There was a time in my life when I thought I'd marry the girl I met in ninth grade and move to California to be a famous actor; she'd be a college professor of math or science. It didn't happen as poetically or romantically. I lost contact with her when I transferred high schools, occasionally receiving updates from a mutual friend.
I didn't move to Hollywood with my first serious girlfriend, but escaped to New York City. There were a few people and situations that lead to my decision to move to the East Coast. It's all water under the bridge, and washed out to sea by now.
I miss performing on stage, film, and performing or reading scriptures at my Methodist church down south. Life was different back then. I didn't have to deal with an octopus of a director until college, even though I'd been warned long before of people in the business who only wanted to take advantage of unsuspecting younger actors. I think of the monologue from the play Small Craft Warnings by Tennessee Williams, when the character has tried to fool an older man into believing he's one thing, when he's clearly the other. In my recasting, my former drama professor from college is the fraud.
I don't know what happened that I stopped auditioning, training, and pursuing the craft of acting. I can't wholly blame dirty old predatory women and men in the industry as to why I have abandoned the profession after so many years of joy experienced in front of a live audience.
The number of bad Hollywood movies and TV shows is reason enough to dust off the headshots and résumés and start auditioning again. I know I still have it. I've had to rely on my acting, directing, and persuasive talents in uncreative corporate jobs and in social settings. Why not get paid for it expressly as an actor? I've nothing to lose.
I'm in the early stages of forming a production company, and joining forces with two friends as they create their own production companies. Together, we'll work on short films, documentaries, and eventually feature film projects as actors, writers, and directors.
I've named my future company Keneritz Media. My grandmother's nickname for me is Keneritz. Folks ask, "Why Keneritz?" The story is that my younger brothers and I have similar sounding names as do three of my cousins. One day Granny was calling out to me and was temporarily stumped as to which "Ken" I was. She said, "Hey, you, Keneris!" The assembled family in her living room looked around, and after laughing, realized she was pointing at me. I phoneticized the mistake to Ken E. Ritz, and began using it as a poetry pen name. It sounded very Hollywood razzle dazzle, but didn't capture the warmth and closeness of what Granny represents. Away with the spaces and punctuation, and Keneritz was born.
My ideal world is where I'd write short stories, novels, and screenplays. I'd adapt the short stories and novels for the screen, and either sell, direct, produce, or act in the screenplays. At the end of the week, I'd drive away to a country home with room for a pony and dogs.