The Working Actor

Hollywood's unsung heroes. Without them this town would stand still.

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The Working Actor Sits Down With: Brian Palermo

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Deacon Conroy always gets the Lady – Budweiser

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Written by Mark

November 7th, 2010 at 9:42 am

The Working Actor Sits Down With: Daniel Franzese

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Daniel Franzese and Todd

Daniel plays with Todd during a break from our interview.

Daniel Franzese

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ice cream??


Watch the video to find out what happened.

Age: 32

Daniel is originally from Brooklyn, NY via Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He has lived in LA for 6 years.

YOU KNOW HIM FROM: Mean Girls, Party Monster, Bully, War of  the WorldsCSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “The Comeback.”

UPCOMING:Party Down” on June 18th, I Spit On Your Grave.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU DIDN’T NEED A DAY JOB ANYMORE: “I was bouncing, so it was probably right before or just after Mean Girls. I remember the feeling, it was like ‘this is it. I did it. I’m a working actor, I don’t need a day job anymore.’ Instead of just getting a $200 check and buying something, I was able to pay for my rent, utilities, and health insurance. I was making it just by the skin of my teeth, but I was making it. That was enough for me.”

HE MIGHT HAVE SERVED YOU AT: an Italian food store as a bag boy, Whole Foods, Morgan Stanley as a mover, a club in NYC as a bouncer, Blockbuster Video, and at a pet store,“I quit after one day when they asked me to touch dog shit.”

WHY LA OVER NYC: “I don’t think it was ever a decision of LA over NY. It’s like comparing apples and avocados. I like to eat them both, I just happen to eat avocados more. I love NY; it’s awesome, but LA has so much more film going on. The energy of the art form is just so strong and prominent over the city. It feels good to me.”

HOW DID YOU MAKE THE DECISION TO MOVE TO LA: “I waited until I booked a studio film. I was making a lot of indies and I knew how the measure of respect worked in Hollywood. Resumes or schooling weren’t going to help, it was gonna be ‘what have you done for me lately.’ I understood the energy of the business. I just wanted to wait until I had a serious momentum and then come to LA so more doors would be open when I arrived.”

INTERESTING STORY FROM A DAY JOB: “I was working as a mover for Morgan Stanley at the Rockefeller Center offices. One day I was asked to go down to the World Trade Center to help move 90 computers into a basement. It was the week before 9/11/01.  The following week I had to come in and pack up the offices of the people who spontaneously left. All the calendars still said September 11th. There were cups of coffee with half eaten moldy donuts next to them. We were responsible for packing up the offices and taking everything out. We were wearing masks, and I was watching everything at ground zero from executive offices. These were the buildings that surrounded the twin towers. It was surreal, I saw these Brinks trucks load out all this gold.”

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR ROLE IN MEAN GIRLS: “ I was brought in for a call back. I sat in the lobby and just pretended to BE Damien. When I arrived, Tina Fey and Mark Waters (the director) were debating what shirt Amanda Seyfried should wear for her audition. She had a tan shirt and a maroon shirt. I chimed in, ‘ummmmmmm, I’d go with the merlot.’ Tina and Mark just laughed and said ‘ok, let’s go with the merlot.’ When I walked into the audition Tina and Mark said ‘Oh, it’s you! We like you! We thought you just worked here. Come in.’ I thought my audition went well, but I didn’t hear anything. A month later my manager got a call saying they were flying me to the table read, but I didn’t have the part yet. A lot of people thought I looked too old. I was 26 when I played 16. Chevy Chase was on my plane to LA. I was about to go to dinner with Lorne Michaels. It felt very serendipitous. I got to the table read and was super nervous. I knew the part wasn’t mine yet and there were all these executives there. I just needed to be the character, I had no other choice. I’ve been to table readings  where actors aren’t trying to give a performance. I had to perform as if the cameras were on. I went crazy, I just went all the way into it. I made Lorne Michaels spit water out when he was laughing. I could have just died right then, but I still didn’t have the part. They made me wait 4 more days and then I finally got the call telling me the part was mine. I had to fly to Toronto right away, I showed up with nothing more than all the shorts I brought to LA.”

ADVICE FOR ACTORS: “I’ve always felt like fame, success, and money are like playing with a balloon. You hit the balloon up, and sometimes if you get a good job you hit it really high up. When the balloon comes down again you have to keep tapping it up. As soon as you put your hands down and rest, it hits the floor. It’s like you constantly have to keep the momentum bouncing up and thinking of things that can keep it up in the air. Some people do it with scandalous things. There are tons of people who release a sex tape or do something crazy at a club. Those things push the balloon up, but those are lead balloons and they fall much faster. When you do something positive, that balloon stays up for longer. Working as an art curator, for me, is exactly that example. I’m providing a venue for people to come and have a party. I’m inspiring the creation of art, making people smile and indirectly beautifying peoples’ homes. But at the same time, it’s google hits for me. It’s reminding people about movies I did. That’s the best kind of way to lift the balloon. It’s like putting helium in it. When you earn certain things, it hovers more than it sinks.”

Danny didn’t go on a commercial audition for 8 years after this incident.

Watch the video to find out what happened.

Daniel Franzese's Wall

Check out some art form Daniel’s wall

Daniel Franzese's Wall

Wall detail

Harold Hunter skateboard from depARTed. A show Danny curated dedicated to Brad Renfro after he passed. The show was based on notable people who died before there time. © 2008 Chase Tafoya. A gift from the artist. Danny met Harold when Steven Klein shot them for the cover of FACE magazine.

“Always was a pleasure to see him party hopping around NYC he was a nice guy. Sad he passed. Say no to drugs.”

Spy Vs. Spy

“Shades of Grey”  acryllic spy v.s spy from Danny’s art show Crusaders& Haters: Heroes and villiansin american pop culture @ROYAL/T 2009

“CLOWN” (2008) by Evanimal from depARTed.

Don’t forget to tune in this Friday, June 18th to Party Down on Starz.

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Dexter LaRoderick – Go-Go Dancer

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Dexter LaRoderick

Watch Dexter talk about his man pillows and his dream role:

“I’m originally from Atlanta, GA but have lived in LA for 5 or 6 years now. Every year I’ve been out here I’ve been able to keep going. I’m still here I’m still working, which is good.”Dexter has been Go-Go Dancer for 2 years.

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN HIM IN: Budweiser commercial, Carl’s Jr. commercial, IHOP commercial, Tidy Cat commercial

UPCOMING: “I wish, but no.”

BEST MOMENT IN LA: “I was sitting on this roof at a party looking out over all of Hollywood. I’m with a Director friend of mine and it just hits me. I know these people, and these people are my friends. It was a defining moment, it makes you happy to know you made it this far.”

WORST MOMENT IN LA: “I was working for a restaurant and lost my job, my car got hit on the street, and I lost a new phone I had just bought all in the same day. I was living in this crappy apartment, just barely surviving. I would come home and there were rats, it was a pretty low point.”

HOW DID YOU GET INTO GO-GO DANCING: “The reason why I’m a Go-Go Dancer is because I was in between jobs a lot and this kinda fell into my lap. I stuck with it because it just worked. You want to keep the train moving you want to keep the wheels turning. It’s a small world, but a hard world to get into. It’s very judgmental”

ADVICE FOR ACTORS MOVING TO LA: “Come prepared and always want to be the best of what you are. You need to know who you are and what you are. If you’re the big guy, be the big guy. Don’t fight to be the skinny guy. Don’t fight to be the pretty girl if you’re not really the pretty girl. Look at yourself, make an honest assessment of who you are and what your gonna get, and go with it. Learn where you belong. Honestly, Hollywood is all about knowing your role. It’s a tough thing, all of us want to be A-list celebs but it doesn’t happen that way. You need to come prepared to be the best at what you are. So even if you are a chubby guy, be the best chubby guy. Your talent is important, but so is your appearance.”

Dexter LaRoderick


Written by Mark

April 22nd, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Deacon Conroy – The Village Idiot: Head Bartender

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Deacon Conroy

Deacon Conroy


Age: 30

Deacon has lived in LA for 3 years, but is originally from Chicago. He has worked at The Village Idiot for 2 ½ Years.


BEST MOMENT IN LA: “When I got my first apartment, it was the first night I was there, I had no furniture. Everything I shipped broke except for one glass. I sat there and used a suitcase as a table, and got a $5 bottle of wine at 7-Eleven…..I knew I couldn’t be happier.”

BEST AUDITION STORY: “It was few months ago, for Budweiser. It was a videoconference audition; the director and producers were in Chicago. I saw them laugh at something I did through the 20-inch screen and thought ‘alright I’m gonna book this,’ and I did.”

YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HIM IN:Grey’s Anatomy,’ I played a patient with a broken leg” and a current Mazda 3 commercial.

UPCOMING: Taco Bell Commercial, Budweiser commercial, Twix Commercial, Coors Light Commercial, A Marine Story.

DREAM ROLE: “For them to re-cast ‘Lost’ and run the series again, all 6 seasons of it. I’ll play Jack, I’ll play Sawyer, either one I don’t care. That would be fine with me.”

ADVICE FOR ACTORS MOVING TO LA: “Save up as much money as you can, and don’t take it personally.”