Thursday, August 26, 2010

Courting Favor

So yesterday I took another baby step into the world of working actors by working, as an actor. I acted and someone gave me money for it. In fact, yesterday two things happened that I thought never could - I was associated with a reality show, and I found a way to make money from improv. It wouldn't surprise me if somewhere in Chicago yesterday, a handful of pigs flew to freedom.

Monday I managed to snag an audition for a show called America's Court. You havn't seen it yet because it won't be syndicated until next month. I tell you when the audtion was to give you an idea of how accelerated the schedule for this show is. Auditioned Monday morning, told I got the gig Tuesday night, showed up at Sunset and Bronson studios Wednesday Afternoon. By the end of the day, if I understand them right, they had two weeks of shows in the can. The can in this case is a hard drive.

Spoiler - though it is a reality show, America's Court is not real in any way. I played a dad who had discovered his daughter sexting naked pictures with an older boy. Anybody who knows me knows I don't have a daughter, and if I did I would probably give her lighting and angle tips. World, be grateful that I only play a dad on TV! Incidentally, the girl who played my daughter, Samantha Jordan, is phenomenal. Talented way beyond her years. Will succeed.

I was struck by how efficient an operation Byron Allen is running there. Actors showed up, waited in a main room, sat around and discussed the case with each other. One by one, a group would be called in the green room and another would arrive. As it happens it was the first day of shooting and there was a problem with the equipment that threw the schedule off by a couple of hours. We had plenty of time to shoot the breeze with other tables: "Hi, we're Sexting Teens!" "Hi, we're Vampire Speed Dating!" Surreal.

At one point the woman who was playing the mom of the other teen realized that if she stayed to tape our segment she wouldn't make her callback for Disney down the street. Team Allen was very understanding, promised her they'd use her in another episode and had her replaced within half an hour.

The taping went smoothly and the episode will probably air in September, though I can't tell you when, what time, and on what channel in your area. No one can. Keep googling until you get something.

Unfortunately the tech glitch caused me to arrive late at the 48 Hour Film Project in Santa Monica. The premise behind these short films is teams are given a line of dialog, a prop, a character and a genre on Friday night and then have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and score 4-7 minutes of finished product. When I was was invited to the screening I thought it was a fun gimmick; having done a day on a strip courtroom show I now see the festival as a recruiting tool. All good movies by the way! That which does not kill you makes you stronger, I guess.

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