HER STORY

The founder of Starving Artists is Ms. Carrie Cain Sparks. This is her story in her words.

THE DEATH OF AN ACTRESS & BIRTH OF AN ARTIST

I was living in Burbank California. Very close to Warner brothers studios. This is where it all went down. I did the usual things that actors do to start their careers - finding an agent, going on auditions, photo shoots, acting classes. I was living the dream until the dream got too expensive. If I showed them my headshots, they wanted new ones. If I got new ones, they wanted more copies. I was always using my money. So I had to work more hours in between acting gigs. I looked for a flexible job.

I found company that hires actors as pitch men selling the magic Shammy! I did some shifts in and around Cali then I got shipped off to Texas. After about 3 months in Houston, I caught a strain of flu that took away my speaking voice. It turns out that one of my house mates likes to drink juice and milk straight from the carton. Thanks Lance.

Back in Burbank I recovered. Still on the hunt for flexible gigs, I was lucky to get a chance to train at Universal Studios as a tour guide. The training was hard core. Morning to evening and you have to memorize the Universal Studio movie Bible that is several inches thick and too wide for my one hand. We were tested multiple times throughout the training. The Actors were often told “You might not make it. Even Whoopi Goldberg trained and didn’t make the cut”. Really? We all collectively said out loud...”What’s wrong with Whoopi Goldberg?” If that is your standard of refusal, then what are your acceptance rates? Very low apparently because I met the same fate Whoopi Goldberg did on that last training day. They gathered us all in a green room and posted a list on the wall with who made the cut. My name was not on it. Yea, I was shocked because WTF?

One of the actors explained that I was stumbling a lot in the first week and I didn’t appear to learn things the way everyone else did. But in the end I was on point and perfect with my knowledge and my tour was flawless. “Maybe it’s just the type of person they are looking for.” someone else said. What type is that? Un-employed again. This rollercoaster ride of terror brought me to my next incarnation. While the Unions were in continuous negotiations with producers over mysterious  internet $$, reality shows sprung up. Once rare is now the norm and it’s the only thing left to audition for.

Reality show “auditions” are invasive. They want to know all your personal information in the interview. How many kids you have, what kind of sex do you do, whats in your underwear drawer...? They are not just curious, that IS the show. Your personal life & they want you to fight with other cast mates too! With reality shows out, and no flexible gigs on the horizon, I am low key squatting right now. I met a writer at Bally’s who taught me how to squat in abandoned buildings. She’s good.

HAIR

Becoming an actress and staying an actress is expensive. I also couldn’t keep up with the hairstyles without an apartment. The washings were so far apart. With my kind of hair you need oils & potions to keep it moist and shiny. I stopped being able to even afford a jar of olive oil and it (the hair) fell out.

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