My Funny Acting Story:
Back in 1988 I was living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Today I live in Toronto, about five hours away from Ottawa, give or take two or three hours depending on traffic (Fade Up: Drum Roil & Laugh Track) that day. I actually lived in Hollywood for one year and took acting classes with the great and awesome Sol Romeo.
Anyhow, I was very lucky to land a small theatre part in Ottawa’s massive National Arts Centre in the first couple of years after taking some classes with George Sherif of Lakeside Theatre School.
During that play, I landed an agent in Ottawa who got me an audition for the then unknown Canadian Heritage Minutes and the audition was in Montreal Quebec. I drove up by myself and the next day after my return to Ottawa, I was told I got a good part of a WW1 Soldier.
So, a couple months later, I received the script and essentials. This time I went up to Montreal with one of my many best friends named Reijean Roy, who offered to drive me up there. We decided to stay at my other childhood friends apartment in downtown Montreal, Quebec, his name is Roger Briere. So, we stayed at Rogers Apartment and at 5:00AM sharp, made our way to the downtown Film Producers office off St. Catherine in the heart of downtown Montreal. The director, a gorgeous, very friendly and overall impressive dark haired man greeted us as did a couple of other actors. We all hopped into the directors mini van and he drove us about an hour outside Montreal. We all chatted along the way and suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, the director named Richard Ciupka turned a hard left into a partial road made through a partially crushed path of at least six or seven foot high corn cobs. We drove for about five minutes and I became quickly defeated thinking to myself “what kind of low budget hack production is this anyway, luckily I held my tongue.
Richard, the director began to slow down and suddenly I noticed the smell of burning wood, which quickly turned to rising smoke plumes. All of the sudden, there it was, a gigantic set, made with tons of dirt, the size of half a football field (a Canadian Football Field mind you). Even more impressive were the tractor trailers, cast trailers and a massive crew of about 30-50 people.
There were stunt men, crew experts painting temporary trees stuck into the dirt and the most amazing of all, camera dolly tracks leading along about 30+ feet of authentic WW1 Trenches.
My next excerpt will go into my preparation, wardrobe made of actual WW1 uniforms and a shoot that lasted for 14 hours.
Want to see what I’m talking about? Check out “Valour Road – Historica Minutes” and you will be able to see me screaming for help as I’m riddled with explosions and machine gun fire. I start the one minute short film by flying into the air and landing on the battlefield screaming “Hall!!”
My name is Gordon Welke and I am restarting my acting career this summer 2018.