I Became a Pirate Because of the Power of Broke

Pirate me

Me in full costume and make-up for Pirates 3

Yes.  I was a pirate.  I was a pirate on the most feared ship that 'er sailed the seven seas.  I was a pirate on the Black Pearl.

To piggy back on the last post about Daymond John's book the Power of Broke, I wanted to share one power of broke story that literally set me on a course that lead me to where I am today.

Rewind to a time when I was a starving artist in Brooklyn living on Ramen, grill cheese, and four wings/white rice from the Chinese take out around the corner.  I had up to then made some friends working back ground gigs (another term for extras) and had landed in New York with the notion of taking my acting career to the next level.  Of course that equated to lots of headshots and resumes sent out, lots of submissions to castings but few if any auditions.

But I was grinding it out, hitting the pavement, keeping up with all the trade publications and sending my stuff to every listing I thought I qualified for.  I was (and still am) of the Wayne Gretzky mindset — you miss all the shots you don't take.

Naive?  Perhaps.  But it's a philosophy that has served me pretty well thus far.

Anyway, out of the blue I get a call from a friend in Virginia who I had met on the set of the film The New World telling me he had the casting information for the new Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, information mind you that I had been scouring the internet for but couldn't find anywhere.  Here he tells me that not only did he have the info but that they were looking for my particular "type".  So of course I sent my submission as quickly as I could get off the phone.

This undoubtedly was a long shot but what had I to lose?  Nothing at all except the cost of postage and time spent in line in a New York City post office.  You miss all the shots you don't take.

Along with the submission info my friend also provided me with the email of the casting office.  It's rarity if not a out and out impossibility to be able to contact casting and follow up on your submission so you better believe I took full advantage of this.  Every five days or so I emailed them to let them know that I had sent them my headshot and resume for the Pirates casting and that I would resend it if for some reason they hadn't gotten it.

This went on for a few weeks.  I periodically sent polite emails asking if they had received my submission and they in turn politely continued to ignore me (well, that's not confirmed but it sure felt like they were ignoring me).

After about three weeks of this, I resigned myself to the fact that I probably wasn't going to get a correspondence back from the casting office and that my dreams of working on a picture with the great Johnny Depp and the rest of the crew probably wasn't going to happen.  It was time to let this dream, at least for now, GO.

But not without one last ditch effort...
I mean, I did have their email right?

And here's where the power of broke kicked in.  I decided to send one last email to casting:

"Dear (so and so)

I'm writing to follow up on my submission to the Pirates of the Caribbean 2 casting and to see if you all had indeed received it.  You should know, I'm handsome enough to be on screen but ugly enough to be a cannibal (they were casting for cannibals for Part 2).  So if you give me a chance, I will not disappoint you."

Okay, so I'm paraphrasing most of that.  It was more than ten years ago after all.  But for sure "handsome enough to be on screen but ugly enough to be a cannibal" were my exact words.  And whether or not they read my email, what happened next will blow your mind.


Comments are closed.