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Rick Kerrigan

SAN CLEMENTE- (CA.)-Rick Kerrigan gets paid to talk but he wants to be famous for it.  Kerrigan, 47, of San Clemente, works as the sales manager for Laguna Tools in Irvine, selling specialty machinery to the professional woodworking industry and serious woodworkers all over the United States and Canada.  He has been Artistic Director for the Cabrillo Playhouse in San Clemente for the past 3 years and now after a speaking part in the San Diego County based FX television program, “Terriers”, he has been reading more scripts than tool brochures and technical manuals.

Kerrigan, originally from the Chicago area, came to Orange County in 1978 at the age of 14, when his father was transferred for a job at International Paper as plant manager, settling in Huntington Beach.  His first part on stage was in the 6th grade, when he played the scarecrow in the “Wizard of Oz at Lieb Elementary in Bridgeview, Illinois.  More parts followed but when he came to California as a freshman in high school, he left the stage behind and didn’t return until he auditioned, and played the part of “Walter Kowski” in the Irvine Repertory Theatre’s production of *Mash* in 2001.

“I knew I loved being on stage but when we came to California, I had new friends and it wasn’t cool, so I left it behind.”  Kerrigan said.

Many area contractors and homeowners will remember Kerrigan as store manager for “Junior’s Tools” which operated inside the now closed Serra Lumber in Capistrano Beach.  Junior’s Tools closed for good in early 2003 and Kerrigan, living in San Clemente since 1999, saw an opening at Laguna Tools and was hired the same day he interviewed.  Kerrigan met his wife in 2003 during San Juan Capistrano’s Camino Real Repertory Theatre’s stage production of Neil Simon’s play “Rumors” and married in 2005.  The couple now have a daughter, Madelyn, 2 ½, who has already begun to do advertizing work.

Since returning to the stage, Kerrigan has been involved in over 40 productions, writing, producing, directing or acting, all in South County Theatre or film groups.  Kerrigan signed last year with talent agent Walter Ruskin of Actors Management Agency in San Diego, and has acted in several independent and industrial (business training) films including “Sandman”, written and directed by Stephen Cunnane, also of San Clemente.  “Sandman”, where he plays the “moon”, and another independent film entitled “Vengence of the Black Cloth”, directed by Aaron Tyler Burke, of Los Angeles, is a western where Kerrigan plays a bare-knuckle fight referee.  Both films will be finishing this year for submission to various film festivals across the country.

Kerrigan auditioned in May for 20th Century Fox’s FX television production of “Terriers”, beating out 200 others to play a bartender in an up-scale hotel with 4 speaking lines.  According to Kerrigan it’s not much but it’s a start and enough to require him to join the American Federation of Television and Radio Artist union, or AFTRA.

“I went into wardrobe…I had my own trailer and they treated me like a king…you don’t realize what a production it is, with all the people, but there I was…It was really fun, and I got paid scale.” Kerrigan said

“Terriers” is a comedic drama and takes place in Ocean Beach in San Diego County, detailing the lives of two un-licensed private investigators; one an ex-cop, played by Donal Logue as Hank, a recovering alcoholic and “Britt”, played by Michael Raymond-James as a former felon and Logue’s partner.  Kerrigan plays a bartender in the upcoming episode “Asunder”, which was shot at the “Grand Del Mar Hotel” in San Diego, in October. Logue’s character finds himself at the wedding of his ex-wife, ordering a drink of scotch from the bartender played by Kerrigan. The episode was directed by Ted Griffin, who created the series and is known for his screenplays from movies like Oceans 11, Matchstick Men and Ravenous. “Terriers” episode “Asunder” will premiere Wednesday, November 10th at 10pm ET/PT on FX.

“I ate lunch with Donal Logue and Raymond-James…we talked about how hard it is to get started but they had some good advice and were very encouraging…once you’ve done it, I think it gets easier.” Kerrigan said.

Kerrigan is best known at the Cabrillo Playhouse for his role as “Lenny” in “Of Mice and Men” last January and will direct “Twelve Angry Men” set to open this January at the Cabrillo.  Auditions for the production will be held next week at the playhouse.  In the meantime, Kerrigan is waiting to start a short film he will direct called “Project H”, as well as working on several original plays for film, with the Artist Collaborative Project (ACP Productions).

Kerrigan is also working to produce “Cameoke”, a live show partnering audience members with actors to play out famous scenes from movies on stage and is modeled after Karaoke.  No date has been set although Kerrigan expects the show to open at the Blue Danube in San Clemente.

Kerrigan, with his TV speaking part, is now eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild or SAG, which is exactly the direction he wants to go.

“I could get used to this!” Kerrigan said.



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