Monday, September 29, 2008

"Working Actor" Hal Linden: So much more than "2 down"

I spotted Hal Linden’s name in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar crossword puzzle. The clue read, "'Barney Miller' star Hal.” It’s always nice to get 2 down. It makes the rest of the puzzle so much easier.

There could have been another clue to arrive at the same answer: “Working actor Hal.” While Linden is widely known by audiences for his television series work, many forget that he has a long and respectable career in theatre, including a Tony Award.

Hal is the guest we chose to launch our new Web TV series “Inside the Business of Acting” with because he represents the philosophy of our new series on the Virtual Channel Network in every way possible.

“Inside the Business of Acting” features one-on-one conversations with working, successful actors talking about their career journeys, turning pointing and lessons learned along the way. Like the book The Business of Acting, this exclusive VCN series is designed to empower young actors and others in the journeys of their own careers.

Linden’s history is full of pro-activity, even before we knew what the word really meant. His longevity, his career success, is rooted in his ability to stay focused, to remain flexible, to always be level-headed and to always be prepared.

In our four-part interview, Hal talks about his roots and his struggles; he also talks about the valuable lessons he learned all along his journey that still matter today. He also reveals some fascinating behind-the-scenes tales about the TV series that made him a household name and the role that “Barney Miller” played in opening the doors to the opportunities that have followed.

Part one with Hal Linden is now playing on-demand. It’s entertaining, it’s informative, and, in it’s own way, it’s empowering conversation to absorb with lessons and a perspective that might prove very helpful to your own career plan and perspective.

As Hal says, “It’s all about the journey.” Amen to that.

Please feel free to post your comments about the interview here or send me an e-mail at


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just watched the first two segments of your interview with Mr. Linden. What strikes me most is that, even though we actors now have tools to help up in our careers (like Actors Access and the Virtual Channel Network) that he didn't have available to him, like Mr. Linden, we need to be constantly proactive all the time in our career pursuits.

Mr. Linden didn't have the benefits of being able to submit himself online for acting jobs, like we do now, but look at the respected career he was able to carve out using just his personal motivation and his belief in his ability to make it in this business.

Your interview with him was very helpful to me. I can use all of the resources available to me to be the, as you say, smartest actor I can. But, I still have to put myself, personally, out there in all possible productive ways.

I'm looking forward to watching your other interviews as they become available. It's a great idea.

Monica K., Northridge, CA