Chelcie Ross - Does it the old-fashioned way
Chelcie Ross was born in Sacramento, California, the eldest of three sons of a career Air Force Officer. A military "brat", he attended many schools in the United States and abroad, graduating Stateside from Pemberton Township High School in New Jersey. Very athletic, Chelcie lettered in Baseball, Football and Basketball. Up until this point, he still had yet to discover acting. It wasn't until he was a Senior at Southwest Texas State University, that he took on his first theatre production, playing the Title Role in William Shakespeare's "King Lear". Along with acting, he continued his collegiate baseball career, and also became the Commander of the AFROTC Corp of Cadets.
After college Chelcie became a radio disc jockey in Texas, but left that line of work in order to go on active duty as a Commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the USAF. He spent one year in Than Son Nhut, Saigon, Viet Nam, and was a recipient of the Bronze Star. The following year he was stationed at the Pentagon, and after that assignment, Captain Ross resigned his commission to become an actor.
In 1970, he entered the MFA program at the Dallas Theatre Center. It was during that time, in which he appeared in his first feature film, "Keep My Grave Open".. He spent the next four years as a member of the resident acting company of the DTC. In 1975, Chelcie left Dallas and moved to Chicago, where his stage debut was in a local production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Ten years later, He was cast opposite Gene Hackman in "Hoosiers". It would be the first of many major film roles.
Ironically, "Hoosiers" was also the first of three films that Chelcie appeared in that have gone on to become the three largest grossing "sports-themed" films, the other two being "Major League" and "Rudy". His most recent feature work has included three films either starring or written by his fellow Southerner, Billy Bob Thornton: "The Gift", "Waking up in Reno" and "A Simple Plan". His latest television appearance was a starring role opposite Mare Winningham and Felicity Huffman in the Lifetime Cable Film "Snap Decision".
To date, Chelcie has appeared in over 60 films, over 80 plays, 63 Television Guest Appearances, and well Over 4,000 voice over and radio spots.
1) BE GOOD TO YOUR FELLOW PLAYERS: We are all in this together. Whether you are working, or in-between jobs, you need all the help you can get.. I just read an interview with a very famous director who decided to slum a bit and try the other end of the camera. He reported that this acting thing is a stroll in the park and he was mystified as to what the big deal is. I've got a hint for him: What that little experiment missed is the part where you go 0 for 22 in auditions, spend 11 months wondering where the next paycheck is coming from, your mother suddenly has health problems that tap half of your cash reserves, your summer love from "Shakespeare Under The Stars" lands a network series, and you mentor (and probably the best actor you have ever seen) gives it up because he can't get cast and has to feed the family. Factor that stuff in and then come tell me how easy it is. Try to remember that your contemporaries now will be the same 30 years from now. You need them. Treat them like family.
2) DO THE WORK: I've been watching some of the (2002) Winter Olympics and I keep hearing the sports reporters say that Jenny Jack has "waited four years (since the last games) for this chance". Got a flash for you folks. She wasn't waiting. If she had been she would not be ready when the chance came along. She has been training constantly and competing every time someone would let her. We all know actors who are waiters. Some are waiting for the "big break" (they say), others are waiting tables. There is nothing wrong with the latter. We all have to eat. Just remember to make a way to do our work. Study as much as you can afford to. Find the people who will let you act. Community theatre, church drama, four friends who want to do scenes, they are all chances to exercise these instruments. I have done all those forms plus industrial films, live industrials, legit theatre, musical theatre, reader's theatre, radio D.J., radio drama, on-camera commercials, voice-over, TV, independent film, and major studio, big budget whoppers. Everyone of them contributed to what I bring to the job today.
3) LEARN A LESSON FROM MR. ROGERS: Do it the old-fashioned way. Know your words and be on time, hang up your wardrobe and say please and thank you. You will be appreciated by the rest of the team and you probably will work for the same people again. That is important. How many repeats are on your resume?
4) PERSEVERE: Hang in there friends. I'll see you on the set!
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