im not the kind who writes journals on a regular basis _
so this section serves more to remind myself when i do something interesting

Monday, Feburary 21, 05

LUDIVICO SESSIONS - I spend the three day weekend in my studio with Brandon, Chris, and Brad, my new comrads from Ludivco - a rock quartet (if you count me) that is currently in need of a lead singer to become a rock quintet.

It took almost a whole day just to get the drum sound happening, but when we finally got it, it sounded great!

Sunday we finished laying down the rhythm tracks, and Monday we spend doing guitar and bass overdubs.

The band recorded 4 of their songs as references for me and for auditioning lead singers. The material is like Classic Rock meets Modern Rock. My favorite track is called "Velvet Glove" which is turning out very Radiohead. :D
If you are interested in singing with us, email me.


Tuesday, Feburary 1, 05

GRAVITY ALWAYS WINS PRE-RELEASE - Six months after the completion of final mixes for Gravity Always Wins, (Dave Tough's most recent solo project and my first professional co-producing credit), pre-release copies have finally been pressed and sent to my door from Nashville! After a year of hard work on the same songs countless times, it is so satisfying to finally have the finish product. Now other can hear the work we did and enjoy the songs just as much as I have. GAW also gives me a great new piece to have in my portfolio hopefully leading the way to future projects and collaborations. Gravity Always Wins will be available shortly on for purchase. Samples will soon be up on


Sunday, January 30, 05

JOINING A BAND - I have been out of a band for about 3 months now. I find that playing in a band keeps my chops fresh and helps expand my style. So I had been contemplating joining a new one when I found a "Keyboard Player Wanted" flyer on the bulletin board at the local music shop. When I noticed the band had listed "Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and Yes!" as its strongest influences I had to take the number! So today I went to the rehursal and was blown away. These guys are a bunch of really tight musicians with great songwriting. I loved their innovative blend of modern and classic rock and my keyboard stylings fit right in. So now I will be coming to more rehursals and we will be in the process of finding a lead singer. The band is called Ludivico which is a reference from A Clockwork Orange. I will post any future show dates on my website.


Sunday, October 10, 04

SELLING MY BABY - Cars become like family, especially when you have one for 11 years. My dad bought this car new in 93 and I inherited it on my seventeenth birthday in 97. It has been the best car ever. I feel like I just sent a kid off to college. I was lucky to find it a great new home through Ebay. Jamie contacted me early on in the auction and was very interested in the car, so I had him come up to take a test drive. Jamie told he was determined to win the auction. The last moments of the auction were the most exciting. One minute left and the bidding started going crazy. I kept hitting "reload" on the browser and the price kept going up! It went up $500 in the final 45 seconds!

Well now the car has a great new home. Jaime brought me cash and told me he intends to put an almost new engine in it and replace the clutch while he's got the car apart. On top of that he works at an audio shop and is going to put the state of the art thumpin' system in the back. Thats enough to make the car practically new. Congratulations Jaime. Take care of my baby!


Wednesday, August 18, 04

MY FIRST NEW CAR - I bought a new car!!! I have been looking for about a year because the air conditioning on my Honda has been broken since last summer. It needed a new compressor and it was gonna take about a grand to fix it. I worked a commercial on Saturday and we worked for 7 hours nonstop. I was dying in the heat! I finally said "that's it, its time for a new car!" So I looked around for about 3 days and it was between an Acura CL and a Toyota Solara. I found this great 02 Solara at Lexus of Valencia. It was in mint condition and only had 23,500 miles on it. The previous owner was a married couple who was expecting their first baby. They took perfect care of it and traded it for an SUV. Chris McHale helped me through the whole process. He was such a great salesman! He totally got me a great deal and made me feel very comfortable with my whole buying experience. Anyway, I brought my dad down to look at the car and to my suprise he thought it was totally cool. Chris got me a great interest rate and I walked away with a brand new Toyota Solara!


Thursday, August 12, 04

CATCHING UP AN UNREASONABLE AMOUNT - I have resurfaced after being gone working on Dave's album for most of the summer. What I have found is that it is hot up here! 105 degrees F is way too hot. Well my television neighbors, we have a lot of catching up to do! Where do I even begin. Well for starters, we had to evacuate our ranch. There was a big fire that started 5 miles from my house on July 17th. A redtail hawk apparently went kamikaze into a powerline and the surrounding brush was hot and dry enough to spontaneously combust. The fire quickly started spreading and I knew this was going to be a big one. I started to pack the most important items of my studio into my car and then tuckered in for the night as Dave left early for his vacation weekend in Palm Springs. By late that night this is what you could see from my house, right over the hill.

First thing Sunday morning we found that a big tree branch had fallen in the middle of our road. We had to get the chainsaw and the hedge clippers and chop the whole thing up so that it wouldn't prevent fire trucks from coming in if they had to save our house. We filled up two dumpsters with mulberry tree. Then we went about soaking all the stucco with garden hoses. The Highway Patrol came by and notified us of a voluntary evacuation, so we got ladders and I climbed up the roof of the house and started hosing it down. About two hours later the CHP came by again and notified us we were being evacuated. So we piled in all the cars and trucks with our trailers and drove down to the Vons parking lot to figure out where to go. From the parking lot you could see the flames on the ridges below the big cloud of smoke they made less than two miles from our house. We decided to stay at our friend's house in Acton for a couple days. They took us in and we moved our big rigs to their ranch.

Actually I was relieved to be evacuated, because that night I had to be at Don't Call Us Tori which we were having at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. My dad and I took the motorcycle back to Canyon Country so he could pick up his Toyota truck, and I took my mom's van (we moved all the vehicles to Vons) the roundabout way to Hollywood. I showed up just as Shannon was finishing her set, just in time to hear Marina play. I was able to enjoy a quesadilla along with Marina and Nick's set, while Kelda's set was spent on the phone with many kind offers for a place to stay. Thank you all for the phonecalls and offers for help! We had firefighters from all over fighting our fire; the Forest Service from the top of our mountain, the LA County from down the street, even firefighters from Modesto County. We are very very grateful for their work! Our neighbors, who decided not to evacuate said that they had 6 water dropping helicopters refilling at the lake across the street in nonstop succession.

A couple days later the fire was contained and we were able to move back into our home. We loaded up our vehicles and started trucking back towards home. Then, as we were leaving, a new fire started 2 miles from our friend's ranch! That fire ended up burning like crazy all the way to Palmdale. Luckily our friend's ranch was pointed away from the wind, but our friend Nancy was busy all day with her horse trailer saving other people's animals. She even roped a hog.

So I moved back into the studio and Dave came back from his Palm Springs vacation which he spent sicker than a dog. We then had to finish 4 songs of vocals plus an entire disc worth of background vocals. I got to do some singing, along with Dave's friend's Jake Simpson, Cameron Morgan, Brandon Schott, and Rabyn. A lot of our prep time got ate up by the fire. We were scheduled to go to mix a few short days later.

Then my computer crashed. It seems that Protools LE does not go at all well with Tascam Giga Sampler. Not only did it crash, but it was unrecoverable, taking down not only my OS but also an entire drive full of data with it. There was really nothing we could do except move on with what we had backed up on Dave's machine, although I knew I had loads of work waiting for me on my computer when I got done with Dave's mix week.

So we ended up at Mothership studios to mix the album with Neil Citroen on Tuesday the 27th, and the real work began noon to 11pm. 6 days is not a long time to mix 11 songs, but we quickly found that Neil is very fast. We started knocking out about 2 or 3 songs a day. Only problem was, a lot of the tracks were not entirely finished. Some of the vocals had not even been comped yet, so we set up Dave's computer in the other room and he edited nonstop while Neil mixed. I was in the control room working on my reinstalling windows on my computer when it became apparent that my computer was messed up beyond just reinstalling windows. So I gave up for the time being and just focused on listening to the mixes. We kept pulling up songs up staying just one song ahead of Neil as he mixed, and then Dave's computer crashed. Not just crashed, it won't even turn on now. So thinking quickly I managed to get my computer working to a partial degree and we mounted Dave's hard drive onto my computer, copying the data over and finishing the remainder of the prep work on my machine.

Left: Neil Citroen and Dave with his yellow shirt that says "Guaranteed Tough."
Right: (left to right) Cameron Morgan, Dave Tough, Steven Leavitt, Jeff Stores.

Then I got called on a driving job. I went to work on a show called Grilled which stars Ray Romano and the guy from King of Queens. That started at 11am and went to 2:30 am. We had a shot where we were driving behind the ShotMaker with the actors in a process trailer. We had a motorcade with police escorts blocking the intersections to live traffic so we could drive through red lights. Well one run they decided to keep going and we went through a photo enforced light. The thing started flashing pictures like crazy! I got kindof ticked because I knew this could be a major inconvenience, especially if we were gonna end up needing to go into court to show our call sheets with the production's permits. It was just too much going on all at once!

Being in the studio was incredible. I was totally in my element. Saturday I got called to work on a movie called the Dinner Party with Ashton Kutcher. I drove a taxi cab. It was one of those "one shot" days that ends up taking all day long. My only saving grace was we were by a starbucks. I was really worn out.

We had our last day of mixing Tuesday and we then had to move all of Dave's stuff to storage in Azuza. It was so late and I got lost on the way there. A cop pulled me over for failing to complete a left turn and almost gave me a ticket. It had been the longest couple weeks! So the next day I cut out of seeing Matt Heinecke's show at Genghis Cohen and instead went to enjoy Disneyland with my girlfriend Lisa Whitman who would be leaving for Raleigh, N.C. in a couple days to begin her Phd. Dave left for Nashville with Matt and Lisa left on Friday. Two major people in my life both moving to the South at the same time, eerie coincidence!

I think I spent the weekend sleeping although I can't recall. Then I hit the ground running monday, taking my busted hard drive to get the data recovered (which as of this writing is still churning three days later), trying to deal with having a messed up computer with all my files everywhere. My office looks like I am moving. I have a video to edit, and I am having to do all my work on my mom's email computer. It took me two days just to return all the emails I was behind on. I just went and bought myself a new Palm Treo phone today. And I am in the process of looking to buy a new car. So now you all know why I dropped off the face of the earth. Welcome me back.


Friday, July 16, 04

WORKING HARD - I have pretty much dropped off the face of the planet to help finish my friend DT (Dave Tough's) solo album project. He is currently living at my studio for a month doing nothing but recording vocals to ice the cake before we go mix at Steve Vai's studio in just over a week. For those of you who have been wondering where I've been, well, I'm around, I'm just not going out much. Not until this baby is put to bed. Schedule for now is pretty much seven days a week. It has been very fun working with Dave although I will be very very happy when the project is done and it rocks and I can show it to people instead of explaining it.


Tuesday, June 8, 04

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAR! - This morning at 12:01am my 1993 Honda Accord station wagon officially clocked 200,000 miles! So I pulled over to take pictures. It only had 63,000 miles on it when I started driving it. My dad bought it new in '93 and gave it to me in '97. That's proof I do a lot of driving! Only 50 thousand more miles to the moon!


Friday, May 28, 04

THE KNITTING FACTORY - Tonight was a very mixed bag. There were a lot of bad factors going on into this night. First of all, the Alterknit Lounge at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood should have been the perfect venue for an event like Don't Call Us Tori. Its a small sized room but it is very cozy and the sound is perfect in almost every way. You can play a full sized band in there and it sounds great. Well the first problem that caught our attention was that there was some kind of other big event going on in the main room. Traffic for our gig was diverted to the back door, which was really strange. Then we came in and the sound guy said that we were only to be scheduled as one band for 2 hours, not 4 bands all with set changes. Then it was time for the first act to go on, but nobody had really shown up to see the show. We all had a lot of people telling us they were coming, so this made no sense. Then we all had the stark realization that the only reason the club had given us a Friday is that this was Memorial Day weekend. Everybody is out of town! Because the venue was near empty, the club now wanted us out by 10 and had overbooked another event immediately following ours. Then the most unfortunate thing happened; Darcy, who was the last band scheduled was not allowed on the stage! To make matters worse, the club refused to refund her fans tickets due to the fact that "we were supposed to be off by 10pm." So the stage sat empty for 20 minutes while the club waited for the other band to show up! And needless to say Darcy's band was very upset (and quite understandably) that they didn't get to play! What a disaster! I tell you, the more I work the Hollywood scene, the more I am beginning to despise it. One small consolation for me was that Toni and our band played our best show yet. The weeks we spend getting ready for this show really paid off. We did end up cutting the last song from our set to try and fit Darcy on, which brought our short set from 6 songs to 5, but it didn't even help. I was really looking forward to seeing Darcy's band too, I know I would have been very upset if that had happened to me. Hopefully we have a chance to make it up to her and give her a really great show one day. If you would like to check out her music visit


Thursday, May 20, 04

NICK'S BIRTHDAY - This one's for Nick! We took some cool pictures of me, Nick and Dave Tough at this little hideway club in Glendale. We had the hardest time trying to get a picture of Dave with his eyes open. The place was this really cool big loft. Nick is the one on the left. Congratulations on turning 22! (Oh wait he's a little bit older than that.) One of the artists I met who was performing there that night is really worth checking out his name is Justin Catalino.


Monday, May 16, 04

My date Rose and I on the red carpet.

Very important shot of me eating.

A fun shot of my parents
enjoying dinner at the afterparty.

My folks and I on the red carpet.

WORLD STUNT AWARDS - What fun! My mom was nominated again for Best Stunt by a Stuntwoman for her work on the Matrix Reloaded motorcycle chase. [Insert really proud grin here!] That's my mom! :D Even better was that I had the best looking date on the Red Carpet! Don't ask me how a guy like me is so lucky... I don't know ;) Rose and I got to the awards early and got to hang out backstage until the show started. There was lots of security precautions there because Arnold Schwartzenegger was there. We got to run around the Paramount lot getting chased by security and getting harrassed about not having badges. It was a lot of fun! Finally we got badges and got to move about freely and drink all the free Redbull we wanted. Later the awards show started and we got to go down the red carpet while my mom was hounded by the press. That was really amazing! Sombody even asked me and my dad couple questions! Later on Rose and I met up with my friend Freddy and his girlfriend Jackie. We tried to sit next to them, but at the last minute there were hundreds of radio promotions winners asking for their seats back, so we moved all the way to the other side of the stands. Halfway through the show my mom busted through the stage in a Saleen Mustang (she was supposed to do that). Then my mom went up and was awarded the Taurus for the Matrix. The crowd was really chearing loud! I stood up, I didn't care what anybody else would think. We knew when the awards were over when the stage blew up (also supposed to happen).

Rose, me, my mom, and my dad stand outside by the limosine.

Afteward we went to the afterparty which was setup on the Paramount backlot. These things are always amazing. This time they had acorobats dancing on the sides of buildings. It was really fun, except they wouldn't let anybody into the VIP area because security was so tight. I wanted my mom to go talk to Arnold since she knows him way back from T2 and Kindergarden Cop. But oh well. I hear it was extremely boring there because nobody was allowed in. There were all kinds of people there that I knew at the after-party. At one point I was going to go to go say hi to stuntman and also award winner Henry Kingi, but then I realized that he was in the middle of talking to Michael Bay! So anyway we stayed for quite a while and all went home in a limo. A completely fun night!

Before the show.

She meant to do that! The mustang my mom crashed through the stage.

My mom and dad on the red carpet.

My mom getting interviewed before the show.


Monday, April 26, 04

AMUSINGS - It has been a really long time since I've posted. (except for the one under this one) Where did a whole month go? I don't even remember. That's so ridiculous! Things have been crazy-busy I guess. Well there should be more pictures coming soon :)


Sunday, April 25, 04

DON'T CALL US TORI GENGHIS COHEN - Wow, what a change from last time! This gig was so much easier for many reasons. First of all, Genghis has a sound man! It was so much easier to hear and I didn't have to run back and forth to set levels. Second of all, much thanks to my friends Michael and Derek for being my royal roadies and helping me keep track of all my keyboard gear, getting on and off stage and to and from the car. Having extra hands helped make things so much easier. There was definitely a lot of work getting ready for this show because we had a brand new guitar player and we lost our other bass player darrin. So somehow we ended up with only one week to break in Michael, our new bass player and David, our new guitar player. Actually David's name is Michael too, and our drummer's name is Dave, and most people hear 'Toni' and think its a guys name, so its all really confusing! Well I think all the hard work payed off, the show went very well for us. Thanks to everyone who made it out!

Also playing was Kelda who brought her amazing band. Shannon and here band were great fun as always, and then Corrinne May played solo, which was completely breathtaking. Our next event is coming up on May 28th at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, and promises to be huge. On the bill is Colleen Grace, Shannon Hurley, Toni Arthur, and newcomer Darcy Fray. More info coming soon!


Friday, Mar. 19, 04

DON'T CALL US TORI #2 - I think I only stopped sweating two times tonight. The first time was after all my band had left and I was happy with Colleen's mix and the second time was when the nite was finished. We did tonight at the Westwood Brewing Company again because of the lack of shows in March. It was a somewhat last minute show as we only had two weeks to put it together. Most unfortunate for me was that our band was not able to get into the rehearsal hall in that short a time. We had two major cancellations at the last minute that hindered us from getting our warmups in. The event was supposed to start at 9, but unfortunately the owner of the restaurant inadvertently booked an entirely different band at 9 so we had to push our start time to 10pm and cut all our sets to 30 minutes. We were up first in our group but the late start and having the other band ahead of us made it impossible to get to know the new sound system at all and didn't give us the few minutes we were all hoping for to run through a couple last minute things, so to me our set felt really loose. Marina V did great, she was such a powerful addition to the show, and the Colleen Grace Band is always awesome. Shannon Hurley topped the night off excellently, and her new guitar player Elmo is making them sound more rock, which really benefits them a lot. I'd say they totally kicked ass. So the evening was a good success, and we are expecting the next ones to get better and better. Next gig is at Genghis Cohen in Hollywood on April 25th. Genghis is a choice hangout for A&R types so we are really excited, it was also a place where Matt Heinecke had a pretty strong tenure going when he was in LA. After that is the Knitting Factory. Stay tuned for more shows!


Saturday, Mar. 6, 04

DEBBIE EVANS TV SHOOT - Fun day with the family. A new motorcycle magazine type show called "V-Twin" came over to the Leavittation Ranch to shoot a pilot for their new show. They had asked my mom Debbie if they could do a whole episode on her and our family. 6am Saturday morning we had an 11 person film crew at our offices setting up lights, digibetas and the works (even craft services). It was an exciting day that included my mom and dad racing their sportbikes up the canyon and the whole family riding trials bikes while daniel jumped doubles with a camera taped to his helmet. We also had visitors from Colorado and local commercial production companies that got to stop by and see what was going on. If the pilot airs you will even see yours truly working in his studio and standing around taking digital pics while the rest of the family rides around on bikes. I would have hopped on a bike too, but I was wearing my nice shoes at the time. ;)


Monday, Mar. 1, 04

DAVE TOUGH STRING SESSIONS - I just came back from Pomona where Dave Tough has his studio. We did a live strings session for his album with string arrangements I put together. It took me like an hour to get there, and that was without traffic! We had a great cello and viola player (who covered the violin parts). It was cool because they both commented how they loved my arrangements. I have to go back to hear the results again. Dave had to get back to his teaching job at 2, so our time was limited and I didn't get to listen to them after we were done. It was so amazing to hear the parts I had written played by expert musicians. I definitely plan to keep doing string arrangements, and I am really looking forward to hearing the finished project. I ended up taking a long nap in the middle of the day, and then going to bed early, about 9 o'clock. Unfortunately I woke up at 1:30 am and couldn't go back to sleep. So I just got up and worked on websites until I left for Pomona at 6am. Got home from the sessions at 3:30 pm. Now time to crash!


Friday, Feb. 20, 04

WHERE'S THE WORK? - So I was supposed to be working on moviesets all week last week, then it was to be all week this week. Now I haven't heard anything. Still no work. I have been keeping busy in the meantime doing nothing but websites. My friend has a major overhaul going on for his site He's been coming over after he gets off work from teaching martial arts in the evenings, then we start about 9pm and work on his website till 4 in the morning. Well, I'm nocturnal but he has to be getting a little tired. We've got the basic look down, now its just a matter of finishing the other half of the some 30 pages on his website!


Saturday, Feb. 14, 04

VALENTINES DAY SHOW - Last minute show at the Westwood Brewing Company for Valentine's day. We played with Colleen Grace, Shannon Hurley, and Bad Gravity. I was playing with Toni Arthur and her band, we ended up not having a guitar player this gig. We are in the process of getting a new one and only had 8 days notice for the show. Colleen's drummer had cancelled on them, so they asked our drummer Dave Greene to sit in on their set. He played totally cold, and it still sounded great. Unfortunately after the show, someone caused an accident with Dave while he was trying to get on the freeway. A truck with a trailer suddenly decided to cut onto the onramp, crashing into his car, and ripping off the bumper. Now he's carless until he can get it fixed, but luckily he's okay!


Saturday, Jan. 31, 04

MASSIVE UPDATES - Lately I've been very busy updating my website. It has a new, more sleek, artistic look. I have long overdue updates to the student films section and added a picture gallery. Soon there will be an about me section too. The site is slowly undergoing these changes and should be complete pretty soon, its about half way there. After this, then its on to my mom's new website. Massive updates...stay tuned. (And be sure to watch XCaper). :)


Friday, Jan. 23, 04

DON'T CALL US TORI - It is most certainly difficult to come down from an evening like tonight. All said, this was a very successful event. The event was coordinated by myself and Shannon Hurley, who booked the venue and chose the artists. All of us involved promoted the hell out of the show, which got us about 50 to 75 people in the upstairs room at Westwood Brewing Company at any given time throughout the night. Some really awesome people showed up, including my friends, who came all the way out from vegas just to see the show, *you guys ROCK* and Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers. Toni and the rest of the band gave a stellar performance when it came our turn to rock the stage, and most rockin' was Toni's new hair color - material girl blonde. :) Her boss from her day job even showed up, but he loved the show! Well, what a day leading up to those excitingly brief moments on the stage. First I had to load up the car and make CDs to sell at the show tonite. Those proved to be a major pain in the @$$ much more than usual because I've just installed a new DVD burner and because I had a limited time to do them in. This had me frantic before I even got there. When it came time to set up it was quickly apparent that I was going to be doing sound all nite, including my tasks that already consisted of organizing, emceeing, and playing in my own band. The hour and a half we had allowed for comfortable soundchecks, pre-plotting, and troubleshooting quickly disappeared into go time. Most of the evening I was busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Doing sound is a busy enough job by itself. Why do I even admit that I know how to do it?? Even with the expectable number of snafus tonight, the show went extremely well. The bands really rocked and I had so much fun playing our little set. We had a fun time practicing for this show all week this week. We are recently added a new bass and guitar player Geoffrey and Darrin, and having them definitely gave us a gigantic leap ahead with our sound. When Darrin did the bass solo on 'Hear' someone from the audience shouted "Bass solo!" hehehe, I wrote that :D I was so happy to get autographed CDs from Colleen Grace and Corrinne May. As it says on the flyer, these are some of tomorrows stars. Here I am playing at the same show with the future Amy Grants and Sarah McLaughlan's of the world! No way is it possible to sleep after all that.


Wednesday, Jan. 07, 04

ANOTHER ATYPICAL UPDATE - Well, for some reason I have been on the strangest schedule. Right now its a little after 4am, and I guess I was kidding myself when I thought I would try to go to bed "early" tonight. Nevermind the fact that I am more of a night owl. Some interesting things have been happening in the last few weeks. I think this week I have just been recovering and gearing up for the weeks to come. I have been busy getting ready for the January 23rd event "Don't Call Us Tori" where I will be playing with Toni Arthur. I put together the adwork for the flyer, and our band has a lot of practicing to do. The majority of last week I spent with Dave Greene arranging orchestra for Toni Arthur's new single "Move Through." The work I did on that has led me to more work on Dave Tough's new album. I'm also supposed to be mixing for Brian Whelan's trio. Brian played bass and piano on another project I recently mixed for Matt Heinecke. Soon there will be much upcoming driving with Bill Young's. Busy busy busy!!

Personal inventory: Convert stuntrev videos to Quicktime. Rehearsals with band. Edit Jeepers 2 featurette. Finish designing Matt H. EP CD.

(left) hard at work in the studio. did I mention it's 48 degrees in here? (Like 7 centigrade for those abroad) burr!
(center) its Dave's birthday!
(right) Dave drumming for our work on "Die To Live"


New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, farewell to 2003

AN EVENING WITH THE HEARTBREAKERS - What a most excellent New Year's Eve! A real good sign of things to come. My friend and Toni Arthur drummer Dave Greene works for the Tom Petty live crew and was able to bring Toni and I with him to Mike Cambell's new year's eve celebration. Mike Cambell is the guitarist and one of the founding members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He has made quite a success writing with the likes of Petty and even with former eagle Don Henley. This was quite a nite! All but one of the current Heartbreakers was there jamming to blues tunes (as I hear that Petty's newest album is very blues). Also, I was very excited to shake hands with legendary keyboard player Benmont Tench, who has played on more albums than most session players put together.


Wednesday, Nov. 26, 03

THE BENDS - A very busy workweek started Saturday on the set of Taxi, a movie starring Queen Latifa. We started out with early early calls out by the LA Airport, and then we moved to Downtown Los Angeles. The neat part is that I am getting to work on the same set as my mom, which is really a lot of fun. Only thing is, that by Sunday rumors were flying around the set that the catering food was making people sick. A couple of the people on our team had had, should I say, difficulties the night before, and two people in the camera department didn't come to work. Well it was Tuesday morning right after breakfast for me when it set in. Felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and I was likely to pass out. Luckily, I must not have had it as bad as some of the others. We had people out the next day throwing up. I call it the Crew Flu. I hear they have it on another show too. Luckily I was able to take it easy enough to stay at work that day and today, although all I wanted to do was sleep. Lots and lots of water today helped me feel a little better. I got home and immediately had to attend to a photoshoot for Real Life artist Matt Heinecke, who is visiting town from Nashville. That was most fun, I guess now I am feeling well enough. Time to get a lot of rest!


Wednesday, Nov. 20, 03

WHERE TO START? - Basically for the past two months I have been on an involuntary digital hiatus. My computer (see earlier article) completely bit the dust. What's more, the month of September turned out to be one of those inevitable economic slumps. Being in the business of staying available for anything doesn't lend it self well to periods of nothingness. Until work picked up, the $500 worth of necessary new hardware was strictly out of the question. So I took it as a possible sign from God to layoff the computer habit for a little bit and focus on chillin out as much as humanly possible! Better than stressing out. [Insert tempwork here] Finally a ray of light came through and I had a great 2 week run the last week in October and the first week in November, which has allowed me to upgrade my computer to P4 2.4Ghz/800, with 512 M RAM! [choruses of angels singing] Of course I intend to upgrade to 2 Ghz of RAM as soon as financially possible. ;)

I started September deciding completely clean and rearrange my office, which was quite an experience to itself. Recall the bugspray experience. All those 10 foot blinds had to be taken down and scrubbbed by hand. (The bugs turned out to be most interested in eating the dead brush outside. Most of them were dead by the time they got in anyway.) Rearranging and thinning my office took 4 days.

Almost immediately after our trip to Tahoe, my folks and siblings headed to Europe for the Trials World Championships, while I held the fort down here. Things were very quiet, especially with the kids gone, I could hear myself think! One of the fun things I did do was go shooting with my friend Rich, Mr. It rocked. And if you are wondering why you weren't invited to the party, I never got around to having one :(

Most notable of all was our family trip to Ohio, where my mom was inducted in to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame! Talk about a crowning achievement for my mom, who definately has a very proud son.

What an amazing trip. My mom's speech was great. You could tell she was amoung her peers because she was not nervous at all. On the flight home, we mysteriously got upgraded to business class seats! It was the most amazing ride I ever took. The seats were the size of recliners, and they actually reclined enough to sleep in. But who wanted to sleep, because in between the seats there were little TVs that pulled out and let you choose your own movies!

One must also recall the Southern California wild-fire experience. Smoke filled our skies for weeks as gigantic fires raged all the way from San Diego to San Bernadino to Lake Piru. The fires were getting awefully close when they began reach Stevenson Ranch, but thankfully it finally started to rain, and the weather turned instantly from 98 degree summer to 48 degree winter.

The latter part of this month has been spent in the studio, a blessed reunion with my technology! Currently I am working on two websites and doing more demo work with my friend Toni Arthur.

The former part of this month was spent working nights on National Treasure with Nicolis Cage. We racked up some great hours and did a lot of hangin' around, as you can see.


Friday, Aug. 22, 03

JEEPERS CREEPERS II SCREENING - On the 23rd day of the 23rd gets to eat! And on the 22nd day of August we get to go to the cast and crew screening of Jeepers Creepers 2! This was really fun because I got to see all the people I worked with for 3 months last summer. I guess you could say they know what I did last summer. My friend Jonathan McDonald got to come along, and this was his first official cast and crew screening. A cast and crew screening differs from a red-carpet premiere in that usually the stars and the director only go to the red-carpet, and people who are behind the scenes only go to the cast and crew screening. What was really cool is that the director and many members of the cast showed up to support the movie. It was a good movie and I hope to see it do well at the box office! Oh, I got a credit! :D And the stunts? Awe yeah!


Wednesday, Aug. 20, 03

SCREWED - Well I was doing work on my computer last saturday when all of a sudden my computer restarted, and restarted again, and again. This had happened to my friend a couple days earlier who had been infected with the MSBlast worm that has been propogating the internet. Well I downloaded the patch from microsoft and took all the precautions, but on August 16th my computer went on the fritz. I couldn't even log into safe mode. I tried everything I could think of, but somehow the registry on my windows had become completely corrupt, to the point where I couldn't even go into the Windows Repair Mode command prompt. I went on the Microsoft website and found a phone number for support of virus related issues - (866) 727-2338. When I called there at midnight it was like I had reached some kind of disaster control center. It sounded like there were a ton of people on the other end and it was so loud in there I could barely hear the person I was talking to. She scheduled me a callback appointment with a microsoft technician within the next 72 hours. So I waited, in the meantime having all this work to finish, my most current livelihood dependant upon having my computer. I was stranded. I stayed home all week and waited. The lines were busy during the day and I knew I wasn't likely to get a smart person on the phone at an odd hour. So, today I called again. This time I got through. The first lady I spoke with was a Microsoft developer. I told her that my registry had been corrupted and that I could not start windows, but the first thing she told me to do was to go into Windows and enable the Internet Connection Firewall....HELLO???? I cannot log into windows to begin with! So she realized she needed help and scheduled a more advanced person to give me a call within 4 hours. I did get a call back, and this guy was really helpful. The process of recovery wasn't easy. In order to gain access to the files we needed to repair I had to physically take the hard drive out of my computer and slave it to another machine. Once the files were moved around, then I reinstalled it back in my computer and overwrote the bad files through the repair console, which then allowed us to log into safe mode, and eventually log into the regular windows to run System Restore. It sounds complicated because it is. I then scanned for the MS Blaster worm with Symantec's removal tool, but was unable to find any viruses! I ran the scan twice, and then scanned for the new Welch worm, but that came up nil as well. I couldn't believe it. After about 4 hours of using my computer tonight it suddenly restarted on me again. I was able to log in again, but a screen said that "Windows has recovered from a serious error." Something's screwey. I will have to keep investigating this strange behavior and hope that it doesn't cripple me and my computer again. I was fortunate to be able to get a good tech to help me through my plight. Just about anybody else would have told me to reinstall windows completely, a choice I was myself saving for a last resort. Well, either that or give up on computers all together and move in with the Amish.


Tuesday, Aug. 12, 03

HARVELLE'S SANTA MONICA - Harvelle's is located in Santa Monica on 4th street just east of the 3rd Street Promenade. The local foot traffic from the area supposedly makes it a great place to find new audience. Harvelle's is a blues club and has been around for years and years. We got to play a 5 song set. The sound system was actually good enough to where we could hear ourselves. It was wonderful. Drummer Steve McCartney sat in for our usual drummer Dave while he is on tour with The Heartbreakers. We had a good energy, and I'd say the set went awesome. The only thing was, there were barely 10 people there that night. The promoter did not like the fact that nobody showed up on our list, although the person that booked us said it wasn't going to matter. You see, there is a great evil here. Los Angeles is the only city in the world to have this little thing called 'pay to play,' which is where in order to play at an LA venue, you must guarantee you can sell a certain number of tickets. If you don't, you are expected to buy the tickets that you don't sell. At some clubs this could cost you upwards of $100. Pay to Play majorly sucks. We didn't have to pay this time, but our slot for the week after next may be in jeopardy. The way I see it, if a club cannot draw in its own traffic then thats the club's own damn fault. Bands should be paid for entertaining a bar's guests, but then again, this is Hollywood, and everybody wants to be a star. Somebody said, "hey, let's take advantage of all these schmucks who would do anything for a spotlight." And well, they're laughing all the way to the bank.


Monday, Aug. 11, 03

BUGS!!! - I came home to find my office infested with bugs! Little tiny beetle looking bugs with wings and wiggly antennaes. They must have gotten in through the window behind my desk. Too many to fight off without significant fumigation so I have temporarly made a temporary office at home. All these little bugs are dying on my desk. Kindof ironic that this happens at the same time that the Microsoft bug is terrorizing the internet. More to come as the situation develops.


Aug. 4-11, 03

ROAD TRIP TAHOE / RENO / SACRAMENTO / NAPA VALLEY - Sorry, still constructing. :)


Friday, Aug. 1, 03

TONI ARTHUR DEMOS - Look out world, here comes Toni Arthur! It took three weeks to finish this six song sampler for Toni Arthur's latest solo material. We have some majorly good leads for A&R and some great new songs so we put some demos together in a flash. Now when we play our shows we will have something to sell should people wanna hear more material. I have to admit I was pretty exhausted by the time I finished this one, but it looks like its all gonna pay off!


Wednesday, Jul. 23, 03

TONI ARTHUR AT THE JOINT - Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Tony Arthur! But no, thats Ms. Toni Arthur, with an 'i.' Toni says to me "But I have a vagina!" Haha. It was actually pretty comical when the sound guy announced the band. Maybe he thought that I was Tony Arthur...who knows, but its on the recording. Funny because Toni's friend who works in marketing was outside before the show stopping random passersby and asking them if Toni should have a band name. I think we'll stick with being Toni Arthur's band. Anyway, this gig went really well. There was a whole bus-load of girls there for a 21st birthday party that night. Boy did we luck out. Our bass player Chris' friend was last seen getting on the bus with them when it left. He hasn't been heard from since. The croud was really roudy and they dug our set. The inside of The Joint looks like you might expect, a total dive. The whole place is spraypainted black, and there is a 5 foot high stage you have to climb a ladder to get to. The sound-guy has to climb an even higer ladder to get to his perch. He recorded a CD for us. You can listen to the first song from our set, "Sinned" by clicking here.


Wednesday, Jun. 4, 03

NEVER AGAIN DO I NOT GET A PLATE SHOT - I had done digital wire removal (rotoscoping) before on a couple of my DV projects, so I figured doing the repainting for the ATA/Dr. Pepper short was only a matter of parking my ass in the chair and getting to hours of tedious frame by frame repainting. Except for 1 thing: 225 frames of wire removal goes a lot faster when you get a little thing called a PLATE SHOT. A plate shot is a still image that you shoot of the background without the subject elements in it to use later when you are compositing special effects, such as digitally removing parts of the picture. Two of the shots were not a big deal at all. In fact you would not have wanted to lock those shots off because it would have killed the action in the fight, however, the other two, shots that completed possibly the most wireful of gags we have seen even after Romeo Must Die, should have been lock offs. Well, 20/20 hindsight right? Maybe it was my fault for not speaking up, but then again usually the "visual effects coordinator" gets his own monitor to look in and say, "um, excuse me - not on this budget." Well, there was such a monitor, however, there was no such time to hook up that monitor by the time we were on the second day of a two day shoot after lunch and less than half way through the fight. A fight that for all intents and story purposes, must end. After motion testing the footage I was working on I noticed that my best efforts were not looking very good. I attempted to create my own moving plate in after effects from a still which I keyframed along with the original. Then I set about repainting, but - to my utter dismay, I still saw lines! Even though they were erased, some strange kind of ghosting followed the place where the wires were and were just about as noticeable as the wires themselves. Well I had to finish something because the footage needed to drop into the final movie and fly to Arkansas for the Taekwondo National Championships. So, I bit the bullet and finished the best I could. You can still see it, if you look, but at least I knocked out the most noticeable wires in the backlit part of the alley. Thats all I could hope to do. All said and done, 25 hours for 9 1/3 seconds of footage.


Friday, May. 30, 03

NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY - Cal. Poly, Pomona. My friend Dave Tough, professor of music business at Cal. Poly University in Pomona, organized a panel discussion with established music producers, engineers, lawyers, and publishers. I was very excited that this group included the EveAnna Manley of Manley Labs. Tre-awesome. Although the panel was well organized, I felt it lacked depth in regard to the topic of the hour. There was some excellent discussion about the current state of the business, what things are, and how they work, but overall it seemed the panelists did not venture too deep into discussions of the future because simply, nobody wanted to speculate about what that would be. I was happy to attend the event as a non-student, even though CSPU Pamona is over two hours away...but there's still that $25 parking ticket I got, and I guess the state run schools have the luxury of being tied into the DMV...well, I guess I gotta pay that one. Too bad I can't cite them for inadequate posting of directions.


Sunday, May. 25, 03

ATA / DR. PEPPER SHORT FILM - Loyalty must be rewarded...With Dr. Pepper! About a month ago, I recieved an email inquiring about my camera work in taekwondo spoof Rush Hour 1+2=3. The son of the founder of the American Taekwondo Association was going to produce a video short for the ATA and Dr. Pepper. When I found out that the fight scenes were to be choreographed by my friend Dan Southworth, it was a marvolously small world. I brought StuntRev's William Devital out to setup a very complex wire / truss system for some of the fights planned wire gags. The location was an alleyway between two buildings, one about 40 feet tall, the other 45 feet. Spanning truss across the alley proved to be no easy task, but once in place firmly provided an overhead anchor point with which to hang pullys for the overhead ropes. The shoot was two days, Saturday and Sunday - and the production had to finish everything in the alotted time. Reshoots were definately not in the budget. Well everything managed to get done, but we went over 4 hours beyond the intended wrap time, and they had to rush some of the fight scene. Save the action for last!?? No suprise, even though the action was all we really care about! A lot of people on the set were experienced craftsmen, so it made it like being on a full budget set, even though it was being shot on DV. Overall, I had a blast and I'm going to love seeing the finished product.


Tuesday, Apr. 15, 03

WHISPERS NORTHRIDGE - I had the chance tonight to play keyboards for Toni Arthur at a small bar in Northridge call Whispers. The show is hosted by 97.1 radio personality Sheena Metal. It was a small turnout, but we recieved an enthusiastic response. It was a good warm up for me because Toni and have only had a few times together to practice. We went for an acoustic vibe this time, with both of us playing a piano. What a cool idea, it sounded really neat. My favorite song of the night most would most definately have to be "Mama."


Friday, Apr. 11, 03

SEXY NEW CAR - Well, not exactly new...but the front end is rebuilt and I had it painted silver! What a great color for this car. It makes it look like new. Well, now I just have to hope that work picks up so that I can make up for the $$$. Well, thats it. NICE. :)


Friday, Apr. 9, 03

MY DAY IN COURT - This is the city, Valencia California. The Plaintiff is the People of the State of California, the Defendant, Steven Leavitt. The charges - Code 22450 (A), Failure to stop at a posted stop sign. I was appearing on the morning of April, 9th for trial without a jury and intended to plead my case before the judge. It had been a dark night on February 9th, the kind of night where black Highway Patrol cars love to hide in the shadows on a dark country road. I was on my way to a late night recording session, but first I had to go home and pick up some CD-ROMs I needed to bring with me. I approached the stopsign at the familiar intersection with considerable haste but made sure to stop completely before quickly taking off agian. The officer felt differently. I made it most of the way through the intersection before noticing the flashing lights in the distance to my right. Unsure if he was after me I proceeded until his lights were behind me, at which point I pulled off the road at the first turnout. Not wanting to make a memorable scene, I politely handed the officer my license and registration. After a few minutes he came back and handed me my ticket. He indicated where I was to sign and then looked at my signature, then my license. "Could you sign this again?" The officer asked, "The signature looks different from the one on your drivers license." The signature on my drivers license was almost eight years old. I had signed it when I was sixteen, and I had renewed it by mail when I turned 21. I signed the ticket again, and said "thank you."

The morning of my trial I had first shown up at the wrong place, which can be easy to do at the courthouse if you don't already know where you're going. After standing in line at the traffic window and being told that I had to go to the other building, I was a little worried that I had made myself late. I arrived at the court-room at 8:30am, right at the time I was supposed to appear, but the court-room doors didn't open until 9:15. When we got in and sat down, there was about another 20 minutes of waiting before the bailif began to explain the proceedings. It was apparent that he drew that out as long as he could because after he finished we still waited for an hour. Presiding this morning would be what is known as a Judge Pro-Tem, a lawyer who can sit in for a judge. If anyone wanted to be tried by a real judge at a later date they could have opted to do. No-one did. When the judge arrived the proceedings began.

The first guy I remember made a pretty good attempt at arguing his case, but he lost. The second guy tried every trick in the book, and when he lost, wanted to go to jail instead of pay the fines. I figured I had no chance. I was one of the last up, and by then it was almost lunch time. When my turn came up the charges were read, and the officer was first to make a statement, then I was to be able to ask him questions about his statement. In his statement he cleverly precluded everything I was going to ask him in the questioning phase, stating he could clearly see the limit line, the distance, which road he was on, which road I was on and so on. So I decided to ask no questions at that point. Then it was my turn to make my statement. I made it a point to sound objective, but also to emphasize that visibility was low and that his lights seemed to be coming from very far away. The judge asked me how long I stopped for, and I answered that I had stopped briefly, but long enough to notice that there were no other cars around. I remembered breaking with the break relaxing under my foot as it does when the wheels have fully stopped. The officer then began his rebuttal, but during the rebuttal he contradicted himself. It was apparent that he was nervous! So in my closing statement I made sure to bring up that he in one statement said he was 20 yards from the line and in the next he stated he was 40 feet, and that he stated he was positioned behind me when he was actually to the right of me. The judge ruled that I had managed to prove a reasonable doubt and that my case was dismissed! I couldn't believe it! I won!


Friday, Mar. 22, 03

"TIME" MIX SESSION - Engineer and Pro-Tools Guru Dave Kelly and partners have recently opened up Strawberry Blonde Studios in the heart of Valencia. Dave has worked with Dr. Dre, Christina Agulara, and many others. I met up with him to work on the final mix for my new song "Time." We mixed for 10 hours and came out with a really amazing results. Listen to "Time" by clicking here.


Sunday, Mar. 16, 03

TONI ARTHUR VOCAL SESSION - Toni Arthur started her first vocal session today at Del Oro Music Studios for her song "Desired." Producing the vocals for the session is Del Oro's Bob O'Dair. I was not able to stay for the entire session, because of a prior family commitment. As I was on my way out the session was joined by executive producer and owner of Del Oro Music, David Langoria. During the session I was able to review some of Toni's new material and began conceptualizing some music for those songs.


Friday, Mar. 14, 03

NOT MY OOPS! - So why didn't I go to get my oil changed yesterday? Because I was afraid something bad would happen before my important meeting at the record company. "What if I get half way there, only to find out the hard way that somebody forgot to replace the oil-drain cap?" I wondered. So today was my day to take it easy. Well I must have known that I had bad oil change karma. (After all, I was about 2000 miles overdue.) So I ordered the works. Oil Change, Fuel-Injection treatment, Power-Steering Fluid replacement, and Transmission service. The work was almost done, and a man met me at the counter to cha-ching my credit card. But before he was finished reading off the totals, I heard a loud crash followed by an intense hissing sound. I quickly ran to the window to look outside, well aware that the crash sounded just like a car, and that my car was the only car left there to crash!

The car was mine. The man at the counter ran outside. He walked back to meet me as I asked him if that was my radiator hissing. "Yep," he replied. An oil tech had managed to drive my car strait out of the stall and ram it into a steel and concrete pillar 20 feet away! My car has a manual transmission, and the man who did it claims it wasn't his fault. "It was my shoes! You know? there is all that oil on the foot slipped off the clutch! And when I tried to use the break, it slipped off that too!" Having nothing else to do that afternoon I was surprisingly collected. I suppose that maybe, in such a panic situation, that if his foot had slipped off the break and then hit the gas that he could have hit the pole that was 20 feet away with such force that it knocked the pillar loose from the ground. That's right, you can wiggle it with your hands now! "At work, if I were trying to do that much damage to a car, I'd have to really gas it to do that much damage." says Debbie Evans-Leavitt, my mother, and professional stuntwoman of 25 years.

Well the company claims that it will be responsible to fix the car to the original condition, and that their insurance would comp the cost of renting a car, up to $30 a day. That has since been negotiated up. I was infact very fortunate that the Valencia branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car was still open and they sent a driver to pick me up. They even stayed open later than usual to get me all set up for the weekend. Thanks guys.


Thursday, Mar. 13, 03

DEL ORO RECORDS - Today I met with Del Oro Records, an independent record label based out of Universal City, CA about producing tracks for singer/songwriter Toni Arthur. I met Toni through my friend and associate Dave Tough of Real Life Music Publishing. Dave has been producing pop/country tracks for Toni's songwriting projects, but passed her solo project work along to me. "Steve and I have similar styles," says Arthur. "We met and began talking and quickly realized that we liked listening to all the same artists. We even had the same piano teacher and didn't even realize it. That part was especially amazing." Toni's new endeavors focus more within the pop/rock genre, and feature Toni's unique voice. Arthur is currently working on a demo deal with Del Oro, who may also be interested in pursuing an artist development deal.

"I showed them the rough CD Steve gave me of a particular song we were working on, and they loved it. At that point they wanted to meet with Steve to have him produce more of my tracks." Says Toni. So meet with them I did. I had quite expected to spend a 15 to 20 minute meeting with them discussing my qualifications as a producer. I came prepared with CDs that sampled my range as a producer. The focus quickly shifted, however, when they asked me to sing for a track that I had brought in a 'no-vocals' state. I sang the vocal over "Time" sitting right there in the office. To my surprise, they loved it, and after hearing my vocals and piano on my "Worship Him" project, they quickly convinced me that I may be the next male Vanessa Carlton. All said, the meeting lasted over an hour and a half, they are interested in me as a solo artist and without a doubt my producing job is more than booked!


Wednesday, Mar. 12, 03

CONNECTING HOLLYWOOD MIXER - Hard Rock Cafe, Beverly Hills. I went with my friend and great connector Nick Washburn to a cool Hollywood event. It was really low key and it was a great chance to network with new people. After the event, we went out to eat, and Nick ran into actor Stephen Baldwin. It was a fun night and I hope to go back again for the next one.


Friday, Feb. 28, 03

GROUNDED FOR LIFE PREMIERES ON THE WB- I don't have TV, so I went over to my freinds house to tape Grounded For Life on the WB. Thanks to Denise Pandey, my kindly sales rep at Verio web hosting, i knew this was the day that my episode, "Driving Me Crazy" would be airing. I taped from Digital Cable directly to DV, so finally I get to keep a copy of my work that isn't in SLP VHS! It was funny after watching the episode, I realized that the editor was not aware that I was not an extra. The guy in the back-seat was cast at the last minute to say the lines originally scripted for me. I was still on a stunt-contract as the driver of the car. You can see if you watch closely, in the last cut before we drive off, I ad-libbed a "you got it." Well, the editor must have thought I was an extra trying to get in on residuals by claiming that I was given a speaking part, so you see in the video as I start to speak I get cut off. This, of course would not have been an issue because I was already on a principle contract as a stunt-performer and am entitled to residuals anyway. The piece looks great and I am not the least bit bothered, although I do find it amusing. It would have been nice to be able to use this as more of an acting credit, but at least someone else got to get paid too. Watch the clip with Windows Media Player.


Left to Right: Toni Arthur, Nick Washburn, Stud, and very special guest CarolynSunday, Feb. 23, 03

THE GRAMMY'S - The 45th Annual Grammy Awards were held in New York, but the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, LA chapter held it's own Grammy viewing party at fancy Hollywood club. Thanks to Nick Washburn, of NWE-Management, who scored us the tickets. We watched the program delayed broadcast from CBS in High Def. What a great program. There were great performances by the likes of Coldplay, the Dixi Chicks, Vannessa Carlton, Eminem, and Nora Jones, to name a few, and Grammy's awarded to Nora Jones, Nora Jones, Nora Jones' writer, and of course, who could forget, Nora Jones. The night was refreshingly free of the expected political banter that we expected to ruin the night. I applaud the executives at NARAS for deciding to keep the night's festivities singularly about the music. As a local radio personality pointed out, forgetting whether you are for or against...we don't wanna hear what Kid Rock has to say about the war. There were a few mild undertones in a few noticeable places, the worst of which was, to no surprise, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. Let's see him go exercise his first amendment rights in Iraq... There were also some great performances by Bruce Springsteen, and a tribute to The Clash by Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, and Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. Congratulations also to John Mayer, who claimed to be 16...yeah buddy, so am I.


Monday, Feb. 17, 03

'TIME' DRUMS SESSION - Today I had the opportunity to sit in while drummer Ron Wikso recorded drums for my new song "Time." Ron is a graduate of the prestigious UC-Berkley School of Music and has drummed with world-class acts such as Cher and Foriener. Ron has a local project studio where he can plug in and record pro drum tracks for any demo. Check out more info at his website.


Sunday, Jan. 19, 03

BEL AIR PRESBYTERIAN - The church overlooks the entire San Fernando valley and was the home of Ronald Regan. Bel Air Presbyterian Church today held a service commemorating the life of Dr. Marten Luther King Jr. It was an exciting service to attend. There were the speeches of Martin Luther King recited by actor Wren Brown, and the gospel choir of visiting Angeles Mesa Presbyterian Church. Boy it was wonderful to hear great gospel music again! I also ran into some of my old friends an acquaintances from Pepperdine, and was very happy to see the familiar faces. Bel Air Pres is home to a large congregation, and influences many of Los Angeles' distinguished people. The architecture, which I understand underwent recent renovation, is quite impressive, and the view out the windows is breathtaking. More importantly, it is wonderful to attend a church service full of many people of all ages together in one place to worship. The sound in the place is incredible! When you sing along it seems as if your voice is lifted up with the others into one big harmonious chorus. The stone floors and high flying ceilings provide for some very bright acoustics. The band must play with in-ear monitors in order to keep the reflections under wraps, but the sound team is top notch, so everything always manages to come through sparkling.


Saturday, Jan. 18, 03

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR - One of the most amazing things about working in the movie business is that you get to work with some of the most good looking people in the world. Today was no exception. I haven't seen this many beautiful girls in one place since I was last at Pepperdine. It sortof skews your grip on reality. You walk off the set into the real world and its not the same. Kindof like the Blockbuster store in Last Action hero. I was excited when I found out The Girl Next Door stars Elisha Cuthburt. I rented the first season of "24" on DVD when it came out and watched the whole thing in practically one sitting, and the constant peril Elisha's character experienced the whole show had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. Thanks Elisha, for not letting your character die! lol. We were working at College of the Crayons, less than 15 miles from my house, which was easily converted by the film crew to look like "Westport Highschool." 200 extras were present to walk to class. I was driving a hybrid Honda Insight, and wearing a red and yellow striped polo shirt. This was the first time I have ever driven a vehicle like this so let me share with you my feelings about it. THIS VEHICLE HAS NO BALLS! IN FACT IT DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT BALLS ARE! That aside, it was an intersting little vehicle. Engine was about the size of a riding mower. Dashboard said it got 43.3 miles to the gallon. Had a battery meter next to the fuel gauge. The car wasn't very comfortable to sit in, probably due to the car's lower market price category and economy weight quota. My biggest complaint was that the interior seemed noisy due to the vibrations coming from the engine. This is supposed to be an electric car isn't it? Well, technically I don't know how it works, but when I pushed the accelerator pedal down the engine would rev up so I guess it is still somewhat a traditional car. But it was not at all quiet like I would expect a car with 300 lbs. of batteries to be. Nonetheless it was an interesting experience, and as long as I am not forced to drive one to work every day I think it is a pretty cool car for anyone who is into economy. It definately beats earlier ideas. Props to Honda.


Wednesday, Dec. 18, 02

GROUNDED FOR LIFE - No, not me, its a TV show. Really cool day driving a really cool car.....well it was a convertible. Well, okay it was an '87 Chrysler Lebaron convertible, but at least it ran. A really funny script about the father who attempts to thwart his teenage daughter's attempt to get her drivers license. As she is sitting in the car for a driving lesson, a car full of teenagers pulls up and invites her to come party with them. This of course, helps her father justify his idea that he is doing her a favor teaching her the finer points of a "W Turn" so she'll fail her driving test. I was the "Teen Driver" in the car full of teenagers. I had to pull into frame, stop right in front of the camera while were hootin' and hollerin', and then drive of "way to fast." Blocking was very tight because there were two cameras looking across all four actors in the front of both cars. Fortunately I was able to hit my mark every time. The first time I was afraid I wasn't going to stop because the brakes were so old on the car, but everything went fine. Incidentally I was also supposed to have lines, but that was changed last minute by the executive producer who held a late-nite casting call for the part. Somebody must have told them that a stunt-guy was hired to do the speaking role. I can imagine the look of panic spreading across his or her face, remembering the last stuntperson he or she saw attempting to say lines. I guess in most cases it may be true that you can tell when a stuntman is at an audition. As the joke goes, the stuntman is the one who looks down at the script and says "Look, what's that up in the road...a HEAD?" [Insert drum hit here] Okay, sorry. I thought it was funny. But it was gonna be my big acting BREAK! Anyway, I got the chance to work with some really neat people, and thats probably one of the coolest things about working in the industry.


Saturday, Dec. 7, 02

ITALIAN JOB RESHOOTS - A new stunt cooridinator has been hired to reshoot the entire second unit on the Italian Job. So today, we were back on Upper Hope Street, and this time it called for some fancy stuff. In an earlier sequence, the Mini Cooper driven by Shawn Graham (doubling for Mark Whalburg) shoots down a narrow alley to escape pursuit, and drives around the California Plaza. Today the Mini darts out of that alley back into traffic, being pursued by a helocopter. Me and the car next to me are to block the mini from passing by having what I like to call a "snail race" where two cars go identical speeds side by side preventing any cars from passing. Shawn then darts into the parking lane after we pass a parked car, and the helicopter flies right over us...I mean real close. The driver next to me could see the pilot out of his driver side window...really close...then the mini darts out and makes a left in front of 2 stunt cars and opposing traffic. The next part of the shot, the picture helicopter hovers 2 feet off the street right in between us and the stunt cars, I could feel the wind from the tail rotor wobbling my car. Those buildings are really narrow for a helicopter to fly in between. Quite an amazing pilot. Later in the day, the pilot flew the helicopter underneath the Hope Street bridge. Everyone is very lucky that everything went right.

Watch Helicopter Video


Thursday, Nov. 21, 02

BRUCE ALMIGHTY - Jim Carey and Jennifer Aniston star in Bruce Almighty, a movie about a man who is pals with God, and learns the secret to getting whatever he wants instantly. Unfortunately, this secret gets posted on the internet and chaos ensues as different peoples wishes conflict with one another. Thats where we come in. New York Street at Universal Studios, with a $250 thousand Saleen sailing through traffic as if the Red Sea is parting. As the Saleen approached, we all darted our cars into the side of the street in on synchronized motion, as if we had been parked there all along. This was the first chance I got to use my new Cannon PowerShot S230 ELPH, so enjoy the pictures!


Friday, Nov. 15, 02

KILL BILL - The call went out for a fleet of Japanese cars to populate the streets of the movie 'Kill Bill,' directed by Quintin Tarentino. 'Kill Bill' is set in Tokyo, Japan which meant that all of our cars were supposedly right-side drive, even though we were driving left-side drive cars. So to cover this inconsistency with a little movie magic, we all had Japanese background performers in our passenger seats pretending to drive while we drove with our hands at the bottom of the steering wheels. (Pretty sneaky huh...) I just pretended to be asleep. Just kidding. The principal car in the sequence was an authentic midnight blue Nissan 300 ZX Twin-Turbo Fairlady - strait from Japan, complete with real stickers and everything. It sends chills down your spine. These are very hard to find because in Japan, they usually scrap their cars after 5 years. You know, it was kindof fun driving on the "wrong" side of the road.


Wednesday, Oct. 30, 02

SOUND IMAGE - It is great when you have the kind of day that makes you realize that everyday life can be interesting and exciting. I spent the day today at Sound Image, a recording studio that has recorded clients such as Leyanne Rimes, Ricky Marten, and Slipknot. Literally lining the walls of the office were numerous RIAA Gold and Platinum records. Stuntman and longtime friends of my mom and dad Corey Eubanks is recording a song for the World Stunt Awards called "Hollywood Stuntman." Corey was at Sound Image today to record and mix his project. I have been hired to help him put together material for the rock video so today I brought my camera along to capture some of the studio performances and get a few insert shots for the video. I also got to meet engineer Pat Regan, who is mixing Corey's project. The sessions went well, the song sounds awesome, and I got some good video too.


Tuesday, Oct. 22, 02

THE ITALIAN JOB - I need a digital camera!!! Today was cool because I got to drive a cop car and was all decked out to play a Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy. I wish I had a picture! I even got to wear a gun belt with a nightstick and everything else...except the holster, they ran outof holsters so I had to put my gun in my belt ghetto style. It looked real though, because people kept driving by and asking me for directions and even one of the set security guards was asking me "are you a real cop?" The car was bare. I was lucky it had seats. It was leaking oil badly and I could tell that it had been on fire before...good thing all I had to do was move it in and park it every shot and then turn the lights on. Not a bad way to make a living.


New HeadshotSaturday, Oct. 19, 02

Well, today is the first day I've had to myself in a little while. It is quite nice. This morning I went to Marina Del Rey to get new headshots taken. Not that my old one is that bad, but just that it is about 5 years old, and well, 5 years seems like a long time ago! Anyway, I will try to put up some proofs of the best shots when I get them. I got to see the episode of Winning Women that features my mom today. Winning Women airs on Women's Entertainment network, air date to be announced. Anyway, I was really proud of my mom, and a lot of my camera work is used in the episode. SUPER COOL. And, if you look closely, you can see me with a beard. Oh, and it turns out on the Italian Job (see entry from Oct. 5th) our shoot was featured on Entertainment Tonight.


Saturday, Oct. 5, 02

THE ITALIAN JOB - It's, wait - it's early...late considering I got up for work this morning at 3:30 am and didn't get home until 8 pm. But we all know what that means: OVERTIME! I've been working on this cool movie called The Italian Job with Charlese Theron, Mark Wahlburg, and Mos Def. Italian Job is a remake of some old movie (shows you how young I am). Lots of cool people on this job. I've been working with the famous Bill Young's Driving team, doing precision driving, creating traffic patterns for picture. Well, this week the company owns an entire city block of Hollywood Blvd. between Highland and Orange, right in front of the new Highland Center and the Mann's Chinese theater. Boy is it a zoo! Tourists everywhere, over 300 extras with cars... We have quite a lot of fun people watching. Our action centers around an armored truck that is forced into a new direction by the biggest traffic jam in LA history, created by the people who want to heist all the gold from the truck. Our job is to be the innocent vehicles surrounding the truck when it gets the tarmac blown out from underneath it, forcing it to fall into the subway tunnel below. I am driving an ugly old 93' Mercury Sable. What a great picture car! Today, I had one of the extras yell at me to turn off the engine because it smelled so bad. It's an old pile of junk. Well, it was probably a pile of junk when it was new, but it drives well, has a great turning radius. Power steering is a little finicky, I can take the key out of the ignition while its running, and it has a faded powder blue paintjob. It was great after we established the charcoal explosions because the camera department came by and "dirtied" up the car by gluing charcoal to it...I joked to everybody that they were making my car look better! Which is mostly true. Saw the Hollywood Reporter report today: "LA filming up 54%." Yes it is, thank God.


Thursday, Sept. 26, 02

THE TUXEDO - Today was the day for the cast and crew screening of The Tuxedo with Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Well, Jackie and Love weren't there...they were at the fancy hollywood premiere at the Mann Chinese theater a few blocks away and a week before, but I did have the coolness of working with Jennifer at Leavittation last year for pre-production on the project. Jennifer was a great person to work with. At the end of the fight rehearsals she bought all of us flowers and cookies. What a sweetheart. Anyway, there were lots of office people there from Dreamworks, nobody I knew. I got a credit on the movie, which scores high on the coolness meter, but as for the movie itself...I decline to comment.


Saturday, Sept. 14, 02

KROQ'S INLAND INVASION - What a crazy show. Imagine squeezing 15 good punk bands (with the exception of Blink 182) and roughly 50,000 punks all in the same venue. Go to the Blockbuster Glenhellen Pavilion (try not to inhale the thick brown air), throw in your average hard-core crowd with all the rest, a few strait edgers, some wannabees, a few onlookers, about 20 sheriffs deputies, 13 trash bonfires, racial fighting, a stabbing, piercings everywhere you can look and lots of marajuana...and you have a recipe for the largest punk show in history. It was all fun up until about the point where somebody decided they should throw a can of mace into one of the bonfires, which of course exploded and made it nearly impossible to breathe. As about a hundred people were briskly exiting the lawn, we decided that it might be a good time to admit that we were tired and had heard enough punk music for the day and begin the long long trek back to the country of canyon. Unfortunately that meant that we missed some good bands, such as Offspring and The Sex Pistols (I know, how could we?), but we did get to see Unwritten Law, The Damned, X, New Found Glory, the Buzzcocks, Pennywise, Blink 182, and Bad Religion. THATS A LOT OF PUNK FOR ONE DAY.


Saturday, Aug. 10, 02

JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 - Over the past 2 and a half months, my Dad and I have been working regulars on a little movie they like to call the Jeepers Creepers 2. Now you may say to me "Steve!!! Leavitt!!! They're making another Jeepers Creepers?!" at which point I would have to tell you "Yes, and I worked on it." Now I haven't actually seen the first movie, so I couldn't tell you much more than what other people have told me...either it scared the pants off them, or they didn't get it. Well, all I can tell you is that Jeepers 2 was a really really fun set to work on. It is great to go to work on a show where people are friendly, and happy to have their jobs. This had a lot to do with the fact that the producer, Tom Luse, was such a really cool person to work for. The stunt department was headed up by Monty Simons, who is quickly getting on everybody's list for most liked coordinator to work for. My Dad Lane served as the rigging coordinator, and members of the rigging team included Jimmy Hart, Charles Grisham, Bret Kinnney, William Devital, and Freddy Bouciegues. The always entertaining Darrin Prescott was doubling the Creeper...and boy were there some fun antics on the set. I have hours and hours of video that I shot behind the scenes, and I managed to get some of those antics on tape. Imagine a 6 foot tall 220 pound black, scaley monster racing a tiny yellow 50 cc Suzuki Quad at 9 miles an hour down a dark country road at night. Anyway I was commissioned to shoot extra behind the scenes footage of the stunt department. The footage will be included in promotional material surrounding the release of the movie as well as on the DVD. Monty told me that he wanted to make a comedic video from the stunt department to show the crew at the wrap party, so Darrin and I came up with the idea of doing a television show called "A Is for Asshole" spoofing the actor who plays the creeper, Jonathan Breck. In reality, Jonathan is one of the nicest, most down to earth stars you could ever work with, so that was the joke...because nobody could tell the difference between Darrin and Jonathan while in full prostetic makeup, we ran around filming Darrin with Breck's sunglasses on, being a total, complete JERK! The editing probably took me at least 14 hours because this thing had to be done to perfection. We managed to get nearly the entire crew in on the joke, including the director, Victor Salva, and the producer, all saying in confidence how much they dreaded working with Breck. The video was a huge hit at the wrap party, people requested to see it twice. Jonathan was honored that we would make such an effort on his part. The best part was, he was totally suprised... he had no idea what we had been up to! I got to do some stuntwork on Jeepers as well, doubling Billy Aaron Brown who played the part of "Bucky."

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