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    Heading into Autumn

    It's at about this time each year at the beginning of September that I
    look forward to the autumn season to cap off my summer.

    When I was living in Los Angeles I remember looking forward to the
    winter being sunny and mild out there. One of my favorite things to do
    in December was call back east to friends and family from the beach
    pay phone. Collect, of course. This was before the big outbreak of
    cell phones back about 1990. Actually, any of the winter months would
    work.

    What was really weird was auditioning for commercials that were
    holiday themed and I would just be coming from the beach. Never having
    been one to celebrate the Christmas holiday I could only imagine
    getting into the holiday spirit by looking at neighboring Christmas
    decorations back in Cleveland in my childhood or watching TV
    commercials with Christmas themes when I was a kid.

    Fall is when the pilots all premiered for the new season, as I think
    you all know from watching TV. They were actually shot around
    February.

    "Pilot season" was nuts out there. Every actor wanted to get auditions
    for a job and all the restaurant managers were freaking out because
    the staff all wanted time off to pursue their careers. More
    accurately, they didn't want to lose the money for their shifts and
    were constantly shifting their schedules around and making the owners
    and managers crazy-some of whom were actors or had been actors
    themselves -until they finally succumbed to the notion that the
    restaurant business wasn't just a "means to an end" job but an end in
    itself.

    Very rarely would you find anyone working in a restaurant who wasn't
    an aspiring actor. People pretty much fell into the roles of casting
    directors, producers or directors-most originally thought they would
    become actors. You often hear of people going to directing from
    acting, rarely the other way around.

    In comparison, my life in autumn is as calm as can be. I try to keep
    the stress level low. As I'm writing to you now, my beloved
    11-year-old cat Sam is asleep at my feet. Herman is dutifully typing
    as per my dictation and we just finished viewing another beautiful
    sunset over the lake.

    It's a long way from Los Angeles in more ways than one.


    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