This is the forth in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor".
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.
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William Lucking graduated from U.C.L.A. and the Pasadena Playhouse with degrees in both literature and theater. He continued his professional training as a journeyman actor under under Gordon Davidson at the Mark Taper Forum, during which time he worked on both main stage and Monday Night Theater Productions, While at the Taper he also studied with well known acting coach Jeff Corey.
In 1971, Lucking moved to Santa Paula, California to raise a family in a small town atmosphere while continuing to develop a thriving career in film and television. His most recent film credits include Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts and The Limey, both directed by Steven Soderbergh. His numerous television credits include work as a series regular on Outlaws with Rod Taylor and most recently guest starring roles on West Wing, N.Y.P.D. Blue, J.A.G., Martial Law, The X-Files, Millenium, and many others including more than a dozen Movies of the Week.
In the late 80's, Lucking renewed his interest in the theater, both behind the scenes and on stage. He co-founded the Santa Paula Theater Center in Ventura County, CA and served as Artistic/Managing Director for five seasons. In this capacity he Produced a wide range of projects including Pinter's The Hothouse, as well as Going to See the Elephant, Major Barbara, Camino Real, All the King's Men, and several world premieres. Lucking's most recent stage roles include Blue in the CTG/Ahmanson production of Conversations With My Father at the Doolittle Theater in Los Angeles and Dr. Sloper in the Ensemble Theater Company of Santa Barbara's production of The Heiress.
After the death of his wife of thirty years, Lucking began to focus on his longtime efforts as a writer. Writing since his college years, and still laboring on obscurity, he has created numerous screenplays and short stories. He recently finished a novel entitled Casual Labor and is working on a second while he pursues a publisher. During this time he has also Directed several episodes of television including Mike Hammer with Stacy Keach, and the long running syndicated series Silk Stalkings
Lucking has recently moved to Pasadena where he continues to work as an actor, writer, and director.
To contact William Lucking, you can call his agents at:
Lucking's advice to the aspiring actor:
"Don't even think of acting as a profession unless not doing it would cause you to sicken and waste away. After you have made this preposterous decision, there are a few rules to guide you either up or down in your career.
First, as an actor, I think you would do well not to move or speak until you had exhausted all other options and are forced into these two activities. Adhering to this principal will cut down on the 'Sturm und Drang' the rest of us will have to watch and will most certainly increase the clarity and focus of your work.
Secondly, you must be of two minds. One is, you must believe that you are 'a real frog in an imaginary garden' and the other is that you are a hard nosed entrepreneur for whom only the bottom line matters. The former has always been easier for me than the latter but I continue to try."
He offers us this quote from a comic book as the most appropriate way to send an actor off into his new life:
Father the mists and the smoke do engulf us...
SO BE IT! The illusion hath begun.
William Lucking's Credits (partial)
|WORKING ACTOR ARCHIVE|
Richard Roundtree - September 1999
Pat Harrington - August 1999
Robert Donner - July 1999
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