You’ve got to choose your pursuits – they can’t be foisted upon you. I love acting, and I’d better, because it’s not for the easily discouraged.
Right now, I’m reading Alec Baldwin’s new autobiography, and it’s a fascinating look into what was not an easy path into show business. Alec grew up borderline destitute, with a high-school teacher dad who was too proud to take a second job, and a depressed mom struggling to raise six kids. (In addition to his three brothers, Alec has two sisters.)
As he became more confident in his acting skills while living in New York in the early 80s, Alec decided to drive across country with his friend Tuck and give LA a shot. While recalling the trip, he mentioned something I wholeheartedly agree with: actors are his favorite people. My actor friends are some of the most thoughtful, interesting folks I know.
Here’s Alec’s story:
In Kansas, Tuck’s dad, a “Missourah” gentleman of the old school, took us for the obligatory stop at Romanelli’s for a roast beef sandwich. Next, we visited Dallas and Tuck’s brother, Bill, a former military pilot who went on to work for Delta Air Lines. Tuck, the youngest child, was the lone “artist” in his family. I related, as my own home had lacked any cultural trappings. Though acting had never been my goal and I had grave doubts about my future while heading to LA, living with a comedian like my friend Gary and then an actor like Tuck was rubbing off on me. Gradually, people outside the business seemed dull, guarded, and predictable. Part of falling in love with acting is falling in love with actors.