Thanks for the props gents. I've been involved in theater for more than 50 years and really enjoy it.
In the early 60's my father was set construction manager for our church variety club. The club's director was Randy Avery whose family owned Barnes-Carothers New York Theatrical, a lighting and sound rental and theatrical support company. I went to grammar school with Randy's daughter who I had a crush on. She talked me into trying out for a small part in a play (On Borrowed Time) when I was 8 or 9 years old. The next year I sang and danced in Music Man followed by Oliver and My Fair Lady. I was too young for the next show (Bye Bye Birdie) so I transitioned to stage crew and lighting. (Note the vintage variac on top of the lighting board to my right.)
I must have impressed Randy because he was always asking me to "help out" with non-variety club projects. For instance, Barnes-Carothers owned the Barnes Brothers travelling circus, so in my teens I ran "super-troopers" (carbon-arc spot lights) for their shows at the Chicago Stadium. I also worked on event support for the State Street Parade and ran the "Hollywoods" (carbon-arc lights that typically traverse the sky to attact attention) for the Calgary Stampede.
I worked both sides on the curtain in high school (acted, sang, danced, built sets, designed lights, etc.) for musicals for 4 different schools where I met the guys and gals who eventually formed the Riverside Theater Guild. And that's where I met Wally Michka, Sylvester Morgan's writer/director/cinematographer.
I still build theater sets, hang lights, and do assorted tech but it's been years since my last role on stage as Dr. Seward in Dracula...