“The Adventures Of Little Diego - Former Child Star” Chapter 8 - Part 3 of 5, Bad Boys, Bad Boys, What Cha Gonna Do?"
So we lost the record deal, but I continued to pursue acting work. One of the scenes my friend Peter and I shot made its way into casting director Bobby Hoffman’s office who was the west coast head of casting at the time for ABC daytime television, Soap Operas in particular. I had shot this scene with an actress by the name of Juliette Cummins. Juliette later gained notoriety acting in the "Friday The 13th" and "Psycho" movie franchises.
Actress Juliette Cummins - Excerpt From The Movie Psycho 3
Pretty much the extent of my entire love life was when I got to do some scene where I got to kiss the girl.
Marc Copage And Juliette Cummins Workshop Scene
I suspect that Peter had gotten the tape to Mr. Hoffman. My friend Peter had become quite friendly with the casting director. So I get called in to read for Mr. Hoffman for a contract role on one of the soaps! I think it was “One Life To Live”, but I’m not certain. It was one of the soaps that shot on the east coast. Great! I had always wanted to do a soap! It was good steady work! Maybe I’d even have a chance to get the girl! I had started watching some soaps to prep for the audition. You might have a slightly different approach to a role depending on the medium you were auditioning for. Whether it be film, sitcom, one hour drama, theater, or a TV commercial. In the soaps it looked like quite a bit of kissing was going on amongst the characters on these shows. Sweet! More importantly, I'd be a working actor again!
Marc Copage And Actress Juliette Cummins
After reading for Mr. Hoffman he had me screen test for the role and paired me with actress and former Playboy centerfold and playmate Ola Ray.
Actress / Model Ola Rey
Ola was hot having recently played Michael Jackson’s love interest in the epic music video “Thriller”.
Thriller Music Video - Michael Jackson, Ola Rey
This was a huge opportunity for me! I was told only two other actors were being screen tested for the role. One of them being actor Blair Underwood.
Actor Blair Underwood
Ola was extremely dedicated. She’d come over to my house to rehearse so that we would both feel comfortable as there was kissing involved. Ola and I had this scene down! We were both feeling quite good about going in to do the screen test together!
Then, right before we tested, my friend Peter told me he’d gotten word that they’re looking for someone younger to play the character I was auditioning for, and when I go in to screen test I should play it young. Great! I can do that!
Ola and I arrive at the studio to do the screen test. Unfortunately, neither of us ended up getting our perspective parts. The feedback I got from the New York office was that they loved it, but I came across too young for this character. I came across too young! Great! At this point I’m starting to feel cursed not only in my love life, but in my professional career as well. Nothing was coming together for me! I can’t say I know for certain that I would have gotten the part had I not been told to play it young by my friend Peter, but I can say for certain that if I hadn’t been told that, and didn’t get the part, it wouldn’t have been because I came across too young. Good grief!
I have to take my hat off to Peter. He'd come out here to hollywood from the midwest with nothing but a dream and managed to become a full fledged working actor in under two years. Peter went on to win himself a contract role on the Soap Opera, "Ryan’s Hope". I've rarely seen anyone so focused and move up so quickly in the business. Peter was a determined young man and I have to take my hat off to him. He got just what he wanted! He's currently earning his living as a musician.
Actor / Musician Peter Love
Hmmmm. So maybe I needed to try something different. Switch up my game. Try a new approach. Maybe I needed to be a Bad Boy! Get myself into some kind of trouble that would stir the pot up a little and create some headlines! After all, people were still interested in doing stories on me.
People Magazine - 'What Ever Happened To"
Yeah, that's it! Create some headlines by being really bad! Why not? It had worked for so many in the past. Pee Wee Herman, caught and arrested for masturbating in a public movie theater. Winona Ryder, caught stealing goods from a department store. Danny Banuduce, behaving like a crazed alcohol driven, drug induced, complete lunatic and picking up transvestite prostitutes. These things made news and seemed to have helped the careers of the perpetrators of these crimes. It certainly didn’t hurt any of their careers. With this new found attention these folks were able to book work again! Hmmmm....I had nothing to lose? Right? What could I do? How bad could I be?
Actor Pee Wee Herman
Actor Danny Bonaduce
Actor Marc Copage - Bad Boy!
It was at this time that my friend Darryl came into play. Darryl was an African American male four or five years my senior whom I had met in an acting workshop. There were some wonderful actors in that workshop! A lot of professional working actors. Some great work took place on that stage!
Sal Dano Acting Workshop
Pictured above from left to right: Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marta Dubois, Catherine Bach, Priscilla Barnes. (Back row) Kyle T. Heffner and acting coach, the late Sal Dano
Daryl and I were assigned to do a scene together in class and quickly became friends. He became my best friend.
Though I’ve had many outstanding friends through the course of my lifetime who I love and cherish dearly to this day, Daryl, being African American, there was a certain bond we had that could not be found with my other friends. Something about growing up as a black man in America that none of my other friends could relate to or understand. At least on the deep level that bonded us.