Okay. Okay. OKAY. Look, I'm gonna be honest with you. I'm gonna do something I absolutely hate that other people do. Something I myself want to take a frying pan to whenever I see it. The kind of thing that you're like, "Yeah some dude should high-five this guy in the face. Yeah, that seems like a good idea."
I'm writing this post slightly flustered. (GASP)
Okay, look, I'm spending this entire weekend living like a sad sloth. So I think I deserve some reprieve. It's hard doing nothing all weekend ya know?
Anywho, I texted my friends wanting to hang out but they totally ghosted so now I'm binge-watching the entire third season of "DC's Legends" like some frat girl after her third period mid-term. Except I don't have a group of girlfriends to vent to and judge someone else's fashion choices.
And now I'm getting more pissy by the second thinking about it. And when I get pissy it makes me want to talk a lot. And since I'm home alone like some sad puppy with no food I'm gonna get a bit ranty. But not too ranty because I'd like to be friends with you.
I'm not really pissy per say, but I'm definitely in need of some love for my wounded narcissism.
So I'm gonna be completely transparent.
I'm more of the behind the scenes guy at Hollywood Actors Workshop, I handle the "marketing", "coding", "graphics" (also read: pretty pictures), and "non-acting related stuff" on this website. I just want this site to bring people together so that they can share their experiences and we can grow as a group. I've never taught acting but I've taken acting classes. And my god, the ones I went to were so stuffy. They called their approaches and techniques super-academic sounding things like, "The Triple BBC Technique, Don't Ever Share This With Anyone." and "Super Secret Black Magic Acting Principles by Coach Romero".
I also feel like acting is taken wayyyyyyy too seriously. Like, you walk into an audition, and everyone just looks at you. I remember walking into a model casting in LA a few months back and I just felt like some piece of meat ready to get absolutely devoured. I had to wait in a line full of dudes giving me the death eye. You could see the judgment going on behind their eyes. They were cut-throat. "Yeah you know you're not good looking enough" Get away from me" I hope you fail so I can laugh at you". It went on like that for the whole time until I met the receptionist who let people into the room. She asked for my name. I said, Sam. She asked if I had a comp card (it's like a headshot and resume but for models). I said no. (Wrong move).
Then she smiled and did something really weird. She said, "Take off your shirt".
I thought it was some sort of joke at first but then I looked around and she was dead serious. No smile. No warmth. Nada.
So I took a second. I thought to myself how much I really wanted to attend this model casting call, and was like nah not today, and left the room.
Everyone, especially the other guy models, looked at me as I walked away with my tail between my legs. Some of them even snickered as I left. It really shook my self-confidence for a good week or so after. Like, for real suckage.
But then I got mad. I thought about this industry. About how it chews and spits out aspiring artists (yeah that's right. We're artists, not just actors) like it was going out of style. And the sad thing is, most of us don't ever recover from that emotional blow. Even worse than that, the ones who do recover get so twisted and bent emotionally that they have to be arrogant and mean.
They've been kicked so many times that they've been conditioned to be heartless, petty, needy jerks that use, throw under the bus, and manipulate people just to get ahead.
The scary thing is that these types of actors usually make it big for one role and then fizzle out or get into some really scary and sketchy stuff where an agency or director takes advantage of them.
These are where a lot of the horror stories come from. This industry preys on the once pure dreams and aspirations of us artists and soils them, making them murky and scarred. It dangles our dreams in front of us and then snatches it away at the last second.
It's easy to get bent in so many ways as an actor until we're almost unrecognizable because we wear our dreams, which are incidentally our biggest buttons and pain points, on our sleeves each and every time we step into that audition room.
It's super easy to become hard, cold, and pessimistic. And even though there are all these horrible things that can happen, I think acting is beautiful. It's vulnerable. It's an incredibly intimate look into the depth of someone's soul. It's poetic. And sometimes it's the only way to explain something. To just "be".
I also think that is why the acting industry has such a tendency to become so polarizing and scary. It's chaotic because people are chaotic. And at the end of the day, it's the chaotic tool we use to connect with people in a way nothing else can.
Truth be told, at my heart I'm probably an actor but I won't care to admit it. I think I secretly hope that I'll find some artsy girl that "sees" the depth and mystery to my real "characters" and lets me explore those different possibilities. I think that's why I love anti-heroes so much.
But either way, I digress, I'm much more comfortable taking on a birds-eye-view to acting, understanding it as my own unique beast.
I have a great amount of respect for people who know they want to be actors and it's their driving passion in life. Very few things are as inspiring as pure passion.
And that's where Gio comes in. My mom. She's one of those few people that's in the acting trenches with you every day because it's her passion and it's what she wants to do. But it's not the fact that she's a working actor that makes her special, it's that she's genuinely thrilled to teach people about acting.
And not in a sleazy, pessimistic way either. She actually loves acting. It's crazy.
She has this thing where she'll get so focused on coaching someone that there will be her and the person on the other side, no one else. And my god, magic happens. She makes a connection, they make a connection, and emotions just start pouring out in a way that makes acting art.
Her emotions are her paint, and acting is her canvas. Damn, that's hella cheesy. But it's true!
A typical day for me is banging my head on to a table until I have a magic light bulb moment and embark on my grand journey of more headbanging until I actually create something semi-useful.
So tell me what you think of the site. I'm trying my best to make it a fun experience.
We're also working on some really cool stuff for you but we want your feedback.
So if you'd feel so inclined, leave a comment below telling me your thoughts on being an actor, what you love about it, what you're confused by, and maybe what you wish you had help on.
Thanks for getting through this long read, and cheers!
Much love from your friends at the Hollywood Actors Workshop.