On the eve of his last episode of "The Wire" appearing on HBO this month, Philadelphia native and Veterans Advantage member John Doman looks back on his Marine Corps years as setting the stage for his current onscreen and onstage success.
Doman sports a diverse background, which includes life as a high school and college football star and a high-powered advertising executive. All along, though, it was a goal to launch his career as an actor by the time he turned 45. And he got there--He counts classical stage (a Shakespeare devotee), radio and television ads, and dramatic roles on his resume, and is best-known for portraying cops, lawyers, and military figures in a long and impressive list of credits.
Against this backdrop of accomplishment and artistic growth, he looks back to his Vietnam experience as giving him the right skills to put it all together. He was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant and infantry officer and spent 1967-68 in Vietnam.
"I think it [The Marine Corps] really helped me meet the challenges and the problems that I faced while I was in the business world, and certainly has given me a lot of self confidence to face the issues that you deal with as an actor," Doman says in an exclusive interview with Veterans Advantage.
"I think a lot of people who come into the acting profession come into it very young, and they haven’t really had a lot of life experience. And the acting business can be very tough in terms of the rejection that you have face. You face a lot of rejection. You don’t get most of the jobs you go for."
Soon after his tour in Vietnam, the stage was set for him to formulate his future goals. On the way home through San Francisco, Doman managed to catch a couple of movies, "Midnight Cowboy and "The Graduate" over back-to-back nights. He was so impressed with Dustin Hoffman’s work that he set a goal for himself to become an actor, too. "Boy what an amazing thing to do," Doman recalls. "I’d really like to try that someday."
Then he set about shaping his "Plan" -- get an MBA (from Penn State University), and then become an advertising executive, which would allow him to network his way through the ranks of the New York entertainment industry, and morph his way into acting.
"I led a double life for a couple of years--advertising actor by day, secret actor by night," said the now grandfather of three.
With the accolades of a successful five-year run playing Deputy Commissioner Rawls (seen left) on "The Wire," Doman has continued landing challenging roles. He’s currently in the lead role in "Unconditional," which is now playing at the New York Public Theater in New York City. He enjoyed using the Veterans Advantage/Amtrak discount as he regularly commuted between New York and Baltimore to film the show.
"We’ve gotten five seasons out of the show [the wire], which is pretty good these days. It’s been a really tremendous experience for me as an actor to be involved with such a quality program. It’s certainly been the most important work I’ve done as an actor."
It’s allowed him to look back with a great amount of pride and to look forward with confidence that his "career life plan" continues to grow and prosper.
"I hope it will be a springboard for a lot more stuff to come."
Photo Credit: http://www.andsoitbeginsfilms.com/2015/03/in-character-john-doman.html