Friday, May 18, 2007

Fine tuning the instrument! Chapter 7

A little spoiled after my first audition success, I started to run into resistance from other shows that I auditioned. The main negative comment that I received was that I had a too thick NY accent. As I couldn't afford a speech teacher ,I started reading the newspaper out loud making sure I pronounced every word clearly. i also read Shakespeare so I wouldn't seem too ignorant when hanging with other actors as most were college educated. While a trace of a NY accent stayed with me my whole career, my diction was greatly improved. It is my belief that when you grow up on the streets of NY, the accent is ingrained in your genes. I found out later in my career that I could cover the NY accent by doing another accent. I did Italian, English and Spanish. It was the plain general American that I found the hardest to do. Why, I don't know.

More and more I was living the actor's life. I had quit my regular job and worked part time as a cab driver. In those days I had a very cheap rent in Queens and could live on very little money. I would eat at Happy hours and didn't have a car. I was disengaging from most of my friends that I had in Queens because they couldn't understand what I was doing. I couldn't understand it either . The chances of me being able to make a living as an actor were slim, I was a bit shorter than normal, pushing 30 yrs. old and had no money. But I didn't want any negativity and felt more comfortable with other broke actors than people who thought I had a death wish. But I thought I had something inside of me that was worthwhile and I was having fun.

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