Career Choices

Do I really want to be an actor?

By Lisa Zion
Published on LatinoLA: April 9, 2008

Career Choices

I've always wanted to be an actor. I always felt things so emotionally - I thought everyone did! Oh to be 13 again!

One morning I woke up feeling like Scarlett O'Hara. I got out of bed, put on a full dress, large sunbonnet and grabbed an umbrella to use as my parasol. Off to school I went and spoke to everyone in a suddenly acquired southern accent.

The next day I'd imitate the holy sisters of the Benedictine order. I wore a long sleeved white blouse, long black skirt and white gloves. I know my parents probably wondered where they went wrong with their middle child.

I was teased endlessly at school about my freakish wardrobe. And it wasn't until many years later that I realized that I wasn't merely trying on outfits; I was trying on personas. And isn't that what an actor does every time they read a new script?

Thank goodness for public libraries! I spent so many afternoons pouring through books about Nancy Drew, the British monarchy, Shakespearean plays and the American Revolution.

I've had some interesting auditions throughout the years. The most interesting that comes to mind is an audition for a pizza commercial. The call came in for a cast of "little people". Now I stand just under 5' tall so I think that qualifies me to go to that audition. I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I didn't know there were that many little people in Hollywood. They took us into the audition room 3 at a time and we had to slate our name - and pretend that we were pizza dough and were being chased by a giant rolling pin. I tried Method Acting but I just could not be the dough. Needless to say, I did not get the job.

All that reading and training has served me well because where else but in America can a little brown girl get an education, dream of being an actor and get a chance to play a maid, a chola, a prostitute or the mother of a gang leader?

About Lisa Zion:
Lisa Zion is an aspiring actor, singer and writer. She can be seen this weekend performing at the Murrieta Block Party. You can email her at: lz164@yahoo.com

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