There's an Oscar winner in this picture. That helps.
"I watched the pilot episode, 'Come What May,'" John continues, "and noticed that they didn't have a Sulu in it." You can tell these guys were pros, because they covered this glaring absence the same way Hollywood does: "They had a throwaway line that he was away for command training or something."
"He stuck in the bathroom again?"
"Yeah, Bones called it the worst case of space diarrhea he's ever seen."
John already had some acting experience under his spandex Starfleet belt area, and had started getting back into it. He recognized an opportunity when it beamed into his lap, and decided to offer himself up to the Nerd Gods.
"It wasn't clear at the time who was in charge, or how to contact them. They had a discussion forum, and I saw that one producer/director (Jack Marshall) of the episode lived not far from where I was, so I sent him an email, but didn't hear back. I then decided to see if there was someone else I could contact, and found some posts from the guy who created the sets, costumes (and also played Kirk), James Cawley ... I didn't hear back for a couple of weeks (it turned out Jack and James were in the middle of filming the second episode, 'In Harm's Way'), but finally I heard back from James, and then he invited me up to visit the sets, which were in upstate NY. I figured, 'OK, we must be talking about somewhere like Westchester, right outside of the city, since it looked like a pretty professional production.' No, the sets and production were in a tiny building in Ft. Ticonderoga, NY, outside of Lake George."