An experienced actor was among two couples from North Carolina who went sailing near Williamsburg on a blustery afternoon. Annette and Paul White travel together at least once a year with Lynda and Mike White.
While enduring stiff winds that heeled the boat, Lynda mentioned that Mike White took up acting as an adult and works in community theater. They retired as teachers. I asked if he had done Shakespeare, which we all studied in college but now I find tedious reading. “Yes, I did. But it was very hard to memorize the lines. Some of them just didn’t make sense in the Middle English.” I didn’t feel so bad.
Lynda said proudly that he played Scrooge in “The Christmas Carol.” Mike recalled, “I had to memorize 1,700 lines for a play that runs 2-1/2 hours, almost without any break. I also played Dracula, which was fun.”
Just then, I mentioned that it’s remarkable how many actors can sing, using comedian Stephen Colbert as a good example.
“I met him once,” Mike said. “We did a television commercial together, and I found him to be very talented.” Lynda said that a TV spot with race car driver Carl Petty proved more lucrative. “You made thousands on that.”
“$12,000 actually.” It surprised me that actors get residuals on commercials. “I would have made more,” Mike laughed, “but Petty stopped winning.”
I once had distant relatives of Michael Colbert onboard. A young couple worked in Washington, where Colbert used to hold Thanksgiving with his extended family from South Carolina and beyond. They got to go there for several years. Without sounding critical, they found him a bit of attention hog who demanded to be the center of attention. Sounds about right for a successful actor.
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