Since pilot season for new TV shows in Hollywood generally runs from January to early March, by summertime, if I wasn't involved in an actual production or summer stock plays, I, along with other actors, was on vacation.?
This is one area where the crazy schedule for acting is more similar to normal work schedules. But I didn't really see this time as vacation time so much as time to take a break from my efforts to realize my acting dream.?
Summer was also a time to devote to bartending and working on my tan at the beach, so I would look my best for any auditions or headshots made later in the year.?I didn't just lay in the sun at the beach. I took the opportunity to exercise by running, since one of the assets I listed on my acting resume was being athletic as well as a runner.
I would run on the beach and then take a dip in the ocean and I would make sure to wear my bathing suit instead of underwear to work in summer, a habit I still maintain today even though I no longer can run.?Summer also was a time when I could visit Mom and Dad or they could come out to L.A. and I wouldn't be as busy chasing my dream with auditions and readings.?
Acting classes were held year round, but they often took summers off as the instructors liked to take their own vacation breaks during the summer months.
When I was in New York City during the summer, it was so hot that I often took the Long Island Railroad out to the Hamptons to see my eldest sister, who lived there with her family. Sadly, she is now deceased, having lost her battle with breast cancer several years ago.?Summers in L.A. were hot, but there was no humidity to speak of in comparison with NYC, so it never seemed as oppressive.?
By the end of summer, with my tan and runner/swimmer body in shape, I was at my best and made sure to get my head shots and other photos ready for the coming season of auditions.?
So far this summer, we've had great weather, and my tan is looking good. However, on the down side, we are seriously lacking rain for vegetable gardens and flowers, something I never worried about when I was chasing my acting dream. How things change with time!
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website www.kathyrnskorner.com.