It is wise to keep in mind that no success, or failure, is necessarily final.
One of the greatest mysteries of the entertainment industry is the uncertainty with which an actor makes his career decisions, where they will lead him, and why.
Craig Hurley stepped in front of the camera for the first time at five years of age for a Chevrolet commercial in Chicago. A graduate of the Chicago Academy for the Arts and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Craig at 19 became one of the hottest young actors in one of the most difficult industries in the world in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
In an interview process four years in the making, conducted by fellow actor and friend Zak Wilson, Craig tells the story of where he came from, how he made it in Hollywood, and what happened once he got there.
Craig worked with Dennis Franz, Benjamin Bratt, Richard Greico, Patti LuPone, Meredith Baxter, Fred Dryer, Michael Landon, Robert Englund, Luke Perry, and pretty much every one else who was on top of the television industry at that time. He also experienced life in the fast lane with anyone from Corey Feldman to Glenn Frey. 27 and All Washed Up is both funny and poignant as Craig tells us why he saved Jimmy Stewart from a potential hip fracture, how he pissed off Ernest Borgnine and Shannen Doherty, and discusses the people he lost because of his choices, and those he mourns because of their often untimely passing.
Because of the nature of the interview process between Craig and Zak, 27 and All Washed Up sometimes reads like a conversation between two guys at 1:00am in a café, especially when they’re talking about women. Some of the material is explicit, and Craig warns that his book is appropriate for readers 18 and older in a disclaimer he was clearly possessed by Sam Kinison’s ghost before writing.
Today, show business is an industry obsessed with and greatly fueled by reality TV. Reality personalities reach celebrity status at lightening speed, and fall into “has been” status just as quickly. Craig knows a lot about the discipline it takes to be a successful actor and now producer and director, and has tremendous incite for young artists in pursuit of that success, which moves 27 and All Washed Up into a “how-to” book category as well.
Craig tackled Hollywood before the “reality” craze, when actors trained, researched their roles, and attempted to retreat within their characters from the second they walked in the room to audition in front of a casting director. Success had very little to do with the actor’s personality, but rather with how well they interpreted the role they were playing. It is a time many actors hope will become the way of the industry again. Many actors could have written about that time. Craig is one of the few who actually did, which makes 27 and All Washed Up a ride worth taking.