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Bowie, Md. - A one-time public relations agent, federal crime laboratory worker, screenplay author and late-blooming veterinarian takes on his latest role as Jake, a neurotic novelist struggling in relationships with the opposite sex.
BOWIE, MD. — A one-time public relations agent, federal crime laboratory worker, screenplay author and late-blooming veterinarian takes on his latest role as Jake, a neurotic novelist struggling in relationships with the opposite sex.
For Dr. Jim Murphy, only the last job is a work of fiction. The practitioner, who didn't graduate veterinary school until 40, debuted his acting talent as the lead role in "Jake's Women," a Neil Simon play that opened Oct. 20.
Murphy, who recently took time off from small animal practice to write movie screenplays, says the acting bug hit him when he saw the audition advertisement.
"People say, 'I don't know how you, as a veterinarian, do this sort of thing,'" he says. "I describe it as using both parts of my brain. Like acting, being a veterinarian is very humanistic. You have to love people. The animals don't have their own wallets; they don't bring themselves in."
The role, originally played by Alan Alda in 1992, requires more than 100 pages of dialogue and has been described as a marathon for any actor, especially one new to the stage.
"My character never leaves the stage with the exception of going to the bathroom in Act Two," Murphy says. "As for the lines, I'm thankful to have been blessed with a great memory. Veterinary school isn't hard; it's just voluminous. You memorize a lot, so for acting, I've had a lot of practice. It's one line at a time."
Murphy plans to re-enter veterinary medicine in the near future. "All my clients are calling, and it's so rewarding to hear from people who miss you," he says. "I miss the owners and the human-animal bond."
The play runs until Nov. 18 at the Colonial Playhouse in Annapolis, Md.
For ticket information and show times, visit www.cplayers.com.