Hangin’ with Rick Macy
Rick Macy is not a force to be reckoned with. Truly a man of God, he has been led his whole life to shine his light into the world. As a man who grew up obsessing over three things (cars, sports, and women—ha!), acting was the furthest thing from his heart. But even as a sophomore in high school, when his uncle who served in World War II asked him what he was going to do with his life, Rick had absolutely no idea. He didn’t play baseball professionally and was at a bit of a loss where to go. On a whim, while at BYU he decided to give acting a shot. He was terrified to perform on stage but kept pushing himself to face his fears. Still unsure if this was to be his profession, he turned to his faith and asked God if this is what he was meant to do. He knew raising a family would be tough as an actor. Yet he asked anyway. After a profound spiritual experience, Rick used his acting talents to share his love of God with the world, and we are all better for it! Rick has been in some amazing productions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his performances have literally healed people. Rick remains very humble and has inspired thousands of students to build their solid foundation before they commit to acting. And I was honored to be one of those students. Enjoy!!
Get to Know Rick Macy
A man of profound faith and equal fame within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Franklyn R. Macy, better known as Rick Macy, has achieved success in the film industry with his many portrayals of Joseph Smith Sr. in various Latter-day Saint film productions. Although Rick enjoys success today, and at the age of 67 is a proud father of three children with his wife, Marsha, Rick’s story is one of inspiration and faith in the face of the kinds of adversity experienced by all of us. In short, Rick Macy is the kind of man that we can all aspire to be.
A Leap of Faith
Growing up, Rick had no interest in becoming an actor, and except for a fleeting interest in the pastimes of most young men (chasing girls, playing baseball, and dreaming about cars), he didn’t really know what he wanted to do with his life. As a possible way out and pondering whether it might be something he would be good at, Rick considered acting as at least a temporary solution to his lack of direction while attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he became dismayed with his study of journalism.
Against his better judgment and inherent fear of actually performing, Rick took a profound leap of faith, both spiritually and literally, and put his destiny in the hands of the Lord by facing his fears and becoming an actor, a profession with which he has had the opportunity to share the word of God as well as his own strength of belief.
Recognition and Service to Others
Owing to his faith, Rick has been cast in some of the best productions ever shot by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd, Emma Smith: My Story, and The Restoration, as well as being fortunate enough to expand his experience as a casting director on two productions, Rigoletto and Tiny Heroes. As well-respected as Rick is for his Latter-day Saint productions, he has also won several awards for non-religious commentaries, including five for “Best Actor” and an Irene Ryan award.
A native of Provo, Rick still lives there with his wife, Marsha, where they have also raised their three children. Rick is still involved in performance. A founder of The Actor’s Academy, Rick has taught acting and production for many years both at the academy and the local performance art school, Pioneer High, which he is extremely passionate about.
When he isn’t acting or teaching, Rick likes to actively talk about his faith and his experiences within the Latter-day Saint community, of which he is an active member. Speaking candidly, open, and not known for mincing his words, Rick will often bestow the virtues of his faith and how he believes that his belief in God has allowed him to live his truest life with a God-given talent that allows him to be his best self, both on-screen and off.
In a 2019 interview with Utah Valley 360, Rick humbly addressed the reason for portraying religious figures and professing the word of God in many of his onscreen credits:
“For me, it is important to teach the gospel,” he says. “That’s why I was blessed with this gift. I call it a gift. I don’t call it a talent because I think if I misuse this gift, the Lord will take it from me. If I call it a talent, then I might think it’s something I own. No, I don’t own it. I’ve been given this gift to do His work and that’s how I treat it.”
The same philosophy of humility and grace is extended towards Rick’s hundreds of students, yet he has also inspired thousands through his seminal acting in countless productions conveying the teachings of the Lord, both directly as widely known figures and in minor yet significant roles, no more so than in his latest Latter-day Saint production, Book of Mormon, a nine-chapter anthology telling the story of Christ, with Rick adopting the role of the prophet Lehi, an important figure in Latter-day Saint religion.
As a man who has worked tirelessly for over four decades in order to dedicate himself to God and serve others using the creative medium of film and television to do so, Rick Macy is currently semi-retired but still passionate about teaching young minds so that they, too, can be who they are meant to be. But even with his notable silver hair, and as the grandfather of nine, don’t think you have seen the last of Rick Macy.
Rick Macy Podcast Transcription
Charan: Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Lemonade Stand Stories Podcast. I am your host, Charan Prabhakar. And I am here with the legendary Rick Macy, who has been a dear friend of mine, my gosh, for so long because, since I got into acting, since I decided I’m going to be an actor, Rick was there in the beginning stages. And it was back in 2004 when we met each other because Rick was my acting teacher. And honestly, I heard about him and I had seen your work, of course. And so, I remember the first day I met you and you had like that little office down in the basement, I believe. Right?
Charan: And so, we went down there and I met you. And of course, I was just so intimidated. A fact-
Rick: Star-struck. Sure.
Charan: A fact that I’m deeply ashamed of now, but I’m just kidding. No, seriously, it was so great, because I had seen your work and it was nice, because I’ve taken acting classes before, but from people that didn’t succeed as actors. And so, they would teach acting classes, right?
Charan: And so to see you who had succeeded and I’d seen The Testaments. I’d seen some of the portrayals of Joseph Smith Sr. I’d seen what you were able to do and what you were able to bring. And so, you had instant credibility in my eyes and I knew I wanted to get into film. I had no idea how to get into film. I just had that this excitement.
Charan: But yeah, it was 2004 that we met. And I remember, at nighttime, and you were teaching another student and you graciously helped me. And you were like, “Hey, I’d love to start coaching you.” And you were at the beginnings of my acting career, because so much of the stuff I learned, the fundamentals, especially with film, I learned from you. And then I took off to L.A., right?
Charan: So, it was such an interesting experience. So, I appreciate you, Rick, being on this podcast. And yeah, yeah, thanks so much for being here. It’s awesome.
Rick: Absolutely. No. It’s my privilege.
Charan: So, the Lemonade Stand Stories is all about people’s lemonade stand stories, like how they got into the beginnings of their career or whatever they chose to do. So, you were a sports guy. I remember you telling me you liked all kinds of sports, right?
Rick: A lot of sports. Absolutely. Yeah.
Charan: That was your thing.
Rick: That was my… I was born with a ball in my hand, so yeah.
Rick Macy Talks About Getting Into Acting
Charan: Yeah, absolutely. Right? So, how did you do that? And then say, “Okay. You know what? I’m going to be an actor.” That seems like a logical choice. So, how did that go down?
Rick: I think if I had that choice, I probably wouldn’t have chosen acting, because I know what an artistic life is like. I grew up with a man, my father, for a number of years, my formative young years and through just before my mission. But anyway, he was an actor. He was an artist, a graphic artist designer, and times were tough. I mean, even though he was a professional, he wasn’t doing paintings, but he was lettering and he was self-taught. I mean, he was a master. And so, he was an artist through and through, through his whole body, that’s what he was. But yeah, I mean, finances were meager.
Rick: So, if I was given that choice early on saying, “Do you want to pick this avenue of sports or whatever or do you want to be an artist of some sort?” I’d say, “Forget the artist thing. No.” I know, and I do have some of his abilities, but yeah, that was never on my mind. In acting, as I’ve taught and as you know and throughout the country, you learn to be competitive. Now, you have to be a singer, actor, dancer.
Rick: I mean, not everyone’s going to go to New York, but it was-
Charan: Broadway or things like that, right? Yeah.
Rick: But my trifecta was sports, cars and girls.
Charan: I think that’s a great combo.
Rick: It is a great combo. Professionally speaking, that would have not done it for me, but so, I had no clue. I really had no clue what I was going to do in the future. I mean, some of my buddies, some of my friends, some of them knew early on what they’re going to do. I had no clue. And so-
Charan: And that’s a daunting feeling. Right?
Rick: Well, it’s like, I have no direction in life.
Charan: You have no direction. Right.
Rick: What am I going? I mean, I tried to be a good member of the Church. I tried to be a good brother and whatever and a son. And but what am I going to. I had an uncle who fought in World War II and we’re sitting down, he was a really funny guy, but he had a really serious moment. And he just looked at me and he says, “So, Rick, what are you going to do with your life?”
Charan: How old were you when he said that?
Rick: I was probably a sophomore in high school. And no one had ever asked me that. And I thought about it and I felt like such a dork, because I looked at my Uncle Chuck and said-
Charan: Who fought in World War II.
Rick: Fought in World War II. His B-52 bomber got shot down. He was in prison camps in France.
Charan: My word.
Rick: In a German prison camp for three years. Three years of war. The first year, he was fine, but the next three years he was in prison camp. And so, he’s asking me, “What are you going to do with your life?” And I said, “Uncle Chuck, I really have no idea.” And I felt like such a loser. Well, anyway, long story short, I get back from my mission. I go to BYU. I was there. I transferred credits from junior college. I was in broadcast journalism. That was my major. So, I’m sitting in there with the admissions clerk, and she asked me, and there was a couple of other people there. “So, what’s your minor?” “Minor, what’s that?”
Charan: Yeah. What does that even mean?
Rick: I had no clue. I was so ill prepared for college. I’m sure they had a great laugh when I left that office and thinking, “Okay, this guy isn’t even going to last a week here.” What came to my mind was, so they explained what it was. A second form of professional studies in case your major isn’t working out, you can fall back on your minor. I thought, “Okay.” And what came to my mind was a speech class I had in my junior college before I went on my mission, and the instructor had me and a female student read, ironically, from a scene from a play that I can’t stand. It’s a Pulitzer-Prize winning by Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman. You might have heard of it.
Charan: I have heard of that, yes.
Rick: I don’t remember what the object lesson was, but I remember thinking, “That was kind of cool. I enjoyed it.” Just, it wasn’t memorized, we just kind of read it from the scene.
Rick: And so that, the one thing that came to mind immediately, and I asked them the story in depth, a stupid question, “Do they have acting here?” They just kind of grinned and said, “Yes, we do.” I says, “Well, okay, I’ll do that.” That wasn’t well thought-out, but I rolled. So, anyway, so I get into it. So, my first year or my first semester, I was bored to tears with broadcast journalism, I just was.
Rick: People said, “You have a nice voice, and yada, yada.” Well, that’s fine. But that just didn’t interest me. So, I wanted to just take some acting. Go to my acting class, why not? Two months into it, I was scared to death. I’d done a mask club play and as I’m learning about it, and I volunteered in class to be demonstration with instructors and so forth, I had to force myself, because it scared me to death, scared me to death to be in front of…
Rick: … other people. And but it was cool when people would ask me, “What are you doing and what’s your major?” And I just said, “Well, I’m thinking about going into acting.” “Oh, that’s okay.” So, that was kind of a heady thing, but the reality was, in my classes, I wasn’t doing jack. I was so scared. But then I just told myself, “You know, Rick, if you’re going to be in this, you-“
Charan: You have to [crosstalk 00:09:16].
Rick: If the instructor asked for a volunteer, you get your butt up there. You get up there and push your boundary.
Charan: And that’s a tough thing to do.
Rick: It is. It was.
Charan: I mean, I remember as a kid or not as a kid, like as a high school kid, doing that same thing, because I was very shy. And I decided to take acting, my drama class. And I remember the first time or two going up on stage, and the whole class is watching me, by myself. It’s terrifying. So, how did you get over that kind of pushing thing?
Rick: Well, that helped. That volunteering. I mean, this was so unlike me. If I’m confident in something, it wasn’t… Baseball was my jam. I mean, I did that, I did that for eight years. I was part of championship baseball teams. I mean, so that’s where my comfort level was in sports. But to be alone without my team, it was horrifying. But I pushed beyond those boundaries and I started getting some pats on the back, and there’s people in the department that I didn’t know they were, just older people that came up, say, “Hey, where have you been? And who are you? And what are you doing?” And I thought, “Wow.” But I had no clue what that meant to me.
Rick: And so, and this is where my story is different than someone else’s. And like I explained to you before, when we talked, and I’ve had this question asked in seminars when I’ve given seminars to young people and older people and, “How’d you get into acting?” And they’re expecting me to have riding the coattails of parents.
Rick: It doesn’t matter if they’re famous or not and that’s how you got in. You get a little bit parts and maybe did some commercials when you were a child. And no, none of that. It really was like, the Lord… well, it was. It wasn’t like it. The Lord directed me. And that’s where the image came from of what I did reading a scene from Death of a Salesman.
Rick: So, anyway, I’m in the Nelke Experimental Theatre at BYU. There was no one in there. I’m halfway up and halfway across sitting right in the middle. And I was just talking to the Lord about it and thinking, “Why have you given me this because you’ve just, you’ve taken a drop of water and dropped it on my dry soul about what I’m going to do in life” and that moisture was acting. And it struck something in me and I said, “I’m growing leaps and bounds. I mean, I’m learning a lot.”
Charan: It’s like your soul was coming alive.
Rick: Yeah, it really was. And I just thought, but it is very confusing to me, because I do not want to be an artist in this way in profession, because-
Charan: You know what your dad did. You’re struggling in the family. Yeah.
Rick: Yes, struggling. And I said, “There’s 10,000 Robert Redfords out there.” At that time, he was our Brad Pitt, right?
Charan: Yeah, sure.
Rick: And I said, one of them is making it. One. The odds aren’t good, but if you’re behind me in this, I’ll do it. Because I’d seen enough success early on, I mean, I’m still learning, just two months into this. But I recognized growth. I’m still scared to death. I said, “And the other thing.” And I’m praying, too, but I’m talking, too, like this.
Rick: “And the other thing, I believe in a family. I want to have a family and I know girls that are dating me, they’ll ask and they have asked, ‘So, what is your major?’ It’s more than just getting to know you and how are you doing? What do you like to eat? They want to know if it’s worth for them to emotionally invest in me in the long term. If this is, yeah, I could see working on this and yeah, have a family. If I tell them, Heavenly Father, that I’m going to be an actor…”
Charan: My gosh.
Rick: “… they’ll pat me on the head and say, ‘Well, little boy, you go and have fun.’ And like, ‘I’m going to go find something a little more serious.'”
Charan: Yeah, absolutely.
Rick: I said, “It’s a deal breaker.” But I always put that, I said, “But if you’re behind me in this, I’ll do it.” I have tremendous faith in the Lord.
Charan: And I have always known that about you. You have this incredible power. And I think, honestly, that’s what I feel, not just powered your soul but powered your classes. And you having that faith in the Lord put me in the right proper perspective, before I even went to L.A. So, I always appreciate that, but yeah, keep going.
Rick: Well, just the end of the story. It’s just that, so I went through that scenario, “But if you’re behind me in it, I know you’ll provide a young lady that will jump off the cliff with me…”
Rick: “…hoping that there’s that safety net that you will guide me in this journey if this is what you want me to do.” And nothing. And-
Charan: You had nothing.
Rick: I had… nothing was coming. And I just thought, “Oh my gosh. What is going to, what’s happening?” I said, “I don’t have really any aspirations of what I’m going to do with this, because I’m two months into it, I’m not going to go to New York or L.A. I can barely be conscious in one of my classes. I’m so scared. But I know when I do it, I feel good. I’m learning and I guess I’m getting a little better.” Nothing.
Rick: So, my thoughts… I was quiet for a moment. I just went to the temple for some reason and the covenants that we make. And so, I put that to the Lord. I said, “Okay. If this is what you want me to do, I will do what we covenant in the temple to do: to use all our time, talents and energies to build up your church and your kingdom. I will use this for missionary work. Is that right?” Wow. Quicker than I had received any, any answer to a prayer — and sometimes some are immediate and sometimes they’re still right for you, but they come later — this was immediate. I felt as if a huge warm blanket was just wrapped around me.
Rick: And we talked about “wrapped in the arms of righteousness,” and that’s what I felt. That when it has been meager over my last 40 years as an actor and as an instructor, when it has been scary for me, when funds aren’t right there. And now, my family’s involved. That’s the only thing that kept me going. Now, I haven’t always been a full- or I’ve never been a full-time actor. The Lord has blessed me to sustain my family life by doing other things, which I have learned from. He has guided and directed me and even in my patriarchal blessing; it tells me not to have any fear for the future. I thought, “What do you want? What? What does that mean?”
Charan: The future of spells fear. That’s what that is.
Rick: So, I’m going to have to. There will be that moment then where I will come to those crossroads. So, that’s what you’re telling me? I’m in really fear, but then to have faith. But that’s happened a few times and my faith is that when I know that I’m following, certainly, the Lord’s commandments, living my life like I should and even with the mistakes that I’ve made, but that’s the beauty of the atonement, the Lord blesses me. And He has and it hasn’t always been easy. I mean, what? Out of the 100 plus thousand SAG members, what, 1% is doing it full-time?
Rick: And so, anyway, I’ve been blessed to be in this. I love storytelling. I love being able to use this talent that I believe He’s given me. I think if ever I misuse it. He would take it away. I don’t think it’s just a natural talent. I think he’s given me the gift to teach His story. And then, I think, I could still have it, but I think if I ever misused and did projects that weren’t worthy of the gift he’s given me, which was really given to me, I know now, was to tell His story. And there have been quite a few that have had that gift as well. He wouldn’t take it away, so. But I’ve been blessed to do other things that are worthy of the talent he’s given me, and it’s been a great career that way. I don’t look to go to become famous and go to L.A. I never have.
Rick: Sometimes, when I have been working while I’m watching TV and I get a little jealous, I just think, “Oh, my gosh, I would love to play…” But then, even recently, it’s been even one of my topics and when I’m talking to the Lord. I said, “Please don’t help me envy other people. That’s their road. That’s-“
Charan: Their path.
Rick: Yes, exactly. And they’re following their path and it’s great. I should not be so ungrateful for the path that you’ve given me, because you have blessed me. And my path may be similar, but it will be different than others, for a reason. And that’s what I would tell students, because they’ll say, “Oh, Rick” or “Mr. Macy, I would love to do what you do, and be who you are,” and all this stuff. And I just say, “Well, I will never tell you not to be an actor. But some of you have asked me, ‘Will I make it, will I not make it?’ I said, ‘That’s really not up to me.’ I can give you an assessment right now.” I think I’ve even told you this?
Rick: When we were together. I said, “I can give you an assessment of what I think your skills are right now, but I will never tell you, ‘Yes, you will make it, Charan,’ or ‘No, get the heck out of Dodge. You’ll tank. What are you even thinking about?'” I say, “That’s not up to me. That’s up to you. This is your path in life. I know nothing about other than you’ve crossed mine right now and there may be a reason. Maybe I’m one of those people in your life that I just helped build your foundation so that you can stand on it after a while and go, I am here because of parents. I’m here because of good friends. I’m here because of this person.'” I say, “I’m not someone that can foresee your future.”
Rick: So, for me, I would just tell people and those that are listening now, whether you’re a Christian or not, just to listen to your feelings. Just what feels right to you. Where do your feelings lead you? And I’m not just talking whimsical thoughts. I’m thinking whether you meditate or whether you, if you do pray to the Christian God or just have a good circle of wonderful friends that really believe in you and your dream. They don’t laugh at you because you want to become what? An actor? No. If that’s who you are, they should respect that and then help you toward that.
Rick: But then you trust your feelings. Go off somewhere. Think through it. Try it out. Take some classes. Take that step. You can’t do it just by wishing; you do it by having that dream, and then pursuing it. And then see what happens.
Charan: See where it goes, yeah. It’s interesting, because I remember, I was in the initial stages when I was getting through it with you, right? And I was even asking you questions about like, “Should I get an agent? Is that what I should be doing?” and everything. And it’s funny that I had like those questions. And I did go to L.A. and I did have a pretty successful career over there, had some really cool shows come through, but it was interesting to me as I was doing those things how sometimes I just felt like the passion was waning. And I’m like, “Why is the passion waning? This is what I wanted to do,” right?
Charan: But it was kind of like what you were saying, where you were doing it for the Lord. You had a very specific purpose and that’s what kept you motivated, that’s what keeps you alive, that was what was fueling you. And so it’s like, if you and I remember certain times thinking, “I’m being fueled, but I’m using my talents to do something I would never watch or I would never support. Why am I doing this?” And so, I had like those my own decisions to make. And I said, “Well, I want to create my own stuff. I can do this. I can totally create my own stuff.”
Charan: And anyway, so it’s been really interesting and good. But the thing is, it’s like I’ve seen so much of your work. I saw some of your work while I was a missionary, and I didn’t realize, of course, it was you, but I served a mission, I think 2000, 2002, and at that time, there was a movie that was coming out called The Testaments. And I hadn’t seen it or anything until I came home. And my mom was just ranting and raving about this movie, saying, “It was so powerful, it was so amazing. You got to watch this.”
Charan: So, I finally got the chance to watch it and it’s such a beautiful, moving story. But man, and the very end is the most powerful scene of the whole movie. And I think in just a couple seconds, you realize everything that culminated to this man’s life, his life came to pass because he had this intimate connection with the Lord. And it was such a healing thing.
Rick Macy Talks About Filming The Testaments
Charan: So, to meet you in person afterwards and talk to you about that scene, it was really powerful. But I’d love to have you share with me and the listeners that whole experience, particularly that scene and everything, if you don’t mind.
Rick: Yeah, that was, you don’t know how the Lord’s going to use you. You don’t know exactly what that was going to be like. And even before then, I had moved back to Utah after I’d been away for a number of years. And that experience I had at the Nelke Experimental Theatre that I had with the Lord, that was 10 years prior, I had done nothing for the Lord. I was in Southern California, not pursuing acting but another job with some buddies of mine who said, “Come on down here,” because we’ve been in Texas. That didn’t go where it needed to go.
Rick: The Lord directed me to come back to Utah very specifically. That’s too a long story to get into, but through a neighbor, who didn’t know me at all, he was an ex-gang member, had a beautiful family. He was in education. He says, “You’re a teacher.” He knew me, he didn’t know me, but the Lord inspired him to redirect me and basically said, “Kind of get your act together. This is what you need to do.” I mean, the Lord was directing me, absolutely.
Rick: So, anyway, end up in Oregon and, mostly, my brother was passing away and I was doing retail work out there. And I told the Lord, I said, “I really need to get my life in order. I need to have you help me find a job that leads me where I need to be led to do what you want me to do.” I said, “Maybe I’ve taken…” I said, “It’s been a while and maybe I’ve made a wrong choice and that blessing that you impressed me with years ago, maybe that’s just not coming to pass.”
Rick: So, anyway, long story short, I get a call from a buddy in Utah working for a film company. So, as we’ve just been talking, “I need someone up here to help me teach acting,” and yada, yada, yada. And this was, I mean, Charan, I had just had the similar conversation in the Nelke. I was in a park near my home saying, “What should I do? Help me. Direct me.” I came home, I’m talking to my wife in the backyard, and my son, who was in high school at that time, came around with the phone in his hand, says, “Dad, someone’s on the phone for you.” And before he even said that, I looked at him with the phone in his hand, the thought came to me, “Scott, your buddy from Utah is on the phone.” So, when he said that, he says, “Well, Scott’s on the phone.” I said, “Yeah, I know.”
Rick: It’s… anyway, so we got moved to Utah. And so, that was 10 years then, from that point The Testaments was 10 more years. So then 20 years approximately from the time that the Lord said, “Yes. Use this talent that I’ve given you to do my work.” I mean, that’s 20 years. A lot of people get frustrated after a week of not getting an answer.
Charan: Of course, yeah.
Rick: This was 20 years of… before the realization of there were things that I needed to learn about me, about my relationship with the Lord, faith in Him, growing as a man, as a priesthood holder, as a father, as a husband, so many things. So, The Testaments comes along. I auditioned for it. And again, too long a process, but the audition process was five months.
Charan: Oh my word.
Rick: And I get to the Osmond Studios, they’ve narrowed it down to me as Helam, and I’m expecting it’s a screen test and I’m thinking… You had two or three people. You’re all getting made up and you’re in the costumes and you see other people that are going to be other roles, and you’re going to mix and match and you do all that. And you’ve done that as a professional. So, I asked Gary Cook, who was the director at that time. I was just getting to know him. A great man.
Rick: I said, “So, Gary, how many other people for Helam are here?” And he just, you could tell he wasn’t expecting that question. And he seemed to be taken a little bit aback and almost embarrassed. He says, “Well, there isn’t anyone else.” He didn’t spill the beans then, but little later on, did a couple of test, screen tests with three other young man in the studio there. And Keith Merrill, the director, comes over, and he says, “So, how does it feel knowing that you’re going to be Helam?” No one had told me anything.
Charan: No one told you anything. Yeah.
Rick: And I mean, and this type of information doesn’t come straight from the director; you go to the agent.
Charan: You go to the agent, yeah.
Rick: And then the agent calls you. And so, I’m standing there dumbfounded.
Charan: Deer in the headlights.
Rick: Yes, exactly, that was what I was. And I said, “Well,” and this is exactly what I said, “I was elated.” But knowing that this isn’t Hollywood, this isn’t a stepping stone in a ladder to become a rich and famous celebrity, I looked at him and I said, “Well, the work begins.” That’s what I said.
Charan: Yeah, that’s good.
Rick: And that was for that project, but also, for me, it was the work I was to do for the Lord.
Charan: I love it.
Rick: So, it was the mantle that I felt all of a sudden. And that’s what came out. Not some silly answer that I’m usually used to giving, but “the work begins.” But the work had already begun, because the Lord takes you and it’s who you are that you bring to whatever you do in life. And all the decisions you’ve ever made in your life to this point is who you are, good and bad and everything in between. And hopefully you’re on the more of the good part.
Charan: Good path or whatever. Yeah.
Rick: So, anyway, we do this film. And that scene that you alluded to, the end scene where Helam finally meets the promised Messiah to come to the New World, Helam lost a little bit of faith, because he had seen the signs. He’d been a believer his whole life. He recognized the sign that was given and prophesied by the prophets of his death. And he’s died; he hasn’t come and visited us. And like a lot of us, we put limits on what the Lord can do. And so, Helam did the same thing. And so, there’s a feeling of loss, of-
Rick: Yeah, like, “Was I misled?” So, he lost. I don’t know if he lost this test, but he lost a little bit of faith like, “Oh, my gosh, he didn’t come see us.” And then, my son who was at the temple comes running back and basically says, “Papanwa,” which was a made-up name in the auditions, Papanwa. Jeremy Hoop, who played Jacob, he said, “I just came up with that.” And I’ve had people since then, I mean, just recently, call me Papanwa.
Charan: It’s the best.
Rick: Yeah, so he takes me in that end. And so, he’s leading me back to the temple and Bountiful. And I am really, I hate saying this part of the story because you would have thought and I know the Lord works, maybe other people, but I’ll just point this to myself. I’m not always prepared. I need to be for the importance of a certain moment in my life or a scene, like this one.
Rick: Now, here is a man that in this story that Keith Merrill wrote, who later, probably years later, realizing that Helam represents everyone who is to meet the Savior, but we see it through his eyes. Well, the night before, what does an actor do to prepare for the scenes? You make sure you memorized and you go through everything in your mind. I mean, everyone works a little bit differently, but we don’t memorize the whole film like you do in a play.
Charan: No. You have to do it scene by scene.
Rick: Scene by scene. You’re acquainted with the whole story, but “Okay. Now, I’m going to sit down, and I’m just going to memorize this puppy and nail it.” Well, the Lord doesn’t work that way. And so, but I did all that. Ran on the road out there to do the scene. And so, Jacob leads me. We get to the point where you see the camera just on the close-up of Jacob and Helam, and we film it to that point of being led in and then it’s cut. And then Keith comes over and he starts telling me. He says, “Okay.” So, this is where he does his director thing. He’s great. And he does what every director does, kind of brings you up to speed, especially if you hadn’t shot the scene before.
Charan: Sorry. You need to know where you’re at.
Rick: Yeah, or you did, but it was weeks before. And now, okay. So, this is piggybacking on what we did a month ago. But it wasn’t true; this is right now. And he says, “Okay, so Helam has just been led. His son who was unfaithful for a while, he’s seen the Savior, he’s describing the Savior to you. So, Rick, how are you going to act it?”
Rick: And I realized, I hadn’t thought this through. My character was meeting the Savior of the world, and in their world, the Messiah, the whole reason for our belief system, everything and as an actor, I didn’t even think about that. And this is hard to admit. And so, I started going through it in my mind. I said, “Well, Keith, if I ever had the opportunity to meet the Savior, I probably will fall on my knees and kiss his feet.” And of course, and he does this thing with his fingers and whatever simulating a camera and saying, “No, no. That’s not going to film well,” for me to bend way over and kiss his feet. And I said, and I was at a loss. I had enough confidence in my acting ability at that time, not overconfident, but I said, because I had done improv and things like that, which I love. And I said, and I looked at him, just said, “Keith, I don’t know. Let’s film and find out.”
Rick: Sometimes, though, that wasn’t the best way to prepare, sometimes we just have to trust the Lord. Apologetically repent. You say, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t better prepared.” But which basically I did, is I kind of backed up before we started film and tons of things are going through my mind. Mostly was just praying, and saying, “I’m sorry that I wasn’t more prepared.” And sometimes, whether we’re prepared or not, even my best preparation, the Lord still has to qualify my efforts and rise it to a level that’s more acceptable to him. And that’s what happened.
Rick: We filmed it about seven or eight times, we used different camera lengths and so forth and there was some instruction each time. But the first time I did it, well, thoughts that went through my mind was, “Helam, why did you doubt?” And I thought that as a man, I said, “Rick Macy,” I’ve said to myself, many times, “Rick, why did you doubt that the Lord can’t deliver you? If he makes a promise, He’ll deliver it. It may not be on your timetable, but that’s our test. Are we listening? Are we preparing for that moment? But wait on Him? Have faith in Him and His work.”
Rick: So, anyway, I’m backing up, repenting of not being better prepared. And I remember the scene that’s not in the film. As you see Mara, my daughter break off from Jacob and me as he’s escorting me without the walls there. She breaks off and then it shows a close-up of her looking at the Savior sitting with the child in his lap, and then she takes off. Well, then they cut it. Well, what she did was, she goes up to him and he’s sitting there, and a little child that he is holding is actually her real sister…
Rick: … in real life. So, she comes up and to the Savior’s left, Thomas, Colt Ford, who played the Savior. And she just puts her hand on his left arm, and he just looks at her and then he stands up and you see them hold hands and walk off. So, it’s a sweet scene, but they had to confine it to 60 minutes, so that was one of the things that were cut.
Rick: So, the next scene then that we see is Jacob talking to me and basically he was repenting. He says, “He’s everything you said he was. He’s magnificent, Father.” And of course, Helam is blind at this time and he says, “I wish you could see him and it’s because of me, you can’t.” So, he’s really on this big, he’s feeling very guilty. It’s at this time you see the Savior’s hand come into the frame. And I can’t remember if He touched Jacob or me.
Charan: I think he does. I think he does.
Rick: And Jacob turns to him, sees it’s the Savior and now I’m holding on to Jacob, he’s my cane. Well, he drops out and I’m not touching anything. And so, I’m feeling a little bit vulnerable. And so, they put these contacts in me, so if they had a close-up, they wanted to make it look like I had glaucoma, like it was supposed to be blue, but it ended up kind of filmy. It may have done that, but all it did for me was make everything so blurry, I couldn’t see anything. So, I really did have to be blind.
Rick: But when I turned, when he dropped out, when my son dropped to his knees, because he was in the presence of the Messiah, I turn more toward the camera and where the Savior is supposed to be. And I saw this image. And he says, “Helam.” I told my wife at that moment if you were to take him, this is how the Lord qualifies us, qualified me, anyway. I said, “If you’ve taken every spiritual experience I’ve ever had from really small promptings to a little bit more poignant moments, put them into one moment, it would have paled in comparison to the outpouring of the Spirit at that time.”
Rick: How do you portray someone that’s in the presence, the actual presence of the Savior who is now deified, who is now in the glory of the Father, and has been blessed with everything that the Father has. And as promised to each of us, how do you respond? There’s no thinking through that. I mean, as an actor, how do you prepare for that. And in some ways, it was kind of a blessing, I didn’t totally prepare, because I was kind of Joseph Smith, his blank slate. I had to immediately, it wasn’t like I had to, I just went to my knees.
Rick: And on the way down, I grabbed his hands or his wrists and careful not to mess up the scars on his wrists. And it was just a natural, I couldn’t stand and even the presence of the portrayal of the Savior, but it was the Spirit that just filled that set was so much love and glory that that’s what permeates the screen for those that see it and are prepared to walk away with something from this film about the Savior. And so, that’s what it was like.
Rick: And Keith comes in and I was feeling… and Helam was filled with guilt. And so, the tears came, blah, blah, blah, and Keith cut. And he comes over he says, “Okay.” He says, “That was wonderful.” If you never liked the scene, Keith Merrill says, “That’s a beauty.” If he ever says, “That’s a beauty,” we’re moving on. He didn’t say that. He says, “That’s wonderful.” He says, “But Rick, I want you to make sure that your tears are tears of happiness and joy. He’s just healed your eyes with a touch.”
Rick: But he had asked Thomas, “How are you going to do that? How are you going to heal his hands?” He says, “Well, I thought about putting my hands on his head like we normally do and we bless someone.” But because he had such object lessons like spittle in mud and anointed on eyes, he says, “Well, I won’t do the mud, but I can put my thumbs on his eyes and wrap my hands around his head.” And Keith goes, “Yeah, I like that.” And that’s when he turned to me, he says, “Okay, Rick, so how are you going to act?” And I just said, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know.” So, he-
Charan: Yeah, such a, yeah. Geez, man, yeah.
Rick: So, when we filmed it, that’s what I did. He says, “I liked all the moment. That was great,” he said, “But the only thing I would suggest is that these are tears of joy.” And I rebutted saying. “He was lacking faith and here he is standing in front of a man who loves him, the Son of God, who has forgiven him from that, apparently. And has now healed his eyes, how would you feel?” He goes, “I understand all that. That helps bring up the emotion. That’s great.” He says, “But I want to see happiness and joy, even though that could be underneath. That’s fine. That’s the whole experience.” But you’re going to look up at him and see the Savior.
Rick: So, anyway, we did it like I said, with that in mind, another seven times, maybe. And I’ve had so many people comment about that and I tell them, I said, “Listen, you’re praising me as an actor.” I said, “It’s makes me really uncomfortable,” because anybody, anybody and I testify to that today, if you have a testimony of the Savior, you could have done that scene. You just react. You just do what comes to you. It’s like I’ve told you, when you’re in the emotional state, you can’t do anything wrong. Your body is naturally responding.
Rick: And so, that’s what happened. So, yeah, a lot of people have commented on that, but I tried to deflect any praise, because this gift that has been given me has been given me to do the Lord’s work. I can’t go around acting like I’m a celebrity, and I try not to, certainly.
Charan: You’ve never come across that way to me, ever. Well, and the truth is, is it’s like when I look at that scene, I think like, because that was the first time. I guess I’d seen your work before, but that was a first time I’m like, “Oh, man. This is a very powerful, powerful scene.” I remember thinking like what you were saying that Helam represents all of us. He represents all of us going through emotional pain and whatnot and being healed at that moment. That’s something we all hope, right? We all wish for. So, it was such a powerful thing. Yeah, thank you so much for sharing a personal story. That’s amazing.
Charan: And it’s crazy, because, we’ve known each other for years since then. And then I remember, gosh, it was 2011 or so. I had this crazy idea to make this feature film. And we’re totally seeing it track a little bit here, but we had this film, and it’d been written. And we had this over-the-top crazy comedy. And I remember, we needed someone who played the Oracle, our main villain in the show. And I turned on my guys, and I said, “Guys, I have the perfect person. I mean, there’s no auditions even required. I’m just praying he’ll say yes.”
Charan: But I was also nervous, because I was like, this could completely ruin his career. This could completely… he’s in all these spiritual movies, like Helam, Father Smith, Joseph Smith Sr., and all these things. And this is like the most maniacal, most crazy, most idiotic role. But you graciously said yes to this, and you came on board. And I’m telling you, we had so much fun.
Rick: Yeah. It was [inaudible 00:43:53].
Charan: It was so-
Rick: Especially in the Oracle’s room.
Charan: Yeah, I know.
Rick: And the lights went out and you couldn’t film me and we started laughing.
Charan: We were just laughing. I remember just those outtakes were insane, because you could feel how much-
Rick: You could.
Charan: Like how much we were trying to hold back. And then-
Rick: Well, I guess, you were on my right?
Rick: And I could feel, we got together, instead of the lights just mystically going out, The Oracle had to get himself together and then reach up and pull the cord, which is anticlimactic.
Charan: Yeah. I know.
Rick: An oracle just wished it black.
Charan: Yeah, just wished it.
Rick: You have to… and then when I did that, that one time, I had these goons on my sight. And I could just even though everyone was quiet. “No, they were laughing so loud, quietly, you could feel it.”
Charan: You could feel it. You could feel it. And then we were just like, and the thing was, it’s such a zingy movie and fun and the Oracle, he always dressed in different colored robes. No one knew why he was always in a robe, but he was always in a robe.
Rick: My gosh.
Charan: It was so funny.
Rick: Yeah, but tell them what kind of robes these were.
Charan: I mean, these were like silk.
Rick: Silk. It was women’s robes.
Charan: Yeah. All women’s robes.
Rick: They were women’s robes. Because I was trying to put, because women button from the left to the right, the right to the left and the tie there was a tie in that that kind of goes around the waist. And then, I realized that I’m trying these on in rehearsal, I’m going, “Oh my gosh. These are women’s robes. Charan, you’ve got me wearing women’s robes.”
Charan: I love that.
Rick: And you always say, “No, no, it’s going to be great, Rick. It’s going to be great.”
Charan: Right. It’s going to be so good.
Rick: Yeah, it’s going to film great. You’ll love it. We all loved it. You know I love it, but you know.
Charan: But it’s funny was, I remember it was so great working with you then because we were shooting very late hours on that movie. We were going 17-hour days and I remember it’d be like, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, sometimes even 4:00, it was crazy and you never complained. You always have so much energy. And you were so excited to be this character and you just never complained. I just, I was so humbled by that. I was so grateful for that because I was like, “Man, Rick is never going to talk to me again. This is insane. I can’t believe we’re making him stay up this late.”
Rick: “He’s nice on the set, but he’ll never talk to you.”
Charan: “He’ll never talk to me.” No, but you were just so good. And I remember, when the movie was finally completed, because it took some time we premiered at a festival. And you came. I honestly was like, “Oh, man, I don’t even know what he’s going to think. And I remember there was someone just laughing and laughing so loud. And it was your wife.
Rick: It was my wife.
Charan: It’s your wife.
Rick: It was the wardrobe scene. It was the women’s wardrobe scene.
Charan: Yeah. We kept removing the robes and putting different ones on, like, she was just laughing so hard. And I’m like, “Wait, what is happening right now?” And I remember you came up to me and your wife was just like in tears with laughter. And she’s like, “Thank you so much.” And I’m like, of all the movies that he’s done of all the spiritual impact, she just loved this the most because of like, this role that you played. And that was like a really great moment for me. And I remember you were like, “Man, that was just a really fun character to play,” which was, I don’t know. I loved that whole experience.
Rick: Well, she loved it because she says, “No one knows your sense of humor.”
Charan: I know.
Rick: They don’t see it. I said, “I know, that gets me in trouble.” And I just think I’ll be out in public shortly after Testaments came out. And I wasn’t aware of people coming up and all that notariety. I just didn’t expect it. And so, when they did my immediate thought was, because they usually ask, “Are you him? Are you that man?” And I freeze and I think I rewind for the last 15, 20 minutes.
Charan: Do you?
Rick: I think, did I do something so stupid? Because I know I’m an idiot. I mean, that’s just me in life.
Charan: Did you? Man.
Rick: And I love that about me. I grew up with uncles that were hysterical, and I just loved being around them. And so, I grew up with that. And then, yeah, so she was so thankful that I was able to do some comedy, because I love playing in comedy, I love directing comedy. It just is a part of me, a side of me that I really liked.
Charan: No, you were so great. You’re awesome. I want to shift topics just a little bit. Now, especially as an artist, as an actor, we all face hard times. We all face challenges. We all face difficult times in our life when we’re like, “I don’t even know how we’re going to keep going or do things?” And we’ve had plenty of heart-to-hearts with these sort of things. But was there ever a significant moment in your life where you’re like, “Oh, man. Lord, what do I do now?” How do I get out of this or what’s the next step?”
Rick: Yeah, I think I was going jokingly say, “Yeah, every day,” but no, that’s not true. Probably the time when we had lived in Texas and my relationship, my wife’s relationship with her brother-in-law, who owned retail stores down there in the South. And we left, we went to Southern California. It was a detour. It was… I didn’t handle it right. We shouldn’t have moved. And that’s when I told you this, man.
Rick: My next door neighbor, who was an ex-gang member, really well put-together. And I mean, I was in a sales job and if it went well, we had money. If it didn’t go well, tough, I had to pay the rent. And the rent at that time in 1985 was about $850 a month. And a lot of that was just L.A. prices, right?
Rick: And we lived about 20 minutes out of L.A. and that’s how you know if someone lives there, it’s time and not miles. And it was, actually if I’d known about it, that was actually the year that Robert Zemeckis did Back to the Future in Pointy Hills Mall. It’s Twin Pines in the film, but it was Pointy Hills Mall, just down Kalima Boulevard. When I saw that film, I saw the entrance into it. He’s skating down in the big part and then, however, that’s it, anyway. So, that at that time, yeah, finances were very meager. I immediately thought to my moment in the Nelke at BYU and that, yeah, he told me, this is what He wanted me to do with it. Well, I wasn’t doing it. And I’m in L.A. and I’m sinking, sometimes as an actor or as a financial provider and security person for my family. But that’s when the Lord sent that lifeline, and my neighbor and basically redirected me.
Rick: And so many things. It’s like, why does the Lord love me so much? I didn’t go, well, I’m sure I had prayers that guide us and what should we do, I mean, make this business succeed or something. But it’s like He will just because of my stupid brain and what I’m doing and how I’m handling moments in life, I’m screwing it up. And so it’s, He’s trying to piece it back together.
Charan: Yeah, 100%.
Rick: Get back there. Make amends with your brother-in-law, and so forth. So, that was a very scary time for me, but the Lord was there and directed me to I went back to Oregon. My brother was passing away. I was there for about a year and a half and that’s when I had that other prayer, just saying, maybe I made the wrong choice. Here, it’s been 10 years and He said I could use this time. I haven’t been acting for 10 years. I’ve been busy building other people’s dreams.
Rick: I’m a good worker in whatever I do. That’s what I’m trying to instill in my kids. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a sanitation worker or a janitor. They’re honorable jobs, but do it the best you can. You’re not even going to be here your whole life if that’s what you don’t want to do, but work hard. Your integrity and your character is important. And so, I was always a good worker. And then moments, it really literally was moments later after that, I get this phone call from a buddy in Utah.
Rick: So, and I’m sure there moments that were scary that I’m leaving out, but for me, for me anyway, instead of howling at the moon and shaking my fist at the heavens, even though it’s what I felt doing a time or two, I would get angry at myself mainly. And then I’d go to the Lord, because I wasn’t aware of what his timetable was for me and what I needed to learn. And that’s like he knows when my faith wavered from time to time. But I would always turn back to the Lord and saying, “Help me. I’m tired.”
Rick: So, I think that moment in L.A. was really scary for me. And then from that, directing me and then again, it’s just, do what you’re supposed to do, be a good man, provide for your family, stay close to the Lord, and ask him to help you. Ask him to help you understand what’s going on and see his hand in all things. And so, yeah, I never though, even though I wasn’t acting, I never, because I’ve had someone else asked me this, “Did you ever just think about quitting acting?” I said, “Not really.” I question whether I should still be in it. But during that time, I still hadn’t done what the Lord wanted me to do, so I couldn’t give up. I just didn’t know when it would happen, but things led me to come back to Utah.
Charan: It’s interesting, because during that period, during that 10-year period, you were facing a lot of unknown and uncertainty.
Charan: Right? And that’s a scary thing. And it’s something that we face as actors all the time, right? Just, you have no idea when the next paycheck is coming, you have no idea when the next job is coming.
Charan: But it’s interesting, because during those times, you really learn to trust in the Lord. And it helped you and guided you and say, “Hey, you know what? I’m giving you my outcomes. I’m going to let you take care of the situation because I’ve got no control.” And it’s very interesting that whole idea of control and how it’s such an illusion sometimes. We have people that we know that have a “stable jobs.” And suddenly something massive happens that they did not see coming and they’re like, “Wait, what is going to happen?”
Charan: And it’s interesting, a friend of mine made this comment, saying, “Charan, I think your whole life has prepared you for COVID.” “What do you mean?” They’re like, “Well, when the world shut down-“
Rick: To be sick and die? Thank you.
Charan: Yeah. Thank you so much. I appreciate that. No, but her whole thing was, her whole point was just saying, “The world shut down and everyone was very uncertain. They had no idea what to do. And you’re like totally calm.” I’m like, “Oh yeah, this is every other day. This is like, yeah, what else is new?”
Rick: My life is a pandemic.
Rick Macy Talks About His Greatest Source of Joy
Charan: My life is a pandemic. It’s a global pandemic. No, I appreciate you sharing all that stuff. So, what would you say is your greatest source of joy right now?
Rick: My greatest source of joy? My gosh. I think first and foremost would be my relationship with my Heavenly Father and the Savior. And then everything kind of branches out from that. My kids, my grandchildren, my wife. I think that is my greatest source of joy. Everything else is an appendage to it. I mean, I don’t know what people expect to hear. I certainly don’t want to just cater to what they’re expecting, but I think to take kind of, if I’m under the microscope, my greatest source of joy is to know that I’m on the road that I need to be on.
Charan: I like that.
Rick: It’s not always, it’s comforting, but sometimes, it tests you. Okay, I’m on the right road, so what’s next? We’ll just watch for the signposts that come as you’re traveling, then just watch what they say. And they could come in the form of people, they could come in the form of events, and to see, here’s something. And again, this is mostly what does the Lord say? “I haven’t created anything that isn’t spiritual or that’s temporal.” They’re all spiritual.
Charan: They’re all spiritual.
Rick: So, and I know this is more geared toward maybe an LDS or Christian audience, but Elder Eyring came and talked with us, the cast and crew of the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. We were in the Little Theater in the Conference Center. And he stood up and he says, “Look for the hand of the Lord in your life every day.” I’m like, “Every day?” I mean, he’s got so many other people. I mean, why would I? But that’s absolutely true. My goodness. It’s absolutely true. If someone were to say, “Do you have a testimony of the existence of God?” I said, “Absolutely.”
Rick: I cannot ever, it’s no longer in certain ways a faith. That faith drives me because I know He’s there. It’s not just a belief or I have faith that he’s there. I have had too many experiences in my life that add up to there is a supreme power, there is a supreme being, but he’s a very personal being. So, part of that question for you is my greatest happiness and sometimes, it’s not darkness, but it’s unhappiness for me is if I betrayed him. If I’m still struggling with weaknesses that I’m trying to get rid of. My happiness comes from knowing that when I really seek to do His will, I feel the power the atonement. Happiness, yes. My gosh. There is nothing greater than that feeling that you of, at least at that moment that you know what your standing is with the Lord.
Rick: Other things, too, that would be, I love, I do love acting. And I think I shared with you a little bit ago thinking, “Okay, what else can I do for the Lord?” I don’t think there’s any other scripture coming forth to play a character in that. The last play thing I did, the last play I did was two summers ago. This summer will be three, which is amazing to me. I did a show for Kathy Biesinger Curtiss. It was On Golden Pond. And I love Henry Ford, not Henry Ford, Henry Fonda. I liked Henry Ford. He has a good product.
Charan: He did.
Rick: Yeah. Henry Fonda and I did Norman Thayer, Jr., On Golden Pond. I loved it because there’s some humor in it. He’s an elderly man. He’s advanced. He’s a bit cantankerous, which I love to play that. And I love the theater. I love the stage. I love the immediacy of the audience. It challenges every acting bone in my body. And I love doing quality shows like that and just feeling the immediate rapport with the audience, which you don’t get in films. You get it from the crew, but they can’t laugh or cry or whatever while they’re filming because they could shake the camera or the boom or the mics or something.
Charan: Yeah. The greatest phases like, “All right, we’re moving on.” I’m like, “I guess, thank you. It’s probably amazing. Thank you.”
Rick: Geez. So, I mean, I get a lot of happiness from using the gifts that the Lord has given me to do other quality things or other things that people can come and see and enjoy.
Charan: I love that.
Rick: So, that was the last thing. They’ve asked me to come back and probably do Prospero in The Tempest or whatever this summer. But it takes so much time. I’ve got so much work to do around my house.
Charan: Well, Rick, I love you. I just love hearing your stories and it’s always so good to connect and-
Rick: How I ramble.
Charan: Just to chat about all these things. I mean, it’s great to see your perspective and great to see your source of power.
Rick Macy Talks About How to Succeed in Acting
Rick: Well, I can’t end this podcast without saying something to you about you. I’ve watched you grow from, and really, when I first met you and watched you in class, humor was a great part of your life. It is a part of your life and it’s who you are, which I love, but sometimes you use it to mask your insecurity. And you did a serious scene, but you tended to still match the rhythms of comedy and wouldn’t really commit yourself to the drama, to let those wavelength lengthen out. And it’s okay to totally trust that part of you.
Rick: And so, I think what I’ve said to you and others is to learn to listen to that person inside that wants you, that’s yearning to be a better artist. Because it’s that person inside that’s egging you on to take a class, egging you on to do this, and it’s okay to step into the gray. Actors liked to act in the light. If it’s something that the director says, “Hey, I want you to try this. Why don’t you do this?” You’re going, “No, I want to hold on. I don’t know. I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m at. I know what to do here.” You’re asking me to essentially grow? No. I don’t want to go there because I could fail.
Rick: My gosh, there’s not enough time talk about how failure or the fear of failure helps us succeed. And to take a chance if we’re not pushed in those areas, we’ll remain stagnant. And so, I’ve watched you grow. I’ve seen you. I can’t totally remember the outcome of that, but I think it made some impression on you because. And it’s not something actors want to hear because they go, “I got all have my lines. I don’t want to improv. I got to have this. I got know this.” They just, you have to have certain certainties.
Rick: Well, yes, that’s true. However, a true artist sometimes has to trust their instincts and go for it. It’s shooting in the dark, sort of, however, you’re doing it with some expertise. You’ve had some skills and you’re not doing it blindly, trust your instincts and who you were meant to be. And I told this one acting class. It was a senior class in this performing arts high school. I was the chair of the acting department. I tell them, they go, “Oh, Mr. Macy, what’s the final going to be like? What’s the final going to like?” They’re all freaking out because they got to do the acting final, you got to do a singing final, you go to a dance final. And they just want to know, what’s finals week look like?
Rick: I said, “Oh, boy.” “No, no, no, don’t use that face. Don’t do that. No. Is it going to be a big test”? I said, “Well, you’ll see Friday.” And they hated that. Being the actors, I know that. I hate tests. I hated tests. So they already performed, so now, it’s just a written thing. And it wasn’t question and answer and comprehensive and terminology and all that. So, I said, “Okay.” And they’re sitting around, they’re sweating bullets. I’ve got about 12, 15 seniors just biting their nails. I said, “Okay, guys, here it is. I’m going to ask you one question.” “What? Ah, this is easy.” I said, “Okay. I was prepared for that. It’s one question. But I want you to really think about it.” And I said to them, “I want you to write this down.” And I repeated it a couple, three times.
Rick: But the first time I said, “Okay. What sacrifices are you willing to make to be the artist you dream of becoming?” And so, I repeated it. I said, “What sacrifices are you willing to make to become the artist you dream of becoming?” I said, “Write that down. Now, we’ve got close to an hour here. You could answer it maybe in two or three sentences possibly and be done in 10 minutes tops.” I said, “I don’t want that. This isn’t a class about just getting through school.”
Rick: “This performing arts class, we want you to take the exercises, we want you to take the discipline, we want you to take the methodology, whatever fits, to add to who you will become. It’s not just a grade. Your grade eventually will be how the audience has received you. Are they going to receive you like a graduating actor? ‘Oh, they were pretty good.’ Or are they seeing an artist working? And that this is just part of them becoming a better person, a better actor.”
Rick: I said, “You’re what? 17 to 18 years old here? Some of you are pretty good. Very admirable. Things that you’re doing, very astute. But you’re young. You’ve got so much life ahead of you, so much reserved, so much experience, there will be an experience that will help you be a better actor. So, I’m asking you to almost really be an adult here and just really look at yourself if you haven’t, and say to yourself, ‘Okay, what am I willing to give up to become what I want to become?’ Because then you want to become this, but are you playing video games six to eight hours a day, are you with your friends that long, just chewing the fat, doing a bunch of silly stuff?”
Rick: “It’s all important, but you’ve got to bring it way back and use your time wisely. Invest in yourself, because I’m telling you when you become an actor or you become or a performing artist, you become a servant of the people. Your career depends upon how they receive you, whether it’s on the world stage or a local community theater, your longevity into what you want to do, you love to do. That’s not work like we think of work. But the work we love to do is dependent upon you pleasing the people that’s going to keep you here.” So, anyway.
Charan: Well, I love that, because it also applies to everything in life, honestly.
Rick: Absolutely. Well, you can put “artist.” You can put anything.
Charan: You can put anything in there. It’s all about like, “What are you willing to sacrifice right now?”
Charan: I think it’s just powerful. It’s very powerful. This podcast is meant for young people. And I hope-
Rick: Well, you probably won’t be able to use 10 minutes of it, so.
Charan: No, it’s great because all of this going in, I swear. No. Rick, I appreciate you. I appreciate you so much taking the time for helping me to grow as an actor during those fundamental years. And yeah, just sharing your wisdom, your insight of how you even got into it and how the Lord is still burning bright in your life. I think that’s just so powerful. Anyway, thank you so much, Rick, for being on.
Rick: Thanks, Charan.
Charan: And you’re awesome. Have a great one.
Rick: You, too. Thank you.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to Lemonade Stand Podcast, and we hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use to be alerted when we release new episodes. We’d also love to hear your feedback in the reviews. And if you or someone you know has an awesome lemonade stand story, please reach out to us on social media and let us know. Thanks so much, and have a great day.