A few years ago I made a short film with an actor friend of
mine, called "WAITING TO ACT"* about the comedy and misery of
young people who come to Hollywood and wait tables, sometimes
for years, waiting to get their union card. Well there's
another way to do it. Stay right where you are and let
Hollywood come to you. You don't have to uproot yourself, quit your
job, spend your life savings, live in a cheap apartment and do
what most actors do when they come to
of New York-wait tables or bartend. You can live at home,
spend a tiny fraction of that money, and find out what the
business is all about before braving the smog, traffic and
crime of Hollywood and New York. That's what happened to me.
And that's why we wrote this book.
Most people don’t realize that there are over a hundred and
seventy-five film commissions all across the
States. All of them working hard to bring
Hollywood right into your own backyard for a variety of
reasons-mostly economic. There’s a lot of money to be made
when a movie comes to your state. Hotels, restaurants, jobs
for local citizens, rentals, location fees-it only makes sense
for your state government to want a piece of this rather large
and expensive pie.
spends a lot of money when they film on location, not to
mention the prestige and worldwide exposure that your state
and community can get.
On a recent shoot that took us into several Midwestern
states, we promised many of our new friends and aspiring
actors that we would send them a book from
with the information on how to get started in the business and
who to talk with in their area. We searched the shelves of
book stores thinking there already was a book published with
the names and addresses-“the contacts”-you would need in all
fifty states. There was no such reference work and ta-da this
book was born.
We began by contacting the film commissions all across the
country and painstakingly gathering the names, addresses and
phone numbers of all of the casting directors, agents, union
offices and film commissions in your area. All the ones that
we could find listed anywhere. (We probably missed a few but
not to many.)
*Won a bunch of awards, by the way.
This is not a motivational book. This is a manual.
I'm going to describe the business to you as I know it. I'm
going to tell you who the players are. Then I'm going to lay
out a specific course of action. Take it one step at a time.
My purpose is not to sell you on the idea of you, or your child,
being in movies and commercials. It's to get you enough
experience in the industry, at minimal expense, so you can make
that decision for yourself. You go through these steps, and
you'll probably be on a movie set, but I make you no promises
except this: If you don't try, nothing will happen.
Who should be reading this book? What kind of people have
a prayer of getting into film or television? How can
I be in a movie? I don't look like a movie star.
How many people in a movie do you think look like a movie
people in a soap commercial look like a screen legend? Now I'll
grant you, if you want to model lingerie and you're twenty
pounds overweight, you could have a problem. But I think I'm
making my point: Movies are supposed to look real. Hollywood
is about being believable. You can't be too old, young,
tall, short, light, dark, skinny, fat, bald or beautiful or ugly
to be in a movie. I'm no beauty, myself. It starts with a
picture. You don't have to look good, but your