Nearly two years ago I auditioned to be in a documentary series about how the War of 1812 affected Southwestern Ontario between Niagara and Detroit. I was initially offered a role of a 32-year-old, and I immediately wrote to the producers that I was flattered that they thought I could play such a role. They, of course, rescinded that offer and instead offered me the role of Governor Isaac Shelby (of Kentucky), who was a general during that war. The filming for my very minor role was done in August, 2012, and will be on TVO sometime during the winter of 2014. Here is my very brief role, in its entirety, in Episode One.
I recorded this snippet on my smartphone from a disk sent to me in advance of the TVO showing of the series.
In this scene, I am assuring the women of Amherstburg that we Kentuckians will not destroy their homes so long as they do not harbour any of their men folk, whom we would consider to be soldiers for the British. The narrative over the video suggests that I might be playing General Harrison giving these assurances, but that isn't exactly what I was told nor what the credits say (and is especially bizarre since General Harrison is played by a different actor).
Oh well, another gig, another credit.
Coincidentally, Shelby, Michigan, less than an hour north of where I was born and raised, was named for Governor Shelby:
Shelby was originally established as Churchill’s Corners in 1866, named after Walter H. Churchill who was the first postmaster. It was renamed Shelby in 1885 when it was incorporated as a village - after General Isaac Shelby, who along with his famous Kentucky Rangers, took back Detroit from the British in the War of 1812.
It's interesting that in the full narrative of the documentary, Governor Shelby's role in the War of 1812 is not mentioned even once.
And you know what? If I hadn't played this role and done lots of reading about it, I'd have had no idea who Shelby was, what he did, or why that village was named Shelby.