Years and grades at BCD: 1st (1973/74) and 5th thru 9th (1978-83)
What are your fondest memories from BCD?
My fondest memories are hanging out on the second floor in the main building in a small room just by the stairs where I learned to use an Apple II and its floppy disk drives. A few of us used the modem into the phone line to connect to certain mainframe bulletin boards before there was the Internet. I remember owning a few boxes of floppy disks that I held dear to me and protected with my life. This was made possible by the generosity of The Sprague Family, who donated the computer to the school.Where did you go once you left BCD?
Josephine Abady, who ran the Berkshire Theatre Festival at the time where I began working professionally as an actor, suggested I study theatre at The Interlochen Arts Academy (we nicknamed it “Fame in the woods”) at the top of Michigan. Funny that I spent years of my childhood around Interlaken, Massachusetts and then attended a high school in Interlochen, Michigan. I would suggest to anyone aspiring to be an artist of any kind to check it out. The mixture of academia and art is fantastic. I would send my kids there in a heartbeat, if we ever acquire any…After graduating from Interlochen, I was awarded a full scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University to double major in Drama and Musical Theatre in 1986. Now keeping in mind that I go against the grain, I realized that fraternities held nothing for me. My favorite thing about CMU was that they used this form of communication where you could get onto a computer and message a fellow student in a simplified forum of inter-collegiate social networking. You typed a short message to them and it would be instantly sent to a personal virtual inbox stored for future retrieval. The drama course proved to me to be walking backwards, since I did not believe that artists needed degradation to then be built back up again. Artists by nature must be individual and unique. After 4 months I dropped out, left a lot of money on the table as they say, and said goodbye to my friends, the early form of email, and Bridget (my girlfriend from Wisconsin.)
Later that year, after teaching spring skiing at Butternut and landscaping for the summer in Stockbridge, I ended up on an airplane to London. I watched rehearsals at the National Theatre for a play called Entertaining Strangers with Judi Dench, and directed by Sir Peter Hall. I ended up 4 weeks later enrolled in the three-year course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. LAMDA. For a rebellious child I certainly ended up in a lot of Academies. I would watch from behind the stage as Tony Hopkins and Judi Dench played opposite each other in Anthony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre. I learned to be an English theatre actor. I lived there for 6 years, working on the stage.
Where are you living now?
After London, I made my way back to New York and, after a few years, landed in Hollywood. Film and TV is what I really love to focus on.
What are you doing now?
In January I have a project on IFC called The Spoils of Babylon, where I have a fun scene with Tobey Maguire. I also star in a film distributing worldwide called Dragon Day, about a Chinese Cyber-attack that implodes the USA, and the family that tries to survive it. Look for it in 2014 on all the usual Movie channels. Of course it’s already all over the Internet if you know how to get your hands on it. I also have a film coming out sometime in the late 2014/15 called Room 105, where I play opposite Lorraine Nicholson (who is Jack Nicholson’s daughter.) I just shot a TV pilot called Rolling and a TV show is being developed from my film Dragon Day. You never know what happens to these projects, but I hope you get to see my face more and more. Oh, and you may have seen me at your local ATT store over the holidays in a 1950’s throwback commercial. You can keep up to date with my work by liking my official FB page at facebook.com/EthanFlower.Official and at ethanflower.com
What are your plans for the future?
I am getting a little more into producing my own projects so that I have a little more control of the content of my work. So send me your scripts. I will be living and working wherever my craft takes me. Acting sometimes involves traveling but for now my wife and I live happily in the heart of Hollywood.
How do you think your time at BCD influenced the choices you’ve made?
BCD was a great environment in which to grow up. It was filled with thinking outside of the box, so I was able to nurture that side of my personality. I believe that BCD gave me freedom of thought and empowered me to believe I was indeed someone special with a unique personality, someone who had a right to be proud and stand up for my own unique choices.
What about your time at BCD are you most thankful for?
I was very lucky when I was very close to being expelled. I was in eighth grade and a troublemaker by nature, always going against the grain. Although I was of generous spirit, I would often find myself in fistfights. More often than not I felt the harder end of the punch or kick, and would generally give students and teachers a run for their money. Having the last name of Flower in the 70s wasn’t the easiest thing to deal with as a boy. I can’t remember exactly what it was that landed the feather onto the camel’s back, but it was Sir James Fawcett (he should be knighted) who played Akademos and saved me by pleading my case. I am very thankful to him for seeing beyond my rebellious antics, and understanding that I was indeed an intelligent and creative kid. So my olive fields grew protected and I graduated smiling from BCD.
What advice can you offer current students at BCD?
Enjoy and trust in the brilliance of your individuality, even if it gets you a little close to the edge. We are all truly original, and bring good forward momentum and change to the world.Ethan Flower, Class of 1983