Fate of the Academy Awards

          The Academy Awards’ fate is uncertain at this time due to the on-going Writer’s Strike, but looks like the Screen Actor’s Guild ~ SAG Awards will still be airing on January 27, 2008, and guess what?  I get to vote; just one of the perks of being a SAG member.  I also received my free DVD’s and press pack of select movies such as: 3:10 to Yuma, Away From Her, Into the Wild, Hairspray, and No Country for Old Men.  I love this time of year - free movies and DVD’s.  In the spirit of the SAG awards, I thought it would be cool to take a moment to talk about my first gig which got me into the Actor’s Union. 

          When I started pursuing my acting career twenty years ago, getting into the actor’s unions seemed so out of reach, but when I got my first agent in 1987, the dream became a reality.  Living in the Bay Area presents different opportunities for professional actors, and back in the late 80’s and 90’s there were more movies and even a TV series filmed in Northern California.  Back in those “good ole days,” actors in the Bay Area were offered Day Player roles and even Co-Star roles.  It’s funny, because some actors from the “LA” market don’t consider actors from the “San Francisco” market “as serious,” but regardless of what your opinion is, there’s one fact that remains true ~ I got my first SAG Union gig with a Co-Starring role on the national TV show - Midnight Caller starring Gary Cole (The Brady Bunch), Michael T. Williamson (Bubba from Forrest Gump), and Dennis Dun (known for his role opposite Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China).

          Getting into the Union was such an amazing experience, and I consider myself so blessed to have worked with these people.  The episode was titled PLANES, a spin on Oliver Twist.  It aired in the second season and was about a young boy, Sly, (played by Jared Rushton ~ who was in BIG, and Pet Cemetery 2) is abandoned by his mother and step-father and left to fend for himself in the streets of San Francisco.  He meets up with a gang of orphans who steal.  I played Rebound, the best friend of Jared Rushton.  This was such an exciting moment in my career.  This is what I’ve always dreamed of… working on a TV show.  It came with all the amenities that come with a professional gig:  My own Honey Wagon, hair stylist (even though they gave me an afro), an amazing craft services, call sheets, wardrobe fitting, my headshot was on the callboard with the entire cast at the studio, my name made the TV guide as Co-Star status, residual checks, and I was on set for one week.  We shot the episode throughout SF and did some studio work.  There are so many amazing moments that I’ll never forget, like talking with Dennis Dun about his experience on Big Trouble in Little China for forty five minutes in the make-up room while the make-up artist put fake scars on my back.  Talking with Jared Rushton about his experiences working with Tom Hanks, and on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and going to the end of season Wrap Party at Bimbo’s in SF listening to Brad Fiedel (Terminator sound track) tickle the ivory all night long!  When I booked the show, I didn’t live in LA, I booked it from the Bay Area, and it was my first step into SAG.  I later went on to do more work in TV shows like America’s Most Wanted (which got me into AFTRA - I was a re-enactment actor, not a criminal LOL), and Nash Bridges. 

          I am so proud to be a member of SAG.  I got my card through real speaking roles and not by using the voucher system in “extra” work which so many young actors do these days.  In my opinion, the Union should do away with the voucher system.  There is nothing wrong with extra work, but doing extra work doesn’t mean you can act, but that’s a different blog.

So here’s to the Actor’s Union, and thanks again for all the free DVD’s!

 

~Write on,

Kevin

 
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