ALBANY, Ga. -- Sometime next month, Albany native Beau Turpin will pack a suitcase full of hopes and dreams and seek fame and fortune in the film industry on the hard streets of Los Angeles.
But Turpin, 25, won't be tumbling out of the bus filled with wide-eyed wonder and innocence. He'll be carrying a solid five-year portfolio of work both in front of, and behind, the camera.
In 2006, while in school at Georgia Southern University, Turpin landed a role in the movie "We Are Marshall" and was bitten by the acting bug. Since then, according to the website imdb.com, Turpin has racked up three other films as an actor and seven as a production assistant.
In between, he managed to graduate in 2009 from GSU with a degree in communication arts.
Turpin, a graduate of Deerfield-Windsor School in Albany, just wrapped up production on a remake of "Footloose," in which he was an assistant to producer Craig Zadan. The film is scheduled for an October release.
"Working with Craig was a fantastic experience," Turpin said. "That whole movie was a blast. I've also been working with some casting directors behind the scenes. I've learned a lot over the past two years."
His latest film role is the Robert Redford-directed "The Conspirator" in which Turpin plays a boarding house guard. That movie is currently playing here at the Carmike Cinemas.
"I'm doing exactly what I went to school for," Turpin said Wednesday. "I've been very fortunate. For the past two years I've been working in Georgia on some great projects and also had a solid support group around me."
After working and learning in his home state for the past five years, Turpin is ready to take his act to Hollywood next month.
"In my mind, it's now or never," Turpin said of the move. "It's tough to make it in L.A., but I've saved some money, have some work behind me and I've built a network. It's going to be a grind, but I understand how the business works and have put in the hours.
"I don't want to turn around in five years and say, 'What if?'"
Turpin is certain the time he has spent in the film industry in front of and behind the camera is an advantage for him.
"I've acted and I've done production and have also been working with some casting directors behind the scenes. I've learned a lot over the past few years." he said. "I've got some money so I won't be spending half of my time out there just trying to survive as a bartender or a waiter. That can be suffocating to a career."
The former three-sport Deerfield athlete considers himself one of the most fortunate people on the planet. He was in the right place at the right time and has taken advantage of it.
"I have been very, very fortunate," Turpin said. "I could not have asked for a better setup while in and coming out of school. A lot of movies are being shot in Georgia, and I was fortunate to hit it at the perfect time."
But working in the movie biz is not all glitz and glamour, he said.
"The hours are unbelievably long once you start production," Turpin said. "When we're in production, it's no less than a 12-hour day. Yesterday I worked 20 hours. Once you start, you might as well basically write off a month."
So, what advice would he give aspiring actors or filmmakers looking to break into the business?
"Tell them it's not all glamour, it's a real grind," Turpin answered. "You're going to spend time with all kinds of people -- some nice and some not so nice. But that's life, isn't it?"