How Personal Grief Led To Star-Studded Table Read Fundraiser For Frontline Health Workers Headlined By Gary Cole & Julie Bowen

This coming Sunday, April 26, a cast of 13 actors, including Gary Cole, Julie Bowen, Alan Tudyk, Vella Lovell, Brenda Strong and Chris Williams, will perform an online table read of Half-Assed, an unproduced TV comedy pilot by rising writer/director Tracie Laymon (Mixed Signals). While Laymon is not a household name, most of the other auspices on- and off-screen are, including Betsy Thomas, who is directing the event, and Will & Grace and Grace & Frankie casting director Tracy Lilienfield, who was key in getting the talent.

The idea originated with Laymon. She had close ties to Kious Kelly, who made national headlines as the first New York nurse to die of COVID-19. Laymon also is friends with an ER doctor at a major LA hospital who was admitted into the ICU for days after being diagnosed with the virus. In both cases, a lack or shortage of protective gear was blamed for the infections.

Laymon went to manager/producer David M. Rudy who quickly sparked to the idea as he himself is a former New York EMT.

Laymon’s original intention was to get some everyday actors together to help out on a table read of her script to give them a distraction from all that’s going on in the world. Rudy suggested turn the table read into a fundraiser and make a real impact. He himself will match every dollar donated up to the first $100,000.

The team has partnered with The CAA Foundation, EIF and Thrive Global’s #FirstRespondersFirst campaign. All proceeds will benefit a fund dedicated to the frontline health workers serving the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The money raised will help get the much needed PPE supplies to the doctors and nurses on these COVID-19 frontlines,”  Rudy.said.

You can watch the live-stream April 26th at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern at: http://www.Tableread.Online.

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