What kind of kid were you?
Happy dreamer. Adventurous and athletic.
What was it like growing up?
This question is grounds for a novel. My family did not have a lot of money, but we had love. Somewhat dysfunctional, but nobody's perfect. My father was away a lot and my mother worked full time. Sports and theater kept me off the streets for the most part.
Did you always want to become an actor?
Actor, athlete, or priest.
Who were your biggest influences?
Mom and Jesus.
I understand you moved around a lot as a child. How did you feel about that, and where were some of the places you lived?
Was a drag at the time, but in retrospect I learned how to adjust to different environments and meet new friends fairly quickly. I lived in Germany, Michigan, Texas, New York, and San Francisco.
How was your high school experience?
I was trying to hold the tension of opposites with sports and the theater. My friend and I rented out the school auditorium and put on our own vaudeville show and made money. They didn't let us do it the next year. At the same time, I was playing football, basketball, and baseball. I was also the intramural tennis champ. Sporto, if you will.
How was your college experience at UCI?
Great. Did 15 plays in 2 years. Produced a play from school and moved it to LA and won a bunch of theater awards. Lived on Balboa Island and Corona Del Mar. Pretty nice. Cleaned houses, swept streets and bartended while I was doing plays full time. I do not know when or how I got any sleep. Maybe I didn't.
What stage productions have you done, and do you have any stories of any specific occurrences on the stage?
Another novel. I remember sitting backstage before a performance of a classical drama called "The Changeling." An actor came up to me and said, "Break a face." I said, "Excuse me?" And he said, "The theater Gods are on to us. We have said "Break a leg" too long. They don't understand when we say, "Break a face." I replied, "That is not something you should play with." He promptly strutted on the stage and fell into the pit and broke his leg. So much for that theory.
Just how exactly did you finally break into acting?
Started in 3rd grade. My first line was "Watch it, Bub". My first professional job was The Mission Inn Dinner Theater in Riverside, CA. We did rep and it was a great learning experience. Some very talented people. Musicals and Comedies mostly.
Were you ever married? Are you married now? Are there any plans for marriage?
Yes, in '84. Seven months. Not married. Have a great girlfriend and partner. No plans as of yet.
When and how did you originally get into martial arts? Did you have any influences?
Early 80's. I wanted to know my body for the stage. I took up Aikido and was hooked. A monk named Kensho Furuya. He has a dojo in downtown LA. Amazing man. Bill Blanks. Bruce Lee. Chan.
Do you have a preference between stage acting and acting on film?
Completely different animals. Stage is wonderful but it's very difficult to make a living in the theater. Film acting is simpler but demanding in different ways. I love them both. However, nothing like a live audience.
Beyond all of the hype, what is it really like out there in the film
I can only speak from my own experience. I love working; it's great work when you can get it. The toughest part is surviving the down time. Staying sharp and prepared for the next opportunity. I don't party much and I socialize with a select group of people. I'm at the gym or working on a project almost everyday. It's like most things in life. If you want something worthwhile you have to work at it.
Have you ever wanted to produce or direct your own work?
Yes. I am more interested in being behind the camera these days than I ever have.
What has been your favorite project that you've worked on thus far?
I don't think I have a favorite. I judge my work more by the connections to the people I am working with than by the product. Everyone wants to make good finished product. I think I am more interested in the process.
How did you get the part of Jonathon Raven, and how long before the series
aired did you prepare for the role?
I was in France shooting The Exile when they flew me to LA to test for Raven and you know the rest. I prepared for about six months, if I can recall.
Was Billy Blanks actually on the set, or was someone else your "on-set"
martial arts instructor?
Yes, and Jeff Imada was there first and the producer fired him for God knows what.
What was it really like on the set?
Fun and tedious. I was so busy the time would just fly by. Hawaii. What can I say. It's great work when you can get it.
Did you bond with co-stars Lee Majors and Andy Bumatai?
Lee and I played golf together and went out occasionally. Andy and I rode Harley's around the island. He is a lot of fun. Talented and a good guy. Very funny.
Where were some of the locations the series was shot at,
specifically the episode "Prey," in which Jonathon Raven is on an island by
himself and being hunted by a Black Dragon assassin?
Everything was shot on-location on Oahu.
Do you identify at all with the character Jonathon Raven?
Yes. I learned a lot from playing him.
Did you develop your own role, and have any input into the series at all?
I wish I had more input, but I did have some. He was all me.
How much training did you have to do for the part?
Jonathon Raven was extremely big on eating traditional Japanese cuisine.
Is that something you enjoy?
Yeah. But my cuisine is not quite as limited.
In Raven, there are some incredible stunts. Did you do them yourself?
At any point, did you have a stunt double?
There was a double, but I did most of the work.
One amazing stunt in particular is in the episode "Heat" in which Raven
leaps off a high cliff after crashing a party. Did you do that stunt
No. The insurance wouldn't cover it.
Which stunt that you have ever done was the most difficult, and which gave you the greatest
I'm not great with heights. I had a bad experience while shooting Night of the Cyclone.
Were you or anyone else ever hurt on set during a stunt or fighting sequence?
I got banged up all the time but I could still work. When the camera is rolling, the adrenaline kicks in and people have a tendency to get out of control.
Was there a certain director that you particularly enjoyed working with?
Jimmy Darren and David Hemmings.
What form of martial arts did you practice for the role of Jonathon Raven?
TKD, Aikido, and Wing Chun.
Are you still practicing martial arts?
Yes. But not like I should. I play lots of basketball for conditioning.
About how long did it take to shoot an entire episode of Raven?
In what direction was the show leaning towards as far as Raven finding his son? What would you have like to have seen happen with the series?
He should have traveled all over the world looking for him. Wishful thinking, huh?
What has happened to Series Creator Frank Lupo since Raven was cancelled?
I don't know. I think he was doing another series recently.
When and how did you hear of Raven's cancellation? How did you feel about it?
I don't remember how or when but I was sad it ended.
If the offer came around to do Raven again, would you consider it?
I'll consider anything.
What are your plans/goals for the future?
Act, write, direct, produce, love, fun, laugh.