Wacky Casting Stories

When you've spent your career working in the fanciful world of film and television production there are many stories to tell. Naturally, all this stuff actually happened because honestly, you can't make this stuff up.

Let's talk about casting this time around. It's a very important part of any production and there's always a few casting stories to tell. The first story involves a production house I worked at some years ago. The all important job of casting a television commercial was the task of the day. The client had flown in for the session and he sat in a large conference room with the casting director. A long line of hopeful actors formed outside the room each eager to score the well paying television gig. After a long morning of readings the client slumped in his chair. “These guys are good,” he said. “But I still haven't seen the guy I want. This commercial is very important for our company.” It was now noon, and after delivering a stack of pizzas the studio delivery boy made his way through the conference room. He was a funny, outgoing guy well liked by all at the studio because of his infectious enthusiasm. Spotting the script on the table, he snatched up the pages and delivered the lines just for the fun of it. The client suddenly bolted upright in his chair. “That's it!” he shouted. “That's the guy I'm looking for.” Can you imagine a more Hollywood story? The studio messenger boy was instantly cast in the commercial and the last time I saw him he was headed for the set for his first movie gig.

My second casting story is personal. I arrived at NBC in Burbank where my old buddy, Norman Edelen was writing a television show. Naturally, not knowing my way around I quickly became lost in the Burbank facility. I managed to wander into a room where two people were seated at a long table. Before I could get a word out the man and woman looked me up and down. Then, they nodded to each other and smiled. “You'll do just fine,” said the woman. “However, you'll have to shave off the mustache.” Yes, it's true I was sporting a mustache in those days but why would I need to shave it off? And, who were these people anyway? It turns out I had wandered into the casting room of a television show and had even scored a job as on camera performer. Plus, I managed to do all this without even doing a read. Just think. I could have had a whole new career as a television actor simply because I had taken a wrong turn in a television studio. Think these events are unusual? In a wacky town like Hollywood I've found nothing is unusual.

So, there you have two of my wacky Hollywood casting stories. Of course, there are many more casting tales from Tinsel Town and they include very attractive young women. I'll tell you about those one of these days.