No, I am not being purposely mean and genuinely feel sorry for his passing. But do have a story etched in my memory…a scar of sorts, I don’t harbor, but can’t deny is there.
It was 1990 when I was cast in a film called Quick Change with Bill Murray I thought would change my life. It didn’t, but it did, for a little while, put me in a place where I auditioned with the best of the best.
I bonded with Geena Davis, one of the stars of Quick Change, who got me an audition for Garry Shandling’s, then, popular TV show. It was such a grace and she, the loveliest of women to try to help me. For the record, women as a rule, don’t help other women. Geena was different in her avid generosity trying so hard to get me my next job.
So there I am, ready to read for Garry whose ego is (was) the size of Montana. I’m siked, know the lines, hoping he’ll think I’m just what he’s looking for. There are two audition pieces one much funnier than the other. When I ask, could we choose that one? He goes nuts telling me we’ll read the shorter one, because he has a lunch. Needless to say, it didn’t go too well. He calls Geena who’s anxious, on my behalf, hoping I get this job, telling her what a diva I am.
That was like calling Joan of Arc Elizabeth Taylor.
I didn’t get the job. He hired instead this, quiet, mealy-mouthed actress resulting in the cancelation of his show. I’m not saying if he hired me, it would have lived another season, but back then, I was young and so funny, willing to do whatever was necessary to bring people to their knees. That eager, earnest kid deserved a chance.
I’m TRULY SORRY he has passed. Garry Shandling was a very funny, talented man.
But he did make me cry for perhaps no other reason, except he was hungry.
RIP Garry. Despite our unfortunate exchange, I’ve always admired you.
November29, 1949-March 24, 2016