A regular column written by Toni Attell Published in The Tolucan Times & La Brea Living Magazine.
By Toni Attell
I have been exposed to the media since 1951 when I came out to Hollywood from New York to fulfill my destiny. Within two weeks I wound up at the Riverside Hotel in Reno as a showgirl. I then went to New York where I appeared on many TV shows with Uncle Miltie's Texaco Theatre. I was chosen to appear with Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor, Danny Thomas, Donald O' Connor, George Jessell, Ray Bolger and many others doing comedy sketches on NBC'S Colgate Comedy Hour. I wanted to tell you all a story about Howard Hughes since the movie about him was such a success. I spotted Mr. Hughes with Debra Paget at the Sahara in Las Vegas. The minute I was offstage in my dressing room a messenger knocked at my door with a note for me from H.H. We met and I wowed him with my expertise on aviation, as I was a certified Aircraft mechanic. I was then chosen by Spike Jones to go on the road with him and at the same time I was cast in 20,000 leagues under the Sea with Kirk Douglas and James Mason. I created a show for ABC called Voluptua, TV's Love Goddess. I was just way ahead of my time. Along came Elmer Gantry with Burt Lancaster and Shirley Jones, Night of the Hunter with Bob Mitchum, and then a young swivel hip kid named Elvis with Jailhouse Rock. I portrayed a Burlesque Queen and got a lot of attention from Elvis between scenes. I have also appeared recently as a sit down comic since I get tired of standing around. I have appeared at senior centers, nursing homes and several of Marilyn Monroe Memorials at the Westwood cemetery. These gigs are all free due to their low or no budgets. I have a long list of credits; I'm also a clothes, jewelry designer. My stories are quite endless and I love to tell them
My question is: with all these talents, including thirteen books I have written, I would like to know how I could cash in on them? I need to find a way to continue to afford today's costly lifestyle.
I have given you this whole column because you fascinate me. In this business we will all feel "left out" at some point for different reasons. We are not young enough, thin enough; we're too ethnic, not ethnic enough, funny, not funny, too pretty, not pretty enough...the list is endless. I am not saying that you have been or should feel left out Gloria, but it seems you rich in your thoughts of the past. This can be an asset if you use it correctly. With the thirteen book you have written, I would say that you are quite accomplished. I would suggest you join one of the on line casting companies -- Actors Access, LA Casting, Now Casting, Players Directory or, Craig's List, that let the actor know what is available in breakdowns. You would be ideal to play Kirste Alley's mom on her new show. You have the background for comedy. Look up her manager, or the casting director for her show and let them know about yourself. Call some organizations, like the Masons and Kiwanis; speak about all your fascinating experiences. Go to Colleges and present a show about those days. We are all fascinated with "The King" and that period. Now is your time Gloria, so think like a businesswomen and sell those memoirs.
Toni Attell teaches acting at USC and UCLA extension. She is the recipient of the Transpersonal Psychology and Angel Awards from the International Hypnosis Federation. She holds private acting classes available to the public on Monday nights in Studio City. For more information you may contact Ms. Attell at 818-787-8685. You may also send your pictures and questions c/o of the Tolucan Times.