After The Brady Bunch, Mike Lookinland built a solid second career in Utah
Ask any financial advisor, and they'll tell you: The key to a good portfolio is diversity. It's a risk putting all your money on one thing, whereas spreading that risk across a variety of investments is more of a sure shot. That's true outside the world of finance, too. A great way to stay afloat in an unsteady job market is with a versatile skill set.
You may find yourself the childhood star of a beloved sitcom one day, only to learn that beloved sitcoms come to an end.
Mike Lookinland played Bobby Brady on The Brady Bunch from 1969-1974. The show was so immensely popular that Looklinland was defined by Bobby for the rest of his career. Of his 20 total television credits, roughly half are reiterations of Bobby. When a gigantic population identifies you as one thing, it's really hard to shake that identity.
By 1997, though, Looklinland had pivoted and added a solid assortment of skills to his résumé. A '97 article in The Salt Lake reports that Lookinland had, at that time, spent almost a decade as a cameraperson in Utah. Prior to that, he'd spent years cutting his teeth, doing any job he could to stay on set.
"I would do anything that I could just to build up my résumé," said Lookinland. Among the many jobs he took was a gig as a greens man on the set of Halloween 4. In that position, Lookinland was responsible for dressing the set with all of the plants necessary for production.
"There was never a shortage of work, because there's so many people coming to film [in Utah]," said Looklinland. "If you don't get one, you get another one. If it's not a movie of the week—and they pump those out in three weeks, anyway—it might be four days in Moab on a big-budget car commercial..."
"Some jobs would last a day, some would be three weeks, some would be nine weeks," said Lookinland. His longest job was on the set of the mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. That position, paired with his history as an actor, led to a cameo appearance in the Mick Garris-directed show.
In the world of show business, where nothing is ever certain, being able to do many jobs is one of the only ways to stay financially sound. Projects like CBS's The Stand offered Looklinland much-needed benefits like health and dental plans, which many short-term productions don't have.
"If you can get one of these long-term jobs, it's almost like being a normal person," said Lookinland.
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