Dan and the Academy Awards

There is no business like show business and there is no show like the Academy awards… or Oscars to you and Dan. I am still unclear on the specifics but Dan was due to present this year’s ceremony.

Apparently he applied at his local job centre for a non descript role

We are looking for an experienced customer facing candidate with knowledge of entertainment industry and willingness to learn. Must have a proven track record in performing complex calculations. A technical knowledge of defined entertainment industry is a bonus. Excellent communication skills, accuracy and attention to detail a must. As is building and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues and with our external customers. Strong written and oral communication skills will be needed as well as an ability to work in a target and quality driven environment. Please be aware our customers demand a level of service which if successful you will be expected to adhere to.

  • Strong analytical and numerical skills

  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and as part of a team

  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal

  • Excellent customer service skills

  • IT Literate with good keyboard skills  – experience of using word, teleprompt  and other windows based applications

  • Strong feedback skills – ability to feedback to others constructively

  • Presentation skills

  • Data entry experience

He filled out the application form and posted it off. He had no idea what the role was for, he was just happy to be applying for something new. Little did he know what was in store for him? I often think if he knew what he knows now, he would have taken the cleaning job at my office.

The interview process was shrouded in mystery. Dan had to sign a pre-contract contract to say he couldn’t talk about the recruitment process or even hint as what he was doing. It helped that Dan had no clue what he was applying for as he had loose lips and loose lips cost lives.

Four months after his final meeting he eventually had the email to confirm what all the hard work was about. He was to be the host of this year’s OSCARS. For Dan this was a great opportunity for him to break back into the Hollywood  and restart his career. Yet all that filled his mind was the opportunity to punch “HIM” in the face; his hard lumpy fist striking the face of that so called hunk and mouth piece to the (REDACTED)

Dan and the Academy Awards

Dan told me the story of how he came to hate “HIM” out of the blue one day. We were sitting in our favourite coffee shop and he just came out with this amazing story. Yes I know Dan has a few amazing stories but this involved famous people, so trumps the lot. Even that one about how he invented Twitter.

Back in the 90’s there was the chance for Dan to make it big in La La land. He was a jobbing actor here in the UK, with some small parts in EastEnders and Casualty, just managing to get by. By luck, which is always the way with Dan, a top Hollywood agent happened to catch him on TV while visiting friends. This lead to him being signed by Michael Switch and represented in the USA. His first audition was for the part of Joey in Friends.

Matt Lost out
Photo by Alan Light
Circa 1995

It came down to him and Matt Le Blanc. Of course Dan not being from the USA or being able to mimic the accent was always going to be an issue. For an actor you would have thought accents would be easy. Luckily NBC were happy to rewrite the character as an Englishman in New York. After weeks of auditions for what felt like for every department at NBC, they finally offered Dan the part.

The writers had agreed to rewrite the part as an Englishman who was duped into coming over to get married but sadly for him, she gilts him at the altar. Having nowhere else to go, he looks for a place to stay. I think you get the idea from here.

He had accepted the part and was ready to commence the pilot filming in front of a live studio audience, as opposed to a dead one. At the last minute he was offered a better part with more money and the chance to work with one of his heroes. Dan stewed on this for days, finally he decided the movie was too much to turn down and quit Friends.

NBC were, as you could imagine, unhappy with this and successfully sued him for 10% of any future TV work until 2050. Dan wasn’t upset at the time as he knew he would never want to lower himself to work on scripted TV again (this is pre the HBO boom). The settlement allowed live TV appearances as himself and non-scripted shows AKA documentaries.

Dan turned up for shooting on day one. Life was good. The filming was very well organised and the catering, the proof of any good media product, was beyond remarkable. Dan still to this day tells me about the way the bacon used to be cooked in the morning, crispy and covered in Marmite just the way he liked it. His happiness of course was not set to last.

Day three of shooting would turn out to be the worst day in Dan’s life, well up until that point. The scene he was to shoot would be the first time he was to act along his hero and the lead in the movie. I can’t say who it was, as he very litigious and I don’t want to get hauled up in court for saying he’s a LITTLE **** (L*). But I can say that he is one of the richest men in Hollywood but not the tallest.

The director Brian De Palma (name drop), was talking to the two of them about the scene. Suddenly and without any provocation, L* asked Brain to step out for a chat. Brain looked at L* and said “Yes Mr. *****” and they left the Winnebago. Dan was confused as to what was going on. There was an uneasy feeling with Dan now.

Brian returned without L* and Dan noticed a change in his demeanour. “What is the issues here Bri? What’s going on with him?” asked Dan. “Look Dan, I think you are perfect for the part. You embody the spirit and character of John through your soul but L* doesn’t agree with me. L* pulls the strings, he is running the show” “And this means what?” Dan enquires.

Brian looked at his feet and mumbled “ You’re fired! L* doesn’t like you.  We will pay you for the movie but you won’t get the DVD and Video rights but you’ll still get a cut of cinema showings as agreed.” Dan was mortified. He was set for life with this rather generous pay off but that’s not the point. He wanted to first work on a film and second get to do that alongside a hero of his, a man he thought was a legend.

Dan looked Brain in the eyes, holding back the tears, reeling in the years. “Well tell him from me he is a…censored” What followed was a long and flowing rant full of swearing and words I needed to look up on the internet. Dan was a master of swearing, he made Malcolm Tucker look like a Pleb.

This was the last he ever saw of the L* he spent years avoiding his movies and personal appearances on TV, Tonight though he will be face to face with the man who destroyed his once super bight career (Dan’s words not mine).  The man who Dan has thrown darts at every day for years, he might get some vindication; he might get to punch him in the face and possibly even do it on live TV.

Red Carpet Press Pack
Photo by Alan Light

I phoned Dan around lunch time his time. He seemed relaxed and was not at all worried about the events that could make or break his career, again. If anything he was the coolest I have ever heard him. Clearly the sight of “HIM” and the estimated worldwide audience of 1 billion people didn’t fluster him in the slightest.

The ceremony went off without a hitch and sadly for Dan, L* never showed. His publicist said he was unwell and had been ordered to stay in bed for the next few weeks. The media in LA rallied round to try and find out what was wrong with L*. Even TMZ was unable to find a doctor who had visited him or any sign he was actually ill.

Dan saw this as a victory in his ongoing battle with L*. This may not be the end of the war but it was a significant win in the tally towards Dan’s happiness. Only time will tell if we shall see Dan back in Movies and on TV. I have a suspicion he won’t be in front of the camera but behind it. Dan’s face never suited the big screen or the small come to think of it.

 

 

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