May 11, 2005
Gilmo my god!
When I first moved to LA, I stayed on my friend Tara’s couch. At the time, she was one of those crazies who don’t have cable. One of the few channels that came in clearly on her tiny TV was the WB. And so I found myself once a week coming home to watch the WB’s "Super Tuesday", Gilmore Girls and Smallville. The first time I watched them I did it bc that’s all that was on. By week 3 I was a fan. These are seriously good shows with good writing. And they’re very different from the other stuff I watch. What I especially love about Gilmore is its assortment of unapologetically colorful characters, combined with not only wit but heart. Anyway, I set a goal to get on these 2 shows. Smallville I found out is shot in Vancouver (which BTW seems wrong, that a show about Superman that takes place in Kansas is shot in Canada), so I quickly gave up on that. But Gilmore is shot in LA, and they always have lots of fun quirky characters on, so I figured I had a decent chance. I sent postcards and things to the Gilmore bigwigs, but never got anywhere. I never even auditioned for the casting directors, not for Gilmore or any other project they might be working on. For some reason, I couldn’t crack that office. And then, I did something I rarely do – I gave up. I just figured, I’m not gonna keep putting energy into this if I’m getting bites on other lines elsewhere. If it’s meant to happen, it will.
Cut to 2 years later.
By now I’ve planted some pretty firm roots in the industry down here, and I’m building a pretty solid list of credits. I’ve even booked my first pilot (Campus Ladies), and I’m waiting to hear if it’s been picked up. I get an audition for another pilot starring Chris Kattan, at Jam Casting, which also works on Gilmore. Sweet! Alas, I’m totally wrong for the role. But when I go in to audition for Mara at Jam, I tell her “Listen, my agent and I decided I’m going to stop auditioning for very small roles, but if you even have a one-liner on Gilmore, I’d love to read for it.”
“Really?” she asks.
“Yeah, I just really love that show. I think you all do a great job.”
“Well ok, thanks! I’ll definitely take you up on that.”
So I do the pilot audition, and as I expect never hear about it again.
A few weeks later (by now I’ve found out Campus Ladies has been picked up!), I have an audition for Gilmore, a really small part. “How small?” I ask. One line. HAHA. Well, fine, I’m ok with that. Truth is, I’m ecstatic. They haven’t even called me in off my agent’s submission; they just remembered me and called my agent for the appointment.
So I show up to the audition, and there are like SEVEN other guys there. I say to my friend Parvesh, who’s also trying out, that I think it’s odd that it’s one line, and they need to see so many people for it. Seems like pretty much anyone can do it. “Well,” he says, “maybe they want to have a lot of options since it’s possibly a recurring part.”
Turns out the role is one of the leading ladies’ co-workers, which means I’d possibly be in several episodes, basically any episode that involves her office. Holy crap.
I get called into the room, and I say very earnestly and generally to the room (I try not to get too focused on the specific people in the room in auditions), “You guys, I’m thrilled to be here. I absolutely love this show.” They are pleased. But one lady is looking very hard at me. “You look really familiar. What have I seen you in lately.” She has broken me from my 'zone', so I look her in the face, and recognize her as the director of the episode of Nip/Tuck I did. Just as I say “Nip/Tuck” she looks at my resume and says “Nip/Tuck!” And I say “yeah, that’s right, it’s nice to see you again Jamie.” Can I just say that I’m pretty dope for remembering the name of a director I worked with for 2.5 hours one year ago? She’s like “you look very different.” Yeah, I had a big mop of hair and some glasses.
So then it’s time for the “scene”. I read with Mara.
Me: Huntzberger’s here.
Mara: Oh God.
Mara (whispering to the room): I think that’s it.
Me (overly perky): I worked on it with my coach!
Appreciative laughter. Thanks, thanks.
2 hours later, I get the call. I got it! Holy crap. I am a series regular on one show and a recurring character (possibly?) in another!! Yes!! ((FYI, the difference between regular and recurring is the difference between, for example, Monica on Friends and Monica’s mom on Friends.))
Giddy, that night I go to a club with my buds and have a few drinks. Ok a lot of drinks. This is the brilliant pick-up line I use on a chick: “Excuse me, are you on TV? Oh wait that’s ME.” Her response is to shove me as hard as she can and drunkenly yell “No you’re NOT!” I don’t understand how that didn’t work.
So I get to the set and I’m like a kid in a candy store. Or maybe like a candy museum, ‘cause I can’t really take anything with me or eat it. Well, except for the actual candy that they provide for you to eat. But um… I’m getting away from the point.
Anyway, it’s a blast. I’m meeting all the other new people who work in “the office”, and we’re all very excited to start working together. My line is uneventful and dorky, but that’s OK.
A couple days later, I get another call. “They want you back.” Yes-uh! This officially makes me recurring. And this time, because I’ve been cast ahead of time, I get to go to the table-read, and meet the entire regular cast, not just my onscreen “coworker” (Alexis Bledel, who is charming and adorable onscreen and off). Wow. So I go to that, and now I’m really like a kid in a candy shop. Or I guess, a kid in a hand-shake shop. I get to shake hands with all these wonderful and talented people that I watch all the time, and they’re all incredibly nice. I don’t get to say anything to the gorgeous and funny and talented lead, Lauren Graham, bc she gets there at the last minute. A little disappointed bc now she’ll never find out that our love is meant to be, but ah well. The read thru is a real blast. Everyone’s having fun and laughing, and in this episode, I actually have TWO lines!! Woohoo!! Then about 4/5 of the way into it Alexis gets to a scene where she gets fired from the office. Hold on. Fired from the OFFICE??
Alexis (saying her lines): What? I can’t believe it!
Me and the other office workers (not saying lines but thinking in our heads): WHAT THE FUCK?? I CAN’T FUCKING BELIEVE IT!!!
And so ended my stint on the show. :(
But you know, it’s like I was floating on cloud 9 the whole time, I totally didn’t feel the rug being pulled out from under me. Easy come, easy go. It was a great experience.
2 weeks later, I get invited to the Gilmore season wrap party. COOL! It’s at a Karaoke bar, which seems appropriately cheesy and irreverent for the show. At the party (which I attend with my friend Tara – a different Tara, actually), I get to meet all the other cast members, which is awesome. (Check this space later, I’ll add the pix when I am not falling asleep.) I also get to meet Playboy’s Playmate of the Year 2000, which is totally surreal and awesome. Lord, she is gorgeous.
Well, I hope you were able to catch my appearances on the show, and I hope you agree with me about how great it is.
Next journal entry: Campus Ladies!!!