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By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
The guy — we’ll call him Manager — was extremely excited to have us onboard, and he was adamant that the rest of the town would be banging on his door to get a piece of us. We’d often get phone messages from him in which his high-pitched voice would squeal proclamations like, “I just sent Michael Eisner a cup of your urine and a note that says, ‘Taste the future!’ ”
He’d often end sentences with an incredibly enthusiastic, “Yay!” as in, “You guys are gonna be rich and famous. Yay!” or, “All the girls at the networks are dying to sleep with you. Yay!”
His first order of business was to get us new head shots. He made us an appointment with a photographer, sent us to get haircuts and told us to show up at the shoot with a few solid-colored shirts. It was nice to have so many of the details handled by a real show-biz pro.
We followed his instructions, and met one afternoon in an upscale alley on Melrose, near Robertson. I went first, posing for my head shots — about two rolls. It was pretty painless. I then waited while Chip did the same. As he was finishing and I began collecting my things to leave, suddenly an SUV pulls up and Manager jumps out and starts to, well, manage.
“What’s up, guys? Wasn’t it great?”
“Yeah, it went well,” I replied.
“Before you go, why don’t you take one together?”
“Yeah, take a head shot together. You guys are comedy partners. Take one together. I think it’ll be great!”
It seemed like a strange suggestion, but we figured, “What the hell, what’s one more picture? It’s not like we were ever gonna use this.” So we stood together and faced the camera. He told us to get closer to each other; it felt awkward. He kept urging us to move closer until our solid-colored shirts were touching shoulder to shoulder. The photographer snapped a few shots, and that was it.
Six months later I got a call from a friend. “Hey, Howard, I was working with a casting agent today, and she was going through a pile of head shots and was, like, ‘What the hell is this?’ And I’m, like, ‘What?’ and then she shows me this head shot, and I’m, like, ‘I know that guy! That’s Howard Kremer.’ The casting agent was, like, ‘Who’s the other guy, his husband?’ ”
The whole office cracked up at us.
So apparently, Manager had that double head shot printed up and sent it out without our consent.
“Can you destroy it for me?” I asked my friend.
“No way, dude. It’s too good. You look like conjoined twins. We tacked it up on the wall — it’s never coming down.”
SITUATION, NO COMEDY
By Chip Pope
In the summer of ’92, I was 23, right out of college, and had just fallen fresh off the proverbial turnip truck right into Hollywood — well, Glendale, but 20 minutes to Hollywood (traffic dependent) is close enough. I was looking for production work, and had amassed quite a collection of rejection letters in my quest to find a job as a production assistant on anything. I still have the letters, and their names are a time capsule of early-’90s fluff: Evening Shade; The Edge; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; Blossom; Eerie, Indiana ... the list goes on.
Potential employers seemed to be giving me the same basic messages: “You have no experience.” “You have no discernible talent.” “If it were up to me, I’d be all for it, but [insert name here] wasn’t really crazy about you.” Had there been an Internet and had I weighed 20 pounds less, I would’ve turned to the exciting world of male prostitution. But thankfully, salvation came in the form of WKRP in Cincinnati’s Tim Reid.
I received a phone call one morning from a stoner guy whose name I can’t remember. “Hey, it’s so-and-so from the American Film Institute. Are you willing to work on a project for 50 bucks a day?” Even if said project was bludgeoning my own grandmother with a flat rock, I’d have answered yes at that point. “It’s an interview show hosted by Tim Reid; it shoots in Van Nuys. Oh, we need you to haul the pieces of the set. Can you drive a 30-foot flatbed?” Sure! (I had never driven a 30-foot flatbed. Oh, my stupid mouth.) I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. I figured that a 30-foot truck is the length of about three cars, and that didn’t seem so big — how hard could it be?