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Geoffrey Gould
Reports from the set/s...

Just for Kicks
(apparently never-aired TV series)

Thursday 02 December 2004
I got home at 8pm, and my pager went off. It was Millenium Casting, having booked me (already booked me, not just "are you available?") for a (SAG) TV show filming the next day at Universal, then titled Head To Toe (eventually changed to Just for Kicks).
I would be playing New York teacher Mr. Plotkins; While my role has a name, there are no lines I surmise, as I'm "featured background." Apparently they've been trying to cast this role for a week and a half! Took'em long enough to get to me...

Friday 03 December 2004
I arrived at Universal at 7:20am for my 8am calltime. I found my way to the set in a distant corner (right by Universal Citywalk, it turned out), and had my regular on-set breakfast. They were still filming, having begun at 6:30am with a scene on a subway (the set within a large tent).
One of the background realized he and I had met before, not an uncommon occurange, but at first I wasn't sure for which commercial he meant as he was talking about playing French characters. Then it occurred to me that Jeremy was referring to the Statue of Liberty: Building of a Colossus documentary years ago. When we were paired together to audition, he and I had gone to clink gently our champagn glasses but ended up smashing his glass.
The episode was helmed by pleasant veteran TV director Sean McNamara of such Disney series as Even Stevens and That's So Raven, and films such as the Hilary Duff feature Raise Your Voice (and pre-Lizzie McGuire), Sean gave Hillary her first big break in Casper Meets Wendy).
Essential the scene has me as goofy (science?) teacher Mr. Plotkin. The script called for a Very Funny comb-over. The hair person (I'm not sure if it was Deborah Pierce or Fay Kelly who did my hair), was given carte blanche to have at it at my head. She ended up doing up my hair very comically, similar and almost as wacky as it was done up as Mr. Leon for (an omitted sequence in) Stealing Harvard.
This was to be the third episode of the premier season: Brookwell McNamara Entertainment was the production company and one of its executive producer was Whoopie Goldberg,
My scene was to be a sight gag. One of the teen girls discovers what may (or may not be) a (single?) facial hair. Of course from a female teen's POV, she may as well have the equivalent of a handlebar moustache.
The joke is she sees a group of students laughing, and she mistakes their laughter as being directed at her, when in fact they are laughing at goofy-looking Mr. Plotkin (who merely passes from behind her and goes up the stairs). Quickly taking to calling me Badger Sean directed me himself (there was very little Through-An-A.D. direction), though the A.D.s were all very efficient and very friendly (Todd Whittaker, John Schere and Pam Kuri, et al).
I had to walk around her while she is also being followed by a steadi-cam.
Now Steadi-cam operator Eric Fletcher did what he could to make it as easy as possible for me. But still, that body rig is still substantial and I had to all but wobble to get around him to pass the girl at the proper time.
After lunch we got to My Close Up, which consisted of her POV, though in context she really doesn't "see" me. She is focused on the small group of laughing students, even though I turn and (to her) make a goofy face directly into camera. (And I understand in advance that the close-up could end up edited out.)
While the probability existed Mr. Plotkin would never return, I'd haved (understandably) loved to be such a recurring character...

Friday 22 April 2005
Series Re-Titled
I learned not only was the series retitled to Just for Kicks, but that it had a premier airing scheduled for Friday, 30 September 2005.
This did not happen. To my knowledge, no episodes ever aired.

Monday 16 October 2023
Years later...
So apparently Just for Kicks I did come across a YouTube Channel that had the entire season, split into two videos.
My scene is as brief as expected, with no close-up insert, and the editing does not clarify that the students are laughing at me, not at her.
The behind the scenes photos I'd had seem to have vanished.
But I did toss together my li'l scene onto my YouTube Channel so you can see how it went, as brief as it is.

as Mr. Plotkin

Mr. Plotkin
As Mr. Plotkin
As Plotkin with Francesca Catalano and Mallory Low
With Francesca Catalano and Mallory Low

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