People often ask me why my fellow trustees and I volunteer our time for the Actors Fund. For me, the answer is simple.
I often call myself “the luckiest actor in the world” because I have been able to make a living solely as a performer since I moved away from home at 17 years of age. When I was asked to serve on the board of The Actors Fund eleven years ago, saying “Yes!” seemed like an appropriate way to gratefully acknowledge and give back to a career that has treated me so well for so long. It is the same reason I accepted the role as President/Chairman of the Board for the last 5 years.
As joyous as it has been to give, it never occurred to me that I might one day be on the receiving end of the Fund’s good works!
A week ago, while playing racquetball, I tore my Achilles tendon. This past Monday, I was successfully operated on at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Between the accident and the operation, I was able to experience first-hand the care and attention given to entertainment professionals and performing artists by The Actors Fund.
My career in television, film and on Broadway has blessed me and my family. So has my concert career which I’ve focused on in recent years. As an artist, I am also a business owner and entrepreneur. When I needed to select a health insurance plan for my family, I turned to The Actors Fund. Insurance expert Jim Brown knowledgeably guided my selection of a policy that meets our needs. When I needed a recommendation for the best doctor and hospital, The Actors Fund helped me confidently confirm my selection.
Over the last 11 years I’ve witnessed tireless dedication and admired the professionalism of both the board and staff. I also recognize that The Actors Fund works so well because of the support of thousands of generous contributors and volunteers.
I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to put my appreciation into words. The night before surgery, I thought about everyone who has helped. Along with my wife, family and a spectacular set of friends, The Actors Fund and all the good folks that support it are at the top of my list.
I’m already well on my way to healing now. Even as I write this flat on my back, with friends like The Actors Fund on my side, I still feel like “the luckiest actor in the world”.
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Chairman of the Board,
The Actors Fund