Ty Burrell Peed His Pants in Times Square After Meeting an Agent for the First Time: ‘I Soiled Myself’

Ty Burrell arrives ahead of the Finding Dory Australian Premiere at Event Cinemas George Street on June 15, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.
Ty Burrell arrives ahead of the Finding Dory Australian Premiere at Event Cinemas George Street on June 15, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Don Arnold/WireImage

Long before he was a star on Modern Family, Ty Burrell found himself trying to clean up in a McDonalds after he peed his pants in Times Square. The actor wrote in New York Times’ “My First Time” column that he was so nervous before meeting with an agent back in the day that he “soiled” himself. 

“I was stuck between a rock and an aneurysm,” Burrell wrote, recalling that the woman he had moved to New York for was an actress and had connected him to an agency. “If I’d said no, she would have lost respect for me. If I’d said yes, I’d have to take the meeting.”

Burrell decided to take the meeting and said that while chatting with the agent, he took “swift swigs [of water] to cover my tremors.”

The Rough Night star, now 49, was told he could “maybe” get work if he “shaved his arms” but that his features were “too big” to get work in television or film.

“I shook his hand, walked out into Times Square and soiled myself,” he recalled. “I stood there for a surprisingly long time before I realized what had happened. My ears were ringing from the shock of the meeting. Yet I didn’t move. I watched all the people of the world cross back and forth in front of me. … I had been running from this moment for years — a deeply personal rejection from the one thing I loved and could do — knowing we were going to meet down the road. I spotted the golden arches across Times Square the way I imagine immigrants spotted the Statue of Liberty. There I threw my underwear in the garbage. I now had no underwear and, bizarrely, none of the anxiety I had felt mere moments before.”

Burrell concluded: “It was as if I had taken the worst of the business, swallowed it, digested it, discharged it and thrown it away. I walked out of the bathroom, past the huddled masses at the tables, into Times Square and the new world.”

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