Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guest Blogger: A Message to HOLA Members from an HOLA Member

Hello members, and especially NEW members and those wanting to be HOLA members. Just wanted to share my story for those coming into the organization.

I joined HOLA in September of last year. Not even a year ago. I started acting 24 months ago. No kidding. That came after holding a regular job for 30 years in marketing. I decided to follow my life dream and learn to act professionally. Well, it’s been fun. After getting some good advice from the staff at HOLA, I put together my New York-style resume, headshots and video reel. Even put together an audio tape for voice
overs, which I had no clue about until [HOLA Executive Director] Manny [Alfaro] gave me the heads up.

That process took me a good five months, especially getting scenes from class, small gigs and getting a half decent video reel made on my own. Then in January of this year I pulled out all the stops and decided to pursue the auditions forwarded by HOLA. I religiously sent out my headshot, resume and reel (plus the prayer) to everything that even sounded within my range.

And it worked. I landed two short films, Fragile Forms and Surprise, Surprise Mr. C
onovy; and an online hosting with Laureate Education in Maryland. I even got a voiceover for the NBC television series "Dateline" for the episode that aired on July 22, titled "Kidnapping in Ecuador." Recording at 30 Rock. Pretty cool. Add to that approximately 10 different auditions for theatre, commercials and short films. All the while, I was in classes at [Lee] Strasberg [Theater and Film Institute] and also doing the lead in Paddy Chayevsky’s Middle of the Night and preparing and doing a 20-minute Eugene O’Neill monologue from The Iceman Cometh. Been busy, to say the least.

Believe me, HOLA works. You get on the radar, you get calls and the experience is invaluable, even if you don’t land all the auditions. Now I'm waiting for funding for a feature in New York in which I would play the lead role. I’ve just returned from the premiere of Blackthorn in Bolivia, a wonderful sequel to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid that made the Sundance Festival. No wins but it was my feature film acting debut and I’m in the film where I say one line. (Don’t blink, please.) But let me tell you, it is in a scene with Sam Shepard in a film directed by award-winning director Mateo Gil. I'm thrilled, still laughing and smiling, trying to make ends meet but excited with the ride. Keep the faith in your talent, read the HOLA releases and send out your info. You and I are already part of a very special community, though you may know it or not.

Thank you HOLA. Truly, thanks.

...Fernando Gamarra
HOLA member since 2010

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