We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
If Scorsese hasn’t called in weeks, maybe it’s time to consult the 1995 Actor’s Guide to D.C. Rebecca O’Donnell and Doris Skiba have compiled a pretty comprehensive, 110-page overview of local, actor-oriented stages, schools, services, and stores. Boilerplate essays under the heading “Actor BEWARE” offer the sort of common-sense advice that no one optimistic enough to think there’s a living in acting is likely to come up with—things like, “If for any reason a situation makes you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, leave!” and “If you are 16, no real casting agent or photographer would talk to you without a parent or guardian present.” And there’s a 20-page section on personal services from dentistry to mentoring groups that could use out-of-work actors as volunteers. Though most listings here could be gleaned from the Yellow Pages, the contact names and synopses of what various organizations do will be helpful to the uninitiated. The press release’s claim that the D.C. area “is home to the third largest concentration of performing artists [in the U.S.]” prompts doubts about the authors’ fact-checking—does that mean we’ve passed L.A., New York City, or Chicago?—but then, the claim isn’t repeated in the book. At $24.95, this paperback volume is hardly a bargain, but it qualifies as a useful graduation gift for the wanna-be thesp on your list. It’s available by mail from Imagination Inc., (202) 452-7412.