Head Walnut – SAG Awards Dream – Radio Plays

Enjoying Tony’s Mexican Grill with David Van Duesen, The Head Walnut.

Enjoying Tony’s Mexican Grill with David Van Duesen, The Head Walnut.

I want to Talk about my visit with The Head Walnut and why I told him about my quest to attend the SAG Awards, when he was heading for lunch with the Dick Van Dyke. And a heads up to union actors about auditioning for the Feb. 13 SAG-AFTRA Radio Plays at the Autry Museum….

THE SAG AWARDS: Dick Van Dyke will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th Annual SAG Awards. Flashbacks. I was on the SAG Board when the idea of producing our own awards show was approved and, after much discussion, the statuette of the Actor was voted up. It was personally thrilling to attend the first SAG Awards and see Tom Hanks hold his SAG card high and tell us what silly job got him into the Screen Actors Guild. Time has flown and the SAG Awards has earned its place in honoring actors.

On Jan. 27, this will be the first show since the merger. I can’t count the years I’ve stayed on the Boards of SAG and AFTRA, standing for the idea of one union for actors. Mission accomplished. Attending this show will be a nice bookend to my opportunity to serve the, now united, membership. And, Dick Van Dyke is the honoree and I want to stand up and cheer for him. It’s a blessing to have worked with Dick on the Dick Van Dyke Show and on his musical special, The First Nine Months Are the Hardest. Dick is not only massively talented, he is monumentally kind. If you are in a room with him, he is the one to leave his table and come over and say hello. He has validated actors who worked with him and uplifted their careers. OK, I love him.

Well, it may be a pipe dream to be able to attend; the few seats available for the SAG Awards are allotted by lottery. But I’m in the pot. I haven’t been picked, yet. But who knows when a seat will open up? However I watch the show, I will be there in robust spirit and proud to have been a tiny grommet in the beginning. While waiting for the lottery, let me tout a chance for actors to play….


Attention SAG-AFTRA members in good standing, you might enjoy auditioning on Jan. 25 for the ninth cycle of the SAG-AFTRA Radio Plays. Auditions are open to all members regardless of experience, age, gender, ethnicity, or disability. Remember to RSVP to the LA Local SAG-AFTRA Diversity staff for an appointment (10 a.m.—3 p.m.), and then show up to the Frank Maxwell Boardroom (Lobby Level, SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles, 5757 Wilshire Blvd). I’m planning on being there, so say “hello.”

If you are interested in simply participating in the production of the SAG-AFTRA Radio Plays, but NOT as an actor, please email larsvp@sagaftra.org and indicate your area of interest.

FREE TO THE PUBLIC!: The event itself will be Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Autry National Heritage Museum. No charge, and open to the public, as well as the Autry and Union members. Everyone must make reservations. The evening, entitled LOVE IS ON THE AIR is a tribute to Valentine’s Day and will feature an episode of “Dagwood and Blondie” and “The Judy Canova Show”. The evening is billed as “A Celebration of the Golden Age of Radio, presented by SAG-AFTRA!”

THE WALNUT TIMES: A newsletter about all things Dick Van Dyke Show, is the creation of David Van Deusen, a regular guy who really loves the show and anything in its vast universe. The reference to walnuts comes from the episode when Dick opens a closet and is nearly drowned by a sea of walnuts. I’ve been interviewed by David, the official Head Walnut; he’s very friendly and keeps us all posted. I finally had a chance to share face time with David at Tony’s Mexican Grill and it was so pleasant. After all, an archivist who can tell funny stories. Great company. Great food. And a great new friendship with a very sweet gentleman who travels from Albany to meet with his D.V.D. Show pals. He had already had dinner with Rose Marie and after meeting me, he was off to visit with Carl Reiner and then his lunch with Dick and the new Mrs. Van Dyke. If you are interested, find The Walnut Times on the Internet, and find Tony’s Mexican Grill in a mini-mall at Coldwater and Magnolia. It’s a Lawrence favorite … We’ll Talk….

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