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THE GOOD NEWS at the 1970 annual Screen Actors Guild meeting at the storied Hollywood Palladium was that SAG president Charlton Heston was about to present the organization's eighth annual Life Achievement Award to Gregory Peck. I was there in the auditorium that Friday, Nov. 20th, with what seemed l...Expand post
THE GOOD NEWS at the 1970 annual Screen Actors Guild meeting at the storied Hollywood Palladium was that SAG president Charlton Heston was about to present the organization's eighth annual Life Achievement Award to Gregory Peck.
I was there in the auditorium that Friday, Nov. 20th, with what seemed like every recognizable face in Hollywood, green as grass, a newly minted SAG member and at that point a five-month resident of Hollywood, my bachelor apartment a stone's throw away. I sat as close to the stage as I could, in the lefthand section, right on the aisle _ a spot that almost turned out to be as much curse as blessing (years later, Screen Actor Magazine marked an anniversary of the event with a huge, double-page photo _ and there I was, as wide-eyed as Bambi, but twice as gullible).
First, a little history about the Palladium.
The legendary Art Deco building at 6215 Sunset Boulevard opened in October 1940, thanks to the $1.6 million largesse of Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler.
To say that the list of performers who appeared there over the years is varied and eclectic is an understatement in the extreme.
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra featuring a boy singer named Frank Sinatra gave the inaugural performance there, and in the ensuing years, the Palladium would be home to everything from "The Lawrence Welk Show" to "Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip," with films such as "The Blues Brothers" and "Day of the Locust" sprinkled liberally throughout.
The afternoon of this momentous annual SAG gathering began cheerily enough, with SAG President Heston presenting a delighted Peck with the achievement award (I had seen them convincingly knock heads as adversaries in the great western "The Big Country" a decade earlier and was amazed at how well they seemed to get along).
Then all hell broke loose.
Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, fresh off filming "Klute," which would bring Fonda her first Oscar, were at the height of their anti-everything cycle, and on this day they were attacking SAG for not being diversified enough. That came as an immense surprise to me, since the organization's board members, seated onstage, seemed pretty darned diverse to me, featuring everyone from Native American Jay Silverheels, Tonto himself, to actresses like Kathleen Freeman and Kathleen Nolan of "Real McCoys" fame, the latter slated to become the first woman president of the body a few years later.
Ms. Fonda and Sutherland seemed to want to talk, and so they they did, via microphones that had been set up in the aisles so that members could question Heston and the board.
There were plenty of pressing issues. A whopping 42% of the SAG membership was unemployed, and because of that the guild and IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) had signed a lower-budget contract designed to bring production back to Hollywood (the agreement was called the "Comeback Contract").
Seated as I was right on the aisle, Ms. Fonda became my new best friend, at least geographically speaking. No matter what anyone said, she had a ready answer, and sped back to the microphone. And _ almost _ to me. (It occurred to me that I'd better have something to say if she sped too hard, missed the mike, and landed in my lap; it could be the ultimate career changer.)
Finally, the dignified and reserved character actor John Randolph, just coming off a dynamic performance as the "old" version of Rock Hudson in the film "Seconds," attempted to bring reason and decorum back to the session. Avuncular and extraordinarily well spoken, he removed his glasses repeatedly and leaned in, moving his arms and hands in way that must have taken years onstage to perfect. (Alas, this was not to be Mr. Randolph's worst experience at a gathering of actors; at the 1986 Oscar ceremonies telecast, his wife, actress Sarah Cunningham, would die of an asthma attack.)
I came away from the SAG meeting impressed, dazed and a little frightened. What had I gotten into, and was I up to it? I still don't know the answer to that one _ but here I am.
The writers may have avoided a strike, but let's not forget SAG-AFTRA is still in the midst of its longest strike ever! http://deadline.com/2017/05/sag-aftra-video-game-strike-gains-1202094389/...Expand post
I just started an acting troupe and I'm basically the only member. I want to create the opportunity for people to be able to write and perform their own stories instead of relying on others to typecast them or wait to afford an expensive acting school. Please contact me if you want to join or know someone who would want to join
Famous last words from mom who always knew especially when she signed you for acting school that you would forever be known as an actor and in mom's world of children everywhere we are she wanted us to remember that we were great and if that son a bitch at the box office stole our share that we'd ha...Expand post
Famous last words from mom who always knew especially when she signed you for acting school that you would forever be known as an actor and in mom's world of children everywhere we are she wanted us to remember that we were great and if that son a bitch at the box office stole our share that we'd have to do something especially since dad had a mistress now.
Hi, my name is Derek! I'm a Canadian actor who has been acting for a few years. I've been in a handful of student films and currently seeking representation in TV and film. Can anyone recommend any legit Toronto agencies?
Being an extra can be strenuous. If you think long hours are bad in America imagine having to be on set for 18 - 24 hours. But I can't speak for all countries just the one I'm in. Nonetheless, there are some advantages that you should think of when on set as an extra. Let's ponder those advantages i...Expand post
Being an extra can be strenuous. If you think long hours are bad in America imagine having to be on set for 18 - 24 hours. But I can't speak for all countries just the one I'm in. Nonetheless, there are some advantages that you should think of when on set as an extra. Let's ponder those advantages in Three B's For The Extra-Expat Thespian Be Ready - The term "extra" can be a bit loose, at least in Korea. So when you get on set if you can get your hands on the script...do so. Be prepared to be pulled out from the masses to do a scene. Directors can change their minds quickly so have you improv & cold reading skills ready. Be In Character - One important lesson about being an extra is that they have to stay in character a lot longer. Since extras don't get the same breaks as other actors our perseverance must hold true. So take the time on set to learn how to stay in character and you will shine above the rest. Be Reserved - It's going to be a long day/night so don't burn all your energy on the first 5 hours of shooting. If you get a chance to get some rest...do it. Drink plenty of water and eat the snacks/food that are provided. Your body will thank you! Your sense of professionalism is being reflected even when your not directly in front of the camera. Don't let your desire to network or to be the next star outweigh your need to learn. Even an extra can be a great Expat Thespian. I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you agree? Please reply in the comments below with your thoughts. Till next time thespians, #TheSeoulBrotha
Hi all. I'm a writer director looking to expand my contacts for upcoming film projects in the Monterey California area. Send me a network request if potentially interested.
No project is in the pipeline as of yet for this year, but I have completed three features in three years, so the next one is inevitable.