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The meal gets to be the star of the dinner table on Thanksgiving. No one steals the scene from a perfect golden brown turkey. But once you have given thanks for the food and the family surrounding you, I say we recognize the people who helped us get to where we are right now as actors, whether you have been working at it for years or you’re just getting started. I have 10 people in mind who make it possible for me to do what I love and continue to grow with every new experience.

1. Successful Working Actors. These are not the celebrities you see making big budget films, appearing on talk shows, and followed by paparazzi. These are the people who seem to consistently work in commercials, TV and film without becoming a household name, which is my goal. They serve as wonderful role models and inspire me daily.

2. My Agents. Okay, that’s more than one person again. It’s actually six people, plus their support staff. Without them, I would not be auditioning for most of the films, TV series, commercials, and corporate videos that come my way.

3. Casting Directors. These people open doors by asking me to audition for projects in Texas and nationwide. They recognize my talents and remind me that even when I don’t get the role, I have something valuable to offer.

4. Audition Taping Friends. Again, this covers more than one person. These people make time to put me on tape for film and TV roles. They operate the camera, read the other lines, give valuable feedback, and help ensure the audition I submit is a strong one.

5. Road Trip Drivers. Some of my favorite moments of the year came talking about the business with fellow actors while traveling the highways of Texas. These trips are a valuable way to bond with, learn from, and inspire each other, and I always appreciate the actors who make room for me.

6. My Acting Students. They allow me to open up about my own acting experiences when I share with them the tips and tricks that help get an agent, book a role, or make an important connection. They also help me add value to the challenges and struggles of this profession when I discuss what I invest and sacrifice to work as an actor in Texas.

7. My Daughter. My 8-year-old girl is my biggest fan and the most consistent member of my support system. She’s joined me for local auditions, shoots and live gigs, and road trips, and I’m always grateful for her presence and encouragement.

8. My Mom. Although she’s 1800 miles away, Mom provides support and encouragement by phone regularly. She asks me about what I’m working on and gives me an opportunity to talk about my audition and on set experiences. 

9. My Brother. He spent years watching me make career decisions and even joined me on a few sets. Now in Arizona, he continues to send positive energy through emails and during phone conversations.

10. The People Who Don’t Believe in Me. I reserve these folks for last. Whether they make negative comments directly or just generally ignore me, they’re refusal to get on my bandwagon reminds me that there will always be people whose objections in this business I will have to face and overcome. 

Will's Camera 269

I’m at home in NY and surrounded by family for this Champagne toast in December 2011.