10:16 pm - 7.24.2009
The Mad Men table read was last night.
I got there early enough that the assistants were still setting things up (Even though I was held up in the lobby for a time by security, I think because I was the only one who came in through the pedestrian entrance on Beaudry).
So I walked the halls for a bit, waiting for more "day players" to make an appearance before I went back in.
I was definitely a little nervous - This was my first "table read" here in Hollywood - nervous enough that I asked Kayla (The script girl) if there were any particular "bits of decorum" I needed to be aware of, since this was "my first time".
There really weren't, it turned out. And I calmed myself down - a little - by realizing this wasn't going to be much different from "table reads" back in Lansing community theater (Where, even then, I always had a bit of "first day of school" nerves).
They were serving food (And as you may know, I really like free food), but I opted not to partake, contenting myself with just a Diet Coke.
(Cause really, as long as I get something for free, I'm pretty happy.)
(On my shoot day, I will certainly eat if the opportunity presents itself, but last night, it seemed "inappropriate"; there was food because a lot of people were coming directly from the set. And in just practical terms, I didn't want to get caught with a mouth full of chicken when it was time to say my lines. But anyway...)
I imagine the big question on your minds is "Did you meet any of the stars of the show?".
I didn't, really.
Rich Sommer ("Harry Crane") introduced himself to those of us he was sitting by, but for the most part, there wasn't much "cross-pollination" between the "regulars" and the "day players", that I could see (I was tempted to approach some of the "regulars" afterward, cause I really am a big fan of the show, but decided - wisely, I think - that I didn't want to be a "fanboy" in this situation. It's probably really "bad form", for one thing, but more than that, I want to be meeting these folks as an equal, not as if I'm a "civilian" that somehow wandered off the tour bus and onto the set).
When everyone arrived and was seated, Matt Weiner, the series creator, said a few words (Joking, after announcing all the Emmy nominations for the show, and getting a round of applause, that "Of course, awards don't matter...neither do ratings"), introducing the director, and asking all of us to please not reveal anything about the episode (Joking again that, after the episode airs, "You can talk about it for years afterward at convention appearances". Jon Hamm responded happily with, "'Mad Men' at Comic-Con...!")
There were a lot of people at the table read - In addition to Weiner, the Director, and all the actors at the table, the room was ringed with writers, consultants, various department heads, and the casting people (Who I did make a point of approaching afterward, to thank them for bringing me in).
The actual table read went fine; I was slightly embarrassed, when my scene came up, that I screwed up and started one of my lines while the AD was reading a stage direction, but felt like I "made up for it" by getting a big laugh on my last line (More a function of the writing than anything else, but still...).
In a little more than an hour, it was over.
On my way out, I had a little interaction with Anne Dudek (Who House fans will remember as "Amber"), who is slimmer and prettier than she looked on the show.
Jon Hamm is even better looking than he is on the show, while January Jones was shorter and slighter than I imagined she'd be (Everyone else looked about how they do on the show).
All-in-all, a pretty cool experience.
Well, I just flipped through my calendar to make sure, and it's official - July will be a record-breaking month for auditions.
So far this year, I haven't had more than four auditions in any given month, but as of Tuesday, I'll have had seven in July (Sharon called me today with a second audition on Monday - a "possible one-day Guest-Star" on a tv pilot called Three Rivers - Then Brett called me with a film audition on Tuesday for a "post-apocalyptic vampire movie", where I'd play a traveling salesman selling vampire protection; he says it's the biggest part he's sent me in for so far).
Now if we can just get JS into the act (He's my commercial guy), I'd be all set: while I want these gigs I'm going in for (cause that's why I'm out here, after all), in terms of pure money, a good national commercial would probably pay more than all of them put together.
But clearly, opportunity has come knockin'...
And I am eager to book some of these bad boys - Booking a gig is nice (Particularly when it's as cool a gig as Mad Men), but I want to start stringing some gigs together.
Cause that, after all, is what a "career" is.
And on that note, I think it's just about my bedtime...
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