Saturday, February 1, 2014
John remembers their friendship during the musical, "Camelot," when he was standby for Richard Burton, who played King Arthur, and understudy for Roddy McDowall, who played "Mordred."
Actor Roddy McDowall's huge artistic energy -- the way he could take on many different ages, different types of roles, and do them brilliantly, and Roddy's photography, and other projects -- actor Roddy McDowall continues to inspire John.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
He's been a Mini-Wheat since 2006.
When we see the television commercials, and there are a lot of them, instantly recognizing him and his voice, John Cullum and I call out to each other, "Hey that's JD!"
JD's Mini-Wheat is peppy, positive, confident, and more authoritative than the other Mini-Wheats.
It tickles his parents (John Cullum and me). that JD, an exceptionally talented actor, has been able to expand his life style (he owns a house in North Hollywood and drives a Mini Cooper sports car), thanks to his Mini-Wheat earnings.)
We were a little nervous, when JD got an acting job at age 11 -- we didn't encourage him to go into acting -- he had talent as a writer and tennis player, and loved creating music on his synthesizer.
Well ... the best laid plans go astray.
After appearing on Broadway in 1986, playing Amanda Plummer's boy friend in a Shaw play, JD was hired for a TV series, set to star with Christopher Lloyd. ("Back to the Future," comic), when an actors' strike put JD and thousands of actors on hold for more than a half a year.
"Win some Lose some" -- that's show biz.
He liked Hollywood. He settled there and has won, over the years, many other jobs -- worked in hundreds (probably thousands) of projects -- films, TV shows, plays, musicals, and workshops. He hasn't won the "fame" jackpot, but with his reviews and reputation, it could happen -- that big break that will give JD a name, fame and success more or less like his father's.
Meanwhile, we delight in seeing JD the Mini-Wheat, even though it's ironic. If I said JD was fantastic in "Waiting for Godot," or I quoted the raves he got last month from the Los Angeles Times, or mentioned prestigious leads he's played ... well ... that doesn't really ring the bell that rings when I say. "Hey, that Mini-Wheat guy -- that's our son."
Click this link: Mini-Wheat History. You'll see JD and his cohorts. Hey, I bet, next time you see one of those commercials, you'll call out --
"Hey, that's JD Cullum."
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Today, 37-year-old Keri Russell rides her bike in New York City with her toddler son tucked in behind her, going to auditions, shopping for her household, doing what a wife, mom, and actress does.
There she was in the "Waitress" video that was delivered to my husband, John Cullum a few days ago, sent by a producer who loves John's work, and is transforming the film into a stsge musical.
Because of Keri's talent and an unusual plot that got us rooting for infidelity, John and I were riveted on the film -- then -- wow, we focused on legendary actor, Andy Griffith, who played a fatherly customer, a granddaddy who loved the way the waitress treated him as if he were family.
Yesterday, at a backer's audition, John "read" the Griffith role. (Yes, I know all about it -- I'm tucked into everything on his schedule as he auditions, shops, does benefits, works on his own projects -- does what husband, dad, legendary Broadway star John Cullum does between jobs.).
Hey -- is this musical going to happen? The producers have had music written for it that John liked; the role is a perfect role for him; the other actor-singers at the audition were "Very talented, very interesting," John thought; yes, this is the way musicals go from "this is a fun idea" into a multi-million dollar show on Broadway.
Successful producers (like legendary actors and actresses. who need another big break), need to fall in love with an idea, and venture back in the world of raising major money with a passionate belief and fearless defiance of failure probabilities. (Every year, umpteen new shows try to raise money and fade away along the way.) So, will there be more backers' readings? Will the producers phone and talk contract with John's agent?
I'm tucked in on the back of the vehicle -- bike, scooter or stretch limo -- I want to see John -- hear him and that wonderful voice -- in a new hit show. I'm hoping (not praying -- praying doesn't help as much as a smart-producer with an almost childlike belief in the project) -- but with crossed fingers, I'-got big hopes for this project.
Keri and a girl from the movie, discuss working with Andy Griffith.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Why do actors drink? Em asks.
Though John is now a teetotaler, drinking with friends -- schomoozing and boozing with Richard Burton and George C. Scott -- taught him what fun it is, and how dangerous it can be.
John explains that every audition, every new job, means an actor has to prove himself again and again -- fear is why actors drink.