Monday, February 27, 2012

Check this out.  I was at work last night and I ran into Irish writer/director Terry George.  Several hours earlier Mr. George had won an Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film – THE SHORE.  I had seen in the trades that he was nominated, but I didn’t know that he had won until someone said that they had seen someone with an Oscar in the lobby.  I figured it was probably Terry.

CUT TO: 20 minutes later.

I see Terry in the lobby, Oscar in hand.  I congratulate him on the win and say, “we’ve worked together before”.  He responds, “Yes, we have!  On THE DISTRICT”.  I was completely shocked.  I could not believe he remembered me from 11 years ago.  He then told his friends that, “We were in the trenches together!”  I’m thinking to myself, “How did I become “We” to this gentleman who just won an Academy Award? 

I think sometimes I forget that I have accomplished a few things in the entertainment business.  I have worked with some of the enormously talented people…and I guess they remember.  

I met Terry on Fourth of July 2000 through another Irish writer/director, Jim Sheridan.  I met Jim through a friend.  Terry was already an accomplished film writer/director and this, as far as I know, was his first foray into American television.  He was creating a new show, THE DISTRICT for CBS.  Jim invited my friend and I to the beach house he was staying at in Malibu.  After hanging out with him for much of the day he invited us to the house Terry and his family were staying at in Malibu Colony to watch the fireworks.  Before we left, Terry’s wife Margaret asked if I was an actor. “Yes, I am”, I replied.  She requested a photo.

Six months later I got a call from my agent for an appointment.  They commented that they weren’t sure where my photo came from, but they wanted me to come in for the role of a reporter.  When I got to the audition I saw that Terry was directing the episode.  A week later my agent called with the booking.

Me and writer/director Terry George and his Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short film. February 26th 2012


Ahmet Ahmet said...

The story at the end is a great one and gives hope to all networking professionals. Would you say that networking through friends is the best way to getting the castings? Is it easier to befriend these people first?

Any thoughts?

Russell said...


Getting to hold a real-life Oscar--and with/from someone who knows you and you have worked with in the business before to boot!!


And great story about networking, Stephon!!