Mar 282011
 
Authors: Erin Udell

Trying to make it as an actor in Los Angeles is not easy or glamorous, which is something Nate Golon learned firsthand.

The CSU alum, who left his corporate job in Seattle to pursue a life in show business, has turned his Hollywood experiences into an award-winning web series using comedy to highlight what young actors go through when trying to make a name for themselves.

“Workshop” –– premiering its second season on Hulu this week –– follows six twenty-something actors as they go on auditions and try to navigate through the highs and lows of finding work in Los Angeles.

The show was a longtime coming for its co-creator, producer and actor Golon. He graduated from CSU with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications before taking a job at Washington Mutual.

After taking a month-long trip in 2004 to Europe with friends, Golon returned to his job but found that he was no longer interested in working at a “desk job.”

“Sitting in an office every day was mind-numbing,” Golon said. “It was brutal.”

So he started saving money in order to move to Madrid. But only two months before he was supposed to leave he discovered his passion for acting after being involved in a friend’s film project.

“It was a really great time and a really fun experience,” Golon said. “I started taking commercial acting class, and I loved it.”

Golon began to focus on his acting career, quit his job at Washington Mutual and worked at restaurants to fund a move to L.A. in 2006.

In an effort to get noticed, Golon started going to casting director workshops, where actors pay money to read lines for casting directors across the city. It was at one poorly run workshop that Golon met fellow actor Kimberly Legg.

“The workshop took five hours and was like grinding salt into a wound,” Golon said. “We had plenty of time to meet other actors, and I walked into this conversation about how ridiculous it (the workshop) was.”

Within a week, Golon and Legg met up and began writing season one of the show, which consisted of 13 episodes, each seven to 10 minutes in length.

After the first season aired and received nominations for two best web series awards, Golon went on to write season two, finishing it in mid-2010 and pitching it to a new media consultant, Keith Knee, at a film festival.

“I didn’t really want to watch the show at first, but Nate and his crew just kept asking and asking,” Knee said. “Finally, I watched it and the production value was strong enough for me to be interested in pursuing it.”

Knee knew that Hulu was looking for new content, so he asked Golon to make the episodes 22 minutes long and pitch season two to the website.

Four months later, Hulu decided to pick up the show, leading to what Golon called “the greatest feeling of my life.”
“It was so emotionally taxing,” Golon said. “I’d spent the last two years of my life, essentially, on this and now it’s the first-ever independently produced series on Hulu.”

“And it all came from this little web series I wrote out of frustration,” he said.

_Senior Reporter Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

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