People think it’s so easy. They look up on the screen and they see an Emma Gonzalez or a David Hogg stealing the scene, and they just assume that anyone can land that kind of opportunity.
Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t work that way. It takes years of work, innate talent and a whole lot of luck. And for most of us, it simply never happens.
Look at me. I’ve been at this for 15 years. I’ve gotten some credits here and there, but nothing bigger than a little Off-Broadway* work a few years back. But here I am, still plugging away.
I can remember the exact day I knew I wanted to be a crisis actor. I was a 10-year-old kid playing in my living room while my parents watched the Channel 6 Action News team. In between slaying stories, the blond anchor du jour mentioned a protest being held over a bogus gay bashing. I sat mesmerized as the confident performers feigned outrage and sprinkled faux tears. A false flag was planted in me that very day.
But the road to stardom is a long, cruel one. For every 12-year-old Mike playing 3-year-old “Kaio” who goes viral, there are a hundred of us in the shadows. Men and women alike, living on the fringes, trying to beat the odds. I’ve taken all the usual part-time gigs that gave me time to pursue my true calling. I’ve stood in the median selling fake newspapers. I waited tables in the basement of the Comet Ping Pong restaurant. I even spent some time on the cleanup crew for Hilary Clinton’s EDT (Enemy Dispatch Team). Anything to pay the bills.
More than once I’ve been tempted to quit, to pack up my things and satisfy my landlords (mom and dad) by putting my biological engineering degree from Berkeley to use. I’ve got a standing offer to do water “treatment” work up in Portland.
But I’m not there yet. I might go two weeks without a phone call, text or any other nibble. But just as I’m on the verge of giving up, I’ll get a call from my agent – they want me to read for Soros. That’s the kind of promise that keeps a guy hanging in there.
It hasn’t been all empty. I’m one of the first guys a director will call when he needs to do a quick bus-in. I was the No. 3 lead in a small production of “GMOs will kill us all” a couple of years back. Oh, and I was a Pink Hat understudy in November of 2016. Just enough work to wet the whistle, I guess.
If anything does push me out of the business, it’s this move toward amateurism. These skinflint directors keep wanting to offer resume credit in lieu of cash. The day I consider selling out that way is the day I’m no longer a crisis actor. Have some respect for the craft, people.
Despite the odds, I still believe I’m going to make it. Give me the right role, and I’ll knock it out of the park. Sure, I’m a little too old to play a pretend high schooler after a Democrat-orchestrated shooting. And every time I’ve auditioned for a Dreamer Success Story fictional piece, I’ve gotten the same “Too Dolezalian” feedback from the producers. But let me sink my teeth into a meaty “man pretending to be grieving over his not-real sister who was never roughed up by Neo Nazis in the first place,” role and I’ll make you forget Burt Loughlin.** I think I’m perfect for these “phony veteran who gives up guns he never owned,” spots that have just taken off in the last few weeks. And I know, down to my core, that if you ever stick me in front of a green screen with Chris Cuomo occupying the other half of the picture, well, virality – thy name is Dan.
So, I keep on. Dreaming of the day I stroll across the stage to accept my well-deserved best crisis acting Golden Globe Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.*** It’s my destiny.
*Literally. Our Occupy string-pullers had hysterically planned a big anti-corporate greed protest near the financial district, and the cops kept telling us to “Get the f*** off Broadway.”
**See, I told you I’m good.
***Good Lord. Surely our globalist overlords could have tried to hide things a little bit better there, don’t you think?