Wednesday, January 16, 2019


I suppose you’re wondering why I even do background work, given my myriad other sets of skills. Simple. It’s because you get paid to eat candy and you get to meet people that you would never meet under any other circumstance, both celebrities and regular folk. For example, while filming HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS in NYC in 2002, the production assistant announced that we would have a half-hour for a walk away lunch. On set, they either have to provide a catered meal or you get a “walk away” where you go out and get your own lunch somewhere in the ‘hood. Upon hearing the “walk away lunch” announcement, I immediately started singing, “don’t walk away Renee....” Another actor who happened to be walking by me said, “what did you just say???” I repeated the line and explained that it was a walk away lunch, so I was singing Walk Away Renee. He told me that I had the lyrics wrong, that it wasn’t DON’T walk away, but JUST walk away and that he was in the original band that sang the song!!! He was in the LEFT BANKE but he and his wife were doing extra work now! He went on to tell me that Renee supplied drugs to the boys in the band and that the band’s manager, the father of a bandmember, hated Renee because of the drugs, and if the father had been in the studio and Renee showed up, he’d point to the door and say “JUST WALK AWAY, RENEE! JUST WALK AWAY!” So all this time, I thought the song was a dreamy love song and it turns out it was a “go-away-drug-pusher” song! I checked the internet and it seems that the real Renee is now a respectable voice teacher and runs an opera company in San Fran. (Although, I was wondering why all those Northern California opera singers were walking around like dope fiends.)

Monday, December 31, 2018

Hello friends! It's been a while, but not for lack of crazy background stories. For example, recently, I was playing a random pedestrian outside Central Booking for a popular cable series. We shot the scene and then took a short break. When it was time to go back to the scene, there were three Teamsters standing near my spot. One of them was smoking. They asked if I was with the show and I said yes, I was a background actor. I asked what their roles were and one of the non-smokers said, oh, we're not with the show -- we're taking this guy into booking but letting him have one last cigarette. I must have looked shocked because the perp said, "don't worry - I'm not a murderer." I told them that they might want to move because they were in the shot. They said, OH! The guy put out his cigarette and the two plainclothes cops took him in for booking. The whole time, we were standing under a jailhouse window that was filled with toilet paper. The next day I was meeting family in Chinatown for lunch and walked by the was still filled with toilet paper.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

At "We Made This Movie" premiere so I made this blog

I will not blog boring. Stuart wanted me to write: we are sitting here at the Ed Sullivan Theatre waiting for the movie to start. I refuse. They did give us free popcorn and m and ms so totally hyped up to the nines on sugar. Okay - it is now AFTER the movie and the film was a work of demented geniuses. Go see it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Art Imitates Life

On Saturday, I was at a UN rally celebrating the independence of South Sudan and protesting the continuing genocides in other parts of Sudan (Darfur, Abyei, Nuba and South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions). On Sunday, I was a background actor portraying an aging hippie protestor at a UN rally. Art imitates life.

OK so I finally saw the film, THE DICTATOR, and here I am in it (see the red arrow). Another freeze-frame only moment:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Now that it closed, I can tell this story. The night I saw the Broadway play, ELLING, there's a scene where Kjell Bjarne (Brendan Fraser) comes out in underwear and asks Elling (Denis O'Hare), "How do I look?" Before Elling could reply, a lady in the audience shouted "AWESOME." 5 minutes of laughter ensued before Denis said his line, "Rare." MORE laughter. "As in Uncommon."

Monday, July 26, 2010


I was dining at the Cafe Edison in NYC with some producers and playwrights and someone mentioned that there's a 99-seat theatre at the Salvation Army in midtown. Our waiter said he was part of that - and we said Salvation Army? And he said OH - I thought you said South Asian Army. Turns out he was from Bangladesh!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Everybody Ought To Have A Maid

I've been cast at least 3 times in my life as a maid - once in the theatre, once in the movies, and once on TV. Just cleaning all the bases. On one show, they gave me a blue featherduster. They called it "Marge" because of its uncanny likeness to Marge Simpson.

So much for thinking that "the butler did it." I'd actually be a terrible servant - too clumsy. But happy to play one on TV.

For one shoot, I had to really dust the Brooklyn brownstone we were in, owned by a financial executive. It was super dirty. I should have asked for extra "housekeeping" pay, but at least I got free candy, which more than made up for it.