"Read Between The Lines: I Will Take Your Head Off Your Shoulders"
KD: Okay, but most kids grow up and then turn out to be a dentist or a salesman. But you stuck with acting. How did that happen?
CA: I finished up at a no-name college -- no offense. Someone's going to read this and figure out which one I'm taking about. It was a decent school, and in 1998 I had finished my last year. I had two Associate's degrees and one Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and Criminal Administration, or something like that. I didn't go to my graduation. I slept in and told my mom I wasn't going to go to work that day, and was thinking of not going the next day. It was straight out Office Space.
KD: Where were you working?
CA: I don't remember. I may have been self-employed. I've had so many jobs. I remember picking up the paper and looking at the classifieds. Then I called this lady at church that I used to know who was a really, really great, gifted singer. She was always involved in plays, and had a big name from doing them -- Lisa Butler. I called and asked where I could get started. She didn't have film or TV experience aside from local commercials, and told me of a few local theaters I could try. I called every one of them that day and it just so happened -- and I still get goose bumps talking about it -- there was this one theater called the Cherry Tree Players, and they were casting The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. I had no experience, not at all -- I still don't have any, really. But the woman on the phone said, "We're having auditions today, and if you'd like you can come down."
KD: So you got the part?
CA: I played several roles [with them]: a Scandinavian man, a redneck -- let me tell you, me pulling off a southern accent was a stretch [laughs]. She cast me in several roles, and it was great. I sat out on the back steps after practice or a show one night with the lead and we were talking, and she had done so many productions but she had never ventured out, and I said, "Why don't you pursue this? You're so talented." And she said, "I'm happy doing this." I said, "One day, were going to have a conversation and I'll be somewhere else, God willing. I'm going to take it as far as I can." It's ten years later since we had that conversation, and I just ran into her and she remembers that night. But I was twisting and turning and said I think this is what I'm supposed to do -- forget criminal justice. All my family is in law enforcement, and that's where I thought I would end up. Oh, I just remembered this. You'll like this.