Articles & Notes — August 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

Michael Bailey Smith: a confession of a “working actor”

michael-bailey-smithMichael Bailey Smith today is known for such horror films as “Hills Have Eyes” remake and “Hills Have Eyes 2”, which is far from what his movie career looked like in the beginning.

Smith, a bodybuilder, first broke into the movies by playing “Super Freddy” in Nightmare on Elm Street 5 in 1989. In the 1990’s, Smith appeared mostly in B-movie action flicks (such as Code Name Alexa, Cyborg 3, Whatever it takes, Cage 2). In 2003 he fought Jean-Claude Van Damme in a prison flick called “In Hell”. He’s also been doing a lot of appearances on television.

He’s what a lot of people call a “working actor”, and he has recently spoke about his career, bringing up an interesting example of how things in Hollywood are done.

“I’ve been an actor in Hollywood for about 24 years now. And during that time, I’ve been very blessed having worked on a ton of films and TV shows. I’m what they call a “working actor.” Not a movie star, but one of those actors that play a lot of different characters, mostly bad guys, and I go from gig to gig,” Smith wrote on his Facebook page.

“With all of those gigs comes a ton of auditions; we’re talking over the years, probably hundreds. When I first started, I thought auditioning would be like when I played football. If you kicked ass on the football field during practice, it pretty much guaranteed that you were playing on the weekend,” he said.

As he admits, he thought the same about auditions, that if he does good at an audition, he would get the part.

“Well, it doesn’t work that way. It took me a long time to realize that the only control I have in getting the role is just doing a great job in the audition. The rest is not up to me,” Smith said. He further explained.

“There are so many reasons why you don’t get a gig. It could be that they need a “name” for the role or that you just don’t have the right look or it could be something crazy like you look like the producer’s ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. The rejection, being told, “No” so many times is hard. You go to an audition and there are twenty guys that look just like you. Everyone, from every part of the world, comes to Hollywood with a dream of “making it.” To even think about how much the odds are against you would drive most people insane,” he said.

Smith recalled that years ago he started telling himself that after an audition if he planted a good seed, the rest is not up to him. Thus, if he doesn’t get get the part, then “casting director or producer or director will remember” him for something else.

Then, he wrote down a story that happened to him, when he worked on a new pilot. Starting actors could use this as an inspiration.

“I’ve been working on a new pilot called, “Cocked.” It’s being produced by Amazon Studios. It’s a pretty high profile show and it has some great people attached like Sam Trammell, from “True Blood”, Jason Lee from “My Name is Earl” and Brian Dennehy. And as you could have guessed, I’m playing a bad guy. If the show does well, I could be doing another three or four more episodes,” he said.

“I’ve been working on a new pilot called, “Cocked.” It’s being produced by Amazon Studios. It’s a pretty high profile show and it has some great people attached like Sam Trammell, from “True Blood”, Jason Lee from “My Name is Earl” and Brian Dennehy. And as you could have guessed, I’m playing a bad guy. If the show does well, I could be doing another three or four more episodes.

“It was a night shoot. And when I got to the set, the director pulled me aside and said, “Michael, do you know how you got this role?” I looked at him a bit surprised and worried at the same time and said, “Well, I hope it was my acting.” The director smiled and said, “Well, yes, but you auditioned for me about two years ago and I remembered you and wanted you for this role. You still had to audition, but I knew I wanted you.” I was floored by what he said. I shook his hand, thanked him and told him that what he did, remembering me, I will never forgot and I will tell everyone about the great thing he did. The director’s name is Jordan Vogt-Roberts,” Smith wrote.



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