“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” – Alan Rickman
I started acting around the same time I started writing. It’s funny how the two sometimes go hand-in-hand. I remember doing little skits starting back in sixth grade. In camp that summer I recall that I was in three skits – everyone else was in one. I guess once you get the acting bug, it’s got you.
I was in countless skits throughout school and into my adult life. Some of these roles were humorous, some were not. It may not be surprising to those who know me that I gained somewhat of a reputation for being a “character” – usually some over-the-top ridiculous person. However, these roles have not always been my favorite. I also really enjoy having to play the serious guy – for me, I have to really try to be serious and not crack up and break character.
In one of my more memorable roles, I played a NYC Firefighter shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In this role, I portrayed a man who outwardly was a fearless hero but inwardly was terrified and had crippling fear. My friend Debbie played a character who tried to cheer me up. I had to watch her do a little song and dance as she tried anything and everything to get me to crack a smile. In rehearsal, I broke character countless times because she is one of the funniest people I know. When it came time for the performance, I held it together and we shared some great moments on stage. It remains one of the hardest performances I’ve ever done.
Besides the many dramas/skits I’ve been in, I’ve also been in many full-length productions, some of which are:
- A Wonderful Life – The Musical (yes, there is one)
- The Sound of Music
- You Can’t Take It With You
- An American Christmas (written by my friend Rick Drumm and myself)
- The Crucible
- Simple Gifts (written by my friends Amy Christie and Jeff Unruh)
- Miracle on 34th Street
L-R below: me as “Dr. Phil”; me as “Alan” from The Hangover; me as Thomas Putnam in The Crucible.
While I enjoy acting, I don’t get nearly as much out of it as writing. I would much rather write than act. I guess I enjoy seeing something I’ve written come to life while being a spectator more than a participant. On occasion, I’ve directed or helped direct some small dramas/skits, but that’s not my forte. In fact, I don’t think I’m a very good director at all. To be honest, I really don’t like it.
So, what am I acting in now? Nothing, and that is on purpose. Acting takes a lot of time, and I’d rather use that time towards writing. There may be a time that I return to acting in dramas/skits/plays, but for now I’m putting that on hold to focus on writing. Will I act in some of stories I write? Perhaps. But for now my primary focus is to finish those stories.
Are you an actor? If so, who is your favorite actor/actress? What roles have you played? Let me know!