No more lights, camera, action for Fischer
June 19, 2014
If William Shakespeare is correct and the world is a stage and we are all merely players making exits and entrances, Marlin Fischer has most certainly played his share of roles.
Fischer, an information assurance analyst in the U.S. Army Contracting Command's Chief Information Officer G-6, found himself within the glitter and glamour of the Hollywood spotlight by chance.
"I really had no aspirations for acting as I was always a 'techie' kind of person," said Fischer, who has his bachelor's in industrial engineering from Iowa State University.
After graduating, the 6-foot-1-inch Fischer found himself working as an engineer in the Seattle, Washington area for a few different companies. Going up against a tough northwest economy, he said it was tough keeping a job as companies would hire then release him when the money dried up.
"While I was looking for engineering work, people I had never met before seriously asked me if I was a model," Fischer said with a chuckle. "Well, I got talked into it and was chosen as a spokesperson for a talent agency. I had a photo shoot in Boston and was in a number of ads in "Glamour," "GQ," "Seventeen," "Esquire" magazines and others in addition to some newspapers and billboards around parts of the country."
Fischer said he enjoyed the modeling but that it wasn't enough.
"It was fun and OK, but I wanted to do a bit more, so I decided to go all out. I drove to Los Angeles and started an acting career," he said. "I played an undercover cop named Simon on Lindsey Wagner's TV show "Jessie." Unfortunately it only lasted one season. I was also the Groom Billy on "Dynasty."
Fischer said he got to work with Heather Locklear who, rumor had it, was to have an affair with his character.
Fischer's other roles include a psychologist in the movie "Force of Darkness," and semi-recurring roles on the daytime soap opera "Capital" and the "Young and the Restless."
During that period, he said he also had two regional commercials on the East and West Coasts that ran for about one year. When work for the budding actor was slow, he filled his time as a limousine driver to the stars.
Fischer said he has a lot of fond memories of his time in tinsel town.
"I was fortunate to meet many interesting people, both from being on the scene and in the limo business," he said thinking back. He's met Burt Ward, Jennifer O'Neal, Marlon Brando, Katey Segal, Mr. Blackwell, Boy George, and Whoopie Goldberg, to name a few.
For Fischer, just as fast as the curtain went up, the curtain came down.
"Acting can be fun and it's exciting to land some good roles, but I started to feel like I could do more in my life," said Fischer after spending 12 years in LA. "I bought my first computer and started teaching myself. After awhile, I just decided that is what I wanted to do instead of limo driver, security guard or whatever I wasn't happy with while waiting for my big break like 100,000 other actors."
So, fed up with endless auditions and waiting for call backs, Fischer moved from California to Iowa and began working on a project he started before leaving the land of lights, camera and action.
"Just before I left LA, I started a business importing a product from New Zealand," said the 57-year-old Fischer. "I moved back to Iowa and continued that. Using the Internet, I literally sold the product around the world: Japan, Korea, Germany, Canada and had many stores selling it in the U.S."
Fischer said eventually his supplier sold out to another company and that ended his import business.
As fate would have it, he was offered a position as an Army contractor, working as an information assurance analyst in Afghanistan. He jumped at the opportunity.
"When I got to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, for my CRC (combat readiness center), they switched my assignment to Camp Virginia in Kuwait," he said. "After I got back, I accepted an IA position in Huntsville with a civil engineering firm supporting the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. After another position or so later, I ended up here at the CIO/G6."
Comfortable in his cubicle, Fischer sometimes reminisces about days gone by and his time in the entertainment industry.
"I never really made the big time, but it was fun and an experience I'm so glad I had," he said.