Why am I an actor? Because being paid to play ain’t a bad way to go.
I actually started acting somewhat by accident. In high school, I had been recruited by the school’s drama department to help out with productions backstage — based on my obvious qualification of hanging out downstairs between classes where the theater was located.
During a production of The Man who Came to Dinner, the actor playing Mr. Baker was a no-show. Since I already had a trenchcoat and fedora on hand (did you miss that I was a huge radio theater geek growing up?), it was decided to give me some faux five o’clock shadow and escort the faux prisoners across stage myself.
So, to be clear, my entire job was to walk across stage. I was terrified.
Eventually, of course, I got used to both walking across stage, speaking, and other assorted acting necessities. I had a few more roles in high school, though never any classes.
When I got to college, I knew I wanted to be involved in filmmaking, but decided to ground that in studying theater. Likewise, to be a better director, I decided to study acting. As it turned out, I acted all four years I was there and went on to study at the National Theater Institute.
I really enjoyed being able to play.
As the father of small children, the bar is raised. Reading and acting out stories at bedtime is far more important than being apart from them for months’ worth of rehearsals and performances. I envy the actors who can work full-time and balance time with family, though I know it’s not easy.
Still, I do find the chance to make appearances in less time-intensive film work, like the 48 Hour Film Project. And I have a standing offer to DC-area filmmakers to be a “kirareyaku” or perhaps DC’s Sean Bean. We’ll see.
As long as I get to play.