Grey Henson knew playing a lead role in the first tour of The Book of Mormon would put him in the national theater spotlight.
Augusts opening night in Denver sold out in just five hours.
So many fans of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone flocked to see their Broadway smash that another stop is scheduled this December in their home state of Colorado.
It was the three-month stop in Los Angeles, that drew in Hollywood executives and opened the door to Hensons first television role.
The 22-year-old, who grew up on Macon stages, will appear in Wednesdays episode of Suburgatory on ABC at 9:30 p.m.
The creator and producer of Suburgatory saw me in (The Book of Mormon) and gave me this little spot on the show, said Henson, who never auditioned for the role.
He spent a Monday off from playing Elder McKinley to portray Alec, a snooty head maitre d.
Hes fussy and flamboyant, and in the end he butts heads, and I think people enjoy that, Henson said.
Alec interacts with George Altman, actor Jeremy Sistos lead character in the show.
Suburgatory revolves around George, a single dad who moves from the city to raise his teen daughter in the suburbs.
When his Valentines date cancels due to a bad reaction to a cosmetic procedure, George has to endure an 18-course meal from renowned Chef Julio, played by guest starring Top Chef season six winner Michael Voltaggio.
The whole show is larger than life, so that was a really great transition because the role is very theatrical, said Henson, who was cast in Book of Mormon even before he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting and musical theater.
The son of Macons Paige and Johnny Henson will be on stage in Minneapolis when the episode airs.
Its just a small guest spot. Ive got some lines, said Henson, who worked extra hard to be prepared. I knew my lines backwards and forwards ... because I knew there would be a lot of television lingo I didnt know.
He filmed all day for three scenes with Sisto, the shows star who is known for playing Billy Chenowith in Six Feet Under and whose movie credits include Grand Canyon and Clueless.
He was really great at helping me find my way and say things like, That was a really good take.
The director, writer and crew were very understanding, he said.
Unlike the touring show, Henson had little time to perfect this television role.
Its a completely different ball game when you get in front of the camera, he said. I never saw myself on TV before, so I might hate it, but it should be fun.
While Sisto has been playing his character for years, Henson had to discover Alec in a very short time.
I wanted to get in and get out and do it, and make it look like I knew what I was doing, he said. Youve got to get it right or its forever documented.
His contract with Book of Mormon is open-ended so he doesnt know whether hell still be with show when it comes to Atlanta sometime next year.
Ill see what the world has in store for me next, he said. Maybe Ill move to L.A. or New York.
Hes already played Denver; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Des Moines, Iowa; and Minneapolis.
It can seem like a vacation, but its definitely a job, he said. The show takes it out of me every night. Its a pretty exhausting show, in the best way, because its so physical and were so active.
The audiences have been superb, he said, which makes him want to give it his all.
Im so happy with this job and with this show, he said. I really couldnt ask for a better job right now in theater. Im still living a dream life.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.