The following is an email letter to my friend Scott Somer. I
must have responded to an email he sent me about the acting business and making a career of it in Hollywood. He and I corresponded by email when I lived in Hollywood mostly about the financial markets which I also followed. I met this guy back around 1987 at Charles Schwaab. Scott was very interested in the stock market and financial news.
Mon, May 22, 2000 10:04
I appreciate your comments. However, the guy who wrote this article comes off as someone probably not as old as I am and no more experienced. Perhaps he has more theater under his belt but in Hollywood unless you have broadway credits or theater from some well known theater like Chicago the agents don't really give a hoot. Its all about the look.
As for experience I consider my life experiences and all the "sh.." I've been through in my disfunctional family and unbringing, different placements, changing schools, and all the places I've traveled and people I've met to be my best informal training.
In this business if you are gay and Jewish you're practically guaranteed to make it eventually. I have no plans to commit immorality or compromise my values just to make it in this business. This town is full of people getting work who aren't any more talented or not as talented as myself. This is no idle boast.
I agree with a lot of what this guy said though. Hollywood is too crowded now and this guy was or is probably feeling the pinch with all the competition and people vying for the few jobs that are out there.
But to address your point. I was prepared before I came to Hollywood. Keep in mind I got my SAG card within a year of moving to this city. That's quite an achievement in itself. There are people out here who after 5 or more years still don't have their union card.
I'm considered a professional actor by virtue of being in the Screen Actors Guild. Scott, I'll make it if it is God's will. It will happen but when and where nobody knows but our Lord.
I didn't need a lot of theater to boost my self-confidence. Just a little. I did the lead in Brigadoon in 1987 at UOP and had some good parts kin community theater (Manteca in 1995 and Lodi in 1996) just enough to know that I can handle the work if or when I get it.
After being on dozens of film sets and seeing all the background actors who are mostly "want-a-bees: I felt a bit like the guy who wrote that article. Most background actors have never done any theater or real acting before a live audience. So what makes them think they have what it takes to succeed? They've probably read articles that glamorize this business and make it seem easier than it is.
Scott the hardest part about this business is, and most of my acting and I mean real acting friends who have done roles in theater would agree, getting the work-getting cast.
I need a good agent who can get me auditions several times a week and I'm confident I will land a paying part whether it's a commercial or a TV or film role. Look at my cousin Cindy Margolis. She's working not because of her talent but because of her sexy looks and marketing-becoming visible through publicity. I can't afford to hire a public relations firm to catapult my career. When I get a good project I may hire one to help promote myself.
John Wayne wasn't particularly handsome but he had a commanding
presence. Tall, rugged looking for the Western film. He didn't to my knowledge have formal acting classes or training. He just learned his lines and probably became friends with the director John Ford.
Consensus has it that it is more difficult to break in to show business today than in the past because there are just too many people out here. Also, unless you are an older name actor like Bruce Willis or Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks people my age are not in demand. The roles are going to the younger actors because the youth audience 14-23 spends more money on entertainment per week than people my age do. These teens would rather see actors closer to their age who they can relate to not the baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964.
Nothing was going to happen in Stockton. That is why I moved. My ex Catherine even wrote a letter to some agents in San Francisco inviting them to see my last play but none came because Stockton was too far away. I'm now where all the action is and just need to concentrate on making money. I may in a few years shoot my own small low budget feature.
There are a lot of scams artists in Hollywood who will be glad to take your money and tell you that you need training, i.e. acting classes. Many of these teachers have never done any professional acting so why should I study with them? I may study with a teacher who has done some professional film or TV acting but I just haven't chose to yet. Sure I could benefit with the right teacher but the wrong teacher can screw you up also by criticizing your work in the wrong way or teaching you some
technique he/she has learned that will just encourage you to deliver the same kind of performances as everyone else.
I created the Michael character in Alone Together" with no ones help just my imagination. I found a guy in real life who was just like Michael and I mimicked his mannerisms and voice etc.
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Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.
See his videos on http://www.youtube.com Type LAStreetPreacher in the search bar. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.com
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