Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hailey's Novel Diary – 7/8/17

I've always heard that Los Angeles is a good place for live theater. I'm naturally skeptical, especially since the history of Los Angeles revolved around the motion picture industry, and movies today are all about computer effects. But you never know. Most Americans have no idea how much theater and live music is available in Minneapolis, so it stands to reason that Los Angeles might exceed my expectations. Plus, the city has 4 million people. Some of them must enjoy the theater.

Los Angeles is no Broadway, but what city is? Maybe London comes close. But they have the Pantages Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre and probably a lot of smaller venues.

And with that, another chapter is finished.

Chapter 15 starts off with some serious career disappointment. One of the main characters is an actress, and the acting world is one disappointment after another. There is a simple rule for actors: if you can't handle rejection, don't go to the audition.

This is an easy character to write. I've been acting off and on for about a dozen years. I've gone to open calls and was immediately told I was too young, too old, too tall or too short. There's a scene in Tootsie when Dustin Hoffman is auditioning for a play and the faceless voice in the dark tells him he's not right for the part. He tries to tell them that he can be whatever they want. The voice tells him they're looking for someone else, someone not him. That's exactly what it's like. Every production is looking for the right people and every actor is looking for work. When the actors outnumber the jobs 1,000 to 1, someone is going to be disappointed.

On the rare occasion you're offered a more important part, but then changes demand that you take a smaller part, you have two options. A lot of actors let their pride take over and they quit. That's not the best way to get work. Some actors swallow their pride and take the smaller part. That's better for your bank account, but it also tells producers and casting directors that you can be pushed around.

Directed by Sydney Pollack
© 1982 Columbia Pictures

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