Fashion Police Strike

•April 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I am  one of the E! FASHION POLICE writers who is on strike. Have you heard about this yet?

Here is the real story. The truth and nothing but the truth. 
There are 12 writers (9 fighting the fight) who are trying to have E! Sign a union contract with us and our representatives at THE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA WEST (WGA). Right now we are paid an embarrassing amount of money to write and go to meetings totaling about 35 hours on average per week. We usually write 250-300 jokes and 20-30 guest questions each week. We write for the top rated variety TV show on the network and right now we are paid …..,brace yourself………ready……..$610 a week with no benefits.  That is $466.13 after taxes. And some weeks we have even more taxes taken out when they combine two weeks into a check. That is $1864.52 for the month. My bills, child support and living expenses per month are about $5000 a month. Thank god I have stand up comedy to pay the bills. Don’t get me wrong. I signed up for this. I knew what I was getting into. I was happy to have it. 
On our pay checks however it says we  are paid $610 for 8 hours. We spend  at least 4 hours each week just at the pitch meeting. Pitch meetings are  a 2-3 hour round trip from my house depending on traffic. We are being paid for 8 hours when we work for almost 40 hours. So that is why we all filed suits against E! In all honesty I care less about recouping my past wages as I do being paid fairly from here on out. Chelsea Lately and The Soup are two shows that already became union for the writers a while ago. Why is E! putting up a fight? Notice I keep using E! not Joan Rivers. She has always been very good to me and very supportive. She also loves and supports us in this fight for better pay according to her own words. I am sure she is upset by all of this and the personal lawsuits against her company, but my guess is she still stands with us. I believe she just doesn’t want to go union if that means she has to have 7 writers instead of all 12 of us. There is no reason she shouldn’t get 12 writers. Chelsea and The Soup have 6-7 writers for 1/2 hour shows. Fashion police should have double the writers for a 1 hour show. 
E! claims that the only way the will negotiate a contract with us is if we hold what is called an ELECTION. Basically this means they want all of us to come to E! and do a show of hands that we all want the WGA to represent us to get a contract. Sounds easy enough right? Well here is the trick, if we hold an election we must drop the 1.5 million dollar lawsuits against them.  Also once the election is held they can take as long as they want to negotiate with us. They did this trick to Chelsea’s writers and then took about a year to give them a contract. That is why we the writers are refusing to hold this election. As for the lawsuits I’m pretty sure we would all drop them if they gave us a contract. I can’t speak for all of us but I could see that happening. 
I guess the worst part of this whole mess is that to me it seems easy to fix. E! Wants us to hold and election before they will negotiate and we want a contract with no election. 
So here is the easy fix. E! Could say we will bring a contract (equal or better than the one Chelsea has) to the election. We would easily agree to that and be back to work the same day. Someone at E! Please make this happen!
I want to go back to work today. I LOVE working for FASHION POLICE. Love it! I love the producers and staff at E!, the head writer Tony, my fellow writers and of course Joan Rivers. I’ve been a Joan Rivers fan my whole life. I am head over heals going to work every week with the funniest woman of all time. My girlfriend Rebekah has been brought on recently as a replacement writer on the show as well. Working together on the same TV show has been amazing! 
I have been a comedian for 26 years and have made a great name for myself on TV and on the road. Most years I am on the road for 50 weeks a year. That doesn’t mean I’m gone the whole time, but that I work out of town at least one show a week. It’s fun and it pays the bills but it also effects how much I can see my daughter Willow. I get her every other weekend and sometimes I have to take a gig on my weekends with her just to get by. About 8 months ago I promised myself that I would find some sort of work in Hollywood that was related to the Entertainment business, so I could only have to be on the road 16 weeks a year. That is when I got the audition for FASHION POLICE. It has been great to be off the road a little less. I just want to go back to work and be paid a fair wage so I can see Willow more and finally get her the puppy I have been promising her since she was 2. And Id like to be able to have health insurance for the first time in my life. 

I am a writer on Strike from FASHION POLICE

•April 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I am  one of the E! FASHION POLICE writers who is on strike. Have you heard about this yet?

Here is the real story. The truth and nothing but the truth. 
There are 12 writers (9 fighting the fight) who are trying to have E! Sign a union contract with us and our representatives at THE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA WEST (WGA). Right now we are paid an embarrassing amount of money to write and go to meetings totaling about 35 hours on average per week. We usually write 250-300 jokes and 20-30 guest questions each week. We write for the top rated variety TV show on the network and right now we are paid …..,brace yourself………ready……..$610 a week with no benefits.  That is $466.13 after taxes. And some weeks we have even more taxes taken out when they combine two weeks into a check. That is $1864.52 for the month. My bills, child support and living expenses per month are about $5000 a month. Thank god I have stand up comedy to pay the bills. Don’t get me wrong. I signed up for this. I knew what I was getting into. I was happy to have it. 
On our pay checks however it says we  are paid $610 for 8 hours. We spend  at least 4 hours each week just at the pitch meeting. Pitch meetings are  a 2-3 hour round trip from my house depending on traffic. We are being paid for 8 hours when we work for almost 40 hours. So that is why we all filed suits against E! In all honesty I care less about recouping my past wages as I do being paid fairly from here on out. Chelsea Lately and The Soup are two shows that already became union for the writers a while ago. Why is E! putting up a fight? Notice I keep using E! not Joan Rivers. She has always been very good to me and very supportive. She also loves and supports us in this fight for better pay according to her own words. I am sure she is upset by all of this and the personal lawsuits against her company, but my guess is she still stands with us. I believe she just doesn’t want to go union if that means she has to have 7 writers instead of all 12 of us. There is no reason she shouldn’t get 12 writers. Chelsea and The Soup have 6-7 writers for 1/2 hour shows. Fashion police should have double the writers for a 1 hour show. 
E! claims that the only way the will negotiate a contract with us is if we hold what is called an ELECTION. Basically this means they want all of us to come to E! and do a show of hands that we all want the WGA to represent us to get a contract. Sounds easy enough right? Well here is the trick, if we hold an election we must drop the 1.5 million dollar lawsuits against them.  Also once the election is held they can take as long as they want to negotiate with us. They did this trick to Chelsea’s writers and then took about a year to give them a contract. That is why we the writers are refusing to hold this election. As for the lawsuits I’m pretty sure we would all drop them if they gave us a contract. I can’t speak for all of us but I could see that happening. 
I guess the worst part of this whole mess is that to me it seems easy to fix. E! Wants us to hold and election before they will negotiate and we want a contract with no election. 
So here is the easy fix. E! Could say we will bring a contract (equal or better than the one Chelsea has) to the election. We would easily agree to that and be back to work the same day. Someone at E! Please make this happen!
I want to go back to work today. I LOVE working for FASHION POLICE. Love it! I love the producers and staff at E!, the head writer Tony, my fellow writers and of course Joan Rivers. I’ve been a Joan Rivers fan my whole life. I am head over heals going to work every week with the funniest woman of all time. My girlfriend Rebekah has been brought on recently as a replacement writer on the show as well. Working together on the same TV show has been amazing! 
I have been a comedian for 26 years and have made a great name for myself on TV and on the road. Most years I am on the road for 50 weeks a year. That doesn’t mean I’m gone the whole time, but that I work out of town at least one show a week. It’s fun and it pays the bills but it also effects how much I can see my daughter Willow. I get her every other weekend and sometimes I have to take a gig on my weekends with her just to get by. About 8 months ago I promised myself that I would find some sort of work in Hollywood that was related to the Entertainment business, so I could only have to be on the road 16 weeks a year. That is when I got the audition for FASHION POLICE. It has been great to be off the road a little less. I just want to go back to work and be paid a fair wage so I can see Willow more and finally get her the puppy I have been promising her since she was 2. And Id like to be able to have health insurance for the first time in my life. 

UFO’s, Ghosts and Prayers are not just for crazy people.

•March 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

  I am not crazy. I’m not. I am very sane. When I watch shows like Ghost Hunters, UFO documentaries and so on, I always seem to think  “Man those people are nuts!” Yet I have seen ghosts and UFO’s. I always seem to push that to the back of my mind. Maybe it’s because everyone who ever claims to see those things seems some how crazy.

  It all started back when I was a kid. Probably 10 years old. I lived on a navy base in the middle of the Mojave desert in California called China Lake. I was used to hearing and seeing jets, weather balloons, spy planes and other new things that the navy was testing. However most of it was done during the day. Well, one night I was on my back patio just after sundown. I looked up and maybe 200 feet over my head I saw what looked like a giant bolt of lightning slowly go over my head. The whole thing only lasted about 5 to 10 seconds. I knew this was weird. I told my dad and he called a few people on the base and they said they knew nothing about it. He then called the radio station to see if anyone reported it. Again nothing. Oh well, I knew what I saw. It was unidentified. It was Flying. Not sure if it was an object.

Lets move on. When I was about 8 or 9 and living in that same house on the base, my great Aunt Betty who lived with us had passed away.  I then lived in her room. One night I woke up….maybe to pee, I don’t know. But as I sat up in bed I saw what looked like a flashlight in the hallway. At first I thought maybe my dad was doing something in another part of the house and using a flashlight. Then the thought hit me that we were being robbed or worse. I laid back down and hid under my covers. I pulled them back just far enough for me to peek out at the hallway. The light got closer. As I saw someone illuminated walking down the hall, I covered my face again with the covers and tried not to breath or make a sound. I heard nothing. I stayed as still as possible for about two minutes. When I still heard nothing, I decided to peek out again. This time I saw it clear as day. It was a ghost glowing and standing in my doorway. It looked like my Aunt Betty. I froze again, but this time my eyes were out of the covers. Me and the ghost must have looked at each other for what felt like a minute. Then just like that, it turned around and walked through the next door across the hall. Right through it. And went into my Great Grama Becker’s room. That was my Aunt Betty’s Sister. I jumped up and ran as fast as I could to my parents room right next door. They told me it was a dream. It was not. I was wide awake for all of it. I still remember it as clear as day. The whole thing lasted a long time. I was petrified. It happened, it was real. Later in life, my mom stayed at a bed and breakfast with friends and co-workers while on travel. That night a man and his dog walked into her room. She said hello to him and he just looked at her and walked away. The next morning she told everyone at breakfast. They all saw him too and had on other visits. But the man and the dog were not real. They were the resident ghosts. My mom believes the Aunt Betty story now.

About 11 years ago I was sitting at a casino in San Diego called Viejas. My parents and Ex-wife were with me. We would go to this casino when we heard that Keno jackpot machines were starting to get high. As locals, we knew when certain banks of machines were ready to hit the jackpot. All the locals knew. Certain groups of machines always seemed to hit at about the same amount of money every time. Give or take $10,000.  I sat there waiting for a machine for hours and finally got one. I put money in and got my Ex so she could play there. I again waited hours for another machine. Finally one came up on the other side away from her so I took it. She had spent most of the money we brought to try for this jackpot. It was $79,000 and we needed it. We had a lot of bills and were getting married. As I put my last $20 bill in…..I said a prayer in my head. something like…God forgive me for asking but I need help. I am broke and this jackpot would save me. I know you have bigger problems in this world. But at least consider letting me hit something big so we can just try longer for the jackpot. Now here is the thing. I was not a gambler. We did this only when there was a giant jackpot to win. My parents had used this system in the past and won about 20 jackpots. I had won one years earlier for $10,000. I had never prayed to God for gambling. But this one time I did. I wrapped up my prayer and hit the button on the machine. I won on that pull $680.00. WOW! Now we could try for a long time to win. As I played and played. I had other things on my mind. There was a kid I went to high school with named Tony Daniel. He was this really funny black kid. The class clown. He always inspired me to do comedy. Well just after high school he was the innocent victim of a drive by. My high school had sent me a note that week (The week I was gambling) saying that it was the last chance to buy a $200 brick to put out in front of the school with our names on it. I had been wanting to buy one in memoriam of Tony. I stopped gambling and prayed again. I said God, I really need this. And if I win I promise to buy that brick for Tony and contact his family somehow to let them know he was remembered and would have his own brick. I finished that prayer and pushed the button. And I instantly won $79,000.  Tony now has a brick in front of Patrick Henry High School in San Diego. His family was very happy.

  Finally, about 8 or so years ago, I was sitting on my front porch with my Ex at our house in Canoga Park, California. It’s a suburb of Los Angeles. It was about 5pm and pretty sunny with clear blue sky’s. I looked up and saw what I thought was a star. I said to her. Look a star. I have never seen a star in the middle of the day. She was like, wow that’s crazy. I then looked a little over from it and saw 4 more. I said those have to be balloons. There are no stars in the day time. We watched them and realized that they we moving. They are defiantly balloons we agreed. And then something happened. They all came from different places in the sky and gathered together to form a circle. Next, they all started spinning that circle in the same direction. I freaked out. so did she. I said holy crap those are UFO’s and ran to get my video camera. When I came back out, our neighbor Jon was there and was looking at them now too. I tried my best to find them with my camera but they were only coming out to the naked eye. The Camera did not have a good zoom feature. We watched them spin in the that circle for another 2 minutes and then they each shot off in their own direction and were gone like lighting bolts in an instant. Again we called, the radio, the FAA and the FBI. The FBI guy thought I was nuts. I’m probably on a list somewhere. But this time I had 2 other witnesses.

  Those things all really happened to me. They did. But for some reason, unlike others who those have happened to, those events didn’t change my life. I didn’t feel the need to go on a life quest of finding out the answers. I did find comfort in the ghost and prayers. Those things let me know that there is something out there greater than us. I was raised Catholic and was even an altar boy. But I lost religion years ago. I just didn’t believe in all the hocus pocus of it all. Especially all the man made rules. But I do know that there is a God and there are ghosts and that makes me happy. That knowledge makes it easier to get by. It made it easier when my brother died. I will see him again. I believe that.

DANTE

Woman…..wanna know what men really want from you?

•March 4, 2011 • 4 Comments

  Let me start by saying that I think woman are to be loved, respected, heard, held, protected and in many cases to be treated like a queen. Men should go back to a time where they were more gallant. Flowers, poems and opening doors should not just be for anniversary’s, Valentines day or first dates. Most men have a lot of issues. A lot.  But that is for another blog.

  This is about what men need and want. What men expect from woman. Lets shorten this blog a ton by stating the obvious…… SEX. Lots of it and as often as possible. Ok that was a no brainer. Let’s move on to other things men want. This blog is not about every man, but it covers most men. Most good men. Men want to feel like a man. We need to woman to tell us we are good, strong, handsome, sexy, good providers and that we make you feel safe. We need you to protect our hearts and power. So many fights between men and woman go back to our hearts and power. Let me give you an example of what I mean….. If our wife or girlfriend goes out to the bar for girls night out, and men come up with free drinks and sits and talk with her and her girlfriends…….this may seem innocent enough, however to a man, we know other men. They want your time. Even if you do not flirt or even if the man is not overtly flirting, this is usually a problem. Here is why….as a man we don’t want another man to be able to buy your time with drinks. We have money that you can use to buy drinks. Not that you don’t have your own money, I am just saying we would rather buy you a drink than let another man do it. Also it is one of those situations that if we were there, this probably would not be happening. You were careless with our heart and you gave our power away. Do you understand? If not, ask yourself if it is ok if your man bought drinks with his friends and walked up to a group of woman and talked to them most of the night. If you still don’t get it, you never will. By the way, we want you to have a good time with your friends, we just hope that you will tell men on the prowl “No thanks”.

  A man wants to feel like the man of your dreams. So many woman love to talk about how hot they find some actor, sports star or rock star. Don’t! I know a lot of men do it too, but it is because you allow it. If he wants them tell him to go be with them.

  When you first date a guy, remember he may be the one. If he is the one and you told him all these things about other guys, you can’t take that back. Anything you ever say about another man will be burned into his brain for the rest of his life. Every man wants to be the best, the biggest, the sexiest and most handsome. Even if we aren’t, we want to be.

  Okay this next part you ladies are not going to like. Don’t shoot the messenger. I am just being honest. I have recently asked a diverse group of guys what they hate about woman. Here are some of the things I heard.

1. Don’t change your hair! We hate this. Every guy I talked to brought this up. If when we met you had long pretty blonde hair, that was what we wanted. Don’t cut it shorter and shorter every time you go to the salon. We notice. Don’t cut it short. If it was long when we met you, we like it long. Short hair reminds us of men. Halle Berry is sexy because she had short hair when we first saw her. Another no no is Bangs. They work for lots of woman, but, if you didn’t have bangs when we met, we passed up 50 girls with bangs to get to you. Why do you want purple hair now? If you had bangs and short purple hair when we met, then that is what we are attracted to. Do you get it?

2. We like woman, dress like one. Why is it that when we met, you were wearing skirts and dresses and now you wear jeans and a t-shirt everyday. I wear jeans and a t-shirt everyday, not you. Remember?

3. Save something for us. When we become the one, we want a part of you we can just call our own. If you have had sex in every way possible and every boyfriend before us was the one and got your heart as well, what does that leave us? Save something for the guy lucky enough to be your husband.

4. Cut ties with your Ex’s. We don’t want to see them, meet them or do anything with them. Most men live in the present, but when we are reminded of your past we get insecure and sad. Yes we had a life before you and you did the same, but now you are with us. We live in a wonderland with you in our heads. But as soon as a past love comes into our lives, wonderland goes away. Woman hate our ex’s but can never seem to get that we don’t like yours either.

  I’m sure there is so much more I could have put in this blog about all the things men want. Hell I believe a book could be written about it. But this is my first blog and I am not sure how much or how little to write. I think I will get used to what my readers want when they tell me. By the way, not everything I said above, do I completely agree with. But I know these things to be important to men. I am a man. I have dated. I was married. I am madly in love with a perfect woman who loves me. Again I also need to write a blog about the things woman want and the things wrong with men. It is just not this one. However, most things I said in here, can be turned right back around on men. I just decided to start off my blogs with something I had been thinking of a lot lately. I was going to turn this information into jokes for my act, but somehow that just never happened. Why waste the knowledge I collected?

  Finally, I think woman also need to keep in mind that men are people too. Most men. Some are dogs and some are wolves, but some are nice good guys. And I know a lot of woman have it in their DNA that “Good guy” means pussy and “Bad boy” equals fun. The words GOOD and BAD are in those quotes. One is good and one is bad. You get what you choose.  Anyway, good guys have dreams of their fairy tale lives with woman. We just don’t have any Disney movies all about the prince for you to reference.

I hope this helps. I think sometimes if you read something or sit though a seminar or class and just hear other people give opinions, sometimes a drop of gold falls out of their mouth that you can put in your tool box of life.

DANTE

 
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