Monday, October 29, 2001

This week I called a meeting with my theatrical agency. I have been with them for 3 years and feel fortunate to be on their roster. I called the meeting because I feel like I am at a crossroads in my career.

I'm trying to look down the road and wanted to get their opinions on a few things. I feel like after 3 years I am just now coming into my own with this agency. They took me on from a mailing from NYC with virtually no credits. They are a guest-star agency and I have never been a guest-star. At the meeting we discussed things like managers, demos, photos, turning down auditions/roles, pilot season and the like. I left the meeting with a really good feeling of being in the right place. The notion of turning down an audition is almost crazy to me, but in order to move to the next step I'm gonna have to. Adding to that is that I do not have a day job and "a brother gotta eat right!!"

Anyway, 3 days later I turned down an audition for a major show that I have been trying to get in for. My agent was very supportive and would have let me go in if I wanted to, but "we" decided not to. We're gonna wait for something a little more substantial on that show. I hope those 180 postcards I sent out this morning for this upcoming "Ally McBeal" airing drum up some business for me, it's been a slow week.

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

I just wrapped up 4 days working "Frasier". What a great time. The pre-read came from meeting Colin Daniel in a workshop (he told my agent). It was interesting to watch and be a part of how one of the hottest comedies on TV does their magic. First, the cast and crew are some of the nicest people I have ever worked with. The script was a moving target even while we were shooting. I received a new script everyday I worked. After every run thru the writers would meet & tweak.

The first day of rehearsal we had an audience of 25-30 people. I am not sure who they all were, but they seemed to know what they were doing. The 2nd day they there was even more people. I thought it was interesting that the director was not at the producer session. I met her on-set. It was cool to watch Kelsey's $1.6 mil per episode opinion go up against 25 people. As one of the exec producers he has a very important voice. He is an extremely charismatic man and a joy to work with. Both of my scenes were with him, in the first scene "Roz" greets me by name. That gives me some history; officially I work in the mailroom at the radio station. The rest of the cast John, Peri, Jane, David were wonderful as well. The two recurring players in the episode were hilarious. CD Jeff Greenberg was there everyday including the filming of the show. I had never met him before and he is really nice & personable. Casting associate Collin Daniel was quite visible as well.

At the cast read-thru 12 minutes before going on-stage we still didn't have the new pages in the script. When we received them they were still warm from the copier. In one of my scenes we were shooting material that had never been rehearsed. Can you say cold read improvisation with Kelsey Grammer? I had a fantastic time working with them and wanna take this credit and help me get more gigs thru mailings, postcarding, my agent or whatever. I am definitely not waiting for the phone to ring to get back on the show, but one of the recurring players said he would be surprised if I don't come back. I got other encouraging words as well. Hmmmm. I guess time will tell, huh.

Monday, October 08, 2001

I have always had the attitude in my career of not taking the "Peaks & Valleys" too seriously. I think it would drive me crazy. I am saying this because I just found out that "Danny", the CBS comedy starring Daniel Stern that I worked on last week has been cancelled. That's too bad; I would have liked to see that scene we did. Also, the cast & crew were so nice, but that is the nature of the business.

So as I sit here cranking out my 150 postcards highlighting the "Frasier"/"Danny" bookings and the upcoming "Ally McBeal" airing, it's bitter sweet. On the one hand "Danny" is gone and on the other hand the "Frasier" episode that we are shooting tonight is airing very soon, next Tuesday the 16th. I have had too many blessing to be down about anything in this business. Back to the postcards....

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Okay, I had a pre-read yesterday for "Frasier" that went pretty well, 2 hours later my agent calls to tell me that I have a callback. I am told that whoever they book goes straight to the stage to work. I get to the studio early because I am told that they might add another scene.

I get there and get the new material, go outside to look over it because I didn't wanna go in too early. I go in and read with Colin Daniel, it goes well (I know Colin from attending his workshop). Everyone had to wait because it was an immediate booking; I was ready to leave because I had a commercial audition on the other side of town. I'm standing there with my bag on my shoulder, keys in hand reading Variety. They ask one of the other guys to go in a second time. Great. Then they asked me to come in again as well. GREAT!! I did it again just a little different for variety.

After a couple of minutes Colin came out and my life went into slow motions. He announced the names in a blur "Stephon & Jill (the other role they were casting) will be staying)". In a split second I was thinking "wow, good for Jill & Stephon!! At least I'll be able to make my other audition". Then it dawned on me that "I" am Stephon & Jill is right next to me!! WHAT!!!

We went to the casting office to call our agents and shortly after that I was blocking the scenes with Frasier, Daphne, Roz and Niles. It is 4 days of work. This has been a great week, 3 days of work + at least 2 next week and 4 auditions. When I was finished I called my commercial agent and still made my audition that I missed in the morning. These postcards, mailings, drop-offs & workshops are really doing the trick for me. Most of my theatrical credits are from doing all of the above.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Every time I do a postcard blast things happen. Who knows, but I like to think that they help. I sent out 150 last week and today I get three calls for auditions: "Gilmore Girls", a "Sears" national & "Frasier". The last month has been pretty slow for me, but most everything that has come up has been through postcards, drop-offs, mailings & workshops. That is all the more reason to keep going.

Monday, October 01, 2001

Today I had a co-star role on the new CBS comedy "Danny" starring Daniel Stern. It was the hardest I have ever worked for 1 line. No complaints from me and I was able to turn 1 line into 3 or so. Depends on how they edit and what they use. I didn't feel like I got a lot of coverage, but that's okay too. The main thing is that I had a ball, there was a bit a rough-housing going between Daniel, myself and one other actor. He was great and more than willing get rough with us. This should be a fun scene to watch.

The way I got the role was I dropped off a photo to Rebecca Quiroz, associate @ Ted Hann Casting, who I hadn't seen in a while. They weren't in session when I showed up so I had a chance to chat with them. They sized me up for an upcoming role of "Larry", an hour later my agent called with an appointment for the next day. The next day I read for "Larry" it goes alright. "Larry" ended up getting cut and I got the role of the usher.

Something else that caught my attention were the dailies. There was a point when one of the regulars was having a tough time with the dialogue and I heard someone say "...are we still rolling? I can't show these dailies...." He was half-joking, but it made me think about who sees all the raw footage. I don't know. It just made me think. I've heard of the dailies helping to create a buzz for actors before, I've also heard of them giving bad buzz to an entire project.