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The Drowsy: A Short Story

Oh yeah, there’s just something about singing with a huge chorus, you know? I’ve been very fortunate to be in things like The Producers, The Drowsy Chaperone, Urinetown–quite a number of stuff, I guess. It’s just great to be on stage singing with a bunch of other people. I’ve not had the opportunity to actually be in a musical, but I was a music teacher, and I have gotten to direct musicals, and be the choreographer, and teach the music. Oh my gosh, you’re never sleeping. Definitely a tough gig. Yeah, it was tough, but they needed someone, and I kind of gotten thrown into it.

But I enjoyed it. Well, you were doing a wonderful thing especially for these people who haven’t found a place to be yet in school, and you find out they find their place in the arts, and it’s awesome. It’s such an important thing. They’re continually trying to cut back in schools on music and on acting and all the culture and stuff like that. It’s such a mistake. Luckily, when I was young, I picked up a guitar and started singing because it stopped me from hanging around the 7-11. I agree with you completely. I have a daughter who just turned thirteen.

She is a good kid, very bright, but she is also invovled in music. I believe very strongly that music is very powerful–exactly what you were talking about. And as a music teacher, I remember finding those students who weren’t good at anything else, but they would find their niche in music, and it gave them confidence in the other areas of their lives. Yes, you need to find that one thing where you can express yourself. I needed that. My kids–I have two boys–and I said, “There’s going to be lots of things you’re not gonig to want to do, but you’re going to take piano no matter what for ten years. And I made sure they did.

And now, every once in awhile, my sons will go downstairs and just play the piano. It gives them something–a relief, you know. It takes them to a different place. It’s a safe place, and I’m glad they have that in their life. Of course, I know you’re in the Garage Sale Mystery series, even if IMDB doesn’t think you are. I was trying to tell my mom who you were–she doesn’t know all the names, but she often remembers the roles. And she remembered you as the coroner. I know it’s coroner, but I think I even forget my name when I do that series.

I think it’s Tramell or something like that. I don’t remember the name either, but I think you’re right. Unfortunately, your character was not featured in the most recent Garage Sale Mystery. I did miss one of the Garage Sale Mystery films because I was in Australia. So I guess that was the one. jb2One of the great things about acting is that you’re essentially working with history. I remember a friend of mine, Anthony Holmes, just passed away–he was in the War. At ninety-three years old, he was still doing plays.

I remember bringing him over to talk to my kids because they were learning about the War, and I thought the best thing to do was to talk to somebody who was actually there and who had been in the War. Then you’ll get the real experience. And it was really amazing. I just love that when I get the chance to work with seasoned actors and character actors like that ’cause they love talking and I just sit there with my eyes wide just listening to them. And that’s what I love, too. I’ve only been interviewing since January and– Oh, really? You’re doing great!

Usually, with my interviews, they end up going longer, and we just carry on a conversation more than a formal interview. I think that’s great. I don’t know how these people do it when they go to these things and do thirty or forty interviews in a row. It’s always the personal ones that are nice when you walk away and learned something about them as an artist. And you also learn something about them that’s personal, and those are the best kind of interviews, I think. For me, I have a desire to not just learn about the role the person is playing but the person behind the role.

Exactly. There’s this barrage of interviews that come out when a film comes out, and then you start to read them, and it’s the same interview over and over again. You move to the next room and it’s the same questions over and over again. I was trying to look at what your most recent works were, and there was something listed for Lifetime that was out not too long ago. I’m trying to remember the name, but they keep changing names. (Note: A Mother’s Suspicion is what the film was called. ) Oh, I know, I keep putting films on my resume, and then I find out the name has changed.

It seems like they go through trends like A Dream is a Wish a Heart Breaks, that kind of thing, and then it becomes My Mother’s Killer. (laughs) It’s the strangest thing any more. You’re going, “Is that the same movie? ” So sometimes it’s a challenge to find an actor’s recent works. But I do remember seeing one of the most recent things listed as an episode of Bates Motel. Yes, that was a big thing. I didn’t even know it was on. People were telling me they just saw me in that, and I said, “Really? I didn’t even know it was on. (laughs)

It was a lot of fun, and I tell ya that is one of the weirdest, most screwed-up families in television, right? But on the set, Vera {Farmiga}, and Freddy {Highmore}, and everybody else–they were so nice and so friendly and so lovely. A lot of laughs and a great sense of humor. It was really lots of fun doing that. I was playing the guy in a funeral parlor, and it was just great. The director {Tucker Gates} –I had worked with him about thirty years before that. He’s a nice guy and all. Great to work with him again. I think it was during the 21 Jump Street days.

It was where all of us had to start when we were doing films, and we had to learn to be American even though we weren’t. Honestly, I have not seen Bates Motel. I might have to look it up at some point. It’s a kind of cult thing. Some people like it, some people don’t. I remember doing Stargate and going to one of these Comic Con things, and people kept asking me things they thought I should know, and I kept saying, “I don’t know. I don’t watch that show. ” But I had to keep an idea of the past to do some of this stuff. And I had to bingewatch some of it, you know. There’s just so many things out there now.

It’s incredible. jb5The more actors I connect with, the more things I realize I should be watching. I mean, I guess I could sit down and watch everything I should be watching if I didn’t have to sleep. Exactly! It’s a different kind of life after watching all these shows, right? The days we used to wait for when our show was on. And if you missed one show, you were all right because you could still pick it up later. I think that’s the great thing about Law & Order–you could come into that show, even halfway through it, and watch it and not feel like you’d missed anything.

But now because they have these different arcs and everything you miss a couple of shows, and you’re lost. It was like that with Mad Men. I missed a couple of shows, and I watched the next one and didn’t know what the heck was goin’ on. I think people are enjoying the Garage Sale Mystery and stuff like this because they are still stories within a bigger story. It’s like going back to shows like Murder, She Wrote and all these other shows that were your weekly thing that you would watch.

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