Arizona-Utah Local member Marie Stelin

SAG-AFTRA Arizona-Utah Local member John Abbott retells the story of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a one-in-a-million performer.

While checking my messages early one morning, there was a call from my agent about a booking for The Daily Show out of New York. It turns out they were flying out to shoot a comedy spot here in Arizona. Wow, I was excited!

I called my agent pronto — only to find out it was actually my “dear old mom,” Marie Louise Stelin, they wanted. You see, my mom — 93 years young and proud of it — is also an actor and, it turns out, does a great “little old lady with a walker” bit!

After coming to terms with the momentary disappointment that I was not being hired, I couldn’t help but be thrilled for my Mama Maria on landing this gig. She and I talked about the beauty of being an actor, a career where one can be of any shape or size, tall or short and, in her case, any age, and still compete for a job. Also, we talked about how acting sure does keep the creative juices flowing and can give a person an important sense of purpose. It is so true!

As she put it, “I guess you're never too old to be in the movies or on TV!”

Mom played her part perfectly and we all had a great time on set.

I'm proud of my mom and how she’s an inspiration to all the membership here in our local. Thanks SAG-AFTRA for being there. We'll be there for you, too!

Photo: Arizona-Utah Local member Marie "Mama Maria" Stelin. Photos courtesy of John Abbott.


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