As an actor, Danny Belson has played many criminal types, but as the prisoner transport bus pulls out of the LA county jail, the realization of his conviction overwhelms him. The irony is that only six months ago he taught an acting workshop at the same institution he is now going to be incarcerated in. Danny had been chosen to take part in California’s answer to New Jersey’s highly acclaimed “Scared Straight” by actually working with the inmates of the Medium Security Federal Prison in Lompoc. In his short stay, Danny made some interesting friends as well as unforgiving enemies.
INSIDE OUT introduces the reader to multitude of characters. Some are good, some are bad, and a few are just evil. This is a book of fiction based on events that happen to inmates on a daily basis. It is a fictional account of what happens to an “Everyman” that gets caught up in a system deliberately designed to treat all felons the same.
I believe that this is the first book to take an absolute non-criminal type and toss him into a situation where he knows some of the inmates already. Utilizing a groundbreaking format, Follow Danny as he goes from a care free beach volleyball loving, pool shooting, actor, who’s only worry is knowing when his next audition will come, to a convicted murderer. Written using flashbacks, with no chapters, learn what a struggling actor goes through, and how, after his incarceration, Danny’s life is turned INSIDE OUT.
For most of my life I was a struggling actor. I appeared on such shows as Mash, WKRP in Cincinnati, and General Hospital. Back in the mid-seventies I attended the very prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts where I was part of the first graduating class in Los Angeles. After that I joined the ranks of the other sixty thousand would-be stars who acted in showcase plays, occasionally going on professional auditions, and attending a weekly workshop. The women that ran my workshop got involved in an interesting experiment conducting an acting workshop to a group of prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution, Lompoc, California, providing she could get a male to assist her. I was excited at the possibility of being part of something that unique and agreed to be her assistant. As it turned out, nothing of any real consequence came about, but it was a very interesting weekend that few if any will ever experience. I met some very fascinating guys, some of whom I got along with and others that—let’s just say, I was glad that there were guards stationed just outside of our room.
After I got back to my regular life, I had a scare that made me think, what would happen if someone were to be part of this program and, by a twist of fate, end up back inside as an inmate? Inside Out is that story.
Waiting for that big break I had many survival jobs typical of the actors of the ’70s and ’80s. But sales seemed to offer the only possible way to make a living and contrary to popular belief, I discovered that a salesperson is made not born. In fact, commissioned sales can be almost as frustrating as breaking into show business. I am currently working out of my home, on commission, for a newsletter publishing company. I have been married twice. My first, which ended in divorce gave me my beautiful daughter Shannon. I lost my second wife of ten years to cancer in 2012. Now 63, I currently reside in Northern California with my Yorkie-Poo Toby.