Even die-hard fans of “Psych” might have had some problems spotting Timothy Omundson on the short-run ABC series “Galavant.”
When Omundson was playing Carlton Lassiter on the cable show, he had short hair and a clean-shaven face. As King Richard in the musical comedy, he has long hair and a “Duck Dynasty” length beard.
Doing the series has given Omundson a new love for musical theater. There was a musical episode of “Psych,” but it did not challenge him the way the series has.
“My New Year’s resolution last year was to sing more. I love to sing and I don’t know why it wasn’t more of my professional life,” Omundson tells me at an ABC party.
The first job he auditioned for after “Psych” ended was “Galavant.” Omundson really wanted the part because he would get to sing music written by Alan Menken. The long list of music Menken has written includes some of Disney’s biggest hits: “Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”
Omundson was OK with having to sing for the first audition. He was upset when he was told that he would have to sing for the second tryout.
“I thought that was nonsense because no one else had been made to sing again,” Omundson says. “That lasted about 17 seconds. Then I realized it was just fear on my part. I decided if I wanted to do a big boy musical, then I should shut up and learn the song.”
All of the songs were pre-recorded before filming started. But there were instances where some of the actors had to perform the numbers on set because of technical matters. That turned up the pressure on Omundson, who had a team of professionals helping him in the recording studio.
In front of the cameras, he not only had to sing on his own but do it while dancing, acting and being funny.
“It took a certain part of my brain I had not been using,” Omundson says.
As for moving on from “Psych,” Omundson says he will never find another job like it.
“ ‘Galavant’ is one of the greatest times I have ever had but you can’t compare it to eight years on ‘Psych’ with that group of people,” Omundson says. “The only thing that kept me from crawling in a hole was that we had time to let it close out.
“Dule Hill had experienced the same thing on ‘West Wing.’ He told all of us that you don’t try to re-create it but be thankful for what it was. The next thing could be just as wonderful. It’s just a different thing.”
“Togetherness,” the new HBO series airing at 9:30 p.m. Sundays, is a look at four adults who end up living under the same roof. Along with a bathroom, they share the same confusion and frustrations about how their lives have not gone as expected.
The four adults are played by Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Steve Zississ and Amanda Peet.
When it comes to facing the realities of chasing a dream, Peet knows those feelings well.
“I worked in restaurants, and I auditioned and I carried bags around, suitcases around. I used to have more than one audition a day. Some of them would be for tampon commercials. But I would just carry around this huge bag with all these costume changes in it. “It’s really so cringy to think about now,” Peet says. “And then, finally I got ‘Law & Order’ and I started doing actually more legitimate acting stuff, not just commercials.”
She never had to sleep on a friend’s couch, but she did crash on her parents’ couch. That was better than one of the New York apartments she had.
“I lived in a basement floor on 13th Street where people used to pee in this gully. There was a gully outside my window, which had bars on it. It was kind of like I was in jail. And then the people from the Palladium would be wasted and come and see the gully. And evidently they would pee in it. Because of that my whole apartment smelled like urine. And my mom would come over and pour vinegar to try to get the smell out.”