By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
You've been in bands since you were in high school, right? Did that have any effect on your wanting to be an actor?
Not really. The actor thing kind of happened — almost a fluke, really. My buddy Tom Epperson, who wrote several screenplays with me — we wrote The Gift and A Family Thing and a couple of other things — well, we wrote about 25 things together, but most of them were never made. Tom was going to go to California. He was four years older than me and as a young man was already a teacher at the University of Arkansas, an English teacher, and he said, "I want to go out to California and try to be a screenwriter — you were in drama, why don't you go out and try to be an actor?" I was shoveling asphalt for the highway department at the time, playing music on the weekends, didn't have much, so I said, "Yeah, OK, I'll go."
But I was really going with the intention of getting in a band in California. That's what I went for, really. The only reason I was in drama in high school is because there were chicks in there and I thought I could get above a grade of C in something. So I went out there with him and I got in this theater group and an acting class, and I was discovered out of that theater group. I just had to go with what I was making a meager living out of.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 7. Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino, 1 Ameristar Boulevard, St. Charles. $30 to $35. 877-444-2637. Also playing acoustic at 5:30 p.m. at Vintage Vinyl, 6610 Delmar Boulevard, University City. Free. 314-721-4096.
Who are a couple of your favorite musician-turned-actors?
I'd say the best two examples would be Levon Helm and Kris Kristofferson.
I mean, those were definitely role models for me.
I just saw something Levon Helm was in. Is from the approximate same part of Arkansas as you?
He's about an hour and a half away, something like that. He was raised a little closer to the Delta; I was a little closer to the middle of the state. But, you know, when you're over there, everything's pretty close. You're not very far away from anybody.