In this episode of the podcast, I speak with actress Shenita Moore, who I met back in 2010 on the set of a short film that Shenita produced titled Queen Victoria’s Wedding. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Shenita is a working actress with tons of invaluable insight. In this the take, we discuss:
- How moving from city to city helped Shenita developed interpersonal skills that make her a better performer.
- The difference between an agent and a manager.
- Why moving to Los Angeles with like-minded people with similar goals is a great idea.
- How little money you can make as an extra.
- How a gig can pay your bills for five years!
- Marilyn Monroe’s quote: “Hollywood is a place where they will pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul.
- Dorothy Parker’s quote: “Hollywood is the only place where you can die from encouragement.”
Check out the episode here:
Here’s Shenita’s acting reel:
One of the most insightful things I heard from Shenita was about the circumstances under which she moved from Albuquerque to Los Angeles. I liked the story she shared because many of us are riddled with that dilemma: when should I move to Hollywood? For those who live outside of California or outside of the United States, moving to Hollywood is a big step, and one that deserves preparation. Quite often, that step comes with doubt and second guessing. Well, what Shenita did seems like sound strategy: she moved to Los Angeles with other actors and her manager.
Now, this may not always be possible for everyone, but it’s a worth a shot. Whether you want to be an actor, director, writer, producer, etc. who’s planning to move here, why not group up with others who have a similar goal. Your “team” can move together and try to break in the business together. You guys can watch each other’s back and help one another. I wish I had done that! I moved to Hollywood in 2008 all by myself and the process was painstaking. I definitely could have used some help. And now, more than the ever, the internet can really help you find people in your own state and country. Communities like Stage 32 and Facebook can connect you to other entertainment people. If you are moving here soon, give it a try!
The must-read book Shenita recommended for us today was Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business by casting director Bonnie Gillespie. Filled with tips and strategies to help actors succeed, this book has appeared in many lists as of one of the best books on acting ever. By the way, Bonnie is a guest of this show in the upcoming Take 6. Stay tuned to hear from Bonnie herself!
Let’s Talk About Marilyn
I looked up the quote by Marilyn Monroe: “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” It first appeared in Marilyn’s autobiography My Story. However, the book was published in 1974, 12 years after Marilyn’s tragic death. The website QuoteInvestigator deems the quote controversial due that fact that the book is a posthumous work. Here’s the longer context in which the quote appeared in the book:
In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hair-do. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.
QuoteInvestigator concludes saying that the quote is probably not a complete fabrication, but a ghostwriter may have helped shape it.
In any event, the quote is still relevant and powerful. I stand by my interpretation: Hollywood is a place where your persona and the products you can offer are more valuable than you as a human. Read the fine print!
Agree, disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.