About Tucker

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RELATIVITY AND SELF INDULGENCE

So, David Katz. Was able to legally purchase at least two handguns in Baltimore, Md along with ammunition. Was legally able to possess both. Was able to travel from Maryland to Florida in possession of two pistols and ammunition (presumably by car, I HOPE he wasn’t allowed to fly in!) Was able to enter the venue in possession of two pistols and ammunition.

His prior history includes documented mental health issues and prescribed anti-depressants. A child from a broken home, described as quiet and a loner. I don’t believe that electronic gaming is the issue here. I’d be shocked if, following a pick up game of flag football or softball, someone went off and began firing at people…but perhaps a chess tournament or a spelling bee or a hold em tournament…yeah, that might make sense to me. Can you appreciate what they have in common? Btw, this video game wasn’t literally a “war game”; it was Madden football, after all.

So I’d be reluctant to accuse gaming as a core cause. Occam’s razor. That so clearly (in retrospect) a young man can legally purchase multiple firearms and ammunition (with a documented history of mental health issues), transport them across state lines and bring them into a public venue; that’s where I’d begin looking to attribute responsibility and opportunity for this most recent atrocity.

As a society we seem willing to forgive such conduct, all in the name of a misunderstood (deliberately) item in our Bill Of Rights. So it goes…and will continue…

MORE RELATIVITY

Arose at 4 to play nine holes at sunrise before the heat got busy. Driving to Woodley, the sky was glorious! Violets, pinks, grays, golds, blues…hadn’t seen that in years! Off at 6:30, shot an eclectic 43 on Woodley’s back nine. Meaning scruffed shot, BRILLIANT approach. Topped drive, EXQUISITE recovery! Sliced drive, LASER-LIKE pitch. Lousy chip, SINKS a 40 foot snake! Great fun!;)

You know the upside from having made an exorbitant purchase (like my $600 dinner?) All other decisions seem moderate in comparison. Like a Scotty Cameron putter; they cost about $250. I’ve been playing golf since 1958! I have probably 12 putters downstairs, none of which cost more than $100, none of which I use with any confidence. “I’m not good enough to own a Scotty Cameron putter!” Well maybe there’s a reason they cost so much, Tucker. Maybe if you bought one, you’d become a better putter.

And now I guess I will. I mean, in comparison to that gonzo priced dinner, how can I say no?  😉  I’ve committed to a dining experience to commemorate this years ReBirthday. This will easily be the most unique meal I’ve ever enjoyed; a once in a lifetime indulgence. Show your PriceIsRight chops and guess the tab, without going over. Bon appetit! 😉

SPECIAL MENU SEPTEMBER 25TH

A SCRATCH | RESTAURANTS CONCEPT

Course 1
Peruvian Scallop Crudo, Lime, Grapefruit, Cilantro, Fried Oysters
JM Gobillard Brut Champagne

Course 2
Live Maine Lobster, Pommes Puree, Caviar
2013 Val de Mer Grand Cru Chablis

Course 3
Mary’s Duck Breast, Confit Duck Leg, Carrot, Black Truffle, Foie Gras, Lavender
2015 Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Cabernet Sauvignon

Course 4
Venison, Roasted Pear, Huckleberry, Chanterelle Mushrooms
2013 Hundred Acre Wraith Cabernet Sauvignon

Course 5
Wagyu Ribeye, Confit Weiser Fingerling Potatoes, Black Truffle-Lardo, Charred Onion Chimichurri
2015 Hundred Acre Ark Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Course 6
Peruvian Dark Chocolate, Fresh Thyme
2007 Hundred Acre Fortification

What was your guess?  Was it $650?  If so, you win.  😉

 

 

 

 

 

JUST A HOLLYWOOD AFTERNOON

JUST A HOLLYWOOD AFTERNOON

After a meeting on Wilshire, I stop by a RiteAid on LaBrea before heading back to the valley. It’s one of those weird ones (I guess in high crime neighborhoods) that keep their liquor under lock and key. I sigh and return to the front for a manager to open the display case. She’s a little agitated…as are several male employees. “He’s got a knife!” They’re dealing with a shoplifter who is now just outside the front door and not leaving. “Gimme back my knapsack!”

One of the guys opens the shoplifters abandoned knapsack and out tumble 15 plastic bottles of – Wait for it! – HEAD AND SHOULDERS. Wtf? (Can you drink that?) I persuade her to walk back with me to open the display case, I select a 1.75 liter bottle of rum and proceed to the front. The stand off continues, the workers say repeatedly, “The police have been called!”

  1. Can I check out? She says, “Yeah…but don’t leave. He’s got a knife.” Fine. I’ve got a big bottle of rum. I like my chances. The sale is completed and I make my way past the lookeeloos, thru the front door…and look for the guy. I can hear sirens in the distance…and so can he, I guess. He’s moving north thru the parking lot, but in no hurry. He’s white, maybe 40-ish. He doesn’t look homeless, he doesn’t look drunk or stoned…I guess he’s just obsessive about clean hair, I dunno.

I reach my car as a police SUV rolls up, sirens blaring and lights flashing. They pull in behind me and I take the southernmost exit and as I turn north, a second police SUV arrives, sirens and lights on, too. They pull into the lot behind me as well. As I slowly move north on LaBrea, the first SUV has pulled back out onto LaBrea, now just ahead of me. I can see the guy on the sidewalk, walking north. Deliberately…but every so often he throws both arms up in the air as if to say, “Well whaddaya WANT?” But hardly manic, just mildly frustrated. And I notice a female cop, the driver leaning out of her window and…Yo Tucker, is that a…? And yes it is, that is a Glock that she is aiming at this guy on the sidewalk…And I kinda eeeease back a few feet, cause if HE is armed, I am seriously downrange!

But the guy just continues to walk north….and both SUV’s again pull up alongside him, lights and sirens still blaring…and after a few moments, the guy resumes his walk north. Finally a logical tactic is employed; the first SUV pulls up AHEAD of the guy and cuts him off. A male cop exits, gun drawn…and the guy faces him, no evident weapon in sight…and the cop physically takes him down. At this point, I’m content to pull away, bemused by the SUV tactics. I mean, I’m no expert but even I know that to cut someone off, you need to get ahead of them. No shots fired, no fatalities. Dandruff must be a bitch.

 

BLACKFACE

When IS blackface appropriate? 
It’s not listed among Greg’s theater credits, THE LAST MINSTREL SHOW, which starred Della Reese and was slated for Broadway. But after out of town runs in Delaware and Philadelphia, we never arrived at our slated opening at the Helen Hayes Theater. (I still have that NY Times full page ad announcing our arrival.) So it goes.

Our producers included Colleen Dewhurst and they simply ran out of money, couldn’t get the sets out of Philly. The music and dancing were compelling and the book engaged the use of blackface in a time of social change in America. My character, Jimmy “Tuskegee” White questioned the morality of “corking up” to perform our music, believing it to be demeaning to people of color. In the second act, he confronts Black Sally (Della Reese) with his concerns and then chooses to quit the production.

Greg had been a performer for all of his life…but this was his first dramatic character role. He was a brilliant dancer and singer; his instincts were solid but he’d had little prior training as an actor. (I’ve had the singular pleasure of having tap danced with Gregory Hines and Jeffrey Thompson on a Broadway stage!) 
During the run he approached me one afternoon and asked, “Tucker, every show you play that scene…and every night you break down, often on the same word. How do you do that?” I described to him my training with Meisner and with Stella, spoke of “a preparation” and the actors work of creating a characters history, back story and how that would inform his work, once in performance.

I don’t remember if Greg ever told me who he chose to study with…but I do remember a call late one nite. I was then living in my Tribeca loft. The phone rang and in hushed tones but full of excitement, Greg said, “Tuck! I’m down in the morgue! These guys are showing me how they do what they do!” Jesus, Greg, the morgue? But good on you! Greg was passionate about growing as an artist. And he was now preparing his character for the film WOLFEN. He continued to elevate his game with each performance, his creative instincts always on point.

And speaking of phone calls, months later I returned home one night from a black tie affair…and had this persistent impulse. CALL GREG! Not sure why…but I did; I left him a message. Days later he returned my call. “Tuck, I’m in Napa with Francis Coppola, working on a script. I think there’s something in it for you. I’ll be in touch.” The project was The Cotton Club.

Several weeks later in NY, I took a meeting for the project. I walked into a room with just two men, Francis Coppola and Robert Evans. I approached the conference table. They looked at me and then they looked at each other…and in unison, they said, “Kid Griffin.” That led to five months of creative joy…with Greg, with Diane Lane, with Laurence Fishburne and with just about every goddamn Hollywood star imaginable. They all visited our set every week and especially every weekend. For the parties! We had the most beautiful women in the world attached to this project…and they all wanted to meet them. 
Greg was a dear friend, a singular artist who left us far too soon. Art is short…and life thereafter, far too long…