Troy Evans, Actor-Episode #150

Mar 2, 2021 | 0 comments

You’ve assuredly seen actor Troy Evans many times on the silver screen. Troy’s 4-decade career has been marked by a few memorable home runs, and a huge number of base hits. He’s guest starred on over 100 TV episodes. And you may remember him as Sgt. Pepper on the TV series China Beach, or Artie on the historic series Life Goes On, or from his 129 episode run as the desk clerk, Frank Martin, on ER. Troy currently plays homicide Detective Johnson, aka “Barrel,” on the Amazon series Bosch.

Troy can also be seen in over 50, movies including playing the ill-fated Rodger Podacter in Ace Ventura Pet Detective, or in Phenomenon, Under Siege, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Frighteners and many more.

Occasionally, Troy performs his one-man evening of stories called Troy Evans Montana Tales and Other Bad Ass Business.



Read the Podcast Transcript

Narrator: This is StoryBeat with Steve Cuden, a podcast for the creative mind. StoryBeat explores how masters of creativity develop and produce brilliant works that people everywhere love and admire. So join us as we discover how talented creators find success in the worlds of imagination and entertainment. Here now is your host, Steve Cuden.

Steve Cuden: Thanks for joining us on StoryBeat. We’re coming to you from the Steel City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. StoryBeat episodes are available at storybeat.net and on all major podcast apps and platforms. If you like this episode, won’t you please take a moment to leave us a rating or review, and please subscribe to StoryBeat wherever you listen to podcasts. My guest today is someone you’ve assuredly seen many times on the silver screen. Actor Troy Evan’s four-decade career has been marked by a few memorable home runs and a huge number of base hits. He’s guest starred on over 100 TV episodes, and you may remember him as Sergeant Pepper on the TV series, China Beach, or Artie on the historic series Life Goes On. Or from his 129-episode run as the desk clerk Frank Martin on ER. Troy currently plays homicide, detective Johnson, AKA Barrel on the Amazon series Bosch. Troy can also be seen in over 50 movies, including playing the ill-fated Roger Podacter in Ace Ventura Pet Detective, or In Phenomenon, Under Siege, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the Frighteners, and many more. Occasionally, Troy performs his one-man evening of stories called Troy Evan’s Montana Tales and Other Badass Business. So for all those reasons and many more, it’s a truly great thrill for me to welcome the prolific actor Troy Evans, to StoryBeat today. Troy, welcome to the show.

Troy Evans: Thank you for having me.

Steve Cuden: Well, so let’s go back and look at your history a little bit. You started as really no actor at all. You started in the military in Vietnam, correct?

Troy Evans: I started life as a political junkie. My grandfather, Troy Evans, was a state senator in Montana.

Steve Cuden: Oh, is that right?

Troy Evans: So I was intensely interested in politics. I can remember listening to the 1956 Republican National Convention on one of those big standup wooden radios in the living room. I was eight years old, and I formed a plan. What my plan was, was I was going to be the first person in my family to go to college, and I was going to become an attorney, and I was going to go to the state legislature, and from the state legislature, I was going to become the governor of Montana, then the senator from Montana, and then the first president from a Western state.

Steve Cuden: How’d that work out?

Troy Evans: Well, it was going swimmingly. I have my high school annual from 1966, and there are a number of people in a row. Troy, please remember me when you’re president. I was going to do it. Then I started school in Missoula in fall of ‘66 at the University of Montana, was drafted that following spring, went to Vietnam and when I came back, I was a distinctly different person, although I was quite vividly unaware of it. Rather than going back to school, I opened a rock and roll bar up in northwest Montana.

Steve Cuden: A saloon, yeah?

Troy Evans: A saloon, yes. The Powder Keg. The reason I did that was they were lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. So on the day they dropped that drinking age, I opened my bar, the Powder Keg, and it was the only rock and roll bar for like a hundred-mile radius. It was aptly named. It was a wild experience. But it turns out that owning a bar is not a particularly good profession for an obstreperous alcoholic, which is what I was. There are always problems in saloons. Whenever there was a problem, I solved it with violence, which I’d learned in the military.

Steve Cuden: I am going to guess that you also were able to observe many characters.

Troy Evans: Yeah. I mean, it was an amazing, wonderful place, but it was extremely unhealthy for me. One colorful occasion a guy got rude with a woman in the bar, and I responded by breaking both his legs and throwing them out in the street in front of the bar. That gentleman was an attorney. So what I was accustomed to was going over and seeing the justice of the peace and getting a stern lecture and a hundred dollars fine. Instead, in this case, I got a 40-year sentence in Montana State.

Steve Cuden: Oh my goodness.

Troy Evans: Yes. Just as a little illustration for him, I assume you’re aware on some level when you’ve really been drunk—I was drunk like 24 hours a day for two or three years. You don’t sober up over the weekend. No. It takes a while for those cobwebs to clear. So about six months later, I was sitting in my cell down in Rancho Deluxe. Have you ever seen the movie Rancho Deluxe?

Steve Cuden: Yes.

Troy Evans: That’s the slang term for Montana State Prison, which was built in 1860. I’m sitting there and I went, oh my God, I bet I’m not going to be president now. So then I start thinking, well, what am I going to do? Well, I couldn’t go back in the military. I couldn’t own a bar anymore. I couldn’t be a teacher. I couldn’t be a lawyer. What the hell am I going to do? A few days later, I thought, I’ll bet nobody ever asks an actor if he’s had a felony conviction.

Steve Cuden: No. In fact, it’s a badge of honor.

Troy Evans: I sent what they call a kite in the prison system to the warden asking for a copy of Hamlet.

Steve Cuden: Wow.

Troy Evans: I still have that in my possession, stamped in the front permission to have in his cell, Hamlet. The inmate Evans permission.

Steve Cuden: Why did you choose Hamlet of all the millions of plays or Shakespeare plays. Wy that particular play?

Troy Evans: Well, it’s one I was aware of. That’s what big actors did. They did Hamlet. So let’s read that.

Steve Cuden: So it was because it was a familiar name to you?

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: That’s very interesting. Well, of course now after the bar, being in prison, even more characters.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: So you have had a crash course in all sorts of interesting humans by that time.

Troy Evans: Do you want to hear a quick prison story?

Steve Cuden: Absolutely.

Troy Evans: Okay. Two guys are in this story. One is a guy who called himself Patty Duke. I have no idea why. But everybody knew him as Patty Duke. There’s another guy named Scooter Bob Cronabush, who was what we called in the prison system, a double bad mother fucker.

Steve Cuden: Oh, man.

Troy Evans: This is in a cell block that was built in the 19th century. It’s five tiers of cells sitting inside a big cement room like you’ve seen in the old movies. A brick room with 15 feet on each side, and you just sit. It’s like a bird cage. You’re all sitting in there. Patty Duke is down on the bottom and Scooter Bob is up on tier five. About four o’clock one morning, Scooter Bob starts yelling, hey, Patty Duke. Then the time honored, he’s banging on the bars with his tin cup. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Patty Duke. So 15 minutes later, finally from down to the bottom here, this is Patty Duke. What? Scooter Bob said, Patty Duke, do you know that lie I told you yesterday, that might be the truth. To show you that I have absolutely no judgment. About 25 years ago, I was on a set with Patty Duke, and I couldn’t help myself. I told her that story at lunch. Then she stopped talking to me.

Steve Cuden: She never talked to you again. So, to be clear, the Patty Duke from prison was not the same Patty Duke from this set.

Troy Evans: Not the same Patty Duke. The real Patty Duke had no idea why this guy with that story was standing next door on his set.

Steve Cuden: She probably went home and increased her security.

Troy Evans: Right. She was quite baffled by the whole experience.

Steve Cuden: So you’ve now read Hamlet in prison. We’re going to talk about how you get onto a career here.

Troy Evans: Okay.

Steve Cuden: You read Hamlet in prison, and something must have sparked in you.

Troy Evans: Oh, yeah. As you could probably discern from what I told you earlier about my plans when I was eight years old to become president, I’ve never had any problem believing I could do whatever I decided I wanted. So once I decided I was going to be an actor, then I was just going to be an actor. To fill in a big hole in this story, there was some kind of bizarre improprieties in my sentencing. I actually had gone through an alcohol program at the Veterans Hospital. There’s a big mental hospital down in Sheridan, Wyoming, and came back and I had a deal with the prosecuting attorney to get a six-year suspended sentence, and then came in to get sentenced. Instead, the judge gave me the 40 years. Then even the prosecuting attorney objected and explained, no, he was supposed to get six years suspended. So the judge called me back and he didn’t. He said, I’m going to revise the sentence. So I sentenced the defendant to 40 years hard labor, plus six years suspended. So now I get 46 years. Well, it turns out that this guy, his name was WW Leslie, had run for office three times in Silver Bowl County, which is Butte, Montana. Tough place. All three times he’d been beaten by the same guy.

Steve Cuden: Troy Evans.

Troy Evans: Troy Evans, my grandfather.

Steve Cuden: Oh, good Lord.

Troy Evans: When I came up in front of him, he just shoved it right where the sun didn’t shine.

Steve Cuden: Oh my goodness.

Troy Evans: So because of that, the oddity in the sentencing, it went to a sentencing commission. In about two years it worked through, and they kicked me loose. So two years is a lot better than 46 years.

Steve Cuden: Gosh. I would say so.

Troy Evans: Here’s the odd thing. All that time, my family and myself, we all felt that this was just a disaster and was destroying my life. But the fact is, I’m totally convinced now that if he hadn’t sent me to prison, I’d be dead now.

Steve Cuden: That’s interesting.

Troy Evans: Because nothing else would’ve gotten the message in strongly enough that I’m one of those guys. I cannot drink. I can’t have one drink a night. I can’t have one drink a year. I can’t touch it. Now I’ve been 46 years, or 48 years sober or something like that. Since ‘72, whatever that is, 48 years.

Steve Cuden: That’s really remarkable and admirable. Of course, it’s not the purpose of the show. But I’m curious, did you do that on your own? Or did you go to AA or what did you do?

Troy Evans: Well, for a while I was going to AA. I was court ordered and that. The fact is, I’m not a meeting kind of guy. I don’t want to disparage AA in any way. It’s helped millions of people stay straight and sober. However, in my case, their basic tenant of that thing of every day I’m going to stay sober today. I just decided in the early seventies, I don’t want to make this decision every day. I don’t want to have my life be about getting up every day and going, I’m not going to drink today. I am not going to drink again. Ever. Period. If I get to where I feel that I have to have a drink, I’ll just shoot myself in the head. Because that’s a corporate trip. That freed my mind. I’ve never had to make that decision again because I know I’m not going to do that.

Steve Cuden: Well, I can tell you from just being in the business that you’ve been in all this time, that the fact that you have that kind of willpower, and that determination has stood you very well in the business. Has it? Yeah.

Troy Evans: Well, and not to belabor it too much, but I think there are a lot of people who are casual drinkers. If you stuck them in that cage up in Montana for two years, they might reconsider. That was strong medicine.

Steve Cuden: Well, in your case, it worked very well. Yeah.

Troy Evans: Then I got out, I went to school on my parole plan and went to Bozeman in the theater department. So now I’m like a 25-26-year-old military veteran, ex-con. Of course, these college theater productions, all the other guys are 18, 19-year-old guys coming in from Wolf Point. So I got lots of good casting.

Steve Cuden: Did you have a rough edge to you at that point?

Troy Evans: Oh yeah.

Steve Cuden: You had a rough edge because you’d been in the military, you’d been in Vietnam, you’d been in prison, you’d owned a bar, you’d been an alcoholic. At that point, you must have been fairly rough around the edges.

Troy Evans: Yes. In fact, I’ll jump ahead in this story just a little bit. At the end of that year, I went down to Berkeley, California, because I had an old girlfriend there on Spring Break. I saw posters for auditions for a place called Pacific Conservatory Performing Arts.

Steve Cuden: PCPA.

Troy Evans: PCPA. So I thought there were some summer theaters in Montana that were highly esteemed in those areas. I thought that I’d go to one of those theaters that summer. So I thought this was a great opportunity for me to practice my audition pieces. So I went in, you know PCPA. Do you know Donovan Marley?

Steve Cuden: I’ve never met him, but I certainly know of him.

Troy Evans: Here was this guy who completely unbeknownst to me, was a powerhouse in the theater world in California.

Steve Cuden: Big time.

Troy Evans: I was at Montana State University. I wasn’t going to go to some junior college in the summer. But I thought I’d go and try my pieces. So I did that nice speech, the opening of the matchmaker. Then I did Hot Spur from Henry Four, Part One. My Liege, I did Deny No Prisoner. That’s me, which I wish to God I had some tape of that. I’ll bet that was so over the top. I finished and there’s Donovan, and he had an accompanist with him. A guy I also know, Bruce CB. Donovan just looked at me. He said, well, that’s interesting. He said, what’s your song? I said, oh, I don’t sing. He said it doesn’t have to be a prepared song. He said, just a little happy birthday or anything, just so I can get an idea of your pitch, your timber. I said, maybe you didn’t hear me, pal. I said, I don’t sing. I looked over, and the accompanist is looking like Hitler’s in the room. But I didn’t care. I had no intention of working for this guy. Then I got back to Montana, and he sent me a contract. I was lucky I knew one guy who was teaching at Hartnell College in Salinas. So I called him, and said, this guy, Donovan Marley sent me a contract. He said, if Donovan Marley offered you a job, you have to take it. You have to take that job.

Steve Cuden: Indeed.

Troy Evans: This goes to something you mentioned earlier. My entire professional and personal life has flowed out of the three years I spent at PCPA. It was one of those magical ER, China Beach, Bosch, 1976. There was an actor in Santa Maria named Mark Harrier. He had a friend from Oregon named Eric Overmyer, who was a young playwright who came through to see the play. I met Eric there in 1976, and now, what’s this? Forty-some years later, he’s executive producer on Bosch and I’m doing a wonderful job. Crate and Barrel is just a dream at the end of my career.

Steve Cuden: I want the listeners to pay attention to what Troy just said, which is very important. I say this to my students all the time. I’ve been teaching for quite some time, and this is very important. The people who you come up with in the beginning parts of your career, frequently are the people who you remain friends with, and you should remain friends with. As their careers rise, sometimes you get dragged along into this, that, or the other thing. That can be very instrumental in the success of your career. So that’s what you’re talking about.

Troy Evans: Absolutely.

Steve Cuden: When you were at PCPA, did you work with an actor named John Daley? That was probably after your time.

Troy Evans: I don’t recall, but I’m very bad with names.

Steve Cuden: He’s been on this show. He is a dear friend of mine. He’s a journeyman actor. He has been working his whole life in theater. He’s made a career out of the theater, not out of movies or TV, which is a whole trick unto itself, isn’t it?

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: Alright, so let’s talk about some of the business parts of what you do. After you were at PCPA, you then what, started to audition for TV shows and movies and that kind of thing?

Troy Evans: Well at PCPA, one of the things that Donovan did was he hired really good directors from just what you were referring to, from the regional theaters. Like Nagel Jackson from Milwaukee Rep and Stan Bobowski from Center Stage Baltimore, and people from Seattle and people from Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Jim Dunn, who always directed the show at the Oregon Shakespeare. Those people would come in. So in the course of doing 30 or 40 shows at PCPA, I met a bunch of these people. Then I started getting jobs at Arizona and all over the country.

Steve Cuden: Stage jobs.

Troy Evans: Stage jobs, which was wonderful. Then when I didn’t have a stage job, I came back to Hollywood and bang my head into the wall there. Then when I got a theater job, I’d go do it, and I’d come back and do what they call equity waiver in LA, which is if you’re in a theater of under a hundred seats, you can work for free. Which everyone wants to do.

Steve Cuden: Everyone wants to work for free, for some strange reason. I did a lot of equity waiver theater in my time in LA. I know it well.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: So you started to do theater in LA so that you’d also be seen by casting directors.

Troy Evans: Yes. To your point, I came down here. There’s an actor named Greg Itzin. Greg Itzin was Emmy nominated as the President on 24. Wonderful actor and a really prime theater actor as well. He got me in with a group. He had been at PCPA, but he also had gone through the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and they had an active group of theater actors. They were putting on their own productions here in LA and these waiver productions. So he got me in a couple of those plays which goes to your point of not just the people directing the people sitting next to you in the green room.

Steve Cuden: Everybody.

Troy Evans: Yeah. Because he was in the play, then his agent, a guy named Dick Lovell came to see the play. Then I was able to get signed by Dick Lovell. Dick Lovell, a wonderful, amazing guy. He specialized in under-fives. I’m sure you know what an under five is. For your audience, it’s a role with five lines or less.

Steve Cuden: Exactly.

Troy Evans: I was actually making a living being the third cop through the door. Hold it. Or I was on soap as the bailiff. All rise. Two words.

Steve Cuden: But paying the bills.

Troy Evans: But you would always work. A lot of agents like to do this. They like to pitch you for a job. If you’re in the office, they’ll call somebody up and pitch you for a job to sort of show off for you. So he is trying to get me an audition with a casting director who didn’t know who I was. Dick said, oh, Troy, a stocky guy, short hair and sounds like a man talking through a duck.

Steve Cuden: Oh my God. It sounds like a man talking through a duck.

Troy Evans: Yes. I had a friend named Will Ute, who’s another one of these theater friends who was also in the Dick Lovell stable. He did that painful thing actors have to do, where he goes, he set up a meeting with Dick to explain to him he wanted to do bigger parts. He figured out the perfect way to do it. He gets in and Dick says, well, what’s on your mind, Will? Will said, well, Dick, the thing I would like you to understand is, I would like to be successful enough that I make you a millionaire. Dick said, Will, I don’t need the money.

Steve Cuden: That’s a clue.

Troy Evans: Yeah. Where do you go from there? Okay, go home.

Steve Cuden: I’m saying this as a compliment, you have a specific look. You have a certain face which you have exploited for your whole career. Not everybody’s going to have what you have and that’s something you couldn’t help. You were born with it. You have a memorable face. If you see Troy Evans once in a movie or TV show, you remember, it’s that guy.

Troy Evans: Well that’s a nice thing to say. I think of it as being the executive vice president of the Lumpy Face Guys Club. There’s that group of actors, and it’s the sad thing that this doesn’t happen now because of the Covid. But there are about 50 or 75 guys who I’ve been sort of friends with now for over 40 years, because every few weeks we go somewhere and out of that 75, there’s 12 or 15 of us in the room, and one of us is going to be the Sheriff. I call it the Lumpy Face Guys Club. There’s a funny addendum to that. A lot of the jobs I’ve done, you look at the long list on IBB, a lot of those were like one day on a movie, 32 years ago. I never saw the movie. I don’t remember the movie.

Steve Cuden: I understand the problem.

Troy Evans: But then also, I get stopped on the street and somebody will be going on about this movie. So I have to explain to him about the Lumpy Face Guys Club. I’m not trying to be rude to you, but I’m not in that movie. It’s one of these other guys. But then I’m curious. So I go home and look the movie up and no, I’m in the movie.

Steve Cuden: You’re in the movie. Well, I will tell you a related story to that, which is I’ve got 90 or so teleplay credits. Almost all of it’s in animation. You write an animation script and off it goes through the mill, and you don’t see it for another nine months or a year if you ever see it. In fact, any number of scripts that I’ve written, I’ve never seen the finished product. So people will do the same thing to me. They’ll say, oh, you wrote blah, blah, blah, and I’ll go, did I? I have to go check my credits. So I understand the problem.

Troy Evans: Yes. Right. It’s the same thing. Plus I imagine that the name may have changed three or four times. That’s also happened to me, that movies that I made, they’re out under a different name.

Steve Cuden: Different title.

Troy Evans: Yeah.

Steve Cuden: Sure. If you were on it for one day, why would you necessarily remember it? Especially if it’s not a real spectacular part of some kind.

Troy Evans: Yes. Now, do you want to hear a one-day job story?

Steve Cuden: Sure. Let’s hear a one-day job story. Because you’ve made a career out of one day jobs, although you’ve gone beyond that.

Troy Evans: This was the first movie that I was ever in. I’d done TV shows, but I got hired to be Mr. Oshkonoggin, the cheese truck driver on Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I got the job. This wouldn’t happen today. I mean, the part wasn’t actually scripted. It was like the guy with the cheese truck picks up John Candy and Steve Martin hitchhiking. There was room to ad lib. That was the part. But I met with John Hughes, which today, I mean, if you’re doing a second lead in the movie, you don’t meet with the director. You’re taped somewhere. But I go in, and he explained the situation to me. He’s picking these guys up and he makes them ride in the trailer. He won’t let them in the truck. What I remembered in that moment, there’s an old plumber’s joke, which is, it might be to you, but it’s bread and butter to me now. So he said, if you want to ad lib something. I did this little thing with John Hughes where I said, okay, I’ll give you guys a lift, I’ll let you ride in the back of the trailer back there, but you be careful back there. That might be cheese to you, but it’s bread and butter to me, pal. John Hughes thought that was wonderful. So I got hired, and Heather and I were in a little apartment in the mid-Wilshire. Our rent was $310 and we didn’t have it. Dick Lovell called me and said, they’re hiring me for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, one day a thousand dollars. At that time, I think the scale was 225. I’m thinking a thousand dollars. That’s three months’ rent. Oh my God. I was so happy about it. He called back and said, well they decided they’re going to shoot this in Buffalo, New York. I said, so I lost the job. He said, no, you’ll still do it. I’m thinking, well, how the hell am I going to get to Buffalo, New York? I was totally green. By the time I go to Buffalo, New York, I’ve spent a thousand dollars. No, they pay you for a day to go out and the day you work, and they pay you for the day to go back. Well, what do they pay me? A thousand dollars. Oh my God. So I’m like, I’m making $3,000 just to say this one line I made up. So they flew me to Buffalo, New York, and I got in a hotel. Then a teamster comes to the door with $150. I’m like, hey, I don’t know what’s going on here. I’m supposed to be getting a thousand dollars a day. He said, this is your per diem. I have no idea. I’d never heard of per diem. I didn’t know what per diem was. He explained to me, it’s your spending money. I’m like, holy shit, I get spending money. So I’m in Buffalo, New York for two weeks. Then they call me down to the production office and say we’re moving the production to Chicago. So, once again, I think I’m out of a job. So I go back to LA. They said, no, you’ll go with us. So two weeks in Buffalo, couple of weeks in Chicago, St. Louis, Missouri, Kansas City, Cleveland, Ohio, Quail Hollow, Ohio, 11 different cities. 51 freaking days. I started this movie. We didn’t have our $310 rent. When I went home, having finally said my one line in the movie, we bought a house.

Steve Cuden: Wow.

Troy Evans: Yeah. That’s when I knew I’m never leaving this business. But now the irony of that is I’ve never made that much money on any other movie. A normal movie job for me is making around six grand a week and I get five or six weeks on a movie. But I’ve never made $50,000 on another movie.

Steve Cuden: But once you’re on a TV series, that’s a different story. Right? That’s steady.

Troy Evans: Actually the only series I’ve ever been a regular on was China Beach. On ER, I was hired separately at top of show 129 times.

Steve Cuden: That’s amazing. That they wouldn’t figure out at some point, let’s get Troy in here and do a deal.

Troy Evans: Yeah. Well, they had the deal they wanted. The reason I got on ER to begin with was A. Benrubi who was playing the desk clerk, had held out for more money, and they cut him dead. So he left for a couple of years, and then they brought him back.

Steve Cuden: Meanwhile, you had established yourself.

Troy Evans: Yes. I’m sure you know what top of show is. For benefits of your listeners, that’s an amount that’s negotiated by the union. That’s what seasoned performers get instead of getting union scale, which might be 3000, they make $6,000.

Steve Cuden: It’s a higher number, and it’s sort of favored nations with the other top of show.

Troy Evans: Right. On ER, they hired me at Top of Show, but every year it goes up a little bit. But they wouldn’t even bump me up to the current, which wasn’t a lot of money. It was a matter of two or $300. Right. At the end, when I’d been there for nine years, I wasn’t making top of show anymore. The guy who came in and did one episode was making more than me because I was making what was top of show when I came on the show. This is another thing for your students. I got pretty agitated about that at some point. My wife, who’s wonderful, explained it to me. She said, Troy, you’re right. You’re getting fucked. But if you’re going to get fucked, this is the way to do it.

Steve Cuden: It beats the hell out of prison in Montana.

Troy Evans: Yes. That license plate factory paid hardly at all.

Steve Cuden: Alright. I want to ask you a couple questions about your process as an actor. You’ve auditioned many times for parts, I assume. What’s your philosophy toward auditioning? How do you look at auditions?

Troy Evans: This is actually, I believe, a phrase from George Bernard Shaw. Light and easy and steady and certain.

Steve Cuden: Nice.

Troy Evans: The other thing, and I think this has saved my life, and it’s involuntary. I don’t know if you could do this. When I leave an audition, I completely forget it.

Steve Cuden: You have to dismiss it from your mind.

Troy Evans: Just completely. I’ve had several jobs over the years where the agents have called up and said, hey, you got that movie? I’m like, what movie? They have to explain to me. Do you remember, two days ago you went in and read for. Oh, yeah. But I think it’s a defense my brain has developed that I don’t agonize over it.

Steve Cuden: Alright, so go back a half a step. What was the phrase? Nice and easy.

Troy Evans: Nice and easy, steady, and certain.

Steve Cuden: What does that mean?

Troy Evans: Light and easy. Light and easy, steady, and certain.

Steve Cuden: Got it. So what does that mean in terms of what you’re doing? You’re not putting anything on that’s stressful? Is that the idea?

Troy Evans: For one of a better way to say it. It’s just, rather than going in over the top, it’s coming in a little bit underneath it. Just let the material carry you. Don’t go in like when I was talking about auditioning with hot spirit. My Liege, I did Deny No Prisoners, but I remember. No. Take that angry scene and take it down and do My Liege, I did Deny No Prisoners, but I remember when the fight was done.

Steve Cuden: Oh, that’s very good. How long did it take you to figure that out? How many auditions or years had you been at it before you went, aha?

Troy Evans: Well the place where I really figured that out was where we started this at PCPA, where Donovan hired… the way that theater worked is he had really top-notch theater directors. Then he would hire a core of artisan residents of 12 or 15 top professional actors. Then about a hundred student actors, of which I was in that club. My first year. I was fortunate enough to recognize when I got there that some of these guys knew a lot more than I did. I went down there thinking I was the pro. Actually, you were talking about the little cuts in the road. I was so sure that I was top drawer and I was a little bit defensive about going to this junior college. I’m driving from Montana to spend the summer for $600 down in Santa Maria, California. I’m thinking, he’s got all these little buddies, and they’ll be doing the good parts. I knew that they had some actors coming from this ACT in San Francisco. So the night before I had to report to Santa Maria was also the last night of—did you ever see Ball’s Taming of the Shrew? The Commedia dell’arte came into the shrews.

Steve Cuden: I did not.

Troy Evans: It’s on film. PBS filmed it. So I knew about that. So I stopped in San Francisco, and I’ll go see what these guys think they’re doing, and went in that beautiful Geary Theater, 3,500 seat theater, packed to the gills. They started the show with the traditional 10-minute dumb show before it came to the Shrew. By the time that was over, I was so humiliated that I had thought that I could go on stage with these people. Have you ever been in that position where you’re embarrassed you think that people somehow knew what you’d been thinking? I just wanted to crawl under my chair. I was just shaking when everybody else left the theater and I was just sitting in that chair going, I can’t go down there. How do I go down there and audition in front of people like this?

Steve Cuden: You were at a very beginning part of your career.

Troy Evans: Yeah. If I hadn’t stopped there, I would’ve gone to Santa Maria with this arrogant attitude. Instead I went with completely flipped. I was well, I’ll get some spare carrier parts and I can be on stage with these guys, and I’ll learn. So I went there with the idea, I’m going to find out what these guys know.

Steve Cuden: You lay in the weeds, and you observed, and you decided to absorb the information rather than be the giver of information. You were the learner of information.

Troy Evans: Yes. That summer, I got actually really nice casting, supporting parts in three different plays, and all three of them were shoulder to shoulder. Do you know a wonderful actor named Mike Winters?

Steve Cuden: No. I don’t.

Troy Evans: Primarily a theater actor. But he’s done some television, but not a lot. He’s just a sublime actor. He lives in Seattle now. It was a master’s class, that whole summer and sort of set the stage.

Steve Cuden: You are a theatrically trained actor. You didn’t start in movies and TV. You have a solid foundation in how acting is supposed to be put together. When you receive a script, especially where you have a nice, healthy bunch of lines to say, in a day’s worth of work or a week’s worth of work, and you start to look at that script. Or if you go do your one man show, or if you’re doing a theatrical piece somewhere. What is your first step with a script? What do you do? You now have the screenplay or the play, whatever it is, aside from reading it, what’s the first thing that you do?

Troy Evans: What I do is I just read it and reread it and reread it. Particularly my scenes, I just read them over and over and let them just seep into my brain.

Steve Cuden: So is that how you memorize lines by doing that?

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: So it’s a perpetual repetition of reading, which sounds a little bit like Anthony Hopkins, who claims that he will read a script as many as a hundred times before he’s ready to actually proceed.

Troy Evans: Wow.

Steve Cuden: Yeah. That’s what he says. He will read it a hundred times. So that way he knows all the parts, he knows what everybody’s going to say and do. That’s what you do similarly. You just read and read and read so that you absorb it.

Troy Evans: Yes. That’s probably the only time in my life, anyone will ever compare me to Anthony Hopkins. I’ll take it.

Steve Cuden: Well, you’re both actors.

Troy Evans: Yep.

Steve Cuden: That’s close enough. So your preparation then is not to do some kind of deep dive and research or anything like that. It’s to read and read and read. Or do you do research? Did you have to research your first cop, or did you already know what you were doing?

Troy Evans: I had some pretty good ideas about that. When I was a young man, I was on the police athletic league boxing team up in Kalispell, Montana. It was a small town, and I’d been friends with… even while I was a convict, I had friends who were cops. Much of my career, it’s odd playing cops. I’ll tell you a little very brief little story I find amusing. I have a brother who is a wonderful gentleman. Clive Foster Evans lives up in Northwest Montana now, He spent his life in the corrections department in the state of Washington. When he retired, he was the number two or three guy in the state of Washington in their overall corrections department. Our look is very similar. Recently in a phone conversation. He said, yeah, when we go out to eat frequently people mistake me for a felon.

Steve Cuden: People think that the felons are all eating with the cops.

Troy Evans: No. They just think he looks like that guy who’s on TV who he happens to know.

Steve Cuden: They mistake him for you. Alright. So I’m curious about your experience with great directors. You’ve worked with lots and lots and lots of directors, both TV and film, and some of them spectacularly well-known and many not. What have you learned from the great directors that you are able to then use repetitively in your work? What kind of information do you gain from great direction?

Troy Evans: Ernest Dickerson, I’ve gotten to know on Bosch. I mean, there are a lot of directors I’ve worked with that I like and respect. But Ernest, his theory of how to direct a scene comes closest to my theory of how to do one. That is Ernest lets it happen. I noticed this. It’s a beautiful thing to watch because he directs almost subliminally. He’ll bring the actors in. A lot of times now with directors, they don’t even rehearse. They just sort of place people then they start rolling. He comes in and says, let’s read through it. He’ll just have us go through it two or three times.

As that happens, people naturally and organically move where they would be if they were talking to that person and it starts to take its own shape as opposed to him saying, you’re coming in from the hallway and Troy just be here in this chair, then when he gets to there, you stand up. He just lets that create itself.

Steve Cuden: So he hasn’t staged anything first. He’s letting you sort of dictate a bit of the staging, if not most of it.

Troy Evans: Right. He has an overall understanding of the scene. If something isn’t really working, he’ll say, let’s try this. Instead of being there, come from here. But he lets it have its own life to begin with.

Steve Cuden: Does he wait till he’s done that before he places cameras? Or does he place the cameras—

Troy Evans: Oh, yeah.

Steve Cuden: He waits until he’s done that first.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: Then the cameras come in because he knows where he wants to put the camera at that point.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: That’s a very interesting way to do it. So what you learned from him, I’m assuming, is to let the actors organically find it.

Troy Evans: Yes. It’s not a lengthy process. You’re working with good actors. We understand. The difference of the tenor. If I’m shouting at somebody, I don’t have to be right up next to them. But if I’m talking to Titus and I have an aside to my partner Crate, there’s certain things that are dictated by the script, and if you just do a loose rehearsal like that, it’ll reveal itself.

Steve Cuden: I imagine it’s also quite helpful when you’ve been on a series for a while, and you know each other intimately in terms of what you’re going to do.

Troy Evans: Very much so.

Steve Cuden: So when you’re on a show and you have a nice part, but you’re only time on the show is that episode. You are having to step onto their moving train, and you’ve got to figure out how they work.

Troy Evans: That’s right. Depending on the show that can be a problem.

Steve Cuden: So I want to get to the opposite question, which is, you go onto a show and don’t name any names, and either the director is not doing a great job or is not paying any attention to you at all, or you are getting direction you’re confused by or doesn’t make any sense, or something like that. What do you do? How do you handle it? What’s your methodology for solving that issue?

Troy Evans: It actually hasn’t happened very often.

Steve Cuden: Well, that’s good to know.

Troy Evans: In the cases where it has, what generally works for me is, is what works for teenagers. Which is I totally agree with the director, and then do what I want and usually he likes it. I’ve actually gone so far as to have something I want to do, and I’ll go to him and say, your suggestion that I start this on the other side of the door is really good. That’s what I’m going to do. They’ve never made any such suggestion, but since I’m agreeing with them, they go with it.

Steve Cuden: It’s a little bit like, you’d rather ask forgiveness than permission. You’re going to just do what you are going to do, even though you’ve now agreed wholeheartedly with the direction that you didn’t understand or doesn’t work for you.

Troy Evans: Right.

Steve Cuden: Nine times, if not higher, 99 out of a hundred times, they go, that’s great. Move on.

Troy Evans: Yes. Because all they want is for the scene to work.

Steve Cuden: Sure.

Troy Evans: If the scene’s working, then they’re—

Steve Cuden: My assumption is it’s pretty rare in your career at this point for you to be on a stage with actors who don’t know what they’re doing. You’re working with really seasoned professionals almost all the time.

Troy Evans: Have you been watching Bosch? Have you seen Bosch?

Steve Cuden: I’ve seen a couple episodes, but I have not been watching it regularly.

Troy Evans: Okay. Well, ER was one thing. I went through the other day. I got on IMDB and started going through the actors who were on IMDB. It’s pretty much a list of the membership of the Screen Actors Guild. If you had a card, you were on ER at some point.

Steve Cuden: It was one of those shows that had millions of people on it.

Troy Evans: They didn’t allow any duplication. You couldn’t be the cab driver this year and two years later you come back and you’re the guy who fell down on the sidewalk.

Steve Cuden: A big ensemble show. Lots of different scenes, different people.

Troy Evans: 99% of the time, the cast was really good. Where I’m going with this is, this show Bosch, it’s just amazing. Every single actor is just aces.

Steve Cuden: Top drawer.

Troy Evans: The guys you’re talking about who come in and they just have one day, they’re great. Do you know Jamie Hector from The Wire and he plays Bosch’s partner. Oh my God, he’s a great actor.

Steve Cuden: How helpful is that to you as an actor to have great actors opposite you?

Troy Evans: Well, it’s enormous. Everybody rises, the better it gets. Titus is a very generous actor, possibly the best number one on a call sheet—I’ve ever been around for that—in terms of working with the other actors, not working above the other actors. He comes in there as the actor who’s playing Bosch.

Steve Cuden: Right.

Troy Evans: Not as the king of the world.

Steve Cuden: Well, he’s been around for a long time too.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: He’s what I think of as smooth. He’s a really smooth actor.

Troy Evans: Yes. He’s very meticulous.

Steve Cuden: What do you mean? In what way?

Troy Evans: I mean, probably more so than I am. He has really thought about everything in every scene. So his choices are all based on some thought process.

Steve Cuden: It’s not random or willy-nilly. He’s really thought through what he’s going to do.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: Then I’m assuming, this is an assumption on my part totally, that the classic sense of being in the moment comes from being that well prepared.

Troy Evans: Yes. Absolutely. Because he’s totally comfortable in it. There’s another way that that benefits the show without anybody from the pilot on, without anyone having to say it. It was clear if the guy who has pages and pages of dialogue comes in at six o’clock in the morning and he’s got it, and he’s ready to go, and the first take is good, you better not drag your tired ass in there with three lines and not be able to do them.

Steve Cuden: No kidding.

Troy Evans: You better come ready.

Steve Cuden: No kidding.

Troy Evans: That’s a crew to the show. Everybody is on board.

Steve Cuden: The movie business. One of the key phrases is time is money. You don’t want anybody to drag that down because it gets super expensive, and people get ticked off. So you have to know your stuff. The legend of all legends, of course, is Clint Eastwood sets in which you better know your lines when you walk in the door or you’re in big trouble.

Troy Evans: Right.

Steve Cuden: He expects you to know it and have it. There’s no question about it.

Troy Evans: Have you seen that clip of Tom Hanks talking about Eastwood?

Steve Cuden: As Sullenberger?

Troy Evans: Yes. He says that for one thing, Eastwood doesn’t say action.

Steve Cuden: No.

Troy Evans: He goes, well, go on. Then they’ll go on and they’ll do the scene. Then East would say, that’s enough of that.

Steve Cuden: That’s it. He never says action or cut. The story goes that he learned that doing Rawhide, when they would yell action, the horses would bolt. So that’s why he never does it. He always says, okay, whenever you’re ready, or that’s enough of that shit. He just moves on from there. So I’m curious, we’re talking about set life. You’ve been on tons of sets. What is it about sets that you find appealing?

Troy Evans: The camaraderie. The sense of being surrounded by… it isn’t just the cast, I love the crews. I love being there and seeing all those people who were so good at their job.

Steve Cuden: No kidding.

Troy Evans: I’ll give you another example from Bosch. A small one of it. When we did the pilot, we shot in the Hollywood Police station.

Steve Cuden: Okay. On Wilcox, that police station?

Troy Evans: Yes. Then we came back to do season one. We were down on Red Studios, which is down near Melrose and Vine, down there. It was Chaplain Studios, and then it was Desilu Studios. Now it’s Red Studios. Red is a camera company.

Steve Cuden: Yes.

Troy Evans: My understanding is the people who shoot on that lot get a break on the cost of the lot and the cost of the cameras.

Steve Cuden: Well, there you go.

Troy Evans: They built that police station. The detective’s room. It was so perfect that we had some cops come in to visit, and one of the cops started to faint, to frazzle out, because he knew he wasn’t at Hollywood Police Station, but he was at Hollywood Police Station. He started to fall. Really? Because it was like, wait a minute. That thing where you suddenly don’t know what’s going on. Down to the post-it’s on the wall. Everything was duplicated. That’s just an example of the high level of skill of the crew.

Steve Cuden: He was having a slight out of body experience of some sort.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: So sets are also notoriously distracting places. There’s a lot of activity between shots and there’s a lot going on, and things can be very distracting. What do you do to remain focused? What kind of technique do you use to stay where you need to be?

Troy Evans: Simply just focus on my own business and focus on what I’m supposed to be focused on, and let other people focus on the work they’re doing. It links to something else. I know you’re a teacher, and I know you’ve taught this, and I just want to reinforce it. The most important thing you can do is listen.

Steve Cuden: Oh, that’s everything.

Troy Evans: You have to listen. I’ve got a couple of things I want to say about that. Number one, this actor that I mentioned this, Jamie Hector. I have an expression. I say nobody listens like Jamie listens. Onset or offset. If you start talking to Jamie Hector, he listens to you with such intensity, he starts to suck your body into his brain. It’s not an act. It’s like if he’s taking the time to listen, he’s going to listen. Playing this cop, it works so beautifully. It reminds me of the best thing anyone has ever said to me about acting. The great Charles Durning, who I never had the opportunity to work with, but we were friendly because we’re both infantry veterans. He said, if you ain’t listening, ain’t nobody listening.

Steve Cuden: Yeah. That’s right. That’s right.

Troy Evans: Isn’t that fantastic?

Steve Cuden: That’s a spectacular quote. People conflate the two words, hearing and listening. Hearing is automatic. If you’re not deaf, which most people are not, you hear whether you want to hear or not. Things are coming at you and you’re hearing it. But listening is an action. You actively have to listen. The great actors are great listeners.

Troy Evans: Absolutely. Yeah. I don’t think it’s possible to be even a good actor if you’re not a listener.

Steve Cuden: I think without it, there is nothing. I think Charles Dunning’s quote is extremely apt and very good. Alright, so I’m curious. Do you prefer to work in movies, TV, or the stage? Do you prefer to work on the stage? Is it more fun for you in a way, or is it harder? What are the big differences for you between stage and film acting?

Troy Evans: I went through a change on this. I grew up as a stage actor, and most stage actors will tell you that they would far prefer to do the stage. I felt that way for quite a while. Then that gradually shifted. Now I haven’t really done a play for at least 25 years.

Steve Cuden: Oh, wow.

Troy Evans: There are a couple reasons for that.

Steve Cuden: Money.

Troy Evans: Yeah. I do this, I do this for a living. Number two, when I show up on a TV or a movie set, 99% of the time, the cast and crew and director assume that I know what I’m doing, and they allow me space to do that job, maybe with a suggestion here or there. I get to go in and basically fulfill what my vision was of that part 99% of the time. In the theater, it doesn’t matter how seasoned you are from day one, the director thinks it’s his job to pick you apart every day and give you a mountain of notes and suggest, well, let’s just try this. You’ve got six weeks of coming and doing it this way and doing it that way. He gives you a bunch of notes and you go home that night and you come back the next day and do what he asked you to do. Now he thinks that it’s stupid and it’s somehow your fault and I just got tired of it. I would much rather go to the set, do the job, and come home and be done with.

Steve Cuden: You want to be treated like a professional in that way. You know what you’re doing.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: They’ve hired you for a reason. It’s because you’re you.

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: You are the best you that there is. There’s no other you like you.

Troy Evans: Yeah. That sort of boils it down. So I doubt that I’ll ever do another play. I’m full of admiration for my actor friends who still do it and love doing it, but it’s not for me.

Steve Cuden: Alright. So my imagination tells me with all of your credits that you have not spent a ton of your career without work. Though, right now, we’re having this conversation in the time of Covid, and my assumption is that you’ve had a little bit of downtime, but this was in forced downtime. It wasn’t because your career was on pause, it was because the whole industry was on pause. I’m curious about what your philosophy is to being between jobs. How do you handle between gigs?

Troy Evans: Well, it’s gotten much easier as I’ve gotten older and I have a little bit of financial security. I think when I was younger, as a general rule, I worked steadily over the last 40 years. But there were probably a couple of different years where I had a year where I didn’t work.

Steve Cuden: How did you handle that? How did you psychologically handle it? What did you do to keep your chops up? What did you do?

Troy Evans: That’s kind of a fuzzy memory now, but I’m pretty sure that then the only thing I really had that I could do in those days was go do a play. Get in an equity waiver play or leave town. Go to Arizona and do a play. Reach out to one of those people. Then that’s how we survived. It’s a funny thing. This is something that young actors will learn on their own eventually. There’s no way to put a science to it. During that nine years I was on ER, I do 10 or 11 episodes of ER every year, but I was still getting three or four or five other jobs each of those years. I’d go out. Then ER ended. So I thought, well, we’re going to have to tighten the bill a little bit here, because I’m going to have to live on that handful of other jobs. When ER ended, those jobs stopped too. So I had like three years in the early part of this century, 2009 to on through 12-13, something like that, where I just didn’t work at all. But I was retirement age. I had residual income coming in. I just figured, well, it’s the end of my career. Then out of the blue Bosch pops up, and now I’ve done 60 episodes of Bosch.

Steve Cuden: This is six years now, seven years.

Troy Evans: We’re working on season seven. By the way, you made references. We just finished a week ago, episode four, and then Tuesday I was supposed to work on episode five, and they shut down because somebody—

Steve Cuden: Got sick.

Troy Evans: Somebody went to a Halloween party and got Covid. I don’t know who. Some actor.

Steve Cuden: I still have lots of friends in both the movie and TV industry and in the theater. The theater’s really in trouble because nobody’s doing theater. At least you’re able to sort of do some set work. But theater is shut down and it’s really frustrating for a lot of people. So you don’t do anything special anymore in terms of studies or acting classes or anything like that?

Troy Evans: No. I’ll tell you what my life is. First of all, I love telling people this. My wife is a blacksmith.

Steve Cuden: Tell everybody who your wife is.

Troy Evans: My wife is Heather Ann McClarty. Her website is steelcrazy.biz. I thought of the name. I’m very proud of it. Steel crazy after all these years.

Steve Cuden: After all these years.

Troy Evans: Steel crazy dot B-I-Z. You’ll see she does beautiful, handcrafted metal work. We were talking about the way your theater life affects you and the people you meet. I met her in Santa Maria, 1978. She was in the prop shop, and we’ve been together for 42 years now.

Steve Cuden: Well, again, it’s that the links in the chain of life, and you don’t really understand it until you get down the road aways and are able to look back and see how one link is attached to the next link. But for a long time, in the beginning part of your life and career, you’re just going. Then suddenly you realize there are connections to everything, and it becomes a beautiful thing to look back and see how it all sort of stepping stoned its way toward a whole life and a career.

Troy Evans: Yeah. Oh yeah. It’s just amazing. I’m in contact every day with people from my earliest theater days.

Steve Cuden: We’re back to that lesson, which I think is still… We’ve already said it once, but it is valuable to repeat it. It’s very important that you be nice to the people on the way up. That’s the old phrase. Be nice to everyone on the way up so that you are still seeing them on the way back down and that they help you make your career grow.

Troy Evans: Yes. I just want to reinforce you because what you have said is almost verbatim. I remember that first day, I sat down in the theater in Santa Maria in 1976, and this guy, Donovan Marley got up and there’s 250 people sitting in that theater. He was addressing us as the company assembled for that summer. He said, this is where you will meet the people who will affect your career for the rest of your life.

Steve Cuden: A hundred percent.

Troy Evans: He said, they’re not up here with me. They’re sitting on your left and on your right.

Steve Cuden: Right. He proved to be correct, didn’t he?

Troy Evans: Yeah. By the way, I’m still in contact with him. He’s just a wonderful human being. The list of people who went through his program and went on to greatness, it’s pretty amazing.

Steve Cuden: Well, one person, one teacher, one director can influence a huge number of people.

Troy Evans: Yes, absolutely.

Steve Cuden: It’s amazing when that happens. We’ve heard all these great stories. So I hope you have one more for us. Something that has happened to you in your career. Can you share anything that was either strange, weird, quirky, offbeat, or just plain funny? Not that we haven’t already heard a bunch of that.

Troy Evans: I’ll tell you one from back early in my career. I just started working in Hollywood. My sister who lived up in Seattle, my older sister Lexi, came down to visit Heather and I. We picked her up at Burbank Airport in my 1950 Studebaker. It was a beauty. We went to Old Town Pasadena directly from the airport. Because that was a nice area with outdoor restaurants and stuff where we could go. I wanted to give my sister the best experience that I could on her visit down here. We got out of the car and as I was putting money in the meter an eight or 9-year-old girl came running up to me with a piece of paper and asked me if I’d sign it. It was so right there in front of my big sister and my wife. I took it and I wanted to write something on it for her. I said, I’m curious. Do you know me from Hannah Montana? She said, I’m on a scavenger hunt and I need a signature from somebody over 200 pounds. Now that’s a deflated ego right there, I’ll tell you.

Steve Cuden: Well, so much for you impressing your sister. That’s hilarious.

Troy Evans: It’s wonderful, isn’t it? I have to tell, then my interest was piqued. I said I’m happy to sign it for you. I said, how much do you think I weigh? She said, 201 pounds. So she’s probably at the UN now.

Steve Cuden: I assume you do get stopped on the street more than a few times, don’t you?

Troy Evans: Yes.

Steve Cuden: People recognize you.

Troy Evans: As one of my friends says, Troy talks to people. I love that, if somebody wants to take the time. I’ll tell you another little story. I came out of the cafe that’s about a mile from us down on North Figueroa here in Highland Park, part of LA. I’m generally pretty nice to homeless people. There was a guy out there, and he was one of those guys who was so filthy that you couldn’t tell what his race was. He was just this mess, and he had a cart full of just trash. He smelled so God awful. I couldn’t even go near him to give him a dollar or something. I felt terrible. He’s calling to me and I turned. I’m walking away, and he started yelling, hey, hey, hey, hey, please, hey. So I stopped. I turned around and I said what is it, pal? He said, why did Noah Wyle leave ER? I’m going, where does this guy watch TV? Oh my God.

Steve Cuden: And expects you to know the answer to all that. Thats hilarious.

Troy Evans: Yeah.

Steve Cuden: Alright, last question for you today, Troy. You’ve already shared bunches of this too. Can you lend for those who are starting out in the business or maybe are in a little bit, trying to get to the next level, a solid piece of advice or a tip that they can take with them?

Troy Evans: Yeah. Well, this might be helpful. I think it’s important to remember—and I’ve told myself this a number of times—nobody else ever got my job. If Dick really got it, if Mike Winters got it, Mike Reagan got it. It’s their job. They didn’t take anything from me. That wasn’t my job. No matter how much I wanted it, it’s their job. So move on and find my job.

Steve Cuden: That is such solid advice, because a lot of the job that you do is psychologically not worrying about the fact that you didn’t get the gig.

Troy Evans: Right. Do you have time? Do you want to hear a little story about an audition?

Steve Cuden: Absolutely.

Troy Evans: This is going back maybe 20 years, and I got an audition for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was for this spectacular part. He was a 500 pound, 6,000-year-old lizard man. Someone had put a curse on him thousands of years ago and turned him into this hideous lizard, and he’d spent all his time planning the destruction of the earth in vengeance. The part was Shakespearean. He had a magnificent rage about him. I really wanted the part and I really worked on it. I can do rage.

Steve Cuden: No doubt.

Troy Evans: So I got over to the audition, and I’m always a little early. I go in and the casting director came in and stopped and said, oh, Troy, I’m so glad you could make it. I’ve tried to get you in and you’re always so busy. Then this part came up and they called, and they said, you could come in. Oh, I’m so excited to see you. Well, that’s pretty nice. Then this other guy comes by, and he stops. He says, I don’t know if you remember me, but I directed an episode of China Beach and so glad to see you’re auditioning and look forward to. So he goes in and I’m still working on a thing. Then three guys come by and he said, you don’t know us, but we worked on, Life Goes On. We’ve always just loved you so much and look forward to. Holy shit. Then they go in the room, and then it’s about 45 minutes, nothing happens. Meanwhile the Green Room is filling up with actors. There’s about 30 or 40 actors in there, and they’re not seeing anybody. Then they came out, they said, Troy and I went in, and they said, Troy, we’re so sorry that we took so long, but we got in here. We started telling Troy Evans stories, and we just got carried away. We’ve been laughing. So I told a couple of stories. As you can tell, I’ve got a couple of stories. We’re laughing, and then I do my audition, and it’s the rage scene. Do you know those carnival rides where you stand against the wall and the thing spins, and the floor drops out?

Steve Cuden: Sure.

Troy Evans: It was like that. Watch those people in the room as I’m doing this, and they’re just like pinned back against the wall. I finish and everybody hugs all around and going. I never assumed I have the job. I leave and forget about it. But in this case, I couldn’t imagine that I didn’t have the job. That never entered my brain. Usually, you audition in the morning, and then by four or five that afternoon… The offers didn’t come the next day. Now I’m thinking, well, maybe they pushed the episode back or something. Another thing I do not do, I don’t call the agent if I don’t get a job. I don’t call the agent, say, find out why I didn’t get that, whatever it was. Why would I want my agent calling up a casting or say, well, he stunk up the room. He came and his audition was terrible. There’s reasons, a reason they didn’t hire. But in this case, I called and said, could you just check on that Buffy and see what’s going on with that? He called me back about 10 minutes later. He said, Troy, the 5,000-year-old lizard man. I said, yeah. He said, they loved you, but the executive producer felt they needed to go a little younger. 5,000-years-old. I was too old. Too old. True story.

Steve Cuden: That’s a great Hollywood story, because that happens to so many people where they think they’ve got whatever, and they find out they didn’t get it, which they were perfect for anyway. That’s hilarious.

Troy Evans: Oh, yeah.

Steve Cuden: Troy Evans, this has been just so much fun on StoryBeat today. I can’t thank you enough for coming on the show and sharing all these wonderful stories.

Troy Evans: Oh, my honor to be here. You are so good.

Steve Cuden: Well, thank you.

Troy Evans: I feel like I’ve talked to an old friend for an hour. Actually, I feel like I’ve talked to an old friend for 10 minutes.

Steve Cuden: Well, they’re going to cast somebody younger.

Troy Evans: Yes. That would be a hoot. Go to listen to it. You’ve dubbed in Macaulay Culkin.

Steve Cuden: Is he available?

Troy Evans: Yes. But you have to make him talk through a duck.

Steve Cuden: To quote Groucho Marx, or actually Chico Marks. Why a duck?

Troy Evans: Yes. Why a duck?

Steve Cuden: Troy, thank you so much.

Troy Evans: Oh, thanks. Have a beautiful day.

Steve Cuden: So we’ve come to the end of today’s StoryBeat. If you like this podcast, please take a moment to give us a rating or review on whatever app or platform you’re listening to. Your support helps us bring more great StoryBeat episodes to you. Until next time, I’m Steve Cuden and may all your stories be unforgettable.

Executive Producer: Steve Cuden, Producer: Casey Georgi, Announcer: Javier Grajeda
Social Media: Mina Hoffman, Design & Marketing: Holly Reed, Reed Creative Group


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