St. John's Confidential File
Tom O'Malley: Actor For The People
By Michael St John
Jan 18, 2013 - 7:55:40 AM

HELLO AMERICA!—Many people believe that actors only are concerned with themselves. Well, it's partly true but not completely. There are actors who are seriously involved in many humanitarian and charity projects. And TOM O'MALLEY is a laudable example of this.


Tom O'Malley

MSJ: While growing up in Downey, did you come to Hollywood very often? And what kind of image did you have of the town as well as the industry?


TOM: I was born in Downey, but I grew up Long Beach. I started out as a dancer and went to Hollywood to audition as often as I could. I worked pretty steadily acting and dancing in shows. I was even in a dance company for a while. Growing up I saw Hollywood and the industry as magical, I lived to be on the stage. It’s where I feel the most alive.


MSJ: Who were your favorite actors and comedians in film, television or even in the theater during that time and why?


TOM: I loved Mel Brooks such a comic genius, Madeline Kahn such great comic timing, and Lucille Ball just amazing. I was how they could make everyday situations hysterical.


MSJ: Who or what convinced you that this insane, wonderful world of comedy was for you?


TOM: Well I have been told my whole life that I was funny and should be a comedian. And after I got my first laugh on stage in high school, I was hooked.


MSJ: What was it like to be on stage for the first time?


TOM: It was scary and exciting! And once I was off stage I couldn't wait to get back on it. The stage is my home.


MSJ: What has been some of the most difficult challenges you have had to face as an entertainer?


TOM: Balance, I can get tunnel vision where I focus on only one thing and ignore everything else. Keeping my career and personal life in balance is challenging.


MSJ: You are also a producer of the show now, how stressful has that been?

Tom O'Malley and Carlease Burke


TOM: I just took over as producer, so what is stressful right now is wanting to keep the success of the show that Carlease Burk as created going. Its a comedy show called Laugh-a-Latte, and is held at Hot Java a coffee house in Long Beach hotjavalb.comthe show is on the 3rd sat of the month at 8pm there is no charge. Carlease and I have made available on the wed the Laugh-a-Latte Showcase where anyone can rent or buy the show and watch it in the comfort of their own home. Just go to carleaseburke.comand click on Laugh-a-Latte link. And this is just the beginning. For updates on show and where I'll be performing you can follow me on twitter @tomhfomalley.


MSJ: The "deaf" is an important part of your performing life, when did this affection begin?


TOM: When you ask most actors what their day job is they would say waiter. I'm a sign language interpreter, have been for 20 years. 10 years ago I started interpreting for Broadway show at the segrustum center performing arts. Being an actor really comes in handy there. Then 5 years ago my deaf friends wanted to see the Laugh-a-Latte show at Hot Java in Long Beach and that’s why I got involved with this show.


MSJ: With this kind of involvement, has it changed your view of yourself and the world?


TOM: Being involved with the deaf community changes how you view yourself as well as the world. The world can be unaccommodating to anyone who is different.


MSJ: When you're alone and look in a mirror, what and who do you see? How does it make you feel?


TOM: I see someone who has grown and learned a lot. And yet has so much more growing and learning to do. I'm proud of where I'm at today. And excited about my future.

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