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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...
Fourth "My Name is Earl" gig
episode "Joy in a Bubble"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I had an audition mid afternoon this date, thankfully close to where I live, so I didn't lose much in the way of hours at my temp-assignment day-job. I got a call from my calling service notifying me I was booked for Friday on My Name is Earl as an ice cream vendor, which also made for me my fourth gig working the hilariously written sitcom.
I had worked background two episodes for season one, Barn Burner and more Featured Background in Monkeys In Space. For season three I worked even More Visibly Featured [background] for the episode G.E.D.
My sizes were taken down, as, being an ice cream vendor, I briefly presumed that most likely I would be fitted for an outfit similar to my milkman outfit for the Garfield movie, but then again, this would be an ice cream vendor in Camden County, so I realized he'd probably be a little more blue collar.

Thursday, August 21, 2008
At work I checked my messages in the mid morning, and again around 1:40pm. At that moment there were no messages, so just as I went to check the In/Out board to see if a specific coworker was back from vacation, my phone suddenly rang on my belt. It was my calling service's owner Michel herself, providing me with my 8:30am calltime and the hotline-details recording number to check after 6pm. As often is the case, the recorded information was available earlier than 6pm.

Friday, August 22, 2008
Return to Camden County, again
The way the buses were running to the Valley, I arrived at crew parking at 8am for my 8:30am calltime. I was shuttled up past the actual studio (where most of the interiors for Earl are filmed), and I was brought to their outdoor trailer-park location, up near Roscoe. I met DGA Trainee Joe who provided me with my voucher and around 8:20 brought me to wardrobe.
Wardrobe wasn't immediately ready for me, so I waited around, soon seeing Jason Lee arrive, his face fully bearded, mountain-man style. He headed into hair and make-up and later he was back to his "regular Earl" look.
I had spoken to wardrobe on the phone the afternoon before, and was urged to bring "options," which I accurately predicted would not be used for the simple fact of having brought them. Had I not brought any options, I would have been admonished. As it was, I worked with Zoë Larrabure, who had me change into a green shirt and brown pants and a burgundy half-apron (e.g., only at the waist).
Around 9:10 two odd things happened when my phone rang. One was the fact that the phone was actually ringing, as being on a shoot, I had already had it set on silent. The other was it being Central Casting calling me: "We just got a call from My Name Is Earl, wondering where you are."
I was surprised. "I've been here since around eight," I replied, puzzled. "I checked in with Joe, got my voucher, and I'm in wardrobe with Zoë right now."
"Oh," she said simply. "I'll let them know you're there."
(Who I think was) a second second AD almost immediately popped in, explaining that they there did know I was there: they just didn't know where there I was. "Central got the message wrong," he figured. "We thought you might be in one of the trailers and we just didn't know which one."
With my presence and location confirmed, Zoë had me trying on two other shirts and aprons, taking photos and phone-sending them to the wardrobe designer for approval. Eventually they went with the initial version with which Zoë had provided me, and I checked out Craft Services. I was told that the crew calltime had been 6am, so catered breakfast service was long since over before my arrival. So much for a hot meal. Craft Services didn't have out a whole lot I could use as breakfast, so I consumed a couple of bananas as, wearing a high-end terry-cloth towel bathrobe, the lovely and talented Jaime Pressly came to Crafty, greeting me with a cheery, "Hi!"
After eating my "breakfast," I headed back to the "lunchbox" (a large air conditioned dining room-like trailer which can double as background holding: we had a similar one for the film Seven Pounds).
While waiting, I later headed back to Crafty for some soda. Pleasant good morning greetings were exchanged with a friendly fellow who asked me, "You once played a teacher on the show, right?"
"Yes, for G.E.D.," I replied.
"Ah yes," he remembered fondly. "I directed that one too," director Mike Fresco said, introducing himself.
He and I discussed how much we mutually love the show, his concurring that not only is it well written and acted, but he added that as a set it's very light, fun and friendly, which for Mike as a freelance director is great when he gets to work on the show. Later at my inquiry, Mike affirmed I could send him my demo reel, which a day or two later I did.
The lunchbox trailer has two main doors made of glass in the front, one in the back. I sat facing the front right door, able to see all the way down past catering and the honeywagon, make-up and wardrobe trailers, so when Joe began purposefully heading my way, I was prepared and came out to meet him halfway. I was told it'd be about ten minutes. Not really one for much friendly conversation, Joe told me he'd earlier meant to show me what I'd be doing, and he led me out of the lot to the sidewalk, over to where my little ice cream push-cart awaited. Joe requested I wait there (albeit sans any sort of chair). I had met super pleasant second second assistant director Stacy on my initial arrival, and she was on hand as they got ready to move over to where we were to shoot. While we waited, Stacy provided me with a copy of the day's sides over which I could go (sides are reduced pages of the script that are relevant to that day's shooting schedule). Thankfully it wasn't long of a wait at all.
I met Bart, Jason's stand-in.
Assistant director Paul came up and introduced himself. I couldn't help but realize and say aloud, "Oh that's right, you're 'Sleepwalker Paul'...!" He seemed amused I realized who he was from his two uncredited appearances on the series (what can I say: I enjoy DVD audio commentaries, my long since having acquired the show's first two seasons' DVD box sets). Paul gave me the run down of the action involved (remember that I do not believe in providing storyline spoilers myself [such information generally being readily available Elsewhere notwithstanding], I only provide indications of where I can be seen at what point: unless the bit for this episode is omitted due to episode time constraints, you'll see me easily enough).
Bart and I did a quick run-through so the camera people would know what would be happening. It was pretty simple: down a sidwalk in a straight line I push my cart, with "Earl" just behind, pacing me.
Recognizing me, Jason came up and shook my hand heartily, saying, "Hey there: great to see you again!"
Mike told us it'd be two angles: one from across the street, a wide "tableau'ee," as he put it. A few minutes later when Mke and Jason were speaking together just off the curb, a large pick-up like truck suddenly pulled up, the driver recognizing Jason.
"Oh, man!" he exclaimed through his open passenger side window. "You are the best...!"
Still standing next to Jason, with a wide smile, quick-witted Mike instantly replied, "Why thank you...!"
Missing the joke, the driver just said, "Not you: you," pointing at Jason. Jason started to laugh as he and the driver touched knuckles, as the driver continued, "Man, I've smoked a lot o'weed watchin' your movies...!" And without another word, the guy simply drove off. As John Cleese once said, that's the sort of comedy one can't write into a script: no one would believe it.
Jason and I did one walk through, then three takes on the wide angle. They brought the camera to our side of the street for the straight-on angle, our approaching the camera. We did three or four takes and they checked the gate. It was barely after 11am and my work was done.
Mike thanked me and Jason not only posed for a photo with me, he held out the camera for the two-shot.
As I made my final preparations to leave, along with their guardians several of the children arrived for a scene to be shot later. One of the mothers, Marlena, introduced me to adorable fellow Taurus Katherine Teresa Scott, who would be part of the park scene at the episode's climax.
Joe signed me out at noon, and as the location was slightly south of Roscoe Boulevard, I simply caught the 152 bus taking me directly to the North Hollywood Red Line station. Ironically I probably should have accepted the offer of the shuttle back to the crew parking and begun busing from from there. The 152 route is long and circuitous enough that by the time I was home it was almost 3pm.
On set, the sides, and on my voucher, this was listed as being the fifth episode of the season, so at the time I presumed the fourth season episode would air Thursday, October 16th, based on the season premiere scheduled date, as well as the season's second episode, both scheduled to air Thursday, September 25th.
It turned out my presumption became inaccurate...

Thursday, October 02, 2008
Episode shifts and date changes
At the last moment (e.g., around 7:50pm), I stumbled across the fact that the Joy in a Bubble episode had been shifted to become episode 403, and would have its premiere airing this date, at 8pm.
With just enough time, my roommate recorded it, albeit the lowest-end type of recording via his computer so much of its playback data was jittery and skipping, but thankfully my scene was unscathed enough for us to view. I indicated on my MySpace blog entry the probability that in a day or three the full episode could be viewable at its IMDB entry.

Saturday, October 04, 2008
Episode viewable online
For those who missed Joy in the Bubble, for two or three weeks it became available for viewing on, Before I had the ability to download it for safe-keeping, hulu removed it. The episode is available via Video On Demand at, though I do not know if from there it's actually downloadable...

Thursday January 29, 2009
Double dose airing
The previous November I had worked on a few other projects (the Pedigree national commercial, The Office, CSI, Eli Stone and the Tim Burton directed feature film Alice in Wonderland), most of the TV projects of which were about to start airing.
The Pedigree national commercial was already online and already becoming viral, and about to premiere officially during the 2009 Super Bowl on Sunday February first. The episode of The Office was scheduled to air the following Thursday, February fifth, and while about a year too early for the release of the Alice in Wonderland feature film, and still with no word as to any air-date for the Eli Stone episode, Thursday the 29th held the very rare occasion (in fact to my knowledge, the first time) that two TV episodes on which I worked would air the same night.
At 9:00pm on CBS would air the Disarmed and Dangerous episode of CSI episode, thirty minutes after the 8:00pm re-airing of my NBC My Name is Earl episode Joy in a Bubble, as the ice-cream vendor.
My film producer friend came by and watched both, having missing the first Joy in a Bubble airing, in which my bit was quite prominent, but the for CSI episode, it was very much a Don't Blink situation. While I easily could say, "There I am" (watching from out in the hallway), for my staircase ascent only my arm and plaid shirt is visible. In the subsequent exterior shot/s (and I saw myself easily, only as I knew where to look), to point me out to my friend I had to pause it. I agreed that without pausing it, no one but I wouldn't be able to spot me for that one. Unused was the angle for the other bit of my being down the street and approaching.
Irritatingly, the two shows either did not record or did not save, so I could not DVR-record either scene with me with which to create frame-grabs. In a few months the two series current season should hit DVD. Being one of the best written comedy series, I buy the My Name is Earl DVD box sets anyway; CSI I can Netflix and frame-grab from there.

Thursday July 15, 2010
Another re-airing
Arriving at my day-job, I learned from one of the building workers that the Joy in a Bubble episode had aired the night before, and he'd spotted and recognized me therein.

Video On Demand ($1.99):
Joy In A Bubble episode
Geoffrey Gould behind the scenes with Jason Lee on the ''My Name is Earl'' episode 403 ''Joy in a Bubble''
Behind the scenes on location with Jason Lee on the My Name is Earl episode 403 Joy in a Bubble.

My Name Is Earl
Season Four

My Name Is Earl:
Season Four

My Name is Earl
Season One

My Name Is Earl
Season Two

My Name is Earl
Season Three

(Even though I
didn't work any Season 3
episodes, it was still
one of the top,
best written
comedies on television

My Name Is Earl:
Seasons 1-4

Wednesday March 21, 2012
Slight update
Making a reference on Facebook, I checked the page report and noted a few things I could tweak to update it a bit. Checking the DVD titles I found that Season Four had become available on Blu-Ray, while the first three seasons were not. Weird.

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