My brother Daryl (@ilive2juggle) wants to be an actor. Seriously. He spent four (five?) years in college working toward a degree in Theater after several years of working on theater stuff in high school. Theater degrees aren’t all fun and games, either. The dude had to learn some basic carpentry (set building), fashion (costume design), sewing, how to move tables and chairs in the dark while wearing dark clothes, how to read, etc. It’s not easy. Then, he graduated and had to get a job. So he did what every aspiring actor does, he moved to L.A. and got a job at Starbucks.
Oh, and he landed a few gigs almost right away.
Last Thursday was the first gig that meant anything to me (because I could see it on television) to air. He was an extra on Grey’s Anatomy. I knew what was going on, but he wouldn’t tell anyone else what his role was. See, people who watch the show and care about it would not have wanted to know that he would be in a scene where O’Malley was talking with interns. What!?!?!1/!/? Yes, O’Malley got interns! I knew but couldn’t tell Christy (who actually watches the show) because it was apparently a major deal. All I could say was that he was on the fifth episode. So it caught us off guard when the scene he described to me was playing out in the corner of my eye on the fourth episode. There it was, O’Malley in the locker room, talking with his interns! I spun around and said, “THIS IS IT!“
Christy was all, “whuuuuh,” so I had to explain that when O’Malley was talking to interns in the locker room, Daryl would be in the scene. Well, we never saw him, but thanks to modern technology (the internets, Flash video, nope – no DVR) we were able to virtually go back in time and capture his major appearance:
It was him. Of that, I’m almost 75% certain. That was at around 33:50 or so on ABC’s video player (Flash 10 required). But don’t fret about Daryl’s plight. He didn’t spend a full day on set, not being able to eat from the craft services table and making approximately minimum wage for just that appearance. Nope, if you scrub (see what I did there?) back about 30 minutes to the 3:30 range, there’s a scene where a guy doctor is talking to a girl doctor about girl-on-girl action (really) and the guy doctor opens the door:
That’s him. I’m at least 43% certain of it. Now, there’s a lesson here. I tend to believe that the lesson lies somewhere in the “buy a unicycle!” realm, but I’m just the jerky older brother. So I’d say the lesson is that it can really, really be work to get yourself into a steady stream of work as an actor. Minimum wage sucks no matter where you live, but the dichotomy of people on the same set, within a few feet of each other making such vastly different wages seems pretty ridiculous, especially when the actors getting all that money don’t exactly do anything. But the free market is great for that reason, really. Plus, I want to be the first (that I know of) to go on record and say that I had Daryl’s back when he was making sure the coffee only brewed for 18 seconds(!) and couldn’t even have a slice of swiss cheese.