Dear Toni,

Reading your advice columns for years leads me to trust you to answer a question that I have. Here goes: I have been dealing with much heartbreak lately from the loss of a very close family member, to the loss of my dog, and now, the loss of a girlfriend. I have always been a good friend to people and animals and have a business that lends itself to taking care of others. (In other words, it’s tough to be a good person but still bask in trauma.)

As an entertainment lawyer originally from New York who came to LA to work as a Business Affairs executive at one of the major studios, I left to start my own actor management business about twenty years ago. Being a professional manager and helping actors is something I wanted to do since I entered law school. Later, I created a course for UCLA Extension called “This Business of Acting” to show actors how to “make it” in the business (nothing to do with teaching acting), and will be doing it again in the Winter Quarter ’06.

While I have been dealing with grief over the losses I mentioned above, I have found some solace in the preparation of my upcoming book. It concerns two New York actors Dick and Jane who move to LA to pursue their dreams (something they try to do in completely different ways.)  Actually, the book, like my class, is highly motivational.  It is called How To Get Arrested (A Motivational Story for Actors).  It’s in a novelette format with serious information about achieving success in the acting business.

Back to my own story:  While preparing the book keeps my thoughts from my troubles, it is still very tough, particularly when my mind wanders.  So, what should I do? Do you have any thoughts? Thank you for your help and consideration.

Michael (Wallach)