You’re gonna call me crazy by the end of this.

As I was leaving my apartment yesterday, my eyes inexplicably darted to the bottom shelf of my living room bookcase. My roommates and I only keep “decorative” books on this bookshelf: Books that we don’t really read, but that we want visitors to think we read. (Have you actually tried reading The Audacity of Hope? Zzzzz…) But something caught my eye that made me stop and take another look.

Breaking Into Acting for Dummies.

One question sprang to mind: “Where the heck did this book come from? I’m sure none of my roommates have mentioned it before, and it certainly isn’t mine.” I quickly flipped through the pages and noticed that some helpful passages and tips had been circled or marked in pink highlighter. Without giving it a second thought, I stuffed it into my backpack and headed out the door for work.

Over the past 24-hours, I have read the first hundred pages of the book, and it is amazing how much it has affected my outlook! I started compiling a list of Chicago-based talent agencies that are union franchised and accept submissions by mail. I’ve got the names, addresses, and required submission materials of eight major agencies, and I will submit to all of them over the next week. As I write this blog post, I have a separate window open where I am crafting unique cover letters for each agency.

I realize that it will be hard for me to get an agency’s attention right now. After all, there is giant gaping void that is the “Film” portion of my resume. But I’m tired of not trying. As Dale Carnegie put it, “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”  So if the very worst should happen, and I don’t hear back from any of them, then I can spend a few months adding to my resume and try again!

Here’s the crazy I warned you about: I can’t help but wonder what it was that made me stumble across Breaking Into Acting for Dummies (Even though I was already aware of most of the information it has offered up, the change it has inspired is undeniable). Was this the Universe trying to push me along the path of destiny?

Jesus, I’m starting to sound like John Locke…

~JVB

P.S. – For all you Chicago actors, I’ve added links for some of Chicago’s top union-affiliated agencies, including all to which I’m submitting this week. You can find them in the Chicago section of our Three Cities page. Hope they help! 🙂 If you know of any agencies that you’d like to see added to the list, or if you have a similar story you’d like to share, feel free to share it in the comments section for this post! I’d love to hear what you have to say! 🙂

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