Posts Tagged ‘Nash’

Nash’s Dream Day

November 20, 2012

I think Saturday night had to be Nash’s dream day. We headed into the city for dinner with my parents and Aunt and Uncle. My parents are up for Thanksgiving, but will be staying out in New Jersey. Hey, no one wants to live in Queens or come out here. We had dinner in my old neighborhood on 49th street at City Lobster. We met early as my parents and Aunt and Uncle were going to Broadway shows. Yes, eating dinner at 530 for me felt like an early bird special. Do they even still have those, or have them in NYC? 530 however, is 30 minutes before the Nash eats dinner every night, so we took his dinner with us, and he got to eat at the restaurant. I was very impressed with City Lobster and how friendly they were to Nash and me. Yes, this kind of thing shouldn’t surprise me, but hey every time we go to a new place, I still have to wonder if Nash and I are going to get hassled, as it does happen more than it should. Nash was very excited to see everyone, and at the dinner table, kept popping his head up to see what was going on. He must have wanted to be included in the conversation, or at least let everyone know, hey, I’m down here.

After dinner we all walked over to 8th Ave and said our goodbyes. Even though we were a few blocks from my old apartment, I definitely think Nash knew it. We headed up towards my old building, and of course as soon as we crossed 52nd street, Nash made a bee line to the door of my old building. I told him sorry buddy, we don’t live here anymore. Not to worry though Nash, just because we don’t live here anymore doesn’t mean we still can’t go to your old bathroom spot! So we headed around the corner, and of course Nash didn’t head to the corner, he made the right turn onto 53rd street and headed directly to his old spot. Even though he went to the bathroom at dinner, he saved enough to do number one and two at his old spot. He was a very happy guy.

After saying hello to his old spot, we headed up to the old neighborhood hangout, Matt’s Grill. As soon as we walked through the door, we were greeted by our favorite bartender John. It’s so nice not to be forgotten. We sat down at the bar, and of course John came around to say hello to Nash. Wow, Nash you are getting to see everyone today. A little later, my buddy Damon showed up, and Nash was excited again to see an old friend. Nash was very happy to be back at Matt’s Grill, and there was still one surprise left for him. A little later, the woman who nicknamed Nash Fluffy Face stopped by to say hello. Nash had not seen her in awhile, but again, dogs must never forget, as the tail started wagging right away. With all these friendly faces, Nash must have thought it was his birthday. Since it wasn’t, it had to be Nash’s dream day!

2010 A Recap What A Year

January 2, 2011

2011 has gotten off to a slow start, ok so it has only been a day and a half, but 2011 will have a lot to live up to, as 2010 was a great year, and I was sorry to see it go. 2010 was such an interesting and good year, that I felt a little reflection was due. Isn’t it ironic, no, I’m not quoting that Alannis Morissette song, but I do find it ironic that 2010 was such a good year, and it was my first full year with a certain furry four legged side kick named Nash. And for my regular readers, you will be happy to know that I have renamed my bed Nashville, as that is where Nash spends most of his time. And now, a look back

In January Nash and I headed out so San Diego. It had been years since I had been to San Diego, and Nash had never been there. We headed there to film a short film, VisionZone – You’re Not Alone Anymore. I had not acted in about a decade, and unfortunately for Nash, I was playing a character that had more vision that I really do, so no screen time for the Nash. I quickly learned that I was a second take or even thrid take actor, as it would normally take me a few takes to get the scene right and where I was happy with it. We had a blast making the film, and the Director Drew Antzis was a blast to work with along with the entire crew. I really enjoyed getting to act again, and quickly recalled how difficult a craft acting really is. I still wouldn’t call myself an actor, but I hope to get to do some more in the future. Come on Hollyweird, write more blind character’s and request that a real blind person play those character’s. After filming Visionzone, Andre Hardy, Kelly Stewart, and I headed up to L.A. to meet with the Melrose Improv to begin discussing Laugh For Sight expanding to L.A. in potentially November. Yes, it took 11 months to make it all happen. These things don’t happen over night. Nash and I ended up staying a few more days in L.A. at my friend Steve’s pad in Hollywood, and Nash got to meet his Uncle Steve and his Uncle Scott. Who knew that Nash would get to spend so much time with his Uncle’s in 2010!

February brought us birthday month, as mine is the 2nd, my Mom’s is the sixth, my good friend Greg is the 14th, and my Dad’s is the 24th. Thank God we are not big gift givers, or I would have been broke for the year. My cousins and sister wanted to take me out for dinner out where my sister lives in Livingston, NJ. So Nash and I began the fun trek, meeting my cousin Erica at Penn Station, then getting on a bus to meet my cousin Jessica at her boyfriend Matt’s apartment in Jersey City, as he was lending us his car to head down to my sister’s. As soon as I heard Matt giving Erica all the instructions on what she needed to do to get his car to run, I said, “are you shitting me, this thing is a death trap.” Not to self, in the future, keep your mouth shut. We made it about ten miles on the Jersey Turnpike, and then of course the car died. So I ended up getting to spend my birthday in ten degree weather broken down on the Jersey Turnpike. Hey girls, if you want to take me out for dinner for my birthday in 2011, I have plans.

In March, we headed down to Florida to see the parents in Lake Worth, as it had been a few years since I had been down there, and Nash had never been to Florida. Nash really loved being at his Grandparents house, as he normally does not have that much space to roam around. He was really good, not going into rooms that he wasn’t supposed to. I also think he really enjoyed having the option to do his business on the pavement or in grass. A pooch has to have options. Nash met a bunch of my parents friends and friends that I grew up with, and of course he was a big hit, and while we were doing a show at the New York Comedy Club in Boca Raton, we ran into the PR Manager for The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, and we began discussuing a Laugh For Sight South Beach. From Florida, we headed back to San Diego for the Premiere of VisionZone. Optelec put on a great big party for the release of the film, and of course Nash and I were the center of attention. Hey, one of us was the star of the film. My buddy Scott came down to San Diego for the premiere, and after a night of fun, we headed back up to L.A. Nash was excited to be back at his Uncle Steve’s. As Steve has a ten foot sofa that he lets Nash sleep on. We were in L.A. for a few days and some shows, and we had to head back to San Diego to meet with the Optelec team to discuss their involvement with the future of Laugh For Sight and the expansion to L.A. We had a real nice dinner, and I got some shrimp tacos which I due love, and we were now on our way to Laugh For Sight L.A. actually happening. Afer San Diego we headed back to L.A. for a few more shows. Wow this was a busy month, I couldn’t imagine the year getting any busier than this!

April was a month spent in NYC and beginning to plan for Laugh For Sight 5 to again be held at Gotham Comedy Club, but this year, it would be in September to allow for the expansion to L.A. in November. We set Laugh For Sight 5 for Sept. 20th and tentatively set LFS L.A. for Nov. 9th, We really had a lot on our plate, having to produce two Laugh For Sight benefits. It should be an interesting summer.

In mid-May we got a most interesting phone call. I was being asked had I ever heard of a TV Show, Top Gear? No, I hadn’t. They then explained the show and told me they were working on a project where they wanted to see if they could teach a blind guy to drive and drift! Sounds interesting, and I was quickly in. So Nash and I were headed back out to L.A. We headed about an hour north of L.A. to a race track, and it was explained to me what they wanted me to do. Uh oh, what did I get myself into. More importantly, what did I get Nash into. My friend and brilliant comedian Adam Ferrara was the host of the new Top Gear USA, and I was introduced to Rutledge Wood, and then finally to Tanner Foust who would have the interesting task of teaching me how to drive a stick and drift. Nash got lucky as he was only in the car while I was learning how to drive stick and was going very slowly around the track. For all the stunts, the burnout, the doughnuts, and emergency brake parking, Nash was a spectator on the side lines. I was fine with almost everything, as it was a blast driving again, and getting to learn how to do things with the Nissan 370z that most people could only dream of. The doughnuts did make me almost throw up, and put a good scare into me, as I had no clue if we were heading straight at something. After my day of driving, it was back to L.A. for Nash and me and to Uncle Steve’s. We spent a few more days in L.A., had some shows, and began laying the ground work for Laugh For Sight L.A. at the Melrose Improv. Uncle Scott also got to enjoy more time with Nash. Wow, L.A. is turning into a second home for Nash and me. We are quite fortunate for Steve to be so gracious letting us stay with him so many times and for weeks at a time. We ended this trip to L.A. with a Memorial Day weekend pool party, where Nash got to swim in a pool for the first time since he was with me. He was in heaven in the pool, and of course the most popular guy at the party. Every woman in a bikini had to pet the Nash and he would return the affection with a lick. Guide Dogs get to have all the fun.

The summer was spent in NYC, and what a brutally hot summer it was. The month’s of June, July, and August were not pleasant for Nash or me. I think 2011 is the year I will have to buy a portable AC, as the AC in my building is a joke, and I can’t go through last summer again. We did get a lot of work done these months, as we finalized Dec. 17th for LFS South Beach at the Ritz-Carlton, and we began booking LFS NYC and L.A. It was during these month’s that we booked Robert Klein to return for his fourth performance at LFS 5 at Gotham on Sept. 20th. We also confirmed Dave Attell, who I went to go talk to in person at the Comedy Cellar, Jim Gaffigan who we got to confirm in late August, John Oliver from The Daily Show, Jessica Kirson, Todd Barry who is now a two time performer at LFS, and after doing a show at Gotham, and seeing the amazing work of Ophira Eisenberg as host, we had to have her. Wow, what a lineup we had put together for Laugh For Sight 5. In August, we also booked our first comedian for the inaugural LFS L.A. at the Melrose Improv, Alonzo Bodden was the first comedian to come on board. In late August, Nash and I headed out to Guiding Eyes For the Blind and spoke to members of the Lions Club to give them some insight to what life with a guide dog is like. Nash enjoyed his time back at Guiding Eyes, got a bath, and I am sure chatted it up with some of the dogs in the kennel to fill them in on all of his adventures and travels.

September came, and Nash and I appeared on NBC’s Saturday Today in New York, Laugh For Sight 5,was then here,  and thanks to the hard work of Lis Perry, Scott Wartham, VisionZone, Mark Farrell, Guiding Eyes For the Blind, and several others, it was a smashing success. Along with the amazing lineup, this year’s silent auction was huge with donations from Comedy Central, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, La Costa Resort, Jummy Fallon Show, Kramer Portraits, The NY Yankees, NY Jets, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, NY Knicks, Philadelphia Flyers, NJ Devils, NJ Nets, Susan Michel Limited, and many more. There was no rest for us after the September 20th benefit past, as we still only had Alonzo on board for the L.A. benefit, and it was only five weeks away! September did end with some good news, as veteran actor and comedian Kevin Pollak and Christopher Titus came on board for LFS L.A. Ok, now we can relax a little in October. Not so fast!

We got a call in early October that I was needed back in L.A. for a day of filming the studio audience portion of our Top Gear segment. This was the now infamous segment of when I am introduced as the first Blind Top Gear Drifting Champion and then Nash had to steal the show by peeing on the top Gear logo. No, it wasn’t planned, and I was mortified at first, but with everyone in hysterics, and the cameras rolling what was I to do? Give Nash a leash correction in front of everyone or join in on the laughter. I choice the second choice, which I thought was the way to go. We were actually filming in Orange Couty, and I got to meet Buzz Aldrin while on set. It was pretty cool when I was introduced to him, and he said, “wait you’re blind and you drove!” Yup, Buzz who has been to the moon then said, “wow, that’s pretty brave!” That has to be hands down one of the greatest coolest compliments I have ever gotten. And as it ended up, meeting Buzz wouldn’t even be the highlight of the day, as when I checked my email, I found out that we had landed Sarah Silverman for the inaugural LFS L.A. Wow, what a day. After a day of filming, we had to fly right back to NYC, as we were giving a speech at Guiding Eyes For the Blind. This time we were speaking to all the amazing puppy raisers, and as an added bonus, Lorraine Chadwick, Nash’s trainer was on hand, so Nash got to spend some time with her which he always enjoys. Nash also got to spend some time with Susan Kroha, his trainer at Guiding Eyes. All in all, a great day for Nash and me. Oh yeah, and Susan gave Nash a bath. The following week, it was off to South Beach for Ability Explosion. I had never really liked South Beach, but had a blast, and the show went very well. Nash and I then headed North to Lake Worth, and some time with my parents. After enjoying a few days there, we headed back out to L.A. and had two weeks to prepare for the inaugural Laugh For Sight L.A. We were back at Nash’s home away from home, Uncle Steve’s. Scott and I were banging the phones very hard, as L.A. is such a different animal than NYC. It was during the end of October and the beginning of November we got the great news that Adam Ferrara, Daryl Wright, and Kevin Nealon were all on board for LFS L.A. We almost had to many amazing comedians for the show. Budd Friedman also agreed to handle a live auction for us. Wow, we accomplished what a lot of people told us we wouldn’t be able to, get comedians to perform at LFS L.A. and pack the house. After the Nov. 9th benefit, I was told by many that this was the biggest and best comedy show L.A. had seen in years. We spent a few more days taking meetings in L.A. after the benefit and began our prep work for LFS South Beach. We had just gotten the amazing news that Jim Breuer would be joining Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos at the inaugural Laugh For Sight South Beach. Wow, what an unbelievable two month’s. We headed back to NYC in mid November and then headed out to NJ to my sister’s for a big family Thanksgiving and my niece Siena’s Birthday Party. Since she loves Elmo, I got her the Elmo chair. It was a fun hectic few days with family, but I couldn’t wait for the Sunday night of Thanksgiving Weekend, as our Top Gear episode was airing. Nash and I watched the show at home, and after receiving several phone calls and emails after friends had seen the show, I quickly learned that I would not be known as the blind comedian who drove on Top Gear, but rather the blind guy whose dog peed on the Top Gear logo! Nash was letting me know who the real star is!

Finally December was here, and Nash and I were back on the road again, this time down to South Florida and to my parents. Uncle Scott flew in from California, as we were getting ready to head out on a Caribbean Cruise for a little r and r. But first, we headed over to Ft. Lauderdale, as Rich Vos who would be performing at Laugh For Sight South Beach was in town doing some shows. We went over to see him to discuss some things, and ended up opening for him at the new National Lampoon’s in Lauderdale. It was a great show, and we had a lot of fun relazing at the parents, and then set out to sea. This would be Nash’s first time out of the country as we went to Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. Unfortunately, we had received some incorrect info, and Nash was only allowed off the ship in Costa Maya. Nash really enjoyed his time at sea, and was of course the most popular guy on the ship. I think 70 percent of the ship had to pet him. It did get a little old at times. It was while we were on the ship that we got some disappointing news that Jim Breuer had to bow out of LFS South Beach due to family reasons. Oh boy, now we had to bang the phones and internet from the cruise ship, and we did run up quite a bill. Not a lot of fun. We still did have a blast at sea, but next time we go on a cruise, we will not have anything coming up the following week or two. We got back in to port and had to run to my parents house as we were doing an interview with CBS 12 Miami to promote Laugh For Sight South Beach. We got lucky as we replaced Jim Breuer with Bret Ernst who was in South Florida from L.A. for the holidays. We then did interviews on NBC’s Today in South Florida, and our other comedians appeared on ABC and radio, and before we knew it, LFS South Beach at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach was here and gone. Whew three Laugh For Sights in a little under three month’s. Now it was finally time to head back to NYC in late December with no plans to go anywhere and a lot to do to see if we can get Laugh For Sight to the next level in 2011. Now you can see why my blogs have been down this year, as it has been go go go. Overall, 2010 was an amazing year. Nash and I had a lot of adventures and travels. We couldn’t have imagined how busy of a year it would have been, so I guess not knowing what 2011 will bring could be a good thing, but it will be very tough for 2011 to top 2010, but who knows!