16 4 / 2014
Yeah you can tell everybody… go ahead and tell everybody… I’m the man I’m the man I’m the man
Jim can be the teacher I can be the lesson.
He’ll be the preacher I’ll be the confession
He’ll be the quick relief to all my stressin’
14 4 / 2014
The hype of auditions was slowly dying down as the day went on. Numerous talented young actors gave it their all as we sat in front of them, ridiculing each and every move they made. As the producer, I was able to have influence on the casting. Though there were so many portfolios to consider, I kept one on top – Jimmy Fallon’s. His name was embedded in my mind and I couldn’t figure out why. His audition, overall, was mediocre. He showed up unprepared, messed up once, and couldn’t seem to know how to control his sweat glands. When we shook hands, I had to discreetly wipe my hand off on my pants.
Normally if an audition had gone down that way, he would, without a doubt, be put on the bottom of the stack. With Jimmy, there was just something that kept me from doing that. He did have a point when he said him and Drew would have great on-screen chemistry since they are so close in real life. They already acted like a couple the way it is. Because Drew is the executive producer, she has as much say as I do when it comes to castings.
On Saturday night’s I stayed up late enough, I’d occasionally catch an episode of SNL. Jimmy was always phenomenal despite his habit of breaking character. That’s just who he is – a giddy, innocent little boy who can’t help but giggle and smile. I felt that during his audition. I could tell he was nervous but when he looked in my eyes, he looked anxious and full of energy. I couldn’t help but smile at him when he held my face up to his. As soon as he made contact with me, I could see the tension in his shoulders ease as he relaxed. In that moment, it almost felt real. Jimmy’s personality brought the goofily-written fiction of Ben Wrightman to life.
That’s why I knew he was the one. I looked to my left where co-producer, Gil Netter, sat I leaned into his ear. “I think we’ve got Ben.” He looked from me to the stage and back to me, lifting his right eyebrow questioning me. “No, not him.” I slid Jimmy’s headshot to Gil and he looked back up to me again. The expression he had told me he remembered Jimmy’s half-assed audition and I needed an explanation. I held my finger up, gesturing for him to hold on.
“Thank you very much. We will get back with you and let you know if you made the cut within 2 weeks.” The shaggy blond left and I sat alone in the room with Gil who I could feel staring at the side of my face. “Listen, I know his audition really wasn’t great” Gil cleared his throat. “Okay, it wasn’t good at all but you weren’t up there acting with him. He made me feel like he was really flirting and saying those things as himself, not as Ben Wrightman in an audition.” Gil looked at Jimmy’s black and white picture once again and back up to me. “I think you might be right. If you think he’s the one for this part, I definitely don’t have a say since he’s got connections with Drew. It would be 2 against 1. You win.” “I win? Are you sure about this?” “I sure hope so.” “Jimmy it is. I’ll call him in the morning. Thanks, Gil.”
He stood from the table and started to walk towards the door. He turned to face me once again. “Nance?” “Hm?” “Just… be careful. His audition was more than just an audition to him. I saw the way he looked at you. Keep business and personal stuff separate, please.” With that, he walked out. The way he looked at me? That was in the script. He did what he was supposed to do. I gathered my papers and made my way to my car, trying to figure out why Jimmy was still running through my mind.