Editorial: Geoffrey Owens and an actor’s right to privacy and survival

By Webmaster

  •  


    Editorial: Geoffrey Owens and an actor’s right to privacy and survival

    (by AM Staff)

    One of the most difficult things about being an actor is the lack of appreciation that people outside “the business” have about how difficult it is to be a working actor. It can be an absolutely brutal business. The competition is fierce. Hot streaks often give way to long dry-spells, where an actor doesn’t work for months. Sometimes years.

    Yet people outside the business believe it is all glitz, glamour, fame and fortune. They don’t understand how successful actors, like the late Gary Coleman, can fall on hard times and must do what is necessary to survive. In Gary Coleman’s case, he had to turn to becoming a lowly security guard, after making millions as a child actor on Diff’rent Strokes.

    The latest example is this is the plight of actor, Geoffrey Owens. He is best known for playing “Elvin”, the soft-spoken husband of “Sondra” on The Cosby Show. Owens has recently taken a job at Trader Joes to make ends meet.

    Unfortunately, someone recently chose not to respect his need to survive, nor his right to privacy. They snapped a photo of him bagging groceries. If you are unfamiliar with the story, here’s a taste:

    The shopper who spotted the actor told the Daily Mail that she was grocery shopping with her wife, the store’s security manager, around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening when she recognized Owens and took some photos.

    “I was just in Trader Joe’s and I said to my wife, I said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s the guy from The Cosby Show,'” Karma Lawrence told the outlet.
    Convinced it was the actor, Lawrence proceeded to look up photos of the actor online.

    “I pulled up a site on the Internet to look at a picture of him and said, ‘That is him,'” she confirmed. “I have never seen him at Trader Joe’s before. I was getting a bunch of groceries and he wasn’t really looking at anybody, but he said, ‘Have a nice day.'”

    This story has since exploded, with many outraged at this violation of privacy and the shaming of Owens while he does an honest days’ work. We think this is good. And, here’s hoping that the interest in this story leads to new opportunities for Owens.

     
    UPDATED: Geoffrey Owens responds to the controversy:

    “I kinda feel like that character in that Woody Allen movie that wakes up one morning and he’s a celebrity all of a sudden,” said Owens, wearing his Trader Joe’s nametag and Yale baseball cap. (Owens is a 1983 Yale graduate.)

    Owens said he was at first “really devastated” by the photos, but that the feeling quickly passed as support flowed in.

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • Actor Stories: How Aaron Paul Got His Big Break 

    Actor Stories: How Aaron Paul Got His Big Break  Ten years of darkness before the light finally broke through (by Carmichael Phillips) (Aaron Paul in El Camino) Jesse Pinkman is not his actual…

    The Mirror is Not Your Friend

    The Mirror is Not Your Friend Why you should never rehearse in front of your mirror (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Phinehas Adams/Unsplash) Do you rehearse your lines in front of a mirror? Do…

    5 Essential Budgeting Tips for Actors

    5 Essential Budgeting Tips for Actors Budgeting is a crucial skill in the actor’s life (by Javier Guerra) (Photo: Michael Longmire/Unsplash) All you need to do is look at your last W2, the…

    Actor Stories: How Chadwick Boseman Almost Gave Up on Acting Before He Became a Legend 

    Actor Stories:  How Chadwick Boseman Almost Gave Up on Acting Before He Became a Legend  Nothing, not even cancer, can kill a legend (by Carmichael Phillips) (Chadwick Boseman in Marshall, 2017) Age 43…

    RIP to Chadwick Boseman

    RIP to Chadwick Boseman A fantastic actor, taken much too soon (by Carmichael Phillips) (Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther) The world continues to mourn the loss of Chadwick Boseman, the talented young actor…

  • Ad

  • The Most Important Element When Choosing a Monologue

    The Most Important Element When Choosing a Monologue How to choose a monologue that fits you like a glove (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Monica Silvestre/Unsplash) It’s important to choose a monologue that makes…

    Bryan Cranston: “I knew I wanted to become an actor. I’m not going to have a fallback plan.”

    Bryan Cranston: “I knew I wanted to become an actor. I’m not going to have a fallback plan.” (Arranged by Carmichael Phillips) (Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad) “I knew I wanted to become…

    Viola Davis: “Pay Me What I’m Worth” 

    Viola Davis: “Pay Me What I’m Worth”  (arranged by AM Staff) (Viola Davis) “Pay Me What I’m Worth!” “What they (Caucasian women) are getting paid, which is half of what a man is…

  • Ad

  • 4 Things Actors Should Be Grateful for Despite the Pandemic 

    4 Things Actors Should Be Grateful for Despite the Pandemic  Take a brief moment to be grateful for the things you have (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Gabrielle Henderson/Unsplash) Did you lose out on…

    There is Power in Your Eyelids

    There is Power in Your Eyelids  How using your eyelids can captivate an audience (by Javier Guerra) (Photo: Craig Adderley/Unsplash) One of the first rules-of-thumb when it comes to on-camera acting technique is…

    SAG-AFTRA eligible

    What does “SAG-AFTRA eligible” mean?  Some basic info about being SAG-AFTRA eligible (by Jim Webb)  (Photo: Jon Tyson/Unsplash) The union formerly known as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) represents performers in various areas…

    Talent Agent vs Talent Manager: What is the Difference? 

    Talent Agent vs Talent Manager: What is the Difference?  The lines are sometimes blurred, but both have distinct roles in the industry  (by Tonya Tannenbaum)  (Photo: christina@wocintechchat.com/Unsplash) There’s always confusion when it comes…

    Jessica Chastain: Be a script detective

    Jessica Chastain: Be a script detective Jessica Chastain speaks about the importance of script analysis (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Jessica Chastain in Miss Sloane, 2016) Every playwright or screenwriter has a very serious problem…

  • Ad

  • 5 Ways the Actor’s Life Might Change After the Coronavirus 

    5 Ways the Actor’s Life Might Change After the Coronavirus  It’s a whole new world out there, actors!  (by Tonya Tannenbaum)  (Photo: United Nations/Unsplash) Buckle your safety belts, actors. Life as you used…

    Should an Actor Ever Work for Free? 

    Should an Actor Ever Work for Free?  Just make sure it’s part of your plan  (by Tonya Tannenbaum)  (Photo: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash) Should an actor ever work for free? Should you ever work for…

    A Farewell to Carl Reiner 

    A Farewell to Carl Reiner  Reiner became a force in Hollywood, thanks to his acting skills, jokes and creative ingenuity (by AM Staff)  (Carl Reiner in Ocean’s Eleven) We would like to bid…

  • Ad

  • 5 Basic Facts About Uta Hagen

    5 Basic Facts About Uta Hagen  “If you want a bourgeois existence, you shouldn’t be an actor” (by Tonya Tannenbaum) Uta Hagen was an American who rose to prominence, first as a successful…

    Memory vs. Imagination: Which Approach Works Best?

    Memory vs. Imagination: Which Approach Works Best? Actors have many different devices for achieving magic (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Ben Sweet/Unsplash) How should an actor work-up the emotions needed to perform a scene…

    Kate Winslet’s Advice to Actors

    Kate Winslet’s Advice to Actors  Winslet’s main advice to actors: keep going!  (by Jim Webb) (Kate Winslet in The Reader) Kate Winslet is an English actress who first found fame when she was…

    5 Basic Facts About Tom Hanks 

    5 Basic Facts About Tom Hanks  From Forrest Gump to Mr. Rogers; memorable performance after memorable performance. (by Jim Webb) (Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies) Tom Hanks is an extraordinarily versatile actor. …

    Dennis Haysbert: “I think the word ‘acting’ is a bad word for what we do.”

    Dennis Haysbert:  “I think the word ‘acting’ is a bad word for what we do.” (arranged by AM Staff) Do you consider acting to be the art of performing a character or the…

  • Ad

  • 5 Basic Facts About Viola Davis 

    5 Basic Facts About Viola Davis  Davis is the first black actor to achieve the Triple Crown in Acting (by Jim Webb)  (Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder) Viola Davis…

    7 Self-Tape Instructions Actors Often Ignore

    7 Self-Tape Instructions Actors Often Ignore Treat your self-tape like you’re baking a cake. Follow ALL directions and you’ll get a sweet result. (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Luis Quintero/Pexels) Self-taping was already the…

    5 Facts About Denzel Washington

    5 Facts About Denzel Washington The greatest African American male actor in the history of American cinema? (by Jim Webb) (Denzel Washington in Man on Fire) Is Denzel Washington the greatest African American…

  • Ad

  • What is the “Pick-an-Eye Technique”?

    What is the Pick-an-Eye Technique? An unofficial name for a brilliant acting technique (by Jim Webb) You probably already know who Michael Caine is from all his many roles in films like The…

    3 Misdemeanors to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé

    3 Misdemeanors to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé Misdemeanors aren’t felonious, but they can still be problematic (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Niu Niu/Unsplash) When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing…

    5 Basic Facts About Robert De Niro

    5 Basic Facts About Robert De Niro One of the most storied careers the entertainment industry has ever seen (by Jim Webb) His legendary roles, in various iconic films, have established Robert De…

    Netflix and Quarantine…and Watch Some Great Acting!

    Netflix and Quarantine…and Watch Some Great Acting! You can see lots of great, original movies, featuring some stellar acting performances, on Netflix (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo: Freestocks/Unsplash) So, this Coronavirus pandemic has you…

    7 Basic Facts About Meryl Streep

    7 Basic Facts About Meryl Streep Here are 7 basic facts about the “greatest actress of her generation”: Meryl Streep (by Jim Webb) (Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada) Meryl Streep is…

    Actor Stories: Geoffrey Owens’ Rise and Fall…and Rise Again!

    Actor Stories: Geoffrey Owens’ Rise and Fall…and Rise Again! Owens’ newfound fame has given his career a renaissance (by Jim Webb) (Geoffrey Owens) “I’m Geoffrey Owens and I am an actor!” That was…

    Actors Who Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus

    Actors Who Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus The acting community has not been spared from the destruction (by Jim Webb) Covid-19 is ravaging our public health system and the global economy. It…

    Actor Stories: Molly Shannon’s 10-Year-Struggle to Beat the Odds in Hollywood

    Actor Stories: Molly Shannon’s 10-Year-Struggle to Beat the Odds in Hollywood How many years are you willing to dedicate to your dream of becoming a professional, working actor? (Arranged by Carmichael Phillips) (Molly…

    Load More