James Michael Tyler

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James Michael Tyler

Postby Мастер » Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:19 am

Died at age 59, cancer.

What an odd story. Working as a barista at the Bourgeois Pig in Los Angeles when he auditioned for the show Friends, he got hired into what would become one of the most successful television serials of all time, because he was the only one auditioning who knew how to operate the coffee machine. First appearing in the second episode of the show as the barista "Gunther" in "The Central Perk", he eventually became the most frequently featured actor (other than the six members of the main cast). All because he knew how the espresso machine worked.

Known for his bleached blond hair, which was an accident - someone gave him a botched bleaching the day before his audition. When he got the part, it became necessary to maintain he excessively bleached look for the next ten years :)
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Lianachan » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:06 am

I had to google him, only seen about 3 episodes of Friends and hated them, but 59 is no age to go.
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Мастер » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:44 am

Lianachan wrote:I had to google him, only seen about 3 episodes of Friends and hated them, but 59 is no age to go.


I just like the story.

The guy was a no-name Hollywood wannabe, who ended up getting top billing (after the six main cast) in one of the most successful television series in all of history, because he was the only one among those who tried out, who knew how to operate the coffee machine.
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Lianachan » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:39 pm

It is indeed a cool story.
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Heid the Ba » Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:07 pm

It is indeed, I didn't watch much of Friends but I do remember him. He's the Lt Kellye in the show.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kellye_Nakahara
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby g-one » Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:14 pm

Interesting but odd. A bunch of other people were auditioning for a role they hadn't prepped for? Like auditioning for a role as a dancer but you can't dance?
Or the role was something else initially, and he made some latte's that sealed the deal?
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Arneb » Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:18 pm

Maybe everyone thought it would do to go through some coffee-making-like motions (the same way you don't have to be a virtuoso musician in order to play one in a movie), then noticed that someone who could act AND make coffee was really quite a match.
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Мастер » Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:25 am

g-one wrote:Interesting but odd. A bunch of other people were auditioning for a role they hadn't prepped for? Like auditioning for a role as a dancer but you can't dance?
Or the role was something else initially, and he made some latte's that sealed the deal?


I don’t really have much knowledge of the acting business, so anything I say here should be treated as uninformed conjecture, to be overruled if anyone actually knows anything.

But, my impression of the plight of aspiring actors is, it’s a pretty tough business. Anything for which you audition, will have dozens or hundreds of others competing against you. You get called out for an audition at short notice, you need to get time off from your regular job waiting on tables or driving the bus, and your odds of getting the job are considerably less than one percent.

So if it’s a job portraying a lawyer, can you afford to say, oh, I’d better spend a lot of time and effort learning what it’s like to be a lawyer? Oops, didn’t get that one, the next one is as a soldier, I’d better learn what it’s like to be in the army. Well, didn’t get that one either, the next one is as an auto mechanic, I’d better learn how to fix cars. If one took that attitude, I think one would get very few auditions, and still fewer parts.

In this case, the actor got the part not because he prepared and learned how to be a barista because that’s what the part required; he was working as a barista because he needed money to stay alive while he tried to break into acting. He had some luck. If he hadn’t auditioned, someone who didn’t know how to operate the coffee machine would have gotten the job, and maybe would have quickly studied up and learned how before they started shooting.
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Arneb » Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:50 pm

i find that uninformed conjecture entirely too convincing to make any (and likewise uninformed) attempt at overruling it.
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby g-one » Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:03 pm

All good points, but there are a bajillion aspiring actors working the hospitality industry in these locales. Mostly waiters, but even I can run an espresso/cappuccino machine. :) I guess I'm just a bit surprised it would not be more common.
And having worked in a cafe as well as having 'worked forces', I can assure you that the 'time and effort' with regard to training is not at all comparable. ;)
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Мастер » Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:17 am

g-one wrote:but even I can run an espresso/cappuccino machine. :)


Should have tried out!
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby g-one » Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:54 pm

It's actually very simple, the only tricky part is frothing the milk for the variations that require it.
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Re: James Michael Tyler

Postby Enzo » Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:18 pm

I can handle all aspects of an analog Oberheim. I used to do valve jobs on my truck. I can operate a radio station, I am king of the studio panel. But I have zero idea what any of the knobs and levers do on one of those machines. All I know is you pack some amount of coffee grind into a handled cup and then the machine makes a screaming noise.

I guess Hollywood does without me...
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