Captain’s Blog: Stardate - 010218.4
1. pertaining to or constituting a residue or remainder; remaining; leftover.
2. Mathematics .
a. formed by the subtraction of one quantity from another:
a residual quantity.
b. (of a set) having complement of first category.
3. of or relating to the payment of residuals.
I got a lovely Facebook message today from someone I hadn’t heard from in quite some time. With the recent activity regarding the new American Idol promo that dropped New Year’s Eve, I was surprised and thrilled to hear that he was reaching out because he saw me on something else: Chicago PD at the gym on USA.
In 2017, I shot my very first network television speaking role. I was “Hotel Manager Number Two,” a slightly uptight fellow I named Douglas. My brief scene was with the ever-charming John Cena and the delightful Tracy Spiridakos. I had called them to report some suspicious activity and I led them to the hotel room of the person of interest.
I was on set that day for about four hours, had my own partial trailer, a beautiful suit and an expensive pair of brand-new shoes. There was a star on my door.
Actual shooting time was probably twenty minutes. We did a rehearsal before lunch and then shot shortly after. For lunch we had salad in a jar, which I would try putting into practice in my own life down the line. We did a handful of takes and everyone involved made the whole experience quick, easy, and very pleasant. I remember leaving set that day feeling incredible.
That feeling came back the night we watched the episode at a friend’s place. I remember feeling just so excited, so proud to see myself on screen. My names was in the closing credits. It was just great.
In our business, once an episode going into reruns and syndication, you start to receive additional checks for your work called “residuals.” There is some mathematical equation that calculates these over time. For some folks, years and years later, they will still receive a check for a project.
But to me, getting that message from my friend today, there is definitely something else “residual” about this experience that is multi-layered. For starters, the reminder of this day on set made me smile. A lot. Left in me from that day is the clear memory of that experience. It’s one of my fonder work memories of my career so far.
But there is something else that is “leftover” from that experience. I am now permanently a part of the amazing universe of television created by Dick Wolf. Fans of this show will see me and maybe even remember me from the last time they saw that episode. Friends of mine may see me on their screens at the gym for years to come.
I am a re-watcher. I have seen episodes of Star Trek, Buffy, and Charmed (among others) countless times. There are actors who play guest or co-starring roles I don’t believe I’ve seen in any other series. But I recognize them. There is a permanence to film that is very attractive to me. I like the idea that, even when we go, a sample of our work is left behind. In its own way residual. There’s something in that I find oddly comforting. And for the re-watchers of Chicago PD, I am part of making that world come to life for them.