Sunday, February 18, 2007

Try topping this casting story


Worth repeating, with producers scrambling to cast their pilots, here's a true story that happened to us:

In 1993 my partner David and I were casting a pilot for CBS called BIG WAVE DAVE’S. One of the parts was for Jack. If you haven’t already, read yesterday’s post with a description of Jack and the sides we used for the audition. And now prepare yourself for RC. That’s not his real name but will do for our purposes.

Our office was on the Paramount lot. Our first floor window looked out at Gower Avenue. To set the scene, we were on the couch. To our left was the window to Gower. To our right was Sheila Guthrie, our casting director. Directly across from us was a chair for the actor and the door to our outer office where our assistant and other actors waited. That particular day we were seeing Jacks and Karens. The Karen role would eventually go to Jane Kaczmarek but that day there were maybe six other talented actresses set to read.

Normally the casting director goes out into the waiting room, brings in the actor, and introduces him. When it was time for RC, Sheila went out and came back in alone. She said he wanted to make an entrance. Uh oh, we thought. That can’t be a good sign.

A moment later the door bursts open and this fat sloth bursts in. He’s wearing just a t-shirt and shorts and carrying a large garbage bag over his shoulder (a la Dave). Oh, and he’s SOAKING WET.

We were a little startled but kept it together. He began reading with Sheila and then peeled off his t-shirt. Why we don’t know. He continued reading but now, for some inexplicable reason, he dropped his shorts. All he was wearing was his tighty-whities. And since they were soaked they were completely transparent. In other words, little Willy had now joined the reading.

Amazingly, Sheila managed to keep reading with him. David and I tried to remain composed but the absurdity of this was just too much. We both started laughing.

RC came to the Kampua’a, God of rain speech. He crossed to the window, stood in front of it, rattled the blinds (to represent thunder) and bellowed out his speech. At the same time a young couple, probably tourists, were walking down the street. We could see them from our angle. The couple turned to the noise and the girl went bat shit, screaming in utter terror.

By now David and I were rolling on the floor. RC must’ve felt he was KILLING. He did the last few lines with even greater panache. We’re now on the floor, tears streaming, sides hurting from laughing so hard. What do you say to this guy? We managed “Well, okay, we haven’t seen that before.” He thanked us for his time, gathered up his clothes and the garbage bag. We told him he could put his clothes back on but he said, “No no, I’ve taken up too much of your time already.” With that he walks into the outer office. Now we hear six actresses scream at the top of their lungs. We’re rolling on the floor again.

RC goes out into the hall to dress. The CHEERS offices were at the other end of the hallway. The CHEERS writers came out to see what was going on. From our office we heard those screams, which set us off for another twenty minutes.

Obviously, RC didn’t get the part. But for five minutes I must admit we were considering bringing him to the network.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

And that man today? None other than former actor turned media titan, Les Moonves.

Stratman said...

He very nearly lived up to his surname, it seems...

hollywood blond said...

I'm thinking Jack Black. heh!

RC said...

You know, if you'd have cast me, that show would have run 11 years. I was COMMITTED, or should be.

Stratman said...

You gotta love this blog, it's the perfect place for budding comedy writers to pitch jokes.

Hats Bagelman said...

For some reason I find this more offensive than the Tim Hardaway post.

jimhenshaw said...

The first week of my first show with a producer credit, a very attractive young lady came to audition and gave the director and I an absolutely perfect recreation of Sharon Stone's famous scene from "Basic Instinct". I was flabbergasted and told me wife. Her response was, "Aww, you poor thing! From now on, you'll never know if they really like you or they just want a job."

Seynour said...

Good Lord what a racist posting! You know, not all fat, wet naked guys are ridiculous, but you, Levine, jump right on the hatred bandwagon, and ridicule a naked, wet, fat guy who just needed a job, with the usual thin guy's overbearing sense of entitlement. (Yes I saw you on TV. You're a total bone. Don't deny it, skinny man!)

You know, many naked, wet, fat guys are fine actors, community leaders, family men, and heroes. Yes, heroes! Do you know how difficult & uncomfortable it is to remain wet all the time, particularly when you're naked? (BTW, was there a puddle in your waiting room, where he'd damped down?) Do you know the courage it takes to show Little Willy when he's tiny, cold, and damp?

Yet any random woman on the street who screams at the sight of a fat, wet, naked man rattling the shutters and screaming at them automatically gets your support while this possibly-fine wet, fat, naked actor is mocked online many years later under initials. What was she doing on Gower anyway? I've lived 20 yards off of Gower beside Paramount (20 years ago), and frankly, fat, wet, naked men are not the worst thing you'll see there.

SHAME! I'm never reading this blog again until tomorrow!

Seymour said...

That's Seymour, not Seynour.

Anonymous said...

I hear that guy's huge in Burma today.

Stratman said...

He's huge everwhere.

Jack Ruttan said...

Interesting view inside the machine. Thanks.