The Emmy season is upon us and let me tell you, I won’t be getting much sleep. My publicist promised to wake me if I get the nod, but I’m not taking any chances on sleeping through the moment I’ve been waiting for my whole career. I’m pulling an all nighter. Do I think it will happen? Well let me quote one piece of fan mail that I received this week.
“Dear Mr. Chase. My wife and I cannot wait to see you pick up that little winged angel on September 16th for your stellar work on our favorite show, ‘The Five Towns.’ We both felt you were robbed when you didn’t win in 1998 when it went to Andre Braugher and again we felt you deserved it in 2002 when it went to Michael Chiklis.”
The truth is I wasn’t nominated either of those years — in fact I’ve never been nominated, but I think that the Coulters from Tallahassee and I share the same feeling: I goddamn well should have been.
Well let’s hope the TV Academy makes up for past injustices, because being a working actor is nice, but being an Emmy nominee, well that would change everything. Being a nominee would mean never again going back East and having people say, “How you doing?” as though I’m a cancer survivor. They’ll know how I’m doing. They’ll know I’m an Emmy nominee. ‘Cause they can cancel your series and they can let your SAG health insurance expire, but they can never take away that nomination certificate.
And to win … Well some would say that’s gravy, but if I get the nom, let’s just say going home without the trophy would make the whole evening a complete bust. I have dreams that are so vivid of heading up onto that stage, I can taste the hot presenter’s perfume when she kisses me and whispers in my ear, “Congrats, call me.” I can see all my peers’ faces when I shout, “Ha! Tonight I won. Tonight I’m the winner. Tonight ma, you don’t need to cry for your baby.”
To look into the faces of a live audience as the theatrically trained actor I am and make a connection that I haven’t had since my last theater run as Danny Zuko’s little brother in the Off Off Broadway production of ‘Grease 2.’ Oh how I would bring tears to their eyes as I selflessly would share the painful journey it took to get there and the people who helped and hindered me along the way.
Come Sept. 16, this could be my reality. But for now, for me and so many others, we continue to wait. An actor keeps his emotions close to the surface to more readily share them with his audience. But at times like these I almost wish I could bury them down just a little.
Chase’s younger brother Vinnie’s film career has skyrocketed with James Cameron’s “Aquaman.” Johnny appears on TV.