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My Brilliant Acting Career

Me As a Dissolute 19th Century Gambler

Martine and I have been working at thinning my overflowing collection of books and papers. Today, two 8 x 10 photos emerged of me in a 1970s student film by Trevor Black and Lynette Cahill. If I remember rightly, the film was based on a Chekhov story called “The Duel.” I played a bit part as a cheating gambler. How any self-respecting gambler sport such a rat’s nest of a hairdo is beyond me. The interesting thing is that, unconsciously, in costume I resembled my literary hero, G. K. Chesterton, hair and all. (Today my hair is not much to look at.)

G. K. Chesterton

I enjoyed this brief acting stint, though I was never requested to act again. No casting directors have besieged me to try out for any major studio (or even indie) productions. No matter: I was never really that interested in film production, whether as director, crew, or actor. I just liked to see, talk about, and write about great films. I would have liked to become a professor of film history, but that was not in the cards for me; and I have no regrets about the winding path I wound up taking.

Here is another view of me in costume, acting as the second in a duel:

Me as the Crooked Gambler Acting as the Second in a Duel

If any of you have any lucrative roles for a ratty looking retired guy, please contact me at once.

5 thoughts on “My Brilliant Acting Career

  1. Jim,
    This was my Project One for film school in 1974. I don’t think any prints have survived.
    So, I wrote and directed. Trevor was the production coordinator, Jim Glennon did the cinematography, and I think John Quinn did the still photography as well as starring. John and I also wrangled the horses in Topanga Canyon.
    I sent you these photos a few years ago when I moved after my divorce.
    You were quite handsome and dashing then and you still are….Take care. Glad Martine is there helping you.

  2. Love the costume! I recently read Swansong by Chekhov and completely fell in love with it. It’s one of his lesser-known short plays and is actually about acting itself. You should check it out!

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