Actor/Musician

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Where To Look For Me in Spy Kids 4

Spy Kids 4 opens this weekend and there are several places you may see me!

You will almost certainly see me towards the end grabbing Jeremy Piven by his right arm and dragging him off.
You will very likely see me in a laboratory trying to control a guy in an anti-gravity suit as spy kids get chased around me.
You may see me as an OSS Agent “frozen” in a hallway, pushing a cart and talking to a fellow female agent.
You will possibly see me selling ice cream way in the background of a park but I will be far away, tiny and probably out of focus.
And you will almost certainly see me but never know it’s me as one of two guys in silver Hazmat suits around a crater (probably with a fogged up visor).

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Oh, Yeah, Some Videos

So anyone on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ has seen these posted already. I have, however, completely neglected to post them here on my own website. Apparently I have hardly posted any of them here, your best bet is just going to my youtube channel and checking them all out there including my uploads and my favorites (videos I was in uploaded by other people). A few recent highlights:

Insomnia (The Birth of a New Song)

The other day I walked to Torchy’s Tacos for some lunch. On the way home, a song just suddenly came to me out of nowhere. I just started singing the first line and almost immediately had a pretty full idea of where the song was going. It’s like it was just suddenly channeling through me, pouring out of me. I knew that it had at least a dash of inspiration from a Sheryl Crow song, and Elvis Costello song, Muse’s version of “Feelin’ Good” and a Butch Walker song that had come on my iPhone “shuffle” 2 or 3 times in the last week called “Pretty Melody”. While it was nothing like the song rapidly birthing itself from my mind, I remember noting the quality of the vocals and that I really liked how they sounded raspy and kind of “tired” like he’d just woken up. I think another ingredient was that I’d been playing “L.A. Noire” on the Xbox 360, an atmospheric detective story set in the 1940’s. A few scenes took place in a jazzy club complete with a sultry German songstress.

Whatever the ingredients, I was being blessed with an aggressive muse that would not be ignored. About 2 hours later I had completed writing the music and lyrics. I immediately started recording. Keyboards first, then drums, then bass, and lastly guitar. Roughly 10 hours after the first notes and words had come to me from beyond, I had finished recording all the music. The next day, I took care of the vocals. A day or two of intense listening and fine tuning and it was complete. And I loved it. It was absolutely everything I wanted it to be. It said everything I needed it to say. Had exactly the atmosphere, feeling, passion and emotions that I wanted infused into it.

So throw on your best gown or suit, pull the brim of your hat down low, come on into the club and picture a sweaty little trio, traditional in some ways, ahead of their time in others, performing a song called Insomnia.

Waiting For Ms. Elusive (An Old New Song)

Just realized that in this age of Twitter and Facebook, I’ve been neglecting my own site and never even wrote about releasing “Waiting For Ms. Elusive”.

This song began at a gig with The Rock-A-Fellas at the Lakeside Icehouse. We were all ready to play “Hotel California” by The Eagles, but Donnie Wilson was having technical issues. So I just started improvising. Singing things like “Waiting for Mr. Wilson, to figure out what’s going wrong, waiting for Mr. Wilson, so we can all play our next song”, etc. Afterward, several people commented that they really liked it and I myself had thought it was a great basis for a real song.

On the 2 hour drive home that night I wrote the first verse in the car. I knew that I didn’t want to keep it about “Mr. Wilson” for several reasons, one being King’s X already has a song called “Mr. Wilson”. So I toyed with a few different variations, “Lucy Lusive”, “Lucy Elusive” but in the end decided “Ms. Elusive” fit the best. It wasn’t until some months later when inspiration found me again and I finished writing and recording it. I kept faithful to its origin by using my 12-string acoustic sound in my Variax, capoed on the 7th fret, just like Hotel California.

And so here is Waiting For Ms. Elusive

Under Construction

I always like to give anyone interested a glimpse behind the scenes into the whole process of creating a song. Like looking at something under construction and wondering what it will be like when it’s completed. So here’s the lyrics and the acoustic guitars and bass tracks that I’ve recorded so far for “Waiting For Ms. Elusive”.

http://www.heathallyn.com/audio/Elusive.mp3

Waiting for Ms. Elusive on the corner of past and time
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to bring me back into my prime
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, I know she comes here for the view
Waiting for Ms. Elusive so I can be elusive too

Rapt within her conversation, overflowing with elation
Then she’s gone, you’re on your own
How you miss the effervescence that you feel when in her presence
Now you know the meaning of alone

Waiting for Ms. Elusive, her voice is music to my ears
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to take me far away from here
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to say the words she can not say
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to be effusive any way

In her eyes you can see another world
But you know there’s no way to travel there
Once you’ve seen it you’ll never be the same
The one you live in just can’t compare

Waiting for Ms. Elusive, though I know that she can’t come
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, to warm my heart, so cold and numb
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, she has to leave you far behind
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, forever living in your mind

Bending laws of time and space, the world stops when I see her face
Her name sits precariously on your lips
How you wish that you could sleep, to dream the secrets that you keep
She’s with you on every imaginary trip

“Work”

Acting. Music. It’s what quenches the fire within me and yet stokes it at the same time. It’s what fills me up, fulfills me, makes me happy. It’s when I feel the most alive and the most “in my element.” It is why I am here. It’s what satiates the hunger. It’s when I shine most brightly as my true self (which is kind of ironic to say about acting). I guess I shouldn’t really call it “work”. It’s my passion. I guess “work” would be anything else I do for money.

Special Valentine’s Day Greetings

I know. The last “Live Imperfect Raw Acoustic” (LIAR? RAIL?LAIR?) video I posted was, like, in the paleolithic era but here’s a new one for Valentine’s day.

And this one has a generic intro so that you can tell your partner (or just someone you like) that I recorded it special just for them.

*I do not guarantee the success of this ruse nor am I responsible for any ramifications

And as a bonus, this unearthed Valentine’s video from Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (beware: profanity and sexual themes).

Epiphanies in Acting

I tweeted earlier “the secret to acting (and one of the hardest things) is to BE interesting and not to TRY to be interesting”. This was as I was sitting on set preparing to shoot a small role as a bartender and trying to find a way to make this small part “interesting” to watch. I needed to quit trying to be interesting.

This brought to mind another example from my own life when I was auditioning for a 3 line role as an FBI agent. I went in and just read my 3 lines as naturally as I could, in character. I didn’t really think I had done anything all that original or spectacular but when I finished my 3 lines, the room erupted in laughter and praise about how great I was. I smiled and thanked them and left, a bit baffled. To me, I just delivered my lines as real and naturally as I could, as the character I had created in my head. I wasn’t trying to be funny or interesting but apparently I just was.

I got the part and the director actually expanded my role and wrote me into several more scenes and into the sequel.

Another story I’ve heard was something about Marlon Brando in a stage production where he was not the focus of the scene. He was just supposed to walk across the stage eating an apple while some other characters were having a conversation. However, there was so much going on inside his head, behind his eyes, that he was utterly captivating and stole everyone’s attention, and the scene, from the main characters.

This is obviously a tough balance to strike (in fact, much of acting is a balancing act…to be prepared, but not too prepared, rehearsed but not too rehearsed). As actors, we all have our own methods and tools and in the end we are acting, pretending but sometimes if you can just inhabit that character as a real person, you will be far more interesting than trying to find some artificial way to make that character interesting.

In the immortal words of a master (Jedi master, that is), “Do or do not, there is no try.”

“My Muse” is up!

I have “finished” my latest song “My Muse”. Give it a listen over on my Musician page. I put “finished” in quotes because I never actually feel finished. I just eventually have to walk away. Hope you enjoy! For the lyrically curious:

I crave your flesh
The sustenance you give me
I don’t know which will be the first to kill me
The starvation or the passion in my veins
As every muscle strains to keep myself together
I don’t know if I’m sleeping or awake
Hoping to finally feel the fever break

You steal my breath when I don’t choose to give it
You give me life, but take my will to live it
Every contour of you burned into my brain
My scars spell your name
The density of our destiny is so great that time is slowed
Nothing escapes, it just implodes.

You’re my muse, you’re a supernova
You’re the most euphoric and addictive drug
You’re in my blood, can’t get enough
You’re my wish, you’re my wounded angel
You’re stalking every shadow in my mind
I feel you everywhere though my eyes are blind

You make me sweat and shake with lustful urges
Lost in you, the undercurrent surges
Abandoned jetsam set adrift and drowning in the sea of my desire
Yet somehow I still burn on a pyre
You comfort me and heal me
But still you stoke the embers in the pit
And now my burning body is the only warmth I get

You’re my muse, you’re a supernova
You’re the most euphoric and addictive drug
You’re in my blood, can’t get enough
You’re my want, you’re the voice inside me
That sings to me in whispers and in screams
Can’t tell the difference between nightmares and dreams

You’re my muse, you’re a supernova
You’re the most euphoric and addictive drug
You’re in my blood, can’t get enough
You’re my void, you’re so ravenous
You can’t fit all of my soul into your mouth
And what you can’t consume, you just spit out

Be free, little song!

Alright. I’ve told myself it’s time to step away from the computer, stop tweaking and call this song “finished”. The lyrics and small disclaimer are in my previous post.

My latest creation from the mad labs at Nosferatunes, “World’s Greatest Ex”.