I usually rely on the greying of my nose hairs to remind me that I’m growing older. The increasing number of twenty-something actors who’ve never heard of Thomas Guides also helps.
But a recent audition led me down the rabbit hole of my life & times.
As an actor, I love to act regardless of the show, but soaps are jobs I know I’ll never land a contract role on (never been a stud muffin, just a muffin). So, when those auditions arise, it’s not high stakes for me nor do I figure I’ll book it.
Which is how I felt about my last audition for “The Young & The restless.”
But later that day I got the call that I booked it! I was tickled by being so wrong about it. Also happy to be there again since the last time I had worked the show was back in 1996 and 1997… SEVENTEEN years ago! A reminder that I’m gonna qualify for AARP soon.
Also a reminder that my acting had improved greatly! (Along with my hairstyle.)
Then, while on set, I had two moments of rubbing up against my past. (I sound like a dog horny for memories, but no, I’m just writing this blog post fast.)
First, I met the actor playing opposite me in the scenes. It was Tristan Rogers. As we shook hands I realized that I’d met him in the late 1990’s when I still was editing actor demo reels as a survival gig. He had come through my edit bay a few times. We had a chuckle about that and then we were off to blocking the scene.
While waiting in my dressing room for the call to shoot the scenes, I saw the call sheet for the day. On it was a very familiar name: Cady McClain. I wondered if this was THE Cady McClain who I had been in acting class with back in 1986!
Once I was called to set, there she was. It had been 28 years but I could still remember her features. I walked up to her and introduced myself. Then I asked, “Did you attend the Estelle Harman Actor’s Workshop in the 1980’s?”
Sure enough, it was her! She had no clue who I was until I described the scene we had worked on together – “The Butterfly Collector” by John Fowles. I reminded her of how we went to a park to rehearse one day. I remember it distinctly because I had a crush on her and was quite disappointed when I learned she’d brought her mother!
And then doubly disappointed when I found out she was 16!
We spoke briefly about the intervening 28 years in the 45 seconds it took to switch from their set-up to my scene’s set-up. Then she was off to her dressing room and I was on my park bench for action:
It’s always fun playing a bad ass, but it’s magical to run across people connected to memories that you thought were too faded to come back to life. A few exchanges and all the details sprout up.
It’s a great way to time travel.