How Does Neal Get on TV Commercials?

Watch for Neal Unger in the Binge Better television commercial for Audible.com

HOW? IT VARIES,

And it always involves travel. Neal has an agent in Hollywood, james@ntatalent.com, James Delio. The agency solicited Neal for a part in an Ecos de Andes commercial, a bottled water company, that Neal traveled to Argentina to shoot. Before he had an agent Neal was featured in a SportsCheck ad that he shot in Munich. Later he was privileged to make ads for O2, a phone company, in Berlin and South Africa. In every case these companies paid for his travel expenses.

IT INVOLVES GOOD PRODUCTS,

Neal has been fortunate to tout products like Audible.com that he uses himself. He listens to The Power by Rhonda Byrne, in fact he had that on his ipod when I first met him, it was something we discussed. And he has the book Russian Roulette, that helps us understand current political situations. Both are on his iphone now thanks to Audible.com. The commercial is titled “Binge Better” and is being aired on national TV at the present time.

WE MAKE IT FUN,

So when the agent calls, Neal has a choice to respond or not. The Audible audition was in Glendale, so we took our African Gray Parrot, Raul, got a Motel 6 where pets stay free, and made a day of it. Enjoyed the mall, got great salads, and Neal got recognized on the street. As usual, he took photos and signed boards. He loves attention! If you see him, don’t hesitate to say hello.

AND IT ISN’T ALL FUN

The audition was over in what seemed like seconds. We drove over to Stoner Park to skate and make new friends, and went back to our Coachella Valley home. Then he got a call back. I couldn’t go with him that time so it was a grueling 5 hour round trip alone, again for what seemed like seconds. When the agent called and said there was another call back Neal said no, not going to drive all that way again, if they don’t want me I can live with that. I was not very supportive of him dropping the ball on this gig like that, but there ya go, can’t control this man.

A day or so later the agent called again, “They want you,” and Neal makes a trip for wardrobe fitting, and another to do the shoot. But it’s firm and he’s ok doing it. I couldn’t go with him either time because of my work as a midwife, I had an upcoming birth so I couldn’t leave town.

UNTIL THE CAMERAS ROLL

The shoot was on a beautiful day, outdoors, and he just had to skate at top speed. He had a lot of fun, everyone was super nice to him and Neal gave me a call to say “Thanks for pushing me!” Imagine! I guess I can be a bit pushy, lol.

AND THEN WE CAN RELAX

Today is my day off and Neal is pushing me! He could be at Sidewinder park in El Centro skating with his cameraman and friend Tanner McFarland. Instead he’s taking me for a hike at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, where we use our annual passes for my workout in the butterscotch-scented cool mountain air. Love this guy!

Neal Unger in Bed

While the title sounds spicy, I just want to detail our nighttime routine. After skating during the day, and working around the house, running errands or helping the neighbors out, Neal settles down to play GTA5 (he has the Deluxo flying car now), or we watch TV or Netflix until I’m ready for bed. Bedtime depends on my schedule for the next day, but we usually start getting ready for bed around 10pm. Neal makes coffee and fills a thermos he keeps on his nightstand so we can each have a cup of steaming brew first thing in the morning.

Next he might snack on some Bakeology Vanilla Chai cookie bites (his current favorite) or sip some almond milk cold brew coffee—it doesn’t keep him awake the way it would me! Then we read to each other, or more often I read to him, and we cuddle.

Some books we’ve read together include biographies such as Jay Leno’s, and Anita Moorjani’s “Dying to be Me.” We’ve read The Secret, The Power, The Power of Now and other books by Eckhart Tolle. Esther and Jerry Hicks “Ask and it is Given” is one we are working on now. Byron Katie’s ‘Loving What Is” was enlightening, plus we just finished The Science of Successful Living by Raymond Charles Barker. It’s sort of my job to find books I think Neal will enjoy; if something isn’t a hit I don’t waste time on it. Our evenings together are too precious. While on vacation in Costa Rica we completed “Thirty Years Among the Dead!”

Tired of reading, I become the grateful recipient of a sensuous back-rub with coconut oil—usually for 30 minutes or more. Neal has healing hands, he’s a very loving guy. It’s a ritual that helps relax my muscles so I’m ready to sleep and seems to magically make Neal drowsy too. I know how lucky I am to get to sleep with such a special Dude!

Neal Unger’s Rides

When Neal Unger, aka Old Man Skateboard, gets out on the street, he isn’t always pushing his skateboard! Often he is driving me to work or our kid to school or picking up something he needs from the hardware store. What does Neal Unger drive?

Grayspot Tailgate Interview
here are the dude’s favorite cars, now and then

Currently Neal’s collection of vehicles includes:

A 2002 Triumph Bonneville America 100 year Anniversary Edition motorcycle, manufactured the same year the factory burnt down, according to Neal. It is very possibly his favorite vehicle, it is loud and proud!

A 1974 Ford F-100 pickup, nicknamed Grayspot due to its primer gray color. Grayspot runs well, has a nice interior and gets lots of attention on the road. This truck was featured in the six minute documentary, From Pines to Palms by Old Skateboards.

We still have my 1997 Toyota Camry XLE

It’s a 6 cylinder, 4 cam, 24 valve, British Racing Green  poor man’s Ferrari! With almost 300,000 miles, stickers and guerrilla tape hold the exterior together, and custom-Neal-created fixes both outside and inside abound; this baby purrs like a kitten, has plenty of power, and everything works! This is the car I was driving when I first met Neal. The only thing that precipitated a change for me was hitting a tree branch at midnight on my way to a birth–the branch broke a headlight and dented both fender and bumper. After that I really needed a nicer looking vehicle for meeting clients. Trust me though, ’97 Camrys are great cars!  The MPG is good, too, 26 highway after the last major tune-up.

A 1993 Toyota Tacoma 4WD pickup

It has a matching color shell, custom-fitted by Neal, and we’ve taken it to Idaho to visit family, camping on the way. Lots of work in this one and it is in good shape and ready to sell. Neal posted it on our local Craigslist.

And don’t forget my car, a 2001 Toyota Camry CE 5 speed stick shift. The clutch is like butter, perfect for an old lady like myself. With 4 cylinders I was hoping for better gas mileage; I am now aware MPG depends a lot on driver technique, so, um, we are not doing so well on that as we could be.

Neal Unger’s Past Rides

When I first met Neal he drove a 1966 Chevy Caprice with a 396 V8, a 12 bolt rear end, a genuine collectable muscle car and daily driver. Previously, he owned a 1990 Honda Prelude sports car with 4 wheel steering–says it drove like a carnival ride! Before that a 1987 Grand Trans Am Firebird and before that a 1969 Dodge Coronet 500. Neal Unger’s first car was a 1963 red Volkswagon notch-back, followed by a home-built baja bug, another bug, and a 1963 volvo station wagon with a 4 speed stick, and a 1976 kawasaki 500 triple 2-stroke motorcycle. His 1959 Chevy El Camino had a 327 V8, his 1965 Ford F-100 had a 352 V8. Additionally, a 1967 Chevy van, a 1974 Ford Turino station wagon, a 1967 blue volkswagon fastback, a 1996 Kawasaki green 900 bike, and finally a 1964 Plymouth Valiant, and a 1976 Toyota Corolla liftback that was light blue and got 32 MPG. That’s all Neal can remember today. Ask him another time, there might be more!

I only want a Tessla. Neal’s future and fantasy pics in the car world have grown complex: a 1968 or 69 Datsun 510 that’s converted to full electric, a 1967 Ford Falcon stick shift, an early 60s Plymouth stick shift, or any pre-smog anything, running or not…contact him if you want to talk or trade; he never tires of cars and bikes, or anything with wheels for that matter!

Someday soon we will put a unique travel machine together and use it to tour skateparks and the best street skating spots we can find; we might make a documentary complete with hidden camera excerpts!

Neal on Wheels!

 

How Old is Neal A. Unger?

Neal was born on May 4, 1957. This photo of him was taken around 1961.

As of this writing, he is 60 years old.

Online articles have pegged him as 70, 66, 63, who knows? He does. He enjoys looking old and acting young. Skateline host Gary Rogers called him “Old as f*ck,” at the premier of We Are Blood, and that about sums it up. Neal has naturally white hair and more wrinkles than I can count, they pool up and fade out around his six (eight?) pack abs. See for yourself if you catch him shirtless, which he often is. I was in a salon once when he rode behind a hedge and the ladies in there with me thought he was actually naked! Silly girls.

neal has the best bone density in several states

Another time I was getting my hair trimmed and the beautician said, “He’s going to break a hip!” not knowing he came there with me. I hear that a lot; people don’t realize how often Neal falls down, on concrete usually. He knows how to do it, skaters learn that early. Although I can’t prove it scientifically, I have reason to believe that Neal Unger has superior bone density. Bones strengthen when they get surprised by a jolt; do it often enough and they get really tough! Neal broke his foot once. He didn’t stop skating but he learned to ride switch (with his less dominant foot).

Neal skates within his limits

You don’t see him doing the nine stair. He does a lot of street skating and he is aware of what’s going on around him. He doesn’t wipe out into traffic. His board doesn’t shoot out and ding a car in a parking lot. Elderly folks (like him) on the sidewalk needn’t fear falling because Neal won’t knock them off their feet. Maybe inexperienced street skaters sometimes make those crappy mistakes, not experienced skaters like Neal.

He IS loud, his powerslides and bounce tricks have the capability of splitting ears for miles. The worst have triggered reactions from frightened dogs, and once, a startled toddler. The latter time Neal felt bad, apologized, and stopped skating in that area that day. Most of the time kids love what he does! As for the dog, he started chasing Neal and they both turned it into a game.

Neal Unger’s Book on Skating and Philosophy

Neal shares his thoughts on being human, the meaning of life and whatever else he can think of…grab your best tricks and go for a ride with The Dude!

https://www.amazon.com/Dude-Logic-Neal-Unger-ebook/dp/B00C9R7UEQ

The Most fun I’ve had writing anything, ever!

Shortly after we met I realized Neal has a gift for gab, and that there were real gems of wisdom in much of what he said. I decided to try to capture some of his insights by tape recording him at random intervals. The result was Dude Logic, available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle reader you can get a Kindle app for your phone and download it there. I think it is also still possible to read the first chapter for free from the Amazon page.  Priced at $2.99, just to get it out there.

Keep in mind I’m in love with this man, devotedly recording his every word in the car while he’s driving (he loves to drive!), in bed in the morning (he seldom drinks coffee–it’s a waste of caffeine since he has so much natural energy!), in places he skates (and fewer places he doesn’t skate!), waiting in line at the bank and every other free moment.

i learned to let it be

I am a bit of a control freak so I expected to do a lot of editing. When I started transcribing the tapes, however, I found myself listening more intently. At first I’d stop the tape, write in how I expected the conversation to go, and turn the tape back on–only to discover he went in a completely different and surprising direction that was much better than what I’d anticipated! So I learned to let it alone, to go with the flow and pace Neal set and to follow his thread to the end before judging it. There were many pleasant surprises!

getting to know neal

Maybe writing this book together was important for our relationship. I just know it was loads of fun and we want to do more of it.  Hopefully readers enjoy riding the waves of wisdom and interesting musings with us–as much as we enjoyed creating something so unique and personal.

Thanks to Heverton Ribeiro, photographer, and Victoria Nicks, editor in chief at decoded science, for the amazing cover!

How I Met and Fell in Love with Neal A Unger

I married Neal Unger (Old Man Skateboard) on the beach, with vows he wrote, shortly after we met in 2011.  It’s a romantic story!

grief and gratitude live side by side

Ken Earhart was my husband for 38 years. He died March 19, 2011 of pancreatic cancer. My seven children and I were heartbroken. In May, I joined a bereavement group at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. A tall, slender, white-haired man with bright blue eyes was there because his wife died of ovarian cancer in November of 2010. His name was Neal. He was wearing a goofy hand-made crocheted hat – the look reminded me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo cartoons. Neal was friendly with everyone and I seldom got to sit next to him.

Learning to face loss

The facilitator was a dynamic woman named Marilyn Kaplan. Ms. Kaplan instructed the group that in order to move through grief efficiently we should give it our full attention for one hour daily. I started by reading the sympathy cards that were filling my mailbox, then I sat with momentos like glasses, pictures, a watch and wallet for the prescribed time. Next I moved up to watching vacation videos with his sandals in my lap.

I was attending the group twice a week by this time. Neal had offered to show me where a second class, one for those who lost loved ones to cancer. We talked a bit and found we’d read a few of the same spiritual books.

who is that guy?

I told my daughter about Neal, and she went directly to Google him, finding photos and interviews and his Youtube channel. I hungrily devoured the interviews and repeatedly watched his initial bounce trick video taken in the woodshop where he worked. My daughter warned “He looks like a wild man; better stay away!” Good advice, of course. I was recently widowed, in emotional pain, vulnerable and not possessing the best judgement…

Admitting my feelings

But one week when Neal didn’t come to group I realized how I felt and how I would feel if he quit coming altogether! The following week I was relieved to see him and let him know. Then he asked me out. After that the romance blossomed.

He drives a muscle car

I live in the desert and invited Neal to visit me there. He was driving a 66 Chevy Caprice and opted for public transportation; I picked him up at the bus stop. Right away he wanted to buy me a ring! We did that, and he wrote spiritual vows thanking our Higher Selves for this relationship and making a commitment to keep love alive between us no matter what—and he picked a place near Huntington Beach where we said those to each other on September 18th.

We join forces to make the world a better place

By mid October he moved in with me (subletting his beach apartment) and on October 18, 2014, we married each other legally. We said our vows in front of family and friends and an officiant two days after Ty Evans, with Paul Rodriguez and a host of other wonderful skaters parked in our driveway and filmed Neal doing a kickflip, which you can see in the out takes, at the very end, of We Are Blood. What a surprise and honor when we attended the premier and it was the last trick!

Also I’m a midwife and a baby was born in our home on the day that scene was filmed!

Can’t keep him to myself, can I?

It’s pretty awesome to be married to Neal Unger; and since you’re reading this you probably share my passion for all things Neal. I will try to capture and share his big personality, as well as links to his work, on the pages of this blog. Keep Skating!

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