- An actor for writers, a writer for actors, and a director for both



   The art of acting involves the transformation of the actor's persona into that of the character being portrayed. Over the years I have played quite a variety of characters, including Shakespearean noblemen, low life drunks, outrageous clowns, dastardly villains, prosperous 20th century businessmen, wandering 19th century vagabonds, and an assortment of murderers, lovers and even a few non-human creatures. However, the epitome of transforming into a new and different entity occurred in 1992 when through the magic of "morphing" I became a 1938 Buick (courtesy of Unocal).

Be sure to click on the link "Acting History" further down on this page for a pictorial description of my more than 30 years in theatre, TV and film.



Marilyn W. Spear, reviewing The Boston Shakespeare Company production of "ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD" wrote: "Craig Calman is an amazingly versatile buffoon who can stop short on a dime and be as expansive as an emoting king....with his incredible rubber face, he is an absolute treat to watch."

John Engstrom for The Boston Globe wrote: "Rosencrantz as played by Craig Calman uses his equine face expressively, moves confidently and delivers his lines with a born comedian's timing and attack."



Reviewing "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" for The New England Entertainment Digest the critic wrote:

"Now retainers take the starring roles and Craig Calman and Mark S. Cartier make a snappy duo as the pragmatic Rosencrantz and metaphysically speculative Guildenstern. They bandy Stoppard's banter with the precision of vaudeville pros....If either has the comic edge, it's Calman, thanks to the contortion of a flexible face that's a cross between Chevy Chase and Snoopy."


St. Mary's City, Maryland is a historical village, the first town founded in Maryland and which is a lovely vacation spot. I had one of my most satisfying summers there performing in "The Rivals," "MacBeth" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Reviewing "Dream" John W. Hoxie wrote:

"The St. Mary's Summer Festival cast saved the best for last this year, giving its finest performance in its last production of the season. Appropriately staged on a hillside by the St. Mary's River, beneath artistically pruned trees festooned and surrounded by flowers, the production was poetic, funny and ribald -- almost raunchy. As a Shakespeare production is supposed to, it communicated to all cultural levels and all ages in the audience. The key to the success of this production was the casting. The best of them, including Craig Calman as Bottom, matched or bettered their earlier outstanding performances. Calman as Bottom, a truly funny, almost ridiculous character, proved once again that he is one of the best comic actors you are apt to see."

And reviewer Chris Harvey:

"The acting in the Old Bay Playhouse presentation of 'Dream' is as skillfully presented as the unfolding of the plot, making it difficult to pick one or two standouts from among the talented group. But perhaps the most entertaining characterization is presented by the comic performance of Craig Calman as Bottom."



Edward Rubin for Backstage New York wrote:

The National Arts Theatre production was professionally brilliant in their recent evening of three rarely seen George Bernard Shaw comedies. "Dark Lady Of The Sonnets" was the jewel of the evening. Craig David Calman as the funny and outspoken Shakespeare, nervously torn between wooing the Dark Lady, his Queen, and writing his sonnets, turned in a comic virtuoso performance."





MADNESS IN VALENCIA...Doctor Sancho, Sacred Fools Theater Company, Los Angeles

FOR THE LOVE OF FREEDOM PART III...Sir Home/Basse...Robey Theatre Company, Los Angeles

BOOK OF THE DEAD....Narrator/TV Reporter....Little Theatre, New York City

DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS....William Shakespeare...National Arts Theatre...New York City

HAMLET....Rosencrantz...Boston Shakespeare Company

ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD...Rosencrantz... Boston Shakespeare Company

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING...Friar Francis...Boston Shakespeare Company

TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD...Private Meek...Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, California (Winner of the Atlas Award - Best Actor in a Comedy Role)

HENRY V...Bardolph...Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, California

THE WINTER'S TALE...First Gentleman...Old Globe Theatre

THE COUNTEFEIT ROSE...Abbe Mortadella...Old Globe Theatre

RICHARD III...Bishop of Ely...Shakespeare Society of America, Los Angeles, California

RICHARD III...Lord Mayor of London...Knightsbridge Theatre, Pasadena, California

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE...Salerio...Shakespeare Society of America, Los Angeles, California

THE FIREBUGS...Gottlieb Biedermann...Eclectic Theatre Company ...North Hollywood, California

MADAME DE...Monsieur De...Rachel Roy Studio, Hollywood, California

THE RIVALS...Bob Acres...St. Mary's Summer Festival, Maryland

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM....Bottom The Weaver...St. Mary's Summer Festival, Maryland

THE GOOD DOCTOR...Title Role....Marquis Public Theatre, San Diego, California

A DAY FOR SURPRISES....Mr. Falanzano....Marquis Public Theatre, San Diego, California

THE TAVERN....The Vagabond....Pacific University Theatre, Forest Grove, Oregon

CHARLEY'S AUNT....Lord Fancourt Babberly....Pacific University Theatre, Forest Grove, Oregon

INDIANS....Uncas/Russian Politico....Pacific University Theatre

& staged readings for Actors Studio West, Greenway Court Theatre, First Stage, Los Angeles, California


Film & Television:

MAD MEN...Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Office Regular...AMC TV Seasons 4-6

HOWARD STERN SHOW....Anthony Zipper (Major Guest)....CBS TV & E! Entertainment Television

ALEC BALDWIN PROMO....Narrator....Orion Pictures Corporation

WHO IS IRENE RAMOS?....Narrator/Voices....Orion Pictures Corporation

FLESTERON IN AMAZONIA....Flesteron....Inside Out/Playboy Channel

ADP Industrial....Bernie & Buster Byte....Jansen-O'Neil Productions

TEAMWORK....James Finlayson....General Motors Photographic

COMMERCIAL BREAK....Master Control Techy....USC Graduate School

MACBETH....MacBeth....Columbia College

A TRASHY AFFAIR....Jack Spy....UCLA Master's Thesis

SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS....Mr. Hadrian....USC Graduate School

WIMPS....Mr. Canine....American Film Institute


Federal Express, Toyota Japan, Procter & Gamble, Safeway Foods, etc. (Principal roles)


The Public Theatre, NYC; 78th Street Theatre Lab, NYC; Los Angeles Actors Theatre; Arthur B. Friedman's Advanced Acting Courses, UCLA

Graduate of the UCLA Motion Picture/Television Department, Bachelor of Arts Degree


Fluent in Spanish; many accents and character voices; horseback riding; bicycling; swimming; raquetball; handball; baseball; softball; rollerskating; ballroom/disco dancing; computers.


Here's a link to my new actor reel:



Letters of recommendation:

"Rarely in my long experience [40 years in the professional and academic theatre] have I worked with a young man, so talented and so intelligent. He is a diligent and eager worker, accepting any role -- big or small -- as a challenge. He is always prompt, well prepared, and dependable. He takes direction well, and is friendly and helpful with other actors. His leading roles in 'THE TAVERN' and 'CHARLEY'S AUNT' were outstanding accomplishments and he was excellent as Mercutio in 'ROMEO AND JULIET' and Claudio in 'MEASURE FOR MEASURE.' He has a fine rich voice and very expressive eyes. I believe he would be an excellent addition to any theatre company."




"Craig Calman is an extremely talented and gifted young man; a driving and dedicated worker; responsive to direction and new ideas; intelligent, quick, and most cooperative with his fellow associates. I was pleased and often excited over his growth and I would expect him to continue to grow in his craft. A responsible and fine young man."









"O for a muse of fire that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention! A kingdom for a stage, princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"


"Shakespeare's language makes special demands upon the actor. Figures of speech are apt to seem contrived and bombastic if the actor does not appear to be experiencing a state of feeling sufficient to call forth such language spontaneously.

"All too frequently, Shakespeare's plays are damaged in performance when actors do not rise to the emotional demands of the poetry.

"The very richness of expression can be a stumbling block for both performer and reader."*

*The most astute, accurate and pithy advise I've come upon regarding the playing of Shakesperean roles. For the life of me I don't know who wrote this. Perhaps the Shakespearean scholar Harold Bloom? Any reader in the know, please send an e-mail with the answer.


For five years I was privileged to attend The Actors Studio West and get to know many of the talented people who call it their home, observe how they work and indeed work with them. However, I have come to realize that I cannot agree with what I perceive to be their basic tenent as ascribed to Lee Strasberg: that the actor's personal life, emotions and memories supersede those of the character he/she is playing. Lee Strasberg and The Actors Studio take acting very seriously, conscientiously with 100% passion for the art. Truth in acting is their goal and I applaud them for it. I do, however, always strive for balance. To favor one theory exclusively over another is not my way. Prof. Friedman at UCLA proved that to me beyond doubt. The following quote sums up my own attitude perfectly (though there are exceptions. I'm thinking of those "personality"actors such as Clark Cable, Mae West, John Wayne and Arnold What's-His-Face who really always play themselves):

"The lack of definition between actor and character is becoming absurd....the craft of acting is in fact telling the story by pretending to be someone else....Using the word 'pretend' doesn't diminish the art. It makes it more mysterious and extraordinary."

-Sir Ben Kingsley


This quote is from John McCabe's admirable biography of one of Hollywood's greatest stars:

"God save me from Strasberg. I admire [Sanford] Meisner and I think Stella Adler must be a great teacher. The Strasberg stuff is dreary bullshit. Sure you have to believe the character you're playing, but you've got always to keep a very objective eye on yourself and what you're doing. Use your creative imagination to create a part that belongs to your character, not to you. I don't want the actor to be stuck with his own life.

"Actors are reputed to be vain. A certain amount of truth in that. All you have to sell as product is yourself. You don't have Fuller brushes in hand; you have only yourself. So it is hard not to be wrapped up in yourself. But the actors who follow Strasberg make the great mistake of looking into themselves when for God's sake they should be looking into the characters they're playing. These actors' specific psychological selves should not be the determinants of the inner truth of the characters they are called on to play. The actors are not those characters. You should, in consequence, never play yourself or your inner self. The very nature of acting is that you are playing someone else. You can call on personal memory, sure, the way I remembered my father when I did the mess hall scene in 'White Heat,' but that's a referral, not a living out."

-James Cagney

As told to John McCabe in the early '80s


I definitely belong to the James Cagney school of acting. And I too am a song and dance man at heart. But please be aware, dear friends, devotees and students of The Strasberg legacy and The Method and The Actors Studios, etcetera: I am a colleague full of great respect! Remember, I didn't use the words "dreary bullshit." I am aware of a world full of different methods, styles, techniques and inspirations that I personally would not dare to cast judgment upon. But I know what's right for ME. And that I share with YOU. As a free-thinker I believe all sides must be looked at dispassionately, with open curiosity, objectively and subjectively too. That's a passion of mine. Who am I to say Strasberg's method is wrong, point blank? Nobody. And I don't.

-Craig Calman


Years before Cagney stated the above, another Warner Bros. contract player made her thoughts on the subject clear:

"With young actors who talk about becoming the character and losing themselves in a role, I must argue. There is a part of you that must hold the reins and control the projection. There is a part of you that must be aware of pacing and timing.....Without discipline and detachment, an actor is an emotional slob, spilling his insides. This tasteless, formless, absurd. Without containment there is no art. All this vomiting and wheezing and bursting at the seams is no more great acting than the convulsions of raving maniacs. They may as well put up camp chairs in the violent ward at Creedmore and sell tickets."

-Bette Davis

The Lonely Life, 1962





"Whether it's Butte, Montana or Broadway it's an audience, the same hulking monster with 4,000 eyes and 40,000 teeth."

-John Barrymore


"Everyone who goes to the theatre has a right to his own opinion but he doesn't have a right to have it taken seriously."

-Tyrone Guthrie


"Traveling salesmen...lived like artists, like actors whose product is first of all themselves, forever imagining triumphs in a world that either ignores them or denies their presence altogether. But just as often enough to keep the game going one of them makes it and swings to the moon on a thread of dreams unwinding out of himself."

-Arthur Miller


"In this business [Hollywood show biz] there are a million different reasons people don't want to work with you. You're too Jewish, you're not Jewish enough, they want a bigger star, they think you cost too much money. Most people are very economical with the truth out here, so it's very hard to determine cause and effect."

-Ron Silver


"Even nice people can be successful."

-Gavin MacLeod


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