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It was the year 2000, I’d already filmed the Gilmore pilot in Toronto and I was looking for another job. Remember - I was but a guest star in the pilot and once my duties were fulfilled, I was a free agent all over again, released back into the Hollywood jungle to hunt down another opportunity to work my craft and get paid for it. 

When I started studying in New York I never dreamed I’d ever get paid. Slogging away in one off-off Broadway play after another and loving every minute of it, I never thought for a minute that anyone would fork over substantial sums for my services. It wasn’t why I entered the profession and it never really crossed my mind. I just wanted to be great at it. I’d gotten a late start learning the “techniques” of the craft of acting, but I had built an incredible and varied library of life experience while still in my early twenties, so I thought I had something to give, express, emote. I went through repetition classes at Carnegie Hall with one of my all-time favorite actresses who happened to star in my all-time favorite TV series – “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”. It was like a Phillip Roth novel on TV with a female lead. Utterly fascinating expose on the subjugation, alienation and the silent suffering of the American housewife in the modern age. It was all in one a Beckett play, Theatre of the Absurd-ists rubbing elbows with Walmart. I could not take my eyes off it and, to me, Louise Lasser was a miracle and doing things in front of a camera on a level I’d never seen before. Remarkable show.

Anyway, there is a little theater space upstairs at Carnegie Hall where classes where held and there I was sitting behind Louise, completely in awe to the point where I couldn’t even muster a “hello” or a “I loved you in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”. Nothing. Clammed up. For those who have no idea what repetition in an acting sense is I will explain it thusly; the teacher brings two students onto the stage who face each other four to five feet apart. You are then instructed to simply observe the other person - their clothes, face, eyes, etc. Feel them. Take it all in. Almost try and read their mind, if you will. But the thing is you are not supposed to speak until you are compelled to speak. For example, a lot of the speaking starts off “You’re wearing a blue shirt”, then you repeat “I’m wearing a blue shirt”, and back and forth and away we go into uncontrolled laughter, rage, tears, anything that comes up. It’s an observational exercise that trains you to be open and accessible to the other actor and to yourself. It’s about not judging, not editing yourself and accessibility to an emotional life. That’s the simple explanation. It gets way more complex but for now you get the drift. Let’s just say repetition classes breed fireworks of emotions and it can be pretty thrilling. 

On that particular day I had had a big breakthrough during my repetition exercise and after it was complete, I sat back down behind Louise. It was a big, emotional, explosive exercise with a very dynamic actress and the air was a-crackling. Louise then turned around and in that very distinctive voice that I fell in love with only a few years before and said “You’re going to get everything you want”, and smiled. I was floored. Absolutely gobsmacked floored. 

Now, back to the year 2000, Gilmore pilot in the can, I’m back in LA hustling for work. Now, one thing was going on that made life pretty exciting at that point and that was Warner Brothers had made contact and offered an additional two shows. After some back and forth it was decided that I would turn down that opportunity. Here I was back in LA, beating down doors to get work and I am saying no to two shows, some money, some exposure. No sane person would do that - say no to one of the biggest studios in the world. Along with a very sick feeling that washes over you after getting off the phone with the manager informing you that they have officially passed on the offer comes a somewhat comforting sense of power. I rationalized it by thinking “Big stars do this all the time. They get calls from their power agents who tell them they passed on the Universal offer for the franchise, three picture deal. "25 million and 5% of all ancillary is just an insult so I passed. I mean, who do they think they’re dealing with?”

Can you imagine ever turning down that deal? I can’t, but people actually do this every day out here. They say no. Sometimes it works and the offer improves and everyone holds hands and skips in unison to the bank. Most often it does not work. In the annals of Hollywood there is story after story of how this actress or actor was offered the biggest and best role of the decade and they turned it down only to end up on a tv series at forty, the luster gone. It happened to a friend of mine. He turned down what ended up being a very prestigious role in a very prestigious film that launched the career of a current superstar box office king of the universe. My buddy never recovered from that and, what’s more, his reputation took a major hit when word got around town that he didn’t have the foresight to grab the role of the decade. You want to know the reason he said no? It was because the money wasn’t good enough. The guy who said yes, Mr. 2nd or 3rd choice, is now worth 500 hundred million dollars. 

So, yeah, I said no. Then I sat in my little studio apartment basking in that decision for all intents and purposes. A big, lonely no had been issues to Warners. 

A few days later the manager called and said the following, “They came back with a better offer. Four shows. I don’t like it. They know you and LG have chemistry and they are just testing us. I’m going to say no with your approval.” 

Again, I approved the no. Silence. Shock. I kept thinking of my buddy. I dialed his number and then hung up. Didn’t want to remind him of his decision that will go down as the single costliest decision in the history of Hollywood. 

I put on my running clothes and took a long jog down Fountain Ave towards Beverly Hills. Once you get out of West Hollywood and hit the Beverly Hills border there is actual grass to run on all the way up Santa Monica Blvd to the Beverly Hilton, where all the awards shows are held that I’ll never be a part of because I keep saying “no” to the major studios who want to give me work. 

So, I ran and ran and ran. The lonely runner who says no.

Letting go is hard but liberating. After about a week I’d settled back into my groove of auditioning for tv and film. I had become a good audition-er, if that’s a word. Auditioning isn’t acting. Auditioning is gunslinging. It’s psychological warfare and I was getting good at it (this is another blog for another time, but it’s coming). I had just returned from another run and my phone rang. It was the manager. She sounded not angry but a bit cryptic “You’re meeting me for lunch in one hour at that French cafe on Doheny. We have to talk.”

This was it. She was going to fire me over lunch. I wasn’t booking enough jobs and I was being let go. After all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears it was over before it started. I could now call my buddy and say “Well, pardner, saddle up another mule because I can now join you on that dank, dusty road on the way to Loserville”. Yep, it was all over. I showered, dressed, cranked up my old Toyota 4x4 and steered towards my execution.

When I arrived, she greeted me with her usual smile and brief hug and as I soon as we sat down I started in “Look, I know i haven’t been booking the way I should but I don’t think you should let me go because I am very hard working, dedicated to the craft, everything I need to do I do to give myself the best chance at…..” She stopped me dead, “What are you talking about?” She smiled and then handed me a large manila envelope. “Open it.” 

I opened it, pulled out the thick, stapled pages and on the top of the cover sheet it read “Warner Brothers………” I read the first few paragraphs and stopped, looked up at her smiling face and said “Holy f—ing s—t! I just stared at her and she kept smiling back at me.

Getting a six year, multiple seven figure deal from Warner Brothers is not something I had ever expected to get at this particular lunch but there it all was, right in front of me. My future - and a really good one - came in the form of a nice little lunch at an outdoor French cafe on Doheny Drive with my smiling friend and manager. 

My parents weren’t in showbiz, I started my acting training late (but man did I ever work at it), I was forty-one years old and living in a $550 a month studio apartment (utilities included) and driving a $3000 used truck, I had come to LA with one phone number and $600 dollars, I’d slept in my old ’66 Pontiac Tempest for two weeks in between telemarketing jobs, yet there I was sitting at a French cafe and holding an envelope that would change the course of my life and take me on a journey I’m enjoying still - and I expect, for the rest of my life. 

I woke up this morning at around 6:30am. Always been an early riser. Could never sleep in. Too much to do. My four year old son was next to me, sleeping peacefully in his orange sherbet shirt, my wife snuggled against him and snoozing away. 

It is our love for people and ideas that advances us. 

And then you make coffee.

 

 

 

 

by laurie scott

thanks for sharing, good story, like to hear what our Gilmore man Luke is up to in real life, & this coffee thing was a fabulous idea too, little something to fall back on between jobs & life.. might try your coffee someday but the shipping to Niagara Canada probably crazy but I got to get a mug for sure lol..and by the way, I hope & dream there will be another reunion follow up with the Gilmore girls, watching it this weekend for the 4th time..happy easter!

by Lindsey H.

I love hearing the journeys people have taken to get to a place of success, self-appreciation and confidence to do exactly what it is they want to do. I couldn’t imagine any other Luke on Gilmore Girls (that ASP really knew what she was doing, along with you and your manager!). I’m glad Scott Patterson prefers coffee more than Luke Danes ever did, because this coffee line is just another bit of Stars Hollow come to life for your fans. Thanks for sharing your story!

I can’t wait for my first bag of coffee to arrive – I’ll definitely be leaving a review on my own blog as well!

by Beate Amberg

Hallo Scott, am Anfang der Seiten sehe ich immer den 19.11. was war da – ich weis nur da hat meine Tochter Geburtstag.
ich würde gern wissen und erfahren wenn wir in Deutschland deinen Kaffee trinken dürfen – weil ich in Sachsen wohne und die Sachsen ja kaffeesüchtig sind wie die Gilmors

by Shelly Long

I really enjoyed that story. Thank you for sharing it. Makes the rest of us feel wecan make it at our endeavors.

by Bill

It only takes one at bat…tp get rhat grand slam..perfect time..perfect field..and bang..gramd salm home run..thats whats the Scotty ps coffee is..DANG BABY!!!!RIGHT ON!!

by Tedi Godard

A wonderful read. Gilmore Girls will always have a special place in my heart. I loved Luke, and your portrayal of him was sensational. Thank you for bringing so many hours of joy.
Hugs,
Tedi

by Marie Cardona

LOVE. THIS.

The ups and downs of the roller coaster we call Life. The twists and turns. The shocks. The heartbreaks, the triumphs. The surreal life changing moments when you’re sure you aren’t seeing straight. This can’t be real…

But it is….❤️

And then…and so….you make coffee….☕️

by Elizabeth

I love this!!
Please reply

by Leah

Hey, Scott! I’m thrilled that you wrote this blog post about your start on Gilmore Girls! I hope you continue writing your story! You had asked us a while back if we would read your book, if you wrote one. Is that in the works? Jumps around like a little kid I HOPE, I HOPE, I HOPE! 🤞🏻♥️

by Marianne

That was a great story. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was big in our house.

This Scott-behind-the-Scenes is a great read. I would like more GG stories. And more about where you lived, and where you moved to, etc.

Thanks for this story, please write more about those days, including you son and wife!

I’ll be reading,
Marianne

by Patricia O'Brien

I enjoyed reading this inspiring story. I am obsessed with Gilmore Girls. I honestly can’t imagine the show without your Luke Danes. Are you telling me you were 41 when you started the show???!!! First, you looked so young. I was sure you were mid 20s-early 30s. Second, I just turned forty and feel like I’m just finding my passion and career path, so this gives me hope.

by Katie

What was your ideas on next steps had Gilmore Girls not asked you to be a regular?

by Patrice

What an awesome blog – thanks for sharing! GG would not have been the same without you! So great to hear the hard work pay off and I’ve loved watching you be Luke for close to 20 years now – love it’ you’re a legend!

by Kelly A

Thanks SOOOOOO much for waiting for that envelope!! As u can tell by my email address I am a huge Gilmore Girls fan. Before my mom passed. . The only show that we watched on DVD was yours. Just so you know you made her final year happy!!!
P.S. I am watching Bracebridge on UP right now!!

by Dew

That would have been a huge mistake to not have you in the entire series. Your my favorite. Hope to see you in more shows.

by Connie McCarthy

Wow, Scott! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of how you got your first break in show business. Thank goodness they gave you a year offer because it would not been the same without you.

by Wendy

I love you! You are truly amazing for sure and I have nothing but admiration for you.

by Kayla Gibson

What an amazing blog entry! Felt like I was reading a page of your autobiography. As a 23 year old, recently graduated college student, it was such an inspiring story. Hoping I can find that job/career that I’ll want to do for the rest of my life one of these days. I will never give up!

by Drenna Heiser

Thanks for sharing your amazing inspiring story. We are grateful and better for your role as Luke in GG.
My daughter and I never tire of watching the series over & over again, channeling our inner Loralie & Rory.

by Faye MacIntyre

I could never imagine any other actor in the role of Luke. Ever since the pilot it was always supposed to be Luke. I’ve studied your presentation of that character, the timing, inflection etc. It’s magic With Lorelei. I hope you finish this story. For those who have been on board from the beginning,we’ve been in, all in and we need this story to be completed.

by Esther Burchert

Great blog!!! Sometimes we just know when it’s right. Thank God you did what you did because I can’t imagine Gilmore Girls without your face!!! You inspire me to keep slugging it away at this teaching thing. It’s been 24 years and I’m still giddy as my first year!!!! 😁

by Afsheen

Omg!!! I am so so glad you wrote this post to give us the insight about how much you have struggles and put into LUKE to make it what it is. I keep watching the show after some time and love it all over. Thanks once again for bringing smile in our lives.

by Erin Spring

I am 40 years old and currently at the proverbial fork in the road. This post full of love, humor and gratitude gives me that jolt of hope that I needed today. Thanks for not only sharing your coffee with us.

by Karolina

Hi Scott,

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story! It’s great to read what actors go through before landing a big role! Can’t wait to read more!

Karolina

by Alicia Suarez

I truly enjoy reading your blog. I admire your commitment in doing what you love! You’re owed a congratulations!

My daughter and I heard about Gilmore Girls through a friend and decided to watch the show and fell in love with it instantly! We’ve watched Gilmore Girls so many times that we’ve lost count. I’m thrilled that you were casted as “Luke Danes” because you’ve made “Luke” iconic. I’m sure everyone, like myself, have said ‘everyone needs a Luke in their life’ more than once. So thank you for being such an amazing actor!!

I also want to say congratulations on your music and your new coffee entrepreneurship!! Is there anything you can’t do? I love your music and your coffee is so delicious!! I’m a seriously committed #ScottyPsBigMugCoffee drinker. 👍🏼☕️

You’re amazing in all that you do and wishing you and your family only the best, always.

by Kristina Burke

It’s so fun to hear about this part of the negotiating for the role. I’m an actress and it’s just refreshing to hear the insecurities and doubts that other actors and artists have- especially the moments before they got the “big role” that changed their lives. The audition life is crazy, the living check to check, and unless you love it and it’s in your blood you’ll give up because it’s not worth the struggle. When you love it though you keep at it and pray hard. Thanks for sharing your story.

by Cat

A wonderful blog post!! I love reading about your life in your own words and think you should most definitely consider writing an autobiography. I’d be the first to buy a copy!!
I wish you endless success in everything you do and send lots of love from across the pond. ❤️

by Laurie

Thank you for the insight. It’s always so interesting to see how someone starts on a path that can change their lives.
Let me just say I am so glad you got that giant manila envelope.

by Tatum

loooooove your stories.. keep them coming:-)

by Kimberley Smart

Wow! Wow wow wow…I want more! This better be the opening pages of the book you’re writing! Ah!!! I can’t wait! I’m such a fan! I think I’m in love with u.. lol.

by GA

I guess we can add ‘writer’ to your long list of talents. Thank you for a funny and wonderful read. Looking forward to more posts. P.s. Love your coffee!!

by Ashley

Thank you so much for sharing this story!!! I’ve been a huge GG fan for many years, and truly love getting insight into the back story of every actor on the show. I’m so glad that you worked for that deal!

by Crystal Hampton

The universe always has a plan for you even when we think something isn’t going to go in our favor. If it doesn’t, something bigger and better will be coming but if it does work out, feel blessed because not everyone gets what they wanted and they can’t see what’s at the other end of the storm… a rainbow. This is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing!