Hello, Much Appreciated Readers!
I think I’ve told you that I was – once upon a time – an actress, myself. I haven’t really said much about it – but I will from time to time. I’ll talk about being a regular on GENERAL HOSPITAL and THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and about guest star work I was lucky enough to do . . .back in the day, as they say. And I’ll probably talk about one of my most thrilling experiences: Being on Broadway!
As all ends seem to bring one to beginnings, the ‘end’ of my acting career began my coaching and wrangling career – which sometimes brought me full circle back again to the acting. (Whew – that was a REALLY BAD run-on sentence. Sorry, Mr. Jacobsen, English teacher par excellence – Maryvale High!!!)
But, to continue!
As I told you in an earlier post, the BABY WRANGLER is actually the person responsible for the performance of the baby: needed to coax, cajole, encourage and deliver the reactions and actions called for by the director, the script, the client, the ad agency, the producer, the producer’s wife . . . . well, you get the picture. Depending on the director, and his or her comfort level – a baby wrangler sometimes actually directs the baby.
And, there are amazing directors who have trusted me so completely, that they are far off behind a monitor, while I’m right there, standing right next to camera, eliciting all the responses necessary for the scene. Often, I’m “acting off-screen” saying the lines of whichever actor is actually in the scene, so that it ultimately looks as if he or she is interacting with the baby. But all along, it was me.
The same thing often happens with young actors I am coaching on tv or film. You’ll never see me, or hear my voice – but I would say that the first 5 years at least on 7th Heaven, Mackenzie Rosman (“Ruthie”) almost never talked to anyone but me on her close-ups. Wait a sec . . . . come to think of it, you could actually both see and hear me on three different episodes our executive producer Brenda Hampton gave me: a co-star role with Mackenzie in which I played her first school teacher, a GUEST star role with Mack that she and her writers created with me in mind – (SNAPPY the Dinosaur . . . .hmmmmm, what does THAT say?!!!), and one Christmas episode in which practically the entire crew had funny cameo appearances. But that’s a different situation all-together. Pretty amazing of Brenda, yes??
However, as lucky as I have been through the years that I was still acting, lemme tell ya – because of the situations I’ve described above – my off-screen resume is wildly, stupendously much more impressive!
I have been
and Martin Lawrence, Doris Roberts, Emily Proctor, Shaquille O’Neil, Liam Aiken, Emily Browning, Catherine O’Hara, Phyllis Diller, Barbara Rush, Ashlee Simpson, Andrew Keegan, Steven Weber, Rebecca Demornay, Melvin Van Peebles, Rick Moranis, Ed O’Neil, Lindsey Wagner, Shirley Knight, most of the cast of THE LITTLE RASCALS SAVE THE DAY, and the entire cast and most of the guest cast of 7TH HEAVEN at one time or another including Happy The Dog, a guest chimpanzee AND a horse. Don’t ask!
And these are just the ones that I can remember!!!!