To Make It In Hollywood You Have To Be A Jack-Of-All-Trades, Like Laura Brunkala

By Jeffrey Fleishman
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Interesting “day in the life” profile of Laura Brunkala, a struggling actress/director in Los Angeles. Brunkala cobbles together as assortment of jobs or rather creative “gigs” to pursue her passion.

Los Angeles Times

The morning spun forward and Laura Brunkala, actor, director, producer, singer, kick-boxer and intermediate yogi, checked the rear-view and changed lanes. Country music played. A cellphone buzzed. The light turned green and the hour was cool and fresh with possibility.

She slid on sunglasses as a helicopter flashed across the windshield and disappeared over the Hollywood Hills. “You have to have this ability to hang in there,” she said. “There’s a million ways to make it. If you’re not creating content, you’re not getting yourself out there.”

But she admitted to a gap in her repertoire: “I’m not a good tweeter,” she said. “It’s an area of weakness for me.”

A daughter from Cleveland who started playing flute at 8, Brunkala, like thousands of aspiring actors, is a master shape-shifter with voracious ambition.

She is one in a legion that navigates the entertainment industry’s lower rungs, racing to auditions, writing scripts, nursing rejections, compiling demo reels, uploading editing software and knowing that a nonunion commercial will pay extras about $150 a day but a union shoot will command $366 and up to $732 on weekends. They star in one another’s movies in a loose network of bartered skills that has arisen in the age of multiple platforms and digital filmmaking.

Brunkala was a face in the crowd on a shoot with Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio in “J. Edgar.” She was a cameo cocktail waitress with Al Pacino and Annette Bening in “Danny Collins,” which, she said, “was the day I learned the most about acting. They’d cut, but they still kept their banter going back and forth.” She has other favorites. Kevin Spacey is a master. Liev Schreiber “blows my mind.”

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