Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Vomiting Your Way To Stardom!

I got my first big break ....

Well ... wait a minute right there. Let’s cut that out right away.

First of all, the first big break was the Elvis thing with the lottery commercial and the second thing is that there was NO break… there was NO BREAK! …. Because here I am distracted from my “real” work at my “real job”, typing to you from my tiny little cubicle. Joe Schmoe at his desk job. A sometimes part-time actor. Not a star.

Ergo, no break.

The first time I got my name on TV, this is.

Once upon a time there was a neat little show that we used to film down here in our neck of the woods called “Black Harbour” (Go here for a picture ). Black Harbour starred Rebecca Jenkins, and Geraint Wyn Davies who, perhaps most famously, played the title character on a show called “Forever Knight”.

In Black Harbour’s second season, I auditioned for the role of “Mr. Grace”. The thing was there’s a boat tour and a guy gets really sick on the tour and the tour operator is forced to come into this private dock. A guy shows up, the guy who owns the dock. The boat operator’s father killed this guy’s father. So begins a story line that will run through future episodes. Black Harbour’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys.

The guy who got sick was Mr. Grace, very key to the whole plot thread, you’ll pardon me while I roll my eyes.

So I’m auditioning for the role of Mr. Grace and I’m doing the lines and the direction is after saying the lines, the guy throws up. Well, let me tell you I was pretty convincing. I specialize in retching noises. Well, I don’t, but I’m really very good at it. Really. I’m sure I turned people’s stomachs at the audition, I was that convincing. Made them sick enough that they gave me the part.

When we went before camera, they'd cut out the throwing up bit. My best bit.

I remember the episode was directed my none other than Mr. Davies, himself. “Ger” if you were bold enough (I wasn’t). Playing in all my scenes were two women, one who was supposed to be my personal assistant, the other who was supposed to be my girlfriend. The really weird thing is that these were the same two girls who were in the lottery commercial with me. We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years. In fact, both had left the area, one to L.A. and the other to New York. But here they were back again (one for good, the other just visiting). It was very cool. They are both very beautiful women, by the way. And so when we wrapped after the second day, Geraint gave each of them a farewell hug. I stood near to them and forlornly opened my arms. A hangdog expression on my face. Best acting I’d done for two days. Ger turns, sees me, drops to his knees and give me a big hug around my hips. Nice.

The hug notwithstanding, the two coolest things about doing the show were getting a trailer and seeing the credit.

The trailer was huge; a room all to myself, a little metal stepladder needed to get up to the door, it was so high. I was hanging out at the trailer, sitting on the steps by myself when Rebecca Jenkins wandered by and asked me if I’d run lines with her for her upcoming scene. This was the absolute high point of the shoot, I don’t mind telling you.

When I finally saw the episode on TV … I was awful. Really, really terrible. I sucked like an Electrolux. But when it was all over, there was the credit at the end of the show:

Mr. Grace …………………………………………Yours Truly

Coast, to coast to coast.

Just to let everyone in the country know who that horrendous actor was. I take consolation in the fact no one really reads the credits, that it was a fantastic experience which made for great memories and nice stories, that I got to meet Elizabeth Ann and Heather again and that if they’d let me vomit, I coulda been a star.


Yesterday I auditioned for the role of a desk sergeant in the upcoming movie about the Elizabeth Smart story. While I was there, I was asked to come in today to read for the part of “Mr. Maloney” for “Trailer Park Boys”. One of the producers on “Trailer Park Boys” is Mike Volpe. His wife and I were both in the local Drama League's production of “Sound of Music”; she played Maria, I played Franz the butler. Coincidentally, Mike Volpe was also one of the producers of “Black Harbour”.


- Why I Hate Harrison Ford.
- Rick Mercer, Sela Ward, Valerie Bertenelli, but not Leslie Nielsen
- Future escapades.

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