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Reviews and News

The latest review of SWING is by Yahoo! Contributor Mary Beth Magee.

If you have Amazon Prime you can now 'borrow' the Kindle version of SWING for FREE!

Here's another book review, by Scott Eyman of the Palm Beach Post.  

The list of positive reviews for SWING continues:

I highly recommend this book. I usually listen to audio books, but this is one book in print that I couldn't put down. Don't even think about it. Just read it! This is a good one.  

"SWING" is a great read, and a more than impressive, heartfelt, first novel from this author. Bravo!  

A great read about perseverance and acceptance and a trip to the world of Swing.

Here is my recommendation...buy it for your IPad or eReader, download some Louis Prima songs, put your earphones in, turn up the volume and enjoy it.

Alan Gerstel's Blog
headshot of Alan Gerstel, author
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Wednesday
Oct032012

"The Doctors"

 

In my younger days, I pursued a career as a professional actor.  In fact, at one time I held memberships in Actors Equity Association, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.

One day in 1981, I got a call from the Casting Director of the television soap opera “The Doctors.”  She asked me to be an “Extra” during the taping of an episode where the show's fictional town was hit by a tornado which sent dozens of people to the Emergency Room.  “Extras” have no lines and are usually seen in the background of various shots.  So I presumed that I would portray a wounded “victim” of the storm or some hospital employee.

I arrived in the rehearsal hall to find dozens of other actors (“Extras”) also there for the tornado scene.  We were told to stand along one wall as the regular cast members went through their lines.  Eventually, all of the “Extras” would be added to the scenes as the Director moved the actors from one position to another.  This went on for about a half-hour until the rehearsal came to a halt.  After a few quizzical glances to the cast members, the Director mumbled, “Oh, we forgot to cast that part.”

The Director then looked over in the direction of all the Extras and, after a few moments of pondering, looked squarely at me and said, “You… pick up a script.  You’ll be reading the part of the “Laconic Aide.”  I almost crapped my pants!  I had never done anything like this before.  The “Laconic Aide” had about seven or eight lines which boosted me to the status of a “Day Player,” and added up to a few hundred additional bucks and national exposure!

Embarrassingly, I didn’t know what “laconic” even meant.

But I plunged into the role, reading the lines aloud during the rehearsal with the regular cast members.  The Director then said, “You’ve got the part.  Memorize it because we’re taping it this afternoon."

The scene took place in the Emergency Room where a character played by soap opera veteran Kim Zimmer was highly emotional as she watched the father of her unborn baby dying on a gurney.   One of my lines to an emotionally-distraught Kim (incredibly) was, “No, he’ll never make it.  It looks like an elephant stepped on his chest.”

Despite my nerves, the scene went off without a hitch and the Producers liked it enough that they repeated it in a dream sequence later in that week.  It remains one of the highlights of my fledgling acting career.

Reader Comments (1)

Alan, you're not credited for it on the Internet Movie Database, and you certainly ought to be. See: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6319257/

April 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Harrison

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