Dean Cameron: School’s in Session

Dean Cameron: School’s in Session

If there were a movie Cameron wished he had turned down it would probably be “Miracle Beach”. “People like it and that’s nice,” he said. “I just hate it. It was such a disappointment. I knew when I was doing it ‘this was it’ for me. The script I read and the script we were making were completely different. Logically, if you have Ami Dolenz after you, what idiot is going to go after this model? There was no battle. No conflict. I also had this weird hair helmet because I was losing my hair. I don’t think I’m any good in it. Halfway through, as a friend pointed out to me, I kind of give up. I thought no one would ever see it. And then HBO got the PG version of it and in 1996 it was the most shown movie on HBO.”

Cameron’s witty repartee is what makes any conversation with him engaging. Just ask the Nigerian scam artist who fell into Cameron’s wild web for nine months of correspondence – a hilarious back-and-forth that Cameron turned into a hit show: The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam.

“It was a huge effort and a lot of that goes to Paul Provenza who shaped the 120 pages of correspondence into 27-28 pages for the show – he’s just a comic genius,” Cameron stated. “We went to the International Fringe Festival in Scotland and it was a hit show – and the night before we performed Paul was rewriting it. It’s never been shot quite the way I like, so I think I might do a Kickstarter for it sometime soon.”

Cameron also has kept himself busy with web work, an occupation he finds much more fulfilling than acting. “What I really enjoy about web work is the amount of work put into it is equal to the amount that returns,” he described. “You write the code and it pops up like it’s supposed to – there’s something satisfying about that.”

From his development work, Cameron has found a way to irk one of the most annoying agencies in the world – the TSA – with his invention – Security Edition. “I was whining to a friend about how bad the TSA,” he said. “I said someone should put the Bill of Rights on a piece of metal so when you go through the metal detectors you can say here, ‘take my rights.’ We have socks and luggage tags for those that are less confrontational. It doesn’t do anything but piss the people off in line behind you.”

2012 and 2013 have been good to Cameron – even his 50th birthday was a joy – with all the credit going to his wife. “It’s the ultimate torture to have a Christmas Day birthday,” he joked. “My wife went above and beyond this year. It was a really memorable birthday and I have only had a few of those because of the holiday. I guess it could be worse and I could have a January 5th birthday when everyone is sick of celebrating. But it did suck as a kid!”

As his career picks up steam again, Cameron is reflective on what the past year has meant for him personally and professionally – especially with the passing of his mother, the person who inspired him to follow his dream years ago. “My mother passed, I turned 50, I just did episodes of ‘The Newsroom’ and ‘Glee’, I’m doing my web work and I have a lot riding on ‘Steel Panther’”, he said. “I feel reinvigorated with show business after the ups and downs of the last year.”

Cameron has remained close with some of his co-stars from “Summer School”, most recently joining them for a midnight showing of the film at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. “Patrick Labyroteaux is a great guy and doing great things,” he said. “I reconnected with Robin Thomas (Gills from “Summer School”) and we are becoming friends. It’s better than having enemies.”

Dean Cameron has made the most of the opportunities presented to him throughout his career and is happy where he is today. “I used to feel show business was a silly venture,” he explained. “It’s narcissistic and ridiculous. What you want is for people to sit in a theater and look at you 40 feet tall and say ‘ Oh, I love that guy!’ What a stupid thing to want – but, so what? It’s what I like doing. I don’t like going to parties. I like this. I see now it’s a means that justifies the ends – if there is an end.”

 

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