Editor Note: ActorParlor last spoke with Keith Gallucci in June 2018, at which point he discussed his background and perseverance in the field. It is now our pleasure to share the first of, hopefully, many articles regarding his experiences in the business. The original interview can be found here.
It’s been a while since I was interviewed by ActorParlor, and a lot has happened. I quit that job that kept me “moderately fed,” I left that commercial agency, I signed with a new agency across the board, and I finally found an acting class where I feel I truly belong. So…let’s dive in.
Having a job is essential to surviving out here in Hollywood, but sometimes it can really distract from what’s most important. I got sucked in and became an Assistant Manager at a very high-end shopping center for a year and a half. Some great things came out of it I’ll admit, but at the end of the day, I want to be known for my acting ability, not for my guest services skills. Not to mention spending over forty hours per week at a job that is tough to truly clock out of doesn’t really lend itself to the lifestyle of an actor trying to break into the business. So, in October 2018, I decided to give myself a birthday gift. I quit. I had built up enough income to take a break from jobs and really focus on my career. And focus I did.
I was submitting every day to agencies. I probably sent out about sixty or more submissions in a few months for everything: commercial, theatrical, and voice over. I got a meeting and signed across the board with a great agency and have had more auditions in the few months I’ve been with them than I’ve had in my entire three and a half years of being in LA.
The moral of this story is, sometimes you need to shake things up a bit in order to ratchet your career up a notch. This business does not have a clear path like most businesses where you go to school, learn to be something, get an internship, become an assistant, and then “badda bing,” you’re at the company you’ll be at for life. No, this business requires you to find the path. No one will tell you where to go. You’ll have your ten acting friends and other actors that you meet along the way telling you how they think it goes, but what works for them might not work for you. You have to take what you’ve learned and what you’ve been told, and throw them into a blender along with your instinct and come up with your own concoction for success. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned so many things from friends and other industry people that I’ve implemented into my process, but the entity we can never forget is ourselves. No one is better at being you than you, so you have to find out who you are and what part you play in this industry in order to market yourself accurately and effectively. The exciting part about this business is that everyone who makes it, makes it in a different way than the last person. What will your way be?
Lastly, I think it’s important for an actor who needs to act and who is really going for it out here to find their place of study. It took me three and a half years to find mine. I had one bad experience when I first came out here and then I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll never find a teacher that is anything like my amazing teachers from SUNY Oswego or The Moscow Art Theatre School because everyone in Hollywood is out to get me.” Once I got over that and had the courage (and the money) to try a school that had been recommended to me, I proved myself wrong. There are great teachers out here who are interested in more than just a profit. There are teachers out here who truly care about the success of their students. I am so thankful to have found that at The Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Thanks so much for reading. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions pertaining to what I wrote about in this article and/or what you would like me to write about in the future, should I be fortunate enough to continue contributing to this community. I truly believe in actors helping actors. We are all out here trying our best to achieve our goals of telling great stories, creating new worlds, and discovering what makes us humans tick. So don’t hold back! Let’s talk, explore, and grow together.
Also, if you are trying to get into the voiceover world but need a voiceover demo to submit to agencies, I am now producing demos for actors in LA (and actors who may not be in LA but have the ability to record from home). Contact me if you’re interested for more info!
I’d like to leave you with a quote by a dear professor of mine from college who said to my class on his last day of teaching before retiring…
“Keep up the good work…and keep demanding everything of yourselves.” – Mark Cole
Celebrate every win, no matter how small it may seem, and then get right back to it. The work of the actor is never over.
Till next time.