Monday, December 1, 2014

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris. Choose Your Own Autobiography: You Are the Star in N.P.H.’s Life Story. New York: Crown Archetype, 2014.

Harris recalls when young meeting Keith Carradine backstage Harris notes “time image will stick with you forever. For two hours he was a conjurer summoning up the spirit of a beloved icon; now, once again, he’s just one of the crowd. Heralded, then anonymous. That’s preforming.”

Harris had an agent who got an audition for Harris with Steven Bocho. After a callback he was cast as Doogie Howser on “Doogie Howser M.D.” The role had challenges, including learning to say a line in fluent Japanese.

Newborn babies, by California law, are limited ot working 20 minutes at a time. Twins or tripes are often used. Harris once asked a mother why she chose this work and she replied “I don’t know, they  just seem to enjoy it.”

California law limits children to nine and half hours per day of work which includes three hours for required school and one for lunch.

Harris learned he could not socialize with his costar Max Casella, when he calls “the secret ingredient behind the show’s success” because people would swarm them.

“Doogie Howser M.D.” ran for four seasons from 1989 to 1993, Typecast as Doogie Howser, Harris had trouble landing another TV series, Yet he did several movies and 13 made for television movie from 1988 and 2001. He appeared on episodes of several TV shows. He also did theater work.

Harris was asked to appear in the TV series “How I Met Your Mother”. He found the pilot script funny and “unusually for a pilot it did not feel derivative of other shows.” The show lasted nine seasons. He credits CBS for not moving it around so it built an audience that could find it. It was always on Monday nights at either 8 pm or 8:30 pm.

“How I Met Your Mother” was filmed with multiple cameras. It did not use a live studio audience. This gave the show more flexibility to reshoot and edit.

During the strike in 2007, Josh Weldon asked Harris, for no pay, to be in an online musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.” Harris trusted Weldon so much that he accepted without seeing a script. Viewer reaction was overwhelmingly positive. 

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