The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the thirty third in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor". (See Archives below)
William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts--.". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.
Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.
These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.
Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.
These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
Chelcie Ross
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Chelcie Ross was born in Sacramento, California, the eldest of three sons of a career Air Force Officer. A military "brat", he attended many schools in the United States and abroad, graduating Stateside from Pemberton Township High School in New Jersey. Very athletic, Chelcie lettered in Baseball, Football and Basketball. Up until this point, he still had yet to discover acting. It wasn"t until he was a Senior at Southwest Texas State University, that he took on his first theatre production, playing the Title Role in William Shakespeare"s "King Lear". Along with acting, he continued his collegiate baseball career, and also became the Commander of the AFROTC Corp of Cadets.

After college Chelcie became a radio disc jockey in Texas, but left that line of work in order to go on active duty as a Commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the USAF. He spent one year in Than Son Nhut, Saigon, Viet Nam, and was a recipient of the Bronze Star. The following year he was stationed at the Pentagon , and after that assignment, Captain Ross resigned his commission to become an actor.

In 1970, he entered the MFA program at the Dallas Theatre Center. It was during that time, in which he appeared in his first feature film, "Keep My Grave Open".. He spent the next four years as a member of the resident acting company of the DTC. In 1975, Chelcie left Dallas and moved to Chicago, where his stage debut was in a local production of "A Midsummer Night"s Dream." Ten years later, He was cast opposite Gene Hackman in "HOOSIERS". It would be the first of many major film roles.

Ironically, Hoosiers was also the first of three films that Chelcie appeared in that have gone on to become the three largest grossing "sports-themed" films, the other two being MAJOR LEAGUE and RUDY. His most recent feature work has included three films either starring or written by his fellow Southerner, Billy Bob Thornton: THE GIFT, WAKING UP IN RENO and A SIMPLE PLAN. His latest television appearance was a starring role opposite Mare Winningham and Felicity Huffman in the Lifetime Cable Film "SNAP DECISION".

To date, Chelcie has appeared in over 44 films, over 80 plays, 29 Television Guest Appearances ; and Over 4,000 voice over and radio spots.

DeWalt & Muzik Management
312-371-8333 (Chicago) / 818-563-1515 (Los Angeles)
Geddes Agency
312-787-8333 (Chicago) / 323- 848-2700 (Los Angeles)

Chelcie Ross's advice to the aspiring actor:

"1. BE GOOD TO YOUR FELLOW PLAYERS: We are all in this together. Whether you are working, or in-between jobs, you need all the help you can get.. I just read an interview with a very famous director who decided to slum a bit and try the other end of the camera. He reported that this acting thing is a stroll in the park and he was mystified as to what the big deal is. I've got a hint for him: What that little experiment missed is the part where you go 0 for 22 in auditions, spend 11 months wondering where the next paycheck is coming from, your mother suddenly has health problems that tap half of your cash reserves, your summer love from "Shakespeare Under The Stars" lands a network series, and you mentor (and probably the best actor you have ever seen) gives it up because he can't get cast and has to feed the family. Factor that stuff in and then come tell me how easy it is. Try to remember that your contemporaries now will be the same 30 years from now. You need them. Treat them like family.

2. DO THE WORK: I've been watching some of the 2002 Winter Olympics and I keep hearing the sports reporters say that Jenny Jack has "waited four years (since the last games) for this chance". Got a flash for you folks. She wasn't waiting. If she had been she would not be ready when the chance came along. She has been training constantly and competing every time someone would let her. We all know actors who are waiters. Some are waiting for the "big break" (they say), others are waiting tables. There is nothing wrong with the latter. We all have to eat. Just remember to make a way to do our work. Study as much as you can afford to. Find the people who will let you act. Community theatre, church drama, four friends who want to do scenes, they are all changes to exercise these instruments. I have done all those forms plus industrial films, live industrials, legit theatre, musical theatre, reader's theatre, radio D.J., radio drama, on-camera commercials, voice-over, TV, independent film, and major studio, big budget whoppers. Everyone of them contributed to what I bring to the job today.

3. LEARN A LESSON FROM MR. ROGERS: Do it the old-fashioned way. Know your words and be on time, hang up your wardrobe and say please and thank you. You will be appreciated by the rest of the team and you probably will work for the same people again. That is important. How many repeats are on your resume?

4. PERSEVERE: Hang in there friends. I'll see you on the set!"

Chelcie Ross's Credits (partial)
"The Ma]estic"
"The Gift"
"Waking Up In Reno"
"A Simple Plan"
"Charming Billy"
"My Best Friends Wedding"
"Primary Colors"
"Chain Reaction"
"Richie Rich"
"Amos and Andrew"
"Basic Instinct"
"Last Boy Scout"
"Bill & Teds Bogus Journey"
"Major League"
"The Package"
"The Long Walk Home"
"Above The Law"
"One More Saturday Night"
"The Untouchables
Castle Rock
Artisan Entertainment
Madison Miracle Prod.
Charming Billy, LLD
20th Century-Fox
Wamer Brothers
Castle Rock
Warner Brothers
Orion Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Orion Pictures
Hemdalel Orion Prod
New World Productions
Warner Brothers
Columbia Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Dir. Frank Darabont
Dir. David Atkins
Dir. Sam Raimi
Dir. Jordan Brady
Dir. William Bindley
Dir. Sam Raimi
Dir. William R. Pace
Dir. P.J. Hogan
Dir. Mike Nichols
Dir. Andy Davis
Dir. Donald Petrie, Jr.
Dir. David Anspaugh
Dir. E. Max Frye
Dir. Paul Verhoeven
Dir. Tony Scott
Dir. Peter Hewitt
Dir. David Ward
Dir. Andy Davis
Dir. David Anspaugh
Dir. Ridhard Pearce
Dir. Andy Davis
Dir. Dennls Klein
Dir. Brian DePalma

"Snap Decision"
"Evil Has A Face"
"Legacy Of Lies"
"Rainbow Drive"
"Night Of Courage"
"The Last Leaf"
"Women In Prison"
"Burden Of Proof"
"Murder Ordained"
"Once And Again"
"King Of The Hill"
"Judging Amy"
"Early Edition"
"Chicago Hope"
"Tales From The Crypt"
Lifetime Cable Film
USA Cable Film
USA Cable Film
Showtime Film
ABC Movie for TV
NBC Movie for TV
NBC Movie for TV
ABC Movie for TV
ABC Mini-Series
CBS Mini-Series
CBS Recurring
Dir. Alan Metzger
Dir. Rob Fresco
Dir. Bradford May
Dir. Bobby Roth
Dir. Elliot Silberstein
ein Dir. Herbert Wise
Dir. David Anspaugh
Dir. Karen Arthur
Dir. Mike Robe
Dir. Mike Robe
Dir. Michael Engler
Dir. Richard Appel
Dir. James Frawley
Dir. Randy Zisk
Dir. Steven Cragg
Dir. Barney Rosensweig
Dir. Tom Holland

Extensive regional credits on request.    

For more info and credits see IMDb

-- End ---

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February 2002
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January 2002
Denis Arndt [December 2001]
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December 2001
Bill Smitrovich [November 2001]
Bill Smitrovich
November 2001
Alice Hirson [October 2001]
Alice Hirson
Octobber 2001
Warren Stevens [September 2001]
Warren Stevens
September 2001
Stephen Elliott [August 2001]
Stephen Elliott
August 2001
Eugene Roche [July 2001]
Eugene Roche
July 2001
Jon Polito [June 2001]
Jon Polito
June 2001
Peter Riegert [May 2001]
Peter Riegert
May 2001
Bonnie Bartlett [April 2001]
Bonnie Bartlett
April 2001
William Daniels [March 2001]
William Daniels
March 2001
Dick Whittinghill [February 2001]
Dick Whittinghill
February 2001
Chris Ellis [January 2001]
Chris Ellis
January 2001
James Whitmore Jr. [December 2000]
James Whitmore Jr.
December 2000
Vince Grant [November 2000]
Vince Grant
November 2000
Judith Hoag [October 2000]
Judith Hoag
October 2000
Madison Mason [September 2000]
Madison Mason
September 2000
Jay Acovone [August 2000]
Jay Acovone
August 2000
Richard Riehle [July 2000]
Richard Riehle
July 2000
Charlie Brill [June 2000]
Charlie Brill
June 2000
Edie McClurg [May 2000]
Edie McClurg
May 2000
Miguel Sandoval [April 2000]
Miguel Sandoval
April 2000
Tom Bower [March 2000]
Tom Bower
March 2000
Amy Aquino [February 2000]
Amy Aquino
February 2000
Danny Chambers [January 2000]
Danny Chambers
January 2000
Eve Gordon [December 1999]
Eve Gordon
December 1999
Barbara Niven [November 1999]
Barbara Niven
November 1999
Bill Lucking [October 1999]
Bill Lucking
October 1999
Richard Roundtree [September 1999]
Richard Roundtree
September 1999
Pat Harrington [August 1999]
Pat Harrington
August 1999
Robert Donner [July 1999]
Robert Donner
July 1999
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