July 21, 1995
Mara called and disparagingly gave me the news: I had an audition. She obviously did not want me to go. There would be no credit, no screen time, no residuals. They just needed somebody to work with one of the actors in their movie for 8-10 weeks at scale+10%. Hmmmmm...
That may not sound too attractive, but did I mention that it would be Michael Jordan I'd work with? Oh, and did I mention that Ivan Reitman would be producing the film? Oh, and did I mention that 10 weeks would be worth 18 thousand dollars?
That may sound very attractive. The problem, of course, would be that for 8-10 weeks I would be completely unavailable. Just as all the TV series resume shooting for the fall, I would be taking myself out of the loop. No Matlock, no Party of Five, no Against the Grain. (Yes, I know, two of those shows are dead and gone, and the other will never have me back, but you get what I'm saying.) I just don't like the idea of making myself "unavailable." No need to worry too much, though. No one's exactly offered me the job or nothing. So...
I went to Universal to meet Alan Berger. Sitting in the lobby reading a magazine, I hear, "Hey, Ducey! How're you doing?" I look up to see a shaggy-haired man strolling past whom I have NEVER seen before. "Hey, good! How're you?" I return as he continues by me. Once he has departed, I find out from the receptionist that he was Alan Berger himself.
So he knows me. "How?" you might ask. When he calls me in, I find out: "You keep sending me all these postcards, and I gotta tell you, it works!" So I'm in the door. Now what? Well, he has heard that the plays I've been doing got great reviews as did I. (But then again, it was I that told him that.) And they need someone who is a strong actor to do all this improv stuff with Michael, to "make Michael a better actor."
We do an improv with me as Tweety Bird. I say something like, "Oh, I can't believe Granny got me up so early, and there's no seed and no water." And that's it. Alan stops me laughing to himself, "That's great; that's great." Next assignment: Slyvester. I say, "I'm sorry that I ate the whole mouse, Michael, but it was a French mouse and I know you don't like French food." And Alan goes into hysterics and says, "OK, that's great! I'll bring you back in next week sometime." And he gave me a script and some scenes to look at and sent me on my way. Pretty tough screening process. I'm lucky I survived.
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