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M-A grad creates Web series on aspiring actors

It's a peculiar kind of purgatory, the life of an actor trying to make it in Hollywood. Waiting in lobbies to audition, sitting through workshops with casting directors, hanging around the craft service table as an extra. Some give up the dream early, unable to take the long days of waiting around for a call; others stick it out, chasing down every lead, hoping to catch a break.

Kimberly Legg, a Menlo-Atherton High alum who grew up in Ladera, is shining a satirical light in a fictional Web series on the ever-hopeful, often humiliating lives of aspiring screen actors -- a group in which she counts herself as a proud member. The series, with a new episode posted to workshoptheseries.com each Monday (the first was Aug. 10), follows six young actors trying to sidle up to casting directors and agents, make an impression in auditions, and keep their spirits up in the face of daunting odds.

"What we figure is, we were spending all this money on casting director (workshops) anyways, we might as well do something and have something to show for ourselves," said Ms. Legg, who met co-producer Nate Golon at a workshop held by a casting director. The workshops were pretty much a waste of money, Ms. Legg said, but they provided material for the show.

Producing and writing is "a completely new experience for me," she said. "I just wanted to act. We (made the show) because we wanted the exposure. Everyone in L.A. is trying to act. We're trying to do something to separate ourselves."

In the show, Ms. Legg plays the most unfortunate of all types of actors: a nervous one. In one scene, she sprints on stage, late for an audition, slips, falls, gets up, and starts apologizing profusely. The scene expands on an experience she had auditioning for a play at M-A, when she arrived late after sprinting to the auditorium from cross-country practice.

"I tripped and fell on the stage, the director was just staring at me," she said. "I was like, 'I don't have a monologue, oh my gosh, I don't have a monologue.' It was really awful. I didn't audition for anything ever again, but that was mostly because I was involved in music and sports."

Ms. Legg graduated from UCLA in the winter, with a major in music history. She hasn't been acting for long, but she has already gathered a fair amount of material for the show. At a shoot for a Verizon commercial in which she served as an extra, another actor followed her around, sharing bizarre personal details. She had met him before, on another set; he had given her his card, featuring shots of him in various costumes.

"We get to the Verizon set at 5:30 in the morning. We're all sitting around in the dark, trying to sleep. When the sun comes up, I see this guy sitting across from me. He says, 'Hey, Kimberley, you never called me.' And from there on he didn't stop. For a 14-hour day."

Is it at moments like that when she thinks, "maybe this isn't for me"?

"It inspired me to go out and do something better than extra work," she said.

Comments

Posted by KimsNeighbor, a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I am so encouraged by one of our young ladies making Lemonade from the lemons that are so common in the LA Theater World. This is such an encouraging story: required reading for my kids!


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