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A Funny Thing Happened...on 'Law & Order'

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As a young actor just making his start in the industry, you can imagine my delight when I was called in for background work on the prestigious series "Law & Order." My cell phone bill was obscene that month. The day started out as dynamically as I had anticipated: There I was on set staring at the Jerry Orbach.

An announcement was made—they were down one stand-in. And they needed a male, six-feet-plus. That's me! That's me! I don't think anyone else had a chance.

I was escorted onto the set—right past Mr. Orbach—and I found myself on one of those ultrarealistic crime scenes the series is famous for. This one was set at the Circle Line docks—I was about to burst! "What's your name?" the second assistant director asked. "Jimmy—call me Jimmy," I enthused. "Okay, Jimmy, nice to meet you. Here's where you'll be laying."

I was a stand-in for a corpse.

Never shy about self-deprecation, I dropped onto the pavement and whipped out my trusty cell phone. I immediately dialed a close friend. As I lay there alongside the Hudson, the sun beaming down on me on what was essentially a bone-chillingly cold day, I giggled into my cell phone.

"Well," I said, "I think I've finally hit bottom."

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