Posts Tagged ‘actor’

James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
I’m excited.


Because this 30 Second Interview has a special place in my heart.

Stephen Collins is such an accomplished man, I hardly know where to begin….so, I’ll start at the beginning and whizz through to one of my favorites; Tales of the Gold Monkey.

In 1880, Greenback Party presidential candidate and the 1892 Populist Party (“People’s Party”) candidate for president, General James Baird Weaver would, some 67 years later, become a great-great-grandad.

Born  in 1947  in Des Moines, Iowa and raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, Stephen Weaver Collins was the youngest of three brothers and an extremely shy child.
Stephen’s first love was baseball. He would later go on to get a high school batting average of 143. Then, with the Star Trek softball team, 301. But neither this, nor his love for music (he played bass guitar and rhythm guitar in a number of rock and roll bands), could deter the acting ‘bug’.

Stephen took to the stage and, with an acting award for his portrayal of Kilroy in “Camino Real“, was offered the small role of Valentine in “Twelfth Night“. Stephen graduated College an employed actor.

With approximately 25 years of theatre productions under his belt, and at 27 years of age, television knocked on Stephen’s door with The Michele Lee Show. He has never looked back . 

After much success with hit shows such as Charlies Angles, The Waltons, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Stephen landed the lead role of pilot Jake Cutter in Tales of the Gold Monkey. Set in 1938, the story revolved around a pilot who finds adventure while transporting cargo in his well-worn airplain, the Grumman Goose…..and in case you hadn’t noticed, is a massive favorite of mine.

But others may know Stephen more as Rev. Eric Camden from TV’s 7th Heaven, which ran for eleven seasons, until finishing in 2007.
To date, Stephen’s acting career has earned him many awards, including his portrayal of John F Kennedy in the miniseries  A Woman Named Jackie. He also has several directing credits to his name.
As an author, Stephen has written two novels. In 1994, Eye Contact was published by Bantam Press. This success was followed by Double Exposure in 1998, which was published by William Morrow.

In 2006 OttoPenzler’s Mysterious Books, an imprint of Warner Books, published Stephen’s ‘Water Hazard‘ as part of a short story mystery anthology, Murder in the Rough.
So, a musician, songwriter, actor, novelist, director, and poker player who qualified for the first tournament of Celebrity Poker Showdown in 2005….. I bet this 30 second interview has, by far, been the most challenging of Stephen’s life.
1.  What is your favorite word?  Yes
2. What is your least favorite word?   “Whatever” (used to stop a conversation)
3. What turns you on?   Humor
4. What turns you off?   Unwillingness to consider a different opinion
5. What sound do you love?   The sound of the crowd in the background of a baseball game on the radio

6. What sound do you hate?  Whining (especially my own)
7. What is your favorite curse word?   “Fuck.”
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   The Law
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Work for Monsanto
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   “Surprise!”
      CD cover  
Contact Information

For more information regarding Stephen Collins books, TV work, and films, please check out his Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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Does our success as writers have more to do with luck than talent? Or do you think talent prevails over luck every time?

Well, speaking on behalf of my own experiences, I know it has a little to do with both; talent cannot function without luck and vice versa.

Recently, I co-wrote a Supernatural TV pilot, called ‘The Legend’. I had never written a script before, knew nothing about layout and formatting, but dug in, worked hard, and voila, a pilot was born.

At the end of February, my co-writer friend and I were attending the DFW Writer’s Conference in Texas. Now, I class myself as a thrill seeker, but my co-writer went a step further and thought it would be an excellent opportunity to stop by L.A. and ‘pitch’ the TV idea to some Hollywood bodies. Laughingly, and if not just to humour her, I agreed.

We queried everyone we could think of and arranged some meetings. One meeting in particular surprised me. It was with an entertainment lawyer. I asked my friend why she had contacted an entertainment lawyer, to which she simply replied, “why not?”

That entertainment lawyer read our script and loved it. At around the same time a manager contacted this lawyer, and at the end of their telephone conversation asked if he knew of any ‘new’ writers. He looked at our script and emailed it over to her. She read it, loved it, and promptly contacted us.

Two new script-writers left her office a week later with several projects and ideas to write; she wanted to see anything and everything we wrote.

In essence – we had a manager.

All that came from querying a lawyer. Now I’m not telling you email every lawyer you can think of; we also met with an actor and a producer – both of which have attached to the project. But with each person we met, we were recommended to someone else, and each contact is now a person we have met with personally and can email ideas and projects without the need of a query letter. Hence we have a VIP backdoor where only solicited work is allowed to enter.

So yes, I believe your career is made with a mixture of luck and talent:

Luck – Maybe we didn’t go about querying in the correct manner, but we did it politely and professionally…..and we got the face to face meetings we wanted.

Luck – We happened to be liked, and first impressions seem to be everything in this business.

Talent – That all important synopsis were our hook, and led our readers into wanting the script.

Talent – The script is why wanted people to meet us.

Without these key ingredients, I would not be sitting here now, blogging about my experiences. I walked away from L.A. a very busy girl, but having my writing described as very well written and with strong voice was a boost to an area of writing I am very new at, and being praised as audacious was fun – I mean, me, audacious? Honestly 😀

So, tell me if a mixture of luck and talent has led to any of your successes.

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