Monday, March 12, 2007

3 Times Around the Building

My audition at CBS got changed to Monday—this morning—at 10:30. I didn't even know CBS had a lot in Studio City, so as I walked through, I found it amazing, even though it looks like a miniature-sized version of either Universal or Warner Bros.

For some stupid reason, I left my driver's license at home, so I had a somewhat difficult time of it getting into the gate. I finally showed them my Costco card for picture ID. No, they didn't want to see my headshot, if you were wondering.

They gave me a map and pointed me toward the direction of the building, which is a good couple of blocks walk from the gate. So I passed by some sound stages, one of them for "Will & Grace," and others that must be in development because I've never heard the titles before.

I did see a parking space for a new show in development called "Fugly," and a name on the ground (on a piece of taped paper) marking the parking space for Quan Phung, whom I don't really know but I know who he is. I think he was at Fox before, or something like that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't fugly mean "fucking ugly"? I'm starting to wonder if there's some sort of "Ugly Betty"-themed show, possibly for an Asian guy.

So I found the building, which is a fairly large one with many suites built into the two-story structure, but couldn't locate the room number I was told to go to. So then I proceeded to walk around the building, and then walk around it again, and then walk around it once more, just to make sure I didn't see the right suite number.

Recently, I saw this "60 Minutes" segment on this savant-like man who could do calculations in his head very fast. He was also very literate and had most of his social skills intact, unlike most savants, the number of known ones totalling around 50 in the entire world. I'm not going to define "savant" for you here, but for shorthand, I'll just refer to the guy whom Dustin Hoffman portrayed in Rain Man.

So they take this savant-like guy and bring him into a casino. Oh, wait, it wasn't "60 Minutes" where I saw this bit. I saw this bit on a British-produced TV show I found on YouTube. I think his name is Daniel Limmett, but I'll check on that.

Anyway, the guy plays blackjack against a dealer and splits a pair of 7s against a dealer showing a 10. He gets another 7 and asks to split that as well. If you know a couple things about blackjack, you know you don't split 7s against a dealer showing 10. So the guy proceeds to get 21s on each 7, beating the dealer on three hands.

Now, the point of this is that the guy, just using math and probability, couldn't win any money. In fact, he was down most of his chips. To clarify, there are a set of rules blackjack players generally follow that give them the best odds against the dealer. This guy memorized those rules, and then proceeded to play. The problem was, you just can't play strictly by the numbers, or your cards will be dictated purely by the luck of the draw, limited by a given set of probability plays.

He then decides to use his imagination and sixth sense, along with his innate ability to count cards and figure out probability. He wins using this strategy.

So, finally—I know it took a long time to cross this bridge—I decided to snoop around and actually walk into one of the suites, and lo and behold, there was a sign-up sheet with actors waiting around to audition. The casting lady didn't even check the sheet and called me in next. Guess she knew what role she wanted to see next. And I did the lines once, she made corrections, I did it again, and she said, "Congratulations, that one earned you a callback. Can you come back tomorrow?"

She also asked about my union status and I said I'd be willing to go "core," and she made a note of that. Anyway, I walked out of that room feeling like I'd just been dealt three 7s and I beat the dealer showing a 10.

Whew, I don't know how I managed to make that little anecdote work after all.

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