Los Angeles’ network of Black actors and entertainers is thriving and vibrant. In Los Angeles it is not uncommon to find that your waiter, insurance agent, postal worker, cashier, or lawyer is also a struggling actor. There are those who toil in the trenches daily, studying their crafts, making auditions while maintaining jobs, families and community connections. They struggle with issues of artistic integrity while carrying the weight of our images on their shoulders. Take classes in between shifts and engage in the craziness of simply trying to book work.
On Saturday, February 4, 2012 more than 600 (though the instructions said only 300 would be seen and more than 1,000 responded) mostly African American actors and singers waited patiently in line at Stage 52 Playhouse to get a 60 second audition in front of one man— Don B. Welch.
Soon to be a household name, Don B. Welch, an actor and singer turned playwright, author and producer, is creating opportunities for people of color to work. Several years ago, the Philadelphia native at the encouragement of friends, including megastar Will Smith, relocated to Los Angeles. He had gained quite a bit of success locally and it was time to step it up.
Welch is the author of 2 published novels, has written and produced more than 19 original stage plays. He is working on his 3rd film, “Love Buddies” and his 1st film, “The Bachelor Party” is available on DVD. He is presently in negotiations to move into film and television next. Because of this actors, new and seasoned, compete for the coveted roles in his productions.