- The kid tries to wake us up at 7:30, but it’s just not gonna happen. Jen tells her to lay down again, and I don’t know about Harley, but I take Jen’s advice.
- When I wake up again, it’s a little past nine. I fly out of bed because I’m supposed to take Quinnster to school, but Jen puts the breaks on. She’s sitting in the kitchen checking email and drinking coffee, informing me that she’s already taken Harley to school. I shuffle off to take the morning leak/shit.
- We opt for some Griddle breakfast, over which we discuss my “Catch & Release” meeting later today, as well as the Poetry Event later in the week. When we’re done, we pop in to the pharmacy to drop off a prescription, then head home.
- I hit the computer and update the diary while Jen continues planning the Poetry Event. Then, Jen runs lines with me. I don’t know whether I’m expected to read at the meeting today, but I figure I’ll be prepared. I try my three scenes a variety of ways, committing all the dialogue to memory, and soliciting Jen’s take on each performance. After we run the scenes into the ground, I head off and take a shower.
- Post-shower, I’m a little nervous about the meeting, so Schwalbach offers some tension relief in the way of a blowjob. But Jen never lasts too long in the oral department, as it gets her all wound up for sex, so a blowjob quickly turns into a champion fucking. We lounge a bit afterwards until I’ve gotta get dressed and leave for the meeting.
- Gail (who’s still up in Mammoth with the birthday-skiing Byron) has left directions to Fresh Paint, Jenno’s production company. I fail to look at said directions, and wind up at what was formerly the Tall Trees offices – Jenno and the director Betty Thomas’ old production company, located a few blocks from my house. Just as I’m about to head in, I look at the Mapquest Gail provided and realize Fresh Paint is all the way over in Santa Monica. I call Fresh Paint, let ‘em know I’m a total jackass, and that I’ll be twenty minutes late.
- I rocket down La Brea to the 10 West and do the freeway dash to Santa Monica. I get off at the 4th/5th Street exit and find the 2nd Street address for Fresh Paint.
- I head in and find Jenno, who gives me a big hug and introduces me to Susannah Grant and casting director Deb Aquila (who’s cast, amongst zillions of other flicks, “The Shawshank Redemption”). We chit-chat for about forty five seconds before the three ladies lead my upstairs for what I assume is a meet-and-greet in Jenno’s office.
- Low and behold, it’s not a meet-and-greet: it’s a flat-out audition. I get into Jenno’s office, and there’s a video camera and a hot-seat chair that the camera’s pointed at. A fourth chick is there to run camera, and I pretty quickly process that I’m gonna be immediately put on tape. So with little ado, I find myself on an end of a casting camera I am wholly unused to. Rather than sink, I dive in and swim.
- There are three scenes I’m doing (and right about now, I’m really happy I’m off book on ‘em). The first one is pure wise-assery, so I fly through it. When I finish, I move on to the next scene. At second scene’s end, Susannah gives me a little direction, and I try the scene again, hoping to Christ I offer any difference in my performance. In my head, I’m thinking “It’s cool – you’ve been in auditions before. Asking an actor to do another reading doesn’t mean they’re not doing well.” I get the nod on scene two, and head into scene three – the weightiest of them all. At scene’s end, Susannah offers more direction, so I try the scene again. When I finish, Susannah offers more direction. In the split second between her counsel and my third take, this is my inner monologue…
The little voice in my head wrote:
“You blew it. You have zero instinct for material you don’t write myself (and very little instinct for your own shit, at that). You’re about to be rejected by not just one woman, but three women, as well as the chick running the camera you’re fucking up royally on. What are you even doing here, Jerk-Stain? You’re not an actor – you’re just a guy who bugs his eyes out when another guy says ‘Snoogans’ in some very small movies nobody’s ever heard of. You soared too close to the sun on wings of wax, asshole, and now you’re gonna plummet back to Earth. But don’t panic. Don’t let ‘em see you sweat. Wait, who’re you kidding? They can see your fat-ass sweat from space. Just hold it together long enough to get out of this office with a sliver of dignity intact. You’ve been rejected by plenty of chicks, so this should be easy for you.”
- I do the scene for the third time. When I’m done, the ladies and I chit-chat about “Evening with Kevin Smith” (the flick which is largely responsible for my being in that room in the first place) and “Evening with 2: Evening Harder.” I’m getting no read from the Women in Film beyond the “Arrested Development”-like “I’ve made a huge mistake…” expressions behind their smiles. All are kind enough to not mention the pooching of the part I just fumbled so massively, but I can feel it in the air. I’ve not only wasted their time and momentarily filled them with a false hope that I ultimately (and resoundingly) didn’t fulfill, now I’m wasting even more of the time they’re gonna need to go out and find their “Sam” by sitting here talking about my dopey Q&A’s. I do the only sensible thing I’ve done since I arrived by collecting my shades, sides, and scraps of pride, and bidding those standing in judgment of my feeble “performance” adieu.
- A block away from Fresh Paint, I call Jen to lament about my colossal failure. She’s at home in a meeting with Cookie about the food for the Poetry Event, but takes the time to listen to my sad tale of woe and responds by telling me I’m overreacting. “But you weren’t in the room like I just was,” I counter. “Trust me – I laid a big, fat egg.” I get a call waiting signal and put Jen on hold to answer it. It’s my agent, Phil, who wants to know how it went. I tell him “Badly…” and switch back to Jen to tell her I’m gonna debrief Phil. She tells me she loves me and that she’ll see me when I get home, kiss it (whatever “it” is), and make it all better.
- I switch back to Phil and fill in Phil with all the deets: I went to the wrong office, so I was half an hour late, and then I blew the audition I didn’t know I was gonna have. Phil says “Jenno just called.” I ask what she said, and Phil says “They’re gonna talk about it and get back to us,” which is code for “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” I’m like, “I knew it. When I was on the third take of the big scene, I…”
Suddenly, I’m reminded of an April Fool’s joke from four or five years ago, when I called Phil and fired him, insisting he didn’t “get” me, and that I was going back to CAA. It was a call that went on for fifteen minutes before I hit him with “April Fool.” I’m reminded of this in the split second after Phil reveals “Jenno says you nailed it. You got the part.”
For the first time in, Christ, I don’t know how long, I scream. “WHAT?! YOU’RE FUCKING SHITTING ME!” No, Phil tells me, there’s no shitting involved: Susannah, Jenno and Deb were unanimous. They’d just called him right before he called me: essentially three minutes after I left their office. I’m the guy, they said. Inexplicably, the word “sexy” was used. Phil says they’ve still gotta make the deal (the money stuff), but the part’s officially mine.
I can’t tell you how unaccustomed to being “chosen” I am at this point in my career. I never have moments like this, because every script I’ve written to direct myself that I’ve turned in since “Clerks” has been greenlit, not selected. Granted, it’s validation; but it’s not the kind of validation you feel when someone says “I want you.” This was up there with Schwalbach letting me into her body seven years back; not as physically gratifying of course, but up there nonetheless. For ten years, I’ve been the guy telling actors and actresses “I want you”, and now, all the sudden, this person I have no connection to and have only met less than an hour before feels that a character she wrote without me in mind is me. It was one of the top ten best and most surprising moments of my life.
- Jen can sense it too, when I immediately call her as I flip a bitch on Santa Monica Blvd. to head back to Fresh Paint so I can bear hug those broads. She says “It’s so nice to hear you excited about this. That’s rare.” And she doesn’t mean that I don’t get excited about my own flicks, because Lord knows I do. But the process of making a flick is so long and drawn out over time – starting with the writing and ending with the home video release – that there’s rarely the rush I’m feeling right now, being tapped to act in someone else’s flick. I’ve never thought of myself as an actor, but the director of a thirty million dollar flick disagrees with me to the point that she’s done the unthinkable and cast me as a character who actually speaks. Jen’s ecstatic, and I tell her I’m gonna be home right after I hit the Stash.
- I get back to Fresh Paint, head inside, and find Jenno on the couch, smiling widely. “You realize you’ve just doomed your picture?” I tell her right before I practically squeeze the life out of her in a celebratory bear hug. Sadly, Susannah and Deb are gone, so Jenno becomes the focus of all my affection. We talk about what was said when I left, and how they were all psyched by my audition – so much so that moments after I left, they called the studio, then Phil. I’m flabbergasted, and I keep waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out.
- We talk about the schedule a bit and when she’s heading up to Vancouver. Turns out Chris Moore (her man) is going as well, and he’s gonna play Mr. Mom to their two kids during the shoot before he heads off to direct the “Race with the Devil” remake (a flick I’ve always loved). Jenno says I should call C-Moo, as he was the guy who suggested me in the first place, and I tell her I’m already on it.
- I head over to the Stash to drop off two boxes of signed “Jersey Girl” dvd’s. En route, I call Mos to let him know how it went and talk about the “Clerks 2″ push, which is now looking more and more likely – as long as the financials on “Catch & Release” work out.
- I drop off the dvd’s with Albert who tells me that John’s in the back. I head back and talk to John about the email he sent to me and Chappy last night, letting us know he’s gonna be stepping down as Stash manager to get back to pursuing his acting career. I tell him it’s probably the one reason for leaving I could never argue against, and let him know he’ll be missed. I sign a bunch of “Clerks/Amy” books and some figures and head home. On the way, I drop C-Moo a call to thank him for starting the “Catch” ball rolling.
- At home, I’m greeted by a round of applause from Jen, Harley, Cookie and Chay. Hugs all around, and I join the girls in what’s went from their meeting about the Poetry Event to a celebration of sorts. I call Mos down at the office and tell him to come up and join us as we suck back some beers and eat some barbecue.
- Byron and Gail get home from Mammoth and take Harley to Bristol Farms to grab some filet mignon and burgers to grill up.
- Mos arrives, and we get the party in full swing. All sitting around drinking and bullshitting while ’80′s tunes rock out from the iPod docked in the Bose speaker.
- Byron, God bless him, does the grilling duties, and we all chow down. Mewes shows up later in the evening, and shortly after that, Mos and Cookie head home to let their dog Wolfie out. Mewes, too, heads off for another night’s shooting on “Bottoms Up”, and while Byron puts Harley to bed, me, Jen, Chay and Gail sit around the bar, chit-chatting. It’s about 10:30 when I’m ready to call it a night, buzzed not only from the brewskis, but also being cast. Jen and I head downstairs, get into our pj’s, and curl up and fall asleep to some TiVo’ed “Simpsons.”