This month’s Hollywood story is one of my favorites. (Frankly, wracking my brain for fresh stories is getting harder every month! Haha.)
So this month’s story goes way, way back to the very first show I ever worked on as a stand-in (and I’ve mentioned the show before). It was called Second Chance starring a very young Matthew Perry and Billy Gallo. (The show was revamped and came back as Boys Will Be Boys.)
Keep in mind that not every guest actor on a show is brought in for each day of rehearsal. Many guest stars have only one, two or three day contracts depending on how much material they have to shoot. For that reason (and others), stand-ins are brought in. They rehearse with the main cast, and show the guest actor the blocking when they come to work. (And can I tell you… MANY times, the stand-in is actually BETTER than the actor cast to play the part. Not always, but depending on your stand-in, they can be.)
My husband worked as the first assistant director when they needed a stand-in for Second Chance. I’d already done some extra work and he knew I could do the job, so he put in a good word and I got the call. Back in those days, we rehearsed in a rehearsal hall and not on stage, so we only had a few props or big furniture pieces to work with. In fact, in those days, the cast didn’t get to the actual set until shooting day. Today, sitcoms rehearse and shoot on the set all week long. (We’ve come a long way, baby. But I digress…)
I remember being really nervous my first day mainly because it was kind of like my first day of school and I didn’t know that many people. After the first week, they ended up using me more and more often and I became part of the family. (Which was a good thing and you’re about to find out why…)
And here’s a youtube video of the show. Man, does it take me back!
So, one day I came to work in the rehearsal hall and picked up the script to see what part I was playing. Usually I stood in for Damian Slade, but I also played the “girl du jour” for Matthew or Billy’s characters. I usually skimmed the stage directions and went straight to the dialogue so I could be a little familiar with it so I knew what attitude I had to play. But as I read one scene in particular, I had to go back to make sure I had it right. Yep. I did. I had to kiss Matthew. My first thought was, “Nooooo. The director isn’t going to make us kiss. I’m the stand-in. It’s not like I had a problem with it, but I didn’t see Matthew wanting to kiss a stand-in if you hear what I’m saying. (Oh, and did I mention my future husband was in the room? Can you say, “AWKWARD.”)
But we got to that point in the scene and Matthew and I kind of looked at each other, like… is this going to happen? And we both slid a glance at the director who said something to the effect of, “You’re professionals. This is rehearsal. We need to time the scene and I need to see the scene.”
Well alrighty then. Enough said. So we kissed. It wasn’t major. Not a big deal. Except that I think we were both so worried about my boyfriend/future husband feeling weird that it made things awkward. I think we did the scene twice and moved on. I was happy when the actress playing the role came to work because it took me out of the hot seat.
BTW, if you’re wondering what my husband thought of that kiss. He “happened” to be out of the room at the exact time putting out a fire somewhere else. I think Matthew and I were both happy about that. LOL. But we were friends first with no thought of anything else for a lot of good reasons. The three of us were actually pretty close in those days, but working on so many different shows and juggling different schedules sometimes makes it hard to keep in touch with people. I do have a blog about meeting up with Matthew a few years ago during Roseanne’s new pilot. If you scroll through my blogs, you might find it.
So… wow. A long one this month! Sorry about that. But what about you? Anyone you kissed and can tell us about?