Radical

Herold 1

Bethany Herold

Professor Sondra Doolin

ENG 121 C17

16 February 2014

Radical

It was early in February of 2011 when I got a call from an unknown Denver area code number. I answered hesitantly, trying not to get my hopes up. “Hi, is this Bethany?” “Yes?” “My name is Patti. I’m with Radical Artists Agency. We received your resume and were wondering if you would like to come in for an interview next week ?” “Really? I mean, sure!” “Alright, does next Tuesday at 10 am work for you?” “Of course!” I blurted out too soon. Any time would have been fine with me. She gave me a list of things to prepare, and I managed to reign in my excitement for the duration of the call.

After graduating high school, I had moved to Los Angeles to study film acting. I had just completed a year of training when my housing and job situations both fell through. Reluctantly, I returned to Colorado. Not easily defeated, I targeted the most reputable talent agencies in Denver. I was shocked to receive the call, as I only had only my training and theater on my resume.

Tuesday arrived, and although I had prepared to the best of my abilities, the thought of this being a once in a lifetime opportunity was weighing heavily on my nerves. I was trying to relax over lunch when Kathy, Patti’s co-owner, called and said the interview was going to be moved up one hour. I obliged verbally, but inside I cringed at the thought of my plans already going awry. I arrived in Denver twenty minutes early. Toting my binder of headshots and resumes and with all the confidence I could muster, I marched inside. To the wrong building. After frantically searching in vain, I started to panic. In this industry, if you are late for an audition or interview, you might as well not show. Finally, and not a moment too soon, an insurance agent directed me to a building across the courtyard.

I finally arrived, partially out of breath from rushing about. I swung open the door and stepped

Herold 2

inside from the frigged, winter weather. I raced up a flight of stairs and stopped in front of a door marked “Radical Artists Agency.” I took a deep breath, whispered a prayer, and turned the handle.

The waiting room had an artistic, modern edge, and was covered with pictures of successful talent. A women sauntered out, and in a smokey and weathered voice introduced herself as Patti. I was told I had a few minutes, so I excused myself to the bathroom for a feeble attempt to pull myself together. After my introduction to Kathy, I was ushered into the meeting room. Questions were fired relentlessly, and their responses and opinions were not sugar coated in any way. Would I consider print and modeling work? Colorado is not a good location for film opportunities, and I had very little on my resume, so was I planning to further training? I had a small window for success, and in their eyes, it would be in my best interest to get back to Los Angeles as soon as possible.

I was getting ready to throw in the towel when I was suddenly handed a script. I had five minutes to look it over, and then I would perform the commercial and my prepared monologue back to back in front of a camera. I grimaced, as I had been expecting a cold read for an actual scene, not a commercial. In a world all its own, a commercial is all about selling a product as opposed to playing a part; and that was something I wasn’t fond of. Regardless, I quickly recalled everything I could on cold reading, and let myself go. After my performances, their faces were as vague as stone. I was ordered back to the meeting room as they closed the door to talk. I was pleased with myself and felt I had done my best, but was still shocked when I was asked to sing with the agency. In less then one hour, it was official, and I left in the most surreal state of mind.

I stayed with Radical for roughly two years, and had many auditions and several paying jobs. Although life has led me in a new direction, the skills of confidence, determination, and self-expression I learned by pursuing acting are irreplaceable. I will always be a performer.

Los Angeles night sky

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