I was born in NYC in 1958. Four years later my father died and my family moved to Westchester New York. Growing up in the 60's there were no contemporary role models for boys. The "WAR" was wrong, the "Establishment" was wrong; it was the beginning of blaming the white man for everything that was wrong in the world. With no role models I guess I turned to movie leading men. All the stars were my role models, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Robert Mitchum, Rod Steiger, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper and Cagney, Bogart, Spencer Tracy. They were all my secret role models.
In high school I started working in a fast food place and by the end I was working in a regular restaurant. I liked restaurants and the work the chef in a restaurant suggested if I planned to make a career in restaurants that I should get a degree like he did. He suggested I apply to a great school in upstate New York. I was accepted and I studied there for one year and then got a job at a great restaurant in NYC owned by Warner LeRoy which would soon prove to be an interesting coincidence. A year or so later I was working on Columbus Avenue in a chic place with a French chef, living off Columbus Avenue, life was cool, I was secure and was looking forward to a career in NYC as a chef.
It was kind of surreal when I remember it but this is how it happened. There was a bar in my neighborhood where a girl friend worked that I spent most nights in. One of those nights a pretty little woman sat next to me and wanted to know all kinds of things about me, we chatted and began to think it odd. Especially after I said lighten up my girl friend works here. That's when she said, Listen I am an agent for actor and I think you should have lunch with me and we can talk. I blew her off but she came back several times and one of the waitresses where I worked said, Go ahead, are you kidding there are a million actors in this town with no agent and one wants to rep you, don't be stupid. Even the chef said, Go have lunch with her and then my brother also said why not.
We had lunch, she gave me an acting teacher to see, Rachel Ward was in the class before she started working. Beautiful chicks were talking to me. Once I got over stage fright and started to understand the craft I was hooked. I really liked acting class, doing scenes from plays that my heroes had done, there was a feeling of transcendence when a scene was really working.
I studied acting during the day and worked in restaurants at night, life had taken on a new meaning, I was doing something only special people could do, artists. This went on for a year or so and then it happened.
Well that's all for now.