Show business aint all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, from the outside looking in, it may seem like a lot of fun – all glitz and glamour and catered peanut butter brownies – but the truth is that a lot of the time, it can be a fucking headache. Producing television and film is a collaborative effort and so, it needs be said, you’re only as good as the people who support you: the writers, producers, directors, actors, crew. Fortunately, in the case of Stargate, the individuals who work on the show are really good at what they do. And that, pure and simple, is why the franchise has produced about 300 hours of television over its 11 year run. It worked out the kinks early on and now operates as a well-oiled machine. We’re a hell of a lot luckier than many productions that have to deal with “issues” that would drive a sane producer to suicide – and certainly luckier than those productions whose run is so brief they never even get the opportunity to deal with said “issues”. Still, being luckier doesn’t mean you’re immune to the problems. It just means they annoy you all the more when they do crop up because you haven’t had the chance to become immured to them yet.
Now I’m not talking about the unforeseen but manageable curveballs that get thrown your way when you’re producing a t.v. show. Not one, not two, but three pregnancies to throw the schedule into a tizzy. Hey, this is life and a pregnancy is a happy event to be celebrated and, if at all possible, worked into a storyline. We did and, in my opinion, added a whole new layer to our planned season four mega-arc. I’m not referring to those “well, what can you do?” scheduling snafus that, because of actor or location availability, necessitate our shooting episodes wildly out of sequence, or the standard slow-grind of contract negotiations. No, I refer to those “issues” that are of a more, er, personal nature.
I take a look at someone like Jodelle Ferland, our twelve year old guest star for Harmony, and marvel at what a terrific actress and wonderfully down-to-earth individual she is. Just hearing her talk about her dog or watching her kid around with David Hewlett between takes makes you sit back and marvel, not so much at the fact that she’s such a a great kid but that she’s such a great kid despite having worked in show business most of her life. Well, a lot of the credit has to go to her mom, Valerie. Upbringing has a lot to do with it. But what happens when success comes later than, say, adolescence and you don’t have mom or dad around to help steer you straight? Well, more often than not, you end up one of the arrogant jerks that seem to be far more prevalent in the entertainment field than any other line of work. Come on. When was the last time you heard the guy in the next office demand a bowl of green M&M’s for his dressing room or saw him throw a hissy fit when a designer boutique of his choosing wouldn’t gift him that alligator purse simply because he was famous?
One of the interesting things about working in the biz is you get to hear insider tales about certain individuals – wonderful faux personas beloved by fans – who are nothing short of massive jerks. Like –
That actor who was filming something in Vancouver many years ago. As he was making his way back to his trailer, the publicist caught up with him to ask if he’d mind autographing a poster for a local children’s hospital. “I don’t have time for this shit,”was his response before disappearing into his trailer. Maybe if those sickly little tykes hadn’t been so presumptuous as to assume he’d gift them with a freebie rather than paying for his sig like everyone else, they wouldn’t have been left disappointed. Live ‘n learn, baby.
Or that actor who was shooting a scene that called or him to drink champagne. He, of course, informed the props master that he wanted to drink real champagne. The props master assumed it would not be a problem but, all the same, wanted to clear things with the director first. This disrespectful act enraged the actor who informed him he WAS DRINKING CHAMPAGNE in the scene and he didn’t need the props master going behind his back to get the director’s okay. Well, seeing as how he didn’t think it would be a problem, and since it was his job to run things like this by the director, he did. And got the okay. No problem. Until, that is, the actor found out and vowed to get back at him. And he did. The props master, it turns out, used to come to set with a big box of chocolates and candies for the cast and crew. On the last day of production, he went to his chocolate and candy box to do his rounds, flipped open the lids and discovered the “little present” the actor had left him. So, when was the last time that guy in accounting took a dump in your chocolate box? Un huh. Didn’t think so either.
Over the course of my years in television, most of those I’ve met have been sincere, hardworking, and genuinely nice people. A small minority, however, have been arrogant, self-centered, and unpleasant to deal with. It goes with the territory, I suppose, but like the real world, what comes around goes around. Bad behavior can only be tolerated so long before bridges are burned and people begin asking: “Hey, what ever happened to the guy who played the tap-dancing genius on My Cousin the Chimp? I wonder why he hasn’t done much since.”
Well, wonder no more.
No pics and no mailbag today but –
Today’s video: Click on the date for a video of Lulu harassing reigning pain-in-butt Bubba. And now the hunter has become the hunted!