Andrew Airlie

Arts & Entertainment

Attended KCSS • 1976–1980

Inducted 2003

In Andrew's own words

We've all heard the adage "it's never too late to start." and it's true. At the relatively advanced age — for this business anyway — of 27, I decided to risk taking a year off  from my 'career plan' to pursue an old dream. I gave myself a year to become an actor. Much of the previous seven years had been spent juggling academics and athletics. I received my B.A. and M.A. (Ulster College, NY, the University of Toronto and George Mason University in Virginia) and kicked around the fringes of a life in soccer. Finally I was accepted to the Ph.D. program at Columbia University to study Political Science but I had one lingering, nagging reservation. I had always really wanted to act. I deferred my acceptance for a year.

It's been years later — I forgot to get back to the good people at Columbia — and I've been working as an actor ever since. The details of that first year and, indeed, the ones that followed, pale in comparison to the decision itself. I had elected, in the words of Joseph Campbell, to "follow my bliss." Working in film and television has been an exhilarating, satisfying and challenging life. The rewards and challenges are extremely varied. The experiences are almost always unforgettable. Occasionally, the experience rises above work and feels like artful collaboration. This is bliss. Among my highlights I would include working with: Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, John Travolta, Stockard Channing, Martin Sheen, Glenn Close, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Bacon, and Hayden Christensen.

A final thought. While it is never too late to start, I would suggest it may also never be too soon. I recall, vividly, many occasions while here at King when I would stand quietly outside the Theatre Arts classroom listening and peeking in. And wishing; wishing I was in there! With time I would find the courage to pursue the career I always knew would satisfy me.

Listen to yourself. Follow your bliss.

October 2003

 

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