Tag Archives: big bang theory

a few memorable moments on the set at big bang theory

A sharp knock on my door, seconds before it opened. The assistant director poked his head into my dressing room and told me they were ready for me on the stage.

I closed my book. “Here I go!”

We walked into the stage together, and I continued on into the set where we were rehearsing this particular scene. Kaley and Johnny were already on there when I sat down next to them.

“You should never take that hat off,” Johnny said to me.

I looked at him to see if he was being sincere, or giving me the business. Before I could figure out which one it was, he said, “it looks really good on you.”

I smiled. “You are one of my fashion heroes, so that really means a lot to me.”

Inside, I secretly felt cool for almost three whole seconds.

“I mean it,” he said.

“Thank you. That was very kind.”

Kaley dramatically put her script down. “WOULD YOU TWO GET A ROOM ALREADY?!”

I gave Johnny a sly look that he did not return. “Do you want to just sit on that couch together?” I asked.

We all laughed together, and the director called for quiet.

We ran the scene, and I killed a joke*. We ran it a second time, and I nailed the beats I needed to nail. I felt calm and focused and — for the first time I think, ever, since I started working on the show — like I really and truly deserved to be there. I’m not gonna lie to  you, Marge: it felt really good.

I thanked the director for the notes he gave me, and returned to my dressing room where I waited to be called back to the stage, to bring Evil Wil Wheaton (who is decidedly less evil than he used to be) back to life.

Later, I saw Melissa and Kaley waiting to run one of their scenes. “Let’s take a picture for the Internet,” I said.

“I really like that hat on you,” Melissa said.

“Thanks,” I said, “I was just lazy this morning and didn’t want to do my hair, because it’s just a tiny bit too long and I can’t get it to behave. But I’m getting compliments, which is pretty awesome.”

I held out my camera, and we took a silly picture that I put on Twitter.

The writers all came into the stage, and we ran the entire episode for them. Everyone laughed really hard in all the right places, and it’s pretty clear that this episode works. I can’t wait for the audience to see it on Tuesday, and I am so grateful that I get to be part of this wonderful experience.

 

*Note that this means I wrecked the joke, because I delivered the line poorly. This can be confusing to normal people who hear us talk about comedy, because when a joke works, we say that the joke “killed”. So: killing a joke is bad, but making a joke that kills is good.

Comedians are obsessed with death, I guess, or at least dying on stage.

one small part of a pretty great life

“My point is, there was a time when I thought I would never get out of Wesley Crusher’s shadow, but now that’s just a small part of a pretty great life, and it’s a part that I’m glad is there.”

The interstate highways in Texas go on forever, it seems, between major cities.  For hundreds of miles, there’s not much to see but other cars, the occasional water tower, a few cows, and a ribbon of concrete that cuts across the vast, flat landscape.

A few months ago, I was in a van with Paul and Storm and Anne as we drove between Houston and Dallas down one of those endless highways. Anne was asleep in the chair next to me, as Paul drove and Storm navigated. I played Carcassonne on my iPad as we left Houston behind us and never seemed to get any closer to Dallas.

As I was losing yet another game (it turns out that it’s much easier to win in a three player game than it is in a four player game, regardless of your opponents’ skill level, due to the additional randomness inherent in the draw) my cellphone played the original Star Trek communicator sound in my pocket. I pulled it out and read a text message from my friend Steve Molaro, who is the show runner on The Big Bang Theory. “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” He asked.

“I have all the time in the world,” I replied, “because I’m in a van on a highway in Texas and I think I’m going to be on this road for another decade before we get to Dallas.”

“I’ll call you in a little while,” he replied. I went back to losing my game.

A little while later, the Doctor Who theme came out of my pocket.

“Hello?”

“Hey, it’s Steve.”

“Hey! How are you?”

“Really good. Listen, we’re writing a scene for you and I wanted your input on it.”

I was taken aback. It’s such an honor and a privilege to work on The Big Bang Theory at all, but to be asked to provide some input into how my scenes are written, especially when the writers there are so goddamned good at what they do, was pretty amazing.

“Sure,” I said. “I am at your service.”

Steve told me about the story arc they were doing with Sheldon accidentally discovering a new element, and how Sheldon was unhappy about it. “We thought it would be nice for Amy to bring you in, to try and cheer him up,” he said, “so I wondered if there was ever anything in your life that you regretted or felt bad about at the time, but you came to accept as a good part of your life.”

Oh, you mean my entire teenage years and my early twenties? I thought.

“Yeah,” I said. “When I was younger, people gave me such a hard time about Wesley Crusher, there was a time in my late teens and early twenties when I resented Star Trek. It felt so unfair that people who had never met me were so cruel and hateful toward me as a person because they didn’t like a character I played on a TV show, I wanted to put Star Trek behind me and forget that it was ever part of my life.

“But as I got older and started to meet more people who were also kids when Next Generation was in its first run, I started to hear these stories from people, about how they had nothing in common with their parents except for Star Trek, and they wouldn’t have watched Star Trek together if Wesley hadn’t been on the show. I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve met who are now doctors and engineers and scientists because they were inspired by Wesley and Geordi the way our parents’ generation was inspired by Scotty.”

“That’s wonderful,” Steve said.

“Yeah, it’s really great. You know, my favorite episode of Next Generation is Tapestry, because I fully believe that our lives are a complex tapestry, woven from all our experiences — positive and negative — we have in our lives. There was a time when I really resented Wesley Crusher, but I just love my life now, and instead of feeling like I had to get out of his shadow, I feel like I’m standing proudly on his shoulders.”

“This is exactly what I was hoping for,” he said. “This is going to be such a great scene.”

“If there’s anything I can do, just pick up the phone,” I said.

“I’ll get in touch when we have the scene finished, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks!”

“Awesome. Thanks, man.” I hung up my phone, and looked out at the endless Texas landscape, unchanged in any meaningful way during the phone call.

“Who was that?” Anne asked, waking up from her nap.

“Molaro. He had questions for me for the Big Bang I’m doing when we get home.”

“Can you tell me about it?”

“No, not yet,” I said.

“You’re no fun,” she said.

“I know. I’m the worst.”

I went back to losing my game, Anne looked at her phone, and the van pushed ever onward toward Dallas.

‡‡‡

A few weeks later, I got the script for the episode. As always, it arrived late in the evening, the day before the table read. I signed for it, thanked the courier, and ran into my office.

I sat on my couch, tore open the manilla envelope, and began to read. When I got to the scene with Sheldon, Amy, and Wil Wheaton, I read it as an actor: I kept my emotions neutral, and let the characters talk to me. Then, I read it as a fan of the show: I heard the individual voices, and I laughed at the jokes. Then, I read it one final time, as The Guy Who Played Wesley Crusher: I realized that I was going to be on one of the most popular shows in the English-speaking world, saying to anyone who cared to listen, “I’m an author now. I do public speaking, and I have my own web series about boardgames … there was a time when I thought I would never get out of Wesley Crusher’s shadow, but now that’s just a small part of a pretty great life, and it’s a part that I’m glad is there.”

That’s when the tears sprung into my eyes, and the weird mix of joy and something else that wasn’t quite sadness, but had its roots there bloomed in my chest.

I read the rest of the script, and, like I always do, felt like a kid the night before Christmas or his birthday, impatiently waiting for the morning to come.

When I went to the table read the next morning, I was greeted warmly and welcomed by everyone there. When we got to the scene with Sheldon, Amy, and Wil Wheaton, Mayim said Amy’s line, “We’re, uh, trying to cheer him up, so …” and the room exploded into laughter, myself included. Mayim was sitting across from me, and she looked up from her script and said to me, “I’m so sorry. I want you to know that I do not share Amy’s opinion here.” The entire room laughed, again. “I know, it’s okay,” I said. We read the rest of the script, and took a break before we began rehearsal. I found Steve and Bill Prady and some of the other producers, and walked over to them.

“Great job,” Steve said to me.

“I’m not gonna lie,” I said, “I got a little weepy when I read it.” I paused for a second. “Thank you for this.”

“No, thank you for being here.” He said.

“Can I pitch you a joke?” I said.

“Sure.”

“Would it be too meta if Wil Wheaton says something about how he gets to guest star on a popular series, but Sheldon doesn’t know what that show is?”

“We thought about something like that,” he said, “but we worried that it may confuse the audience and take them out of the moment. That’s why there’s no reference to you being on Eureka or Leverage or anything like that. We thought it would be simpler and cleaner if our Wil Wheaton doesn’t have the same television acting career that you have.”

“That makes sense,” I said. “And, once again, can I just observe how weird and hilarious it is that there’s your Wil Wheaton, and Wil Wheaton Prime, and they look the same but are very different and I’m both of them?”

We all laughed, and they went back to the writer’s building to do their thing, while I went to the set to do mine.

Over the week of rehearsals, the words never changed in that scene, but my performance did. It was Chuck Lorre who pointed out to me that the sentiment may be very emotional to me, it’s more matter-of-fact to Wil Wheaton the character. When he gave me that perspective, the performance settled into what you saw in the episode.

Like Wil Wheaton said to Sheldon, there was a time when I felt like I’d never get out of Wesley’s shadow, but now I truly am grateful that Wesley Crusher and Star Trek are a part of my life.

Their Wil Wheaton couldn’t say it, but my Wil Wheaton can: Big Bang Theory is a very important part of my personal and professional life, and is one of the reasons I can stand on the shoulders of Star Trek in a way that I thought — well, feared is more accurate — I never would, and I’m incredibly grateful that it’s there. I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve made among the cast, crew, and writers, and I’m grateful for the opportunities it’s given me to work in comedy. Every time I’m there, I learn a little bit more about comedic acting, acting in front of an audience, and acting in a sitcom.

I don’t know what the future of my career holds, but I know that whatever is over the horizon, the road I’ve traveled to get here is like those Interstates in Texas: everything can look the same, and it can feel like you’re not going anywhere, until you suddenly get where you’re going and realize that you’ve been traveling for a long time.

So… this is happening.

I spent a lot of time at Warner Brothers last week.

While I was there, I saw my friend Kaley, and we took a silly picture:

Wil Wheaton and Kaley Cuoco.

 

Then I remembered that I'm Evil, so we took another picture:

Evil Wil Wheaton is Evil<

 

And if you haven't solved the puzzle by now, this is why I was there:

Wil Wheaton returns to Big Bang Theory in Episode 505.

Check out how I totally play this cool, and don't let on that I'm squeeing like a tween meeting Bieber. Awww yeah.

Hank Scorpio would really appreciate it if you’d read this post

So, some of you may know that Evil Wil Wheaton is tormenting Sheldon Cooper again this Thursday at 8pm on CBS … but for those of you who don't, I made a stupid video to help you remember:

In other news, I did not book the job I auditioned for last week. The feedback I got was that I gave a good performance, but they "went another way." "We went another way" is usually a euphemism for "you sucked", but when it's coupled with "you were good", it usually means exactly what it sounds like. In this case, I'm not too surprised. I was older than everyone else there, and I wasn't as … edgy … as just about everyone else was. I know, I know.

The good news is that I didn't suck, and now that casting has seen me, they are more likely to bring me back for other roles on the show that are more in my wheelhouse. I hope this happens, because I really like the show, which is called Fringe.

on the finding (and not finding) of evil wil wheaton

We filmed until 330 this morning, and when I finally got home a little after 4am, it was all I could do to convince myself to wash off my makeup and go to sleep. I woke up at 1230 this afternoon in the same position I fell asleep, and I probably could have easily slept another 3 hours or more. When I wrap (I'm writing this from the set) in a few hours, I go straight to the airport, fly up to Vancouver, drive two hours to location, and start work on Eureka at 655 tomorrow morning.

Ever since I woke up, I've felt like I'm wrapped in this warm blanket of happy exhaustion, and I'm so grateful that I'm only in 4/8 of a page tomorrow, so by the time I really hit the wall tomorrow afternoon, I'll be able to fall into bed and stay there.

It's a lot to do, and it's as exhausting as it sounds … but it's also a lot of fun. This has been my life to varying degrees for the last several months, and though it's overwhelming at times, and I don't have a lot of free time, all I have to do is look at the times I had as much free time as I wanted (from about 2001 to 2007) and everything falls into a wonderful perspective. I keep saying that I hope I don't wake up from this wonderful dream, and I mean it more today than ever.

Last night, we shot on the back lot at Warners. It was a night shoot, with about a hundred extras and all kinds of atmosphere – cars driving and lights changing – and I felt like I was really in the movies, more than I usually do. When we got to my scene, it took me several takes to find Evil Wil Wheaton, and I started to feel like I was screwing up and causing everyone to think twice about bringing me back for more episodes. After the second take where I just felt off, the director came over to me and told me to have more fun, don't be so controlled, and remember [SPOILER] and [SPOILER]. A few things clicked into place, and we shot a few really funny and truthful takes. I couldn't put my finger on exactly why, but Evil Wil Wheaton came to life, and I couldn’t believe that, even for a second, I hadn’t been able to produce him out of snarky air.

Earlier today, before we began shooting, I walked over to Mark, our director, and said, “I just wanted to thank you for helping me find Evil Wil Wheaton last night. Your notes made all the difference for me.”

He said I was welcome, and told me that the scene was really funny, and looked great, too.

“I always have such a good time when I’m here,” I began, and I then I knew exactly why I was having so much trouble finding Evil Wil Wheaton. “And I just realized why I was having so much trouble last night.”

“Oh?” Mark cocked his head a little bit to one side and waited for me to continue.

“Yeah. I was so exited to be working outside, at night, on the backlot, and so overjoyed to just be back on this show, it got in between me and Evil Wil Wheaton. My very real joy and happiness was so overwhelming, it informed my performance and pushed it in the wrong direction. When you told me [SPOILER], it brought me out of that nerdy joy enough to focus me back on finding the truth in the scene and the character.”

“I saw that happen,” Mark said.

“Usually, I have four days of rehearsals and run throughs to get that giddiness out of the way — and I honestly feel like a real freakin’ noob to not have realized this right away — but I only had the one rehearsal and the one run through on Friday, and then … well, there we were.”

Mark nodded slowly and smiled at me. “Well, you were great.”

“Thanks, man,” I said. “I feel so silly, because it’s not like this is my first rodeo, you know?”

Mark nodded, and was called away to do director stuff, so I came up to my dressing room to write this post, while the memory was fresh in my mind.

I’ve been an actor for just over 30 years. I’ve worked in nearly every environment possible, on all kinds of productions, in all kinds of roles. If I wasn’t playing an evil version of myself, I would have remembered that I was playing a character who is snarky and evil and lies about his grandmother and breaks couples up to win at bowling … but that blurring of the line between me and the character I play of the same name is something that is relatively new to me. I’m grateful that I had a fantastic director like Mark to help me find and define the line between me and Evil Me again.

Added long after we wrapped: Seconds after I finished writing this, I was called to the set to work, and then I got in a car to come straight to the airport. I’m waiting to board my plane back to Vancouver now, and I have a moment to edit and post this. Before I get on my plane and instantly fall asleep, I want to add that had a wonderful time on the show, like I always do, and I just want to take a moment to once again thank the cast, crew, writers and producers for making me feel so welcome. My episode airs on November 11 on CBS. I really hope you’ll tune in, and tell your friends to watch.

If you could ask the cast and creators of Big Bang Theory anything, what would it be?

This Friday, I'm moderating the Big Bang Theory panel at Comic-con. The entire cast will be in attendance, as well as series creators Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre. We only have an hour, which always goes by faster than we think, so I'm going to start out with a handful of my own questions before I invite questions from the audience.

While preparing my questions, I've talked to some friends of mine who are fans of the show, and I also thought that I had a unique opportunity to reach out to a larger audience, right here on my blog.

So: If you could ask the cast and creators of The Big Bang Theory something about the show, what would it be? What are you interested in knowing from them?

Ask your question in a comment here, and I'll take some of them with me to the panel this Friday.

Edited at 8:52am 7/22: Wow, over 200 questions and comments! Awesome. I used your questions to get some idea of what fans of the show (well, this is a small sample size, but you're the ones who responded, so you get to speak for the entire audience) wanted to know. I picked out a couple of specific questions from some of you, too.

You can keep commenting here, but any questions you ask I won't be able to use, because I have to get on the road in about 15 minutes, and my questions are now chosen and locked in. But, sincerely, thank you for taking the time to contribute here; I feel more confident and secure about moderating this panel now than I did 24 hours ago.

Wil Wheaton Prime uses Linux to bring you Evil Wil Wheaton sitting in Sheldon’s spot.

Evil Wil Wheaton sits in Sheldon's spot

This picture was taken right after we finished shooting The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary last year. I'm not going to lie to you, Marge: it's one of my prized possessions.

It's taken me this long to share it, because shortly after I upgraded my Macs to Snow Leopard, all of my Macs and my HP scanner stopped talking to each other. I spent a lot of time researching help forums, looking for updated drivers, and saying lots of swears, because it appeared that HP blamed Apple, and Apple blamed HP.

My scanner still doesn't work with any of my Macs, but I am able to bring you this picture today thanks to the magic of Linux.

If you've been reading my blog for a long time (or you've gone through the archives) you know that I love the Linux operating system. I first switched to Linux in 2002, and eventually ended up running a heavily-modified version of Debian for years, until I was seduced by the elegance and stability of OS X. From time to time, though, I grab a LiveCD (usually Ubuntu, these days, though I've gone through most of them at one time or another) and spend an hour or so poking around to see what's new and how quickly I can break it.

Shortly before I went to Vancouver for Eureka, I burned an iso of Ubuntu 10.4 beta, to see what all the fuss was about (short version: Ubuntu made some significant UI changes for that version, and a lot of Linux users are apparently as keen on change as Garth was in Wayne's World.)

My incredibly short review: I liked it. I thought it looked nice on my iMac, it booted fast from the DVD and ran smoothly once I was logged in. It comes with enough software to give a curious user a good feel for what it does without overwhelming them with options, and it autoconfigured every single thing I had … including my HP scanner.

When I realized I could finally scan this picture — and get a cool Linux advocacy story — I took carefully took it off the top of my desk (where I stuck it with two-sided tape several months ago) and scanned it. I put a thumb drive into the machine, which Ubuntu recognized immediately, copied the file over, and ran into my office to put it on my MBP.

I remember, back in the old days when we had to use vi to edit our config files, how much we all longed for a day when Linux Just Worked™; I think it's pretty cool that, in this case, it did.

The Wheaton Recurrence

It's Sunday afternoon as I write this. I can't publish this manually, because if I've read my call sheet correctly, I'm currently playing Dr. Isaac Parrish on Eureka. If we're on schedule, I'm working in a scene with Erica, Colin, and Neil. If my experience on the show so far is any indication, I'm having a whole lot of fun right now. 

Final If: If I've pushed the right buttons in Typepad, this should have published about one minute after The Wheaton Recurrence finished in the Eastern time zone. If you haven't seen the episode yet, you don't want to click more, because it's going to be spoileriffic.

Continue reading The Wheaton Recurrence

Hi, I’m Wil Wheaton. I’m not a dick, but I play one on TV…

the 8-bit bang theory by r. stevens

The first appearance of Evil Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory is airing again tonight, so I thought I'd gather up all the posts I wrote while working on it in one place:

leveling up while geeking out on the set of the big bang theory

I remember being in drama school in my early twenties, and having at least a decade more experience than everyone else in the room except our teacher. I remember paying close attention all the time, even when I wasn't working on a scene in front of the class, or getting notes directly from her. I remember her telling the other kids in the school, many of whom were convinced that they were going to be The Next Big Thing (all of them except Salma Hyek were wrong) that they didn't learn anything about performing while they were actually doing it. They learned while watching other actors perform, and understanding why their choices worked or didn't work. 

I haven't done a show like this in years, and I want to make sure that I am completely back in shape, I guess you could say, by the time we perform the episode next week. To make sure I get there, I spent the entire day, even when I wasn't in the scene, watching and listening, and remembering skills that I once used every day, but haven't even thought about in a very long time. By the time we got to my last scene of the day (God, I wish I could describe it, because it's hilarious) I felt confident, I felt funny, and I felt weird but also good.

The Big Bang Buzz

Once we started rehearsing, I noticed something that had changed from yesterday's rehearsal: the script was just as funny, but it was more alive when we performed it. I guess that, having lived with the script for a full day and having run the scenes several times alone and together, those difficult-to-quantify things that make us actors (I guess we could call them "Dramachlorians") have started to do their thing. We're thinking about the scenes when we're not in them, we're hearing the characters in our heads, we're subconsciously applying the notes we got from the director yesterday, and what was a collection of notes and chords 24 hours ago is starting to turn into a piece of music.

unraveling the mystery

I can't get into any real specifics, because we've reached that point in the production where any new insights or revelations that have happened (and they have) are all related to things that would certainly qualify as spoilers, or are observations that I feel would be unprofessional to share without the explicit permission of my fellow actors.

However, during rehearsal, I got to watch them take something that was already very funny, and then try several different approaches to one particular bit, each one funnier than the last, until they settled on something that I know is going to kill when the audience sees it. You know you're working on a tremendously funny show when the stuff they throw away is funnier than the stuff that makes it on air on other shows. I also have a new appreciation for how perfectly the writers on The Big Bang Theory balance the extremely geeky jokes that guys like me go crazy for, with the non-geeky jokes that people like my wife enjoy. It's a lot harder than it sounds to gently push a time machine through the eye of the comedy needle every week without touching the sides and making that one dude's nose light up … which sounds kind of funny, but trust me, is not.

The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary

First of all, for anyone who is wondering, the show's art department made actual cards with actual graphics and rules on them, and we all spent a fair amount of time making up some logical rules to go with the Mystic Warlords of Ka'a. As far as I know, there aren't official rules or an official card set, but I'm sure someone will create one within a couple of weeks if the show doesn't. (Oh please, oh please.)

When he first talked to me about working on the show, Bill Prady told me that I'd be playing a "delightfully evil version" of myself. This sounded like a lot of fun to me, but it was more difficult to find that character than you'd think. When I'm playing Fawkes on The Guild it's easy to slip into his kilt and be a jerk, but wearing my own clothes and essentially playing a stylized version of myself made it a real challenge to hit "delightfully evil" without veering into "not committed to being delightfully evil" or "just plain evil." Keeping that twinkle in my eye, and knowing that Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Version) is planning to scam Sheldon from the moment he sits down, was essential to this particular characterization working out, and I didn't completely find it until we'd run the episode a couple of times.

During one of the run throughs, when Jim did his Klingon bit, I turned to Kevin and asked him, "Did he just say 'revenge is a dish best served cold' in Klingon?" like I was trying to figure out if that's actually what happened, like maybe I misunderstood him. Chuck Lorre told me that it would be funnier if I was more exasperated. "You're just here to play this game, and now some guy is quoting Klingon at you. This happens everywhere you go," he said. 

I sighed dramatically, and said, "Oh, it does." Everyone laughed, hard, and Chuck pointed his finger at me. "Yes. That is exactly the way to play that beat."

When Chuck gave me that note, I grokked how to play Evil Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory version), and I could see the comedy in every beat I played for the rest of the show.

Finally, I did a Q&A post about Creepy Candy Coating Corollary last month, before I knew I'd be returning to the show. You'll have to go through the comments to find the questions and my answers, but if you're interested in that sort of thing, I think you'll dig it. There is also a hilarious T-shirt in that link that you probably want to see, regardless.

Also, my second episode, which is titled The Wheaton Recurrence (!) airs April 12 on CBS. Tell all your friends, and that one guy up the street who washes his Camaro in jean shorts on his lawn every weekend … he needs friends.

Everybody walk the dinosaur. Well, except for you. You’re not working out.

I have no idea what the title of this post has to do with the content of this post. In fact, I think there's no relation at all, other than the fact that I wrote them both. But when your brain compels you to quote Was (not Was), it's best to just do what it says, and slip in a Simpsons reference if you can manage it.

So. Moving on.

RinCon was awesome this weekend. The delves were a huge success, even though both parties managed to finish them, despite my best efforts to kill them all. I am absolutely going to run Child's Play Charity delves at future cons (and may even organize a special event here in Los Angeles at a local game shop, if enough people commit to playing) and those delves will all be of my own original creation, because running these two delves and listening to our D&D Podcast has made me want to write and run a campaign more than at any other time in my life. I know I keep going on and on about how easy it is to pick up and play 4e, but … dude, it is so easy to pick up, play, and run 4e, the only reason I'm not playing every week is because I haven't had the time to do it. (Fun fact: we had players in both delves who were totally new to 4e – one of them hadn't even played since 2nd edition! – and it took all of about 5 minutes to get them into the swing of things. I know 4e has its detractors, but I just love it that this system is so easy for new players to pick up, whether they're PCs or DMs.)

I had an incredible time playing a lot of new games, as well as many of my old favorites. I especially enjoyed an indie game called Castle Panic
, and an unreleased game from SJ Games that I wish I could tell you all about. I also picked up a storytelling game called A Penny For My Thoughts
that I think was the sleeper hit of the convention. The Rock Band party was also a lot of fun, and some of you may be interested to know that James Ernest is an absolute beast on the drums.

A full con report, including some various thoughts I had about gaming at cons and why they are such an important part of our community is forthcoming, probably as this month's Geek in Review column.

Now, on to business:

My episode of The Big Bang Theory airs next Monday, October 19, on CBS. Yes, I'm excited enough about this to use the silly bold letters in my blog. Yes, this also means that I won't get to watch it live because I'll be performing at w00tstock San Francisco while it airs, but it also means that those of you who wanted to see w00tstock San Francisco on Monday but could only get tickets for Tuesday can still get your USRDA of Wil Wheaton sightings (snort) without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Because, um, that sounds funny in my head.

SPOILER ALERT! Info about my episode of The Big Bang Theory follows:

The ‘Star Trek: TNG’ alum is guesting next week as a nastier version of himself. And as it turns out, this Wil Wheaton has a longstanding rivalry with Sheldon. How did this geektastic casting come to be? Says Kunal Nayyar (Raj), “The writers were discussing, ‘Who would be a good villain for Sheldon?’ just as Wil Wheaton was writing into them, saying how much he loves the show.” 

(via)

Okay, the final bit of business before I hit publish and go to work on the Memories of the Future release post and a few related bits: the project I've been working on that I wasn't sure if I could talk about, has been revealed. I'm voicing Bill Willingham's Peter & Max: A Fables Novel. It's been a delight to spend five hours a day exploring Bill's world and brining his characters to life, and we're going to have something very special when the whole project is completed.