Friday, April 21, 2006

Season 5 Finale on Scrubs


I was so very fortunate to be a part of the season 5 finale of "Scrubs". This is how it went. I was actually on my way to Pittsburgh to attend a family funeral when I had this sinking feeling that something wasn't right. I get off the plane and sure enough, I have a message from my agent that Scrubs needed me for the next day. Well, obviously, I couldn't make it because it was midnight on the east coast and there were no flights leaving Pittsburgh until the morning. So, I cursed a few times and called my agent back and the casting office telling them that I was unable to be there.

Naturally, we did attend the services for my father inlaw's brother and immediately flew back to LA. Once I land, I call my agent who books me on the show for a day. I suppose one day is better then none but not as good as three, which is what it could have been. Anyway, I was just lucky enough to be there.

So, I get to the set and notice my phone has a message. It was Krista, the 2nd to the 2nd Assistant Director, who was trying to track me down. They were starting to rehearse the scene I was in... early... great! After dropping off some chocolates for the Casting office, I dash up to the 3rd floor where the production offices for "Scrubs" are located. I check in, run down to the first floor, drop my bag in my trailer and run to the Cafeteria set.

Everyone is there. Zach Braff (JD), Donald Faison (Turk), Sarah Chalke (Elliot), Judy Reyes (Carla), Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso), Neil Flynn (the Janitor), John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox), Travis Shuldt (Keith), Johnny Kastl (Doug), Robert Maschio (the Todd), Sam Lloyd (Ted & the Worthless Peons), Christa Miller (Jordan), Aloma Wright (Nurse Roberts), Jordan Zucker (Lisa), Christina Miles (Gloria), and about 25 background actors and 50 crewmembers. Everyones attention is on Bill Lawrence the Executive Producer/Creator/ Director of "Scrubs". They were all jammed into this little cafeteria for this walk through of the scene.

So I come walking into the middle of this rehersal, out of breath and bewildered. It's been close to 2 months since I have worked on the show. I track down Scott the First Assistant Director and exchange handshakes and try to find my way to where I'm supposed to be. I'm introduced to Pamela the 2nd Assistant Director and she whispers to me and points me in the right direction. As I make my way through the crowd, I shake hands with Randal Winston, one of the producers and a director of an episode I was in; Travis, my intern buddy; and Johnny Kastl who I know from having the same commercial agent.

I catch up to where Bill is on the scene and just enjoy being back. The scene is basically, without giving too much away, a baby shower in the cafeteria for Carla & Turk's, well, baby. Usually, these scenes are very long and very complicated, consisting of many different camera shots... taking the entire day. I figure, it would be good to get another day out of this... that's if we run over... and we did. My call time was 12 noon. I signed out at 1am. Most of the time when we hang out waiting for our scenes to come up we just hide in our rooms, sleep, watch TV, read, rehearse our lines, eat, drink, poop & pee... what have you, Not today. Since the entire cast was there, ALL the cast members who were not series regulars were hanging out by the production office "just shooting the breeze" or "hanging out".

I caught up with my boy Travis. Since we both started on the show at the same time, we have grown very close. Don't get the wrong idea. He's like a brother to me. We hang out and talk about the show and how awful pilot season was for just about everyone. We eat Pizza. Check out Franklin's cool, restored MG. I also chat it up with Jordan, another one of the intern circle. I guess there is a certain bond between all the interns because we all started on the show not knowing how far it would go, with the exception of Travis. Therefore, everytime the show brings us back, we thank the powers that be and count our blessings. We ended up being a tight knit group. Considering Shaughn Buchholz (Keith aka Cabbage) was the first intern to leave the show; any one of us could have been easily written out. I think back to when I auditioned for the part of Keith and was later offered the part as Rex and I thank my lucky stars. Everything happens for a reason. Hopefully, it will continue to the next season... knock on wood.

Because this was the very last episode of the season, Bill Lawrence will take the reigns of the show and have complete control. Bill Lawrence is a comic genious. He knows exactly what he wants and what gags will work. His Direction and attention to detail is impecable. He is also gracious and understanding. He is the reason why the show is so successful and the reason "Rex" comes back. He'll add things to the scenes that will make it even funnier. He will also shout out approval on things he likes, things that I may be doing right. Very considerate. Extremely endearing. Bill later shakes my hand and welcomes me back. I love the man.

Zach is also a comedic genious. You put the two together and it's magnificent. Sometimes they bump heads but they work it out and get on with the scene. Both these guys are extremely talented and intelligent. They work closely with the material to make it funnier. Bill gives Zach the freedon to explore other avenues within the scene and with each take, Zach makes it funnier and funnier. I had the pleasure of being directed by Zach on a few occasions and would love to work for him some day. They say comedy is the hardest to master. It is true. You have to trust yourself and be true to the material and be willing to do anything to make it work. That's how hard it is to do comedy. I believe everyone on the show is gifted and talented.

Getting back to the season finally...
because it's the last episode, all the shows stars are pretty much burned out. Naturally, the scene ran much longer then planned and everyone was litterally rushing to get this "in the can" and go home. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned and tempers get tested. Don't get me wrong, there is no screaming or yelling but the tension is, sometimes, palpable.
When your trying to do a scene at midnight, it gets tough. Fatigue sets in. I'm sure that it was a struggle for all the stars to stay focused. But they did eventually get most of it. They are all professionals. They had one more day to complete the episode.

I felt kind of bad for them because all I was doing was goofing around waiting for my next scene to come up which, by the way, never did. It was fun though, sitting around trying to figure out this virgin records screen saver puzzle with Johnny K and the guys from the singing group. Also, watching downloaded short clip from ebaum's world with the production assistants. I guess that's why the stars get paid the big bucks and are rich and famous.

I will say this. This episode is a cliff hanger and you will be dying to see what happens next season. Season 5 felt for me, the best season yet. I mean, I can't compare it to anything I have done in the past. I can only watch the season's previous episodes and say... WOW, that was cool but we have done better this season. Hopefully, season 6 will be even better... knock on wood. Anyway, Thanks for reading and stay tuned.

I was also invited to the season 5 wrap party next week so I'll be writing my next blog after the bash. I'll also post pictures on my webpage.

Be good to each other and check back soon