By Mickey Winfield
It may surprise many Portales residents who frequently browse the latest new releases at their favorite local video store, that they can actually rent a movie, or a television show featuring an Eastern New Mexico University theater alumni.
But if your local video store of choice is Landall’s Box Office, on Portales’ South Ave. C, you probably already know of the Portales actor.
Last month, the suspense thriller, “The Eye,” starring Jessica Alba was released, and ENMU alum Landall Goolsby has a part — a small part, but it’s a big deal to Landall, and to those who know him.
Landall grew up in Fort Sumner, before graduating with an acting degree from Eastern New Mexico University in the mid-1990s.
After graduation from ENMU, Goolsby made the typical actor’s pilgrimage to Hollywood in search of stardom.
The actor, in town recently, told a story from the set of “The Eye,” about a language barrier between himself and the director of the movie.
“The director, having English as a second language, was trying to tell me that (my character) had a crush on Jessica Alba. How he voiced it was, ‘She’s most pretty girl you’ve ever seen and you don’t have a chance, but you don’t know that — action.’”
Goolsby has also had small roles on television series’ such as CBS’ “Cold Case” and “Criminal Minds,” as well as the NBC drama “American Dreams,” in which he portrayed a young Andy Warhol.
He also has a part in a movie that will be released in November called “Gardens of the Night,” starring Tom Arnold. According to Landall, the movie studio is pushing hard for an Oscar nomination for Arnold.
One of the reasons Landall was in Portales recently is because he is preparing for a couple of big weeks. Over the next three weeks, there are four television shows being filmed in New Mexico.
“There’s no doubt in his mind that this is what he wants to do,” Landall’s mom Peggy said. “And there’s no doubt in his mind that he is going to succeed.”
While Hollywood is famous for rejections and broken dreams — don’t think for a minute that a few rejections could break this ENMU alum.
“To this day, I’ve never questioned my decision to go out there,” Goolsby said. “My parents brought me up in a certain way, and I’ve never had that conversation with myself, thinking, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’”
“Every time I go to L.A. it hits me again what a difficult challenge — what he’s doing,” said Peggy, who runs Landall’s video store. “There are so many (actors) out there, and it’s like hitting the lottery, even if you get an audition — the competition is so fierce.”