Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 11 in L.A. (My 1st Call for an Audition)

What am I really? On day 9 my talent agency identified me as Comedian/Host. I later stated in my blog that I’m going to have to start performing stand up. I’ve never really did stand up.  I did a monologue during the opening of each episode of The Motown Maurice show but that’s different.  Ready to take on the any challenge, I knew deep down inside that I’m much funnier doing parody/sketch comedy. Less than 24hrs later my agent called and we confirmed that I am a parody/sketch comedian. Ah, the pleasure of confirmation. 

When I met with them on day 9 they introduced me to a comedian named Lisa. She was very nice and was also excited to meet me. She promised to befriend me on facebook and later that day I received her request. Soon afterward we were chatting and I was sending her links to my work. After she watched the clips she told my agent that she enjoyed them and reaffirmed more of strengths as a parody/sketch comedian. 

I do believe it’s possible to be a successful parody/sketch comedian without being the best at standup. I’ve even heard Will Ferrel say in an interview that he tried standup comedy but it didn’t work out for him and he found his place in sketch comedy. I still plan to check out a few standup comedy clubs and maybe give it a try but I’m glad to know I’m in the right direction. 

After hours and hours of working in front of the computer I decided to finally to get on the phone and make some calls. I have a list recommended referrals I was told to call. While I was still in Tampa a few people told me they know a friend that knows a friend that lives in L.A. and I should give them call. I called a few of them and had one or two decent conversations but nothing significant enough to elevate my endeavors. 

In the middle of one of my conversations I received a call from an 818 number unfamiliar to me. To my surprise it was a call back from an online submission I applied for earlier this week.  They invited me to audition for an improvisational comedy troupe. The person who called was to the point and said I should bring my headshot/resume and block out 90mins for the audition.  While I was talking to him I barely remembered submitting and what exactly I was about to get myself into but I agreed to it. I later got on the internet and looked them up for specific information.

It’s called the L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre and they inspire, train, develop and nurture talent of all ages through the rehearsals and weekly live performances. The website appeared impressive. They have been around since 1977 and they have produced and partnered with or aired on networks like ABC, NBC, FOX, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and much more. Their famous alumni list Will Ferrell, Matthew Perry, Jon Lovitz and others.

As I’m browsing the site, I’m finding interest in what I see. Without a doubt it definitely poses a challenge I’ve never embarked upon. I’ve accomplished a lot of things on stage over the years but I never quite had the opportunity to be a part of an improvisation show. In the matter of one phone call I now have an opportunity to be a part of a troupe. Those that I’ve shared the information with already said I should do it. Indeed I will do it. If I want to be a parody/sketch comedian this is exactly what I need to hone in on my skills.

I know what you’re probably thinking? You must be saying to yourself “I wonder if he’s nervous?” I’m often asked that question and I always answer by saying “I don’t get nervous.” At the same time this is brand new to me and I wish I knew how to prepare of it. Then again it’s improvisation. I guess you can’t really prepare.  
During the brief phone call about the audition, I couldn’t remember if it was a paid gig or not. My research tells me that there is an opportunity to make money. Apparently if I’m selected, the troupe will split 25-35% of the box office (Varies depending on the job). I’m sure that’s not going to be a lot of money nevertheless, I need the experience. 

I must admit money is slowly going to become a concern. Every day, there is a new expense to further career. I’m really going to have to pick up some paying gigs soon. Some people around me suggested I pick up a part-time job. Thank you all for your suggestions but I can’t do it. I haven’t worked for anyone since March of 2004 and I can’t do it again. Honestly, I don’t know how to anymore and I frankly won’t waste the time of the employer. If I’m working to get paid it has to be geared around performance/production. I’m sure it won’t be a problem getting a few smaller gigs like that to pay some bills. I just have to put in the effort. 

11 day’s in L.A. and now I have my first audition on Saturday at 3pm. Everyone don’t get too exciting just yet. I have no clue what the results will be. Positive or negative it’s a learning experience. Do keep me in your thoughts and prayers. 

Looking forward to sharing the results with you soon. 

As the quest continues…

Motown Maurice

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 10 in L.A. (The Motown Maurice Bunch)

Today had one or two interesting moments but I'm going to try my best to keep today's post short and sweet.

Yesterday, I'm mentioned my conversation with my agents inspired a marketing idea.Well, I started working on it and its hot. First, it simply started off as that picture of me at the desk above with some added text to it. The other side looks like the that picture of me on the bottom right had side of this page. Its the picture with me and all the other talk show hosts in the back. When I showed it to my agents they liked it but they said it didn't represent all my personalities and acting abilities. When I'm passing it out it needs to catch the eye of television sitcom producers as well talk show producers. Cythina then started to describe an old show that use to appear on television back in the days. With in a few seconds I said, "your not talking about the Brady Bunch are you?" She said, "yes that's it." Ironically, when I went to the book store on day 9 there was a book about the story of The Brady Bunch that really caught my attention. In a few seconds I received the visual in my head and started working. Please let me know what you think.

Its the way they became The Motown Maurice Bunch.
Its going to one side of a 3x5 ins flier. I'm really excited about it. My agent is also excited about it. 

When my agent Sandy saw it this is how she responded, "Oh Motown,  this is soooooo good!!!!!  There is no end to your talent, and you are a sincere and nice person as well.  We are very fortunate to have you in our "family". My agents are so great. I'm really looking forward to making history with them.

I used Photo Shop CS5 to design it. Photo Shop and I normally never get along. It seems like I'm getting the hang of it again. Please let me know what you think of the flier. I'm going to get it printed from my long time partner Trim Printing in Tampa, FL.
They are going to ship it over as soon as I give them the word.

After I completed my first draft of the flier I went on a ride around town with my friend Moon from FAMU. He called me on day 4 and we just hooked up for the first time day. He familiarized me a very useful place that allows you to rent all kinds of production equipment for a great price. The company had any and everything you can think of. We drove by a few popular production studios, ate Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles and stopped at his office for a few. Check out the sky view from his office setting.

I think I've seen scene on a video before.

There are beautiful mountains in the back.
On day 9 I failed to :mention how I almost accidentally walked into a CBS audition. I told Moon and he said next time "crash the audition" and walk in there like I was suppose to be there. He said when he came to L.A. back in 2002 he did it and plenty of people do it all the time. That's all I needed to know. The next time I randomly walk by an audition and you better believe I'm going to walk in like I'm suppose to be there. 

As the quest continues...

Motown Maurice

Day 9 in L.A. (Comedian/Host - Talk to my Agent)

(Day 9 = Tuesday, September 28, 2010)

Okay, it’s really officially now. Today, I met with First Class Talent Agency again and I officially signed their paperwork. Last week on day 2 was verbal but today the contact got officially signed.

Everything went really well. I arrived a little early and was pleasantly greeted by the receptionist with my first name. As I was waiting for my appointment to start the 2nd agent walked in with a huge smile on her face. Last week I only meet with Cynthia, Sandy couldn’t make it. Today I had the opportunity to meet her partner Sandy. I communicated with both of them while I was in Tampa.

As Sandy approached me she greeted me with a huge hug and said, “I’m so glad you like just like your picture.” Believe me I know what she’s talking about. I’ve seen some head shots that look nothing like the talent. She also said she came in today primarily just to meet me. Identical to when I meet Cynthia, my first minute of interaction with Sandy felt like I was reunited with a lost family member.

The meeting started again with high energy but this time with a very futuristic tone. They suggested we look into finding a manager for me soon. Even better will be a manager that specializes in comedy. The more people on my team the better they said. A manger is a piece of the puzzle that that will help me on my quest. Managers focus on a different but sometimes similar aspect of my career. I liked the idea and agreed to move forward with the research. Later in the conversation they even suggested when something big hits we look into an entertainment attorney.

My financial stability was a topic but Cynthia noted all the support I’m receiving from Tampa. I told them I’m honored by the support and it seemed to have increased seen I arrived here. Sandy, then said, we believe in you so much we’re going to invest in you also.” She offered to purchase some custom made post cards with my pictures on it. The purpose will be used to thank all the casting directors after I audition. The post card is going to be hot. It’s going to have two pictures of me on one side and one on the other. There will be plenty of room for me to write a personalized message. They recognized and praised the way I’ve marketed myself over the years and I believe they want to do the same in L.A.  I love the idea and the gift because it’s a great way to get my face and name visible in this industry. The conversation later inspired a marketing idea of my own. (I’ll share that later if it pulls through.)

As the meeting continued they threw many more ideas at me such as a book I should purchase. This one book in particular lists all the existing television shows and contact information for casting director and producers. The strategy is for me to pick out the show I would like to be on, inform my agent, and they will contact the right person for me. You better believe I found the store and purchased that book right after the meeting.

What show would you like me to be on? I would love to hear your opinion and if it the show fits me I will follow through. Note: Comedy is my focus so please suggest comedy shows.Every time we interact I realize how impressed they are with me. Today, they both told me I’m on the ball and not everyone works as hard. The continued to recommended that I be proactive and never give up. They said L.A. can be a rough and discouraging town but if I keep at it I will succeed.

This meeting also confirms my identification in the industry. This may sound silly but I’ve never really verbally identified myself as a comedian. Over the summer I started writing comedian down on a few new BIO’s but I never verbalized myself as a comedian. I know how to make people laugh and I’ve done a great but doing so for years but I guess I’m now officially a Comedian/Host. Do you know what this means? I’m probably going to soon have to attend and participate in a standup comedy clubs. I know as a fact that I’m a much better at sketch comedy than stand up. I’m not fearful. Maybe a little reluctant but nevertheless, I have to do what I have to do. I’m probably going to reopen my netflex account and start studying some of standup comedy greats again. Who is your favorite comedian?

First Class Talent Agency plans to send a special press release that will include at least four of their signed talents. I’m happy to announce that I am one of the four they will mention. This really revealed how much faith they have in me and all the time the plan to invest. I think I was smiling throughout the entire meeting. Let’s think back for a sec. If I came to L.A. after college, in my early 20’s or mid 20’s I would just be another no body. Who knows if I would have even got an agent then. Now because of everything that I’ve accomplished in Tampa I’m getting some special attention. It seems as though I’m what some might consider a “pet project.”

For the past several years, I’ve been blessed to be around several great attorneys. My current roommate and her friend she introduced me to last weekend and of course my sponsor for life, Attorney Pamela Y. Robinson. After talking with them I had a few questions about the exclusivity of my representation (which was explained and understood well) and the duration of my contact. Originally, my contract was set for two years. For a moment we changed it to one year. Then a moment later Sandy reiterated the reason for two years. 

This is an industry where talents pick up and find other agents often. They plan to invest a lot into me and it would be completely unfair if I left after one year. I don’t have any plans to leave within a year but I can’t even predict where I’ll be after 12 months. All in unison we changed it back to two years again. Shortly afterward we ended the meeting with another historic photo.

Cynthia on the Left and Sandy on the Right.
After all my hard work over the weekend, I still have to work on my resume and reels a little more as I expect. It shouldn’t take too much time. One of new assignments is to purchase some 8x10 head shots of myself. I also have to look into a few comedy troupes, upload more photos on various websites and keep submitting for more work.

I’m hoping to soon be able to completely focus on my acting/comical craft. For now my technical side of my brain is still working strong.

Until the next post…

Motown Maurice

Donation Update

Greetings everyone,

Last Thursday (9/23/10) I received a donation from my long time dear friend Marissa Hammonds on Paypal.

Then on Monday (9/27/10) I received another donation from Alice Beatty post mail. She's a Motown Maurice supporter and former Wide aWoke Wednesday's special guest. 

This has increased my donations from  $1,310.00 to $1,460.00

Thank you both so very very much. 

If you interesting in fueling the vision (as Marissa stated) you may do so now. Click on the button below and make a donation.

Thank you all very much.

One love

Motown Maurice

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 8 in L.A. (It's a process)

God willing, soon I will be able to tell you all about my new gigs but for now I have to prepare. I’ve been in L.A. for a week and one day now and I’m still updating my resume, head shots, hosting/acting reels and profiles on various casting sites. For the average person just getting started, I assume it can take some time to get all that stuff ready. Fortunately for me, most of what I accomplished since 2007 (for the sole purpose of the community at the time) is now directly benefiting this process and fueling my acting/hosting career in L.A.What a blessing.

Today, I completed four acting reels and five hosting reels (and I still have plenty of footage for more). They all are approximately 3 minutes each. I started early Sunday and finally finished today. The are all still drafts. Once I get my agent to approve them, I’m good to go. Check out this rough draft sample for one of my reels.

Its a working process. I have many more to choose from.

On Saturday, my agent selected a final version of the primary head shot I’ll be using for casting opportunities. Photographer Chuck Jackson of Photo Active Photography took this picture of me on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 (4 days before I came to California).

This same day I ended my beard protest by cutting it, trimmed my hair, video interviewed myself and accomplished a handful of other things.

Around 4pm in L.A. I received a package from my mom. It came really fast. She sent it priority mail on Saturday at 2pm (Tampa’s time) and it came in today at 4pm. In the package was an additional pair of shoes and lots of mail. Within a few seconds I began to smile because I received two very important pieces of mail. One was my last working check from Tampa. I completed a training video for a construction company before I left and the other was a promised donation from Alice Beatty. Thank you very much Alice. As for now I’m set to survive through October. This gives me plenty of time to start making some real money by November. Immediately, upon receiving these checks I started to make my way to the bank to deposit them and concurrently make payments towards two credit card bills. I’m trying my best to show to the credit card companies. They did loan me the money that helped bring my visions to life.

As I was leaving the bank I noticed the Hollywood sign. I didn’t know it was viewable near my home.

California is a very mountainous state as you can see.

The rest of the day was spent submitting my profile for work, watching a little television and the 10pm news. According the meteorologist I was a part of record breaking history today. Today was the hottest day in L.A.’s history. The temperature reached a high of 113 degree’s. Wow! I didn’t know my presence would impact this city so soon. I haven’t  even started yet and I have this city sizzling up. 

As the quest continues...

Motown Maurice

Day 7 in L.A. (Self Assessment)

Day 7 = Sunday, September 26, 2010 

Today I spent all day in my pajamas editing a series of my acting and hosting reels. For someone who has only directed and produced their own independent work, I think it’s a good start. I’ll consider posting one for you to view another time. Moreover, since I don’t have anything exciting to write about I figured I should make a personal assessment.    

Today makes a complete week since I arrived and I am certain that I made the right choice. When I was doing my research L.A. is the only place with the most work available. Before I made the choice many people also suggested Atlanta or New, York. Although Atlanta’s entertainment industry is booming more and more it hasn’t sparked my interest yet. New York on the other hand, is a big market but I would have probably lost my mind there. I was born there and I still have family there that still thinks I’m 8 years old. Without a doubt I am confident about being here in California. Plus everyone I meet confirms I’m in the right place.

After years of writing, producing & editing my own work, I’m glad to be in the right place. I feel like I’ve paid my dues to be here. Now I have to pay my dues all over again. It’s a challenge I’m ready for. As each day goes by, somehow life feeds me a tea spoon of humility. Mainly because everyday I’m reading comments about so many people who dream of moving to L.A. Me on the other hand, was pushed to the edge and made a split decision to pick up and go. Within 24hrs of my decision I found a friend who I haven’t communicated with in years and another friend who provided me a super discount plane ticket. I almost made the move seem easy.

3 years ago I never called myself a talk show host nor an entertainer. If you were to ask me I probably would of have answered, “I’m a moderator/social activist.” It’s amazing how I evolved.  It’s even more amazing that my frustrations and burning desire to succeed has brought me here to L.A. Relocating wasn’t my master plan. Yet, I’m here. Some tell me it’s my destiny. I’ve been told that I’m going to be a huge star and I’m going to do great things for this world. I’m very humbled by all those comments and prophecies but that has never been my focus. When I evaluate myself further back my main focus was to envision, produce and grow. Simultaneously I want to create jobs, inspire and enhance the lives of others. As I’m writing I’m realizing that I did all that to a degree in Tampa, FL. Unfortunately, until the point where I wasn’t able to anymore. I guess that’s why life brought me to L.A.

So much of what I accomplished in Tampa is now being used to enhance my acting/hosting career. That was never my intent. Even though I don’t know where I’m going to end up I am very humbled by my beginnings. I’m even more humbled for all the people that have helped me throughout the years. My quest represents the dreams of so many people that have helped me over the years. Some of those people are vicariously living their dreams through me. I have no choice but to succeed.

To many it’s clear and evident that I’m moving forward but I’m always asking myself “when will I have a significant growth spurt.” I want to be able to bless so many people it hurts. Although, money doesn’t drive me I need it to bless and create opportunities for others and I’m completely clueless on when I’ll have that financial blessing. For example, I’m praying and working hard to soon be able to bless my roommate in return for supporting for me. I dread the thought of one day being told, “It’s about time you get your own place.” Those worlds haunt my mind.  Not because I don’t want my own place but because I want to soon be able to say, “Hey, I’m moving out this week. Thank you for your support and hospitality. As a token of my appreciation take this. Buy yourself a yacht or something.”

I know we can’t put a time on success or you never know when that growth spurt is coming but it doesn’t hurt to think about it from time to time.

More than anything, I am very thankful for the ability to grow again.

My plans for now is to make this upcoming week more successful than the last.  

As the quest continues…

Motown Maurice

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 6 in L.A. (Its Party Time)

On day 2 I was complaining that I couldn't find my dress shoes and I had to attend my meeting with sneakers... Can you believe I found my shoes this morning. It was practically hidden in a particular compartment of my suitcase. I know. Terrible... Well, they certainly came in handy for today and they will be appropriate for my 2nd meeting with my agent this Tuesday.

Today I decided to add an old but new feature to my look. I've always owned sunglasses but I never really wore them in Florida. Now that I'm walking a lot more and the sun has more access to my eyes than ever before I think its a perfect time to be consistent with wearing my shades. Besides that, I look kind of hot in them. Check me out below I'm loving it. 

Motown Maurice: I think the shades go well with the high top. What do you think?

Today my roommate and I was suppose to attend a networking mixer but for some reason the event was canceled.  After debating on where to go next we decided to take a tour through Santa Monica.On the way there I noticed a place some of you might be familiar with by name. 

The Staples Center. Home of the Los Angeles Lakers. Did I mention how close I live to everything?

Santa Monica was beautiful. To my Tampa family its like Ybor city to the 3 power. It's way to detailed too write about so check out this video for your viewing pleasures.

Santa Monica has 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of well-maintained California beach locations and enjoys on average 340 days of sunshine a year plus a nearly constant gentle ocean breeze. Cycling, movie shoots, beach volleyball games, and the finest of people-watching all happen here, and it's no wonder. People love to gather here, partially because it is so pristine.

After taking a walk up and down the strip and vising the mall with went to the Santa Monica Pier. 

The pier contains Pacific Park, a family amusement park with a large Ferris wheel. It also has a carousel from the 1920s, an aquarium, shops, entertainers, an arcade, a trapeze school, a pub, and restaurants. The end of the pier is a popular location for anglers.

On the way out I noticed spider man. I wonder if he knows Batman is on Hollywood Blvd.

After my Santa Monica adventure I attended a RSVP party at the Petersen Automotive Museum. If you love cars then this place would be heaven for you. I'm sure Jay Leno has been here multiple times. Check out me some of their display figures. 

Motown Maurice: Picture taken on September 25th and posted on Nov 6th.

You have to love The Bat-Mobile

A few of the people near by me kept saying that the Petersen Automotive Museum is a great place to have a party. In deed it is.  The celebrities also came out for a visit.
Usher and Bishop Don Magic Juan was two of the biggest celebrities that came out to the party.

Fonzworth Bentley was also in at the party and he performed a few songs.  

As I was entering the party I was text-ing a friend back in Tampa and she couldn't believe I was going to a party. I generally don't party much at all. Those close to me know that I'm a home body unless its business related. I asked a person with me if he goes out to a lot of events like this. His response was "if your in the entertainment business your going to have to be on the scene." Truthfully that does make sense. Back in 2004 -2007 I was on the networking scene in Tampa quite a bit but I slowed down when I started producing shows. More than likely I'm going to have to adjust and try to attend as much events as possible. Parties are now business related for me.

Now I know what some of you might be thinking. "Why I'm not in any pictures with celebrities." I'm out here for one reason only and that's to gain nationally exposure in the entertainment industry and make a presence in the late night talk show arena. I've had a hand full of celebrity interaction in the past and I have pictures with some of them. Would I have liked a picture with Usher and Bishop? Sure... However, I would prefer to take a picture with them after I interview them on my own show first.

In the mean while I'm going to maintain a sense of professionalism that doesn't present me as a groupie. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being a groupie. I love my groupies. I just have to be strategic about everything I do. For now I plan to be observant at these events. This will allow people to recognize my face and then I'll soon make my approach.

One odd thing did happen at the party. 3 guys approached me. One asked me if I was a photographer. Please note: I had a semi pocket sized/consumer camera with me and I wasn't even taking any pictures when they came up to me. The little camera was hanging off of my shoulder. Its no where close to my professional photo camera back in Tampa. I told him in Florida I'm a photographer but in L.A. I'm here for entertainment. Between our conversation there was a short pause then I told him a little more about myself. I gave him my card/bookmark and he told me that he was in the management business. He also said "Motown Maurice,... that's a good name. I'll check you out."

That whole scenario is weird to me. On day 2 my roommate was telling me I want to start looking into finding a manager soon and 4 days later this random guy approaches me. There is no need to be overly excited for no reason but the encounter was weird, odd and cool at the same time.

As the quest continues...

Motown Maurice

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 5 in L.A. (Walking with the Stars)

Unfortunately, I have to start this blog with some bad news. I’m going to have to disappoint my new found fans who enjoyed my exquisite vocal display yesterday. For those of you who have your fingers crossed and are looking forward to seeing me on American Idol next season. I’m sorry to inform you but I found out today that I am not eligible because I exceed the age limit this year. The requirements say you have to be 15-28 years old. Oh’s their lost. Nonetheless, the audition boosted my confidence for singing. I'm now inspired to lift some vocal weights from time to time to keep it going. Hey, it could be my second calling. 

Now, before I move on with the rest of my day I have a special request. I know we all love face book. Many of you read my blog and post comments on face book afterward. I appreciate the comments but I would prefer you put the comments here, below each blog. Your comments on face book will eventually disappear but on the blog they will stay forever.  So please make most of your comments here. Thank you.

After a few hours of putting in work on the internet of course I decided to go for a joy ride. I tried to be Mr. Save a Little Money and walk to my first destination but that didn’t last long. Soon enough I jumped on the bus and found the Metro PCS corporate store. (When I found out Metro PCS was located in Cali I knew there was definitely no stopping me now.) Metro PCS is everywhere out here. I’m having minor phone problems again so I had to order a replacement. You can’t go wrong with a new phone at no cost. 

After that I decided to visit this so called Hollywood walk of fame everyone talks about. When my bus dropped me off at the Wilshire/Vermont train station I noticed a visual transformation. It seems as though its fresh market time on Friday's tere. There was all kinds of vendors selling mostly fruits. I love me some fruits so I’ll definitely be back.

Once on the train I noticed the map shows multiple Hollywood stops such as Hollywood/Vine, Hollywood Highland, North Hollywood… Uncertain about which stop to exit I asked a couple next to me and the young lady recommended Hollywood Highland because they were also getting off there for the same reason. That stop landed me right on the center of Hollywood Blvd. It’s an instant heaven for any tourist. There are sights to see everywhere. I captured a few pictures for your viewing pleasures but what attracted me the most was the talk show related eye candies.

Jimmy Kimmel one of my soon to be late night competitors. He tapes his live recordings here.

Kodak Theatre is the crown jewel of the Hollywood & Highland Center retail, dining and entertainment complex located in the heart of historic Hollywood. The 3,332 seat theatre opened in November 2001 and soon thereafter became known to more than one billion people across the globe as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards. 
The El Capitan Theatre debuted on May 3, 1926, as "Hollywood's First Home of Spoken Drama." That evening, limousines pulled up before the theatre's elaborate cast-concrete Spanish Colonial exterior.  
This is one of the many tour buses I've seen out there. Watch out Ellen I might just take your day time spot.
The Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is the most famous movie theatre in the world. Millions of visitors flock here each year, most of them drawn by its legendary forecourt with its footprints of the stars. Yet the Chinese Theatre is also a fine place to see a movie in its own right, a spectacular movie palace with a unique history.
As you might expect, the new Guinness museum is devoted to the same kind of world records that you would find in the famous Guinness Book of World Records - from the world's heaviest man, to the world's largest apple. Its displays include records set in sporting, eating, architecture, the animal kingdom... you name it.

Batman even was there. By the time I put my camera down to approach him he was gone. I think we was the real Batman.
                       As you would expect here is a huge statue of Shrek so you can take a picture with.

Keep in mind as I'm viewing all of these great attractions below my feet are Hollywood stars. In other words I"m on the Hollywood walk of fame. Every other foot step I'm landing on new star such as John Ritter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, LeVar Burton and much more. It was cool to see the stars but none of them really excited me until I saw my 3 idols. I grew up particularly worshiping these guys. I couldn't believe my eyes. 

When I saw WOODY WOODPECKER'S star. I literally fell weak to my knees in amazement. This guy is my hero.
My heart skipped 6 beats after I saw BIG BIRD'S star. BIG BIRD is one of the few people in the world that understands me. If it wasn't for BIG BIRD I probably would be living a life a crime right now. Either that or I would be in jail.
When I saw this star I stopped breathing for about 30 minutes. There are no words in the English dictionary that can describe my connection with KERMIT THE FROG. Its like our destiny's are somewhat tied together. Sometimes I feel like we are the same person. He has been through so much but he keeps pushing no matter what. Just like me. Whenever I feel down and out I think about KERMIT and that always cheers me up. I would cut a piece of my high top fade just for the opportunity to meet KERMIT THE FROG. I love this guy. 

As I continued to walk I was looking long and hard for real a celebrity because everyone back in Tampa have been asking have I seen any yet. Just when I was about to give up I saw Samuel L. Jackson and he allowed me to take a picture with him.

Although I am thankful he allowed me to take a picture with him. I was awfully disappointed. He was more interested in looking into my camera than holding a conversation with me. I hate to be judgmental but he was kind of stuck up. I assumed he was a cool guy but he was rather stiff. I promise this will be the last time I take a picture with this phony guy. (Motown Maurice & Samuel Jackson)

After my first 15 minutes or so, I saw enough and was ready to go. I'm really not much for sight seeing. I prefer to be back at the headquarters (home) where I can make history happen. The next time I'll be back will most likely be by invitation. 

As I was leaving I couldn't help but wonder...

Hey... You never know. (Motown Maurice Hollywood Star)
As the quest continues...

Motown Maurice

Day 4 in L.A. (You are not alone)

Day 4 = Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 4 is dedicated to all my love ones in Tampa who feels like I left them alone.

Since 2007 I have been in approximately 45 different photo sessions. To be exact that's 45 different sets of clothing. I won't begin to count all the poses. I started gathering my favorites of each batch on Wednesday and ended the process today. I still have many more to eliminate and send to my agent to approve. So much work, such little time.

I have to give a special shout out to my long time friend Marissa Hammonds. We met my junior year high school. Before we were friends she was an unknown stalker of mine. Those ever very frightening days. By the time she revealed herself we have been great friends since. She shocked me today with a very generous donation. She noted her purpose was: "To Help Fuel The Vision." Rissa thank you very much, you are the best. I had a few tear drops fall when I received it (Love, Peace & Hair Grease).

Since I started my business I’ve had a handful of high school friends who have either supported my endeavors and/or patronized my business. Whenever that happens I can’t help but feel great inside. In so many cases high school friends don’t take their former classmates seriously because they may not remember them as a mature person. Based on the support I’ve received I don’t think that was the case for me. If not that, its probably because I attended the best high school in Hillsborough county. Leto High School to be exact. Go Falcons! 

It seems as though the word is getting out in California that Motown Maurice in town. I received two phone calls from people who lives in California and know I"m here. One person in particular I never met called me March of this year. It was a random phone call from a young man named Julian Turner aka DJ Blenz. He seen my youtube interview with Michael Eric Dyson and was inspired by it, looked up my number and simply called. We talked for a while and he asked me for advice and shared his vision with me. 

I must admit around that time he called it was very hard for me focus completely on him because I was in the middle of the first season of The Motown Maurice Show. I did manage to share what I could. He did appreciate my advice and we emailed each other a few times. Furthermore, he got word that I was in California and gave me a call. I’m sure he told me before that he lives in Cali but I was completely clueless of the fact until he called. Now he has a radio show and wants to interview me. He has also made a lot of connections since we last spoke that is willing to share. That’s stupendous and I’m looking to connecting with him on day 5 or so.  

The other call was from a fellow FAMU Rattler. His name is Irwin Moon Miller. He was been a mentor of mine in video production when I started my business back in Tallahassee. He didn’t waste anytime to relocate to L.A. back in 2002. He’s deep in video production out here. He connected me with is wife Tene’ and she told me how to get in contact with FAMU’s L.A. alumni association chapter. I joined their yahoo group and now I’m waiting on the response. That’s going to be a good connect. Go Rattlers! 

The vast majority of my day was typically spent in front of a computer. I did leave the house once to pay a bill and casually walked up and down a few new streets. Not much special with that. The website my agent recommended started to send me multiple listings for work. That's cool but its nothing I was looking forward to writing about. My day seemed pretty typical until I noticed this particular email I received was taunting me. I left it alone for a few hours but for some reason it managed to find away to taunt me again. From that point I couldn’t help myself. I figured what do I have to lose. The truth is I have nothing to lose, only gain. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider auditioning for American Idol but I did today. The email I received was for a limited online opportunity to submit a video to be part of American Idol. 

Now let’s get one thing straight. I don't claim myself to be a signer. Don’t get me wrong with the right song I can blow every now and then in  the shower but I don't list singing as one of my best qualities. Nevertheless, I auditioned online. National exposure is my priority now so why not. When I get the exposure everything will come around full circle as I said before. For your entertainment pleasures I have attached a 2nd camera angle of the video I submitted. This song is dedicated everyone in Tampa missing me right now. Please enjoy.
Hey you never know. Let me know if you think I have a chance on American Idol.

Until the next post.

Motown Maurice

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 3 in L.A.

Let me begin by saying if you're reluctant about making a big move to another state. Just  make sure there is a Wal-Mart near by and I promise you'll feel right at home.

Day 3 began shortly after I finished writing about day 2. It was very early in the morning. I noticed a posting for a reality show seeking people. According to the post the reality show was set to feature unknown/unfamous people with talent. They encouraged anyone who thinks they have talent to audition to be on this show. I will admit I'm not big on reality shows but it doesn't hurt to try. Its not the first time I applied for a reality show and I've received no responses on them yet. They probably don't know what to do with an ambitious, high top wearing, black male who has aspirations to be a late night talk show host. That's unheard of.

Following replying to that post, I went to sleep, woke up early again and started replying to my emails. Then I received another request from someone to set up a paypal account for donations. I've actually had a paypal account for many years but I just didn't bother using it much. That email finally convinced me to start it up again. Planet Ego already agreed to accept donations and I figured marketing from more than one location would improve the chances.

I got into my account easier than I thought and realized I had about $45.00 in there since 2008. I was shocked. If I had to guess I would of thought maybe $20.00 because I don't recall ever transferring over money. Moreover, $45.00 was a big surprise for me and a great way to start the day. Within a few minutes I tested the link and now donations are ready to go.

Click here for more donation information. 

As for those who already sent me a donation, I'm in great appreciation for you. God bless you. I honestly didn't expect so many people willing to give. Thank you very much.

After the donation link was created I found another posting in need of a host that loves helping others. I thought the description matched me in many ways. Here are some examples of what they are looking for in a host:

Do you love helping other people with their problems? 

Has the school of hard knocks qualified you as the ultimate advice giver - even if you don't have a degree. 

Do you believe that life experience is just as good as a professional degree in wanting to help others with their problems?
Maybe you're a life author who has written a self help book......a blogger.......started a support group, etc. etc. etc.

Focusing on real people helping real people is looking for a show host who is warm, nurturing and passionate about using their own life experience to help others. 

We are not looking for anyone with a psychology, MFCC, etc. degree.

I find postings like these all the time. I particularly have what they need prepacked. Head shots, BIO, reel and sometimes resumes. Every now and then I have to update my BIO but it never takes too long. I'll keep you posted if I get a response.

My day took its most exciting turning point when I roommate asked me if I wanted to take a ride to Wal-Mart. When I arrived I knew I wasn't too far from home (lol). We ended up going to two different Wal-Marts but the first one was the most unusual to me. It was directly connected to a mall, with two floors and a escalator. I was wondering how in the world do you bring your shopping cart up the escalator. I later found out there is a special escalator just for shopping carts. Sorry, I forgot to bring my camera with me this time. That Wal-Mart didn't have what we wanted so we went to another. That's where I picked up some items to munch on. Like tuna fish, crackers, water, cup of noddles... I know. I feel like I'm a college student again. This is a enormous switch from picking up a week’s worth of full course meals from my mom on Mondays. I wonder how much it would cost for my mom to Fedex it to me. 

There rest of my day was spent in front of the computer replying to emails and preparing for my main task. I’ve always made it my duty to reply back to every business/personal email sent to me. Sometimes right way and other times within a few days or weeks but I always respond. There are pros and cons to that but who knows how long that is going to last if my life continues to advance.

When I finally got all my emails up to date I geared focus on all the pictures my agent asked me for. Since I created Wide aWoke Wednesday’s back in 2007 I accumulated a lot of pictures of myself. I mean a lot of pictures. My agent said some head shots can last for 3 years if your not changing your style often. Knowing that I started pulling pictures from exactly 3 years ago. Although, I haven’t changed too much in most of my 2007 pictures, I’m not wearing my signature goatee, I may not be able to use them but here are a few of my favorite pictures from 2007.  Janesther Fleurino, my on call employee at the time and good friend assisted me with these photos at a studio owned by Tony Gil. 
I've had this suit since 1998 and I'm still rocking it today.

I think I returned this attire to Burlington Coat Factor the next day. 

You say you a gangster!? 
The photo below was taken in 2008. I think I cut my goatee one more time in 2008 and decided to never do that again. All of these photos need a little photo shop. I'll apply it later.
Clothing provided by Attitude Plus Men's Clothing. My clothing sponsor for 2008-2009.

Don't worry my photos from 2009 and 2010 are much better. I'll consider posting some of those later. To all my readers I'm sorry day 3 isn't as exciting as day 2 but believe it or not the less exciting days are somethings the most important days. I have a lot of material to prepare for my agent. Once I get all of this done I'll be eligible to audition for open casting calls. So stay tuned ,there are much more exciting days ahead. If push come to shove I'll take a trip to the Hollywood walk of fame soon and take some photos for your viewing pleasures. If you all have a special request please let me know and I'll attempt to go there and take some pictures. I need the challenge. I haven't met any celebrities yet nor have I been anywhere that I can say the ladies are hot. Thus, I am looking forward to it all.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post.

Motown Maurice

Pay Pal is up and ready

By popular demand my Pal Pay account up and running. Before I left for L.A. I received a total of $1,310.00 in donations from family and friends. I am lost for words with all the love and support. I have to give a a shout to the following people for the donations:

My Loving Mom (aka: Motown's Mom aka: Mrs. Joan)

Pamela Y. Robinson (My sponsor for life)

Crissy Raynor (Close Friend)

Wilnar Paul (Long time friend)

Roslyn Steward (Friend)


Ashia Phillips & Family (Cousins & Auntie)

Much love and thank you very much. This will be your best invest yet.

For future you can now use Pay Pal.

This is the first time I'm using it in years. Please make sure you add your name, phone and email address so I can thank you properly.

Motown Maurice
P.O. Box 272507
Tampa, FL 33688

is still available. The mail will be forwarded to me.

My address in L.A. is only available upon request.

Let me know if you have any problems questions or concerns.

Thank you very much in advance.

Motown Maurice

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 2 in L.A. (Signed & Sealed First Class)

First let’s cut the finish line real quick. I signed with a talent agent today.
“Whoop there it is!” Now let’s bring it back to the starting line so I can elaborately share how the day started. 

My day began early again around 6am again. I started my normal routine until it was time to get ready for my big appointment with the talent agency at 1pm PT. I wanted to give myself at least two hours in advance to arrive at my destination. The night before my roommate showed me how to plan my trip on the transportation website, so I had the directions ready to go. Everything was going well until I couldn’t find my dress shoes. Then I thought about what I wrote in my Departing from Tampa, post “I either over pack or under pack.” Well there you have it; I unbelievably forgot my dress shoes. Here I am wearing a light blue dress shirt, navy blue blazer and black dress pants with black low top Nike's. That’s definitely not what I had in mind for my meeting/interview but I had no other options at the time.  

Wide shot of the entrance to the train
Train entrance.

After I spent a few minutes dusting off the smell of my Nike's I equipped myself with my presentation material, directions, camera and GPS from out my car back in Tampa. As I started my walk I couldn’t help but appreciate the beautiful cool weather. It’s a gentle breeze anyone would fall in love with. According to my directions I was suppose to take a bus to the train station. Since I noticed the train station was so close I decided to walk instead. When I arrived at my destination I was suppose to take   the Metro Red Line (Train). I was thoroughly confused because I couldn’t find the entrance to the train station anywhere. What I should have done was ask someone where the train station was but instead I tried to ride the bus. I attempted to enter two buses but the drivers told me they are not going my way.          
The 2nd driver however, pointed out where the train station was located. When I finally found the entrance to the train station I was shocked. It was discretely hidden between corporate businesses in a mall type complex. Being born in Brooklyn, N.Y I’m accustomed to seeing the entrance of a subway on a street corner not between businesses.
As I entered I couldn’t help but be amazed on how massive the underground infrastructure is. The escalator ride by itself was an eye catching experience. 
Metro Rail Red Line (Union Station Gateway Transit Center)
By the time I got down stairs I noticed the pathway for the train and somehow I unintentionally made it here without paying. Apparently, I was suppose to by a pass and walk in with it. That still seems weird to me because I can’t figure out how anyone would know if you purchased a pass or not. There was no security or employees nearby. I just walked right through. Moreover, the train station was extremely spacious. Within a few minutes I entered the first train that arrived. Before the door closed, someone outside the train screamed out “Is this the Red Line?” I brushed my shoulders and said, “I think so.” The person next to me said “no its not.” Thankfully, he was nice enough to explain to me how to get back to where I stared and find the Red Line.
The train is coming!!
After the smooth train ride I had to take a bus (Metro Rapid) that will take me walking distance away from my destination. Finally after 2 hours, 2 wrongful bus ride attempts and 1 wrong train ride I arrived and noticed the building for my appointment at 12:58. Literally, I knocked on their door at 1:00pm and was exactly on time. Once I walked in the receptionist welcomed me in and notified Cynthia the agent. As soon as she came out she greeted me with a hug and said “I feel like you’re a distance family member.” We have been in contact since late July and since then they have really did their homework on me. She told me she watched all of my parody’s on youtube and I believe her. She was able to quote some of them word for word and tell me her favorite ones. Once I was seated she immediately began to recite my story in detail. She stated numerous times throughout the interview how impressed she is with my accomplishments and loves my work. She read everything she could find about me, follows my blog and genuinely expressed her excitement about my potential. 

With knowledge of my financial situation and awareness of my skills in video production she recommended I try to bring in extra money by editing reels for some of her other talent. I then shared I my semi retirement from video production and my complete focus to be in front of the camera. I also shared how blessed I’ve been to receive a few donations from my supporters to help me survive for a while. When that runs out I plan to at least work as an extra.

My early desires to be in front of the camera begun in college however, after graduating I felt it was necessary to establish my production company first. Deep down inside I knew my return to the front of the camera will come again. Slowly but surely I started to revisit my return with my talk shows in Tampa between 2007 and the first quarter of this year. My relocation to L.A. is my full circle transition and opportunity to hone in on my performance skills in front of the camera. Besides, I’m exhausted from over 10 years of straight editing and video recording (lol).
Once we agreed on my focus I shared my long term vision for my quest. I believe in my heart that everything comes around full circle when you plant seeds. For example, my first desire to have a talk show was while I was in college. After many failed attempts I finally created a show called The Combination that lasted for only one episode fall of 2002. There was so many technical difficulties beyond my control I was discouraged from producing another show. Nevertheless, I held the idea close to my heart and mind for years. Finally, May of 2007 I recreated The Combination as a web-cast talk show. One month later I created a discussion forum called Wide aWoke Wednesday’s. After a year Wide aWoke evolved into a live interactive talk show and inspired the creation of The Motown Maurice Show which launched January of this year.

Hosting my own late night talk show is my ultimate goal but I’m in no rush to return as a late night host just yet. As famous as I am in Tampa, FL I don’t have any national exposure yet. My vision is to begin commercial, television and film projects that will help me expose my brand nationally. After a few years of national work I will return as a stronger national late night talk show host. After sharing my vision with Cynthia, she thoroughly agreed and we began to go to work. First we went over a list of needed photographs and video demos. Then she popped the big question. She asked me if I want to sign with First Class Talent Agency. With a smile and over extended answer I said “yes.”

The summer of 2009 I started my first attempts toward finding an agent and I basically wasted my money on postage. During the late stages of my 5 month hiatus I started again until I finally received a response from First Class Talent Agency. They sent out a posting on Craigs List in July and stated they are a brand new agency looking for new talent. Just from the Craigs List posting they received over a 1,000 replies. They interviewed 150 and now they have about 80 clients and I’m proud to say I am one of them. Cynthia told me booking an agency on my 2nd day in L.A. is pretty good based on how hard it is to find an agent these days. Many agencies or closing down and others are not able to find enough work for their rosters. I felt special. As a matter of fact Cynthia told me I was special a couple times throughout the meeting and she also said many people will open doors for me.

During the rest of the meeting she spent time working my profile, issuing contracts and explaining the procedures between the agency and the talent. One of the most memorable moments of the meeting was when she was trying to describe my hair type on a website. She said “why isn’t there an other option on here for hair type.” I came to the meeting open minded about the chances that I may need to cut my hair style but she said many times how much she loves my hair. That’s inspiring because believe it or not I’m sometimes bipolar about my hair (My hair has a story of its own. I’ll share that in future post or my book one day). The meeting lasted for an hour and a half and we concluded shaking hands in a historical photograph.

Cynthia signs Motown Maurice with First Class Talent Agency.
My current assignment is to gather up select profile pictures of myself, update my resume and register my profiles on two websites. I told Cynthia I will have everything in order before the end of the week. She replied and said, “I know you will.”As great as all of this is I’m not ready to celebrate yet. There is much work to be done. When I left I found a pizza place and purchased two unexpectedly huge slices. While I was there I had an interesting conversation with the server. He’s in California to pursue his passion for acting but somehow lost track after awhile. He stressed how competitive the market is and how important it is to create and find work for yourself. He also said since the writers strike its been hard to find work even if you have an agent. I still have to be proactive agent or not. Agencies are a plus but they are are looking for clients that are self sufficient and are eager to find work for themselves. I’m far from content but I’m happy to know I’m moving forward. If I came to L.A. anytime before now I’m sure the results wouldn’t be as progressive.
On the way back home I noticed the train station was right by Universal attractions.

I guess it makes sense why the station was called Universal City Station. Next to door I also noticed a very tall NBC Universal building.
I started to walk in to let them know Motown Maurice is in town but I have a feeling they will be calling me in due time.  

Day 3 in L.A. has a lot to live up to. As for now the plans are to focus on providing all the requested information to my agent. Thank you all for reading my blog and sharing your comments. Since I began my quest I realized that many people are bi-curiously living their dreams through me. Knowing that motivates me even more. Don’t worry, I won’t let you down. Thank you very much for the comments and please keep them coming.

Until the next post

Motown Maurice

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