This episode is dedicated to my friend, Pam Levin, one of the most talented, funny and fearless actors I know. You should all go see her One Woman Show in LA or NY.
Buy tickets HERE.
I am jumping way ahead, partly because I really don’t want to remember so much of what happened to get me here but mostly because I had such a great time, I don’t want that feeling to end. Ever.
In one of the last episodes, Scott Sedita, The Wizard of Hollywood, suggested I attend The Groundlings School, which I did and had a great time, even though all I really learned was I still hated Improv.
But the second thing Scott suggested, was a Commercial Class.
And not just any Commercial Class, he suggested something called Killian’s Commercial Workshop.
Actually what he said was, “If you survive it, it will be good for you.”
I mean, I was 60, I hadn’t done anything in front of a camera or on a stage for about 15 years and he wanted to throw me into a class from which I might never recover.
But hey, once again, The Wizard had spoken and since The Wizard only recommended that I do two things, none of them an invitation to participate in any of his classes at his school, what were my choices?
So once again, I went online and found the website and looked around.
None of it looked scary.
Nowhere did it say “If you survive this class, it will be good for you.”
As a matter of fact, Killian had a very optimistic motto.
“Leap and The Net Will Appear.”
Now I have been flying without a net for most of my life, so this motto was reassuring to me. Very reassuring.
And the prices seemed reasonable. A little more than a car payment, a little less than my horse’s board. Standard Acting Class Fees.
But just in case, I asked a few of my actor friends if they had ever heard of this man Killian and the Net of which he speaks.
And when I did, I watched the color drain from their faces.
It seems he is well-known in Actor Land. Very well-known.
It seems all my actor friends had heard about Killian and his Net and were too afraid to take any of the classes.
Suddenly the price of that class seemed high. Very high, because along with the $335 Scott assumed in his Wizardly Wisdom, I would be thrilled to shell out for this class, there seemed to be the distinct possibility that I would lose whatever semblance of confidence in my talent I had left, which was not much.
Now, even the idea of attending this Man’s class threw me into a tailspin.
But I leapt, or leaped as instructed & grabbed my credit card, and true to Killian’s word, the Net did appear.
There, at the bottom of the Adult Commercial Class description was a clause –
“It is for actors that already have agency representation…”
And that let me off the hook, because I had none.
I was never so happy not to have an Agent. This man Killian, whose name seems to strike terror in the hearts of some of my very talented friends, who Scott Sedita had suggested I pay to terrorize me, wouldn’t even allow me in the class.
But just as I was about to close the window of my browser, and the door to Killian’s Workshop Classes, his terror and his Net, forever, a curious thing happened.
Some would call it Fate.
Some would call it The Wicked Witch’s Spell.
My curser instead hit the play button on a video on the website.
There were two nice people on-screen talking, and someone walking back and forth behind them.
And I knew that the person walking behind them was the dreaded Killian.
And then I knew why my very talented actor friends were so scared.
I had seen him before. Not on-screen, not in any casting session and not really Killian.
I had seen him walking at that same pace, head down, on several subway platforms when I was much, much younger, on different days, always late at night and always when I was traveling home alone, while I prayed to hear the distant rumble of the RR or A or any train that would come and stop and get me off that platform.
But let’s face it, I’m 60 now and after moving to Florida to start a new life only to discover that my family, who had either said they would move there or didn’t say they would move there, depending on who in my family you talked to, and after moving back to Los Angeles to pick up and cobble together whatever remnants of my life I had left behind, and after spending 10 days in the Tiny Trailer and 4 months in The Little House From Hell, some subway platform maniac walking back and forth looking down and, and this I can only assume, wondering why his shoes were on the wrong feet, just didn’t seem so scary to me.
I mean, the man was wearing a short sleeve blue plaid shirt. Not a look that should strike fear in the heart of anyone.
So clicked and enrolled in the Foundation Class. I wasn’t going to let this man scare me out of doing what Scott Sedita, The Wizard of Hollywood, and hopefully still my friend, had told me to do. I wasn’t going to let anyone scare me out of anything anymore. Besides, Killian wasn’t even going to teach the class. It was going to be taught by these nice looking, Mid-Westerny people. People who looked into the camera and looked right into your eyes, not someone looking down, wondering why his shoes were on backwards. People who smiled and seemed comforting and encouraging. Even if there was still another clause I hadn’t paid much attention to, at the bottom of the class description –
“Also, Killian will be there overseeing the audition …”
Ok, so that also threw me a little. But I had already paid for the class and in Actor Land, I knew that money was gone and not coming back. But I also I knew that no matter what, I was going to put my Rule of Happy into effect. I was going to be happy, no matter what, and the only way that was going to happen is if I made going to that class fun, no matter what. At least fun for me. And that was all that mattered.
Plus, I knew that the cost of that class, however scary, included a net.
And it was $50 bucks less than the Adult Class. So I relaxed. I knew everything was going to be just fine and began to look forward to this new adventure that Scott Sedita, The Wizard of Hollywood, and hopefully still my friend, had sent me on. I pulled up my Big Girl Pants and poured myself a glass of wine and toasted to my fearlessness and determination to attend the class that so many of my other actor friends were too afraid to attend. I settled into a sense of calm, of clarity and security. All was well.
Until I got the email.
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