Don't Quit Your Day Job: An Actor's Life

August 4, 2014|
Don't Quit Your Day Job: An Actor's Life
Kobo ebook
Available for download


What is it that makes people want to be actors? Tom O'Rourke's irreverent, no holds barred, absolutely true memoir of his epic struggles on the road to becoming a working actor will leave you scratching your head wondering how anyone could be so headstrong? Passionate? Tenacious? Resourceful? But if you've ever seen Tom on LAW AND ORDER, or THE GUIDING LIGHT soap opera, or enjoyed the comedic sparing of Sandra Bullock, as Tom did when they co-starred on the TV series WORKING GIRL, you will be grateful there are such lunatics to amuse us. It's a movement class at Goodman Theater School, then part of Chicago University. A tall, muscular, GI bill student and ex paratrooper has already caused an embarrassing scene by wearing his dance belt wrongly outside of his first pair of tights instead of underneath. Now he is manfully executing a leg stretch at the dance bar when, in his firm grip, the whole bar pops out of the wall, stopping the class. "Get out! Get out now!!" The teacher shouts in outrage. "And don't come back!" How about a New York City summertime opening night in an historical costume drama with all the top critics in the audience and the steam heat comes on causing an elderly actor to pass out into the orchestra seats. Or the revamped postal jeep radiator that sprang a leak on Fourth of July night on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu resulting in a very long ride home under the stars through expensive and fragrant real estate that became an unforgettable, mystical romantic journey. Earthquakes, notice the plural, the Whittier and the Northridge, to shake things up a bit. Would you want to star in FROST ON THE PARSNIP? I thought not, neither did Tom. Or PORNO STARS AT HOME, at least he got to keep his clothes on. The modeling shoot with the German model who spoke little English picking his nose during his close up, "I haf an animal in my nose." referring to a pesky gnat. Yes, it was a wild and wonderful life, crazy ups and downs, Guest Star then back to taxi driver, the constant terror of trying to get the next job, living not only paycheck to paycheck, but audition to audition. Always in Survival Mode. Stressful, yes, exciting always, the phone rings you got it or you're fired. Laughter and tears, lots of both. DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB has all the behind the scenes stories of Tom's years on national tour with a Broadway musical, backstage in the New York theater, the big break on the daytime soap THE GUIDING LIGHT creating the role of Justin Marler, the long rocky road to Hollywood, finally costarring in the nighttime TV series WORKING GIRL with Sandra Bullock, then on to his extensive work on LAW AND ORDER, and LAW AND ORDER, SVU, MAID IN MANHATTAN, AMERICAN GANGSTER, and UNITED 93. And the movie he wrote, DESERT HEAT, starring Jean Claude Van Damme. The book has lots of photos because pictures, moving and still, were how we made our living and are very much a part of our story. For excerpts go to

Title:Don't Quit Your Day Job: An Actor's Life
Format:Kobo ebook
Published:August 4, 2014
Appropriate for ages:All ages

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