October 24, 2014: Introducing Natalie Cooper!
Natalie Cooper, multitasking

Anyone will tell you that the toughest thing about starting a new productions isn’t the casting or the scriptwriting or ensuring that it all falls within the allotted budget.  No, the toughest thing about starting a new production is remembering everyone’s name.  It’s a problem that plagued me my many years on Stargate.  My writing partner and I, Paul, joined the show in its fourth season.  In the first two weeks we were there, we were introduced to roughly, oh, one hundred people – and then spent the greater part of the season sequestered in our respective offices, cranking out scripts.  By the time we came up for air and were finally able to visit set – about three years later – we couldn’t remember anyone’s name.  And, because so much time had passed, it would have been way too awkward to ask – so we improvised”  “Hey, you guy.  What’s up?”  or “How was your weekend, TooMuchLipstick?” or “Yo, Beardo, what did you do on your hiatus?”

Fortunately, I’m getting in on the ground floor with Dark Matter and have been introduced to the production personnel in small doses, partly because we’re still a week away from actual prep and much of the crew hasn’t started yet, but mostly because, I suspect, they’re afraid of overwhelming me and scaring me off.  Despite my general inability to remember names (Twelve years after moving into my neighborhood, I avoided running into the family next door for fear they would test me), I’ve been doing pretty good so far.  Sure, I don’t remember everyone’s names but I do remember the names of the more colorful characters.

Take Natalie Cooper for one.  She wears two hats [note the photo above], fulfilling the functions of both Development and Social Media Coordinator.  In addition her aforementioned duties, she is also the resident foodie and a font of invaluable restaurant and ice cream sandwich shop information.  In addition, she’s an avid comic book reader, although she has thus far resisted my attempts to engage her on the topic.  Apparently, the task of reading (and passing judgement on) the Dark Matter graphic novel fell to her a couple of years ago.  She was the gatekeeper, Prodigy Pictures‘ own Cerberus, charged with the task of ensuring only the awesomest of properties gain admission to its hallowed halls.  Abandon all hype, ye who enter here.  If it wasn’t for her giving the comic book the thumbs up, I’d probably now be volunteering for clinical trials of the new Arby’s menu items.

Anyway, in addition to development, social media, and food and comic punditry, she is also making a foray into the acting realm as evidenced by this tremendous audition that found its way into my inbox the other day.  Reading for the part of Seven (a character who doesn’t actually exist in the show, but this audition may change my mind): Natalie Cooper…

I’m afraid that if I don’t snap her up now, I may lose her to Downton Abbey.

Hey, remember yesterday when I was talking about how great Executive Producer’s Assistants are proactive (a term rarely used outside the suites of network executives)?  Well, Alison (aka The Driver, aka The Fixer, aka Audrey) informed me this morning that she had tracked down a stroller for my elderly pug Jelly.  And not only did she locate one at the nearest Pet Smart, but she reserved it, accompanied me to pick it up so that I wouldn’t meander off, then assembled it for me back at the office (for fear I might hurt myself).  And voila –

October 24, 2014: Introducing Natalie Cooper!

Pretty terrific.  I informed Alison that she just bought herself another week!

Starting tomorrow(wish), what say we get into the casting process.  I’ll offer you all a peek at the breakdowns that went out for our seven-member crew and update you all on the casting process.

Sounds fun, no?

24 thoughts on “October 24, 2014: Introducing Natalie Cooper!

  1. I would love to audition, but am in the middle of trying to compete shooting my webseries Preflight Launch. Received a blow today as one of the locations cancelled on me, claiming I was making “unnecessary delays” and making up “excuses”. I suffered 2 concussions over the summer, and am on some very serious pain meds as a result. Not a happy camper but persevering and trying to find alternate locations!

    Jelly looks very happy with the new wheels, can’t say that I wouldn’t be myself if in Jelly’s doggie boots!

    If you want to look at my webseries, it’s at http://www.preflightlaunchwebseries.com, lol, feel free to buy a shirt or three, if the costume department with Dark Matter want to use them in their wardrobe, I am fine with that! If I weren’t so busy with my webseries, I’d send in a taped audition, if I knew where to find the sides! 😉

  2. That DOES sound fun, actually. Hi Natalie! I hope you know what you got yourself in for! 😉

    Ask Alison for me about how to get rid of a plague of fruit flies in the house. UGH. Already tried the vinegar trap – which caught quite a few, but… there’s quite a few left. Driving me crazy. er.

    Aww, Jelly! Give her a hug for me.

  3. I see math (algebra?) on the chalk board behind Natalie. What are those calculations about? Is Carter anywhere around?

  4. Jelly looks very happy! Way to go Alison. And hello Natalie and thanks for helping to get Dark Matter to the screen for us.

    I have problems, too, with names. Remember all my clients’ dogs’ and cats’ names, but people? Not so much. I remember faces but names–big weakness.

  5. It seems you may have a bigger cast of characters behind the camera than in front of it. Looks like it will never be dull around the office. Maybe having someone walking around constantly snapping your picture will do that.

    Way to go Audrey Hepburn!! How did you know Joe can’t even change a lock much less put together a stroller? Jelly says “thank you!” with that big smile on her face. How is Bubber doing?

  6. Hi Alison and Natalie!

    I’m sure we’ll see lots of you all over the next few months. I can’t wait to see what you all do with Dark Matter!

    Glad to see Jelly happy! How is Bubba settling in? Is Lulu missing me yet? Or has she already moved onto another beau? 😉

    Coming back to Chicagoland, I’ve hit the ground running. From leaky drain pipes that flooded a storage room in the basement, cleaning up the garage, 3 hour conference calls for work, and a weekend of celebrating my oldest daughter’s 30th birthday, my dance card is plenty full. Then my middle daughter added a trip to the drive in movies tomorrow night (a triple feature of classic horror films), so I’ll be a bit sleep deprived come Sunday!

  7. Joe, name tags! Have you seen those shirts with the company logo and the person’s name in the upper corner or on the back? You could get some for the crew and insist they wear them.

  8. Natalie’s performance had me at the edge of my seat, now that is acting! Best gasp ever, now bring on those karate fight skills in the next webisode.

    The most amazing thing about the stroller saga is that Jelly is actually happily riding in it and looks happy to boot. Jelly is a wonder, she doesn’t mind dressing in sassy outfits and stays put in her stroller.

  9. Oh Joe, can you say keeper loud enough?!? Wow, nice to come into a new place and be so welcomed, and taken care of, not that your were concerned. Nice to meet Alison and Natalie! Jelly does look like she is a happy puppy, great job.
    @JeffW, sorry for the water troubles, I would rather fix anything but plumbing,,ack. The drive in sounds like fun, no napping for scary horror stuff.

  10. Or a man who can wear many hats.

    That’s a pretty classy stroller. Seems like Jelly really likes it!

    Looking forward to more of the sneak peeks.

    @JeffW: Yikes! I hope things improve around your place. But at least you have some fun planned: that Drive-In triple feature sounds pretty cool. And it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.

  11. My solution for the can’t-remember-neighbor’s-names problem was to write them down. I made a block chart of the houses around me, and wrote in the names of the humans and pets. I kept it on a clipboard hanging from the wall in my kitchen. When we moved, I gave the chart to the new owners.

  12. I’m also bad with remembering names, so I have a few tactics I use to hide that fact. When meeting just one or two new people, I say their name over and over in my mind during the predictable exchange of pleasantries that accompanies the initial greeting and handshake. I also might try something like Natalie/Hatalie…she wears two hats. Or Alison, sometimes spelled with two Ls, Allison knows All.

    When I’m in a boardroom or conference room setting, I sometimes draw a seating chart and fill it in as we go round and introduce ourselves. This usually includes name, store number, and store location for my work. Then I make a game of repeating peoples’ names to myself in order. For example, Adam…Adam, Lucy…Adam, Lucy, Michael, etc. This works well for groups up to 20ish. For very large groups, I just try to go pure memorization based on linking a name with a face.

    My college marching band director made it a point to learn everyone’s name, instrument, and hometown by the end of the first week. We had around 280 in the band, and he was able to do it every year. When I asked him how and why, he told me that he felt it was very important that each person feel they were an integral member of the band by identifying them as an individual. As to how, he said it really wasn’t that hard to learn the names when he pretty much knew everyone except the Freshmen and transfer students, and that thinking of people within their sections (trumpets, drumline, guard, etc.) helps to compartmentalism the information in your brain.

    So, there you go…not that you asked for it.

  13. Love the stroller!

    Names are important Mr Mallozzi. People hate people who don’t remember theirs. So make it easy.. you’re the boss. Require name tags. Hell, get Akemi to make cute PUG name tags and laminate them. 🙂

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