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By DOS

In an answer to "You’ve conducted many orchestras. Which one did you enjoy the most?": "The one I conducted shortest. I actually conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 47 seconds, the coda of the Ruslan and Ludmila overture. It was before the Illinois young performers competition sort of showcase. These astonishingly gifted kids played six movements or excerpts from larger works and they through me a bone the second year they let me conduct the orchestra. I was nearly breathless when I then had to turn around and talk to people. I was so jazzed. One of the most rewarding orchestra gigs was the SF chamber orchestra; it was the first full concert I’d ever conducted. I had to fly back to SF from England where I was shooting the first Olympics. They gave me a week off and I went to SF, rehearsed the concert, played the concert, flew back to London to keep working on the mini series. It was the first time an orchestra refused to stand at the end of the concert when I asked them to rise. It’s an incredible offering of respect and appreciation and it just floored me. It was a great moment." - transcribed from Clip 4 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 29-AUG-2005)

In an answer to "What is your favorite piece [of classical music]?": "The one I’m studying. It sounds like such a cop out and I don’t mean it to but whatever’s next, whatever really stunning piece of music I get to approach next and hammer the secrets out of, of structure, choice, contrast, architecture, melodic structure. It’s one of the most thrilling pieces of detective work I know. I’ve been taken over by the Schumann 4th symphony I just did it in concert this year and it will not let me alone. ••• The other one is the Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, which I’ve done a couple times and I think is about as much musical genius and melodic richness and affect as you can pack into 14 minutes. It’s astonishingly concise and powerful." - transcribed from Clip 4 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 29-AUG-2005)

In an answer to "Which do you get more enjoyment from – conducting or acting? ": "What’s next is what I really really like to regard. I don’t care if it’s voice over work, or commercial, or directing a play, or doing a guest appearance with an orchestra, or going into some sort of ear training for a movie, or what is next. That I keep working just astonishes me. I never take it for granted." - transcribed from Clip 4 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 29-AUG-2005)

In an answer to "Are there any recordings of available of concerts with you conducting?" "No. Usually recordings are made by people who really do have the chops to lay down an interpretation and believe that that is worth preserving by recording. I have a lot of archival recordings of concerts I’ve done and have some cds I travel with but they’re personal stuff. I’ve thought actually of going to Europe where orchestras are exceedingly inexpensive Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and recording, unsurprisingly, the Schumann 4th, and Ravel’s Mother Goose and a lot of Beethoven which is where music goes for me. Maybe a 2-disc set but I would offer it for nothing for public television and radio to use as fundraisers, signed copies of it to raise money, and sometimes to raise money for the American federation of musicians pension fund since all our pensions are sort of in question at the moment and we’re needing to look carefully to the future. It seems to me that it wouldn’t hurt as a way to feed back into music what it has given to me." - transcribed from Clip 4 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 29-AUG-2005)

In an answer to a question about if he would voicing any more cartoons in the future:
"We don't say CARTOONS we say ANIMATED FEATURES. ;-) So, no, I don't know of any. There's nothing on the horizon. ••• I am still doing voice work for LILO AND STITCH for Disney and did the two Miyazaki films and that's all I know. There's nothing else on the horizon but that could change with a phone call Tuesday. The business is frustrating and wonderful in that there is no work for a few months stretch that you know of, then your agent calls on Wednesday afternoon, 'can you get on a plane Thursday and go to ?' Sure. It's great." - transcribed from Clip 3 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 22-AUG-2005)

In an answer to "Do you like science fiction or is that just how the roles go?":
"Yes. [ long pause ] Okay, that wasn't fair. I really like science fiction because it tells terrifically human stories in a framework that keeps you visually excited and challenged and let's you recognized the commonality of the characters in the piece with you and people you know in the here and now. It causes you to think about big things in ways that are practical and real that otherwise might become just theoretical. ••• I love science fiction. It's a cool way to tell character-based stories." - transcribed from Clip 3 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 22-AUG-2005)

In an answer to "Does it bother you when people come up to you and call you Charles or talk about M*A*S*H?": "I think it bothers a lot of actors when people call them by a character name because it eliminates YOU from the moment. My usual response is 'This isn't Korea, I'm not fictional, my name is David.' Another reason why I don't like talking about M*A*S*H is that it's frozen. It's done. I'm actually tired of talking about it. I have no new thoughts about it. I don't sit around and think about it every day. And people sort of yank me back a quarter of a century into something that is on film and there are books about it. If they want to know, they can read. But it's not something that I live in, I don't cling to, it's not central to me. And I acknowledge that it put me in view of an awful lot of people -- and I mean globally -- but there's almost something reverential about it that just gives me the creeps. It was a great bunch of story telling and a great bunch of storytellers and it was a great job and now, you get on with what's next. And I'm very lucky and happy that DEAD ZONE is next." - transcribed from Clip 3 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 22-AUG-2005)

In an answer to "Of all the characters you've played, what was the most challenging, what was the most interesting and fun for you?": "Oy. All three of those things are answered by one role and I've done it three times, it is the hardest thing probably pretty much any actor will ever do and it's the title role in Shakespeare's KING LEAR. You just find out what you've got as a human being, and as an actor, what your insights are what your stamina is. And I remember always the advice of an eminent English actor [Sir Donald Wolfit?] who said the secret of playing Lear is to pick a light Cordelia. In act five in the penultimate scene Lear actually carries his dead daughter in his arms on stage and at the end of four fairly exhausting acts a light Cordelia is sort of looked forward to." - transcribed from Clip 3 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 22-AUG-2005)

In an answer to "Does anyone call you Dave?":
"Not and walk away without a limp. I hate being called Dave." - transcribed from Clip 2 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 25-JUL-2005)

In an answer to a question about how he acquired that scar on his chin:
"Actually, it’s from a bicycle accident when I was in my mid-thirties. ••• It gives my face character that it might otherwise not have. ••• [ graphic description omitted] ••• I’m grateful for it, if only because I get extra attention from the ladies in makeup." - transcribed from Clip 2 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 25-JUL-2005)

In an answer to a question about what accomplishment he is most proud of:
"I would like to think my proudest accomplishment has not been done yet. I have some friendships that have stayed in place and growing and incredibly rewarding for as long as thirty-five years, forty years. And I think in the times we live in, that’s a bit of an accomplishment. My pride is the people I know and the people who care about me. It’s amazing." - transcribed from Clip 2 at 5 QUESTIONS FOR... DAVID OGDEN STIERS (PUBLISHED 25-JUL-2005)

NOTE: you can also view some Dead Zone/Purdy-related answers at The Purdy Portal

Is voice-over character acting different from performing in front of a camera?:
"My notion is that it all starts in the same place. I don't care if you're doing a VW commercial or Euripides," says Stiers, 59. "There is an elevation of emotion, spirit, audibility, that happens particularly in classical theater," he adds. "Once you're unafraid on stage to do the storm scene in 'Lear' or be the ghost in 'Hamlet,' you can summon all those images of size and space and vividness in front of a microphone." - from "The Unusual Suspects" by Jon Burlingame (Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times) Published May 5, 2002

About the M*A*S*H 30 year reunion special...
"Oh, I had a great time... loved it, loved seeing everyone. It was a great time. But you know, after a quarter century, or more, I've pulled up the zipper on talking about it. Twenty-five years is enough and you can only talk about it so much and with reruns, I really don't have anything to add. It was nice but I 've zipped it up all the way to the top and fastened it tight." - from "The Dead Zone" and David Ogden Stiers " by Reg@CA (Corona's Test Pattern) Published June 13, 2002

About playing villains...
"You have to like the characters, even if they're villains," Stiers said. "You have to like every character you play regardless of what they do. Even murderers pet dogs, you know." - from "The Cast Of The Jade Scorpion" by Fred Topel (Madblast.com) August 22, 20001

About DOS

"Possess[es] an admirable air of class and a pleasant, intellectual demeanor..." - from "The Dead Zone" and David Ogden Stiers " by Reg@CA (Corona's Test Pattern) June 13, 2002

"At first, Stiers can seem quite imposing, not just because of his size -- he is a couple of inches over six feet -- but because of the intelligence in his eyes, the carefully chosen words he delivers in soft, measured tones that command your attention." - from an article by Barrett Hooper (National Post Online) March 6, 2002

 

   
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