Leave Town, Book a National

Most actors know this rule: Leave town and you’ll get that big phone call. And you’ll have to make a big decision: Return home for this shot at something big or keep your plans in place. Yup. Keith booked out with his agents and manager earlier this week… his cell phone rings today… and he’s headed to the airport right now. THAT’s a professional actor, baby!

Keith’s current headshot
So, let me do a little bragging about my professional actor hubby.

Keith’s first headshot, 2002
There’s a reason Self-Management for Actors is dedicated to him. He was the test subject for its contents. Four years ago Monday, Keith began his career as a professional actor. He had spent the six months prior to that taking classes, working as a PA (to learn set protocol), saving up some money from his day job, and getting starter headshots. He began auditioning for student films and plays, and on his second anniversary as a working actor (May 1, 2004), he celebrated on the set of his 30th indie film.
keithscsitrailer.jpg
Keith’s CSI: Miami trailer, 2006
One week after his fourth anniversary as a working actor (that’s this coming Monday, May 8th), he’ll celebrate his primetime network debut as a co-star on CSI: Miami, one of the most-watched shows on the planet. Now, it’s a tiny role (as most first network co-stars are), but it’s his first… and just like his first cable series gig (as a co-star in Murder Trial: The Nightstalker) led to his first STARRING role in a cable series (as Detective Steve January in Scene of the Crime) within a few months, we know this gig is a big deal because of where it could lead.

Keith’s first cable series lead, 2003
Keith jokes about how he’s found success in Hollywood (landing roles, joining SAG, getting a manager, getting an agent, getting another agent, being put on avail for national commercials, booking union work that will pay residuals for years to come) by doing everything I’ve told him to do. It’s always very funny when he says that to a group of actors, but it’s also true. I told him not to get caught up in all of the Actor Mind Taffy crap that actors put in their own way. I told him to see the audition as the job and the booking as the paid vacation. I told him to get in an amazing series of classes that would improve his craft and to intern in casting offices so that he could learn exactly what it is that separates the pros from the non-pros.

Keith’s last non-union indie film, 2003
What he brought to it that has nothing to do with me is raw talent, the most BOOKABLE look in Hollywood (I know, you’d think that’d be the buxom blonde 20-something, but it’s not… it’s the middle-aged average Joe white guy), an attitude of “What can I do to make your life easier?” on set, and absolutely no attachment to any outcome from any audition whatsoever. Keith said, when he first came to LA, that he didn’t know what he’d do if he ever actually EARNED MONEY as an actor. The fact that anyone was letting him even show up on a student film set and ACT was baffling to him–having been a computer guru whose life fell apart at the age of 35.

Keith’s first play, 2001
The fact that he has seen every gig as some winning lottery ticket that he was lucky to find is a big part of what makes him so cool to work with–and why producers want him back. When you set out to live your dreams regardless of whether they pay, you find nourishment in the DOING… not in the paycheck. And that’s something far more valuable anyway.

Keith’s second headshot, 2003
Thank you, honey, for helping me live MY dreams too. We’re a good team. And it’s not just because you do everything that I tell you to do. (*snork* Anyone who knows us knows that’s not true anyway… it’s just funny. And, well… only partially true. -ish.) I’m so proud of you. And I’m excited to watch you take photos of pretty girls with wardrobe malfunctions on the red carpet in the opening segment of Monday’s episode of CSI: Miami. Excited and proud and thrilled. *beam*

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17 Comments

  1. Avatar Nikki May 5, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    That is awesome and inspiring. Congrats to both of you!

    Reply
  2. Avatar courtney May 5, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    Wow, y’all’s success and hard work is remarkable. Congratulations!!! I’ll be watching CSI Miami next week!!!

    Reply
  3. Avatar Anna May 5, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    NICE NICE NICE NICE NICE!!!!!! I’m so so proud of you, Keith!! See yinz this weekend…and on TV monday…xo

    Reply
  4. Avatar babes May 5, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    Yay!! That is sooo great, Scat/Keith!! I am DEFINITELY tuning in Monday! People I know on primetime continues through sweeps!! (Well okay, I don’t *know* him know him, but I stretch the rules when it makes me feel better.)
    And reaffirming to me, too. Because that “never expecting to make money at it” is exactly how I feel about my writing. The idea that I would ever get paid for it DOES sound like such a major lottery winning. Even if it’s like, $50! (Which is more than I have made to-date for anything I’ve written. By $50.)

    Reply
  5. Avatar Hal May 5, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Nice work, Keith. I’ll be tuning in Monday!

    Reply
  6. Avatar thedarkeruma May 5, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    lovely

    Reply
  7. Avatar Angel May 5, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    That’s a GREAT story that I’m sure will continue and only get better! Congrats to the both of you! It’s special to share both the ups and downs with your loved one! Continued success.

    Reply
  8. Avatar Kiki May 5, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    i so need to read your self-management for actors book, even though i’m not an actor, because i feel like there are things in that book that i could apply to my life as a writer…
    this is a very inspiring post.

    Reply
  9. Avatar Delora May 6, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    can’t wait to see it! best wishes and good thoughts for it to turn into more and more and more…blessings~

    Reply
  10. Avatar PameLa May 6, 2006 at 8:44 pm

    Keith, you are so inspiring, because I witness that humble and accepting attitude in you. I see how people just draw to you and the Bon.

    Reply
  11. Avatar DebC May 7, 2006 at 12:15 am

    YAAAAAAY!!! Gives me some K.J.!!! Can’t wait to see Monday nights episode (gotta tape it cause I won’t be home) Whoo-hoo!! You are on a roll, baby! Well-deserved.

    Reply
  12. Avatar Tanika Brown May 7, 2006 at 12:58 am

    Consider me tuned in!!! Can’t wait.

    Reply
  13. Avatar Lydia Blanco May 7, 2006 at 8:41 am

    awwww… that was so very sweet! It’s nice to have that solid support system in this town. well, it’s not only nice – it’s necessary! 🙂

    Reply
  14. Avatar Jenny May 7, 2006 at 9:46 am

    That’s pretty damn cool!!!

    Reply
  15. Avatar Jocelyn May 7, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    I’m tivoing and watching Monday!

    Reply
  16. Avatar Bon May 8, 2006 at 12:56 am

    Thanks, everybody! We finally saw the promo tonight and did the whole freeze-frame OMG that really IS Keith thing. Hee! So much fun!
    I really appreciate the support and encouragement y’all are throwing our way. It’s awesome. THANK YOU.
    I’ll try to blog again soon. It has seriously been one of the busiest weeks EVER (and you KNOW that’s sayin’ something, in my world).
    Love y’all! So so so so much love all around. Yay!

    Reply
  17. Avatar Bob Fraser May 8, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    Bonnie,
    This review of Keith’s progress (Another title?) is wonderful. It’s so good to see nice people doing well in our biz. Keep up the great support for those actors out there who need it. And for Keith, naturally.
    I hope we can sit down for a nosh again soon.
    Bob

    Reply

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