Acting in Hollywood

Chapter 21

According to Wikipedia, “In 2013, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a trademark to Disney Enterprises, Inc. for the name “Snow White” that covers all live and recorded movie, television, radio, stage, computer, Internet, news, and photographic entertainment uses, excluding literary works of fiction and nonfiction.” Therefore, I will not be writing about the subject of Chapter 21 in this article. Please note that it says, “excluding works of nonfiction,” so I think I’m okay as far as the book.


Instead, I thought you might like to hear how a person gets started as an actor in Hollywood. When I moved from northern California to Los Angeles, near Hollywood, my fiancée suggested I might want to try my hand at acting. She had a friend who had had a career in television comedy, and she was willing to guide me. She sent me to Smart Girls, an organization that helps new actors get started. I paid their fee, and they were remarkably helpful. I went in for an interview, where they asked my experience on the stage. From that information, they wrote up a promotional sheet for me to send to prospective agents. Then they provided me with the addresses of 50 beginner-level agents and 50 envelopes. I went to a photographer who took a “head shot” of me, that I took to a shop which made 50 copies. I went home and stuffed each of the 50 envelopes with a head shot, and a promotional sheet, and took them to the post office. From that I received offers from two agents. I interviewed both and chose the one I thought would be most helpful. Nowadays, it’s likely this is all done on the Internet rather than by mail, but Smart Girls is still in business to help new actors. Here is their LINK.


While I was waiting to hear from the agents, I took acting lessons at two places. Subsequently, when my agent got a request for an actor that fit my description, they would make an appointment for me to audition for that part. The auditions were always for commercials, which is how a new actor gets started. I would arrive at the prescribed time at a studio, where there were dozens of other people who would also be auditioning. I was given a copy of the script that I would be reciting. As I waited to be called, I would memorize the script and imagine how I would deliver it in a convincing way.


Over the months that I was auditioning for roles, my fiancée’s son made me a website and I started tuning pianos. After six months, I had not succeeded at any audition, but I was very busy tuning. I found it very frustrating to do auditions unsuccessfully, and I found it to be very rewarding to work on pianos. As a result, I called the agent and let him know I was no longer available. Thank goodness, I didn’t get any roles before that happened. It was an interesting experience, though, and it allowed me to appreciate my piano work even more.