Seasoned actor takes stage at Egyptian
The acting bug bit Park City’s Terence Goodman at an early age. When he was only 13, he developed his own puppet show and toured the state of Iowa entertaining children.
Now, years later, he is performing the role of Cladwell B. Cladwell at the Egyptian Theatre production of "Urinetown."
In high school, his acting career almost ended.
"I gave it up for athletics," Goodman said.
This earned him football and track scholarships to Arkansas State. He followed in the footsteps of his father and brother.
"Both my dad and my brother are in four athletic hall of fames in Iowa," Goodman said.
Athletics became the tool, however, to put him through school where he received a bachelor of fine arts. When college ended, his acting career began, although it took some malnourishment and losing a few pounds first. Four of his college buddies moved with him to New York, with no job or guarantee of money, to pursue his dream of acting. They shared rent in a small apartment.
"I went through a starving period where I lost weight and all I ate was a bagel all day."
Goodman said he learned to live on 35 cents a day.
"I couldn’t get a job bartending or anything else."
His period of unemployment lasted less than a year, however. He soon started making money performing in a children’s theater and then got his first big break in 1972 when he was cast as Judas in the original Broadway production of "Jesus Christ Superstar." He also worked as an understudy with Treat Williams in a World War II Broadway show called "Over Here!" Actors such as John Travolta also worked that production.
"There’s always been my ups and down periods where I didn’t have work for eight to nine months," Goodman said. "But always, at the 11th hour, something would come through. I’ve learned how to stretch a buck, because you never know."
His career hit the fast-track following his initial success. After two years on Broadway, he moved to Los Angeles where he earned a starring role as James Hartley in the Warner Brothers movie, "Ode to Billy Joel." In his 33-year career, he has performed in more than 150 professional plays and musicals, in 50 television shows, 40 national T.V. commercials and has featured or starred in seven motion pictures. As a writer he has optioned two screenplays and television pilots as well as written several produced plays. He was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award for Direction from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
While in L.A., he worked in various series at Sun Classic, where he met people who were connected with Utah. He played a role in a movie about the Wright Brothers that was filmed in Park City.
It was a time when, he said, Park City’s Main Street stores were empty.
"It was a whole different era up here then," he said.
He gained close friends while he worked here, but, L.A. called again. He moved back to the City of Angels until 1988.
That year Hollywood suffered a writer’s strike where, Goodman said, "There were no movies or commercials being produced for 16 months."
Unable to find a job, he was pulled back to the theater to find work, and subsequently, returned to Utah. He was cast in a play at the Logan Summer Repertory Theater. During his tenure at the Logan Theater, he was offered a teaching job at Utah State University. Utah State offered to pay for a master’s degree as he taught.
While receiving his master’s in fine arts, he met his current wife, Catherine Jackson. After the got married they moved back to L.A. to resume his career in showbiz.
Los Angeles turned out to be a bust.
"At that time, I was bitten by the theater bug," Goodman said. "We were fed up with L.A.; it didn’t hold any charm anymore."
So he returned to Broadway in 1993. Nine years later, they moved to Iowa, where he is from originally, and Goodman taught at Iowa State for a couple years, until the lure of Park City began to pop up in conversations.
"We always wanted to retire in Park City," Goodman said.
They had a two-year-old child and they thought it would be good to raise their child here with all the outdoor and other opportunities that are available in the area, Goodman said.
In the year since they arrived, Goodman has been actively involved in acting around the state and his wife works for Summit Financial.
Aside from Goodman’s part in "Urinetown," he has played some feature roles in movies and done a few local commercials. He has also been cast as Billy Flynn in the musical "Chicago" that will run in Salt Lake’s Pioneer Theater.
Goodman feels lucky to have been able to make a career out of acting.
"It’s a grind. It gets in your blood. It’s tough to make a living at it, it’s pretty difficult; I’ve been lucky, it’s been my only job. I never got star status, but I’ve been a lot of characters and leading men. I’ve always worked in it and all of a sudden, I’ve been doing it for 33 years. Now it’s all I can do. I wouldn’t know how to do anything else."
"Urinetown" is a special opportunity for Goodman. He turned down a job to direct a show in Logan and to be in a film because, he said, "it is an interesting show. It’s quirky, funny, smart, very smart and intellectual. As an actor you can really dig into these characters."
Actors always look for a role they can bring out their best, he added, and this show enables them to do that.
"I really enjoy working up here. I certainly don’t do ("Urinetown") for the money," he said. "There’s a lot of talent in Utah. It’s a great cast and they’re easy to work with. There are no prima-donnas here. I look forward to going to rehearsal and I look forward to going to shows, and that doesn’t happen everywhere. It’s a really strong regional theater because of the way they conduct themselves. They’re just going to grow and get better and better."
He believes many of the actors in the local Egyptian Theatre production are top-notch actors.
"Kim Blackett, who plays Officer Lockstock, could perform anywhere. Steve Barlow is a great musical director and the director is a real joy. It’s a real strong, creative team. They’re willing to take chances."
"Urinetown" is a show that, Goodman says, "You can walk away discussing the show and singing tunes. It’s exciting for theater shows. It stimulates you and makes you think."
The award-winning comical musical, "Urinetown," a play that is more innocent than its name implies, made its regional premiere last weekend at the Egyptian Theatre. It will run until Aug. 19. For tickets and information, call 649-9371.
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