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  • Melanie Lech

Actor on Your Friends List Stars in 3-Second Clip on HBO

A TV screen edited to show a scene of Westworld. A circle and arrow point to a man in the very back of the frame behind everyone else. The viewer eats popcorn.
He wouldn't even tell you the timestamp so you could scrub through the episode.

After 8 long years in the industry, thousands of dollars in acting courses and self-taping materials, and 78 rejections from the NC Education Lottery in a row, your friend Daniel was finally cast in an HBO series you've never heard of. His role was standing naked in a basement with 20 other naked men doing heroin while the lead smokes a cigarette and somber music plays.

He commemorated the experience with a 1,500-word post on Instagram recapping the experience with overwhelming gratitude, sincerity, and an out-of-context Voltaire quote. The prose is so beautiful you would hardly know that his role was standing naked in a basement for three seconds with 20 other naked men doing heroin while the lead smokes a cigarette and somber music plays.

In fact, you kind of wish you didn't know, so you had some sort of contingency plan in the heart-pounding event he asks, "So, what did you think?" You've always considered yourself creative, but finding the gold in that is going to take some real mining, and mines have been known to collapse for less. They did get a REALLY good shot of his elbow though.

"I love what I do," he gushed. What exactly did he do? It is hard to say. But now you and your roommates have all seen his junk, and your eyes are forever scarred. "Viewer discretion is advised" doesn't even begin to cover it.

The 13 attached pixelated screencaps and behind-the-scenes photos on his post paint a compelling enough picture that the comments section is filled with notes like, "GREAT JOB SWEETIE LOVE GRANDMA" from pearl-clutching relatives without streaming subscriptions.

"There is nothing that could have been a better use of my time all these years," Daniel professed while eating out of a frying pan with a plastic spoon. "Now that I've finally got my foot in the door, I can tell directors about my screenplay. I haven't started it yet, but I will."

"At the end of the day," he continued, "through all of the up and many, many downs, I know in my heart and my heart alone, not my brain, that it was worth it."

Daniel plans to use his residuals on replacing his alternator and investing in a $4,000 two-day improv intensive hosted by Horatio Sanz.


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