Though he starred as a career university student in the film College, Gary Owen never thought much about higher education after graduating from high school. It was a friend that rousted him out of bed one summer morning and took him down to the naval recruitment office in
Hamilton, Ohio. “That’s how I got to college,” Owen explains. “The character I play…(is) a legacy. You don’t really know how old he is but you know he’s been there a long time. He’s one of those guys that never graduated he’s still…coordinating all the parties, and all the trouble that ensues.”
Owen’s experience in the Navy included a stint as an honor guard in
Washington, D.C. “We stood outside the White House and did the funerals and parades,” he recalls, adding that it’s a tough assignment, especially for young soldiers. “When you have access to the White House and you get a speeding ticket you can’t do it (anymore). You have to have the cleanest record to be on (White House) grounds.” It was particularly tough for Owen, as he often had to suppress his urge to crack up his fellow honor guards. “I had a hard time, because I didn’t take anything too seriously I was always trying to make people laugh (but at a) funeral it’s not the time.” He took it seriously enough, though, to make it to that prestigious post.
Today Owen has been auditioning for more movie parts. His goal isn’t necessarily to be a film star, but too simply put more butts in he seats at his stand up shows. “I don’t get as (many auditions) being a stand-up, because I miss some. I’m not going to do just one line (like) a waiter like saying ‘can I take your order?’ I can make more money on the road. I want a part that’s going to make me stand out a little but like Daddy Day Care. (That) was a small part, but it stuck out in the movie.”
Gary Owen performs at The Funny Bone on the Levee Thursday January 7 through Sunday January 10
Gary Owen's website