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    The acting life (with correction from one of the players*)

    Many people probably wonder what it’s like to pursue an acting career.  Let me tell you, I’ve been there and it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And of course, my story may be different from others. But mine is all I know.

    I started my illustrious career in high school. I played Marion the Librarian in The Music Man. I remember my co-star, Michael, who played Harold Hill, and who had awful breath. (Sorry, Michael.)

    I didn’t stop there. Shortly thereafter I entered Indiana University as a voice major. I wasn’t really thrilled with the opera department, so I ventured into the theater and dance department.

    After my third year of college I auditioned for the American Repertory Theater Company, commonly known as Artreach, out of Cincinnati, Ohio. I was cast as a member of the touring theater. There were four actors and we traveled around in a van in the tri-state area (Indiana, Ohio and Illinois).

    Not that it was all that glamorous. We mainly toured in elementary and high schools putting on children’s theater. I must say we had a lot of attentive audiences in the kids we played to. And after all, it was acting and I was getting paid for it. This lasted one year.

    I then moved to New York City to continue my acting dream. I hadn’t planned ahead very well, however, and had no place to stay when I arrived. An angel appeared in the form of Cindy Dutton (now Cindy Princi) who took me in after meeting in a restaurant.

    Cindy and I went through a barrage of bad boyfriends and I auditioned for a number of off-off Broadway parts. None of the parts I got are really worth mentioning and at that time I lost touch with Cindy. It wasn’t until two years ago that her sister Stacy located me on the Internet and I renewed my acquaintance with them both.

    Stacey and I had waitressed together at a restaurant called A Votre Sante *and she eventually went on to agent for Bon Jovi and be a host of a reality show on cable TV. I went on to more bad boyfriends and moved to L.A. to chase my dream. *(Stacey E-mailed me right after getting this and corrected me that we met at Columbus Restaurant…we met again later at A Votre Sante but worked together for Charlie and Paul Herman at Columbus.)

    At the time, I lived three blocks from my waiteressing job at West Beach Café in Venice. I walked there every day. I often went to the beach after my shift.

    In fact, my daily schedule went something like this: I got up in the morning and ran three miles. I stopped at a bakery on the way home, buying myself a fresh muffin and a cup of coffee. Then home to take a shower and check my answering machine in case a “rich and famous” casting call came in. My agent at the time was named Tom Jennings. Tom got me auditions for the part of Elaine on the budding Seinfeld series and a part in the movie project about the TV series Green Acres. I auditioned for the part of Ellie Mae.

    Obviously none of these parts came to fruition. But at least I have the stories and I gave it my best shot.
     

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com