News Column

Young actor found his home on the stage

June 27, 2014

Orlando Sentinel



June 27--As a 5-year-old, Carl Krickmire attended the musical "Cats" and got the chance to step onstage. His dad encouraged the child to look out over the footlights at the audience -- and young Carl was hooked.

Krickmire, 32, died Saturday of endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart's inner lining. The Altamonte Springs resident had acted in such local shows as "Biloxi Blues" at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, "Miss Nelson Has a Field Day" for Orlando Shakespeare Theater and "Chasing George Washington" at Orlando Repertory Theatre. His most recent performance was in SAK Comedy Lab's "Jekyll n' Hyde" at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

"He was very talented and in a short amount of time did so much here," said Beth Marshall, who produced "Biloxi Blues." "We're mourning the loss of so much work we'll never get to see. He was a joy on and off the stage."

Born in Syracuse, N.Y., Krickmire had a head start in showbiz: His parents, Michael and Mary Krickmire, acted and directed. But Carl never let his parents forget what led to his career.

He'd tease, "'Dad, it's your fault ... remember 'Cats,'" his father recalled.

His parents weren't always convinced he should follow them into the unpredictable world of entertainment, remembering their own lean times.

"We had scraped by," said his mother. "We always worried our children didn't have everything we wanted them to have."

But Krickmire was determined. He staged musicals in his childhood bedroom, directing his younger sister. "He'd charge a cookie to get in," Mary Krickmire said.

He performed in high-school musicals -- and learned about more than singing and dancing. When he didn't get a leading role in "Oklahoma," he wanted to quit.

"We told him you can't do that," his mother said. "He learned from that."

A graduate of Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., Krickmire spent four seasons as an actor, educator and director in the youth program of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, N.Y.

"He loved children so he was always interested in children's theater," his mother said. In Florida, Krickmire taught youngsters at the Orlando Rep and was a drama teacher at Timber Creek High School.

At the Merry-Go-Round, Krickmire met Morgan Price, who would become his fiancÉe. He followed her to Central Florida, where he quickly found work.

"He was like the brother I never had," said Jennifer Bonner, who acted with him in three productions. "He was always willing to lend a hand; if you needed help moving, he was the first to say 'I'll be there.' As an actor he was extremely giving, but as a friend even more so."

Michael Krickmire directed his son in several productions, but a favorite memory is the play "All My Sons."

"I worked his butt off and he was more than willing," his father said. "It was extra special to know that we worked on something together and bonded even more."

Krickmire had interests beyond the stage: He was well-read, loved old-time comics such as Jerry Lewis, was a committed vegan and doted on Darlin, his and Price's Jack Russell Terrier.

In his school days, "he tried everything," his father said. "He tried football, he tried baseball, he tried wrestling. But theater is where he was happiest. Theater is where he found his home."

In addition to his parents and fiancee, Krickmire is survived by his sister, Katrina Hall of Webster, N.Y.; a nephew, Caden; aunts; uncle; and cousins. A funeral Mass will take place at Assumption Church in Fairport, N.Y.

mpalm@tribune.com

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(c)2014 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)


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