San Francisco, Monterey and Clint Eastwood
I settled in with Navy friends in Fremont, California, and at the first opportunity headed a few miles north into San Francisco to find an agent. I had looked up agents in a local actors’ handbook and made some appointments. When you’re young and pretty, even completely inexperienced, how easy everything is! I signed with Brebner, the best agency in town, had headshots taken, and started going out on auditions. I had starved myself down to about one hundred pounds because I had read somewhere that the camera adds ten pounds to your weight and the thought of looking fat horrified me. I landed a job, my first real professional job, almost immediately. I was on top of the world.
The job I booked was a commercial for a local news show. I was to play a secretary in the newsroom, typing at my desk behind the male anchor person as he is doing the news. While he explains to the audience that a giant gorilla has escaped from the zoo, the gorilla walks into the newsroom, picks me up and carries me away. Meanwhile, the news anchor declares that this station is on top of the story and will give viewers the latest updates. Very funny, ha, ha. But I was working as an actress and that’s all that mattered. As I look back on it now, I figure, yes, I was cast because I was attractive but I was also light as a feather and they obviously wanted a small, skinny person for the role because of the poor man in the gorilla suit having to lift and carry me take after take. But I didn’t think about that then. I must have been the best actress for the role or why else would they want me?
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