Taking on Hollywood’s <i>The Young and the Restless</i>
Jul 24, 2007
Taking on Hollywood, one letter at a time.
When Hollywood calls, what do you do? Run, many may say. And when you’re offered a part in a daytime drama, well, you drop everything and show up.
The Young and the Restless is one of America's longest-running daytime dramas, and during a recent visit to CBS' Television City in LA, I went to live out the fantasy of a lifetime.
Okay, I lied about the last bit. However, I did spend an afternoon with the cast and crew of the Emmy Award-winning drama, The Young and the Restless.
With the real stars of The Young and The Restless.
I was given a walk-on role; that means NO talking. Just walk on and walk off. You’re an extra, a spare part, a background actor, the bottom of Hollywood's acting totem pole.
If you talk, you enter a different pay scale, and so I was told to stay mum, and just carry my character's load in my body language and facial expressions.
My character? A guy in a bar. What? Talk about typecasting.
Looking nervous and restless.
Camera's rolling, ready for "action."
The floor director walked me through my paces on the set before the cameras rolled. And just as the director called, "Action," Christian LeBlanc who plays Michael Baldwin yelled, "Don't screw it up, kid."
No pressure then.
I was back in drama class all over again, except this time my scene was not on a school stage in front of a hall full of happy parents. No, I was on the set of a daytime drama, and the entire cast and crew of seasoned professionals were relying on me not to screw up!
Well, I screwed up. I forgot that I was told not to talk, was only supposed to pretend to talk or just mouth my words. Well, I simply couldn’t help myself—cursed by kissing the Blarney stone at an early age no doubt, I proceeded to talk aloud to my fellow walk-ons.
The beer is real, and we’re on take 10. Yikes.
"Cut," yelled the irritated director. And we had to do the scene all over again.
"Perfect," called the director. PHEW!
Meeting my fellow co-stars, or rather, bit players.
Seven things I discovered on The Young and the Restless:
1. Not everyone is young, but everyone is restless.
2. The sets are as cheap as they look on TV.
3. Some people make a living as "walk-ons" or "extras."
4. “Walk on” means just that. Walk on, shut up.
5. The Beer is not real.
6. Daytime drama cast members are the hardest-working people in show business.
7. Acting in a daytime drama is not for me.
See the fruits of my labor this Thursday, July 26, at 11 a.m. on CBS5 TV. Blink and you might miss me.
New host of The Price Is Right?
P.S. I was hoping CBS might choose yours truly as the new host of The Price Is Right. However, as you may know, a new host has been chosen. Congratulations, Drew Carey.
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