Universal Studios in Hollywood held the first round of interviews on Monday for tour guide positions at the theme park. Hundreds of people waited for hours in a line that snaked from the "will call" window past the spinning Universal globe fountain.
Universal plans to hire 40 English and Spanish speaking Studio Tour Ambassadors. Though the opportunity attracted people of all ages, many in line were young performers like Jonathan Tyler. He recently rode his motorcycle cross country from Florida to settle in West Hollywood.
"I worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, I did the 'Great Movie Ride' at MGM, when it was still MGM," said Tyler, listing his relevant work experience. "Honestly, I am doing this more just for the acting. It’s more of a passion for me, it’s what I’ve wanted to my entire life, so as long as I’m making the same amount of money as I am at my current job, I’m fine with that."
Tyler, who’s 22 years old, waits tables at Chili's in Inglewood for minimum wage plus tips. Universal Studios says its Studio Tour Guide program has evolved as a Hollywood apprenticeship, with perk that include free acting classes and auditions for top industry casting directors.
Universal is preparing for a major expansion of the studio tour. It will include a new King Kong 3-D attraction and 4 acres of movie sets that Universal has been rebuilding since a fire destroyed them in June of 2008.