By Dan Jewel
June 11, 2001 12:00 PM

Just Desserts

A Net contest wins two wannabe actors a piece of American Pie

For most actors the big break comes after years of auditions and rejections. April Florio, 19, and Keith Fencl, 23, had it a little easier: They won a contest held by Universal Pictures and online film site to appear in August’s American Pie 2. A group of 4,000 applicants was winnowed down to 28 finalists; site visitors picked the winners based on photos and acting résumés. And what résumés: Florio, a native of Sinking Spring, Pa., has played, among other things, “a drunken witch on a hayride,” while Fencl has done…not much. An analyst at Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey, he entered the contest “on a whim. My résumé is a little thin. This completely fell in my lap.” The duo shot their scene—a wild party—in April. Neither has lines, but they’ve caught the bug. “It made me want to be in acting even more,” says Florio, though he admits, “Seventy-five percent of the time you’re just standing around waiting.”

My Favorite Sites

Angie Harmon

She bid farewell to Law & Order last month, but Harmon should have no problem filling the time. For one thing, she’s set to marry New York Giants cornerback (and recent Third Watch guest star) Jason Sehorn on June 2. And the actress, who got hooked on the movie reviews on, confesses to staying up “until 4 in the morning” surfing the Net. The first time she searched for her own name, though, she got a shock—a picture of a nude woman with Harmon’s head superimposed on it. At first, she says, “I couldn’t believe it—I was laughing so hard,” Now, she reflects, “It was awful and scary. You know, there are some weird people out there.”

Internet Manners

My nephew loves playing free Web lotteries. Are these things legit? Do you think they’re worth spending hours on?

He’s not alone—that enticing free-money concept has made sweepstakes sites popular indeed. How can these outfits afford to tout big jackpots? Just like any lotto, they offer low odds—and, in most cases, pay big winners over many years. And, of course, players must endure lots of ads and marketing messages. (Scrutinize sites’ privacy policies.) Sure, there are more productive ways to use one’s time. But how else can you become a dotcom millionaire nowadays?

When I e-mail a friend, she always writes back with a one-word answer—like “yes”—and I don’t remember what she is talking about. How can I get her to respond better?


Okay, now a multiple-word answer: Politely request that she start including your messages in her replies. You could also save your own outgoing mail—though it’s really her duty to supply the context for her curt replies.

Samantha Miller

Wish upon a Star

Now that Survivor II‘s tribe has spoken for the last time, Online wants in on the reality-TV megabucks. Here’s our pitch for a show: Contestants must survive in the wilderness—armed with a computer, credit card and access to celeb Web sites only.

•Roast rat to perfection, thanks to George Foreman’s Big Book of Grilling, Barbecue and Rotisserie ( and TV chef Emeril Lagasse’s basting sauces ( Wash down with cabernet from director Francis Ford Coppola’s winery ( or Barbra Streisand Commemorative Champagne (

•Keep toasty with a Farewell Throw Blanket marking aging metal band KISS’s latest goodbye tour (, an umbrella reading Al Roker Said It Would Be Like This from, and champagne-flute candles from Streisand.

•Avoid sunburn with a baseball cap from Aussie Olivia Newton-John’s—and deep cleanse with a Marae Seaweed Facial Mask (“as endorsed by Olivia”).

•Prep for a win—and learn how to spin—at, where the Survivor I champ labels himself “dynamic and versatile.”

•Need a friend? Paint a face on a friendly volleyball with’s portable art kit. Then just hope it doesn’t form an alliance with another competitor.