Bob Balaban

The year I graduated high school I apprenticed in summer stock at Guy Little, Jr.’s, Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, Illinois. I acted, painted floors, sang, built scenery, danced and cleaned toilets. On my way home at night I was chased by cows. I lived next door to the railroad tracks. A train came by every half-hour and dishes literally fell from the table. I appeared in children’s shows in the morning, the Equity play at night and the apprentice musical on the weekend. I met Joe E. Brown, Marie Wilson and Linda Darnell. It was the best summer of my life. I was asked to come back the next season and got my Equity card. I played the kid in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. Four years later, I was going to New York University during the day, appearing on Broadway in another Neil Simon play, Plaza Suite, at night and acting in the movie Midnight Cowboy on the intermittent weekdays. Things really hadn’t changed very much. They still haven’t.