MICHAEL ST. JOHN'S CONFIDENTIAL FILE
Posted by MICHAEL ST. JOHN on Jun 11, 2012 - 9:46:39 AM
STEVEN F. PROCTOR: AUTHOR-PRODUCER SPEAKS OUT!
HELLO AMERICA! It is always gratifying to meet new writers who are in the throws of discovery when it comes to themselves and life. STEVEN F. PROCTOR is one of those new voices who doesn't mind telling it the way it is. My conversation with him was quite stimulating as well as revealing when discussing the challenge to exist as an artist.
STEVEN F. PROCTOR
Q: Reports have it that you were born in Alaska, how long were you there before coming to Hollywood? As a youngster did you enjoy life there?
A: That's correct, I was born in Anchorage, but I spent my early childhood in Fairbanks. I left Alaska before my 5th birthday, but I remember things, for instance, there was a market that used to build an igloo in their parking lot every winter...and of course I remember the Aurora Borealis, or the northern lights.
Q: Why did your parents decide to move to Hollywood? Had you seen many motion pictures to have some idea what the town was all about?
A: My mother had a bad time in Alaska, especially with my father dying in an automobile accident, and she couldn't wait to save enough money to get out of there. I was too young, but I loved movies, and Hollywood was where I wanted to be...where it all happens.
Q: What kind of films excited you the most?
A: I've always loved sci-fi movies. I guess that's the way I was wired. Growing up I had many ideas for stories, which I would jot down for future reference.
Q: When did you first begin to have some interest in writing? What kind of books or literature were you interested in at the time?
A: When I was in my late teens I had a story idea that bugged me for over a month, so I decided to write it. Nothing ever became of that story. I suppose I lacked experience, but it got my feet wet.
Q: Did you have an interest in acting once you relocated to Hollywood? You had some experience in “theater” was it something you found gratifying to be a part of? What was the first role you were assigned to do?
A: I was about ten years old when my mother enrolled me in a theater group. The first week I was there, I was given a script called "The Drunkard" and was asked to memorize the first act. That next week I was asked if I had memorized the play. I answered, "I memorized the 1st act as instructed" He then went into a panic. "I need you to know the whole play...you go on next week" I was to play the lead, Harold, the hero. My mother helped me learn the role...we'd be up until one in the morning studying. That first performance was so funny...I'd forget a line, and he'd yell it from off stage. It was hysterical.
Q: What did you learn very early about Hollywood, especially if one has an ambition of becoming a part of the entertainment industry?
A: I learned what a cut-throat business it can be. As I got older, my dream of being in front of the camera changed to wanting to be behind it instead.
Q: What compelled you to write your first story?
A: I'm not one to give up. After failing on my first one I continued to write. I had too many ideas that, in my mind, needed to be told. After I'd written 10 short stories I submitted "10 Strange Tales" to a publisher, who to my surprise, published them.
Q: It seems that writing and producing is not your only interest. You have a passion for airplanes. Many people are fascinated with something you call PLANEKIT.NET. What is that all about?
A: Well, about 30 years ago I started making bi-wing planes out of cans. Many of my friends told me I should design a kit, so I did, and I got great responses from people wanting them. They can be purchased at http://planekit.net. It's a great hobby, I still make them today.
Q: Hollywood is filled with all sorts of temptations; how have you managed to overcome some of the challenges which seem to destroy so many gifted, talented people in the industry?
A: For quite a long time I was hung up on drugs which took its toll on me. Getting married was my turning point in life. I've been clean for many years now, and I'm very thankful to be alive. Many of my friends died doing my drug of choice. I am lucky to be alive.
Q: Your latest book (10 Strange Tales) is a wonderful gathering of short stories; what is something special you are trying to tell your reader about you and life itself? If so, what? A: My stories are pure fantasy...my aim is to entertain, and hopefully make money at the same time. I think some of my stories would make great movies.
Q: When you’re alone and you look in the mirror, what and who do you see?
A: A man who will never give up his dreams -- a man who is ready to tackle any challenge which might sustain them. Also a man who is not afraid to be who and what he is.