So at my Screen Actors Guild orientation a couple of years ago SAG staff made a huge point of telling us that 95 percent of its membership is unemployed...at least in the entertainment business.
At the time I thought, oh please they must be the dregs. How hard can it be to once in a while get a commercial, or a print photo job? Now two years later here I am, a one role wonder.
Of course the one role in Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" was very significant and prestigious by industry standards, although my friends would dispute that. Right Fred (McNulty), Fred (Cicco), Jim (Fitzer) and others?
Now how many people have a chance to work with Johnny Depp, face to face? I rest my case.
And while it's difficult to get a talent agent to represent you (they only get paid if they find you work), I'm fortunate enough to have two Chicago agents.
Periodically I'll get a call asking if I can come to Chicago for an audition for this or that commercial, or photo shoot. Generally I say okay. One was for Coors beer, another Lipitor, one for a secret cancer drug, U.S. Cellular. You get the point.
And while they are fairly sparse, I haven't landed a single role. Every time I show up to an audition, or photo shoot, the place is packed. I guess it represents those 95 percent unemployed.
So on a lark recently I decided to branch out. I sent photos and a resume to three of the largest talent agencies in Los Angeles -- Creative Artists Agency, William Morris, and United Talent Agency. United represents Johnny Depp.
I'd love to say they have all responded. None have.
However, on my iMDB.com listing -- Donald G. Asher -- I noticed my popularity rating last week went up 36 percent. That's almost unheard of and the only thing I can relate that to is maybe -- just maybe -- one of those agencies was checking me out.
This week I dropped 10 percent.
So we'll see. The odds are overwhelmingly against me, or anyone for that matter. Generally they grab only big names.
In the meantime, it's been nearly four months since the release of the "Public Enemies" DVD. That's important to me because I get residuals (royalties) on revenue generated from PE once it leaves the theater and is released to DVD, cable TV, etc. And I -- or my heirs -- get them forever, as long as the film makes money.
Don't start lining up for loans just yet. I tell friends I'd be surprised if I'll be able to buy a premium six pack of beer with the checks. However, I'm anxious to see the first one because the movie has made another almost $30 million in DVD sales since it's release. And supposedly the check should arrive in April, maybe May.
I'll keep you posted.