Short-lived Television Future

By: Contribute Last Updated: January 7, 2010

So the other day my friend Reba Kennedy, a San Antonio attorney and writer, fires off an email to me about this posting she came across on the web.

While it was anonymous, it was a call for a Lead Investigator for a TV series, with a somewhat general geographic area of N, which I assume meant North. Looking outside today, there's no question about the geography here in Valparaiso, IN, south of Chicago as the snow continues to pour down.

The posting read:

We're looking for a lead investigator (or team) for a new History Channel series that decodes American symbology, iconography, explores little known and hotly debated conspiracies and some of the world's greatest mysteries. We need somebody that is charismatic, smart, curious, maybe a little bit funny, and rugged would be great. He/she should have a strong working knowledge of history, an open mind and great interview skills. Think Stephen Colbert meets Mike Rowe.

It's late in the afternoon Jan. 5th and Reba follows up her email with an urgent call. "I just sent you an email about something that's right up your alley."

"Gee, okay," I said not really picking up the sense of urgency.

"No, you need to look at it right now and respond within the next half-hour," she told me. "It was just posted and the deadline is soon and you've got everything they're looking for."

So I open the email, read it and conclude that if nothing else, I'm really curious about the origin of the casting call.

I quickly ripped off a response to the post, giving my years in journalism, work in the legal field, and my sputtering acting career with one major film credit: Public Enemies.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And, it is in line with my new mental philosophy of challenging fear and being open and ready to embrace new opportunities -- re-careering is the new buzzword.

Within the hour I had a response from them to email a photo to them and go to their website. Nothing else.

So, I sent the photo and clicked on the site. It gave some information about the production company, which has produced a number of interesting shows like:

JOCKEYS and HOT GIRLS IN SCARY PLACES ; currently on air PARANORMAL STATE and THE LOST TAPES; past credits include LAGUNA BEACH: THE REAL ORANGE COUNTY, NEWPORT HARBOR: THE REAL ORANGE COUNTY, NASHVILLE, ROLLERGIRLS, GREAT AMERICAN CHRISTMAS, PARADISE CITY, THE FASHIONISTA DIARIES, KARAOKE SUPERSTARS, PAGEANT MOMS UNLEASHED, NIGHTCLUB CONFESSIONS and HAMPTON HIGH REVEALED.

At least it seemed legitimate. And while I have the investigative skills, and some of the other assets they asked for, I really know absolutely nothing about symbology....but I could learn.

Also on the website was a questionnaire and they asked for a two-minute video of me sharing why I wanted this role.

Okay. That's easy.

I waited until last night to do the video. You had to agree to their Contract Terms, which I opened and began to read before doing the video.

About two paragraphs in I read -- "this is a non-guild production...." As a member of the Screen Actors Guild that's a huge no-no. SAG Rule # 1, no non-union work, period! So, my short-lived vision of me on television came to an end as quickly as it began.

There was no way I was going to jeopardize my SAG membership, especially while waiting for almost a half-dozen DVDs from studios lobbying for SAG Award votes. Some have not even been released on DVD yet.

And in my prior blog I talked about voting for movies I haven't seen. Well, just like last year SAG members are offered free tickets to screen movies still in the theater which are up for awards. That is unless you get a DVD and screen it in the comfort of your own home.