Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Maverick Lands in Auckland

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Occasionally I get requests to do appearances in and around LA, NY, etc…but sometimes, sometimes the phone rings and the voice on the other end has a very thick accent and this very thick accent belongs to a very generous foreigner who would love for (NOT) TOM CRUISE to appear in their foreign land. These are the calls I dream about. These are the calls I yearn for. I never ever say NO to these calls. So, this very nice man named Ant Timpson, who hails from Auckland, New Zealand, asked me to donate a video to his widely regarded 48 Hour Film Festival sponsored by V (an energy drink that knocks the red out of bull). In the video,  I was asked to thank the Maori people (which I purposefully mispronounced) for their hospitality during the making of the Last Samurai, which was filmed in the beautiful country.  Long story short, the video was a hit, the crowd ate it up, and a week later, I was given the fateful news that I would be flown out to co-host the grand finale in Auckland. This was news to my ears.  I had always dreamed of visiting the other side of the world and now I had my ticket! Essentially, from the moment I stepped off the plane until I left for LA, I was disguised as my alter-ego (NOT) TOM CRUISE, channeling the movie star for a full 4 days straight.

When I wasn’t in TOM CRUISE mode, Tim Groenendaal was my faithful guide, taking me to the beaches of Kare Kare (where ” The Piano” was shot), bought me my first pie (meat pie filled with steak and cheese) which was quite delicious, and took me to the incredible island of Waiheke, where we had the most fabulous dinner and wine. Waiheke is filled with a number of incredible wineries. So, I luckily had some down time to enjoy the wonderful scenery, activities, and people of New Zealand. Next time I have an opportunity to go there, I will certainly hit up the south of NZ (Wellington and Queenstown imparticular). Because we spent so much time together, we were mistaken for a couple on several occasions.  That’s how it goes I suppose.

Tim thought it would be amusing to leak it to the press that TOM CRUISE himself would be arriving on my flight to host the 48 hour film festival. Therefore, I was instructed to get into character as I entered baggage claim to fool the awaiting paparazzi and press. I thought he was crazy or just messing with me. But he was absolutely serious. The kiwis are a lot less uptight than Americans. They have a very laid back quality, which is a refreshing departure from what I’m used to from NY/LA types.

I co-hosted the v48hour film fest with Oliver Driver, star of Black Sheep.  He was a terrific host, dressed in John Travolta Pilot garb, and we had a great vibe together on stage. Our dynamic worked really well since he stands an impressive 6’5″ to my paltry 5’5″ height. We got a lot of laughs just for standing next to one another. I had a chance to watch some incredible short films, that were put together in a remarkable 48 hours (as the title suggests). One in particular stood out, a spoof on the equally ridiculous phenomenon taking the world by storm called “planking.” The short is called Child Jumping or Chumping and I loved the film! and I equally loved the filmmakers that put it together, especially actor Tim Blatt. We ended up getting Subway Sandwiches after a night of heavy drinking and debauchery. I promised him that if I ever saw Suri out on the street in LA, I would do my very best to chump the hell out of her. I know it sounds raunchy, but it simply means that I would jump over her when she’s kneeling down. That’s it! Harmless fun!

Puts things into perspective

PR Extraordinaire

Last, but not certainly not least, I’d like to thank beautiful, charming, and classy Kassie Watson, who whipped up a ton of amazing press for me while I was out there. Here are some links:

I did a radio interview as well which was so much fun, but unfortunately you’ll have to follow the link here since wordpress has its limitations:

http://www.theedge.co.nz/Tom-Cruise-visits-Jay-Jay-Mike–Dom/tabid/106/articleID/15031/Default.aspx

Ahh the memories:

I LOVE CHUMPING...WOOOHOOOO!!!!

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I never imagined in a million years I would be acting alongside an Orange.  But that’s exactly what happened when I got the call to play  the leader of an intergallactic race of Alien Broccoli…who happens to sound exactly like Tom Cruise.  Let me back up a bit so we’re all on the same page.

The Annoying Orange is a comedy web series created by Dane Boedigheimer, also known as “Daneboe”. The first episode was uploaded on October 9, 2009. By June 2010, it had amassed over 137 million views on YouTube.[1][2] Originally, the episodes were uploaded to Boedigheimer’s YouTube channel as well as to the channel and website attached to his company, Gagfilms. When the first Annoying Orange episode reached 11 million views from Daneboe’s channel, he was inspired to make an Annoying Orange YouTube Channel. After posting videos on his channel since October 2009, this changed on January 11, 2010, when Boedigheimer decided to create an Annoying Orange YouTube channel. As of October 10th, 2010, the channel is ranked as the 10th most subscribed channel of all, and 61st most viewed of all time.

Pretty impressive, huh? I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  After accepting this intriguing opportunity, I was emailed detailed instructions by ‘Daneboe’ that elaborately laid out the proper way to shoot my eyes and mouth movements so that they could be superimposed on the face of a Broccoli stalk.  In order to do this successfully, I had to keep my head perfectly still while reciting the lines of dialogue. Then I had to shoot each of my eyes in various modes of feeling angry, intense, shocked, etc…It took a great deal of concentration but it was a lot of fun. Here’s a pic from the shoot.  For those interested in technical specs, I was instructed to shoot 1080p.

Preparing for the Annoying Orange Shoot

Headclamps to keep me perfectly still

And here are the videos as they turned out. Basically, the Annoying Orange was kind of enough to do a cameo in my show with T180 Studios and in exchange, I played the Broccoli leader in Daneboe’s episode.  Since Annoying Orange has such an enormous subscriber base,  this mutually beneficial relationship certainly benefited me more than him. Thank you Daneboe!

Annoying Orange Meets Tom Cruise

Annoying Orange: Close Encounters of the Annoying Kind

I had no idea just how big of a blog TechCrunch was as I stepped out onto the stage at the Atlassian Summitt to meet Mike Arrington and riff with him about the current technology climate.  In front of a captive audience of roughly 150 people, I raced to the stage, hi-fiving people on the way up, and proceeded to tell Mike Arrington, editor of TechCrunch and owner of the TechCrunch Network of blog and podcasting sites, that he knew nothing about technology and that I, Tom Cruise, knew EVERYTHING.  Check out the interview here:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/10/redfins-ceo-michael-arrington-and-tom-cruise-walk-into-a-room/

I was hired to portray my alternate persona at the Atlassian Summitt in San Francisco for a total of two performances. One was the interview I referenced above. The second was to host an XBOX Guitar Hero tournament the very next day in my tightey-whiteys, sliding on to the stage a la Risky Business.   The sound system was less than satisfactory for a live performance and it didn’t help the situation that the event was being held at Jillian’s, a big bar/game room.   Basically, I had to shout. So, it was Tom Cruise shouting the whole time, which is not my preference. But everyone was drunk and playing Guitar Hero and not really giving a shit.  They had this photo booth, and we all thought it would be fun if I took pictures in the booth with everyone.  So, that was pretty much the highlight of the day I’d say.

Check out some of the hilarity below!

Summit2010

One of my very good friend’s, named Lee, is in the same field as me, producing content for film, commercials, and web.  He’s got a company called The Harold Group, which reps directors and writers for commercial production. Here’s a link to his company site:

http://www.haroldgroup.com/

Anyway, I’ve known this guy for a long time and we’ve spent many great nights with drink in hand discussing films and our various relationships, etc…He’s now happily married with kids.  What he didn’t tell me is that he dabbled in acting years back, in a “former” life, much like myself. And one of the films he played a pivotal role in was none other than INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE.  He was bitten on the neck by Tom in a pivotal scene, while Brad Pitt scored himself some poodles.  I will forever live vicariously through my friend Lee and he’ll always have to wonder whether or not I have ulterior motives with him being my friend. Here’s the famous clip of him playing Tom’s victim.

The gracious folks at T180 Studios have been nice enough to write me my own show, called quite simply, “Tom Cruise.”  I’ve already made roughly ten episodes to date and have another 5 before my contract is up.  I’ve maintained a healthy 100k average views per video. Some of the more successfully produced episodes yield numbers closer to 500k to 1 million. Namely, these are the videos where I’m teamed up with such Internet Titans as Lisa Nova, Kassem G, and most recently the Annoying Orange. I found out the creator of annoying orange is so wildly successful that he pulls in approx 288k dollars a year from ad revenue sharing with youtube/google.  Crazy times that we live in. Anyway, I’ve learned that I have a small loyal audience through all this.  If only I appealed the Tweener Crowd (Twilight plus Teens), I could truly capture an audience to brag about. But that’s really not why I do this.  I do this to purely entertain. Sure, the recognition can be nice, the accolades…and I’ll be first to admit I read the comments and relish in the praise while wincing at the “Internet Trolls.” I was advised by a close friend to ignore the the negative comments but it can be hard when they are particularly scathing. I would love to lash out and resort to High school antics, but I have better sense not to do so. Here’s an excerpt from anonymous friend’s advice:

“I learned a long time ago from a famous friend of mine that when you are an entertainer, you can never read reviews or the Enquirer or gossip mags or anything, or you’ll go crazy.  In our world, the equivalent is comments.”

Anyways, here are the first couple episodes from my own show, called ‘Tom Cruise.” Basically, I answer questions from the T180 audience since I started my own webshow, an elaborate plan to take over the world and the minds of children. Pretty Wacky stuff. Hahaha

I really should remember the day. After all, it was the day I was kind of sort of introduced to the legend himself, Tom Cruise.  You see, I entered a contest on the website IBEATYOU.COM, which allows random people from around the globe to create challenges and competitions (Most useless talent, best female tattoo, best smirk, best summer body etc…).  This particular challenge, sponsored by EXTRA , was to find the best tom cruise impersonator. The winner of the contest had his video featured on Extra with AC Slater aka Mario Lopez. Also, Tom Cruise himself would be present to watch it and comment on it. Low and behold, I won the contest but had to watch from afar as TOM CRUISE laughed his ass off and comment on my uncanny ability to replicate his voice and manneurisms. I think he was a bit scared to be honest.  I don’t think he wanted to be on the same stage as me. Maybe he feared we would destroy oneanother if his doppelganger (me) and him every crossed paths. After all, as I learned in Time Cop, matter can’t occupy the same space.

Anyway, here are the pics of me NOT meeting Tom Cruise.  What a shame! Can’t believe EXTRA didn’t fly me out for this one…

Sometimes You Just Got to Say...

Mario drops my name on national TV

I wish I could locate the video clip from this segment. It was truly surreal to watch Tom Cruise relish over my impression. That was a very exciting day for me…

Due to the phenomenal success of the Twilight New Moon Spoof from Take 180 Studios, my impression suddenly went global. I had no idea Aussie’s took such a strong interest to Tom Cruise.  It must have something to do with Tom’s separation from Aussie Nicole Kidman (Nic as he affectionately called her) or the fact that Aussie’s are particularly intolerable of Scientology.  If you don’t believe me, check out this interview I did for this Australian morning show, Weekend Sunrise.

Whatever the reason may be, I got a message one day from the editors of a popular Tabloid Magazine, called FAMOUS, which runs weekly down under. The FAMOUS team wanted me to create, produce, and direct 3 web commercials, centered around Tom Cruise, to promote their tabloid magazine. They had just run a one page spread in their magazine.

BEST TOM DOUBLE EVER

This was a big opportunity for me since I’d never been given a chance to direct before.  I actually thought this potential offer was some elaborate prank! But it was real, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was knee deep in credit card debt and deeply depressed about it. Somehow, the Universe answered my desperate pleas for salvation.  I was so excited about this offer, I was literally jumping for joy.  I got on the phone with my brother, who is a writer, to drum up a bunch of ideas to submit to FAMOUS mag. We met at a coffee shop in Union Square.  During the next two hours, we came up with at least a dozen inspired ideas.

Some of the ideas were as follows:

1.  There’s a popular STREET DRUG floating around, dealt by a mysterious cloaked dealer.  The drug gets people really EXCITED about life and those who take it LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY. Turns out, Tom Cruise is the Mysterious Dealer. He’s somehow managed to create a drug that emulates his eccentric characteristics.

2. Aborigine in Australia, minding his own business, is flying a BOOMERANG.  All of a sudden, without warning, Tom Cruise steps in to frame. He proceeds to tell the Aborigine he doesn’t know the FIRST THING ABOUT BOOMERANGS (a la Matt Lauer Interview).  He snatches the flying object from his hands and proceeds to throw it a multitude of times, laughing maniacally the entire time. The third time he throws it, his laughter is cut short as the boomerang LOPS OFF HIS HEAD.  The Aborigine shrugs his shoulders and picks up the boomerang to resume throwing it.

I loved this one and it would have required me to fly to Australia.  Unfortunately, it was not picked.

3. Tom Cruise wrestles with a Crocodile in super slow motion. Cut to tom Wrestling with a Puppet Crocodile.

Obviously, I was trying my best to get flown out to Australia!

These were just a handful of ideas. What they ended up going for was one of the least of my favorites. It was simply the least edgy/risky of the concepts.  Basically, they gushed over A DAY IN THE LIFE OF TOM CRUISE, where you have Tom Cruise in everyday normal guy scenarios, like getting a cup of coffee or buying some norwegian sock-eye salmon. Stuff Like That.

With a skeleton crew, I shot these videos in 3 days, during a massive snowstorm, and still managed to get all my setups and shots.  With a few weeks of editing, here’s the final product. We even got a shout out from Perez Hilton for the coffee episode.