#16 The Adventure to Great Soap & How to Find it: Chasing your dream comes naturally to my family
Some family members follow in each other's footsteps, they are proud to carry on the title of Doctor or Esquire as an example. My grandfather was a police officer for many years, He spoke of his accomplishments with pride and often would tell stories of the families & some of the cases he would handle. I am not sure why none of my uncles or father would see that as a viable means to make a living. I guess it hasn't occurred to me to ask "why not" until just now.
As for myself and many members of my family we have always been given the gift of choice when it comes to schooling or career paths. Don't get me wrong, we were definitely pressed on by our elders to pursue a field of technology or computers. Not a single one of us listened. Given where the world has gone with technology, I think we should have listened ! (They say 20/20 is hindsight, Am I right ?)
What we all chose to listen to was our gut. At the end of the day, my grandparents took a look and said "All the kids are ok". Many times my Grandmother would express to me that she was excited to see where life was going to take me. At the end of her life, she smiled and said "You had some odds stacked up at birth, I am so proud of the woman you have become. Keep working hard".
The basis for this entry is to tell you about the freedom of chasing your heart. My Uncle Ty did just that. He continues to do so when he can.
Spanning more than 40 years since 1974, my Uncle has been cast in more that 100 films, commercials, ads, tv shows & stage performances. 1977, if I am correct, gained him his 1st film role that would jump start his career. Sharing the screen with Cassius Clay, now known as Muhammad Ali was an exciting time for our family. This role gave my Uncle a chance to join the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and the world of acting opened for him. The website IMDb writes ".....From precision stunt driving to lawyers to dead guys" My Uncle has had the dream fulfilled to be on stage and screen. He was the one to call the shots for his own future & make anything possible. Growing up with an Uncle who could be found on both large & small screen respectively was always so wild to me. I knew him as my Dad's brother who grew up like the rest of us with no frills attached. He always was good about calling, writing & coming for Christmas when he could. It wasn't until I was about 14 when he and I really created a friendship that has a lasting closeness to this day. I think we found a common ground in our love for Neil Diamond tunes, Camping & trading funny stories. Our standard greeting is "Hey Bub!" followed by a hug and a hearty laugh. We will often joke to each other that we are "cool cats from way back". As "inside" as some of our jokes and nicknames are that we share, to me they are priceless in that people don't know where it all came from. I feel lucky to be as close as we are.
One thing about traveling between Hollywood & Newyork for work, Uncle Ty has always remained mostly humble. (Yes, I say mostly ! He sometimes puts on a show when he needs. You should see him when he fluffs his plumage, Its a riot)
His catalogue spans across many genres of stage & film. You probably have seen him, and never realized it!
A few of my favorite notables include:
Catch Me if you Can: 2002
Law & Order: Criminal Intent: 2001
Law & Order: 2001-2004
Sex & the City: 1998
National Treasure: 2004
The Sparanos: 1999
The Greatest: 1977
Lord Of War: 2005
CSI NY: 2005
13 Going on 30: 2004
Hill Street Blues: 1985
"Sucess is just on the other side of fear" he said to me recently.
I think that thought can be applied to so many areas of life, what do we really have to fear in life? Like I have said in previous blog posts getting to where I am in business took a big leap of faith. It feels good to be added to the family "hall of fame" for chasing a dream. Lord Knows & know you know too, I have some pretty good role models when it comes to believing in ones self and taking a chance.
My Uncle enjoys partial retirement these days, Happily married to the only gal that could tame him. He enjoys staying active in the local small stage community when he is able. Don't shy from asking for an Autograph or selfie. He will gladly oblige.