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There are many of us that yearn to be on stage, or on screen. Many would rather watch...I would rather be watched. Acting has always been great therapy for me.

A few years ago, Hollywood came to Iowa. The tax incentives were good, so movies were being made around the state of Iowa. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to be a background "extra" in five of those movies. That got me into acting circles that got me involved in Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago and Minneapolis. At one point this past year, during the same month, I was a small part of two movies on the big screen. Pretty cool for an older full-figured guy!

If you look me up on the International Movie Date Base (IMDB), you can see some of the action I've been in. My real name is James Stordahl. I am hoping that my grandkids think that is "cool" someday.

Most recently, I responded to a call from Hollywood. The Sande Allesi Casting agency has seen me photo and profile on Actors Access. A member of the staff called me to ask a few questions and then to invite me to the nearest casting call for the movie "The Lone Ranger", starring Johhny Depp and Armie Hammer. I chose Denver as the site nearest to me. I packed a bag and made the 10-hour drive.

What a waste of time. The casting call was an open call for Chinese people from the Denver area. There were two dwarfs, one really tall guy, me, and about 120 Chinese folks. It was like the proverbial Chinese Fire Drill. No one was in charge. Everyone was running around doing something. All photos were thrown into a large cardboard box to be shipped back to Hollywood for selection.

So far, this lack of organization has cost time and money. All candidates were kept in the dark. No information about selections was shared. The time for shooting arrived and emergency casting calls for anyone and everyone went out. I believe that is called a 'Cattle Call'.

Hollywood Reporter has just run with a story that this movie is way over budget (What's new?) at $250 million and rising. In the meantime, it would appear that very little of that money is being invested in casting. Too bad...Disney could probably make better movies if they ran there movie productions like they run their theme parks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting diary. Thanks. Congratulations (0+ / 0-)

    on your explorations into movieworld.  Your demo reels show your charm to advantage and, as an elderly movie-goer, I am always happy to see "older full-figured guys" on the screen.  Whether or not your grandkids ever find you "cool", I'm sure they'll always love you dearly.  Good luck in your endeavors.

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 08:15:02 PM PDT

  •  Disney needs to give up on the 1920s (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JKTownsend

    WTF? First John Carter, who no-one under 65 remembers, now the Lone Ranger?? Cowboys and Indians kind of went out of fashion with the coonskin cap! Someone needs to have a serious talk with the head of development over there!

    It's perfectly okay to spend maybe $75 million on films like that, but blowing $250 mil multiple times (and don't forget 'Tangled' also cost over $200 mil - for an ANIMATED film!!) is insanity. Remember, the 'movie math' is that a film has to return over DOUBLE it's budget to just break even. And even Mittens Rmoney would admit that's serious money.

    Most of the greatest movies of all time cost less than $5 million, tops. And most for far, far less. Oh and BTW, depp is probably getting at least a $30 to $40 mil payday for 'Lone Ranger', so yes quite a bit of the budget is going to casting - just not to extras.

    Romney 2012 - My fellow Americans. As a boy, I dreamed of being a baseball. But now, we must move forward; not backward. Upward; not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.

    by Fordmandalay on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 09:01:11 PM PDT

  •  More and more, life itself seems a cattle call ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... for the working and middle classes. Our time can be wasted in futile endeavors by those who we perceive as holding open the doors to our dream, whether it's casting for extras in films or getting interviews for some type of employment to make a living. I don't understand why this talent agency called you if it was obvious the search was for persons of Chinese heritage. The chaos you experienced was telling. Regardless, congratulations on your roles so far, and I hope you are successful in your future auditions.

    Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me, "how good, how good does it feel to be free? " And I answer them most mysteriously, "are birds free from the chains of the skyway? " (Bob Dylan)

    by JKTownsend on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 08:08:59 AM PDT

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