You know, you hear about these types of scam artists occasionally, but it’s never actually a path to stardom!
Molly Shannon revealed in her new memoir that she broke into Hollywood in a way you definitely should not try at home — even though it totally worked for her! LOLz!
In Hello Molly!, the Saturday Night Live vet revealed she and pal Eugene Pack were desperate and came up with a scam to get their foot in the door! She wrote:
“We were trying to figure out how we were going to get in the door as actors. How were we gonna bust in? It was too hard to just slip your picture under an agent’s door. A random headshot? No one was ever gonna call. Then we hit on an idea. Eugene had studied with David Mamet. He was (and is) this giant, hugely successful guy, very respected — a big-time playwright and screenwriter — but Eugene knew that he wasn’t a guy who was in Hollywood much. He just liked staying in Vermont and New York.”
And so they began their grift…
“We went to the American Film Institute library and looked up managers and agents that we thought would be good for us in this big, thick agency book. We also looked up actors who we thought were like us, found out who managed them, and decided to go after these people and try to get them to sign us by pretending to be representing Mamet. I called it the Mamet Scam.”
The Mamet Scam! OMG! We can’t believe it!
The future Mary Katherine Gallagher would would call and say, “This is Liz Stockwell calling from David Mamet’s office.” She recalls:
“I was David Mamet’s right-hand girl. I was a ray of sunshine. A fun, positive gal.”
We cannot believe she did this! But it worked! She wrote:
“We started meeting everyone — agents at ICM, William Morris. I wanted to be on Twin Peaks so Eugene called the casting director, Johanna Ray, and I actually did get cast on Twin Peaks. Through the Mamet Scam.”
Ray introduced her to co-creator David Lynch, and she got cast in a small part in Season 2 of the hit show, her first TV role. Amazing. They ran the scam, she says, for “about six months.”
“The way we saw it, we were doing them a favor. They were meeting good, young, up-and-coming actors.”
What guts! Hilarious!
But it didn’t always work. They called up Sixteen Candles star Molly Ringwald, and maybe gurl knew the real Mamet? Or knew someone that knew him? Because it did not go well!
“We ran the Mamet Scam on her and set up a meeting. When I sat down for my appointment, she glared at me and said, ‘I just wanted to see what a liar looked like in person.’”
OMG. This makes Molly Shannon seem so much more dangerous than we ever thought and Molly Ringwald more badass! Frankly they both kind of come out looking cooler in this anecdote! LOLz!
For more stories of Molly’s early days, check out Hello Molly! out everywhere today, Tuesday, April 12.
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