Proud Mom and the Gift of Gab

Nov 16, 2013 | 4 comments

Charlie in Dickensenian Mode

Charlie in Dickensenian Mode

My morning glimpse on FaceBook brought this news from my son Charles Howell:

            Booked it! I will be playing John Quincy Adams on the Travel Channel, shooting next week. They wanted an improvised, mudslinging 1824 campaign speech for the audition, and that must be what clinched it, because there sure were other people who looked a lot more like JQA in that lobby, including one guy in period costume!

Charlie as Magus #2

Charlie as Magus #2

To say that I’m bursting my buttons with pride is the understatement of the day.  Especially, since Charlie told me day before yesterday that he didn’t have too much hope of getting the part.  The casting call had asked for an actor to deliver an impromptu oration as John Quincy Adams during his presidential campaign against Andrew Jackson.

Charlie did his homework.  JQA was fifty-seven in 1824 and there the similarity, at least physically, ended.  JQA was bald; Charlie isn’t there yet but is on his way and, although ‘they’ didn’t ask, he told me he’d willingly shave his head.   JQA was heavy-set; Charlie is not.  But, when it comes to an orator’s gift of gab, I’m here to testify that it’s in his DNA.  His dad had it; both his grandfathers had it; Charlie has had it since birth.

Added to that, he has a great sense of humor with his timing fine-tuned by years of writing comedy scripts for TV plus several recent years of playing comedic character parts in a repertory theater in Los Angeles.  I asked him for a sample of what he said and he immediately launched into a bombastic tirade questioning Jackson’s heritage and, in particular the reputation of Jackson’s mother.  His slightly British (educated, East Coast, 1820s) accent and his choice of somewhat archaic expressions seemed perfect to me.

Charlie as Starveling

Charlie as Starveling

Apparently it all seemed perfect to the casting folks, as well – or at least perfect enough to get him the part.  He was concerned afterwards that he had followed the advice to audition in street clothes.  The round-faced bald guy in the lobby in full period dress was worrisome and I’m sure my motherly, “But it’s the acting they’re looking for, Charlie” wasn’t particularly reassuring.  But for once, I was right!

Now I need to find out more about the show, itself.  I know only that it’s part of a series about historic hotels on the Travel Channel.  Name of series?  Name of episode?  When it will air?  As they say… stay tuned.

4 Comments

  1. Nora Durst

    Hi Sydney,
    How exciting for Charlie. Be sure to let us know when this will be aired. I will be sure to watch it.

    Reply
  2. Nancy

    Honorary Aunt Nan is beaming! Because I was able to see Charlie’s acting abilities this past summer, I know the variety of roles he can assume. And, yes, indeed, he does have a gift of gab. (clearing throat): Methinks he might have received just a bit of this gift from Mama……

    Reply
  3. Caroline Miller

    Wow! Of course you’re popping buttons. How exciting. Yes, please do keep everyone informed. Agree with Nancy, art runs in the family.

    Reply
  4. Jo

    How wonderful! You must be jumping up and down (well, inside, at least). Can’t wait to watch the program. I enjoy historic presentations. Congrats to Charlie.

    Reply

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