I was sitting at my desk when an L.A. number I didn’t recognize came up on the phone.
It was the Casting Director for ‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.’ He tracked me down through my IMdB page. The producers, Michael Showalter and David Wain, had a small part they wanted to fill, and they remembered me from other projects they cast me in, and the part was mine if I was available.
You know my response, but I’ll tell you the why (which is what I told the CD): when I was still in the ‘trying to break into the union’ phase, they gave me one of the jobs that got me over the hump.
So a few lessons/reminders here:
Relationships: ‘The State’ alums are the most famous, but there are a few other people over the years where we’ve done enough stuff together where at this point, if I’m free, I’m going to say yes before I even see the script or know what character I’m supposed to play. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard as an actor is ‘You only need five casting directors/producers to fall in love with you to have a career’. If you’re playing the long game, building five relationships is an incredibly realistic number.
Reputation: I knew these guys respected me, honestly had no idea I did anything beyond being professional to make myself memorable, considering the hundreds of actors they know and I’m sure are trying to get their attention. Anyway, made it to the set an hour before my call time with my lines memorized, shook hands and spoke to anyone who wanted to talk to me, from the security guards to the extras; a long day for the crew by the time I got there, and I did my part to get my scene (the last scene of the night as it turned out) wrapped in less than an hour. So no, my lines didn’t make it into the final cut, but no one on set can say I made their jobs harder. Maybe they’ll remember that…
Growth: I’m smiling as I look at the previous two paragraphs. When I came to this town, I knew NOBODY. And I had no playbook on how to conduct myself and treat others in a game where I was/am a complete outsider. You figure these things out. You endure. You try not to get too high or too low on any one thing.
And of course, you keep going.