"Anything the rest of us might know?"
A few, including some award winners; More in radio; you've definitely heard my voice over the years.
"Acting actually seems like I good time waster for retirees."
It's a blast: great milieu, fun folks, and a (seemingly unattainable) group goal. When it worked, it was the greatest job in the world. When it didn't, you look for tall buildings to jump off. Luckily, I've been centered in cities where there was much more work than tall buildings. Also, I'm very aware...I worked in a business where nobody worked, where 80%+ of the folks weren't employed at any given time. I was very lucky, in part because I couldn't see myself doing anything else, so I stuck with it, doggedly. I'm also aware I was the ideal demographic for those times: white male.
I caught a big break one day, when I broke the rules about never making suggestions while doing a radio spot. The studio couldn't find the prior version the clients wanted to copy, and after several failed attempts, the atmosphere was getting very tense. They had made it very clear to me the only reason I was hired was they couldn't get the guy they wanted. The "dad" was at that time the voice of MLB, and he had an 11am tee time he was NOT going to miss. Everyone in the booth was arguing, when I piped up:
"Excuse me, I'm a classically-trained actor; and I follow direction VERY well. How about if we do it, and you give me any direction you want? I'll do it any way you please." They resigned themselves to the fact the old tape was gone, and grudgingly gave the go-ahead for a take.
Now...in the booth, there's a spring-loaded talk button, which automatically cuts out if any recording is happening, to avoid feedback. There's also a toggle switch, if the engineer has to keep talking to you while he's adjusting reels and machines behind him. Well...someone in the booth accidentally leaned on the toggle switch, so when we were done, we could hear EVERY WORD they were saying.
At first, there was a cool moment of dead silence. Then one producer said, "That was perfect." Another said, "He was better than the guy last year." This went on for a while, and then they "pressed the button" and thought we could finally hear them. They said it was okay, and we should do another take.
The praise was just a good after the second take. They finally did one more safety, and dismissed myself and Mr. MLB.
What I didn't know at the time: the engineer was married to my new agent. He went home that night, chuckled as he told the story, and suggested his wife keep sending that new kid out. 6 spots the previous year became 36 spots, then 75, then 150, then 200. I didn't pay a health insurance premium for the next 22 years.