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?
My next big acting opportunity was to appear in a feature called The Strawberry Statement which was being shot in San Francisco. My role was to portray a student protestor protesting something or other I didn’t have a clue about, nor did I care. It probably had something to do with protesting the Vietnam war, to which I gave little or no thought except that, thank God, now that things were winding down, Rob probably wouldn’t have to go there. I held a sign and chanted slogans along with about 20 other people. The fact that I was a mere extra didn’t register with me. I was in my first Hollywood movie. There were cameras, a director, actors I’d heard of like Bruce Davison, and I felt like I was completely in my element. Everything I had visualized in my high school theater class was coming true. My high school career advisor was obviously full of crap. What I didn’t know is that there were two people working on this movie who would feature prominently in my future, Alan Godfrey who worked in production and Tony Eldridge who had a “for real” acting job in it. It would be years before I met either one of them.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish
Comment on this Bubble
Your comment and a link to this bubble will also appear in your Facebook feed.