Improv and Discovery

I had a meeting yesterday with a guy named Tom to see about doing some improv on the weekends. We were to meet at a Starbucks and (I think) we were in the village. It was bound to happen sometime, and yesterday was the day. I got a little lost. Not much. Just a little. I accidentally got on the express subway instead of the local train and we shot right past my stop. Only one stop past, but to get back on the train going the other way, you had to leave, cross the street, and pay to get back on, and I ain’t’s got the money to fool with that. So I tried to find my way on my own. I know this makes me sound like a dork (or a cowboy!) but I can usually tell which direction I am facing from the position of the sun (for real!). But at the time it was high noon, so I was sort of out of luck. I was able to ask a friendly mailman for directions, shooting the whole men don’t ask for directions theory down. Turns out I was only 3 blocks from where I wanted to be, so not too bad.

I got to the Starbucks about 5 minutes before Tom so all was well. And I must be honest, Tom threw me off a bit. Tom looks just like Ben, the guy who fired me from the record label because he claimed radio did nothing to promote albums. So psychologically it took me a bit to actually put that past me and like the guy. Tom was really cool, though, and he told me what the improv gig was about.

The name of the show is Accomplice NY and it’s sort of a cross between a murder mystery party, a scavenger hunt, and a walking tour of Manhattan. A group of eight or so people sign up for this thing and they don’t know what they are supposed to do. All they know is where to meet. They are then approached by actors who are all playing shady characters and are asked to deliver some stuff for a crime boss. They’re given clues as to what to do next, where to go, and who to look for. They end up going to like 10 different places all around Manhattan, never knowing if the people they meet on the way are actors or if they’re just real people walking around. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun and Tom asked me if I could play a paranoid, crazy guy who was a genius. I said sure and he said “Let’s see it.” So there we sat in Starbucks, him talking to me as I carried on in a sort of Doc Brown-crossed-with-a-guy-named-Sherm-I-knew-in-college character I made upon the spot. After about five minutes he started laughing and just said “You’re hired.” So I go in Saturday to watch them do it a few times and then on Sunday it’s all me. Right now they only do shows on weekends, but I am really stoked!

After that I had a shoot for the Discovery Channel. I don’t want to divulge too much because of the confidnetiality thing I signed, but I’ll tell you a bit. I doubt their lawyers are reading this, so I’ll just tell you what they posted on the audition notices that I already knew going into it. They are holding callbacks for a show that takes place in a cab. They are only looking for actual cab drivers, and they had it narrowed down a bit. They were also looking for actors to come in (me) and play the person in the back of the cab so the auditioners had someone to play off of. They were filming these auditions for the head honchos at Discovery to watch. So it was kind of fun doing an audition that had zero pressure because I knew they weren’t really watching me, it was all about the cab driver. It was a lot of fun (and I got to do it in front of blue screen! This week I’m getting a lot of training with the whole blue/green screen thing…where are the Sin City 2 auditions?)

Afterward the executive producer brought me aside and asked me if I could come in on Monday and do it again as they tape the final auditions. They were bringing in some big hotshot agent for these final callbacks and he wanted me to play the passenger. I told him “Sure!” and he said that it would be a really good opportunity for me to be seen by her. So who knows. I’ve never heard of her (the name rang a bell with Deanna) but apparently she is a real mover and shaker. At any rate, it’ll be fun. I’ll be sure to bring an extra head shot and resume.

A full day yesterday. Whew! I love it!

I’ve run out of head shots so until I can afford to buy more photo paper, the hunt for a part-time job continues but as always I will keep you posted.

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