Is it too late…

“Is It Too Late For Dreams”

(from a play written by da harv fifty years ago)

        A quick forty or so years later —I don’t know how or where it went in such a sweeping flash— I awakened to a new day and the new year that had somehow miraculously become 1994…1995, 1996, or even later date than that… And my biggest learning factor, you may wonder (by now most people don’t need me to tell them) whether you’re having fun or not. Time appears for all of us to keep picking up more and more speed as we get older and older! DAMMIT! (Or your choice of words may be inserted here.)
        Too many years later, one of those “unawareness” incidents took place. While it wasn’t anything in the nature of what one might refer to as outlandish, meeting and working intimately with the like of Cloris Leachman could be described as a dream come true.

        If ever there would or could be a day during the life of what I dispel as being a worthwhile career… I have been fortunate enough to consider this personal fact:

Cloris Leachman was an actress and a woman of the world. A humanist experienced by those of us who have, by her loving nature, been touched unexpectedly will forever, without any predetermined design, hold her at the height of unmeasurable esteem and gratitude for what she unselfishly shared with all around her; not just those who were fortunate enough to have crossed her path as a co-worker, friend, or merely a fellow pedestrian.

        On the day we received notice Cloris had passed away, I knew with absolute certainty, that all of us remaining on this planet who had worked with her stopped what they were doing, and thought of how privileged we had been to have shared with the lady in a very particular moment in time.
        It was 1994 when an animated movie “A Troll In Central Park” was released by “Sullivan Bluth Studios”, Ireland. At the time, I was their casting director.

A Troll in Central Park (1994)

        Note: While I was extremely qualified for the position, I got the job by nothing more than being in the right place at the right time. One of my voiceover acting students liked the way I was able to help him get a part in an animated film he was desperately auditioning for. Honestly, I can’t recall what chain of events actually occurred.
        Turned out that my student belonged to the same country club as the then president of “Sullivan Bluth Productions”. I received a call from “Morris Sullivan”, and the next thing you know, I was in place working as their casting director. Overnight, my stature improved from broke bachelor to prosperous casting and chief cook and bottle washer for Sullivan Bluth Productions. My student—unaware by me—had the man at the top thoroughly beguiled by the way he described my prowess as a director.
        It’s amazing how some positions in life just pop up for you to do whatever happens to be there for you to do. Being able to make a living while enjoying my work was a spectacular existence! I worked on many scripts for Bluth and company, but most of the films never got off the ground (made any money), especially by today’s standards regarding feature film animation. But of all the great many animation film adventures I was lucky enough to work on, only one title and one performer has and remains with me this very day.

Harvey Kalmenson

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