By Ryan Meehan
It was a long and windy road that led Regan Burns to his current status as an actor/sketch comic/commercial spokesman/game show host. During his junior year at Radford University in Virginia, he made the wise decision to relinquish his gymnastics scholarship and pursue the life of a thespian. Most of this decision was based on the fact that gymnasts don’t get residual checks. After graduating with a theatre degree, Regan attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Upon his completion, Regan said, “California is the place I want to be.” So he loaded up his truck and…Well, you know the story. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Regan performed on the stages of The Groundlings, Acme Comedy, HBO Workspace, Attic Theatre, West End Playhouse and the Zephyr. However, his big break in the biz that is show didn’t occur until the Omnipop Talent Agency took a chance on a guy whose biggest credit was that he once was on a set in which he thought he saw Jon Voight. The rest is television history, and we’re happy to have him as our guest today in 5 questions.
FOH: How did you get your start in acting? What was your first big break?
RB: I got my start in the biz just like most people, I slept my way to the top. But it’s not what you think. I mean I literally “slept.” I’m very lazy. Actually, my first real acting job was one line on the sitcom, Suddenly Susan. Yes, that makes me really old. After several years performing at The Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles, I finally got paid to be on camera and utter my first words on Network television; “My name is Jeff.” The rest is television history. It’s hard to narrow down a “first big break.” But if you held me to it, I’d probably say booking the job as the host and star of the Spike TV show, Oblivious. The hidden camera/game show ran for two years and gave me a chance to showcase myself to a large audience.
FOH: Most of your work has been in television as opposed to films…Why do you think that TV has continued to be such a successful medium with all of the technological advances in the entertainment industry?
RB: People love TV! Always have, always will. Yeah, I guess it’s true, more and more of the kids these days are watching TV on their computers and tablets, but TV still rules the school. There is still something about gathering around the boob tube with your family or friends and watching your favorite show, movie or sporting event. And for crying out loud, they are so big now! It’s like you have to remove a wall, just to get a television in your home now.
FOH: Speaking of those technological advances, are you big into a lot of the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook or do you consider yourself to be a guy who could do without all of that?
RB: Oh sure, I do the tweeting and facebooking, but I’ll also be the first to admit it can be a complete and utter time suck. I go on sporadically. Sometimes I’ll tweet 20 times in one day. They I wont be on for a week. I feel I have to be inspired to say anything. I don’t want to do it, just to do it. And as far as Facebook goes I’m on there as well, but let’s be honest; all Facebook is, is a way for people from your past that you never wanted to hear from again, to hunt you down and then share pictures of their dumb kids with you. Thanks Mark Zuckerberg!!
FOH: Better set to do a cameo on: “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” or “Reno 911!”? Had you known a lot of the people that worked on those shows before you were asked to act in them?
RB: Not a soul. I auditioned for both Sunny and Reno without ever having met any of the stars or producers, but both experiences were outstanding. The great thing about both productions is that they encouraged improvisation (especially Reno). Whenever any project let’s me play it loose with the script, I’m in 7th heaven. No, not the horrible WB show.
FOH: I loved “Halfway Home”…I thought it was a show that was way underrated and I miss it dearly. How were you notified that Comedy Central wasn’t going to order anymore episodes of the show and how did you handle that as an actor?
RB: Well thanks! We also had a blast making that show. We had been pitching shows to Comedy Central for a couple of years, and Halfway Home was finally the one they bit on. Although we only did one season, we all truly felt we could have kept going. We kind of saw it coming though. The ratings were never stellar, and for whatever reason, it never really found an audience. But yeah, it kind of still stung when it came to an end. Fortunately though, the whole cast has gone on to successful careers. Except for Octavia Spencer. Whatever happened to her??
FOH: What would you like to do in the entertainment industry that you haven’t had the chance to do up to this point? Could you ever see yourself as a director?
RB: Well I haven’t gotten to do a love scene with Catherine Zeta Jones yet. I’d kind of like to knock that off the ole career bucket list. And sure, I’d like to direct someday. I’m hoping a get a chance to direct an episode or two of the Disney show I am now sometime in the future. More on that later.
FOH: Could you talk about your work as a film review contributor on the Marc Germain show on TalkRadioOne.com?
RB: Well, I’ve always been a movie buff and I use to do film reviews for AOL (remember them?) back in the day. I had been on Marc’s show once or twice in the past to help publicize some projects and he and I always seem to hit it off. One day the phone rang, and he said, why don’t ya come on the air once in awhile and talk movies. I haven’t been able to get on with him lately as much as I would like, but I still call in when I can and mix it up. I don’t see as many film as I use to (my kids take up so much friggin’ time!) but I still try to take in all the big ones.
FOH: What’s next for Regan Burns in the twelve months that follow? Any big plans in the works that we should know about?
RB:Well, I am just about to wrap up filming on season one of the new Disney Show, Dog with a Blog. The show airs new episodes every Sunday night on the Disney Channel and is part of their new “family friendly” programming. Dog with a Blog follows in the footsteps of their hit show, Good Luck Charlie in their return to family based sitcoms that the whole family will enjoy. And after that? 2013? I guess world domination? Or maybe just shoot a commercial or two? Maybe a movie or guest star on a hit drama on CBS? Naaaahhh, I’ll just stick with world domination.
Regan’s Official Website: www.reganburns.com
Regan on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Reganburns
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