Admit it! You were always destined for stardom. Your exceptional good looks, your massive ego, your emotional immaturity, your fantastic wardrobe of designer sweat suits — they all make you perfect superstar material.
Alas, life has denied you the Hollywood success you so richly deserve. The need to support your extravagant lifestyle, including the do-it-yourself Botox injections and the frequent visits to all-you-can eat buffets at the Smorgy-Bob, has pulled the red carpet out from under you. But don’t give up your champagne dreams. Even if you never get a movie star role, there is still time for you to play a leading role in the Hollywood pantheon. And here’s the best part — your ticket into the movie business is the exact same skill set that you have mastered in your present business!
Or so I gather after reading a new book by Mark Scherzer and Keith Fenimore, “Hire Me, Hollywood.” Touted as a “Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Most Exciting — and Unexpected — Jobs in Show Business,” this peppy little volume is built around “Uncensored Conversations with 30 Industry Insiders.”
The insiders are experts in their fields and, as such, quite unlikely to provide the information you would need to compete with them for upcoming gigs. That’s to be expected. After all, you wouldn’t tell a newbie the secrets of getting a super-wonderful, super-glamorous job like your own.
Be warned that most of the jobs described are behind the camera. This could work in your favor, since your behind is much more photogenic than your front. A real on-camera actor who does talk to the authors is Sam Trammell, one of the stars of the HBO series, “True Blood.”
I suppose you could learn something about acting from Trammell, who does discuss techniques, like “The Method,” which teaches Hollywood-bound hulks and hulkettes how to get in touch with their deepest emotions “by relying on previous experiences and raw emotion.” Of course, you don’t need a method to get in touch with your raw emotions. Just remember your previous experiences trying to talk to the droids in human resources and you’ll upchuck enough raw emotion to last through all six hours of “Conan the Barbarian.” (I suppose I should be more respectful of Mr. Trammel, who is on a hit TV series, but let’s face facts — the man does not play a vampire or even a were-panther, but only a lowly shape-shifter.)
Your current work experience could also help you start on the career path to becoming a hairstylist/makeup artist like Ryan Randall. At first, the idea of attaching hair extensions for Dog the Bounty Hunter may make this profession seem very distant from your current job experience, but as I read through the interview, I came upon some words so encouraging that I instantly knew this could be your ticket to Hollywood. In describing the curriculum at cosmetology school, Randall explains, “there are a lot of practical applications, like practicing techniques on mannequin heads.”
Hey, you’ve been practicing techniques on mannequin heads since you started your job. The only difference is that this time, the mannequin heads won’t give you a lot of lip.
The same logic applies when you consider the position of Cecilia Cardwell, an on-set tutor/studio teacher. Cecilia spends her days trying to drill some intelligence into the heads of spoiled children who expect to be worshipped and feel they know everything, anyway. Sound familiar?
John Rosengrant, a makeup effects artist, is also currently clinging to a job that would be perfect for you. He specializes in science fiction and horror movies, for which he is responsible for creating scary creatures and sadistic robots. Believe me, if he ever runs out of ideas, Mr. Rosengrant simply has to show up at your Monday morning staff meetings. That’s a horror show that would scare Dr. Frankenstein.
You could easily slip into Hollywood as a puppeteer like Kevin Clash, the voice of Tickle Me Elmo. All it takes is the ability to make a dummy sound like an interesting, intelligent character. If you can do it for your boss, you can do it for anyone.
After reading all 30 interviews, I do think the best match for you may the job of executive producer. As the producer of “Live with Regis & Kelly,” Howard Gelman explains, “My job is to be blamed for everything.”
See — there’s really no need for you to go to Hollywood. You’ve got that job right now.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.