After leaving the nut job manager, I found a guy who hustled for me. Believed in me. Pushed me. Never said to no to me. That manager was me. Seven of us from acting class pooled our tip money from waiting tables or bartending and got the ‘breakdowns’ every morning. ‘Breakdowns’ are a daily list of projects and the roles being cast. Two of us would look through the breakdown and see what was right for everyone on the team. We made letterheads and envelopes with some phony Management name. Each day we would take turns delivering the submissions around town. The submissions looked official. This is highly risky, highly a hustle. The phone number was a pager with a nice sounding outgoing message with voicemail. I don’t think anyone noticed no one ever picked up phone. Once casting left a message we would call back to confirm the appointment. It was shady stuff. But it was hustle or wait around for the phone never to ring. Two years passed, then one glorious day I booked my first paid job. Cal State Fullerton Univ. made educational videos about racism and cultural crap for PBS. I played a racist immigrant at a bus stop; my costar was Romany Malco from 40-year-old virgin and Weeds.
It was both of our first paid acting jobs. Ramony played a racist black guy at the bus stop. We basically yelled at each other calling each other racist names. At the end of the story we realize it’s wrong to be racist and go on our merry way. It was pretty lame, but we had a good time. We got paid $300 for two days of work. I would have done it for free. It was nice to just get the job, just getting to act. I felt like a professional. I felt validated. Pretty cool memory.
Adios party people.