Archive for Tuesday, November 4, 2008

KU alum challenges readers to ‘Do It Now’

November 4, 2008

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1961 KU graduate Jim McMullan's book, "Do It Now," warns against procrastination.

1961 KU graduate Jim McMullan's book, "Do It Now," warns against procrastination.

Jim McMullan understands the irony that it took him 37 years from the time he conceived the idea to publish a gift book called "Do It Now."

The veteran character actor and 1961 Kansas University graduate advocates immediacy of action with his latest "Do It Now Book and Clock Kit." The project features more than 300 motivational quotes, accompanied by a clock with the book's mantra replacing traditional numbers.

McMullan points to a particular quote by Mark Twain ("Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do") as emblematic of why he wanted this idea to come to fruition: "I have tried to follow Mark's philosophy and don't regret anything that has happened in my life and feel that everything worked out perfectly," McMullan says.

McMullan has published eight previous books, but those sprung from his five-decade career in film, TV and stage. He first got into acting through a girlfriend at KU who lured him into playing the lead in a college production of "Desire Under the Elms." Similarly, a chance meeting with playwright William Inge while visiting Hollywood landed McMullan a screen test with director Sam Peckinpah.

His first big break was playing Jimmy Stewart's son in 1965's "Shenandoah."

"It was during my time with (Stewart), playing chess, that I discovered we both had degrees in architecture. Our discussions always turned to art and he inspired me to write my first book, 'Actors as Artists' (with co-writer Dick Gautier)," McMullan says.

Literally, hundreds of roles followed. McMullan mentions his work in the Robert Redford feature "Downhill Racer" and as Senator Dowling on the TV show "Dallas" as among his most fondly remembered roles.

McMullan, who currently lives in New Jersey, says he hopes "Do It Now" will "inspire all those spiritual 'bloomers' out there to stay present in the now."

More info on McMullan's project can be found at www.doitnowbookandclock.com.

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