I’m in Maryland for the month, visiting family & taking care of business. Tom is in Atlanta, working and wishing his wife would come home and cook dinner. We have a nightly phone date.
Tom’s work at CNN Atlanta is very different from what it was in the DC Bureau. He is no longer (thank GWAD because: Trump) tied to the Political Cycle or Breaking News. He manages a huge project that intersects IT, engineering, broadcast technology and advertising data mining. He finds every aspect very interesting. Plus - since he doesn’t have to help cover the news, its acres less stressful. Win-Win. He’s had time to restart another favorite interest - music.
Tom has been a drummer since middle school. He loves playing in a band. He’s found fellow CNN nerds to play with. They stay after work & play at the Techwood studios.
One of the band guys sent Tom a notice he’d found on Craigslist. An indie film production is looking to cast a drummer. They were looking for “a pudgy guy from New Jersey.” Here is the casting call I found on Backpage.com.
Movie Premise: Aging 80’s metal hair band looking for work. They are Spinal Tap awful. Child of PBS executive hears them somehow, loves them & not knowing/understanding what the band really is, wants them to be the soundtrack of a developing children’s show.
To get this job, the band has to go in “look” from heavy metal hair rockers to Mr. Rodgers.
Tom thought it was funny because his co worker had sent it to him. We had a good laugh. I told him I wanted him to audition. He was doubtful. I pointed out that he had been in every film our Son made as a kid. We both agreed that he is a big ham.
Mostly to be irritating, I suggested several monologues from movies. Why not Ferris Bueller, Rock of Ages, Almost Famous? Tom basically told me to Get a Grip. The director said “You can read lines from the script.” Fine, don’t emote all over the place. What fun is that? He poo poo’ed my plea to do a headshot.
Off Tom went on Saturday night. “Be sure,” I told him, “to do that annoying thing where you rattle your drumsticks one handedly over every surface while you tap your foot. And don’t forget the incredibly irritating hug that you finish off with a drum roll on my back.”
After, he called me laughing. The group of musicians & actors ranged from a 40 year old that was driven there by his Mother “He’s been playing since he was 17” to a bass guitarist that walked in with his friend carrying a large cardboard box. He sat with the box on his lap the entire audition. I asked Tom “So what was in the box?” “I dunno,” Tom said, “I kind of think it was funnier not to know, but I’m guessing ferret.”
There was also an assortment of guys with “long hair, eyeliner, tattoos, studded pants and despite the fact that it was face melting hot, leather jackets and big boots.” There were a lot of girlfriends in “groupie” outfits. As near as I could tell, that was butt crack shorts and cowboy boots.
Of course Tom was wearing Classic Dad uniform - cargo shorts, a t shirt from K Mart and athletic shoes. What he would have been wearing on a Saturday with or without audition.
Apparently the director announced to the room that those with long hair would eventually “have to cut their hair for the part.” This caused a mini exodus. The 40 year old stormed out saying “That ain’t right, man” to his Mother, who apologized and drove him home. Cardboard box guy left too.
Tom said that he had come early enough to hear the other groups of musicians get sorted and play. He walked in and immediately re-arranged the drums for how he liked set up, while telling the director what he did (CNN) and joking about “being in shape for the part.”
We both agreed that it was a fun way to spend a Saturday night. I can’t believe he didn’t ask what was in the box.
THIS HAPPENED TODAY:
Enjoyed having you to the audition Saturday and would like to offer you the role of drummer Tommy Silvi. All of the drummers were great, and it was a tough decision, but you not only had the chops, but you also read very well which I think is going to be important going forward.
The band is set, and once you confirm, I will begin follow up emails to put together a rehearsal schedule.
For the record, I am now married to a movie/rock star.