Category Archives: blog

Alone Again Or…

The Big Plan for this weekend was to go up North with Anne and the kids, because it’s their Spring Break, starting today.
So we get the *cough* rental minivan *cough* loaded up, and ready to go, and I get a call from my manager: I have two auditions on Monday, both pilots, and I have an audition on Tuesday, for an Indie. I’m also supposed to test for at least one, possibly two pilots on Wednesday.
So all of my stuff comes out of the rental beast, and I go from spending the weekend with my family to spending it alone, preparing for these three auditions, as well as writing an episode of Arena, which is due on Friday.
Holy crap, how things can change in an instant.
It’s not a bad thing, missing the vacation I mean, because I continue to make it down to the last handful of actors on all my auditions, (except for the call I had last week, where I got to spend all of 25 minutes with the material, and the producers were taking calls on their cell phones and leaving the effing room while I was doing my audition) and the more I have the better my odds are…but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss them.
It’s weird to be in my empty house, alone, without even Ferris to keep me company.
It’s just me and the cats, just like the old bachelor days…except I am under pain of death to “keep the $!%$#ing house clean” from my old lady.
So it should be interesting to see how I do on these three auditions, since I’ll have three whole days to prepare a character and memorize the sides, without any distractions.
Well, except one.
I finally broke down and bought that PS2 I’ve been staring at in the Toy Shop window all these long months.
Oh, and I saw this thing on Tech Live last night, where they were interviewing this guy who does the official website for Walter Koenig, who was Chekov on Star Trek.
The angle of the story was that this guy does a great job with the website, and that Walter’s fans know that it really represents him, because there’s only this one guy running the site.
This was fascinating to me, because I see a trend developing in Star Trek alumni websites.
See, I know this other Star Trek guy who has a website, and he’s got a pretty firm hold on it, and it’s a really good representation of who he is, because he’s fairly close to the webmaster.
He wasn’t even mentioned on this show, nor was he mentioned in the feature all about blogging, even though he’s got a pretty widely read blog himself.
I think we all know who I’m talking about.
Thought for today:

“For those about to rock, we salute you!”

Raving and Drooling

Ferris is currently sitting behind me, chomping away at this chewie bone thing that we got her the other day. The thing that’s so cute about this is that she also has her Kong, and her Big Bouncy Ball protectively under her right front leg. Even though she’s really working this cornstarch bone thing, she is totally staring at me, just in case I decide to make a move for any of her toys.
It reminds me of this dog one of my friends used to have. His name was Boris, and Boris was insane. He would pee on everything, until they got him fixed, and even then he still humped everything in sight. It was pretty funny, when we were all about 22, to go to my friend’s house, and watch everyone jump out of the way, because once Boris got his heart set on your leg, or the leg of the sofa, or the cushion you’d just tossed on the floor, he was unrelenting in his expression of love.
Well, Boris had all kinds of toys, and he would move all of these toys from room to room in my friend’s house, depending on who he was happiest with in the family, at any given time. Usually, they all lived in my friend’s dad’s room. On those rare occasions that Boris was pissed at everyone, the toys would all be in the back yard.
This one time, in the early 90’s, my friend’s dad noticed that Boris, who was a little terrier dog, was getting really fat, so he put him on a diet. Strange thing was, Boris didn’t lose any weight. He actually gained weight.
Nobody could figure out what was going on, until my friend’s dad caught him jumping up near a wall in the backyard, grabbing and eating avocados off a neighbor’s tree, which hung over into my friend’s yard. It turned out that Boris had been eating all the avacados he could get his paws on for weeks, which is why he was getting fat in the first place. So my friend’s dad scolded Boris, fairly severly I guess, took the avocado away, and picked up all the pits and things that Boris had left under the tree.
Later that day, my friend’s dad went into his bedroom. Not surprisingly, all of Boris’ toys had been moved into the back yard. However, there was one thing left behind: an avocado pit, sitting in the middle of his bed.
True story.
Thought for today:


“Don’t forget your history
Know your destiny
In the abundance of water
The fool is thirsty.”

Anatomy of a Prank

Boy, did this site get hammered yesterday!
Check it out:

  • Hits 552263
  • Files 414861
  • Pages 77827
  • Visits 45273
  • Sites 37453
  • KBytes 2873576

Then we had to put up the moose.
So I want to talk about this, for just a second, and how it came about.
I thought it would be cool to pull an April Fool’s prank, because I’ve never done it before, and I am always taken in by them. Matter of fact, the only reason I didn’t completely buy all the otherwise unbelievable stories I read yesterday is because I was spoofing one myself!
Here are the ideas I had, in the note I sent to my friends:


I want to do a good April Fool’s Day thingy on the site.
Current ideas include:
1. WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER DOT NET -funny on the face of it, but could be considered derivative of the parody SA did of WWDN.
2. A false news story revealing that I have signed a contract to appear as a regular, reprising the Wesley role, on Enterprise.
3. Put up a page that says something about “w3 o\/\/nxx0rs j00!”
4. Same as 2, but the story is that I’ve signed to be in Stand By Me 2: Back to the Body. It’s a horror film, this time, and The Body has come back to life.
I like 2 the best, because I think it’s the most plausible, and should be able to fool the most people.
Do you cats have any ideas?
Oh, and keep this secret, you bastards.

So that was the genesis of it. We all hammered it out, and you saw the results. What you didn’t know is that MT got completely borked on Thursday last week, and I’ve been observing a “minimal computer on the weekends” policy for about 4 weeks now. It was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to fix it in time to do the story, so I downloaded the entire index page, and hard-coded the entry in notepad. That’s why you saw the date being all screwed up at the top.
A couple of things have come out of this: it would seem, at least on the face of it, that the ratio of Wesley (and therefore Wil) haters to non-haters has changed, from like 6:1 to 1:4 or so (well, maybe 7:5, thanks to pari-mutuel betting). This was a really surprising, and wonderful discovery. I really did begin to feel badly that people were congratulating me, and sending me all these warm fuzzies…but it really did make me feel good to know that so many people want me to do well. When I am really successful again, I will feel so good knowing that I’m sharing that success with everyone who reads WWDN, sends me mojo, and rides the insane roller coaster of the entertainment industry along with me.
Last time I’ll say it: I didn’t intend to do anything rivy. It was really just a prank, and I’ll apologize again to everyone who was taken in. I hope you’ll forgive me. Also, apologies to everyone else who is hosted by logjamming. I’m sorry that WWDN took the server down, and took your sites with it.
IMDB even picked up on it, saying, “April Fool’s Joke Backfires on TNG Actor.” I couldn’t disagree with that characterization more, but it’s pretty cool that they picked up the story!
The Think Geek WheatoniX joke was created a few weeks ago, and I had intended to send them a picture of me, surrounded by technical manuals and printouts and stuff, but then I got super busy with auditions and meetings last week…so they ended up using artwork that my friend Ben designed*. You may recognize that head drawing from the “Wil Has A Posse” T-shirts. I strongly encourage everyone to check out Ben’s portfolio, and consider him for some design work. He is such an amazing artist, and should be way more famous than he is.
Watching the dust settle, would I do it again? Yeah, I probably would. It was really fun, and the “god you suck, jackass!” emails have been vastly outweighed by the “oh man, good prank! you totally got me!” emails. I also think it may have brought a few new people to the website, which is always a good thing.
I’m out. I have a meeting, then an audition, then a commute.
I hope everyone is having a great day! :-)
(*Yeah, I know that the link is currently down, but I’m sure it will come back up soon enough.)

April Fool’s

Well, most of you have figured it out, by now, but the truth is…
…I’m not gonna be on Enterprise. Even as a computer voice, or within the secret, dirty, late-night thoughts of Capt. Archer.
I hope everyone takes this in good humor. Lots of people sent really kind and sweet congratulatory messages, and I actually feel pretty badly for fooling such nice people. All the idiots who thought it was a really good idea to fill my inbox with “Wesley is gonna ruin Enterprise” crap should get a life, and direct any further comments to 1> /dev/null.
To be honest I was surprised at how many people were wishing me well; I was expecting the Kill Wesley Crowd to come out instead.
I think the greatest highlight of the day came when my mom called Anne, while I was at work.
The conversation went something like this:
Mom: Do you have something to tell me?
Anne: Uh, no.
Mom: Do you have some big news about Wil?
Anne: Oh, that. Uh, what day is today?
Mom: It’s Monday!
Anne: Right. And the date is…?
Mom: It’s April Fir– OH! Damn you!
Heh. I guess my dad was all pissed off, stomping around my parent’s house because I didn’t tell them myself, and he “had to read it on Wil’s $%@#!ing website!”
Thanks go to the Frodo Crew(tm) who helped me take this scheme from stupid idea to stupid fruition: Spudnuts, jbay, JSc, Cherish, Roughy, Bobby The Mat, and Greeny. Also to /. and FARK, for getting on board.
A couple of cool things did happen today: with the help of Ben Trott, I was able to get MT working again. Still ironing out some trouble with the templates, but at least I can write again, and login to 2.0. Just as soon as I get the template thingies fixed, I will turn comments back on. 2.0 has IP banning, which is a good thing.
I also spent the entire afternoon skateboarding with Nolan all around our neighborhood. I think we skated for close to 3 miles, up and down hills, past peacocks and squirrels (none of whom went “weeeeee”, strangely enough), with Nolan skating up next to me to hold my hand, and telling me that he loved me and that it was really fun to skate together about once a block.
God, I love that kid. :)
Thought for today:


“Peace is the dream of the wise. War is the history of man.”

Good News, Bad News

Good morning, everyone, and happy April! I hope everyone had a nice weekend.Okay, let’s get straight to business: here’s the bad news: the entire site has crashed, and we can’t figure out why.I don’t know when the crash happened, or why, because I was offline all weekend, but I’m working on it. I suppose that if you can read this, it means things are working again, which will bring us to our second bad news: I tried to upgrade to Moveable Type 2.0 on Friday, and it broke. Goddammit! I swear, I am farking cursed. I know what went wrong, and I’m going to start pleading with the authors for some help. They seem like cool people, so hopefully they will be willing to give me a hand. *sigh*
On to the good news! Oh, this is such amazingly good news, and it’s been so hard to keep this to myself, but there have been contract talks, and all sorts of negotiations, and all that…but I can finally make the big big announcement:
The official announcement will be made on Thursday, but I’ve been given permission by Paramount’s hired goons to make the announcement today.
In four weeks, I will be joining the cast of Enterprise in a recurring role!
The details are still being worked out, but basically what they plan to do is have Wesley use his Time Traveler abilities to move through space and time to the NX-01. He’ll be written more like the dark, troubled Wesley of “The First Duty” and “Final Mission”, and less like the gee-whiz Wesley of days gone by.
Here’s a little history: Nemesis is testing very well, and Paramount is extremely excited that this lame little website has generated such a huge following. I guess some people started a letter-writing campaign, without my knowledge, and Paramount listened. I spent most of last week on conference calls with Rick and Brannon, as well as some of the brass at Paramount, working out the details, making sure that Wesley will not be saving the NX-01 all the time. * grin *
I’ll be in 8 of 22 episodes for the two seasons, with an option to renegotiate at the end of the second season. I’m only recurring to allow me the freedom to participate in other shows, as well as continue working for G4.
I’m so freakin’ excited, I don’t even know what else to say. I can’t believe that I’m going to be working on Star Trek again, and I can’t believe that I’m going to be working on Stages 8 and 9 again.
I have to go to a fitting right now. I’ll write more when I have more details. I hope everyone has a great day!!

The Phantom Mannix

Last night, after I watched “Greg The Bunny”, which is currently in a tie with Andy Richter Controls The Universe for the coveted “Wil’s Favorite New Show” award, I was cleaning out my brain, and I saw a couple of things that I forgot to share about the Convention.
So, before I recycle them, here they are:
I met Linda Park, who is on Enterprise, on Saturday. Now, I have read that she thought that TNG was the best Star Trek EVER, and she said somewhere that she had a crush on your pal, TV’s Wil Wheaton. *grin*
So I walked over to where she was sitting, and I felt like this grizzled old veteran, welcoming the rookie onto the team. She was really nice, and really, really beautiful in person. I mean, holy crap, dude. Seriously.
I asked her if she was having fun on her show, and she said that she was, and that it may sound corny, but she felt like they were really a family, and they all really liked each other. I told her that we felt the same way when we were doing TNG, and that I’d heard that there wasn’t so much love on DS9 or Voyager, so we were really lucky. I really liked her, and I hope that I get to talk with her again.
Also on Saturday, this dude from WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER’s website came over to say “Hello.”
Now, to be completely honest, I was a bit nervous…I thought that I was going to get some serious shit, because…well, you know…but he was really cool! He told me that he was one of the webmasters over there, and that he wanted to tell me how much he liked my website. He told me that it was funny and insightful, and that he liked my simple layout, and lack of Flash and assorted bullshit. He also told me that it was impressive that I do the whole thing myself.
It meant a lot to me, coming from a professional, to hear those things.
Incidentally, I asked him if WFS really does write his own weblog, and he said that it is indeed from The Shat’s mouth to your ears. The only thing they do is correct the spelling.
Thought for Today:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Rockin’ The Suburbs

I can’t believe that I haven’t written since Friday. I have a good excuse though: when I wasn’t at the Star Trek convention, I was playing NetHack. Can you believe that I’ve played nethack for over 10 years, and I still haven’t found the goddamn amulet of Yendor? I even play pocket rogue on my handspring, and I haven’t beaten that, yet.
It’s truly sad.
Anyway, it’s been a cool few days, and I’ll do a quick recap here:
Thursday, we did another studio run through of my show, for G4. I’m not allowed to get into specifics, or G4 will send their hired goons after me, but I will say that I am extremely excited about my show. I think it’s going to be one of the best ones on the network.
Sometimes, when I’m working on something, I’ll get this “oh my god this is going to suck” feeling. It can take a few days, or even as long as a few weeks to settle in, but once it’s there, it doesn’t go away, and there is nothing worse for me than working on something that I know is going to end up sucking.
Fortunately, I do not have this feeling about “Arena”. Matter of fact, I am extremely proud of what we’re doing, and I can already see stuff that’s going to get cooler with time.
Friday, I went to the Creation Grand Slam convention in Pasadena. It was a good time. I got to meet lots of fans, and many of them told me how they read my lame website, and that they really liked it.
I even got to meet a WWDN reader, named Mike, who came all the way from Swizterland! He was wearing a WWDN T-shirt!!!! I took a picture of him, but I’m lazy, and I’ll post it later on.
I was so excited to hear from so many people that they read my site. I mean, I can look at the stats, and see that I get lots of traffic, but it’s something completely different to actually meet real people, and have them tell me how much they like it. I heard from people, over and over again, that they thought my site was funny, insightful, and unlike any other “celebrity” site on the net, to which I would respond, “That’s because it’s not a celebrity site. It’s WWDN!” Hey, it was funny at the time.
Friday night, I did the J. Keith vanStraaten show at ACME, and there were TEN people in the theatre (which only seats 99 people) who were WWDN readers!! And get this: 6 of them were girls! Hot girls!
YES! Uncle Willie’s still got it!
*metal fist*
*devil horns*
Oh, speaking of the metal fist, I was listening to System of a Down on the way to the show, and I had this thought: Toxcicity really reminds me of Metallica, circa “…And Justice for All”. I’m down for SoD, because they’re hometown boys, from Glendale.
Rock.
Anyway, the show went really well. I felt like Keith and I were really in synch with each other, and we were able to give up lots of the funny.
The next show is on April 12th. Make reservations now!
Saturday was also really cool at the convention. I got to meet many more people, had the time to actually sit and talk with some guys who I always see, but never get a chance to visit with, and play a practical joke on my friend Aron, who played Nog on DS9.
I also ran into Jonathan back stage, and he says to me, “Do you know who got your part?”
I told him no, I didn’t.
“Jeremy Piven,” he tells me.
He tells me that I did a great job, and he really wanted me to have the role, but they needed to go older.
I tell him that I sot of knew, when I walked in and saw that I was easily 10 years younger than everyone else, that I wasn’t the guy.
“Well, I thought you were the guy. And I really appreciate you coming in and reading for me. You shouldn’t have to do that.”
He then tells me that he was having a really hard time finding an actor for the role, and his wife said to him, “Why don’t you bring in Wil?”
So, he tells me, that I need to give all the credit to his wife.
While I’m talking to Johnathan, WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER goes on stage, and I listen to him for a few minutes. He does a really great job with the fans, you know? As I was watching him, I was thinking to myself, “Goddamn, man. That guy is 70 years old.”
I went back, and signed some more autographs for people. I gave lots of trading cards away to little kids, and I met some really interesting people: I met a guy who is working on a linux distro which he swears will take over the desktop. I met a guy who is called “Red Shirt” by all his friends, because he was killed by Worf in the 7th season of TNG. I also met his girlfriend (I think) who is, get ready…a full-on porn star. Only at a Star Trek convention could you meet someone who is going to change the world, and a porn star within minutes of each other.
Saturday night, I had hoped to go out and see the closing of Paul Frank’s show here in LA, but I ended up going to sleep at 9:30.
On Sunday, the convention was winding down, so I spent most of the time wandering around, looking at stuff in the dealer’s room (where, for the first time in hundreds of conventions, I didn’t buy a single thing! My wife was so happy). I did get to see this guy I know named Gabriel, who I know from way back when. He was that kid in Trekkies, and he’s also on Beat The Geeks from time to time. Gabe is a really, really good guy, and, like me, he has left that 14 year-old weenie behind, and, like me, people still give him shit about it.
But we had fun joking with each other, and we even traded autographed pictures.
The only thing that I didn’t like about the convention was the talk I gave on Sunday. There were only 20 or so people there, because they’d booked me into the little room, against Ricardo Freakin’ Montalban in the big room. Now, honestly, who are you going to go see? Mr. Rourke, or TV’s Wil Wheaton?
Duh.
Because there weren’t a lot of people in the room, there wasn’t a lot of energy in the room for me to draw on, and I just sucked. I think I was able to get a few good stories out, but I left feeling very let down. Fortunately, I don’t think that the crowd felt let down, but I didn’t meet the standards I’ve set for myself, at all.
Luckily, the whole weekend, I didn’t meet a single weirdo, or anyone who needed to tell me how much they hated me. I’m looking forward to the next show.
One last thing: Last night, the family and I gathered around the old TV to watch “The Simpsons”, which is a Sunday night ritual in our house…only to find that FOX was running Independance day. We couldn’t figure out why, until Anne and I remembered that last night was the Oscars.
Duh again.
So we watched just a little bit of it, and I must say that watching Halle Berry accept her Oscar made me cry like a little sissy bitch.
See, The Academy is dominated by old white guys, and women of color have been marginalized for 74 years in the awards.
Watching Halle Berry win, and then Denzel Washington, was not insignificant, at all.
Here’s what Halle Berry said, which is our Thought for Today:


“This moment is so much bigger than me. It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened. I am so honored, I’m so honored, and I thank the Academy for choosing me to be the vessel from which this blessing might flow.”

Diesel and Dust

I read this in the soapbox, and thought I’d post it here, because it put a huge smile on my face:
12 February 2002
Official! Wil Wheaton Now Coolest Person in the Cosmos
Yes, I realize that I’m a bit late to the party, seeing as how it’s a month out of date…but it made me giggle, regardless.
So how was your weekend?
Mine rocked. I spent the entire day on Saturday with my brother, at the race track.
Well, it was more like at the micro brew festival, which was in the infield at the race track, but the important thing is, we tied several onions to our belts, which was the style on Saturday, and we had a great time. Then I got to go out to dinner with my wife, and I made her watch “Go”, which I really enjoyed in the theatre. I described it at the time as “Pulp Fiction for 20 year-olds.”
Sunday was spent cleaning up the house, which is something that I always enjoy doing. I love getting rid of stuff, and taking control of the house back from the piles of laundry and dishes in my kitchen.
Yeah, Anne and I were working so much last week we didn’t have time to do laundry. The good part of this is that when I went to vaccuum my bedroom, there really wasn’t any dirt on the floor…thanks to the laundry covering it.
Har.
We had a HUGE storm last night, which absolutely covered the mountains behind my house with snow, and made it look like we’re having winter again. Which means that this weekend it’ll be right back into the 90s again. Weird.
Did anyone else see “The Simpsons” last night? I love it when they do parodies and “Simpson’s versions” of well-known stories, like The Odyssey, as they did last night. Something that’s always impressed me about the Simpsons is that their writers reward smart, well-read people, without alienating average folk who just want to watch funny pictures..like George W. Bush, for example. I bet FOX, with it’s current catering-to-the-lowest-common-denominator (Temptation Island, When [X] Attacks!, Celebrity Boxing) is the single more popular network in the white house.
Until Ashcroft comes over. Then it’s time for TBN!
Last night, on KLOS, they played the entire Midnight Oil album, Diesel and Dust. It’s one of my favorite albums of all time, and was my one of my earliest exposures to music as activism, outside of “Freedom Rock” (“Hey! Turn it up, man!”)
I bring this up because they’re playing concerts in LA this week: at House of Blues in Anaheim Tomorrow, and in Hollywood Thursday, and SoCal residents may want to go see them, and the tall bald man. :-)
Our Thought For Today comes from Halle Selassie:

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior, and another inferior, is finally, and permanently discredited and abandoned….until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes…there will be war.”

Submitted for your consideration, one actor

Night before last, I got home very late from work.
When I checked my messages, there was one from Jonathan Frakes, who said that he was casting a show, and there was “a wonderful acting opportunity for Wil Wheaton in it.”
I can’t tell you how excited I was. To have one of my friends call me, at home, to tell me that they’re casting something, and they wanted to put me in it…well, it was awesome.
Now, I’m my excitement is tempered, because the last time I was promised a role in a movie I got a whole bunch of nothing, but there’s something about Jonathan. He wouldn’t call me if he didn’t really think I could handle this role.
So yesterday, at 12:30, I get a call while I’m at work that they want to see me at 2PM for Jonathan’s project: The Twilight Zone.
That’s right, they’re doing it again! I love the Twilight Zone, the most. When I was a kid it scared the shit out of me, but in a good way. The first thing I ever wrote was an adaptation of one of the scariest episodes, when I was like 11.
So I get the call at 12:30, the sides arrive via FAX at 12:45, and I have 30 minutes to prepare 16 pages.
Somehow, I manage to get a handle on this character, a task made much easier by the high quality of the writing. It’s specific and clear, so I get an understanding of what the character is immediately, and I’m able to add my own shading and color to him really quickly.
When you look at a script, it usually tells you what the writer wants; what he’s going for. All the actors coming in should know that, and should be able to meet the demands of the material. In my experience, sitting on both sides of the table during auditions, the thing that makes the difference amongst all the actors who come in to read is that shading and color; that little extra understanding, or that ability to recall something from your real life is what’s going to make a difference, and get you the role.
Of course, 30 minutes is not exactly the best amount of time to create this complex character, but what’s great for me about not having all the extra time is I am forced to trust my instincts (which are almost always right on, but usually end up getting over analyzed. I can be a little too smart for my own good).
So I am thinking of all this stuff, all the various colors I can add to this character, and the experiences I’ve had in my own life which I can draw upon, while I’m driving over to the audition, which is in the middle of downtown LA, at a place called “LA Center Studios.” I’ve never been there before, but the place is really cool and creepy at the same time. It feels like the set of a 70s post-apocalypse movie. The floors are all marble and linoleum, the walls are all wood, with these strange metal accents, and the whole place is only about 20% occupied, so it really feels like, well, The Twilight Zone.
Oh, get this: on my way there? Totally got passed by a high speed chase, going the other way on the freeway. I gave the news choppers the finger. I don’t think they noticed.
So I get there, park my car in the mostly abandoned garage, and try to find the office where I’m reading. That post-apocalypse feeling is reinforced when I walk up 3 flights of turned-off escalators, which are lit by flourescent lights and covered with dust. I mean, I really did expect to come around a corner and see Charlton Heston screaming, “Soylent Green is people! It’s people!”
I finally got to the room where I was supposed to do my reading, and I saw Jonathan, who gave me a huge smile and a warm bearhug, and told me how happy he was to see me. He always has this twinkle in his eye, you know? It says, “I can’t believe I’m doing this! I’m totally getting away with it! Woo! This is so much fun!”
The casting director tells me that they only want me to read the first and last scenes, which is great because I can spend my 15 minutes waiting just focusing on those scenes, while they set up the room for auditions.
Now, I view warming up for an audition like being a relief pitcher: you don’t want to over-work yourself, so you’re tired, but you also don’t want to be warming up when you’re on the mound, either, so you have to know exactly when to get up in the bullpen. It also helps to know that you’re going to just need your curve ball working, and maybe a slider, so you focus on those, and trust that the fast ball will come when you need it.
Did I just lose everyone? I sometimes do that with extended metaphor.
Anyway, I work on those two scenes, and go in. Jonathan thanks me for coming and introduces me to the other producers. He says, “Wil and I know each other, you know.”
“Yeah, I knew him back when he was cool,” I say.
“See? He tells the same story,” he says to one of the producers.
“Well, your story checks out,” the producer says to me.
“That’s a relief. I thought that the 5 year photographic record wouldn’t be enough,” I reply.
We all laugh, and he tells me to begin when I’m ready.
Now, here’s something that I love about being an actor: I was just joking around, and now I get to totally switch gears, and play a guy who starts out honest and earnest, yet becomes corrupted by power. The two scenes show the beginning and ending of that transformation. I love that I can go from joking around, to becoming this character in a matter of seconds.
I do the first scene, and I can see Jonathan out of the corner of my eye, and he I can tell that he’s really into what I’m doing. It fills me with confidence, and I totally relax into this character. He tells me that it was a great job, and asks me to read the second scene. He gives me some direction, and tells me a bit about this character; stuff I already have figured out, but it really makes me feel confident, knowing that what they want is what I’ve already prepared.
I read the scene, and he asks me if I wouldn’t mind doing a third scene. This is a good sign, because he wouldn’t ask for it if he wasn’t happy with what I’d already done.
But I’ve had all of 30 minutes with the material, and I really haven’t prepared this scene, at all…I mean, I read it once, looked at it again when I was waiting, but I am not nearly as confident with it as I am with the others…but I do it anyway, and it feels really good.
I have really good instincts, as an actor. I know when I totally suck, and I know when I’ve done a good job. Again, to use the baseball metaphor: I know when I’ve hit it out, when I bounce back to the mound, and when I go down swinging. With the first scene, I hit it deep to center. With the second scene, I hit it out. I really need to get a stand up double on this third scene, now. So I read it, and that’s exactly what I do. If I’d had some more time with it, I would have gotten a triple, for sure, but I’ll take the double.
I finish, and put down my sides, and Jonathan says to the producers, “He is such a great actor.”
He turns to me and says, “You are such a wonderful actor. You still have it, W.”
Of course, it would be great to get this job, because I’d like to work with him, and I think the marketing opportunity for the studio is huge: Launch the new Twilight Zone with two guys from Star Trek.
But even if I don’t book the job, I will have Jonathan’s kindness and warmth to hold on to. It will be good balance for all the times I read for people who treat me like shit, and, as longtime readers know, it’s all about The Balance.
Updated at 1:03 PM
Just found out that I didn’t get it. Is there an award for coming in second?