Episode 101 Shoot
August 17, 1999

We didn't do much during the day today. The director wanted to pre-shoot a few scenes but that didn't take much time at all. It was very unexpected, especially for the first week of a brand-new show, but by 3:30 this afternoon we had nothing to do. There were virtually no rewrites from yesterday, so we didn't need to reblock or rework anything, and the director had pre-shot everything he wanted to. Defying all logic, we had reached a natural stopping point long before our 6pm showtime. The director, Tom Cherones, had run one of the tightest ships in sitcom-land this week, and on one of the newest shows to boot. It was pretty impressive.

Dinner was at 4:30pm. I started to get a little anxious. The wackiness of my role in this episode was still leaving me uncertain. Would I just look silly, stupid, over-the-top? Or would the audience actually find humor in the antics of an uptight conservative guy wearing a kilt? And the rest of the show, too... we hadn't put these characters in front of an audience for a while. Would they still amuse a room full of random San Fernando Valley residents?

Turns out, yes. It was pretty awesome. The show felt very funny, generating some good laughs from a not-all-that-generous audience. Most of the moments we expected to be big were big. Even some of those that we expected to fizzle pulled in a good chortle or two. And, yes, the singing Scotsman got good response from the audience as well. They seemed to like Ford in a kilt. It was a great night and a fun show.

And as I sat with my friends afterward having a drink to celebrate, we weren't just celebrating the return of the show or the success of this episode, we were also celebrating a landmark evening for me. It's true that I have had a fun time shooting a sitcom before. I have also had great weeks rehearsing and working with other actors in the course of my career. I have sporadically felt successful and rewarded as an actor in Hollywood when a show or a night or a performance has gone exceptionally well. But tonight, not only did I experience all of those emotions, but for the first time in eight years, I go to bed knowing that I get to do it all again next week, too. That's a great feeling.

Episode 101 | Behind the Scenes | Oh Grow Up