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Will & Grace

My time on the Alias tv set was very memorable to me. I had been treated like a star in a sea of people wanting nothing more in the world than that very thing. I hadn't asked for any special treatment, but it seemed to be given to me naturally almost because I wasn't asking for it. I had made an impression on the people I worked with and for that day.

About a week went by before I got my paycheck for the show. A part of me was in disbelief that I would get paid for having so much fun and being treated so well, including being well fed by Kraft services. I only got paid what was minimum wage at that time, but it was amazing to me that I got paid at all. I loved it. I wanted to save the pay check for all time, but I needed the money right then. I waited a couple of days before putting it into my account though.

When the next call came in from "Central Casting" of Burbank California, I knew the number right away. At first I was reluctant. I stared at the phone for about 4 full rings before finally answering just before it went to voicemail.

"I'm looking for Amanda," the familiar voice said.

"This is me."

"Amanda, it's Michael from Central Casting. We've had another casting call and you've been requested by name. It's for the TV show Will and Grace, a two day shoot in the studio next Tuesday and Wednesday. Can you do it?"

I don't know what possessed me to go for it, but without hesitation I told him I would. I knew it would land me in hot water at Kinko's, but I knew it was another once in a lifetime shot that had landed on my door step. I had to do it. It was impulse taking over, but I agreed before giving it any thought. I almost regretted it, but looking back I know that it would have been stupid of me to.

"Ok, we need you to bring something you would wear to a nice restaurant with you. Wear something comfortable, you can change when you get there. It's at the CBS studios, I'll give you directions. When you get there, your name will be on a list. Give that to the gate guard, he'll tell you where to park. Be there at 6am on Tuesday."

I took down the directions right away and wrote down the address so I could map-quest the best route to take. Then I worried about telling Mr. Blackwood and my two jobs. The pattern repeated when I told Mr. Blackwood, once more displaying his instant jealousy. He accused me of doing horrible things or promising that I would, not understanding that they wanted me just because I had been easy to work with on the last show. I was quickly becoming one of that particular casting director's favorite people to cast because I went with the flow, didn't demand anything, didn't ask for anything and didn't miss a cue. He would later suggest me for several more roles.

Vic at Colombo's was once more entirely supportive of me. He had told me since the begining that I should have been an actress. I never saw that in myself, but I certainly knew that it had been fun being on Alias. My episode hadn't even aired yet and I was already in line to go be on another show. He was incredibly proud of me and even gave me a hug for good luck.

I had put on my only pair of Lucky brand jeans I ever owned for good luck. Then I picked out my favorite comfy sweater - it was dark blue around the shoulders and chest and a lighter blue below that. I always loved that sweater, but it was old and starting to wear out a bit. There was a small hole in the sleeve and the arms were a tad bit too short for me. They always had been. With a small torso but lengthy everything else, it's always been hard for me to find tops with sleeves long enough for me.

I showed up on time with my dress and shoes in a bag. I was, as usual, rather early. I found myself sitting in the viewer audience seats for a while before it dawned on me that I would be performing in front of a live studio audience. Suddenly my nerves took over again. I wouldn't show anyone how scared I was, but in my silence I sat shivering.

A familiar smiling face showed up and sat down next to me.

"Hi! I thought you said Alias was the only time you were going to be an extra," he said. It was Nathan, the good looking Asian guy that wanted to be a Director. I had sat next to him in the first few takes during Alias. "You did really well last time though, I guess I can understand why you would come back. I mean, every girl in the room was jealous of you."

"Me?" I was in disbelief. I was jealous for a while of all the girls who got to sit down during the filming.

"Yeah, you were treated like a star! I was even jealous of you. I knew you would be great though."

We sat and chatted for a while as about 20 other people filled the chairs around us. Finally we were called to the front row, where a man with white hair and rotund belly stood holding some paperwork out in front of him. He squinted through his glasses at the paperwork before clearing his throat in a loud, grunting fashion.

"Now, if I say your name I need you to follow Peter here to the restaurant end of the set. The rest of you need to follow me."

About three quarters of the names were called out and the large group of people carrying suits and dresses followed the other stranger away from where the rest of us stood. I was left standing there holding my dress with a group of people wearing blazers and jeans. I didn't understand...


1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to hear the rest of this story. I've heard Debra Messing is "difficult" to put it nicely. I'll watch reruns of Will & Grace on Lifetime from time to time.


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