This demo was my calling card for my post-Mad TV years in the early 2000′s. The music and impressions are definitely “of the time,” but I’m still proud of it as a synopsis of my contribution to the show.
Behind the Scenes
When we wrapped Season Five of Mad TV in the spring of 2000, I knew that my contract was up and that coming back would not be a sure thing for me. In fact, Fox was still deliberating at that point whether the show would even be returning for another year. I got a part in a pilot that spring – the role of a spaceship 1st officer in an ill-fated Star Trek parody – but I knew I needed more momentum.
Then I saw an episode of MTV’s Biorhythm that covered the career of Jim Carrey. The cutting style was manic and made Jim look like an absolute lunatic in the best possible way. I immediately started getting my Mad TV material together to cut a demo reel that did the same thing for me. Rich LaBrie, a great guy and talented Mad TV editor, worked with me on putting together the cut at a facility-for-hire in Burbank.
When the edit was done, I passed the video along to Alissa Vradenberg, my manager at the time at Industry Entertainment, and she passed it along to Keith Addis, a founding partner at the firm. Keith felt like the reel was something special, so he sent it to Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks, who then sent it to Steven Spielberg. From what I was told, they all loved it, and a few meetings and many emails later, I had a massive two year holding deal at Dreamworks SKG. Keith Addis was truly brilliant in the way he handled the process; it was the single most expert piece of talent management I’ve ever had executed on my behalf.
History shows, of course, that little came of the deal outside of the large paycheck, but the lesson was poignant for me: when a vision for something seizes you, see it through and interesting things will follow.