Jerry Lacy [Interview]

Hello Folks! Today we are sharing some words from an absolute LEGEND in the world of performance, who also happens to be a testament to the events that will begin right here on this site starting next week, as well as our love for the world of horror. It’s Jerry Lacy, Everyone! For over 50 years, Jerry has been stunning audiences around the world. He has done some exceptional work in all genres, but he is especially legendary in the world of horror, as one of the top billed folks from the now legendary and cult classic television show from the 19060’s, known as Dark Shadows. I say that having Lacy on the site is a testament to this site, because he would have absolutely made a wonderful addition to our “Month of Horror” event starting next week. But, again, we appreciate the legends of horror all year round! We have had Mr. Lacy in our sites long before October was coming around, and any damn time we could get him on the site is wonderful in our proverbial eyes.
Beyond the world of horror, Jerry Lacy has given amazing performances on the small screen, film, stage, wherever genius has been needed, really. In fact, he appeared as the same character on a very special film that was birthed from the stage, which we will discuss below. We are so excited to have him on the site today and joining the TWS family! So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Jerry Lacy!
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What inspired you to get into the world of acting? Was it something you had always wanted to do since you could remember? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

It all started in college when a friend suggested I take a class in the Theatre Arts Department because that’s where the prettiest girls could be found. But, the major change occurred when I got an A+ on my very first assignment and realized the joy of performing and hearing the audience response to what I was doing. And later, the encouragement and kudos from my fellow students. I switched my major to Theatre Arts immediately. I felt as though I had found a home.

What was your very first paid gig as a performer? And was there anything about this experience that made a profound impact on you that still affects your work today?

My first paying job was during that first summer break when I auditioned for a part in a non-union play being done in the Hollywood area. I was cast in the part and was paid a few dollars (one of which I still have in my scrap book) for each day of rehearsal. However I did not open in the play as it was delayed until school started again in the Fall, so I dropped out as I was cast in a play at school. John Phillip Law was the actor who replaced me in the play. The most enduring thing about it is that the money meant nothing, and never has. Any actor will tell you that the money is not the driving force. It does help, though.

One genre of film and television that you have done a great deal of work in that happens to be one of our favorites around here, would be the world of horror. I am curious to know what you enjoy the most about working in the world of horror? What is it about this genre that sets itself apart from the plethora of other work you have done?

I don’t really see it as a separate type of work. The genre may be different, but my approach to the role is the same: make it as true and real as possible. Sometimes the character is faced with situations that don’t apply to our normal existence so I have to create a reaction, and that will depend on the character of the character. But that is true of any role, each individual will react to the same stimulus differently, according to their personality. But a floating giant hand will scare anybody!

 

 

It has been over 50 years since you first appeared on the now legendary television series known as Dark Shadows. I am curious to know what it was like to work on a program that was truly unique to its time? When you were working on the show, did you have any sort of inkling that you were working on something that would be enjoyed by generations to come?

At the time, I had no idea. But, in retrospect, it is clear that our audience was very young, and in my own experience I know how I revere to this day the entertainment that made an impression on me in my youth. So it should not be a surprise that those young people would hold dear the memory of the show and enjoy revisiting it even after all these years. Also, it was certainly unique as far as daytime TV was concerned, and a brilliant idea for Dan Curtis. As an actor, it was rather hard work, a lot to memorize and difficult blocking to learn in a very short time, but exhilarating. And the fans to this day are providing us with kudos for our work, and making us proud we were a part of it all.

You portrayed Humphrey Bogart in one of my favorite films of all time, which would be Play It Again, Sam. I understand you also took on the role for Broadway as well! What was it that drew you to the idea of portraying Bogart on screen? And how did you enjoy this experience?

It was my hope, when I started rehearsal for the play, that I could preserve for the audience, the warmth and integrity that Bogart brought to his work. I also wanted to be able to deliver the comedy aspect that Woody Allen wove into the play. The play ran on Broadway for over a year, and then, a year later the movie went into production, with most of us playing our respective parts. It was a wonderful experience, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

During your time as an actor, there have been an immense amount of changes, especially when it comes to the advancements in technology. As somebody who has been doing this a while, I am curious to know what your take is on the modern days of film and television? Is the world of streaming media a positive thing that is creating more opportunities? Or is the entire business becoming too oversaturated with content?

I think that the technological advances are, for the most part, a good thing. A story may be better told with the use of technology. The only exception to this might be the use of digitally creating performers. That has the dubious quality of transferring the art from the actor to the digitizer, both of which are valid, but…is it ethical?

The opportunities created are only to the good. Many actors, writers, technicians of all walks, are enabled by the ability to create and be seen, where previously it was very difficult to get your work in front of the public. The more the merrier.

When you look back on your career of over 50 years in this business? What would you say you are most proud of thus far, professionally speaking?

Probably the fact that I was able to persevere and managed to maintain a career for so many years, while so many of the people I entered the business alongside were forced to find other means of employment and dropped out.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to tell our readers about?

Good parts for actors my age are few and far between, but I am still on the lookout should one appear. Meanwhile I will keep busy with whatever comes my way, no matter how unimportant the part may be in the scenario. The point is that I am still doing what I love and I might just pop up anywhere on the small screen or even the Internet for a few more years.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Well, that’s easy. I just spent the afternoon at the zoo with my wife Julia’s three young nephews and I was smiling the entire time.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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