News Column

Location no problem for North Lebanon actor Tom Roy

July 5, 2013

YellowBrix

July 05--EBENEZER -- Tom Roy sipped coffee as he relaxed in the backyard of his North Lebanon Township home as his border collie, Daisy, retrieved a Frisbee that he had thrown.

As he smoked a Camel cigarette, the 67-year-old actor explained the production cycle of his latest film, "REMORSE," directed by Quinn Saunders.

Because he played a principal role in the independent film, Roy started work in the wee morning hours, working a minimum of 12 hours a day during the 18-day shoot.

But that's the life of an actor, he said.

Roy played the street preacher in the movie "12 Monkeys," an alcoholic father in "The Answer Man" and Chris Farley's prison guard on "Saturday Night Live," and has done extensive work with the Pennsylvania Renaissance

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Actor Tom Roy will lead a workshop titled, The Acting Industry: It s never too late! for adults 35 and older. The seminar will focus on the type of work that is available locally, how to search for work and how to be seen by casting directors and agents. The seminar will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at Kathy Wickline Casting, 1080 N. Delaware Ave. (Suite 501), Philadelphia. Fee is $35, plus a $10 administrative fee.

Faire. He has been featured in national and international print ads, and has done voiceovers and theater work.

"When I lie there at night and think 'holy cow! I'm accumulating these movie roles.' I have actor, director and writer friends all over the world -- and I live in North Lebanon Township," he said.

And that's what Roy stresses to those wanting to break into the entertainment field: Don't let geography keep you from your dreams.

"You don't have to go to Hollywood anymore," he said. "Be what you want to be. Seek what you want to be. If you end up moving to New York, then you do that. But, never say to yourself that because you live in Cleona, Pennsylvania, that it's impossible for you geographically to succeed as a writer,

actor, painter or whatever. Do it, damnit!"

Roy has acted since he was 10 years old. But after 20 years in radio, he jumped into acting in 1991 at age 46 when he joined the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists for a role at the Gretna Theatre.

Between 1993 and 1994, he worked on several soap operas; had small roles in two skits on "Saturday Night Live," the Nickelodeon show "The Adventures of Pete and Pete" and "Law and Order"; and had joined the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire as an actor, writer and director.

In the last few years, Roy said, he averages about one movie a year and does commercial work in between them. His agent shops around for roles and alerts him when he has to travel to Philadelphia, New York City or Baltimore for auditions. Thanks to technology, with a $99 digital camera, he often films his auditions in his backyard and emails them to casting directors.

"Like I said, I've played a street preacher, a Mennonite preacher, an alcoholic father in 'The Answer Man' and a grandfather sitting by a lake (for an ad)," he said. "That's thrilling to be viewed by casting directors, directors and fellow actors as being capable of diversity."

Roy has a principal role

in his latest project "REMORSE," which is in post-production. The movie was shot in his hometown of Hatboro, Montgomery County.

"The location was at Stroker (Roadhouse), which is a bar that my dad used to frequent on a street that was part of my paper route two blocks from the house I grew up in and three blocks from the school my mother taught in," he said. "Everything is the same, but I don't know anybody. I thought, this is freakier than the horror movie that I've been shooting."

To clarify, he said, the film is more of a ghost story in which Roy plays a man who is trying to warn the star of the movie to leave a home because he's seen terrible things happen there. Of all the acting gigs he's had, Roy said, this is his first venture into the horror genre.

"I've never done a horror-type movie before, but it doesn't matter," he said. "Acting is acting."

AndreaGillhoolley@ldnews.com; 272-5611, ext. 139

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(c)2013 the Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pa.)

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