By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)
Nate Golon (B.A., ’02) took an indirect route from CSU to the bright lights of Los Angeles, where he has worn many hats ̶ actor, writer, director, and producer. His journey has brought both plaudits and challenges, which this Ram takes in stride.
He decided to attend CSU because his best friend from high school went there and the scene on Pearl Street in Boulder “turned him off.” Once at CSU, he had a great time, resulting in five-and-one-half years to graduation. After two years of fun, however, he pledged Phi Delta Theta and gained focus, earning a 3.9 GPA. He became Interfraternity Council recruitment chair and ASCSU senator from Liberal Arts.
Golon’s father, a banker in Seattle, offered him a job after graduation. He worked for two years in home loans, then decided banking was not for him. He next worked at Abercrombie & Fitch; when he mentioned he wanted to try modeling, they suggested taking a commercial acting class. He did, “loved it,” and took several more, leading him to move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. After having little luck, he started doing casting director workshops, which he describes as “paying to be seen by assistants to casting directors, dropping a lot of money, and “getting nowhere.”
The one thing he got, however, was inspiration for a series concept. The resulting show, “Workshop,” is the story of six 20-something aspiring actors trying to make it in Los Angeles. It was “shot on a dime,” put online, and garnered significant interest. A successful Kickstarter funding campaign allowed him to shoot the second season. Then someone from Hulu told him to put it into half-hour episodes, and “Workshop” became the first half-hour independently produced comedy, airing 2009 to 2011. He next wrote a short film, “Briefcase,” in which he starred. It was licensed by Netflix and featured on over 75 film sites globally. His online comedy series, “My Synthesized Life,” ran for one season on YouTube.
After the breakup of an eight-year relationship and mounting frustration over lack of interest in a project he was working on, he left LA and secured a job teaching English in a small town in Japan. He calls this an “introspective and spiritual experience” that allowed him to “reboot.” When “My Synthesized Life” was nominated for four awards, he returned to Los Angeles and wrote a self-published book, Journey of Self: Six Months in the Japanese Countryside, which became an Amazon best seller. He also wrote a second book, 22 Original Modern Monologues for Actors and Actresses.
He next started another book, Waiting on the Moon, but was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After surgery and struggling with paralyzed vocal cords, he returned to the book and, when he finished it, his voice returned! Publication proved difficult, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A mentor encouraged him to write a feature film version of the book and film a trailer. Golon engaged friends in 10 major cities around the world and rented a dry lake bed in the middle of the California desert to film the main moon scene.
Golon currently is working on a second book of monologues and, in his spare time, volunteers as an English tutor for United Voices of Literacy and an arts/acting teacher for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. We eagerly await his next project; as a LinkedIn recommender urges: “Keep your eyes on Nate; he’s going places.”