Waterston to speak in Woods Hole

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
April 29, 2011

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Actors shouldn’t expect any magic answers during Sam Waterston’s workshop in Woods Hole this weekend. The “Law & Order’’ legend, who’ll give a talk called “The Professional Actor’s Life,’’ as part of the Woods Hole Film Festival’s weekend-long actors’ symposium, told us yesterday that if he knew the recipe for success for actors, he’d have made it easier for his kids, who have worked their tails off to succeed in the industry. (Waterston’s son James costarred in last year’s Commonwealth Shakespeare Company production of “Othello.’’) “There isn’t a prescription,’’ Waterston said, of how to make it as a rising talent. Waterston says he’ll spend the workshop telling stories about his career and about some of the hardships of the trade. “If there’s anybody left on the planet who thinks that show business is a cushy profession, this should clear that up for them.’’ Waterston will also take as much time as he can to hang out around his hometown. He was raised here and still has a family home “in a town that shall remain nameless on Buzzards Bay.’’ As for how Waterston’s coping with life after “Law & Order,’’ the actor says he’s doing just fine. He said he weaned himself off of the job when his character was promoted. “I sort of had a gradual withdrawal. I played the [assistant district attorney] for so long. That’s hard work. Then I had a sort of almost a paid vacation after that, playing the DA.’’ Waterston will be back in Mass. on May 17 to accept the “Ken Burns Lifetime Achievement Award’’ in Old Sturbridge Village.