When I was a college chap (read: my younger and more vulnerable years) I told myself that I would pursue acting for 5 years and if I didn't "make it" I would get a Doctorate in Acting/Theatre and be a professor, because I just loved acting that much that I wanted to be surrounded by it and I didn't care about the capacity.
It has now been 5 years to the date of my college graduation. And I gotta level with you, there's no effing way I'm packing it in. Although I have accomplished a lot and had a heck of a lot of close calls. Let's try to recap:
Immediately after graduation I was cast in a pilot, "College Daze" and was cast in an off-off broadway Shakespeare show, "The Merchant of Venice." The play paid a small honorarium, I met some cool people (am still friends with two of them). The pilot was a great experience, it didn't go anywhere but I learned from it and it was a good ego boost to get that much work early on.
I joined SAG and AEA.
I starred in numerous one act plays in downtown Manhattan, they won awards and were well received.
I took a shit load of improv classes at the UCB. One of the guys I met in class, the aforementioned Mark is still a great friend and was in my groom party. I made a lot of connections at the UCB and even had a show that ran for a while.
My father and I started an outdoor Shakespeare company on Fire Island NY. It lasted 3 seasons and we managed to pay the actors and give them free room and board. We had great reviews and I myself had three excellent reviews. I was compared to a "young Orson Welles." Hot damn!
I was in a JVC Everio commercial where I danced shirtless and collapsed and died. It was on ESPN's homepage for two weeks. I knew this, because my e-mail box blew up from fraternity brothers that I hadn't heard from in years.
I was a day player in "Lipstick Jungle." Sweaterboy. I was Lorraine Braccho's assistant. It was supposed to be a day of featured background, they gave me a line and then cut it. But the paycheck was nice and meeting Mrs. Braccho and Kim Raver was really cool. Mrs. Raver is exceptionally kind and warm.
I did a lot of stand-in work for John Goodman. I spilled my guts to him one night on the set of "Confessions of a Shopaholic". and told him that he was, in essence, my hero and my inspiration to pursue acting after college as a big guy. I learned SO much from Goodman and he is hands down one of the kindest people on Earth. I get a special tingly feeling just thinking about his work and his warmth.
A short list of close calls: I lost a role to Tony Hale (from arrested development and the informant, among may other things) for the movie "Arlen Farber", it went to Sundance. I repeat: this film went to Sundance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would been opposite Jeff Daniels for 5 scenes. I repeat: I would have been opposite Jeff Daniels for five scenes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The casting director told me that I was "thiiiiiiiiiis close" to getting it. Supposedly the producer wanted a name and not a new guy. I had call backs for numerous movies including "Law Abiding Citizen", "How Do You Know..." (directed by James L Brooks) and M Night Shylamans "The Last Airbender". For LAC, I was supposedly on the table to get cast as "Mitch" a young ADA who gets blown up and whose untimely demise Jamie Foxx cries over. They rewrote the script and "Mitch" hit the cutting room floor. For "How Do You Know" I lost the role to the actor who played "Herc" on "The Wire and cousin Dominic from Entourage. Two national commercial call backs: Carnival Cruise lines and Kraft mayonnaise.
I don't want to talk more about the near misses, the heartbreak and the tears - because I don't want to feel like that again.
I was raised by my father so attack each day and task with vigor and enthusiasm; there's no way I'm going away quietly.