One of the many nice things about having dinner with my agent Robb is getting him to regale us with his wonderful Hollywood stories. Nothing seedy or salacious, just humorous accounts of his poker nights with the writers of The Simpsons or dinners with colorful clients. Sitting there the other night, listening to his reminiscences, I couldn’t help but reflect on my short-lived career in Tinseltown, back to when I first broke into the business as a hungry young actor.
At the time, I shared a Santa Monica apartment with two up-and-coming mimes, an angry performance artist, and an embittered stage magician who had since fallen on hard times. Every second Saturday, I would tour as the sole male member of a feminist comedy troupe, Bra-ha-ha, while every Sunday, my roomates and I would head down to the Third Street Promenade where we would sell painted seashells and re-enact scenes from classic commercials like Clara Peller’s memorable turn as the “Where’s the Beef?” lady at Wendy‘s. It was during one of these performances (“I’m not gonna pay a lot for this muffler!“ I nailed it.) that I was discovered by an equally hungry but far-more-struggling talent agent who signed me on and, in a few short weeks, got me my big break as Brown Corduroy Pant Wearer #3 in a Sears Summer Catalogue.
From there, things really picked up: Satisfied Customer for Garden Shack’s big West Hollywood flyer campaign, Brown Corduroy Pant Wearer #2 in the Sears Fall Catalogue, Blue Corduroy Pant Wearer #1 in the Sears Winter Catalogue, a bit part as a very impressed dinner guest in a Norelco Ice Fish commercial, and, finally, a minor speaking part in the underappreciated near cult classic Hercules vs. Godzilla. It all culminated in my landing the role of a lifetime on a new science fiction series. Although it was a small part, I was assured at the time that it had the potential to grow into something much, much bigger. I thought I was destined for greatness, the next Jan Michael Vincent. But alas, the fates conspired against me. Well, the fates and the series lead, let’s call him Bill, who seemed to resent my natural charisma and wonderful onscreen chemistry with my fellow co-stars. I came in to work one morning and discovered the letter of dismissal in my dressing room (which, incidentally, doubled as one of the show‘s Jeffries Tubes). No one was there to say goodbye. To add insult to injury, my parking spot was given to the guy who played the guy with the pointy ears.
Eventually, I gave up acting and turned to more satisfying pursuits like bee-keeping, screenwriting, and playing xylophone in a White Snake cover band. My only keepsake from those heady times is the cast picture I have posted. Ah, those were the days.
Checking the mail…
Jodi writes: “By referencing Bridge and “elsewhere” shouting about high ratings I was referring to the fact that when ratings are up in the high 2.0+ range studios, and others, don’t hesitate to shout about it. This was an attempt to show examples of how the “unfair” argument cannot, IMO, hold water when it’s all the rage for studios, and fans, to use the ratings as a gold banner when they are high and then play the “ratings systems are unfair” card just because the ratings are low – it’s the same ratings system after all.”
Answer: I don’t believe anyone has ever called the ratings system unfair. What we have discussed are some of the elements that have worked against the show in the ratings. Of course it’s the same ratings system, but when the show was pulling in 2.0 + numbers, it hadn’t already aired around the world, wasn’t already available online, and television ratings had not taken a hit across the board (a recent Nielsen article points to the fact that the past three weeks have been among the lowest-watched t.v. weeks in recent memory).
Anonymous #1 writes: “What do you think the ratings will be for Friday’s episodes?”
Anonymous #2 writes: “Joe, joe, joe. *sighs and shakes head* You do realise that you’ve just pissed off the Sam/Jack shippers now on top of the Terri fans?”
Answer: By providing an honest answer to a question asked? Sorry, but we have no plans to work Carter’s love-life into Atlantis. For SG-1 movie-related questions, however, feel free to post them on Brad and Robert’s blogs.
Exangeline writes: “What anime do you like? Oh, and – subbed or dubbed?”
Answer: Subbed, never EVER dubbed. Berserk is my fave followed by Cowboy Bebop, Now and Then Here and There, Noir, Trigun, Utena, Kino’s Journey, Last Exile, GTO, Samurai Champloo – to name but a few.
Amy writes: “Any chance either of the crews will be out “on location” Monday? […] And what in the world was that LOUD boom this past Wed. about 10:30 am ish at the studio? About scared me to death!”
Answer: You mean the LOUD boom that rattled the windows and set off all the car alarms? It was Ark of Truth. As for being on location on Monday – which location?
Linz writes: “I was wondering if the Wraith from Common Ground is definitely coming back in season 4?”
Answer: Yup. And we’re going to ship him with Carter.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Do the Atlantis teams have a designated team idetification number like the SG teams have, say like AL1?”
Answer: Yup. They are First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team.