James Eckhouse: Lunch with a legend

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Sometimes my work as a theatrical reviewer brings unexpected yet deeply pleasing perks.  One such incident just occurred. A few days ago I happened to review a shockingly powerful and magnificently performed play Redline starring James Eckhouse and Graham Sibley.  It is onstage in a small theatre in Hollywood, California home to a surprisingly large number of playhouses, most of which I have visited at least once and many several times. But there was something truly magic about Redline because of its clearly superb writing and genuinely gifted acting. So I really wanted to meet the main player just to see what I could learn of the man and his vast talent. Now allow me to introduce you to James Eckhouse.

James Eckhouse is a native of the greater Chicago area. At an early age he found himself drawn to the performing arts. Why? Simply because that is who the young James Eckhouse was and who he remains. It is the artistic expression that moves him. It is not about fame or glory and certainly not fortune but the unstoppable desire to express himself in that art form is what propels James Eckhouse.

James Eckhouse

One of his very first acting connections was with a tiny theatre company called Wisdom Bridge Theatre Company located humbly beneath the elevated train tracks in Chicago. Later as he progressed he also studied at the world renowned Second CityTheatre Company, home to such great entertainers as John Belushi and Bill Murray.

It wasn’t long before James Eckhouse relocated to New York City where he worked in a wide range of shows on and off Broadway. He found that experience richly invigorating and in many cases just plain amazing fun. But then Hollywood beckoned.

In Hollywood James Eckhouse has performed in numerous TV shows such as 90210, Castle, Days of Our Lives, The Good Wife and Criminal Minds as well as such popular films as The Avengers, Fatal Attraction and Trading Places. And whenever the opportunity arises James Eckhouse still loves his stage work. Most recently he is in a very collaborative venture Redline which has deservedly garnered rave reviews.

Yes, of course the characters are always pretend, but the men and women playing those characters are intensely real. James is proud of his Chicago heritage and remains true to his modest Midwestern values. Most of all he loves his family and his work. So James Eckhouse, with all of his fame and acting successes remains a truly genuine humble and pleasant human who I am certain will never find his way into the pages of the Enquirer or any other Hollywood scandal rag.

James Eckhouse is also now helping to train the next generation of top performing artists. He earned his BFA from the prestigious Julliard School but he has taken that along with decades of experience and is now sharing it with eager students at The BGB Studio in Los Angeles. And just in case you might want to learn from the best you can give them a call at 818-755-9500 and discuss the many options that are available.

But for this guy, I have no desire to act. I just very much enjoy annoying the actors with my reviews. But I also very much enjoy watching the very best like James Eckhouse deliver true magic with their amazing art. That my friends is what you can learn from just one lunch with one incredible man in Hollywood. I hope you enjoyed me sharing it with you.

Top photo: James Eckhouse and Graham Sibley in “Redline”