Wednesday, February 7, 2007

"30 Rock": Part I

Recently I had the extreme pleasure of working on several episodes of “30 Rock”- once on camera as a featured extra, and several times as a stand-in. Not only has it been exciting working on the set and experiencing the talent of Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski (and others), but being there has possibly opened a door to the next level of my career. Yippee!

I have broken this story into 3 parts, not to create a cliffhanger but because I will NEVER write it if I have to do it all at once.

30 Rock- Part I
In late October I got a message from a background casting director who asked, “Hi, Erin. Are you still blonde, a size 4, and wear a size 8 shoe? If so, please give me a call back. I want to submit you for featured background work.” I called back excitedly- “Yes, I am all of those things!” She asked if I had roots (which is fair to ask any blonde). I told her that, if cast, I could easily have them touched up before the shoot. Why? “Because the scene I am submitting you for is a flashback scene to the 70s. We need an All-American school teacher. So it is important that you look just like your headshot. And you have to be that exact size so you can fit into the costume.”

A few days later, I learned that I was selected for the role from the series of headshots provided to the director. I went in to shoot the scene in early November. It was a scene where Jack (Alec Baldwin) has a memory of being 10 years old and in a school play. Flashback: Jack doesn’t want to go on stage, so I (as his teacher) push him on stage. He forgets his line, then shouts, “Line?!? ... Son of a bitch!” All the while wearing a costume that is an ear of corn (it is a school play, after all.) End scene.

While reloading the camera, the director comes on stage to see how to kids are doing- the one playing little Jack (ear of corn) and the other background kid (carton of milk). Both were wearing these huge costumes and wearing colored tights. I was wearing a brown 1970s shift dress and tanned nylons- I looked like a paper bag. The director asks the kids how they are feeling, saying to each individually, “So, how does that costume feel? Are you hot in there?” He then turns to me, and you can see he almost asks the same thing. But he stops himself and says, instead, “Oh, well, you’re probably not hot at all in that costume.” I said, “Oh, I’m hot. Just not the kind you mean.” (I swear, I actually said that. My sense of humor assaults people like Tourette’s)

He laughed (thank dog- score one for Erin). He then says, “Thanks for all of your hard work. You’re very good up here. You know, I picked you from a headshot. And you look just like your picture...” (score two for Erin) “... I should get you in to read for me sometime. Get you some lines.”

(time stands still)

“Uh, yeah, ” I said. “You should!”

(score three for Erin)

I assumed he was just being nice, so I sort of shrugged it off (after doing the lucky dance inside, of course). But at the end of the shoot, he shook my hand and mentioned having me read for him again (mentioning it twice is the international signal for “I’m not kidding.”) I thanked him, said I would love to come in to read for him, and went on my way. He knew where to find me- the casting director had my headshot, so I left it at that.

Sadly, the part of the scene I was in was cut from the actual episode, so I never made it on film. But the good part is, since I was not on that episode it leaves me available to do another episode as another character. Coincidence??? Or careful planning???

Check back for parts II and III, coming shortly...


  1. Awesome! Just awesome!

  2. Erin,

    That is a great story, and I LOVE 30 Rock! I can't wait to hear the rest. :-)

  3. Holy Cow Pies! That's amazing, Erin! You did a little happy dance inside, I went ahead and did a full-outside happy dance for you.

    Wait... I think the neighbors are calling the cops. I'm going to stop the outside happy dance now.

    Maybe I should have put on pants before I did the happy dance outside thing.


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