It's hard to believe that in the last 25 years of being an actor (not counting being cast as one of the eight maids a-milking in kindergarten), I've never really spoken on film.
Sure, I've done the requisite extra work - suffering through a meal-free day and night at Yankee Stadium for Anger Management, and appearing as a blurry dot on the Columbia University campus for Hitch - as well as commercial work for MTV and lots of hosting work for QVC, but if you ever wanted to see me perform a role, really act as someone other than myself, you'd have to come see me in a theater.
That is, until now.
Maybe it's because of my new-found proximity to Hollywood, or maybe the respect it's taken me a long time to earn from my fellow creatives with whom I meet every Tuesday night from September to May, but finally, I've been cast in a speaking role in a short film, a real talkie.
We're shooting the first-ever film adaptation of the short play Our Man in Madras by Gert Hoffman, written in the 1960s, updated for the 21st century.
And it's going to look great, with director Kevin Hoffer (Acorn Calf) and director of photography Nino Dotto. Not to mention my costars Paul McKinney and Robert Mandan, who I watched on TV as a kid in shows like Soap and Private Benjamin.Yes, it's just Paul, Robert Mandan, and ME.
My whole career, I've been a bit of a snob. I haven't wanted to earn my stripes / cut my teeth / pay my dues by appearing in a number of amateur videos or student films requiring me to, say, camp overnight in the woods in the rain for free. I've chosen to get paid for my work, and that means I've worked less. I don't even having an acting reel, only a hosting reel.
And now I've been cast in a real short film with high production value, an intriguing and darkly comic storyline, and top-notch costars.
I have to say, I'm excited. And I'm not shy about the shameless self-promotion required to raise the money to shoot this thing. We're already proud of it.