James Urbaniak (urbaniak) wrote,
James Urbaniak

Character Breakdown

The audition for the Michel Gondry film was smooth as silk. Your move, monsieur.

I also auditioned today for (get ready) a Verizon commercial. Yes, a post-Josh Emery Verizon commercial. I read for the role of a representative of a rival phone service provider who dresses up like the "Can you hear me now?" guy and boasts to people on the street about how his service is just as good as Verizon's. He then crumbles under mild interrogation, comically betraying his company's insufficiency. So I dressed like the "Can you hear me now?" guy (dark industrial uniform type jacket, glasses), which was interesting because as I noted in this old thread, the character--created during Mr. Emery's glory days with Verizon--bears a suspicious resemblance to my character of Simon Grim in "Henry Fool." (Indeed Mr. Emery has admitted as much.) In fact, I considered wearing the actual Simon Grim jacket (which I own and which features, as every indie film fan knows, a "Simon" label) but opted instead for another industrial uniform type jacket in my possession that bears the scripted logo of the Kitty Clover potato chip company. (If I sold all my thrift store jackets on e-Bay I'd make a fortune.) Nevertheless, one could argue (and why wouldn't one?) that today I auditioned to play the doppelganger of my own doppelganger. Somewhere Josh Emery is laughing. That is, if he is not dead.

Even stranger, the description in the script said the character should be (and I am not kidding) a "Patrick Warburton type." Well, now. In the two years I have spent as a cast member on Cartoon Network's hit series "The Venture Brothers" (three years if you count the pilot), I have sharpened my Patrick Warburton imitation to a razor precision. (In fact, a few years before "The Venture Brothers," Patrick Warburton and I were both cast members in a sitcom pilot that never made it to the air.) Of course, Patrick Warburton and I are about two of the most completely different looking people on the face of the planet. But I understood what the Verizon people wanted--a sort of clueless bravado (and yes, Venture fans, I realize that that description does not apply to Brock Samson)--and I gave it my all. So if you buy the Josh Emery/"Henry Fool" conspiracy angle (and I know you do), today you had Doc doing Brock doing the "Can you hear me now guy" doing Simon Grim. A psychic funhouse of identity confusion to make David Lynch proud.
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