If you saw “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, you (hopefully) roared at Melissa McCarthy’s spot-on skewering of Sean Spicer. (“I know they’re not ‘holocaust centers.’ I clearly meant to say ‘concentration clubs.'”)
Drew Angus had a front-row seat to the show.
In fact, even better: The 2007 Staples High School graduate — a talented musician and “American Idol” golden ticket winner — was on stage.
Let him tell the story:
I got a call from my voice coach at 2:09 last Thursday afternoon. He asked, “are you in town right now? SNL gig. They need 2 white guys who can sing. Giving your phone number to them right now.”
Two minutes later the drummer from the band Shawn called, and asked how quickly I could get to 30 Rock.
I got there fast. How often does an opportunity like this come around?!
At guest check in they said, “Oh, Mr. Angus, right this way!” I went up the elevator, down the hall and through the doors to the Studio 8H set. I was living a childhood dream.
Immediately I saw the iconic Grand Central Station facade/bandstand behind all the hanging lights, moving scenery pieces, cameras, cables and crew.
They put me right on the scene. My friend Ian, who also got called, taught me the song we were to sing. (We were hired to reinforce the melody with the cast.)
A kid named Harry introduced himself. I looked at the script, and realized he was Harry Styles.
Jimmy Fallon sat in front of me. Bobby Moynihan stood next to me. It seemed unreal. I’d gone from Head Mouse in “The Wiz” to Union soldier on SNL.
We rehearsed the sketch 5 or 6 times, then got sent to wardrobe. We were measured up, and on our way in an hour and a half.
Shawn called again, asking if I could come in at 8:30 the next night to do another thing for the opening monologue. I canceled my Friday gig
Of course, there’s another Westport connection.
I showed up Friday night to sing background vocals in the booth on Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” during the opening monologue. My friend Ian got the same call, along with a guy named Frank Simms.
Frank has done SNL hundreds of times. He knows the ropes, and everyone knows him. He was our shepherd for the night.
Frank and his brother sang the backing vocals on the original “Let’s Dance” record, produced by Nile Rogers — who has lived in Westport for years.
Frank said he, his wife and daughter lived for many years as caretakers of the Westport Woman’s Club house on Imperial Avenue.
Saturday was long. Call time was 11:30 a.m. Rumors of Nile Rogers playing on the opening monologue came true when he showed up in the afternoon.
We went through rehearsals, they cut sketches, we got wardrobe. Jimmy told me to break a leg as we passed in the hallway.
The food was amazing. The crew was awesome.
At 8 p.m. we did dress rehearsal with a test audience. The producers then met for final changes.
We went live at 11:30 across the country — for the very first time in SNL history — with Jimmy Fallon as host.
The energy was truly electric. I think the cast really has as much fun as it looks like they do.
At some point between the dress and live shows, Frank took us up to Nile’s dressing room. We talked about Sally’s Place, Trader Joe’s, Achorn Pharmacy, Bobby Q’s, Bedford Square, Arnie’s Place, and how all the mom and pop shops are gone from Main Street.
Then they called Nile down to the stage and we left.
It was insane. I still have no words. Tina Fey smiled at me in the hall.
It will be hard to top that weekend.
Thanks, Drew, for that great inside look into SNL. But I disagree with your last sentence.
One day soon, you’ll be a featured artist — or guest host!
Meanwhile, click below for the full video of Drew’s “SNL” appearance: