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FLASHES

THE NO LUCK CLUB: With rejection on the syllabus, it’s no wonder that Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander-who plays perpetual loser George on the Emmy- winning comedy-will be teaching ”How to Break Into Show Business” at the Los Angeles Learning Annex on Oct. 14. Students enrolled in the $29, one-night course will get advice from Alexander on ”dealing with agents, writers, producers, and network bigwigs,” according to the Annex brochure, as well as ”how to keep going, even in the face of constant rejection.” Asked why he’s getting into the school biz, Alexander says, ”I heard Faye Dunaway and Estelle Parsons speak when I was a student, and I learned a lot. I just want to give something back.” Learning Annex director Toby Berlin says the three-hour seminar is filling up fast. ”He’s very easy to work with,” says Berlin, adding that Alexander has made no special requests. ”It’s not like a concert or anything where they’re asking for brown M&M’s.” -Jaymes Trief HOOK, LINE, AND CLAW: Further proof that it pays to have parents in the biz. Into the West star Gabriel Byrne got a lot more than an autograph from Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill, who’s filming in Toronto, for his son, Jack, 3. He arranged for Neill and his young fan to meet-and then some. ”I went to the prop department of the movie I’m working on (Trial by Jury),” says Byrne, ”and I got them to send for the (velociraptor) claw from Jurassic.” Byrne flew Jack and his mom, actress Ellen Barkin, to Toronto for a visit. ”We go over to Sam’s hotel and I whisper to Jack, ‘Don’t forget to ask Dr. Grant if the velociraptor is dangerous.’ Jack did, and Sam whips out the claw and says, ‘That beast can cut you from here to here’-Sam’s exact line from the movie. I thought Jack was going to pass out.” Meanwhile, Barkin was hovering on the sidelines. ”She kept yelling, ‘This is just like meeting the Beatles!”’ -Cindy Pearlman

MERRY MELODIES: Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder, forced to act so prim and well mannered while filming Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, had to cut loose between takes. ”We just acted like such girls,” says Pfeiffer. ”The two of us would look at each other and burst into giggles. Daniel (Day-Lewis) would go off into the corner and sit until we were through.” Asked about the antics of his costars, Day-Lewis admits, ”I was the pain in the neck. I can be very serious and remain in character.” But Day-Lewis did appreciate Ryder’s musical interpretation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein show Oklahoma. ”Winona did a wonderful rendition of ‘I’m just a girl who can’t say no’ (‘I Cain’t Say No’),” he says. ”That was a performance I wouldn’t have missed for the world.” Ryder, who’s now dating Soul Asylum singer David Pirner, admits that she has a knack for show tunes but says, ”I’m too embarrassed to talk about it.” -CP

THE PLAYER: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have retired from basketball, but that doesn’t mean he’s no longer a player. His new game: Hollywood. The NBA biggie, who had small roles in 1980’s Airplane! and 1985’s Fletch, says he would now like to act. He recently filmed a cameo as a doomsday prophet in the ABC miniseries Stephen King’s The Stand and says that he’s interested in courting more roles. ”The best part I was ever offered was the part Andre the Giant played in The Princess Bride,” he says. ”I couldn’t do it because they shot it during basketball season. I still wring my hands over that one.” Jabbar is stepping behind the camera, too, coproducing a syndicated television movie, The Vernon Johns Story, which stars James Earl Jones as the mentor of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., and developing a feature about baseball’s Negro Leagues. -Bruce Fretts