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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014

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Readers Blog: Open Heart Blog

Acting the Fool

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        My almost acting career started soon after my quadruple bypass.

        I was up for one of those Lipitor commercials. The ones with the stern-looking middle-aged guys, in black and white, talking about how they never took care of themselves but after they had a heart attack they found the error of their ways, had their wake up call and now they’re going to take care of themselves and take Lipitor every day, by golly…

        It was a couple weeks after my surgery. Through someone I knew, I ended up on a list at a casting agency. I had to be an old guy with heart trouble who takes Lipitor, a regular guy who actually had a prescription because they were going to check. Whoa, Hey that’s me!

        I blubbered like a baby when the casting lady asked me at the audition to tell my story to the video camera that was taping me. This was, like, two months after my surgery; four weeks into my therapy with my psychologist. My emotions were a bit… raw. I blew it, I thought, blew the first audition, because I cried through most of it. But then I got a call for a phone interview.

        I ended up not getting the gig. Not because of the waterworks, I guess. I got a callback… I couldn’t tell you why I wasn’t the new old guy telling my sad story in black and white. I think it was because I never really had an actual heart attack. (Damn!) Then they switched campaigns from black and white old guys to something else. So that was the end of that.

        But now I’m on the casting agency’s email list. Now when they’re looking for married couples who recently bought a boat for a reality show or people whose parents are from Ireland and want to go back for a tearful reunion they send me a request.

        I find myself hoping I have a problem or a disease or an ailment so I can further my budding acting career… I got one the other day asking if I or someone I knew “recent had shingles…” Ah Ha! Shingles! I was in luck! My wife had shingles! She hated it. She was miserable. Maybe we can make some dough out of it!

        Keep your fingers crossed…

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