INSIDE THE HEAD OF MAGGIE EGAN
Ms. Egan, was another joy to learn about. She is so full of life, enjoys her family and work. She has great things to say about her fans and fandom in general. It was great to talk with her. Also, this actress' resume is something to be proud of.
Favorite project to work on?
My favorite project to work on was Sinatra. It was a CBS mini series. Tina Sinatra, the producer, cast me to play a very famous singer from the 30's, 40's and 50's named Jo Stafford (as in Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers). Singing on stage with "Frank Sinatra" and band leader "Tommy Dorsey" in front of hundreds of extras dressed in 1939 ball gowns and suits was just amazing. It was like being transported back in time. Plus, you have to understand, when I was a kid and most other kids my age were buying Beatles albums, I was buying Frank Sinatra albums, so, I was in my bliss.
What happened the last time you got sick?
Right after going to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned, I broke out in hives. I don't think it was from the dentist's teeth cleaning because it's never happened before. But I got itchy and red and swollen all over and I had an audition in the afternoon. I called my doctor and made a bee line (kind of a hives joke, there. Sorry!) to his office. He gave me a shot of antihistamines and they were gone within an hour and I went to my audition. I love modern medicine!
How has September 11th effected you?
A strange thing about September 11th happened to me. I was having a bad dream about being in a crash and going through the windshield. It woke me up. I ran out to say good bye to my husband and told him about the dream and cautioned him to drive carefully. I went back in and turned on the TV before I had to get my daughter up for school. I watched the first tower as it was on fire and listened to eye witnesses describe what they saw as a deliberate act. Within a minute or two, I witnessed the second airplane hit the second tower. I was transfixed to the TV as I watched the two towers come crashing down, and it took every bit of strength in me to stop watching TV for the remainder of the week. My niece, who lives in Manhattan, got out with some other Dartmouth grads by ferry to New Jersey, thank God. I didn't want to go anywhere by plane for months. It still fills me with sadness to see the coverage of the event.
Where is the place you feel most relaxed at?
In my house, I feel most relaxed after dinner is done and Emmie is bathed and I can sit down with Jim and Emmie and watch a little tube in our living room. A place outside of our house, I have felt very peaceful in would be the Seven Sacred Falls in Hana, on the island of Maui, or almost anywhere on the island of Kaui. But "relaxed" is a state of mind that you can choose to experience, so sometimes it can be on stage in front of thousands of people.
Tell us please, what you are up to now?
Beginning my acting training with Chris Wilson of Houston Texas, moving to LA (which was also the scariest and bravest thing I've ever done), and asking Jim Cummings out on our first date. Most recently, it has been to get on board with a brilliant and successful company, PrePaid Legal Services. No matter how Hollywood treats me, I am empowered knowing what my legal rights are, and, I make passive residual income off of the efforts of my work and the 422 people in my organization. (Here's my brazen hussy plug for my business. If I didn't believe that this is the most altruistic company which acts with great integrity, I wouldn't be able to make a stand for them. But they are and I ask for your own sake, take a look at this company. It may or may not be something you are interested in, but it is important information to have, and it'll only take about 12-15 minutes of your time. It is PPD on the NYSE, and my website is: http://www.prepaidlegal.com/go/maggieegan.
What is your footwear of choice?
What do you think of Shakespeare's work?
Well, Bill was a genius. And when his work is well executed it is amazing. When it's not...can you say "Butchered?"
What advice can you give to future actors?
Acting must be a passion for you. Keep focused and do not become distracted by other people's opinions. Know how to make a living so that you are not desperate for "the job." (Again, flexible hours...PrePaid Legal is an excellent way to leverage your time! Sorry, can't help myself. It's just I do like helping people. And you know what they say, you can give a person a fish to eat, or you can teach them how to fish for themselves. Be self suf - fish - ient! Ooooh. That one stank!) Also, keep taking classes, do theatre, be professional, and in all your getting, get wisdom. I found that in coming out to California, I wanted to become well known, and in the bargain, have come to know myself well. In other words, most actors come from a less than nurturing background, so get nurtured and supported. Maybe it's good friends, a spouse, your kids, a therapist, and for the lucky few, it is your family of origin. Who or whatever, stay connected to where you are best loved and supported, and give your love back to them in return. Please don't turn into a narcissistic actor.
What is the hardest thing to learn about acting?
Your lines. (That's just for me.)
What is the easiest?
That it's simply giving yourself permission to play like when you were a kid.
If you had to do it all over, would you act?
Yes I would! Is it
harder for women in the acting world?
If you go by public consciousness, yes. If you are strong and rely on God, your faith, spirituality, or whatever you are comfortable calling "it" then, no, it's all an easy act of conscious decision followed up by conscious acts that bring about the demonstration you are going for in life.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
It's full and overflowing, thank you.
What is your pet peeve?
People who are mean spirited, and who are vicious physically or verbally. That's abuse.
Who is Maggie?
Maggie Egan-Cummings is a wife, a mom, an actress, a singer, a writer, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a Brownie Troop volunteer, Charity volunteer, and a successful entrepreneur.
Give us a brief day in the life of Maggie.
I get up at 6:30, get my daughter up and ready for Kindergarten, usually carpool her and the other 3 boys in the neighborhood (one is Annie Lockhart's son) to their school. Come home have a little breakfast, get on the computer, go back for Kindergarten Yard Duty (not every day), come home shower, (possibly go for a walk first, actually, that is more of a New Year's Resolution, than a reality), talk to people on my team by phone, inspire them to greatness, go to auditions if there are any, meet people, and once a week I go to a Business Briefing. Come home, have dinner with Jim and Emmie, give Emmie a bath, watch a little TV, then read Emmie a book, go to bed and start all over again. It's no 9 to 5'er, that's for sure.
What household chore do you detest?
What is your favorite lighting?
My favorite time of day lighting is late afternoon, while the sun is still out, the sun is setting, and the world feels like it's calming down. Ahhh! That's a nice time to be relaxing out on my deck.
What is your favorite meal to prepare for someone special?
Usually, dinner reservations. But, I make a pretty good chicken parmesan. And real good chocolate chip cookies from scratch, too.
What is the worst feeling in the world?
Feeling unloved, unheard, not valued, not respected, and ostracized by your family who you love. Wow, that's a doozy!
What attracts you to a mate? Humor or looks?
Humor much more than looks.
Do fans expect to much from stars?
Not in my experience.
How can an actor stay grounded without letting the glitz and glamour get to their head?
You may be asking the wrong actor. Let's turn that one over to Julia Roberts.
What would you like to be doing 15 years from now?
Continue to live life on my own terms.
They way the world is today, are you afraid of bringing a child into this world?
No, because I did. They are our hope for the future. Now it's up to us to teach them well, and to realize that they are here to teach us.
Is working in SciFi a death wish on an acting career?
Not in my experience.
What would you say every actor needs?
To quote my old buddy, John Jackson from the TV show, JAG, "The heart of a butterfly and the skin of a rhinoceros."
What stupid thing did you do as a teen?
Tricked my cousin into thinking a pack of Old Gold's was pot. She totally fell for it. We laughed like crazy after she left. She's an attorney now. Yes, that was naughty, and I'm sorry...kinda.
Why did you start acting?
Acting and singing are such a wonderful, freeing form of expression. Plus, let's face it, the attention.
ISN Newscaster from Babylon 5
What do you find most satisfying about your job?
When someone comes up to me and says that they were really moved by a scene I did. This goes back to the previous question, I love acting because I like making people laugh, making them cry, and making them think. It's a way of teaching through story telling. If you are lucky, as an actor, you get to say the words of a great writer, with the guidance of a wise and compassionate director, and backed by the power and money and influence of a driven producer.
Do fans matter?
Actors will act whether they have fans or not. So, they can't keep you from acting somewhere, somehow. But do they matter? Of course, they matter. I love meeting fans and getting to know who they are. When an actor has a lot of fans, they can make a magnificent difference in the success of an actors' career, too.
What would you best friend say is your worst trait?
My best friend would say that my worst trait is not believing in myself ,people say enough, not trusting my instincts enough, and buying in to the mean things mean about me. (Due to good friends and great guidance and the power of prayer, that belief system is changing.)
What's your idea of a perfect world?
Whoa, I'm not nearly wise enough to guess what a perfect world should look like. I trust that God knows what is for our highest good, so I guess the best I can say is that my idea of a perfect world is that everyone would learn to pray not only for their highest good, but for the highest good of all. Remember the saying, "Not my will, but thine be done." Instead of praying for what I want, I pray for God's will to be done, knowing that God's will is always for our highest good. Even if we don't see it for some time. Afterall, God's omnipotent view is a lot clearer than ours.
What would be your dream role?
My dream role would be to play, not a human being, but a woman becoming. A coming of age story for a woman in her 40's. It would be my story, but told by brilliant writers. It would be a story of overcoming abuse. Not the kind we are finally talking about, physical abuse, but the kind that is still in the closet. Verbal abuse. In the story we would see this resilient, funny, depressed woman learn to love herself and lead herself and others to feel good about themselves, and to lead herself and others to achieve great things. Naturally, there would have to be a moment or two for singing, maybe a little jitterbugging, and as many laughs as humanly possible.
Whom do you admire?
I admire Eleanor Roosevelt and Katherine Hepburn. I admire Jesus. He, quite honestly, did overcome great psychological, and spiritual, and physical hurdles and led by example. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Look at what they started. The blueprint for the sitcom. Walt Disney. What a visionary. Mr. Harland Stonecipher the CEO of PrePaid Legal. The adversity he must have faced 30 years ago in starting this company had to have been monstrous.
Do you believe in prayer?
Do I believe in prayer? I guess the answers to some of my other questions answers that. Most decidedly and with the utmost conviction. That's why they say "Be careful what you pray for (or "wish" for), you just might get it." It's true, so be wise in choosing what you pray for.
What does the word 'family' mean to you?
Now the word family means, source of love and laughs and silliness and the easiest thing in the world to be commited to.
What does the word 'friend' mean to you?
We have a sign that some friends gave us that says, "A friend is someone who overlooks your broken down fence and admires your garden within."
What's your favorite song of the moment?
Well, since I'm going through a lot of songs right now to find a few to sing at Jim and my niece's wedding next weekend, I've reconnected with a song called "Time Enough for Love." It's on a Michael Feinstein CD, and it's a song sung to a child letting them know that "there will be laughter, there will be heartache, but if you must follow your rivers through mountains to oceans wide. And don't forget, little one, keep this if you can, listen and please be wise, no matter what the prize your dreamin' of, make time enough for love. Time enough for love." Then there is the incredible orchestration and a swelling of violins playing a beautiful melody. It's friggin' beautiful, man. It'll make you cry. Well, maybe not you, but for sure...me!
If God gave you the ability to cure one disease, what would it be and why?
Is fear a disease? I think if we could cure fear we could cure everything. Fear is a powerful beast. It can rule your thinking and your thinking creates your life. Imagine no fear. People wouldn't be scared of not making enough money, of not being thin enough, of not being smart enough, of not getting what they want, etc., etc. Instead there would be this peaceful, profound power to create a harmonious life based on love, not fear.
Who was your favorite person to work with?
George Clooney was one. He made me laugh for 14 hours stretched out on a guerney on "ER." That's amazing. He kept singing like Sammy Davis, Jr. Every song that had the word "eyes" in it, he would do as Sammy singing, "Don't it make my brown eye blue." I guess that's only funny if you know who Sammy Davis Jr. is and that he had a glass eye. But he just kept it light. Also, I can't remember the director's name who I worked with on several political commercials, but he was a joy to work with because he kept saying, "Oh, when we go to shoot, don't worry about the lines, you know, we can always cut in and out, so don't worry." Naturally, because he didn't apply pressure, but gave me room, I nailed all the copy in one fell swoop. I love Richard Chambers, another commercial director because he would just set you free at the auditions and on the shoots. The british director of the Buick commerical I did set such a lovely, easy tone for the shoot that it was just an outstanding, peaceful, heavenly day. Thomas Carter directed me years ago in "Call to Glory" with Craig T. Nelson. He directs from a sense of inclusivity and makes you feel valued.
Who was your least favorite?
Who was my least favorite? That's tabloid material. Better pass.
Why do fools fall in love?
Fools fall in love because, no matter what the disasterous results from their past, they are hopeless romantics who believe in love and move forward knowing that one day they will find it. What they don't always know is that they've got to find it within themselves and give themselves the love before they can adequately give it to anyone else.
Do you write or direct at all? If so what?
I have written TV pilot treatments. I have directed Brownie Troop 1010 doing the Brazilian Girl Scout version of The Girl from Ipanema which was performed in front of hundreds of people at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. It was so cute, you guys!
If a person was to walk into your bedroom. What would be the first 5 things they would notice?
Yellow and white striped walls. Angels. Big comfy bed. Pine furniture. A bed and breakfast feel.
What are dreams for?
Dreams are how our subconscious mind lets us know what's going on in our lives via symbols. I've heard that every character in your dream represents a part of you. I love analyzing dreams.
What questions should I have asked, then answer please.
The question you should have asked is, "Maggie, how can I help you become an overnight success (after 20 some years in the biz)?" The answer... well, kinda hopin' you could answer that one, but maybe it's something like, "Here, let me introduce you to my close, personal friend, Mr. Steven Speilberg." And then insist he give me a "co-starring" role in his next big blockbuster. I don't want the pressure of carrying the whole success of the movie on my back. Let's give that to a $20 Million per Picture actor. I just want to play their best friend, wife, mom, co-worker, etc. who is so beloved that if she were to die in this picture, people would be blubbering in their seats. Mm. Mm. Good.
Maggie's Site: http://www.isnanchor.com/
Films and Series
Area 23 (2003) (TV) .... Lila Dekker-Rosetti
What Women Want (2000) .... Kitchen Secretary
Back in Business (1997) .... Dr. Sonia Brody
Executive Decision (1996) .... CNN Reporter
Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills (1994) (TV) .... Eric's Jury: Juror #4
"Babylon 5" (1994) TV Series .... ISN Anchor
Sex, Love and Cold Hard Cash (1993) (TV) .... Ship's bar singer
Sinatra (1992) (TV) .... Jo Stafford
"Civil Wars" (1991) TV Series
Ambition (1991) .... Anchor
Stone Cold (1991) .... Mother
Murderous Vision (1991) (TV) .... Hooker
A Family for Joe (1990) (TV) .... Mrs. Lewis (Carrie's Mom)
Communion (1989) .... Nancy
Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter (1986) .... Maggie Lane
The Lady from Yesterday (1985) (TV) .... Kay
Lone Star Bar & Grill (1983)
Adam (1983) (TV) .... Deena Gross
"Ally McBeal" (1997) playing "Foreperson" in episode: "Love Is All Around: Part 2" (episode # 5.17) 15 April 2002
"Malcolm in the Middle" (2000) playing "Mrs. Abbott" in episode: "Hal Coaches" (episode # 3.16) 10 March 2002
"Crusade" (1999) playing "ISN Anchor" in episode: "Needs of Earth, The" (episode # 1.11) 8/18/1999
"Sliders" (1995) playing "Reporter #1" in episode: "Current Affair, A" (episode # 5.7) 7/30/1999
"Crusade" (1999) playing "ISN Anchor" in episode: "War Zone" (episode # 1.1) 6/9/1999
"ER" (1994) playing "Kathleen Horne" in episode: "Long Day's Journey" (episode # 1.13) 1/19/1995
"Seinfeld" (1990) playing "Ticket Clerk" in episode: "Airport, The" (episode # 4.12) 11/25/1992
"Quantum Leap" (1989) playing "Margaret Cole" in episode: "Maybe Baby - March 11, 1963" (episode # 2.20) 4/4/1990
"Alien Nation" (1989) playing "Mrs. Comet" in episode: "Game, The" (episode # 1.9) 11/20/1989
"Matlock" (1986) playing "Julia Sampson" in episode: "Fisherman, The" (episode # 2.22) 3/29/1988
Thanks to Kamouraskan for the beta.
L. J. Maas and Murphy Wilson [Amy Murphy].One Step Beyond ... Uber, That Is. WHOOSH #49 (October 2000)
The "Inside the Head of..." series in Whoosh various issues
Amy Murphy resides in Indiana, and is an avid reader of Xena: Warrior Princess Fan Fiction. If it exists in the Xenaverse, chances are she has read it! Murphy has also tried her hand at writing fan fiction, turning out two very nice pieces that reside on a couple of web sites throughout the Xenaverse.
Favorite episode: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE (24/124)
Favorite line: "I Have Many Skills" --various episodes
First episode seen: TITANS (07/107)
Least favorite episode: LYRE, LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510)