ZuZu Exclusive Interviews by David GoodmanStephen Collins - actor - 7th Heaven
Howdy readers. It's been quite a while since you've read an interview because
I haven't been able to find someone interesting to interview until now. I
recently spoke with 7th Heaven's Stephen Collins about his television success.
Before I read the interview, I want to let you know that my new screen name is
DGoodZuZu@aol.com. If you need to contact me with any suggestions on who to
interview or if you just want to chat, send me some mail. Anyway, getting to
the point. I hope you'll enjoy reading this, and I hope this will influence
you in the future.
Hasta luego! - David Goodman
Stephen Collins - actor
Stephen Collins plays "Eric," the reverend father on the WB hit 7th Heaven.
Just over two seasons ago, when the show first started, what made you audition for the role of
I didn't audition for "7th Heaven." I was fortunate enough to be offered the role. I knew nothing about the project, and it was less than 48 hours before shooting was to begin on the pilot, but it was such a good script that I just followed my instincts and accepted. I had never met any of the rest of the cast. The next day, we all met in Aaron Spelling's office and read the script out loud. It was pretty magical - as if we'd known each other all our lives. That's because the script was so alive. I took the role because it's rare to read a script that makes me laugh and cry, and it spoke to my own religious feelings, as well as giving me a chance to draw on my experience as a parent. Accepting it was a no-brainer.
Several kids throughout New York City and around the world are interested
in becoming actors/actresses. What tips could you give them so they could
pursue their career?
Well, if they're in New York, they have a great head start, because I think the best actors start in the New York theatre. There are many exceptions, but New York is a great place to start a career. Find a teacher who moves you and work with him/her regularly. Do as many plays as you can - anywhere. It doesn't matter if it's a little theatre in the middle of nowhere. The process of doing plays will make you an actor. You need to develop, somehow, a huge amount of faith and confidence in yourself, because there's a lot of rejection throughout an actor's life and you have to believe in yourself more than anyone else. Don't try to start a career in LA, unless money is all you're interested in. There isn't enough good material to challenge and develop young actors. Bit parts in Mediocre TV shows won't develop your acting chops. Play great parts - anywhere. When you're ready, success will find its way to you.
What was your first acting job ever?
Professionally, it was playing Valentine in "Twelfth Night" for Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park in the summer of 1969. Barbara Barrie starred as Viola, Charles During was Feste, and Ralph Waite (Papa John Walton on "The Waltons") was Orsino. Papp directed. I made $60 a week and felt overpaid because I would've done it for nothing.
You work with the cast of 7th Heaven almost every week, what is the best
part of working with 7th Heaven and what is the most challenging part of being
on the show?
Amazingly they're all really good people and the best part is that we're developing genuine fondness for each other and a sense of history and time passing, sort of like a real family. I'm watching these kids grow up. But all of them are good people and a joy to work with. The most challenging part is that working around kids' schedules is difficult. There are (as there should be) strict laws about how many hours kids under eighteen can work, and so Catherine Hicks, Barry Watson, and I tend to have to work longer hours. They call us in early and work us late, often after the kids have gone home. But I wouldn't trade it.
Which cast member do you get along with the most and why?
That's almost impossible to say. I guess I'd have to pick Catherine, because she and I have so many more scenes together than we do with anyone else, and we've really learned to trust each other and work off each other and be in tune with what the other is going through off screen. We're both parents in real life and we're both religious people in real life, so we've become great buddies through this show. But I have fun with all of them. Barry and I play-act on the set all the time and have a lot of laughs for and with the crew. We've invented a new show, a spinoff from "7th Heaven," called "Bucky & The Rev." He plays Matt, but his street name is, inexplicably, Bucky. I'm, of course, The Rev. "Bucky & The Rev" is a big, cheap action show with nothing but cars blowing up and poorly lit fight scenes, and we play tough, take-no-prisoners, vigilante guys who get the job done when the cops can't. Look for it in syndication in small, unlicensed VHF stations sometime in early 2008. They won't let us release it till then.
Stephen Clark - Weekday Anchor
"Coming up next on News 2, our top stories," WCBS-TV 5, 6, and 11 PM weekday anchor Stephen Clark would inform to local viewers. Stephen Clark has been with CBS-2 in New York since May of this year. Since then, he has been working very hard to provide the tri-state area with accurate news and other interesting concepts. Over America Online, I interviewed Mr. Clark.
As I mentioned earlier, Stephen had just joined News 2 in May of 1997. From there, I began to wonder where his previous experience had come from. Mr. Clark explained to me that he used to work at KGTV out in San Diego, California where he was the 5 and 6:30 PM anchor as well as a reporter for the station. Even before that, he worked for KCNC in Denver, Colorado where he was an anchor/reporter. Another major part in Mr. Clark's life was when he worked for one year as the bureau chief at a Washington D.C. station.
I also wanted to know what the qualities needed are to become a news anchor. He told me that if you want to become a news anchor, you should have the ability to clearly communicate an idea. He also mentioned that you should have knowledge of many subjects.
"You should read a lot," Stephen explained.
You may wonder what the hardest skill for a news anchor to achieve is. Mr. Clark told me once again that you need to communicate clearly. You should have a lot of good points of view when you report a story. A good reporter will focus on the most important points of a story as well as their final on-air presentation.
And a final question now. I wanted to know what is the most enjoyable part of being a news anchor. Stephen told me that he likes having access to knowledge such as the people who make the news. He also informed me that another "up" point is that he meets a lot of interesting people.
"It also beats sitting at some desk day after day after day," Mr. Clark explained.
All in all, If your coming home from school, or It's just a late-night, watch Stephen Clark, one of the great WCBS-TV reporters.
Jim Watkins - News anchorman
Jim Watkins is the head weekend anchorman at WNBC-TV. He covers the latest breaking news the station receives throughout the weekend. I went to Rockefeller Center to meet him. I went into closed sets and discovered how people run the news. I also sat down with him and interviewed him for this ZuZu Exclusive.
I asked Mr. Watkins why he had wanted to become part of the media.
"I majored in it in college." Mr. Watkins told me. Bit by bit, he became more and more interested in the media. He started off by taking a small job at a small television station. He kept on going and never quit.
You may wonder where Mr. Watkins started off from. Well, he began in a little town in East Tennessee called Kingsport. He has worked at many different places in many different states.
As you know, Jim now works in New York City. I wanted to know what he thinks of the city. He told me that he LOVES New York City because it is the #1 television market in terms of careers. He also mentioned that New York is #1, Los Angeles is #2 and Chicago is #3.
I wondered what Jim would tell a child that asked for some advice in order to enter the world of
He told me that he would tell the child to focus on their writing ability. "You should also focus on expressing your thoughts well," Mr. Watkins explained.
He said that you should constantly focus on writing. He explained that many people who go on television are into the show business aspects of the news and just want to be on television. They don't develop the skill and intelligence needed to be a reporter or an anchor. After you have worked for along period of time on your writing, then you can work on your voice if you're interested in broadcasting. After that, you should work with the camera. Finally, you should work on the way you present the news. To get into the media, you might want to consider studying subjects such as political science, economics and sociology.
There are many good parts of being a news anchor and there are some bad parts.
I asked Jim what he thought were the good parts and the bad parts.
He told me that the good parts are that it's an exciting job. "It's different every day. The material is different every day," Mr. Watkins says.
He also explained to me, that if you make it to his level, it pays quite well. You also make a pretty good living doing it. Jim also enjoys when people say nice things to him and compliment him on the street. Overall, he feels that being in the media is a continuing education because you learn something new every day.
Jim points out that the bad part of being in the media is your lifestyle. As a news anchor, you work all over the map. At the present time, Jim works all weekend shifts. That includes the morning newscast, (Weekend Today in New York) the 6:00 pm newscast and the 11:00 pm newscast, all on the weekend.
Another bad part is that some of the people who you work with are egotistical which doesn't make them easy to work with. However, he did say most of the people are nice.
To wrap this all up, when you've got nothing to do on a weekend morning, evening, or late- night just turn on NBC-4 to watch Jim Watkins.
and now the weather...
Mark Danon - the Chief Meteorologist on WCBS in New York (If you don't live in New York, or even if you do, you can catch Mark every Saturday Morning nationally on CBS NEWS Saturday Morning.)
"Your full forecast, just minutes away on News 2," Meteorologist Mark Danon explains to New Yorkers. In January of 1997, Mark Danon joined the News 2 Weather team. Mr. Danon re ports the weekend weather to the tri-state area. Throughout the weekend, Mr. Danon spends hours and hours tracking the latest storms. I recently sat down and interviewed him.
I wanted to know what tempted Mark to become a meteorologist. He explained to me that he did not to want to be a meteorologist originally. He actually wanted to study architecture. In order to prepare for his career in architecture, he studied for a number of years until he changed his mind. That was when he chose his official job - being a meteorologist!
I also wanted to know how weather is predicted and what tools are used in the process. Mark informed me that he has to use many tools such as a barometer which measures the humidity in the air. Another important tool is a computer model which lets him study the weather picture. He also told me that WCBS-TV has just gained a new weather system called SKYTRACK 2. SKYTRACK 2 lets viewers get a 3-D image and a better concept of the weather in their area.
I asked Mark about the best and worst parts of being a meteorologist. He informed me that the best part is having the ability to give a good and accurate forecast to viewers. I was also told that the worst part is when there is a heavy storm approaching. From there, Mark has to decide which direction the storm will head. He will also have to predict the amount of precipitation. Whether rain or shine, meteorologist Mark Danon tells it all.
Before I go, I just wanted to publicly thank Stephen Collins for being extremely generous and taking his time out of his long, hard work schedule to do this interview. I've neglected to thank the other people who I've interviewed before. I'll do that now. I want to thank, as well, Stephen Clark, Jim Watkins and Mark Danon for taking their time out of their busy schedule.
Alright that's all I've got for now. Be sure to check out my other report "SUPER LINKS!" Until I have another interview, I'll see ya in links. Adios, my friends.