Pretending to Make a Living: Memories of My Four Decades as an Entertainer, Improv Comic, Actor, Broadcaster, and Tour Guide by Christopher David Linnell

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Author
Christopher David Linnell
Publisher
Createspace
Date of release
Pages
316
ISBN
9781484951385
Binding
Paperback
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
20

Book review

PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING is a collection of memories by Christopher David Linnell about the four decades he spent working as an entertainer, improv comic, actor, broadcaster, and tour guide. Christopher first entertained as a child in the San Francisco Bay Area, using magic, puppetry, and ventiloquism. He began doing stand-up at age 9 and moved with his family to Guam where he began entertaining professionally at 14, and, upon his return to California in 1977 he started working in local radio at age 16 as an air personality, news writer and announcer, and as a commercial writer, producer, and voice artist, as well as a live program host on remote broadcasts. Christopher began working in Sonoma County television at age 22, doing commercials, sketch comedy, and hosting live remote broadcasts. He later joined SAG and AFTRA and worked out of San Francisco in union productions of industrial films, commercials, television programs, and feature films, and he did some modeling. As a professional entertainer, Christopher specializes in celebrity impersonations, including more than 200 celebrity voices and 100 costumed impersonations. He has performed corporate comedy at staff meetings, OSHA safety meetings, national sales meetings, and conventions and trade shows, as well as promotions, special events, and parties throughout 14 of the United States. In PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING Christopher recalls performances for country artists Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, U.S. Senator Richard Gebhardt, California Governor Pete Wilson, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey, U.S. Representative Don Clausen, FBI Director Louis Freh, comedian Tommy Smothers, rock drummer Steve Smith and members of the band Journey, actors Terry McGovern, Danny Glover, actors David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Lewis Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Patricia Arquette, Nicholas Cage, Jon Lovitz, Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, and Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. As the title jests, it's not always easy making a living as a professional entertainer, and Christopher discusses in detail how he managed to diversify his entertainment services and keep at least two jobs going at all times...sometimes simultaneously managing to work as a clown, puppeteer, celebrity impersonator, singing telegram performer, radio announcer, television actor, and fair performer. He also discusses some of his more unusual pursuits, including stiltwalking, shoot-outs, and driving motorized cable cars and amphibious DUKWs, and some of the most difficult tasks he's faced: fourteen years performing as a clown at kids' parties, four hours of intense questioning by the U.S. Secret Service, three marriages, and kissing a girl on the silver screen...ewww. Millions around the world have seen him perform, yet no one outside of the San Francisco Bay Area recognizes him, he's got no health insurance, no retirement, and he's still renting his house. How can this be? Because Christopher is PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING. This book is 312 pages filled with stories, songs, scripts, and snapshots, and includes the inside story of Sonoma County radio and television in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, as well as hilarious misadventures with the rich and famous. Illustrated with hundreds of pictures of Christopher in and out of costume with his celebrity clients and colleagues, you will laugh and cry and will not want to put the book down!


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