My Writing Audition For a Famous Comedian

The email comes in from my agent:

“Jason, (name withheld)’s casting agent is looking for someone to help write jokes and bounce material off of for him. They want a two minute video showcasing how funny you are and your personality, and why you’d be a fit to work together.”

OK, no problem, throw a few Wrap Up’s at him, piece together a stand-up cli–wait, what the fuck? A million red flags shoot up. First off, this audition is for (first name withheld) fuckin’ (last name withheld)…he’s been widely known for decades, and everyone from here to Timbuktu has been kissing his dick for the last 20 years of TV and movie credits…why is this guy not able to find anyone within his own circle? Secondly, why is this being held as a casting? Third, how would this even work, is he looking for a yes man?

Funniest guy in the pile

After much thought, and zero time to piece something together, which is a separate post to be written about the short-term snap-to demands of casting agents, I thought I would go with my gut. The two minute video was essentially me saying, look, I’m funny and I can produce plenty of references around town that will confirm it. All of these other submissions are going to be dancing monkeys trying to be funny, making it all about them. You may find the funniest guy in the pile, but he may not be a fit when you sit in a room with him. This isn’t a talent issue as much as a chemistry issue. Is that person going to take the time to research your past material, learn your cadence, learn your timing, and adapt to be funny FOR you? Likely not. I then go on to say, hell, I may not even be the right fit for you, but you’re not going to know until you get me in the room and we find out. That’s all I’m asking, let me be in the room, and nature will take its course. This may not be the sexiest submission video, but it you want the job done, and you certainly won’t forget this face.

Gunslinger, not a clown

The casting agent blows a gasket over what I send her, asking me to send the words SEND IT before she’ll pass it along just to be sure. (name withheld) has a ton of hangers-on, I say. My gut says the casting agent is wrong in what they are looking for. If I was (name withheld) and as connected as he is, he could poach a writer if he had to. I’m a gunslinger, not a clown. If this is what it takes to get the job, I assure you the way I work I wouldn’t tolerate my place as a court jester for long, unless the money was sick…like real sick. Until then, if he wants someone who will go in like a surgeon and get to work cutting and stitching, I’m definitely his guy.

Hollywood is all but shut down through New Year, so I’d be shocked to hear anything back, and maybe I went at this a bit overconfident but listened to and trusted my gut, that’s a rare one for me. Hey, you have to risk it to get the biscuit. If I don’t hear back I’ll know. But man, if I do…

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