Who in Hollywood can control this hugely talented film actor hell bent on causing trouble? 3,754 words. Illustrations by Mark Fearing.
It was only after he achieved superstar status that Rick Myer’s life issues began to surface. He was twenty seven and totally unprepared for the adulation he was receiving.
He had grown up in South Orange, New Jersey, the son of an alcoholic father and an adoring mother who devoted her life to serving his every need.
At age seventeen, having previously shown no interest in pretty much anything, he announced his intention to become an actor. His mother took it in stride and arranged for him to take private lessons with a Manhattan based acting coach.
Each Saturday Rick would take a Lackawanna local to Hoboken, catch the subway to Grand Central Station, then hike uptown to Fifty Seventh Street where he studied acting in the living room of Dora Weissman’s one bedroom apartment. Weissman, a veteran performer and long time acting teacher, did all she could to guide and inform him, but soon found him to be a difficult and headstrong student. Plus, he frightened her.
One night, at a dinner party held in honor of the Yiddish Theatre luminary, Shmuel Alter, she bumped into the estimable acting guru, Frederic Augsburger, and recommended Rick to him as a possible candidate for his Actor’s Salon.
Augsburger expressed interest and the following week, having watched Rick perform a pair of scenes that he and Weissman had prepared, he invited him to join the Salon.
After barely a month of intensive scene study, and against Augsburger’s wishes, Rick hustled an audition for the upcoming Broadway play, Caged.
"You’re not ready," Augsburger told him.