Valley News from Van Nuys, California on May 26, 1977 · Page 60
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Valley News from Van Nuys, California · Page 60

Van Nuys, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 26, 1977
Page 60
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Dalley News Features Section 3 Thursday, May 26,1977 Something to chirp about From 'bird girl' at Busch Gardens to movie star, her career takes flight ByFRANERWIN Colleen Camp is a girl with a lot of fine feathered friends. Indeed, she owes her career to them. And believe me, Colleen'scarcer is up, up and away, flying along as smoothly as you please. She has three starring roles in three soon- to-be released motion pictures: "Apocalypse Now" starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and Martii Sheen; "Death Game" with Sondra Locke and Seymour Cassel, and "Love and the Midnight Auto Supply" with Michael Parks. It's really something to chirp about, considering that four years ago Colleen was the "bird girl" at Busch Gardens while working her way through Cal State Northridge. At Busch Gardens, Colleen started out as a guide on the boat tour. She can still spiel off by heart that "there are 1000 birds and 83 different species etc., etc." Then they promoted her to trainer. "I taught the birds to do tricks, ride little bicycles on' a high wire, stand on their heads, and fly upside down. I really loved it." During the summer months, Colleen performed with the birds before as many as 1500 to 2000 people in six shows a day, six days a week. During the school year, she worked after her last class "from 2 p.m. on" and weekends. Then Busch Gardens produced an hour-long television special in which Colleen and the birds performed. At the same time, Colleen was singing with seven other girls on Monday nights, Peter Lantz conducting. One evening, the group had a "showcase" performance and an agent in the audience singled out Colleen. Colleen told the agent that she had been studying acting both at college and privately but that the only footage she had on herself was the hour-long Busch Gardens Special that was about to be aired on Channel 5. T h e a g e n t a l r e a d y l i k e d Colleen's singing and followed through, watching her on the television special. After seeing the very pretty Colleen on TV, the agent knew that here was a property worth signing. Two commercials later, "Gallo Wine" and "Touch of Sweden," Colleen was playing guest starring roles on "Marcus Welby," "Love American Style," "Happy Days" and more. She made her movie debut in "Battle or the Planet of the Apes" and had "a good scene in "Funny Lady" with Barbra Steisand and James Caan. She also played the role of a beauty pageant participant in "Smile." On the popular "Rich Man, Poor Man" television series (she appeared in six episodes), she was the sexy young singer, Vickie St John, featured in a Las Vegas nightclub, the one who helped Wes find Falconetti. If Colleen has any disappointments it's that she wasn't able to finish her last year and a half of college where she was majoring in English and minoring in theater arts. But it would have been difficult to squeeze college classes in between 18 television shows and 10 major motion pictures, which is what Colleen has accomplished in a mere four years. "I had always wanted to be an actress and I was waiting for the opportunity to come up," Colleen said over luncheon at Anthony's Restaurant. "Not to take advantage of the work when it came would have been very foolish of me. "You can learn much more by actually working as an actress and by being around people in the business than you can in school. The only way to learn any craft is by working at it." A native of California (born in San Francisco), Colleen moved ta the Valley when she was a little girl. She graduated from Canterbury Avenue School, Poly High and attended Valley College. She makes her home with her parents, Dorothy and Wilson Camp of Arleta and says she is very proud of her two brothers, Don, "a model, photographer and real estate man" and Glen, also a model, "who is working his way through medical school." When she was in the Philippines, Colleen met "absolutely brilliant" Dean Tavoularis, production designer of "Apocalypse Now." "We've only known each other for four and a half months and it's really too early to know how serious we are, but I know I really care for him and I'm not interested in anyone else." Ta- voularis won an Academy Award for "Godfather II." She said that working with Francis Ford Coppola (director of "Apocalypse Now") was incredible. "He knows how to utilize an actor's abilities and he allows actors a certtain amount of freedom that other directors don't. I think he's one of the best directors in the world today." In fact, when Cappola learned that Collen had actually trained birds at Busch Gardens, he wrote an additional scene in the movie for her in which she trains macaw parrots and cockatoos. He also had inscribed on a gold disc that she wears around her neck, a single very importat word that truly marks the well trained actor and seasoned performer--·' Listen." The way Colleen Camp's star keeps rising, it would seem that for the past four years she's instinctively done just that. Listened. "You can learn much more by actually working as an actress and by being around people in the business than you can in school. The only way to learn any craft is by working at it," -- Colleen Camp Valley News photos by Christie Costanzo New Career Opportunities: It's never too late to start again By RICHARD SHERWOOD Paul Roden started his work career in 1938, first as a supermarket clerk, then as manager. Since then, he has run a few businesses of his own. But in 1974 he retired, and, in his own words, "I haven't been doing anything very constructive since." Tina Edwards has no occupational background- "Raising four children has been my career," she says, when asked. But her kids have grown, and time has become her greatest commodity. Hans Woolver was an electronics engineer who always worked for others until his retirement a few years back. "I don't like to sit on my hands and do nothing." he says, "and I find working in a yard is like a dose of caster oil--I just don't like it. I'm looking for something that I thoroughly enjoy doing, something that will contribute." And they're not alone. It's a problem which confronts millions of our most potentially resourceful citizens almost daily, and it's a problem which doesn't seem to be getting much better. Luckily, there are some organizations around trying to do something about it. New Career Opportunities is one such group. Designed for individuals "who have retired or have been retired from the workforce or who have not been employed for some years," it's a non-profit educational program funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. Its goal is to teach senior adults how to turn their skills, hobbies and time into profitable small enterprises. Led by project director Mike Parker, founding staff executive of Junior Achievement in both Southern California and Portland, the NCO setup closely follows the successful J.A. mold, and then some. "We bring in experts from industry to discuss all phases of s t a r t i n g and o p e r a t i n g a business," he said during an interview. "We tell them how to market and sell, about taxes and governmental red tape, but we leave everything up to them. That's the learning experience. "Many of these people have never been through this before, so it's my job to guide them the first time through so it's easier when they begin their own businesses," Parker said. "In other words, they do everything on their own except for the counseling aspect In this way. the program is aimed at turning desires into realities." The pilot group, which first met only late last month, had a problem starting this as yet untested program. "So what we did was list the qualities they looked for in a product or service, then looked into product ideas, and decided on automobile trouble lights." Parker said, noting that the group chose SpecialLite as its trade name. "It was selected mainly so as not to involve dirty work and because they already knew the production steps." After that, the 11 group members bought stock to finance operations, selected company officers, and went into production. "The business works as a team," Parker explained. "It's important that players know what the others are doing for all of us to succeed-financially and mentally and in other ways. Our success depends on sharing ideas with others, therefore we must have goals, ob- J -»ctives and plans to hit targets on time." This first group, which will have met three hours each weekday by the time the eight-week session ends, is being used as a guinea pig. "We get feedback from them each week, trying to see which speakers the group needs," Parker continued "and we'll have a re- union three months after commencement to see how we didL" He hopes this group will serve as an important guide when and if the program goes national. "Our goal is to help people who want to utilize their abilities and experience," he said. " It's not to train a lot of people, but to encourage many of them to go into business for themselves. "There is a social aspect, and friendships will form, but the principal objective of the foundation is to help older citizens become productive after retirement, or, should I say, remain productive. "The biggest waste in the country right now is a failure to utilize the power and energy of older citizens. We hope to do something about that. "Our motto is to think small, because our purpose is to to supplement fixed incomes, not make anybody rich." Parker said then paused, "and I guess to have a little fun doing it." The next session is expected to begin sometime in July in the San Fernando Valley. Those interested in joining should contact Parker at Xew Career Opportunities in GlendaJe for more information. Valfcy News dhctos by MH GdldwMer Program participants break into small groups to discuss goals, objectives, and what they expect from New Career Opportunities workshop. Project director Mike Parker fields questions during opening session of New Career Opportunities program held at Van Nuys High School. The next series of classes in the non-profit educational program for senior adults is planned for July. NFWSPAPFK! V

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