This Year’s Mother’s Day…

Posted: May 10, 2015 in Blog
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On this Mother’s Day my heart is heavy… Two days ago I get a message from my mom, a group text to my entire family relaying messages from my Auntie Pinky that Grandma Basco’s health, which already was not doing well, with her on dialysis and recently coming out of a blood transfusion, is doing much worse, dire even. She’s refused to go back to dialysis, hasn’t eaten in two days and has called for the priest. Also, she wants everyone to come home. When the matriarch of our Basco clan summons us home, especially upon her death bed to say goodbye, we all piled into cars, jumped on planes and rushed home to see her.

Upon reaching Auntie Pinky’s house in our hometown of Pittsburg, CA, I find my beloved grandmother, now 92, once the feisty fireball of woman, with my even keeled grandfather that stood at the head of our family. They immigrated to America from the Philippines like most families here, in hopes of a better life and some sixty years later, here we are, here we all are, the Basco family, now with nearly same amount of people as her age. Her children and children’s children, she’s even lived to see her great great grandchildren. All her family and extended family surrounding her, laughing, singing songs, dancing, drinking and eating… and crying a little. But not crying because we’re sad, she has lived an amazing life and all of us come from her and the family tree she’s built has flourished here in America, I guess we cry little because we’re going to miss her.

I love you, Grandma… Growing up, everyone around town knew I was a Basco because they said I looked just like you, I always felt we we had a special connection because of that. I’m going to miss you forever. Happy Mother’s Day.

Robber or Ghost?

Posted: April 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

As many of you know, I’ve been away shooting a film out of town and so my apartment in LA has been vacant for the last month. My fiancé stops by every few days to just check mail and what not… (probably to clean up, she’s obsessed with cleanliness, my cleanliness in particular) But this story is about something else. See, she texts me to urgently call her and as I’m 10 hours ahead out here in Eastern Europe, I receive the message as I wake up. We get on a facetime chat, I lovingly bid her a good morning, even though it’s the middle of the night in LA. And she says, “Babe, you won’t believe this…” and proceeds to tell the story of her, earlier in the day, going by the place and just doing mail or clean or whatever she does at my place when I’m not around. But she says when she walks into the house she hears voices… first a woman, then a man. She calls out and walk into room where she hears the talking to find that the TV is on and the couple talking is on the screen. She looks around and sees the window is open…
Now, she thought someone must have came into the house, as I’m sure we all would… I mean, the open window still had the screen on it, but how is this possible? And instead of running out to get a neighbor or thee building manager, she goes to investigate herself!!! What is she thinking? She goes to check the closets, under the bed, behind the shower curtain… is she looking for a robber? I don’t know what she plans to do if she finds a robber hiding!!!
In any case, she’s pretty gangsta, I guess… and the only conclusion I can come to is some ghost has been chilling is my crib while I was gone who apparently likes to watch TV! 

Last weekend in Plovdiv…

Posted: April 11, 2015 in Blog
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I’m fortunate in my career to have the opportunity travel quite a lot, around my own country and the world abroad. Unfortunately, I travel for work and thus, working most of the time I’m in these various locations. Some friends and family think I’m vacationing, but most of the times I’m working twelve hour days or more and that leaves little time to really just explore. I do my best to schedule time to try to experience these amazing places. Many times I’ll spend an afternoon or evening with headphones on just wondering the streets of a new city or town, sometimes you’re lucky to find yourself with a cool new crew and we can experience things together. My cast mates on this film all quickly bonded and have become a family feeling, so on a shared day off, a family field trip seemed like the perfect thing to do. Under the tutelage of our elder cast member Stephen Hogan, a proper Irishman, he thought we should get some history in and we traveled an hour and a half out of town to see the ancient town of Plovdiv.

We piled in a van and we rolled around this amazing city with the charming “Old Town,” section being explained to us on a 2 hour walking tour. Somewhat hung over and sleep deprived from the night before of dancing and drinking in Sofia, I was a bit reluctant, but then thought… “When the hell am I ever going to do this again?” And I was so happy I was able to go and see this new world. It was like walking around the some theme park like Disneyland… the ancient civilization attraction… except, this is real and these buildings and churches and cobble stoned streets were hundreds, if not thousands of years old.

And it’s great to step out of this Hollywood world to to see that, as we do in our little city, and I’m sure that everyone does, think the world revolves around our own little dramas that go on in our town. It’s nice to see that cities and civilizations  existed and still do exist that don’t even know we’re alive. They’ve been here long before we were around and will most likely be here far after us and our careers and our dramas are done…

Landing In Sofia…

Posted: March 23, 2015 in Blog
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It’s been 18 years since I’ve been in Bulgaria and as I wait for my luggage, I see many things have changed in this airport, my last memory was of less modern place. I remember coming out of a little airstrip that I didn’t really consider an international airport and greeted by a swarm cab drivers and the like urging me to ride with them, tugging at my luggage to deliver me to any hotel of my choice. But walking around this airport, it’s all new, time has passed and it seems, nearly 20 years can change a place. But there’s still not a ton of people walking around the airport, just the people from my flight and it feels as if the world has slowed down a bit. The pace has already changed. People quietly form lines to walk through the passport booths… a process like this in LA or New York can take an hour or more at times, here it’s just a matter of a few minutes. As I reached the front and check in with the passport agent, he asks if this is my first time in Bulgaria, I say, “No, actually I’ve been here 18 years ago.” Which gives him a pause… I ask, “Has it changed much?” He simply frowned and look to the ceiling, shrugged and simply said, “You will see.”

Happy Love Day…

Posted: February 14, 2015 in Blog, Poems
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I dig Valentine’s Day. I woke up not too long ago and I find myself watching “500 Days of Summer,” it’s Valentine’s Day and seems like the perfect way to slowly start this day, just sipping a cup of coffee, eating some yogurt, still in the sweat pants I slept i last night watching Zooey Deschanel, who I find incredibly cute and infinitely watchable, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the awkward love story in a picturesque downtown Los Angeles.

I’m posting a few love poems I’ve written in the past, I didn’t write anything new this year, I’m still in love and I gave her a bike instead of a poem this year… That alone sounds funny, but it was her first bike and to see her face when she saw this red beach cruiser with with a Happy Valentine’s Day balloon attached to was priceless. It was like that feeling you had when you were a kid waking up Christmas morning to find a new bike under the tree, pure childish elation… Now, I have to teach her how ride the thing. I don’t remember how to teach someone how to do that. I just remember crashing a few times when I was learning from my older brother Derek.

Today is cool if you have someone to share it with… it’s even ok if you don’t, just celebrating that love is out there in the world and the pursuit of it all is a worthy cause.

So go kiss someone you dig or go commiserate with friends because you don’t have someone to kiss, but just go celebrate this intangible thing that we all watch movies about and poets write poems about and singers sing songs about… Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s my new show, “Filthy Casual.” It’s really simple, I learn to play all these games that we’ve all been hearing about, but really have no idea what they are all about! I, like most people out there, grew up with a love for video games, I had the Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Nintendo, PS3 and as I grew up, I found myself not having a lot of time to play. They’re were other games I found myself playing, the arduous task of building a career and of course, the chasing of women around this Hollywood town.

Somehow I’ve been lucky to make a full circle in life and now, through this little show, I can indulge myself in one of my adolescent passions, video games! Now, I’ve always been aware of new games out there, even been able to voice some characters in a few. But now, I get to learn about all the games I’ve missed and try some of the brand new ones.

So join me in learning these new games, maybe some of you will pick up some of these games yourself… or just laugh at me trying to figure out what some of the new kids are just doing effortlessly…

Ps… for those who don’t understand the title of the show, gamers call people that don’t play games that often or well (like me), “casuals”… I’m the Filthy Casual in this case, which was also a popular meme. Shout out to my cousin Nick who create this show for me and directs the episodes.

Independent Filmmaking…

Posted: February 12, 2015 in Blog
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Recently finishing an independent film entitled, “The Head Thieves,” it all got me to thinking about the whole world of independent movies. Many of you that have followed my career have seen me do my time with great characters in the studio system, like “Hook” or “Take the Lead,” and television, but a really big part of the industry, especially within the last few decades has become independent filmmaking.
Now you may know of this genre by the artsy little film house that plays them in your town or city, or flashy words like Sundance Film festival or something like that, and those are the things that made indies popular, but as I wrap another indie I find myself having a different feeling.
Look, I love working in the big studio films, I wish there was more work for me there, I love the pay checks and just the grandness of everything, from the sets to the trailers to the personalities, it’s an amazing world. But independent film is something else, and now I’m talking real indie stuff, not like some thinly veiled studio film made by studio folks slumming it for awhile, shooting a low budget 5 million dollar films. (Nothing against those, I love a lot of those) I’m talking about really guerrilla, no budget, you have to be insane to do this kind of film making. Straight up, someone has a script or an idea that one of your friends thought was great and somehow has convinced a small group of people join somewhat of a platoon, call themselves a film crew and go to battle to make a movie. It’s sounds funny, but it’s kind of what happens. I’ve been on both sides, several times now, being convinced to take a few weeks out of my life to help bring to life a vision a friend or a friend of a friend has, and I’ve been that guy, over drinks or a semi-lavish dinner, where in I will pick up the check, convincing friends or friend of friends to join me in the noble cause of making a movie.
Now, I’ve never been to war, but independent filmmaking is the closest thing I’ve had to it. Just this last film, I found myself signing on because my little brother came to me with 29 pages of a script of some guy he worked with in the past and said he wanted to do it and wanted me to do it too. I actually liked the script and asked where the rest was, he said he didn’t know and we are to play brothers and we’ll have another brother and this guy is white and he never met him, but he’s also the executive producer on the film… All this is usually bad signs in starting to try to make a movie, but I thought, hell let’s meet. I actually liked everyone on our first meeting, I asked if I can do a southern accent for the character, the director agreed and I said I can give you 2 weeks to shoot this flick. (It always takes more time than they promise you at the beginning)
Cut to… Now I’m sleeping in a trailer in a field somewhere in Modesto, in a field surrounded by cows, cows that I can smell from my bunk bed, an army of flies swarm around my trailer, I put up a strip of fly paper to capture some (I didn’t even know fly strips still existed) and to top it all off it’s raining and somehow there’s a leak, a steady stream of water dripping right beside me, I made a makeshift bucket out of some aluminum tray I found and as it pitter patters its rhythm, I lay next to it in my sleeping bag wondering what the hell I got myself into and how many hours do I have left to sleep before my 8am call time. This is real indie film making… too real.
But somehow we got through it and what happens is, this small troop of people band together, get through the long days and nights, little and sometime big fights and hopefully everything doesn’t fall apart and on the other side we have this movie. They don’t always turn out to be the best things we’ve ever done, but beyond what comes out on the end, the whole adventure of making it, the friendships and bonds you make and all the stories you live through, you never know if you’ll put yourself through it again… but sooner or later, someone comes to you with another great idea. So shout out to some of my favorite indies I’ve been apart of, “But I’m a Cheerleader,” “The Debut,” “Hang Loose,” “Extreme Days,” and here are some pictures from my last great adventure, “The Head Thieves.”

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#Repost @mikehermosa ・・・Thanks for letting us be all up in you Nor-Cal. It was real. #headthievesmovie