Pink’s Hot Dogs

The year was 2008, and I’d just moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream of acting in the movies. My dad had flown out with me and was staying for a week to help me get settled in. I knew no one in the city, and for the first time in my life, I would truly be on my own. College has a built in support system of classes, dorms, and clubs that make adjusting to a new life easier, but now, I was discovering the thrill of finding my own way.

Because I’d never been in a movie before, I decided that working as a background actor (extra) would be a great way to get some set experience. So, I set aside my theatre training and spent the morning waiting in line at Central Casting, filling out paperwork, and dreaming of my fabulous life to come. After signing up with a calling service across the street, my dad and I decided it was time to eat. We ended up at Pink’s, a Hollywood legend since 1939. It’s hard to tell which is more famous, the hot dogs or the faces covering the walls. I don’t remember what I ordered, but I remember they were out of sour cream and suggested guacamole instead. It was a revelation. If you are out of sour cream try using guacamole, but I digress.

Perhaps I should have mentioned earlier that I moved across the country without a job. All I had were a couple of major credit cards and a dream. Not the best recipe for success, but a perfect adventure for an almost 23-year-old who does not yet understand the meaning of debt.

I’m sure my dad was trying to be happy and encouraging during our meal. We both thrive in warm weather and places populated by palm trees, so we were having a good day. But, my dad was flying away in the next day two, and I still had no idea how I was going find work.

And, then it happened. My phone rang.

I was booked to be an extra on E.R.!

Suddenly, moving to Los Angeles felt like the best decision I had ever made. I was going to be working on a real television show and getting paid to do something I loved to do. Maybe all my dreams would come true in this magical land.

My dad snapped a picture, freezing this happy moment in time.

Pink's Hot Dogs and how I got my first Hollywood role.

While this isn’t exactly a Lana Turner story, when I look at this picture, I remember what it was like to believe that dreams could come true. I think we all need a reminder of that every once in a while.

What reminds You that dreams are possible?

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  1. I admire your ambition. Every year young people come to New York (and LA) looking for this type of opportunity. In some fields (like acting and art), the odds are heavily stacked against you. But it’s memorable to try. This picture shows the hope in your eyes. Thanks for sharing such a personal moment.
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  2. That’s amazing you got the spot as an extra!! George Clooney came from that show I believe. I’m also an aspiring performing artist, progressing slowly but surely. However, I’m into circus arts. What reminds me I can accomplish my dreams is my determination and how far it’s already gotten me.
    Wish the best for your dreams to continue to progress!!

    – Harlynn

  3. I love this story so much… and that you were with your poppa when your first casting call came in : ) How incredibly exciting!! I love guacamole and avocado anything–sounds like a fantastic substitute to me. I’ve never heard of this place; will have to look it up next time I hit up the best coast 🙂 XOXO
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  4. I loved this! Thank you for sharing your happy time, your dreams do come true story and picture with us. I think it’s awesome that you were on ER and that your dad was there to hear the good news! I’m so happy you haven’t given up. Break a leg, m’friend! (I think that’s what you say…. ) 🙂
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  5. That is such a cool story and a special memory with your Dad. We are thinking of taking our daughter to L.A. this summer and I had forgotten about Pink’s. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Ha! just went to Pink’s last year upon a friends recommendation. The only time we could fit it in during our L.A. trip was at 1am in the morning and there was still a long line! Yummy.

    Ah dreams, I have little ones that I manage to make happen. But still working on the big one – involves books, of course 😉
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  7. This is a great post. It’s telling me that I should find an item, let’s call it a good luck charm, to remind me that dreams are possible. I don’t really have a moment or memory per se. I will say that often I have a goal/dream and then I run into a person out of the blue that can help me move forward. It’s like the universe is telling me I should do it.
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