Friday, September 4, 2020

VBT Sub-lebrity by Leon Acord

by Leon Acord


GENRE:   Memoir



A droll, oddly inspirational memoir from the actor Breitbart once called "a gay leftist activist," SUB-LEBRITY by Leon Acord (Old Dogs & New Tricks) is an honest, sometimes bitchy but always sincere story about growing up (very) gay in rural Indiana, achieving acting success outside the closet, and generating headlines with his very-public smackdown with Trump-loving Susan Olsen (Cindy, The Brady Bunch)


Excerpt Two:

With Laurence’s encouragement, I signed up for a commercial-casting workshop with the Bay Area’s leading commercial casting director Beau Bonneau.  I’d auditioned for him so often the past few years, we were on a friendly first-name basis.

The workshop was a breeze.  I nailed every exercise.  Beau was quite complimentary after each one.  But that only deepened the mystery.  

At the end of the workshop, as the dozen or so of us prepared to leave, Beau asked me to stick around for a moment.

Wow!  Maybe he’s casting something he thinks I’d be good for!  

He busied himself gathering up sides as actors left.  Once it was just us, Beau approached me with the gravitas of a doctor about to deliver a cancer diagnosis.

Oh my god.  He’s going to tell me I suck!  

“So, listen, Leon,” he began.  “I shouldn’t say this. It could get me into a lot of trouble.”

Is he gay?  Is he going to hit on me?

“But I really think you should know.  You’re wasting your time with workshops.”

I suck!

“You know how to do this.”

Where the hell is he going with this?

“You have the skills, charisma and timing and warmth needed for commercials but –”

He took a deep breath.  (As did I.)

“But you won’t get booked.  Because … well…”  He took another deep breath.  “Leon, the truth is, you scare advertisers.  Because, damn it, you’re just too gay.”  

 My thoughtful repose seemed to unnerve him.  He clearly had expected an outburst.

I suppose I could have had one.  I could’ve pointed out I’d played occasional straight roles.  I could’ve accused him and the entire commercial industry of homophobia.

But I admired Beau’s bravery.  He really did go out on a limb.  I always prefer honesty.  And, most importantly, I was relieved to finally hear, out loud, a reason why I wasn’t booking commercials.

“Thank you, Beau.  That took guts.  I appreciate your honesty.”

The relieved look on his face was priceless.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Leon Acord is an award-winning actor and writer who has appeared in over 35 films you've never seen and 30 plays you've never heard of. Possible exceptions include the digital TV series Old Dogs & New Tricks on Amazon Prime Video (which he created, wrote & co-produced), and the stage hit Carved in Stone (in which he played Quentin Crisp in both SF and LA productions). His memoir, SUB-LEBRITY: The Queer Life of a Show-Biz Footnote, is now available in paperback & e-book on Amazon. He wrote his one-man show Last Sunday in June (1996) and co-authored the 2014 play Setting the Record Gay. He was a "Take Five" columnist for Back Stage West throughout 2009 and a former contributor to Huffington Post. He has also written for San Francisco Examiner and the journal Human Prospect. He currently lives in West LA with husband Laurence Whiting & their cat Toby.  Learn more at 
Old Dogs & New Tricks website: 

Interview with Leon Acord
1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?
You know, SUB-LEBRITY originally had a bleaker ending, about how much technology has changed show business from what it was when I first began acting. But then, as I was finishing the book, my TV series Old Dogs & New Tricks [Amazon Prime] was honored by a prestigious film festival in Indianapolis, Indy Shorts – and I’m from Indiana! It was probably the most incredible week of my life. It was a perfect ending for my book, better than if I’d planned it! It gave SB-LEBRITY a much happier ending!
2. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
My God, what an impossible question! I only get to pick one? Well, I can’t choose between my two grandmothers, so I’ll go with actor/playwright/director Jeffrey Hartgraves, who passed in 2008. He directed me several times, and we’d frequently go bar crawling after rehearsal or a performance.  Man, I’d love one more night of debauchery with Jeffrey again. He truly was the sharpest, funniest man I have ever met or worked with – and I know some very funny mo-fos! (laughs)
3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
My problem with that question is, I enjoy both literature and trash. I’m a Gemini. I think Bob Randall’s The Fan (1977) is dishy and gossipy yet incredibly smart and well-plotted and well-written. Since it covers both sides, I’ll go with that one. Or maybe Grace Metalious’ Peyton Place. It’s beautiful writing but was considered absolute grade-d trash in 1956.
4. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Well, SUB-LEBRITY is a memoir. So, all the characters are real people. Only some of the names have been changed to protect my ass.

5. What made you want to become a writer?
I never really wanted to “be” a writer. In fact, I would resist it whenever my parents suggested journalism was a more viable prospective career than show biz. (Sadly, these days, its equally hard to make a living in either.) But it's something I could always to, and enjoyed, and took for granted. It really wasn’t until college that I realized most people aren’t good at it, and don’t enjoy doing it. I had a professor who finally made that clear to me. So, I guess in a way, I’ve always been a “writer; its only in the past 10 years that I began to take writing much more seriously. Ironically, I enjoy it even more now!


Leon Acord will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

  2. Thanks Teresa for featuring my book and for the fun Q&A!

  3. Happy Friday, thanks for sharing the great post :)

  4. Thanks for taking time to share your book with us and it's always a pleasure in our family to learn about a new one.

  5. I am so excited to read this! You seem like a man with a wonderful sense of humor. I think having a good sense of humor is the best quality anyone can have.