How To Make It In America Get the inside track on HBO's latest series from the producers of Entourage

Spoilers

Episode 108: "Never Say Die"

•Roles cast (from casting sides dated 11/13/2009):

-Asian Hipster - One of five Japanese men in their early 20s who meet Ben and Cam at the airport parking lot. They stuff the tee shirts into duffle bags, so that they can bring the shirts back to Japan in their luggage, and Haraki can avoid paying shipping and international import taxes on them. One hipster hands Ben an envelope and bows, telling him it was a pleasure doing business with them. Cam tells the hipster to tell Haraki that the hooded sweatshirts he has now ordered are on their way, and the hipsters smile and walk away. Cam and Ben open the envelope, see a check for $9000 made out to Crisp, and smile.

-Esmerelda - She is an elderly woman who is attending the Rasta Monsta Bingo Night with Rosa in the rec room of a neighborhood church. Rene and Jabar enter and push a hand truck full of Rasta Monsta towards the church kitchen. Rene stops to talk with his grandmother Rosa, and she introduces Esmerelda to Rene. Esmerelda tells Rene that Rosa is very proud of him, and asks Rene if he can talk to her grandson because he's been hanging around with the bad boys in her building.

-Jeremy - He's Rene's accountant, and he's meeting in his office with Rene to talk about how much Rasta Monsta will have to grow as a business for it to be profitable. The numbers are not encouraging.

-Police Officer Nugent - He's a tough Irish cop who is standing at the police station counter talking to Cam and Ben. The Rasta Monsta truck was stolen, and Cam and Ben are asking Officer Nugent if there's been any progress in locating it. Officer Nugent tells them that it's not likely that the truck will be found.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode 107: Keep On Truckin'

• Film Dates: 11/10-11/17/2009.

• Director: Danny Leiner; Written By: Sarah Tream and Rob Weiss.

• While Ben is getting tight with Julie, Rachel is put off by Darren's sudden offer to let her and Edie design a hotel. To pay off an overdue debt to Rene, Cam and Ben agree to hand out Rasta Monsta samples at Union Square, but cut their job short to retrieve their tees from the silk screener. Rene agrees to meet with John Lardner, the Jamaica-based owner of Rasta Monsta, about taking over North American distribution rights to the drink. The only problem is that Rene's parole officer, Norm, just popped in and wants to be part of the meeting.
• Roles cast (from casting sides dated 10/27/2009):

-Henry - He's a silkscreener. Cam tells him that he'll be dropping off the tee shirts in an hour and that he'll need to pick up the shirts at the end of the day. Later, when, Cam and Ben arrive to pick up their shirts, Henry greets them nervously. When Ben asks Henry what the matter is, Henry reminds them that he told them he'd never printed on dyed vintage before.

-Hostess - She tells Rene and Norm to follow her when they arrive at the St. Regis Hotel's bar looking for John Lardner.

-Investor - He is one of Darren's investors, who meets with Darren, Edie, and Rachel to discuss plans for decorating a hotel. Rachel stares angrily at Darren.

-John Lardner - Male (40s/50s) - Ex Pat who has moved to Jamaica (Brit, American) but speaks with Jamaican accent. Owns SR Beverages, the company that owns Rene's business. Wealthy, powerful, charismatic, with a bit of a unlawful "history." Guest Star.

-Parole Officer Norm - Male (40s/50s) - Rene's parole officer. Has being dealing with the likes of ex cons for years. Doesn't expect much. Follows the rules - he's totally by the book. Won't let his cons get an inch. Any ethnicity. Comic timing a must. Guest Star.

-Raoul - An old tailor who fits Rene for a custom suit.

-Worker - He and other workers gather around and admire the Rasta Monsta truck after Cam and Ben arrive in it at a warehouse in Williamsburg.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode 106,  "Good Vintage"

• Film Dates: 11/2-11/9/2009.

• Director: Jonathan Levine; Writers: Ian Edelman & Seth Zvi Rosenfeld.

• At David Kaplan's place, Ben wonders where they're going to get their vintage tees. Cam says he knows about a collector in PA that they can drive out to tomorrow.

• Roles cast (from casting notices and sides dated 10/20/2009):

-Aaron - (Male) 20s - Born and raised downtown kid. neighborhood kid (not a thug). Opposite of Sean. (All ethnicities). One Scene

-Brie-Ann - (Female 20's). Cater waitress who also works at an upscale strip club. Well endowed. One Scene.

-Flaco - He and his crew meet Rene and his guys in a deserted schoolyard. Rene asks Flaco if he has his money. Flaco asks what money, and Rene says the money that was hidden in Tito's basement ceiling. Flaco says he didn't see any money in the ceiling. Rene tells him he knows he's lying. Flaco wants to fight him, because when they were in tenth grade Rene sucker-punched him and now Flaco wants to settle the score. Rene tries to talk him out of it, and asks him about his watch. While Flaco is looking at his watch, Rene sucker-punches him in the jaw. Flaco falls to the ground. Rene turns and walks away, with his guys Sixto, Eddie, and Jabar following him.

-Jose - (Male) 50's. Hispanic. Neighborhood guy. He is on the board of the Bodega Federation. Provides neighborhood loans." One Scene.

-Julie - Female (20's). Super hip, cool, Brooklyn girl. She works at a downtown vintage store and knows her stuff. Really Beautiful with edge. Has a personality that makes her even more cool. Possible love interest for Ben. Possible Recurring. Guest Star. Ben and Cam tell July that they need 300 50/50 vintage tees, but the shirts are $30 apiece so they try to get a bulk discount rate. Julie goes to ask her boss, but the boss will only take $1.25 off each shirt. The price per shirt is still too high for Ben and Cam to turn a profit, so Ben and Cam leave. Later, Ben returns to the shop and tells Julie that they're looking for vintage 50/50's for a tee shirt line they're launching in Tokyo. Julie is impressed. Ben and Julie flirt and have chemistry. Ben invites Julie to a party that night at Kaplan's place, and she accepts. At the party, Ben tells Julie that they didn't find any tees, and she tells them where the shop she works at gets theirs. She says that for $200 they can get all the vintage tees they can carry, and she'll take him there tomorrow.

-"Miami" Joe - Male (30's / 40's) - Hispanic. Miami kingpin. Smart, slick dealmaker. Not someone you want to mess with. Presents himself as an upscale restaurateur. Guest Star. Joe is sipping coffee at an outdoor cafe by the beach when Rene calls him. Rene tells Joe about his Rasta Monsta business, but says the real reason he's calling is that Joe's cousin Flaco stole $100,000 from him, and Rene's reaching out before something stupid happens. Rene asks Joe to talk to Flaco. Joe tells him he'll talk to Flaco. Later, Joe calls Rene back and tells him that Flaco said that if Rene wants his money, he should meet him at the schoolyard, and that Flaco also said to tell Rene, "payback's a bitch."

-Mom - Female (early 40's) Connecticut soccer mom. Stern looking. Not friendly.

-Peter - Male (15 - 17) - Uptown kid who's a little overweight but wants to follow the fashion trends. He tries to act and speak cool as well. One Scene.

-Sales Associate - Female (30's): Works at Goodwill. Blue Collar. A little sheepish. Just wants to do her job.

-Sean - (Male) 20's - Upscale Wall Street guy. Wealthy. Smart but a tad bit socially awkward. One Scene.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode 105, "Big in Japan"

•While dancing with Rachel in a crowded club, Darren announces loudly that he loves Rachel, loves everyone, and has always wanted to really live and be free to be himself, then Darren stuns Rachel by making out with both a sexy young girl and a young man. Ben tells Cam that he hates their jeans, but later he shows up at the hotel suite where they will be pitching their jeans to Haraki, and apologizes to Cam. Ben says they're partners, so if they're going down, they're going down together. Cam tells him they're not going down.

•Roles cast (from casting sides dated 9/22/2009):

-Assistant Frank - He's Haraki's young, hip, and Asian assistant. He pops his head into Haraki's waiting room to tell Cam and Ben that Haraki just needs a couple of minutes to call his wife in Japan, because she gets insecure when he's in NY.

-Basketball Kids 1 & 2 - At a basketball court, they play 2-on-2 with Cam and Ben.

-Flaco's Wife - Her name is Marie, and she and Flaco live in Brooklyn. Rene parks his car in front of their house and rings the doorbell. Marie opens the door, and it's clear that they have a history. Rene tells Marie that he's looking for Flaco to talk business, and she says he'll be home in a minute. Flaco drives up the street in a new Cadillac convertible, sees Rene, and speeds past the house. Marie tells Rene that Flaco won the car last month playing poker.

-Gloria - She's Latina, 40, and married to Rene's cousin Tito. Gloria answers the doorbell and is not happy to see Rene, but invites him and his grandmother Rosa in after she sees Rosa standing behind Rene. Rosa tells her that they're there to show support because they found out she is divorcing Tito. Gloria tells Rosa that Tito smokes cocaine, gambles, and spends their money at strip bars. Rosa is shocked.

-Hidemi Haraki - In a hotel suite, he examines a pair of Crisp NYC jeans, as Ben and Cam look on. Haraki tells them that the jeans are well made but he doesn't think that the cut is right for Japanese customers. He gives the jeans back to them, and tells them to come see him again in 6 months. On the way out of his office, Haraki says that he likes Ben's shirt. Ben tells Haraki that he made it himself in high school. Haraki asks if they can make 300 more by Wednesday. Cam says that they definitely can, and Haraki says that his assistant will call them in the morning. <--(Hidemi's name appears to have been changed to Haraki in later casting sides.)

-Hipster Designers 1 & 2 - They come out of Haraki's room with a rack of their clothing collection as Ben and Cam are waiting outside Haraki's room to see him.

-Pete Powell - He has his own line of jeans. He walks past Cam and Ben as they are walking down the sidewalk. Ben tells Cam that he's left 4 phone messages for Pete, but he's never called back. Cam calls after Pete to get his attention, they tell him they'd like to get his advice on starting a denim line, and Pete agrees to go get a coffee with them.

-Receptionist Marsha - An old Jewish woman who works the reception desk at Top Choice Tailor. Cam and Ben walk in to pick up their sample. She tells them that Zev is busy with a customer but will be with them shortly.

-Skate Park Kid - 12 years old. At a skate park, he asks Ben for a cigarette, but Ben refuses. Ben notices the kid's skate deck and sees that it's one of Ben's. Ben asks the kid where he got it, and he says he traded some rich kid uptown for it. Ben tells the kid that he designed it, and the kid says that's cool, and asks again if he can have a cigarette. Ben still says no.

-Social Club Bartender - He tends bar in a dark, seedy Dominican social club. He looks up and sees Rene, who asks him if the Rasta Monsta is selling. The bartender tells Rene he's trying to push it, but people in the club are trying to get drunk, not energized. Rene asks him where he can find his cousin Tito, and the bartender says he's in the back. Rene finds Tito on a cot watching tv, and Tito tells him that Gloria kicked him out of the house, so he's been living here.

-Tito - Mid 40s, balding. He's Rene's cousin. He and Rene go down the basement stairs in Gloria's house, and Tito is shocked that his rec room has been done over as a beauty parlor. Rene tells him to get the money, and Tito pops open a ceiling tile looking for it, but doesn't find it. He tells Rene that he put it there a month ago. Gloria hears the noise they're making, comes downstairs, and is angry to see Tito. Rene explains that Tito's looking for his money, and Tito accuses Gloria of stealing it, but she denies it and says her father gave her the money for the renovations so she could start a business. She tells them to get out of her house or she'll call the cops. Rosa comes downstairs, and asks what's going on. Rene apologizes, and says he'll fix the mess, but he needs the name of the contractor who did the renovations. Gloria tells him Flaco did the work.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode 104, "Unhappy Birthday"

• Rachel has a birthday dinner party at La Esquina. She's dating a new boyfriend named Darren, and she tells Edie that she feels weird celebrating her birthday with someone other than Ben, whom she had been with for her last 3 birthdays. Ben and Cam decide it's finally time to own up to their agreement with David Kaplan and take him to the hot nightclub Avenue.

•Roles cast (from casting sides dated 8/21-9/11/2009):

-Apartment Mom - In the tiny bedroom of a tiny apartment, she meets with Rachel and Edie, trying to come up with a way to give each of her sons, who share the room, some privacy. Rachel excuses herself to answer a call from Ben.

-Dez - He's a friend of Ben and Cam's who mans the velvet rope in front of a club at the Jane Hotel (He decides who gets in and who doesn't). He lets in Ben, Cam, and also Kaplan (after they all first play a joke on Kaplan by making him think that he can't go in). They all laugh.

-James - Skinny, late 20s, rock 'n' roll type. At a flea market, he runs a booth selling vintage audio equipment. Domingo and Cam are in the booth with him. James asks Cam if he can tend bar and know how to make all the drinks. Cam says that he can, and Domingo backs him up. The job is tending bar at a Find-the-Cure benefit that night. James tells Cam that he'll need to shave and it's black tie. James had wanted to book the event himself, but he got another gig in Philadelphia, so he had to pass. James tells Cam that he'll have to sign in using James' name. Cam will make $500 at the end of the night, and he can pay James $50 tomorrow night. James and Cam shake on the arrangement.

-Leon - He's a menacing-looking 21-year-old with a gold tooth and a tattoo on his neck. Cam asks him if he knows how to mix drinks. Cam tells Leon that he will need to sign in as James Spinosa, and it's for $500 cash ($400 for Leon and $100 for Cam).

-Pork Pie Model - In the Jane Hotel bar, she's an edgy model wearing a pork pie hat. Kaplan flirts and dances with her, even though she initially isn't impressed by him.

-Younger Brother - He's the younger of two boys sharing an apartment bedroom. When Edie asks him if his older brother keeps him up at night talking to his girlfriends, he replies that, no, his older brother masturbates like a maniac.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode 103, "Paper, Denim & Dollars"

• While Ben and Cam track down a tailor to re-imagine some '70s-era jeans, Rachel, who works at an interior-design boutique for her eccentric boss Edie (Martha Plimpton), rethinks her future after reconnecting with a friend in the Peace Corps. Eager to get a bigger marketing commitment for his fledgling Rasta Monsta drink, Rene makes a buyout offer his marketing partners better not refuse. After Cam peddles some of Ben's skateboard decks to upper-crust Manhattan kids, they round up enough money to pay the tailor, deliver the denim and launch Crisp NYC.
Written by Ian Edelman; directed by Julian Farino.

•Roles cast (from casting sides dated 8/20-9/21/2009):

-Adam & Scott - Rene meets with them at the World Market Beverage Company to discuss their lack of marketing for a new product that Rene is trying to sell, called Rasta Monsta. They tell Rene that they can't afford more money for marketing (even though they appear to have invested plenty of money in marketing another beverage called LoCal Puerto Rican Rum), so Rene leaves.

-Amber - A cute girl Cam goes home with after a party.

-Armando - An older member of the Dominican Federation, a syndicate of Bodega owners and urban entrepreneurs. Rene meets with them to try to convince them to sell Rasta Monsta in their shops and strip clubs. Armando negotiates for 4.25% of the profits to go to the members of the Dominican Federation, and Armando and Rene shake hands on the deal.

-Chrissy - A girl Ben talks to as he's leaving a party. She says he should start a band with her, and they can sell ringtones.

-Clerk - He works at a consignment sneaker shop, and Ben and Cam try to sell him a few pairs of sneakers. But he tells them that sneaker/moccasin hybrids are what people want now.

-Dalton Boys 1, 2, 3 - Three 12 year old boys who attend the Dalton School, an elite private school. Cam tries selling skateboards out of a shopping cart across the street from the school, and the boys stop to look at and ask Cam questions about the skateboards.

-Danielle - She was Rachel's roommate in college, but they haven't seen each other in a while because Danielle has been in Africa in the Peace Corps. They meet for lunch at a restaurant.

-Doris - She's a teacher who attends the Teacher's Union meeting at Gladys' apartment.

-Driver - He's a cab driver who pulls over after Ben hails him in Chinatown, but he drives off when Ben can afford only $12 of the $20 fare to get to Brooklyn.

-Edie - She's Rachel's boss.

-Gladys - She's Ben's mother. Ben goes to his mother's apartment, where Gladys and some of her fellow teachers are having a Teacher's Union meeting. Gladys is very surprised and happy to see Ben.

-Jill - A friend of Chrissy's. She suggests a name for Ben and Chrissy's hypothetical band.

-Jose - He's a member of the Dominican Federation. Rene phones him and Jose agrees to allow Rene to meet with the Federation for 5 minutes.

-Kid at Bodega - He's 9 years old, and about to buy a Red Bull until Rene gives him a Rasta Monsta to try on the house. He likes the Rasta Monsta and leaves without buying the Red Bull.

-Old Bodega Man - He owns a Bodega where Rene is trying to sell his drink Rasta Monsta. He tells Rene that no one is buying the drink. After Rene gives a kid a Rasta Monsta on the house, the Old Man tells Rene that he owes him $1.25 for the kid's drink.

-Park - He's a middle-aged Korean man who helps Cam carry the shopping cart up a flight of subway stairs to the sidewalk. Cam gives Park a skate deck for helping him.

-Skater Kid - He's a hip 14 year old skater. In a skatepark at the southern tip of Manhattan, Cam is trying to sell Wilfredo Gomez skateboards. But the skater kid tells Cam that no one around there is going to buy the skateboards because Wilfredo Gomez is not the king of New York City skating like Cam is telling people.

-Stan - He's Ben's father. He tries to be as supportive as he can be of Ben's plans for starting a jeans business, even though Ben's mother would like him to be a chiropractor.

-Subway Girl - She's a young, hot, black woman. In a subway station, Ben checks out her jeans as she walks by him. She catches him staring, but he tells her he just wants to know who makes the jeans she's wearing.

-Yolanda - She's a teacher who attends the Teacher's Union meeting at Gladys' apartment.

-Zev Levy - He's a tailor. Ben and Cam thank him for meeting with them on such short notice. They show him their jeans design, and he tells them to bring him the denim and $1500 by tomorrow morning and he'll work on their jeans before his next order.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode 102, "Crisp":

• Using $3G they got via yet another high-interest loan from Rene, Ben and Cam buy up a roll of hot premium-denim material, then hit a series of dead ends in their search to find a manufacturer to make samples of their Crisp brand of retro '70s jeans. Along the way, they parlay a crashed late-night dinner with top fashion designer John Varvatos into a brainstorming meeting that may, or may not, hold the key to their entrepreneurial success. Meanwhile, both Ben and Rachel realize that they haven't totally moved on, and vow to try harder in the future.
Written by Rob Weiss; directed by Julian Farino.

• Roles cast (from casting sides dated 8/20-10/14/2009):

-Carole - She's a model, Celine's friend, and the guest of honor at a party in a crowded restaurant (She's just been signed by Ford). Ben and Cam meet up with Domingo and Celine there. Ben and Cam notice John Varvatos sitting at a table in the back, and discuss whether to ask Varvatos about his manufacturer.

-Celine - Domingo's girlfriend. She hosts a party where a few cute girlfriends of hers pose with Ben's "Crisp Denim" logo. She lets Ben crash at her place afterwards. The next morning, she invites Ben to a get together that evening for her friend Carole.

-Deli Customer - In line at a deli, he overhears Cam talking on the phone to Ben about finding a good denim manufacturer. He tells Can that the secret to selling jeans is cool pockets, and turns to show Cam the back pockets of his jeans, which are covered in embroidery.

-Dominick - He works in a deli, and rings up Cam's order. When Cam asks him what he thinks of the brand name "Crisp" for premium denim, Dominick says, "I think bacon."

-Girl - She's the receptionist at John Varvatos' offices. She meets Ben and Cam in the reception area, and they follow her to a conference room, where they hope to meet with John Varvatos, but instead they are introduced to Mike Heller.

-Eric/Jean Shop Owner - When Ben and Cam ask him which factory makes the jeans he sells, he gives Ben and Cam a Bronx address.

-Kid - He's 15 years old and sitting on the stairs of Rene's grandmother's apartment with his friends sharing a joint. Rene walks his grandmother home, and the kid recognizes Rene and says his dad grew up with him.

-Mike Heller - He tells Ben and Cam that John Varvatos sends his apologies, and was called out of town on urgent business. Mike answers their questions about the denim industry, and based on their inexperience, he advises them that starting a new denim line will be extremely difficult. Mike tells them that he tried to launch a denim brand himself and failed, and luckily John Varvatos hired him.

-Priest/Father Farino - Inside his church, he talks to Rene and tells him it's good to see Rene back in the congregation. Rene tells him he's got a legitimate business now, and if the priest is ever looking for a partner in running a bingo night, to give him a call.

-Professor Fresconi - He teaches at F.I.T. and was one of Ben's prefessors several years ago. Ben meets with him after one of his classes, and tells him he's trying to start a denim line and needs to find a local manufacturer. Fresconi says he'll ask around and tells Ben to email him Monday, but most denim manufacturers are in LA.

-Ethan/Sales Guy - He works in the Jean Shop, and he tells Cam and Ben that the jeans are all made locally by a factory in the Bronx, and that he can ask the shop owner where the factory is located.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode 101, "Pilot":

• Film Date: 10/20/2008

Ben and his best friend Cam are in their 20s, and they're going nowhere, two New York hustlers who are all talk and no income. Realizing finally that they need to do something with their lives that will generate a hard profit, they get the message sent by the universe and start looking for a deal that won't leave them crushed, in debt, unemployed and wanted by the cops -- a change from all their previous schemes. (source: aarising.com)

When his skateboard-deck business venture hits the wall, twentysomething graphic designer Ben (Bryan Greenberg) agrees to fund a “sure thing” leather-jacket hustle proposed by good-times best friend Cam (Victor Rasuk). The scheme morphs into downright desperation when Cam's cousin Rene (Luis Guzman) gets out of jail, looking for repayment of an old loan. Meanwhile, Ben is bummed to discover his ex-girlfriend Rachel (Lake Bell) is dating Darren (Jason Pendergraft), a hot hotelier, and finds little comfort in his horny pursuit of a sexy young thing during her late-night party. With Rene threatening bodily injury if Cam and Ben don't repay the loan, David (Eddie Kaye Thomas), a schoolmate turned hedge-fund millionaire, saves the day, at least for the moment.
Written by Ian Edelman; directed by Julian Farino.

Roles cast (from casting notices dated 8/21-10/20/2008):

-Gingy Kwak - 23 TO 26 years old, half Asian, Gingy is a beautiful gallery owner with great style, a fierce wit and intelligence who is a straight shooter with no patience for bulls**t - she is every SEX & THE CITY girl wrapped into one. She's the daughter of Donny Kwak, a wealthy restaurateur, and her friends assume that "daddy will pay" for ever aspect of her business. But Gingy is driven to make it on her own and not be known as Donny Kwak's daughter. A close friend of both Ben and Cam, she asks them to help her prepare for a big opening, for which she's gone out on a financial limb. Ambitious and driven, Gingy is determined to fix Ben up with a friend of hers.

Thanks to Rhoswen from The Deadwood Stage for the assist on Episode Spoilers.

Follow me