HUDSON – A 2003 Hudson graduate may feel like he’s living in a fishbowl if the recently released "Fishbowl California" finds success on the film circuit.
Steve Olson, 33, an actor and producer known for his roles in New Girl (2011) and Those Who Can't (2016), takes on the lead role of "Rodney" in this indie dramedy, released May 1 on video on demand outlets such as iTunes, Amazon and Vudu.
The film co-stars Kate Flannery (The Office), Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side), Katrina Bowden (30 Rock), Max Adler (Glee), Tim Bagley (The Mask) and Richard Riehle (Office Space) and is directed by Michael A. MacRae.
With all the competition in show business, Olson is hoping the film finds its niche.
"I think if the right crowd finds it, they’ll really enjoy it," Olson said. "It’s a feel-good, sort of zany comedy, with a few heavy parts."
With its hardscrabble themes of no luck (or bad luck) and misfortune, the audience learns that friendship can turn up in the most unlikely form.
Rodney is a doofus man-child with no job, no car and no girlfriend who meets an ill-tempered widow named June, played by Katherine Cortez, who inspires the unemployed Rodney.
"June’s an elderly woman I cross paths with, a cantankerous drunk," Olson said. "We get on each other’s nerves before we know each other's names."
Olson says said the lead characters in "Fishbowl California" are sarcastic and neurotic, and wear worn-out, oversized ‘90s-style clothes.
And Rodney doesn’t sleep on a normal mattress.
"I sleep on a race car bed, way cooler," Olson said.
Olson, whose own temperament may be closer to Rodney’s than he thinks, said if he was not in show business, he’d be a water slide or luxury bed tester.
Growing up in Hudson, Olson said he watched "copious" amounts of TGIF and was a regular at the local McDonald's, Zeppe's, Acme and CVS.
"I played sports and music," Olson said. "My cousin and I ran a baseball card shop out of my basement when we were kids. We’d tell neighborhood kids that Charles Shackelford (a relatively unknown NBA player) was Shaquille O’Neal’s brother ... whatever it took to make .75 cents."
His journey to Los Angeles began at Kent State University, when as a student he took a flyer from a woman on campus for the National Student Exchange Program.
"You could study at any school on their list for a year and a Los Angeles school was on there, so I gave it a whirl and ended up staying," Olson said.
Olson said he isn't sure how he survived the competition between actors in L.A.
"You just try to stay in it and not take the rejections personally ... and try to fix the things about you that need polished as best you can," he said.
Olson won the role of Rodney through a standard auditioning process.
"We auditioned three times and did a chemistry read together at the end," he said.
Olson's advice to struggling actors is to study the craft and set realistic goals — not unattainably high and not so low they aren't challenging.
"I feel that in show business in particular, people set their expectations way too high right out of the gate and they're let down," Olson said.
"Fishbowl California" is available to stream on ITunes & Amazon; Hardcopy DVD available on Amazon & Target.com.
Olson's links are YouTube.com/aplemank19 and Twitter @steveolson22 or SteveOlsonSite.com
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org