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Kathryn Spira

Same Dilemma, Different Location

The sun affects me in a very positive way.  As I’m writing this to you on Tuesday the 16th of March it being the first sunny day with the snow melting finally.  As you all know it has been a dreary couple of weeks here in the northeast.

As my aide Terry and I were sitting on the front deck listening to Cat Stevens “Tea for the Tillerman” album my sublime reverie was broken by the way of Herman coming out and reminding me that I had a column to write for this week.  I knew I had to come in and wasn’t happy about it as I can’t write and be in the sun at the same time.  Typing has to be done for me on the computer which the screen is almost impossible to see in the sunlight.  The same problem happened in Los Angeles while pursuing my then acting career.  Problem being I was and still am mesmerized by the sunshine.

The difference being out there I was on the beach at the ocean.  Let me just set the stage.  I was living in Venice Beach just a couple of blocks from the beach.  I’d get up in the morning put my running gear on which consisted of boxer shorts, tank, tennis shoes and of course my walkman radio.  I would then walk the two blocks to the beach grabbing a muffin and coffee on the way hitting the boardwalk and finding an empty spot on a bench and eat my breakfast.  I would then go to a pay phone which was on the beach and check in with my talent agent Tom Jennings. This was always a double edged sword so to speak, because on the one hand I wanted an audition for a TV show or movie, but on the other hand did I want to travel the 45 minutes to the studios inBurbank, CA where the auditions were held. Jennings knew me pretty well and also knew that my dream of becoming an actress was stronger than being a beach bum.

Let me tell you how this sort of played out. It’s really in two parts. Jennings turned out to be not a great agent and my MS was becoming a little more pronounced.  I was walking with a fold-up cane back then which I would simply stash in by belt bag and sort of limp into the studio for the audition.   Of course this was only the last several years I was out there.

As agents go, Jennings being Irish and a self proclaimed lover of drink evidently became more enthused with that part of his life rather than the talent representative part.  Although I will say he had three major stars that were on daytime soaps, which I believe were his bread and butter. Agents rarely took on unknown talent like me, so I considered myself lucky in that I had very little theatrical credits on my resume other than my training in New York City and my experience in off-off Broadway shows.

You know, what I ultimately decided back then that remains a constant today is my positive state of mind.  That people are more important than things and that the glory of being an actress really wasn’t what I imagined it to be.

In a way my MS has given me the freedom to live the way I want to and really embrace and enjoy every day and that includes writing to you each and every week.  Of course the sunny days still shine the brightest for me and with that I leave you to resume my freedom of enjoying the day.


About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site