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Full Name: Tom Beckett

Birthdate: Sometime in the '60's (May 14)

 

On Remember WENN, your character never got a chance to speak. How difficult was that?

Easy. No lines to learn, just faces to make. While all the other actors

were anxiously trying to learn their last minute script changes I was

composing letters to friends or making up shopping lists. Never once

in four years did I mess up a take by forgetting what I was supposed

to say.

 

Are there any blooper reels around where you accidentally say something?

No. Not accidentally. If I was in a mischevious mood I might utter something

at the end of a take, but I'm afraid most of the things I said are not

fit for family viewing.

 

Are the sound effects in the show all scripted out, or did you have the chance to make them up yourself?

Our writer, Rupert Holmes, wrote out almost all of the sound effects for me,

but he and I had an understanding that I could substitute others if the

director liked them, or add more. After the first two seasons, as Rupert

got to know my work better, he would more often write what sound he wanted

without coming up with a way to produce it. Then it would be up to me and the

props supervisor on the show to think of something. The props people (there

were several over the seasons) were incredibly important for my performances,

and their ingenuity and imagination always amazed me.

 

If Remember WENN were allowed to run it's full course, do you think you would have eventually gotten to say something?

No. Rupert and I talked about that possibility, but both of us decided against

it. The fundamental characteristic of Foley was that you never heard him

speak. If he started talking, the most original thing about him would be

lost.

 

Since it appears that Remember WENN will not be continued, can you speculate on what you think might have happened to resolve the cliffhangers the fans were left with?

Jeff I think will have a sex change operation -- you did notice how much he

liked being in drag in one of our last episodes, didn't you? Hilary, having

fully realized the extent of her love for Jeff, will rush to the hopsital

to try and stop him, but she will be too late. As a result, she will attempt

life as a lesbian, but in the end will have to give that up and settle with

being bosom buddies with big-boned Jenn. Betty will decide that two is twice

as good as one. Mr. Foley and Eugenia will find that the fuel behind their

passion is it's illicit nature and will duck into any and all available

closets and coat rooms to continue their clandestine affair.

As far as what Rupert might have decided for these wonderful people, I'm

afraid I have to be coy and refuse to speculate. I'm afraid that by

neatly resolving their lives they will leave my thoughts and the thoughts

of the people who enjoyed the show. By leaving open their possibilities

they stay alive for everyone.

 

I read that you would like to just do theatre. Now that you have done a television series, would that be something you would be interested it pursuing?

I don't know where I said that, but I LOVE doing TV. I never want to stop

performing in live theatre, as I am now in the off-Broadway show

COMMUNICATING DOORS, but I don't want that to be my only venue.

 

If you could create your own role in any theatre production, movie, or television show, what would that character be like?

Like Cary Grant in BRINGING UP BABY.

What do you think is the best role you have ever played and why?

In 1992 I played Erwin Trowbridge in a wonderful play called THREE MEN ON

A HORSE at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. It wasn't

anywhere near the highest profile job I've had, but the part suited me

perfectly. It was a period piece from the '30's by the brilliant theatre

man George Abbot -- a true legend -- and it allowed a lot of room for

exploring the style and comedy of that time, which is one of my favorites.

What, if any, was the defining moment in your life that made you decide to be an actor?

When my voice changed and I could no longer be a boy soprano.

How old were you when you got your start and what was your first role?

My first role was as Bebe in THE HAPPY TIME at the Cabrillo Community

Playhouse in San Clemente, CA. I was completely taken with myself.

Are you interested in doing anything else in the theatre besides acting, such as directing for example?

Directing. I might prove an insufferable control freak, but I have

to give it a try.

If you weren't an actor, what would you be doing now?

Wondering what was wrong with my life and why I wasn't happy.

Are there any tips you can give to someone who wants to be an actor?

Don't do it if you can't take rejection, and I mean intense rejection that

can last for years. When you are rejected as an actor, it is your entire

being that someone doesn't want, since it is your entire being that is your

instrument. It takes incredible stamina and confidence to survive that. If

you can do it, then you have to get yourself to New York (a better place to

start than LA I think, since there is such a thriving and exciting, though

non-paying theatre scene off-off-Broadway) and buy Backstage every week and

go to every audition that remotely appeals to you and send ten to twenty

headshots of yourself off every week to agents and casting people. It's

a slow climb.

How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

No human has or ever will make it.

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