“Are you a real actor?”
That’s a question I hear often here in Los Angeles.
My usual response is, “I am in the Screen Actors Guild, which is the union for professional screen actors.”
And the follow-up question is always, “Yeah? What have you been in?”
I then respond with, “You can see my demo reels on my website at www.liamfountain.com or on You Tube.” And I walk away somewhat frustrated.
I have been employed in every arena a professional screen actor can be.
I have been in national commercials, a hit television show and big-budget and independent feature films.
When someone asks me if I’m a real actor… well, yes! Yes, I am!
Perhaps I am a little sensitive, but no one likes to be dismissed so casually in their chosen profession.
To be fair to those who consider real actors to be the top 2 per cent recognisable names and faces, I do understand.
Those 2 per cent are the people who have made it, as it were.
Usually people like me are chasing the dream as opposed to living it.
But that in itself is a beautiful thing.
To live in a place like Hollywood where one can pursue their dreams is a true blessing.
In many parts of the world, people are worried about mass violence or where their next meal is coming from.
They may even be worried about the oppression of their basic human rights.
Knowing this, people like me – actors who are not in the top 2 per cent but still work quite often – are very blessed.
Of course, living the dream is ideal, but being able to chase it is thrilling as well.
So, for now I’m chasing the dream and living the chase.
And, yes, I am a real actor.
Liam Fountain is a professional screen actor living in Los Angeles, California.