Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Am What I Am by John Barrowman

John Barrowmn with Carole E. Barrowman. I Am What I Am. London: Michael O’Mara Books, Ltd., 2010.

John Barrowman was in the TV series “Torchwood” which first aired in England in 2006. Prior he was worked on numerous shows. His first TV appearance was as a backing dancer and singer on “Opryland Special” with Barbara Mandrell. When he first filmed a speaking part, he was given lines to say by a man with a thick Scottish accent, which resulted in him repeating them in a thick Scottish accent.

The show was successful. It was moved to BBC1 in its third series. Yet the third series had 5 episodes rather than the usual 13

When Barrowman and fellow “Torchwood” actor Burn Gorman rehearsed weapons scenes, they did so between their trailers, This helped them know where to be for the “crew rehearsal” (a.k.a. “camera rehearsal”) so the crew knew where to be so they can perform their duties without getting in each others’ ways, Barrownman notes that on another show he was o there were up to 60 people on the set.

Once during taping, Barrowman forgot he was not supposed to make verbal sound effects of gunfire when he was shooting a weapon, Sound effects are used and both sounds would be on the tape, A re-take was required

Actors must have patience, Barrowman advises. Scenes are re-filmed at different angles. Something as a glare fro a light can cause a scene to be re-shot, Oe scene took three hours to film.

A scene involving a lie detector flashing different colored lights required a woman operating the machine sitting off-screen between Barrowman’s legs. Barrowman, who is gay boes states that was “a place where no woman has gone before.”
Barrowman admits to stealing a prop. He took a prop paperback that he began reading in-between takes.

Barrowman was a judge on a TV talent show. He drafted possible responses to contestant successes and failures so he would have some lines ready. He advises that staring blankly after a contestant’s performance on live TV doesn’t work.

A young boy once asked Barrowman why his character, Captain Jack, was oing in a Costco store. Barrowman replied he was undercover and asked the boy if the boy had seen a Cyberman, The boy replied he didn’t and they shook hands.

One boy once told Barrowman “I don’t care if Jack likes a man or likes a woman, he’s still my favorite hero.” He gave the boy a hug.

Barrowman observes that “gaffer tapes holds up (and keeps down) anything.”

Barrowman was a childhood fan of Lindsay Wagner. He once stopped his limo when he saw her so he could run up to her and meet her, His husband later told him “I dont think you’re ever cut through traffic that fast for a woman in all the years I’ve known you.”

In a scene where Barrowman’s character had to walk barefoot on top of rubble, sanitary towels were placed on the bottom of his feet.

Barrowman read and loved the script for a BBC Radio 4 “Torchwood Special” He agreed to do it It was the most listened to show in BBC Radio 4 history as well as the most downloaded program on iPlayer. He agreed to record three more shows.

Barrowman recommends that actors treat their dressers and make-up artists with the same respect as they do their co-stars.

Barrowman was in the TV show “Desperate Housewives”. Most interior shots shots were filmed in a stage. The exterior shots of Wisteria Lane are houses on the Universal lot that are not facades but have rooms inside for filming, The show had one of the largest and extensive make-up trailers.

When Barrowman first met co-star Drea de Matteo, she greeted him with a smart comment containing cuss words. This helped cut the ice and they got along.

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