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    My First Agent in Hollywood

    When I was living in Los Angeles, Tom Jennings, my agent at the time, sent me on an audition for a Nick Nolte film. I’m not sure it ever went into production. But I do specifically remember that there was a nude scene in the picture and I was vehemently against doing it. In fact, it was offered to me and I turned it down.

    This was one of the few times that I was ever in a position to turn down a film. I simply didn’t want to do a nude scene as an unknown actress. I’m not even sure I’d do a nude scene if I had been well known.

    Tom was kind of a lackadaisical agent. He actually found me when my boyfriend of the time was doing a pilot for a television series. Tom was in the audience with me. We got to talking and I told him I was fresh from New York City, had some off-off Broadway experience and was eager to move on with my career in California.

    Luckily for me, Tom was very receptive to taking me on as a client. I was hoping to get a TV pilot during “pilot season” which was September to January. That’s when all the eager hopefuls were chomping at the bit to get roles on television.

    Fortunately, Tom totally understood my reticence about not taking the role in the Nolte film. That was the last time I ever went on an audition where there was nudity involved in the role.

    He got me some auditions for legitimate shows on television such as Seinfeld for the part of Elaine, but alas I wasn’t cast in that role. They were specifically looking for someone with long curly hair, which I had at the time. There were a lot of girls auditioning for the role. I never saw Julia Lewis-Dreyfus at the audition. But she had a lot of credits previous to that series and probably didn’t have to audition at a massive call like I did. She most probably was contacted directly through her agent.

    When you are first sent on an audition you receive what are called “sides” of the script. These are scenes from the actual show. You generally read with the casting director as the other character. It doesn’t wind up being very spontaneous as a reading, since the casting director has already read this part many times with other actors. Since I didn’t get a call-back, I must assume the casting director wasn’t enamored enough with my reading to go before the producers, which would be the next step. My life certainly would have turned out differently if I was.

    Just think; I wouldn’t be writing to you each week.


    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