|The Original Sheet from Milton|
That week as I took this all in, I had what my friend Bailey Williams calls the "COME TO JESUS MOMENT". I was so tired of acting or better the REJECTION of acting and I lost the passion for it. Milton always would say that "Production is the basis of Morale." I really wanted to leave the school and take a break... aka... QUIT acting.
But my good friend Art Cohan called and checked in. He said; "Gantty, just do what he suggests and if at the end of it, you still hate acting, you've at least done everything you could." So I did just that... begrudgingly at first.
Fortunately for me, right after our meeting, Milton started a special class that consisted of veteran actors from the advance classes... and he did it for FREE. He wanted to help this group of twenty or so actors to get past that "thing" that was blocking them.
On the first day, he sat at the end of the stage and said he was tempted to point to each student and tell them what it was that was stopping them. He did it to three in a row... BAMM! He nailed them. Then he turned to a few others and asked them what they thought it was. He looked at me. "Mr. Gantt... what about you? What's your stop?" I think I stammered something about lacking confidence in my acting, that I feel like I'm not good enough. I'm sure I was crying at the end of whatever else I was saying. He just nodded his head and said something about me being a mensch, a hard worker and a "Nice Guy" and how it'd be great if I'd stop apologizing all the time and know that I was enough.
That Thursday morning class went on for I think four months. I worked my ass off in that class and in the night class and the Saturday Master Class that I was in at the same time. I did every scene for Milton. I pushed... HE pushed me past my comfort zone. I worked hard, took more risks and saw huge growth over the next year and a half that we worked together. It was in March of 2007 when I began working on The Bannen Way with Jesse Warren. I was starting to believe. I drank the Kool-Aid. I started to believe what Milton always saw in me, that I was a Leading Man who could trust that "I know what I know."
At the end of September, 2008, Jesse and I completed the first two Pilot episodes of The Bannen Way. I made a DVD and got the trailer and episodes to Milton. A couple days later in the Master Class, he turned around in his chair and said he'd seen the pilot and thought it was great. He joked it could use faster editing techniques but said that the acting and characters were great. He said he really liked it. After class I was walking to my car when Milton pulled up (which was completely unlike him, once he left, he left) and he said, "Did you get what I said in there? It's great! You're great in it! You're acting is really good and you've done a great job." I don't think I did hear it, the first time. But at 1:20pm, on a corner in Beverly Hills, leaning inside his window... I got it.
Milton passed away three weeks later. In between that conversation and him passing, he did a book signing for his amazing Acting Class book at the Skylight Bookstore. I was asked to shoot photos to document the event, as he walked in I took a photo of him smelling a white rose that the brilliant actress and long time BHP Student, Beth Grant had given to him.
|Milton Katselas on 10.18.2008|
In the last two months I did BOTH... I ACTED and DIRECTED. And if I hadn't given the acting a hundred percent, I could not have been able to work with such talented actors as Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13), Jaime Murray (Dexter) and Shannen Doherty (90210/Charmed).
Maestro... I love you my friend, thank you.
Cool article with Tony Goldwyn on acting and directing