Pink House. 130 North Street. Back In The Day.

Fellow residents from the 1991-94 years were Clint Curtis, Shyam Patel, Raj Krishnasami, Lydia Craft, Jess Deltac, Kyle York Spencer, Caroline Rivers Hall, Mel Lanham, Michelle Sinnott, Jay Murray, N'Gai Wright, Scott Bullock (who crashed on the couch for a year before finally moving in), Bryan Ellerson, Karen Hurka, Sally Stryker, Ryan Mathias, Charlie Speight, Chris Palmatier, Trent McDevitt, and Steve William.



Besides holdovers and returnees Jay, Scott, Mel (& Laverne!), Chris, and N'Gai, residents during 1995-97 included Allen Sellars (who, like Jay, lived at both the Pink House and 401 Pritchard), Ian Williams, Zak Bisacky, James Dasher, Linden Elstran, Jiffer Bourguignon, Grant Tennille (who first made the scene as a fixture in N'Gai's room circa summer '93), Zia Zareem, Ben Folds, Tom Holden, and Chris "Chip" Chapman.

- Erik Ose

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Clint's L.A. Story

(Editor's note: From the time Clint left Chapel Hill for Wilmington in 1995 to pursue his acting career, his former housemates were rooting for him to make it big. And we were totally psyched when the following year, he went out to California and popped up first in a music video on MTV, then a small role in Blade, and in 1998, graduated to supporting role status in Deep Rising. But Clint's time in Hollywood was a trying one, and recently he wrote about those days on his excellent blog, From The Bar.)

(Cross-posted courtesy of From The Bar)

by CLINT CURTIS ('91-'92)

I did everything ass-backwards. After University, I went out to L.A. to be a movie star. Hilarious, I know. But I was committed. I was going out there to be a working actor. I had a little money saved, about $2,000, a reliable car, and a house-sitting gig. I was pretty set, in a modest way. Like I said, I didn't go out there to be a server. I wanted to be an actor.

When you go out to L.A. to become an actor, one of the smartest things you can do is get a commercial agent. And that's what I did. Stew Strunk was my first agent, at RLA – Robin Levy and Associates. After sending out a bezillion headshots, I scored one, and was able to start going out on auditions. It wasn't a theatrical agent (movies) but it was a good start.

If you do a commercial, it can definitely buy you some time. In my career, I was fortunate enough to act in 12 national commercials, and I made great money. I did a Phillips Light Bulb commercial, I'm not bragging, just giving an example, that made me over $100,000, for 1 day of work. But that wasn't without rejection. A lot of rejection. In the beginning, I was going out on 6-8 auditions a week, and nothing. Rejection, rejection, rejection. For 8 months I booked 1 paid gig. I was down to about $13.00 in my bank account. I remember having a mini-nervous breakdown. What am I doing? I'm a failure. I have a college education, and I'm broke. I was crying. Sobbing, really. I wasn't embarrassed. I was at the end of my rope.

But then, at the end of that period, it happened. I booked 3 gigs in a week and a half. A music video, a short film, and a feature. I was lucky. But I paid my dues.

When people ask me about my time in L.A., I tell them, "It was the best of times, and worst of times." I was blessed to meet thousands of people, make a few friends, and have some mind-blowing experiences. Go on YouTube and search "Stairway to Heaven Compact For Tube Playboy Mansion" and you’ll see me sneaking into the Mansion, with a couple of friends, for the Millennium party. Crazy times. I don't regret the experiences I had, good or bad, I look back on them, without remorse. You have to go after your dreams, or you'll be sitting around 10 years from now, wondering what if.

So why did I move back to Iowa? To summarize, there was a 6 month commercial strike, and I worked on 1 movie in the span of that time. It destroyed me – both mentally and financially. I hobbled back to Des Moines and lived with my mom and step-father until I was able to pick up the pieces.

And here I am now, 13 years later, with a wife, 2 kids, a mortgage, and a job as a bartender – at age 40. I've never been more fulfilled in all my life. That's what I'm saying about doing things ass-backwards. I did the acting first, then the bartending, instead of the other way around.

And you know what? I absolutely love my job at the Mews. Yes, I'm 40, and doing a 21 year old’s job, but what else am I going to do? Take your time and get back to me on that. You can't worry about what others think about what you do for a living. If you're ecstatic working at McDonalds making Apple Pies, then you should do that. Customers ask me when they enter the bar, "Are you the owner?" as if I must be something more. I say, "Nope. Just the bartender."

I'm still doing a little acting. I have an audition next week for Veridian Bank. I’m sure I’ll get it. Not! I play a 50 year old. Good one. I'm a damn senior citizen!

But I try to look on the bright side. It's for Veridian...not Viagra. Yet.

From my heart to yours,

Clint Curtis. Bartender.

Photo by Joey Leaming.

"Even famous people lived in the Green House. There was Curtis Clintwood, star of several real blockbuster movies. Like Five Fingers of Tooth, which was the sequel to Tooth Chow, this movie about a vampire superhero from Hong Kong terrorizing the streets of Miami. Curtis was one of the victims, actually, he was one of Count Tooth's victim's victims, he was the young intern on duty in the ER at South Beach General when they brought in one of the streetwalkers who got bit by Count Tooth.

And Curtis also had a great role in Up From The Deep, about the giant octopus aliens who decide to conquer the world one day, not realizing Eric Stolz is on the case. An Eric Stolz action vehicle. Betcha didn't know one of those was around. Curtis played one of the desperados who are trying to hijack this floating casino that just happens to be anchored off the coast of Los Angeles when the alien octopus clan makes their bold move. You could tell which desperado he was right off the bat, all the rest of them were big, beefy, mercenary looking dudes, then there was Curtis, who weighs about 130 pounds wet. But he kicked some ass, anyway! He blew smoke in somebody's face, and punched some guy during a fight. This was before the octopus aliens ate him alive."

- The Green House, 2003 short story

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