Feedback on Lessons from Australia

Got a lot of great feedback on last week’s piece, “Lessons from Australia.” Here are three of the emails I liked the most.

Hi Bonnie,

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your latest article about Australia. Having come to your mini-session in Sydney on “knowing your type” and having been in the Australian industry for quite some time, I know Australians to have a very large tall poppy complex, they don’t want people to achieve their dreams here, if you want to travel to LA then you must be “full of yourself.” After looking through the sheets you gave us and how many productions are on the cards I look at my “type” and can’t see it fitting in the small Australian market place — there are three TV shows I could be cast in, in Australia — and fat chance if you don’t look like one of The Hills girls.

My girlfriend Brooke has been in to see one of the “big” TV shows here a few times. She’s gorgeous and talented, has a stack of credits, and they say to her, “your fourth tooth is a little crooked. Call us when you’ve had it fixed.” It’s the same in all other industries here: Don’t dream too big, you’re too young, then — oops — now you’re too old.

I found your article refreshing and exciting. I plan to come to LA at the end of the year, as a big adventure and also to feel what the American “everyone has a chance” spirit could be like.

Looking forward to more of your articles. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

Kind regards,
Pip Moore

Thank you, Pip. It was a delight to meet with you and work with you while I was in Sydney. Thank you for the great feedback about the seminar and the article. I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do with this town! Los Angeles is certainly a beast, but it’s a lovely beast. Sure, there are more opportunities here, but also more actors, so the most important element to success in this market is having your head on straight about the massive work involved, pursuing success. Good luck to you! I’ll see you when you get here.

Hi Bonnie,

I want to start by saying thank you, sincerely and genuinely, just thanks for such a brilliantly informative column. I stumbled across it a week ago and I haven’t been able to read through all the archives fast enough!

Let me start with your most recent post on your time in Sydney, Australia, as I myself am an Aussie and that’s my hometown, although I now live here in LA.

I found it really interesting to read your point of view on the Australian market in comparison to the US and I also found it to be very true in many ways. There definitely is this strange, already defeated attitude amongst actors back home, it’s an almost no can do mentality, which can be very difficult to try and learn and grow amongst, as I’m sure you can imagine!

Even though Sydney is quite a small market, there are some extremely talented actors back home that just don’t get the opportunity to be seen by the top casting directors, agents, producers, or directors, simply because they are scared to let anyone new into the clique of already established and working actors. This, I think is very unfortunate and a detriment to the film and television industry in our country.

I also feel like — because the industry is not as well-financed there, as it is here — there are less opportunities and less of a feeling within society that this can actually be a business and that one can actually work toward seriously making a career out of it.

All of these reasons and many more are why I decided to make the bold move to LA in November of last year. I’ve come over with an 01 visa and the difference in the business here — the passionate, welcoming, creative people I have met here already — excites me for my years and life ahead in this wonderful town full of awesome resources for people who know how to use the tools that are in front of them. One of them being your column!

I have a blog, based on mine and my best friend’s big move overseas. I was thinking of putting up a link to your column on it, if that’s something you wouldn’t mind me doing? I wanted to ask you also, how I go about receiving information on the next HHH event, as the mailbox on the website is full and just returning emails (not too sure if you know this already).

Thanks and I look forward to hearing back from you, in between your busy schedule! I’ll just catch up on some archive reading!

By the way, I completely agree with you on the comments you made on Californian wine vs. the Aussie stuff! I never enjoyed Chardonnay before I moved to LA and ours and New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blancs are pretty spectacular, if I say so myself! Oh, and the seafood is one of the things I miss the most about home. Glad you got a taste of the good stuff while you were there!

Jemima Fallows

Awesome, Jemima. So glad LA is treating you well. Very exciting and inspiring!

Absolutely, you — and anyone reading, actually — are welcome to link to my columns. The only real rule is that other sites can’t repost my work. A teaser, sure. And then a link back. I’m saying that here because I do get asked about reposts once in a while, and since Showfax keeps these archives free and searchable by members and nonmembers alike, it’s best to just share a link to a post that inspires you, with maybe just a few (attributed, of course) lines from the text. Thanks for asking!

As for Hollywood Happy Hour, the best way to stay updated on what’s going on is to join the HHH Yahoo Group. We’ll always post there when we have events coming up. We also will update the HHH website itself, but we don’t maintain a mailing list specifically for alerting people to HHH events. Maybe if we get more regular about producing them in 2010, we’ll consider doing that, though. Thanks for your interest! Our last HHH event (in November) was awesome.

Yeah, I definitely got a taste of the good stuff while in Sydney. Seafood pretty much every meal! Love that. 🙂 Can’t wait to go back. For lots of reasons, of course.


Wow! You are a fresh spirit! I hope to meet you soon!

Thank you for encouraging top talent to move to a major market. I am a very successful Texas agent who is branching into the LA market. I’ve had great luck booking talent on some wonderful projects.

I have some excellent talent in LA and I’ve been their segue agent until we actually started getting some great bookings. Now I may actually have a chance at success in LA. With the electronic age, all things are possible.

Again, I hope to meet you soon. You are inspiring! Thanks for being a voice of reason and positive influence. This is the best business. I love it and the journey is amazing.

Linda McAlister
Linda McAlister Talent

Thanks, Linda. I so appreciate the feedback. I’ve met a few of the actors you represent here in LA and I think you have good taste and a good idea of what it takes to succeed in the LA market. Well done!

Yes, I agree the world is getting smaller and we’re doing more and more electronic casting, putting actors on tape from other markets (or even our own) and even having actors put themselves on tape (online) in order to start the casting process. As Fox has restructured its pilot season network testing protocol to now involve a more “screen test-like” experience, we’re seeing the end of the casting process as we once knew it.

I’ve talked about that before and I know it scares some people, but like with all major changes in any industry, those who are willing to adapt and grow with the new ways of doing things, while using a solid foundation of the old tried-and-true methods that have worked for them in the past, are the ones who will thrive.

So, I look forward to meeting you and working with you for years to come, Linda. Let’s thrive together!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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