Nancy Vunovich - Celebration Of Life
1929 - 2000

About Nancy

Posted: February 03, 2008

Prison Break Blog

by Wade Williams

Hi everyone.

Since Prison Break has been such a success, many people I've met have been interested in what it's like to be an actor. They are asking me how I got started, what I've done and what it's like to works as an actor. I thought you might be interested, too.

I have come to believe in something I call "Destiny." There are many other names for it. In "Destiny" I mean there are certain events that seem unrelated that have drawn me toward and to: where/who/what I am today. I have learned that I should never make plans because my plans rarely if ever work out and the plans that Destiny chooses for me are much more interesting and fulfilling than any that I can come up with. Serendipity's a good name for it, too.

I never wanted to be an actor. It's not something I consciously decided to be. I always envied people who knew what they wanted to do when they where ten! Not my story. I was interested in everything. I always loved to pretend, or as my parents called it "lie." I grew up playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, "army" and all that stuff. My family wasn't well off so my brother, sisters and I would play with what we could find or make. We made a soapbox car out of an old Big Wheel, some plywood, and 2x4s and called it the "X-15". We raced that thing down a hill the size of Everest ? or so we thought ? complete with a parachute as an air break, because our neighbors got tired of our 2x4 drag break tearing up their turf. We'd put on plays and even did a circus or two, complete with cream pies and clowns.

So we made or own fun. I still love to do that.

I always loved music and singing. When I was growing up my Dad was an Episcopal priest (Episcopal priests can marry), and he had a great singing voice. I loved to watch and listen to him in the processional as he sung and walked into the church with the clergy and the choir ? robes flowing and organ crowing.

We drove around in the 60s and 70s in a VW bus with no radio and the only tunes we had where the ones he and our Mom taught us and we would sing ourselves down the highway.

Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, our next-door neighbor was Dr. Robert Haley and he too has an eclectic personality. He turned me onto classical music, blue grass and opera as well as a positive attitude, which all take practice as I've come to find out. Dr. Haley also designed the 2x4 drag break for the X-15.

So, I was and am fascinated by many things. Our family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I finished high school there. After graduation I decided that I better work a year or two before I tried college and began working first at a fence company (worst job I ever had) putting the points on 1x4s all day long, four at a time. Then, I worked at a bank in the stock room handing out pens, paper and envelopes. Eventually, I ended up working at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa as a surgical orderly (best job I ever had) and began going to The University of Tulsa, studying Pre-med. That didn't last long. I kept the hospital job and became an "undeclared" major at T.U. and took lots of different classes, including singing lessons. I was singing in the choir at St. Antony's Church in Tulsa and thought some singing lessons might help (Boy, did I need them!). After a year or so, my voice teacher, Jane Carmichael, asked if I would like to audition for the musical. I did and I got the part of Miles Glorious in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Forum. I shook like a leaf in every performance. I loved it. I got to sing and pretend I was a Roman soldier! It doesn't get much better than that.
I was very impressed by the Director, Nancy Vunovich, and after the run was over, I found myself taking acting classes and ended up graduating with a BFA in Acting.

So serendipity hooked me up with inspired people like Jane Carmichael and
Nancy Vunovich who inspired me to become interested in the theatre and especially musical theatre, something I never imagined myself doing. Dr. David Cook at T.U. was also an inspiration and a great help to me.

After graduating from college, I thought, "What am I going to do now? I got an acting degree?" I don't think there is any more unmarketable degree I could have gotten ? maybe a degree in History or English Literature? I could have gone to law school I guess, but I decided I would get a Masters in Fine Arts in theater. That way, if I couldn't get an acting job, then at least I could teach at a university. You can tell I was interested in being rich!

Our Thanks To:


Taken From

Interesting Webb song covers

(posted by Robert Beasley on May 30, 2007 at 00:56:48)


I've come across a couple of interesting Webb songs covered, one national and the other of some local artists, that are also of merit.
While browsing through the Jazz section of a local music store here in Tulsa, I was surprised to find a CD (import) of "The Real Great Escape" by guitarist Larry Coryell, originally released in 1973.
Most Webb fans know that Coryell guested on Jimmy's "And So:  On" album.
Coryell does "All My Love's Laughter" and "P.F. Sloan" on this C.D.
Both are credible performances, although Coryell's vocals are certainly no match for his imaginative guitar abilities.
More recently, while on my way to the bank, I stopped at an Estate sale and found a local recording that I never knew existed, "Nancy and the President",
recorded by J. Paschal Twyman, the President of the University of Tulsa from 1968 to 1989, and Nancy Vunovich, who was the chairwoman of the University of Tulsa's theater department from 1970-1983 and 1986-1989.
The duo recorded Webb's "By The Time I Get to Phoenix."
Why is this local recording of any interest?
Because in October of 1989, The University of Tulsa theater department did an adaptation of Ray Bradbury's book "Dandelion Wine" with the musical score written by Jimmy Webb!
I believe that Vunovich directed the play and much to my surprise, Jimmy appeared on opening night.
I couldn't find a release date on "Nancy and the President", so I don't know if the album was released before or after the staging of "Dandelion Wine."
The record doesn't have a label but was recorded at ITTI studios here in Tulsa, and was engineered by Sonny Gray, a well known local musician


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