Before Arnold’s “I’ll be back,” and “Hasta la vista, baby;” before a ridiculously jacked The Rock brandished his sword as Mighty Hercules; before the hunky and decidedly beefy Chris Hemsworth defended the kingdom of Asgard; and before the enormously bulked Chris Evans battled the evil Red Skull in Captain America, there were the deeply tanned and magnificently muscled beach bums of Santa Monica, California’s Muscle Beach. In the 1950’s, many of these young adventurers migrated from the east coast to fulfill their dreams of lifting weights, tanning, and getting big. By today’s standards they had a very basic training program: they knew nothing of Pilates, kettle bells, personal trainers, or specialized diets. But they did squats, curls, dips, and bench presses all day long in the California sun with their good friends. Little did they know a Hollywood scout had his eye on them, and to their great surprise and delight, they were cast as slaves in the great Stanley Kubric’s Spartacus. All of that tanning and training changed the direction of their lives, and paid off with numerous roles in future films.

Skills, hobbies, and expertise can come in many shapes and sizes. Are you giving yourself full credit for yours? These men and women of muscle may have considered themselves just professional beach bums who loved to lift weights, but their passions and hobbies made them a tremendous commodity in the entertainment business. And they influenced modern-day leading men from Jason Statham to Hugh Jackman to Ryan Gosling, and all the way down to Bradley Cooper (who’s looking seriously jacked these days). Likewise they influenced just about every actress and model in the industry who spend hours each day in the gym to further their careers. Whatever your special skills may be, they are valuable to someone in the industry. So make sure to include all of your specialties on your Casting Frontier profile’s Special Skills page. After all, casting directors are conducting in-depth searches for special skills on a daily basis. Make sure they can find you. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start a movement all your own.