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couple of years ago, while watching DOC, I was particularly impressed with one
actors performance. It was John Posey as Donny, the autistic man, that
Clint Cassidy befriended. I have met many autistic people and people with mental
problems and the reason, that I was immediately impressed with Johns performance
was because it was so believable and so difficult to imagine that he was actually
It was later
that I found out that the actor was not only a good actor, but also the father
of Tyler Posey, the young actor, who plays Raul on DOC and played Danny, the
son of a terrorist, who wanted to lead the FBI team into a trap, so they could
be blown up. What really topped it for me is that John Posey used to live right
my neighborhood and was a disc-jockey for a local radio station in Gainesville.
has an impressive career as an actor and scriptwriter. His list of roles are
too long to mention in this article, but suffice to say, hes acted in
films like Robocob to Television shows like Seinfeld, but to us DOC and Sue
Thomas FBEye fans, John is known as Donny and one of the scriptwriters of DOC.
out talking about how John got into the acting business. I needed a job
so that I could go to the University of Florida. I was at the University of
South Florida and left for a year and I was pursuing radio on my own as an intern.
I had interest in it. I moved to Atlanta, where I was able to secure a job at
a couple of talk radio shows and it gave me enough education, where I could
go back to Gainesville and the first place that I applied was WDVH ( a local
country radio station). So, while I was at school studying journalism and advertising,
I was actually working at a first rate radio station, where I learned quite
a bit. I won a couple of Abby awards as a writer for radio copy and ended up
actually lecturing some of the students in my class about the concept of copyrighting.
So, it helped me a lot as a student, because I was working every day in the
business in which I was studying. I got a lot done. I produced and did the voice
for many commercials, which is probably how I became an actor. WDVH has a website
that they put together about 4 years ago, that helps everybody stay in touch.
www.wdvh.org. WDVH has spun some pretty well
known broadcasters, not the least of which is Forest Sawyer and Jamie McIntire,
the CNN White House Correspondent, and Mark Fowler, the one time head of the
FCC. Even though Ive been an actor for 20 years, Im primarily now
focused on screenwriting. Ive got a film which I wrote that is ready to
go into production in the next few months. I owe a lot of that to early writing
for radio and later for TV in the advertising world. Even though I got my degree
in advertising, somewhere along the line I found a stronger desire to be on
the other side of the camera.
So my background
was mostly in the writing side. I left Gainesville and went to Atlanta, where
out of the blue on a whim, I formed a comedy group with some other really talented
people, many of whom were FSU drama students and Georgia people and we put together
a really successful comedy review, much like Saturday Night Live people, from
that I had some talent people from ABC invite me to Los Angeles and put me in
TV series and thats how I got out here. I do mostly TV movies of the week,
and some have been truly rewarding, when youre on the set with folks like
James Woods or Tom Hanks, people like that, doing great work and just sort of
get yourself lost in a character and being able to create a certain emotion,
that makes the story work and is part of a success of a collaboration of a lot
of people. Its a real high for me.
working on television shows and movies, John and his two sons have appeared
in many commercials. I do a lot of commercial work. Ive been the
voice of Pennzoil, of Dockers, of the US Air Force, beers, Yamaha, Suzuki car
work, you name it across the board. Ive never been fortunate enough to
get into animation. Thats a very tight knit community of a very small
select group of people that the studios like to go back to time and time again.
I know them all. I havent gotten into it. Tyler has done a little bit
of animation as well as commercial work as has my other little guy.
time in the South influenced him a lot in how he approached roles. Country
music introduced me to a whole lifestyle, certain kind of personalities and
I later as a writer, I incorporated a lot of what I discovered in Gainesville,
and later in Atlanta, in Athens, Georgia, a true part of the Rich Deep South
in my writing. I did a one man show that I sold to the studios as a film. Its
been critically acclaimed and is called: Father, Son, and Holy Coach.
It was very much about people that I met in Gainesville and in Atlanta, Athens
and places like that.
is a Country Southern story telling flair to it, the kind you sit around on
a back porch and listen to stories that might be hard to believe. I got a lot
of that from people that I met working in country radio. It added a lot to the
story. And it is something that I traveled with in 1990 as a one man show. Sony
Pictures bought the rights to it and didnt make the film for a number
of reasons, but it has come back to me again and were out to sell it again
as a film or a TV series.
I asked John if having worked on the country radio station had any influence on him getting a role on DOC with Billy Ray Cyrus. I knew of Billy Ray Cyrus, and am very familiar with him, prior to the show, but actually, what happened was is that the Johnson Brothers are acquaintances of mine. We had played Softball together, Dave had hired me as an actor, for another show he did called Against the Grain, which was not unlike the one man show that I did. What brought me to this show was Tyler. They were looking to cast a young Raul, when I said: Tyler is just getting started as an actor. He was 8 at the time. The comment was that they needed to hire a kid from Canada, so I dropped the conversation, only to get a call a couple of months later from a casting person, telling me that they wanted to see Tyler. And I said: Well, I already had this conversation a couple of months ago with the producers, but I understand he needs to be Canadian. Then they told me they just couldnt find a boy out there or in New York. So, Tyler went in and read and the producers, the director George Bloomfield, they all loved Tyler and the next thing I know, were going to Canada to shoot the pilot. Dave had asked me also, if I wanted to write a couple of episodes, which I thought I would, because I was making the transfer from a career as an actor to a scriptwriter. If you pull my way up under the IMDB website, youll see I have a pretty long track record of TV and some films as an actor. I was beginning to get more offers as a writer, thanks to the play: Father, Son, and Holy Coach, I had just written a film for Disney and Dave said: Would you like to write a couple of episodes? So, I wrote the episode called: Face in the Mirror, which is about the doctor, who lost his son and the model, who is consumed with losing weight. Then Dave and Gary approached me about doing the character of Donny, which is based upon a character I met in Gainesville, which I do in my one man show and thats how Donny came along.
John how he approached the character of Donny. When you get behind a character
like Donny, you almost need to improvise, because you dont know what is
going to come out of his mouth, because Im playing someone, who clearly
lives in his own world. I can slip into Donny and can get into some real comedy,
because he has an amusing sense of humor, but I told Gary. You cant
really write for him. You can, but chances are, hell be all over the page
and whatever comes out, we can keep. Thats an interesting character
to do. Id like to do more of that. Theres not a whole lot of call
for that unfortunately, but when you get behind something that is so different,
obviously, you have to create something within you. There is sort of a mask,
youre putting on, because hes so out there. But whatever it is,
get into it and words come out that arent really scripted, whatever it
is that whatever you are going to say, just say it. It becomes interesting.
What we decided on was that the guy was somewhat autistic. You have to play
that. He was in his own world. He really didnt have close relationships
with anybody. He had difficulty making eye contact with people, but was brilliant
in some things. He couldnt put two and two together in other things. He
was fun to play.
big love though is screen writing. Im 50. Im beginning to
enjoy this process as a writer. Im about to have a film thats about
to go into production by the people that made Million Dollar Baby,
so this will be my first big studio level film that I wrote and produced. I
think for me, it is the most fun thing I do. I write from the heart. I write
stories that deal with human triumph over adversity and where there is hope.
Now, that Im 50, I realize that I probably chose the wrong end of this
career. Acting was so much fun. As I began writing, I find much more gratitude.
It would be nice to know that I wrote something that inspired people in a positive
way as well as being a good guy.
What is most important to John though is his family. I have great relationships with both of my boys and thats important. I know that my dad and I werent that close, most of my friends arent that close with their parents, so I make it a point with my brother and my brothers kids and my kids, that we have a good time all the time.
John Posey resides with his wife, Cyndi (see picture above) and his three sons, Derek, Tyler and Jesse in the Los Angeles, California area.
You can see some classic photos of John Posey on the website: www.wdvh.org, including some photographs of him performing: Father, Son, and Holy Coach.
(Not only can John be seen in DOC and some of his writing for the show, recently he has made an appearance during DOC and Sue Thomas FBEye on one of the most unlikely places you'd ever think of. He can be seen doing one of the commercials for Pacificare. Click on the link to watch the commercial. (The file is almost 5.3 MB, thus it might take a while to download it, if you are on a dial-up connection.)
John Posey's Commercial )