November 11th for the majority of British people, is huge for remembrance of those within our families who’ve either died in military service or served during the first or second World Wars. Our ZeFringe family has a few linked to both, but 2016 had a new surprise which took me into *deep-Flashback mode., as due a life threatening accident in 1976, Robert Vaughn made his appearance upon my T.V. viewing ., and subsequently a big thrill during the parade of star’s at the ‘Rosie T’ eVent, as a certain duo became my ‘Acting-Muse/Coaches’.,
( excerpted f< far larger drafts & adjusted for Dec 2016 blog ).., Let’s get real., there’s little a young boy likes worse than being bed ridden for 6 months, plaster-casted, with endless gifted books to read. Eventually, with motivation to complete sporadic school homework dropping to virtually nil after 5 weeks, my ZF-Parents made a decision which would prove a turning point. They allowed, un-censored access to British T.V. programming for the duration via a most valuable item, their 1968 portable B & W television.
“VwhooSH!”., within weeks I was roughly familiar with almost the entire range of 1960’s / 1970’s repeated and newly broadcast movies and serials. One of the more notable being ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’, where R.Vaughn was tasked the strange mission to join D.McCallum in preventing ‘Bond‘ style plots against American interests. David McCallam, should also be noted as being a 43% simultaneous stimulus/Muse who through the 1980’s would continue to be a favoured T.V. actor, but I somehow identified with Roberts, ‘Napoleon Solo’, a bit more and I would get to learn of his illustrious film career after a unique discovery triggered ( a rarity), by a family film viewing of ‘Towering Inferno’.
Mrs Camsey, was a co-Headteacher, and also the lead organizer for the ‘Christmas School Plays’. In an attempt to keep all her media-exhulted group of young dancers together as an asset with local school governers, my accident broke the group. However, she was optimistic that I could/should be able to find motivation to recover early, and as such sent a sample script for that year’s production of ‘Aladdin‘, requesting specifically my participation.
It was many months away, I had no idea if I’d even get back into school prior to February 1977., so when my father , mid-film, chose to state.., ” That actor there is real good, he’s done many fine films, in fact he has played opposite your name-sake in a much better movie called ‘The Magnificent Seven’, one day I’ll take you to see it.” It’s not the sort of thing you’ll ever ignore, especially since it was the longest most positive sentence’s my father had actually said to my face since I’d been in diapers. It was a fact my mother also agreed as fact, stating that amidst early kin considered names, none felt right as I’d struggled for those first few days, until they recalled a date to that very same movie, and how they both admired ‘Steve McQueen, in ‘Bullitt‘. So I’m like, ” Oh, which one is ‘Steve McQueen’ then?”, father says “That lean, short haired fireman is ‘Steve’, and you’ll like the ‘Seven’, it’s a western, and ‘Robert Vaughn’ there is also in it as a gunslinger”.
The length of praise intended by my parental-ZF are true enough to confirm. It was a most meaningful insight, as a result when repeated during the daytime ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and ‘The Protectors’, became closely studied while attempting to learn my modest 3 lines for the impending Christmas drama. Resulting in the knowledge that ‘Robert Vaughn’, was the man who ‘indirectly’, motivated me to overcome earliest stage-fears. This man had worked with my namesake.., He seemed, successful and clearly enjoyed his acting. So despite only being 3 weeks after leg-cast removal and not a current member of the school class I made it on stage for a bizarre 1st pantomime role. I’d become a child actor (local amateur), aged mere 6 & half. If ‘Robert Vaughn’, could do it., so could I.In ways, Robert, you’ve remained a small facet of my life until now, and your ‘RosieT’ cameo’s are not forgotten.
Go back, Vaughn, with never any regrets left alive.
Your hustling that Shade again.
Our Last_M7., Muse.