How to become an actor?
  How to become an actor? How to become an actor?  

 :: In the News ::

You’re in Titletown, hoping for Tinsel Town

From Green Bay, Hollywood seems a million miles away for anybody aching to break into movies and TV.

“You can’t get there from here” rings in most minds.

Basically, that’s true. But there are ways to wriggle into the business from here or anywhere, if you have the desire.

A lot of the basics are spelled out in a breezy and sometimes comical new book, Hollywood USA How to get into the Movie Business without Moving to Los Angeles or New York.

It’s co-authored by someone from around here who is caught up in some nifty projects. You would think what he says works.

Phil Kramer, who grew up in Manitowoc, is art coordinator for many network and TV movie productions. He feels you can get there from here.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is there are 178 film commissions in the United States,” Kramer says. “Every state has at least one.”

A break could come by finding out what location film projects are coming up, then making your presence known.

Nothing is simple, and no one is going to hand you anything. But if you want some tips, Hollywood USA is a good start.

It’s available at $ 18.95 through Eggman Publishing. (800) 396-4626 or at bookstores.

The book guides you through such things getting a photograph taken (“You should not have your hands touching your face”), finding an agent (one franchised to the Screen Actors Guild is recommended) and writing a resume (“Don’t put down on your resume that you are a stunt man if you’re not. Believe me, you can die.”)

Among other basics,  the book lists all the film commissions.  Here’s a start: Wisconsin Film Office 123 W. Washington Ave.,  6th Floor Madison, WI 53702-0001.

Kramer got his start through hometown buddies who had hooked up with country singer Kenny Rogers. Kramer was invited for a visit in Los Angeles and got swept into a flurry of shows and movies.

“ From a couple of little things here and there, I tell you what, I feel real fortunate where I am today,” he says.

Two recent projects were ministries Streets of Laredo and the coming TV movie Deadman’s Walk, both filmed in Texas.

More than 500 extras were part of dead man’s walk.  They had questions everyday. “What’s my next step? What do I do now? How do I do it?" Kramer’s partner in the book, Randal Patrick, was once and extra like that. Patrick stumbled on to a set while on his way to college, was intrigued by the process and pursued acting and screen writing.

“Through his experience, he’s had tons of parts all over the country, living in different areas,” Kramer says.

“There’s so much that can be done other than in L.A. or New York.”

Naturally, to make it and be a star you will have to go to where the main action is.

But opportunities can rise closer to home, and in associated fields. Kramer covers that in the Hollywood U.S.A. too.

“The premise is if you live in Des Monies, Iowa, and you want get your kid in the J.C. Penney ad in the Sunday paper, here’s how to go about it as opposed to having to get in the car and go to L.A.” Kramer says.

Remember, getting into a “glamour” profession takes work, just like anything else the common-sense Hollywood U.S.A. says that, too.

Warrren Gerds writes about arts and entertainment for the Press Gazette. Write to him at P.O. Box 19430, Green Bay, WI 54307-9430. 

How to become an actor?