Date:  07/11/2001
Subject:  Eberts' File:  Insensate

A fond hello to all Ė

Well once again my file is like that gift you ordered over the internet. You know itís coming, just not when. If that sounds like a half-hearted apology for being a little late, it is. Iím out of practice with this continuing wave of new episodes (whereís a good six week block of re-runs when you need it?) so thus the delay.

Anywho, how about that Insensate? Weíve had a ton of fabulous episode and just when you thought you had a pattern picked out we took you on a darker journey than usual. Well, our goal is to constantly surprise you and I think we packed plenty of surprises in this one.

And now, a couple of tidbits you might find of interestÖ

The bat that Darien wields is actually rubber.

From BK: one of Paulís favorite lines from the episode was "So thatís how it ends, friendly fire." He and Darien found that inflection amusing for several episodes after that. I finally saw what they were talking about when I watched the episode.

And now everyone give a shout out to Armin Shimerman. I have to say that of all the guests we had to that point in time, Armin to me was the coolest of them all. Armin is Sci-fiís utility player, you can simply plug him any sci-fi show into (Star trek:TNG, DS9, Buffy, Stargate, Beauty and the beast)and he makes it a better product. I think that can easily be said of his chilling portrayal of Augustin Gaither in this episode.

Of course, Armin himself is a wonderful person. I wasnít scheduled to shoot with Armin this episode but being such a huge fan of Trek I was hoping I might be able to say hello. As it turned out, even though he wasnít set to shoot until the next day, he had to be there the day I shot to test the make up. So as I was being made up for my scenes, in walks Armin getting out of costume. After I was finished, I gingerly made my way to him. He was still completely pale and had the creepy eyes. I summoned my courage and introduced myself. To my delight, Armin is one of the nicest, humblest actors/humans Iíve ever met. He took about 10 minutes to chat with me about San Diego, theatre and anything I could think of. I was needed on set so I thanked him and said good bye.
As a postscript to this story, the next episode began filming the same day insensate ended. As I walked from the make-up trailer once again to set, Armin was just leaving the set. It had been more than a week and obviously he had forgotten me so I decided to just walk by and give the man his peace. As he approached me he looked at me, smiled and said, "Itís Mike, right?" He not only remembered my name, but also everything we had talked about. I was impressed and honored.

Armin told me that the contacts didnít hurt, but made vision a little tricky. Interestingly, light made it harder to see (Ďlike a fogí) while darkness gave him almost complete vision.

Patting you head and rubbing you tummy: Armin found it difficult to remember to keep his hands on the Braille translator. It was an unusual thing to do with your hands while you talk and unconsciously he would forget and lower his hands.

Shortened scene: In the hallway, while No Name and The Official are talking, Hobbes is insulting the trio of cronies. Most of it was ad-libbed. Hobbes calls the first two the "Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow" while I supplied "Tin Man" for the last one. We shared a fun moment of camaraderie, which was probably wise cut to maintain the tone of the scene. All that remains is The Official entering the hallway with us.

OT, sort of. After the first California airing of Insensate I went to the chat room. Those there were in for a treat as superstar director Michael Grossman dropped in and answered questions about his great job at the helm of Insensate as well as his work on "Arliss" and "From the Earth to the Moon". It was great fun. What was even more fun was asking him questions like "Mr. Grossman, how did you pull such an incredible performance out of Mike McCafferty in TIOBE?" without him knowing it was me. Out of the 26 people in the room, 25 knew who I was. Guess who didnít until the moment I left the chat room. Heís vowed to get me in some evil manner so Iím watching my back. ;-)

Hereís yet another example of an actorís dilemma. In the script (wonderfully crafted by Mr. Glassner) it specifically states that I am reading all of the various goofs Hobbes has made while on assignment with Fawkes. Now as an actor you should always know your lines. However, any good actor will tell you that honesty is the most important aspect of acting, especially on camera. Plus, reading them without too much rehearsal makes them even fresher to myself and thus a truer experience. So, should I diligently learn my lines and then act as though Iím reading them or simply take a little more time playing video games that week and then paste the script into that big book that I pick up? Well, gentle reader, Iíll you decide what I did but I will simply state that that week many an opponent was fragged by yours truly.

Hey, this turned out to be a weird File, didnít it? I guess Iím tired. Anyway, with the Comic-con coming up as well as some cool surprises that I canít mention but require my attention, it was bound to happen. Besides, it fits in with the Insensate mood so Iím leaving it at that. In two weeks Iíll give both an Ebertsí File plus a Comic-con wrap-up so thatís something.

So I sit here now thinking of new ways I can say thanks to all of you. After 30 some files I sound like a broken record. I donít mean too and I never want any one that reads this to forget how important we think you are. Our show is the most interactive Iíve ever seen and your kindness and hospitality are the direct reasons why. So I again say thank you, because I never get tired of saying it.