I met Alan at a restaurant near Central Park for our interview.

EF - Where are you from originally?

AC - I grew up in a town called Homestead Florida. That is where Hurricane Andrew hit. My parents are third generation. The main street of Homestead is Campbell Drive. They are moving to Austin Texas to be closer to my sister and their grandchildren. It is sad in a way That place has been a part of my family for so many generations. My dad is retired now and none of the kids are at home.

EF - How many brothers/sisters do you have?

AC - I have an older sister. She is an endangered species biologist for the state of Texas. She has written a book recently about a endangered species of the southwest.

EF - Where did you go to school?

AC - I went to Tulane for two years and then graduated with a business degree from the University of Miami. I graduated in 1979. I just turned forty.

EF - Are you married?

AC - No, but I was from 87-90.

EF - If your best friend was sitting right here, how would he/she describe you?

AC - I think I'm a pretty positive person. I've adapted well to being an actor but I don't eat, live, and breath it. Trevor Nunn said to me that I always have a really good objectivity about myself. I don't think I'd ever have an ego or see myself in an unrealistic manner. It gives me a good view of the business. I'm a realist about careers in show business and about my foibles. I try to have a gentlemanly good way about things. That is a Trevor Nunn term. I think it was the way I was raised and the way I am as a person. I try to look at things objectively. I have never been particularly impressed with myself or for anybody else for that matter. I don't hero worship much.

EF - What visions did you have for yourself?

AC - I did a lot of things by default. I was pre-med at Tulane University. I got into a musical group. One of the guys I sang with was Bob Harley. He wrote Steel Magnolias, Soap Dish, First Wives Club. He is a screenwriter now. He was originally going to be a lawyer. I decided I wanted to sing. I ended up in Vegas a while. I took some acting lessons and ended up in a movie by default. I wanted to stay in entertainment. I came back to NY and did some musical theater for a while, got a job on a soap and then a TV sitcom. I was always pointed in one direction and then something completely different would happen. A lot of it has to do with being at the right place at the right time. In show business, there are a lot of twists and turns. People who like a lot of structure would have a hard time in show business.

EF - This industry can be a tough one. There are up and down times. How did you manage?

AC - You need to enjoy your work. I've been lucky enough to have big jobs that have lasted a while. I can't rest on my laurels but I have a choice now of what I want to do. Where do I want to be? How hard do I need to work? Where do I direct my talents? You have to save your money. You have to live within your means as an actor. Sometimes you make a lot, other times not that much. You have to be a squirrel and stash some away. I think when you are younger you are always after work but after a certain age or level of achievement, you don't want to work on something that isn't any good or that you're not going to make any money. Now I find it difficult to get excited over everything. There has to be two or three elements in it to be worth doing. I remember Glenn telling me that when she considers doing something, it has to be a wonderfully written project, a director she is dying to work with, or an actor she really wants to work with.

EF - An actor in an interview once said you have to be more interested in the process, not the results. What is your take on that?

AC - That certainly is true. I love the rehearsal process more than I like seeing a play or film. Once that is over it is almost anticlimactic . I did a film a little while ago that is not a particularly a good film, but I had a good experience doing it. If I was carrying the film as a star, I would feel some kind of rejection if it didn't do well. I didn't envy Glenn Close, Betty Buckley, and Elaine Paige because it was their responsibility and Andrew's to sell the tickets based on their names. George Hearn and I didn't have to accept the responsibility.


How would you define success?






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