I was born and raised in a small town, Corinth, KY (population 250). Most people say after meeting me, they would never have guessed that. Whenever I get down, I think about how far I have come.
The actor I am now begins with my family. They have owned funeral homes since the 1940’s. My grandfather (Roscoe Rogers) began the business and my father followed in his footsteps. The training for both medical doctors (I originally went to college on a full academic Pre-Med scholarship) and morticians is very similar until their last year or two. My grandmother (Louise) also helped run the family business at a time when not many women worked outside of the home. I was born on her birthday and we were always very close. We lived just across the parking lot from the funeral home in a separate house and she was like a 2nd Mom. I’m so glad I got her strength of character.
I was raised in a “public” family. We always had to “look” a certain way, “talk” a certain way. And on top of that, we lived in a small town where everybody knows everybody. If I did something wrong, my parents would know about it before we got home.
1930 State Basketball Championship from Corinth, KY
You have to understand that in Kentucky, basketball is a religion. In 1930, the Corinth basketball team was coached by Ted Hornback. They not only won the Kentucky State Championship, but went to the National tournament in Chicago to take third place in the nation! The “fabulous five”: William Howard, Wilbur Odor, Frank “Bear” Lawrence, Dave Lawrence, and Roscoe Rogers.
My grandfather (Roscoe) was on the team. So was Jennifer Lawrence‘s (my future ex-wife’s) grandfather, Bear. Soon after graduation, the Lawrence family moved to Louisville, so I don’t know any of them personally. I hope to meet her soon to tell her about this. She is THE deal – beautiful, talented, smart, down to earth. Love her.
This was a HUGE deal. These Small-Town boys up against them City Slickers – a real David and Goliath type of story – like the famous Hoosiers movie. Unfortunately, there isn’t a national tournament at the high school level anymore.
Hazel Ogden (a distant relative of mine) documented their story in the 50th Anniversary Booklet.
Unfortunately, Roscoe died when I was 1.5 years old, so I don’t remember him. The only photo of me with him is of him trying to make me happy by pulling me on a sled in the snow. I was not amused. 😉 I will scan/upload when I get my hands on it. My family tells me I have his same intense blue eyes and his schmoozing/networking ability. He was a Man you couldn’t say No to.
My great-grandfather (Bennie Robinson) ran moonshine back in the Day. When Prohibition ended in 1933, Bennie Robinson Distributing, Inc. was doing business as a produce wholesaler, selling lettuce as well as Hudepohl and Wiedemann beer off the same truck. When Bennie passed away, the company was bought by what is now Kentucky Eagle.
Kentucky is considered the top of the South. Our ancestors fought on both sides of the Civil War. We have family all through the South. My Mom (Charlene) is very close with her sister (Lil) who lived most of her life in Atlanta. Our 2 families have always been extremely close. In fact, Lil’s husband (Bob) was a roommate with my Father at University of Kentucky. Bob and Lil introduced my Mom and Dad. They had 3 girls that are roughly the same age as us 3 boys, so they were like my sisters. I always considered Lil like a 2nd Mom. They are both excellent cooks in the Southern tradition. My Mom taught me the basics of cooking. We were always taught to say, Thank You, Yes or No M’am or Sir. It is just a reflex at this point. 😉
Music was always a big part of our life. I started taking piano classes when I was around 5 years old with Miss Bachman and then Mrs Graham. My Mother and 2 older Brothers and I use to sing together a lot (Charlene and the Boys), so I have a really well-developed falsetto voice. My Mom has a great Alto voice, so she hears in harmony. I can sing it, but I have to slow down and think about it. All 3 of us Boys led the singing at the Corinth Christian Church at one time or another.
My first girlfriend and I entered a Talent Competition when we were around 8 years old? We sang, “Love Will Keep Us Together” a popular song at the time by Captain and Tennille. At the very end of the performance, I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. It brought the house down!
Below is a great family photo (taken in the living room) that I’ve always loved. I have no idea what everyone is laughing at, but the photographer caught us all at just the right moment. In the background, you can just barely see the piano that we all learned to play and sing on.
We watched the Lawrence Welk Show a lot in my family.
I wanted to take tap dance classes – to learn how to move like the guys I saw. My grandmother offered to pay for them, but others in my family felt that was not very “manly”.
Unfortunately, there was no real formal instruction for music or dance, so I had to wait until I moved to Louisville to seriously pursue it. A career in the Arts just never occurred to me as a viable option, even though I loved it and clearly had natural talent. I know, this sounds like Billy Elliot.
Nick was the Grand Marshall for the The Corinth Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) Parade in 1971. I have a picture of him (on his knees) with me. He said I was so friendly and outgoing, I should run for Mayor. Nick was dating a cocktail waitress at one of the nightclubs I bartended at in LA – Garden of Eden. I carried the picture in my wallet to show him next time I saw him at the club. Unfortunately, they broke up before I bumped into him. I’ve moved from LA to Las Vegas since then and can’t put my hands on the photo. When I do, I will post it here. No way I would have thrown it away.
Corinth was a great place to grow up. I may have chafed at it at times, but I am grateful for my conservative/traditional upbringing.
I was selected to be the Grant County High School representative to the 1983 Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program – and it changed my life.
My Social Media links are at the bottom of every page.
From this website you can download Pictures, Headshots, Character and Body Shots, Behind the Scenes photos.
On the Resume‘ page, you can see some of the shows I’ve worked on.
On the Video page, are many reels from the various Film, TV, New Media, Industrial, and Theatre shows I have worked on. Many people call themselves an “actor”, but here you can actually see my work.
I have worked as a Bartender for longer than I want to admit. I can teach you how to make a proper Martini.
Of course, you will want to Contact me after watching all my video and reading this fabulous content.