: The Average American Male, The Lie and Men, Women & Children. Please read all three of these books. If you can only read one, I’ll break it down.

Single Guys: The Average American Male. 

Single Girls: The Average American Male. Your ability to extrapolate truth from the narrative is a direct reflection of your interest level in understanding the opposite sex.

Guys & Girls between 20 – 35 who are in a long-term relationship: The Lie.

Everyone else: Men, Women & Children.

Men, Women & Children - his latest – is the best book. The female narrative line from The Lie shouldn’t even be possible since – to the best of my knowledge – Chad doesn’t know how to hypnotize women.

Her response here salary

1:22 am: I met a girl the other day by walking up to her and introducing myself. After the introduction we exchanged cursory information about what each of us did for a living. I didn’t even feel the need to tell her that I was a garbageman (as has become my custom). She’s nice and smart and this totally blows my mind. I’ve been living in Hollywood too long.

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