Today on CSReview, a Hollywood actor and now a published author Craig Hurley talks about his autobiography 27 And All Washed Up.
Craig Hurley: Hi! Thanks for having me… I have actually been a writer for many years, and have five scripts registered with The Writer’s Guild. An actor in essence interprets the emotions and written word of a character, usually written by someone else. As a writer, the project is your own creation from its inception, which is exciting in a very different way. Over time in the entertainment industry, you learn that without a script you really have nothing. You learn to really respect writers. 27 and all Washed Up is my first book, and my first venture as an author. It was a cathartic and nostalgic experience, and I learned a great deal from it. I really enjoy hearing reader’s opinions, good and bad, but mostly people find it to be an honest and entertaining read. In the end, I’m an entertainer, so that’s great!
CS: What’s behind the title – 27 and all washed up – what kind of a message are you sending to young actors?
Craig Hurley: To watch out for your careers or you’ll become that, Kristen Stewart! Be careful. 27 is actually a very interesting number in the entertainment industry. At that age, most child actors shift into adult roles, if they can. And you have to be prepared to do that. When I wasn’t booking on camera at 27, I shifted into voice over work. You have to be prepared to tackle and explore other facets of the industry while you’re waiting for what you really want to happen. There is a great deal of advice for young actors in 27 and all Washed Up, I can personally impart because of my own experience, which was sometimes very painful. My message to young actors about 27 and all Washed Up is to read it! They should do so, as there is always this tendency in the entertainment industry, and in human nature in general, to hear cautionary tales but say, “That won’t happen to me.” I was poised to parallel Johnny Depp in our careers. The decisions you make on the way up affect those projections.
CS: You’re rather open, frank in your book. Do you have regrets, or do you feel a sense of fulfillment that you got the entire story out – your story?
Craig Hurley: I have nothing to hide! Never have. My girlfriend, actress Katie Barberi, says one of the traits she admires most about me is my honesty. If you can’t be honest about your experiences with yourself and with others you really have nothing. Honesty is truth, and truth is freedom. I have to have a sense of fulfillment about 27 and all Washed Up, because it’s a project that’s seven years in the making. And it is actually just beginning as I tackle the marketing aspect of it without being a marketing expert. But I didn’t really write it for that sense of fulfillment. I‘ve just had an interesting ride and my friend and costar in a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest I did in Chicago, actor Zak Wilson, suggested we put those experiences down on paper through an interview process. That process actually became the format for the book, which is another aspect of “27” I have heard readers really like.
CS: In your book you’re mentioning Paralympics. Could you share more about what exactly you did and why, and what was the ultimate lesson for you in this?
Craig Hurley: I was a celebrity Judge at the Special Olympics in 1990, and what struck me about these kids and young adults was their spirit. I also worked with Down’s Syndrome inflicted actor Chris Burke on Life Goes On and my observations were similar. We so-called “normal” people complain a lot. A lot. And then you see these kids, who were born with and/or have acquired an apparently huge disadvantage for accomplishment in this life. But they don’t see it that way! They persevere. They deal with those disadvantages and move on toward fulfilling their dreams, just like anybody else. They also need to be heard and recognized, just like anybody else.
CS: Are you enjoying your human experience so far?
Craig Hurley: Well, I don’t seem to have much of a choice, do I? I don’t know if we’re meant to enjoy the human experience. Although there are obviously great moments of joy, mostly derived from love. Dan Millman wote in The Peaceful Warrior that the bravest souls on this planet are those of us that come down here to learn. To that end, I am enjoying learning. But I am concerned about the human experience in general and for generations to come, and the fact that the “playground” we have to have those experiences on is in such peril. On my website, www.craighurley.tv, you will find my complete report on a project I conceived for drought solution and water conservation called, “Floodwater Relocation Program.” As an Illinois Department of Transportation Certified Inspector and the son of a Civil Engineer who has owned his own Consulting GeoTechnical Engineering Firm for the past forty years, I have learned a great deal about construction, and I believe we need to put our knowledge to use toward the saving of the only little ball of dirt in the Universe that we have to inhabit.
CS: I won’t let you go without talking about Star Trek. I bet it was awesome, and I also happen to know that my audience is dying to hear a backstage story from the set. Maybe just one, something that didn’t make into your book?
Craig Hurley: Well, I don’t have much more to impart about my experience on Star Trek The Next Generation, precisely because I was very specific and detailed about it in 27 and all Washed Up, and all Star Trek fans should definitely check it out! I have some fun secrets about the special effects and the actors and how they were on the set in there. What has blown me away is how many followers the actors from Star Trek have on Twitter! I have used Twitter to tell people about some of the actors, writers, producers and directors I talk about in “27”, and the stars of Star Trek have some of the most followers on the planet! Just amazing!
CS: What are your future plans? What do you expect from life in the next 10, 20, more years?
Craig Hurley: I am right now concentrating on ScrappyCo Productions projects. We are in post production on an independent film called Crazy that I wrote, directed, produced and starred in alongside actor Steven H. Hansen. As for my expectations, I expect to keep learning. That’s what I’m here for.
CS: Thank you for sharing your story with CSReview readers, Craig. Best of luck with your new projects. I am sure we’ll be hearing from you again!
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