My First Hollywood acting job.
In the summer of 1983, I had just arrived in
Hollywood. I quickly got a gig performing music at
the Hotel Roosevelt's 'Cinegrille' weekend
showcases. The weekly shows were being held
in the same building that was the site of the very
first academy awards ceremony. Over the
years, several Hollywood legends had set up
The hotel is located on the 'Walk of Fame' and is
directly across the street from Grauman's
In 1983, the hotel's entertainment department
director was a man named Skippy Lowe. He was
a colorful character - and considered a bit
infamous in Hollywood circles.
One evening, while I was roaming the halls with a
comedian friend of mine, Mr. Lowe approached
us. He informed us that 'his friend', Mz. Valerie
Bertinelli - was filming a made-for-television
movie and asked if we would be interested in
being hired for 'bit parts' in a 'casino' scene.
I clearly remember looking over at my friend, then
back at Skippy and simultaneously we both
Early the next morning, we rode a bus down to
Santa Monica. We then walked down Pacific
Coast Highway to the GE headquarters building.
Once there, we were quickly ushered in.
After sitting in a conference room - for what
seemed like hours, a group of several hundred of
us were led out to an area that was set up to look
like the main floor in a major casino. The director
then looked through the crowd and selected a
few of us to be minorly featured.
My very first scene was sitting at a black jack
table, just to the left of the star, Mz. Valerie
Bertinelli. I just sat there, quiet as a mouse,
thinking how wonderfully beautiful she was. As
this was my very first film, and Mz. Bertinelli was
married to rock star Eddie Van Halen at the time -
I just smiled and did not utter a word.
In that scene, there was a camera raised up on a
crane that was filming downward. They did not
film an actual shot of my face. It was just the top
of my head. That was completed quickly and the
extras were sent back to the holding area.
In the very last scene, Valerie's character was in
anquish and stumbling through the casino, when
she was surprised by the arrival of her husband.
In the story, he has come to save her from her
During that short sequence, I momentarily walked
past and can be seen over her left shoulder.
When the show was finally aired the next spring,
my sequences passed quickly. But I was glad
that it wasn't completely edited out.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a clear
copy of the movie. I posted the best stills
available. But I am in there.... I swear. : )
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