One Degree of Martin

7 Sep

I suppose it’s cool knowing that I went to school with actors who have made it big.

I may not have been friends with all of these guys, but still, who doesn’t enjoy saying “I know him?”

These days, I can do that with a solid handful of folks.

The first, a guy named Eyal Podell, has been on Ally McBeal, that trashy MTV show Undressed, an episode of The West Wing, and other shows. According to IMDB, he’s also been in movies like The Insider and Behind Enemy Lines. (Who knew?) Most recently, he was making out with Shiri Appleby in the ABC Television movie Pizza My Heart.

Eyal and I were in chorus and a couple of shows together in high school.

I was also in chorus with a guy named Sean Maher, who was the lead on a TV show called Ryan Caulfield: Year One and had a role on the Wall Street-set drama The $treet before playing the title character on the TV remake of Brian’s Song in 2001 and starring in Lifetime’s recent Dive from Clausen’s Pier movie.

I’ve been seeing Sean in a few different places lately because he’s about to hit the big screen in Serenity, the movie that’s a feature version of the TV show Serenity, on which he was a cast member. Sean plays Dr. Simon Tam.

Not sure I’ll be seeing the film (though I hear it’s good — if you like that sort of thing), but that’s my plug for it.

Oh yeah, and then there’s Eddie Cahill, who is probably best known for playing Tag (Rachel’s boyfriend/assistant) on Friends, but was also in the movie Miracle and on the TV shows Felicity and Glory Days.

I never knew this guy (he’s a few years younger than me), but my sister did.

Anyway, he was also in the movie Lords of Dogtown this summer, and is about to start his second season on CSI: NY.

Whoops … almost forgot David Harbour, who I played soccer with as a kid and costarred with (though that’s putting it generously in my case) in a couple of shows, and who was nominated for a Tony Award this year for his costarring role opposite Kathleen Turner in the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

My sister and I always joke that there’s an agent in L.A. who specializes in helping Byram Hills High School graduates, and that’s how these guys always get such good gigs.

(As a side note, it’s funny, but I can’t think of a single BHHS actress who’s had as much success.)

Anyway, these days you’re more likely to see my former college roommate Sean Dugan without even trying.

Sean’s in a couple of heavily-played commercials, one for AOL and one for Sprint. In the AOL spot, he’s an employee showing a customer how much the company looks out for its members — pushing him out of harm’s way, etc. At the end, he’s got the customer in a clinch. The line’s something like “You really do like us.”

In the spot for Sprint, it’s Sean’s face on a bunch of different people’s bodies, all of whom are wearing green shirts. The message is that Sprint’s new calling plans are different for different people, because “if we were all the same as everyone else, it would be creepy.” Well, the commercial certainly is creepy. But just the same, that’s my former roommate right there.

Maybe you’ve seen one of those commercials. If not, you certainly will.

And if Sean looks familiar, it’s because he spent a couple of seasons on Oz playing Kirk, one of the more psychotic of the inmates (which I guess is saying something). Apparently, he’s going to be playing Bill Gates in a show soon to open in New York.

(Personally, I’ll always remember the time Sean and another one of my roommates went through the fridge making fun of all the food that had gone bad — lettuce, milk and such — or the ant traps around the kitchen that weren’t working. It’s some of the best and funniest footage from my senior year home video.)

And then, of course, there’s Peter Gallagher, from The O.C. He also went to my high school, but long before I was ever there.

They (whoever “they” is in this case) say “If you can’t do, review.” And maybe that’s why I gave up on my stage aspirations freshman year of college [editor’s note: not that I had a choice, after an unsuccessful audition clued me in that I was a terrible actor] and am now a journalist who writes about actors and entertainment, among other things.


It’s still cool to say “I know that guy” when I see one of them on my TV.

4 Responses to “One Degree of Martin”

  1. Honey September 8, 2005 at 1:12 am #

    hi, my name’s Honey and I’m a very good friend of Lia W. She suggested I read your blog! Anyway, I laughed when I read that you were roommates with Sean Dugan. I was a major fan of OZ and he was one of the most hidious characters on that show (of course I’m saying that with admiration), which is saying alot. Anyway, blog away!

  2. the deal September 8, 2005 at 2:38 am #

    Martin-Your blog rocks. Keep it up!


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