Lifestyle

Firefighter climbs acting ladder

One of these days, Bill Morrow won’t be referred to as an actor who is also a firefighter. He’ll just be Bill Morrow, actor.

He’s had the dual passions for a long time –– 22 years in the fire service, most recently as a lieutenant in the Seattle Fire Department, and 25 in acting. dating back to when he was a student at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and getting started on the stage in community theaters.

Morrow said he plans to retire from the fire department in two years and pursue acting full-time, plus open an acting school in Federal Way, where he lives. In his new capacity, he’ll be able to draw on his first professional role as Hoke, the driver, in Centerstage Theatre’s “Driving Miss Daisy.”

“This is a big step for me. It’s my first part in a professional theater production,” Morrow said of his debut with Centerstage.

“Driving Miss Daisy,” writer Alfred Uhry’s 1988 Pulitzer Prize winner (and also of movie fame), will open Friday at the Knutzen Family Theatre at 3200 SW. Dash Point Road. (Call 661-1444 for showtimes and ticket reservations).

Morrow is playing Hoke, the black driver for a crotchety, Southern white lady, for the first time and enjoying it.

“When I auditioned, I thought I had a pretty good shot at it,” he said. “The rehearsals have been going really well. It’s going to be a good show.”

Balancing acting with his firefighting career, part of it spent on active duty and part in a 9 to 5 administrative job with Seattle’s fire marshal, hasn’t been easy. He said he loves both, but he missed acting when his work schedule kept him off the stage for long periods.

Like a firefighter anticipating the next emergency, Morrow is anxious to go from “Daisy” rehearsals to live action.

“I don’t really get nervous for opening night. It’s more like, bring it on,” he said.

Editor Pat Jenkins can be reached at 925-5565 and editor@fedwaymirror.com.

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