Season 2, Week 6
Hi everyone. Thanks again for the comments.
has been such a success, many people I've met have been interested in what it's like to be an actor. They are asking me how I got started, what I've done and what it's like to works as an actor. I thought you might be interested, too.
I have come to believe in something I call "Destiny." There are many other names for it. In "Destiny" I mean there are certain events that seem unrelated that have drawn me toward and to: where/who/what I am today. I have learned that I should never make plans because my plans rarely if ever work out and the plans that Destiny chooses for me are much more interesting and fulfilling than any that I can come up with. Serendipity's a good name for it, too.
I never wanted to be an actor. It's not something I consciously decided to be. I always envied people who knew what they wanted to do when they where ten! Not my story. I was interested in everything. I always loved to pretend, or as my parents called it "lie." I grew up playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, "army"?all that stuff. My family wasn't well off so my brother, sisters and I would play with what we could find or make. We made a soapbox car out of an old Big Wheel, some plywood, and 2x4s and called it the "X-15". We raced that thing down a hill the size of Everest ? or so we thought ? complete with a parachute as an air break, because our neighbors got tired of our 2x4 drag break tearing up their turf. We'd put on plays and even did a circus or two, complete with cream pies and clowns.
So we made or own fun. I still love to do that.
I always loved music and singing. When I was growing up my Dad was an Episcopal priest (Episcopal priests can marry), and he had a great singing voice. I loved to watch and listen to him in the processional as he sung and walked into the church with the clergy and the choir ? robes flowing and organ crowing.
We drove around in the 60s and 70s in a VW bus with no radio and the only tunes we had where the ones he and our Mom taught us and we would sing ourselves down the highway.
Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, our next-door neighbor was Dr. Robert Haley and he too has an eclectic personality. He turned me onto classical music, blue grass and opera as well as a positive attitude, which all take practice as I've come to find out. Dr. Haley also designed the 2x4 drag break for the X-15.
So, I was and am fascinated by many things. Our family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I finished high school there. After graduation I decided that I better work a year or two before I tried college and began working first at a fence company (worst job I ever had) putting the points on 1x4s all day long, four at a time. Then, I worked at a bank in the stock room handing out pens, paper and envelopes. Eventually, I ended up working at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa as a surgical orderly(best job I ever had) and began going to The University of Tulsa, studying Pre-med. That didn't last long. I kept the hospital job and became an "undeclared" major at T.U. and took lots of different classes, including singing lessons. I was singing in the choir at St. Antony's Church in Tulsa and thought some singing lessons might help (Boy, did I need them!). After a year or so, my voice teacher, Jane Carmichael, asked if I would like to audition for the musical. I did and I got the part of Miles Glorious in
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Forum
. I shook like a leaf in every performance. I loved it. I got to sing and pretend I was a Roman soldier! It doesn't get much better than that. I was very impressed by the Director, Nancy Vunovich, and after the run was over, I found myself taking acting classes and ended up graduating with a BFA in Acting.
So serendipity hooked me up with inspired people like Jane Carmichael and Nancy Vunovich who inspired me to become interested in the theatre and especially musical theatre, something I never imagined myself doing. Dr. David Cook at T.U. was also an inspiration and a great help to me.
After graduating from college, I thought, "What am I going to do now? I got an acting degree?" I don't think there is any more unmarketable degree I could have gotten ? maybe a degree in History or English Literature? I could have gone to law school I guess, but I decided I would get a Masters in Fine Arts in theater. That way, if I couldn't get an acting job, then at least I could teach at a university. You can tell I was interested in being rich!
More next time?if you're still interested!
Don't miss all-new episodes of
, Mondays at 8 pm/ET on Fox.