There’s a fun book titled The First Time I Got Paid for It, which chronicles the stories of writers in Hollywood selling their first scripts. As I deposited my understudy check this week, amazed that someone actually gives me money for pretending to be someone else, I thought about the first time I got paid for this.
My first check tied to real theatrical work was a $100 split off from a check from the director of a show that I assistant-directed. I wasn’t experienced at all, and she walked me through the process pretty much all the way. It was the first time that I learned anger was a boring emotion for the stage.
Since then I’ve been a part of a number of professional productions, and even worked in film and television some – to varying degrees of success. Some of my footage will never be seen, and that’s probably a good thing.
But, to quote Jonathan Larson, “What a way to spend a day.”