1 Comedian and actor Adam Ray says he tells people he’s from Shoreline because if he says he’s from Lake Forest Park he’s accused of making the place up.
The native of that small Seattle suburb went to Shorecrest High School, where “I quit football to play Danny Zuko in ‘Grease,’” Adam says. “My coach was not too happy.”
He continued his drama education at University of Southern California, and spent a year in London studying and performing Shakespeare.
Now based in L.A., Adam spends much of his time writing material for and performing his irreverent comedy stand-up act, but “I always consider myself an actor first,” he says, auditioning whenever possible. “I’ve auditioned for probably thousands of things for the last four years.”
That landed him a part in “The Heat,” the new Sandra Bullock–Melissa McCarthy buddy cop movie coming out April 5. He plays a bad guy, “a douche-y club owner.”
Adam does a lot of ADR, Automated Dialog Replacement or dubbing, used to modify a film’s soundtrack without having to bring in the original actor (removing cursing from TV adaptations of movies, for example). He regularly dubs for Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and others. Voiceovers for animation, video games and commercials keep him busy, too.
“I recorded a Toyota commercial today,” he told me.
He maintains his website (www.adamraytv.com), produces videos, and says, “I’m always writing.”
When not working, he unwinds by playing basketball. If he needs a break, “I fly up to Seattle and play with my nieces,” and visits his mom and stepdad, actress Carolyn (Puddin') and George Cox, “an incredible support system.”
Adam misses the Pacific Northwest “for many reasons,” he says. “I try to book shows up there every few months.”
Catch him back home this weekend when he’s a special guest at Brad Williams’ show at Bellevue’s Parlor Live Comedy Club in Lincoln Square.
2 Sipping a lovely white wine in a friend’s sukkah a couple months ago, I was pleased to discover that I was chatting with the winemaker. Stan Zeitz, retired physician and dedicated Congregation Beth Shalom volunteer, has been part of a wine-making club since the late 1960s.
Born and raised on a poultry farm in Toms River, N.J., the army brought him to Ft. Lewis during World War II. After his residency, he and wife Nancy moved to Seattle for his fellowship at the University of Washington.
“We never left,” he observes, raising three kids in their Lake Forest Park home.
He and Nancy first made wine with a friend in 1966 and had so much fun they started their club the following year.
“We started very rough, just getting grapes, putting in yeast, letting it ferment,” he says.
Back then, it would take all day just to do a small batch of grapes with a hand wine press. Good fortune led them to an electric press being sold by a small local winery, and after that they could crush and de-stem a truckload of red grapes in about two hours.
While membership has waxed and waned, a core group has been there from the start, Stan says, including quite a few from our local Jewish community. Currently there are approximately 35 members, about a quarter of whom are original members’ offspring (including Stan’s son-in-law Craig Lawson).
“We’re waiting for the first grandchild to become a member,” says Stan.
The group meets twice a year, once when they decide which grapes to buy, and second for a dinner at which they serve their wine. In the fall they gather in the Zeitz’s garage to meet the truck delivering the grapes and start the crushing, stemming and fermenting process. The juice goes into carboys (very large jugs) and members takes their wine home to finish fermenting however they choose.
“It’s been a fun hobby and I’ve met some really nice guys,” Stan says.
(Even though women are members, and wives, girlfriends and daughters help with the winemaking, it’s the men who maintain a long-term interest.)
“These are some close friends,” he adds, from “all walks of life.”
Stan and Nancy, as you might guess, like to eat well. Their vegetable garden benefits from the must, or wine leavings, which makes great compost.
“I do the grilling,” says Stan, while Nancy handles the baking. They keep busy with home repairs and enjoying their sailboat. They also have nine grandchildren to keep track of.
“We have a policy for visiting each grandchild in college and going back for their graduation,” he says. So far, he adds, “we’re keeping up.”