I can't remember not wanting to be an actor. To be fair, I can barely remember having hair, but still. It's a passion I've fought hard to nurture and a dream I've never given up on, even when it defied all odds and all logic... and believe me, it usually did. Oh, I've had some successes, but not enough to spare me from a smorgasbord of humbling part-time jobs like... there's so many to choose from, how about being the assistant to a dog (he fired me on an overnight trip to San Francisco / so not kidding).
Then one day I decided to quit waiting for the phone to ring for that one line as the theater manager on 7th HEAVEN (of course I used an example that I booked) and create my own opportunities by adding the hyphenates writer-producer to the acting thang. I teamed with Larry LaFond and we amazingly hit a home run our first time at bat (look at me with the sports metaphors) with the incredibly successful little short film GAYDAR. My co-stars included Bryan Dattilo, Jim J. Bullock and legendary Charles Nelson Reilly (who was my acting teacher). GAYDAR was in over 120 film festivals, won a ton of awards and was recently named by California Independent Film Festival as one of the 20 Best Comedy Short Films of all time. It also spawned the Gaydar Gun toy which my brother Bret Ray created (I'm the voice and wrote the 650 jokes it says). Larry and I also made a short film called THE COST OF LIVING, a way too timely comedy about life after global co-starring Jim J. Bullock, Molly Hagan & Greg Mullavey. (More film festivals and awards). I'm the creator, writer and star of HERE TV's first original sitcom FROM HERE ON OUT (available on Amazon Prime) with Juliet Millsas well as the co-creator-writer-producer-star (sharing that "co" with Wendy Michaels) of MY SISTER IS SO GAY (Amazon Prime) with Loni Anderson as my mother as well as Debra Wilson, Tilky Jones and Rae Dawn Chong. I didn't create but I got to co-star in 5 seasons of Michael Vaccaro's star-studded comedy CHILD OF THE 70s. I wrote and co-created the game show MODD COUPLES now playing on Hulu, I co-wrote the 2017 TV movie THE JONESES UNPLUGGED starring Mischa Barton and David Ogden Stiers. I've gotten to go to GILLIGAN'S ISLAND in my spoofs with Dawn Wells (Mary Ann herself!) called SHE'S STILL ON THAT FREAKIN' ISLAND, and I've got a new show, TV THERAPY. Tabitha (Erin Murphy) from BEWITCHED is my first therapy session victim--I mean patient. New episodes feature Kathy Garver, Wesley Eure & Kathy Coleman, Bob Bergen and Butch Patrick.
For the past 4 years I've been starring in ELECTRICITY (my debut as a playwright). It premiered in an extended 11 week run in Los Angeles, followed by a stint in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Evolution Theatre in Columbus, Ohio mounted a production and brought me out as the guest star. Our 2018 production of ELECTRICITY in Minneapolis was named one of the 5 Best Out of Town Shows of the Year alongside HAMILTON, CIRQUE DU SOLIEL and the Broadway tour of THE HUMANS (not too shabby company). With Mel England as my co-star we became the longest running play in Palm Springs, performing in two venues at the same time: as an immersive theater experience inside a real Palm Springs hotel room and also on stage as Oscar's Bar & Cabaret Theater AND an exciting Off-Broadway run was in the works until.... Covid-19 shut down all theaters. So fight back from the isolation of Covid I co-created / wrote a series of short films called ZOOM ANTHOLOGY we shot separately in our homes that were picked up by happiTV. Maybe my master plan is starting to work?!