Saturday, May 10, 2008

"The Hollywood Quad" is ready for his close-up

Jim Troesh and his producer, Tasha Hardy

Jim Troesh, the quadriplegic actor best known for playing the disabled attorney on TV's "Highway to Heaven" starring Michael Landon, is producing, directing and starring in his semi-autobiographical TV pilot called "The Hollywood Quad."

The pilot, which also stars Bryan Cranston of "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Breaking Bad," screened for the industry in March. Troesh says in his press information, that as an actor/writer/director with a disability, he's learned to use comedy to show his truth, how he succeeds in a world where glitz is often chosen over substance.

The comedy is based on Troesh's popular podcast "The Hollywood Quad," that has received nearly 100,000 views, and chronicles his journey toward success in Tinseltown.

"Quadriplegic is a scary word, " Troesh says. "The tension is palpable the moment I roll in an executive's office. They wonder if I can do the job, if I can work long hours. They're worried they might say or do the wrong thing. I found out early on that the best way to disarm their initial qualms is to make them laugh. Everything changes once they get to know me.

"By producing my own pilot and putting it on the desks of every show runner in town, it answers all their questions before they ever ask. Plus it gives them an opportunity to get to know me before they meet me."

The pilot finds Troesh playing himself in a Seinfeld-esque story that opens with his girlfriend (Cali Ross) walking out after catching him partying with bikini models after a promo he shot.

It concludes with Troesh at a pitch meeting with Burton Melrose (Cranston), a network executive who makes every possible disability faux pas in interacting him. Troesh breaks the fourth wall by talking to the camera and pitches his idea for a sitcom called "The Hollywood Quad" describing the episode just seen … playing all the characters in costume -- including the bikini models!