Former Wheeling resident Court Micker, who is now pursuing an acting and writing career in Los Angeles, got the chance to rub tuxedo-ed elbows with Hollywood's elite at the Academy Awards ceremony last month.
Micker, who uses the screen name of Court Phillips, has landed his first major role in the upcoming Civil War mini-series, "To Appomattox," alongside Rob Lowe, Richard Dreyfuss and Dwight Yoakam. The role is appropriate since Micker has had an avid interest in the Civil War. As a teen, he was involved in efforts to restore the Civil War soldier statue in Wheeling Park.
During a telephone conversation, Micker related that one of his co-stars in the mini-series is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, the organization that awards the Oscars each year. "He invited me to attend the academy throughout the year to evaluate the best actor, best supporting actor and best foreign film categories," Micker explained.
"After voting on so many films, I was invited by the academy to attend the Oscars. It means I was invited to buy a ticket. I bought the ticket, I bought a tux and went with the actors. We had a great time," he said.
At the Academy Awards ceremony, Micker was able to meet one of his favorite actors, John Savage, who is known for his roles in "Thin Red Line" and "The Deer Hunter."
"I walked in on the red carpet with Don Johnson," Micker said. "I've liked 'Miami Vice' for a long time. It's pretty cool."
The Wheeling actor sat next to actor Michael Douglas during the Academy Awards show. He also met actors Robert DeNiro, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Bradley Cooper and Helen Hunt.
As a guest judge for the past year, Micker said, "I served as an alternate if a member of the academy couldn't make the screening of the film. I'm not sure which movies or performances my vote counted for."
Although he was not able to vote for the best picture of 2012, he did get to attend screenings or premieres for several top films, including "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Lincoln" and "Skyfall."
Asked for his opinion of "Lincoln," the Civil War buff said, "I was not crazy about the movie," but added, "I thought Daniel Day Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones were incredible."
Micker moved to California over a year ago to pursue his career. "I have a manager and an agent and I audition every day. I also write," he said. "I have a couple of screenplays in development out here. I'm involved in all manner of the movie business."
He remarked, "It's not hard in Californifia to have a good time. It's the business aspects that are tough."
In other news from the entertainment realm, the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville was the setting for an episode of "Stranded" that aired on the Syfy television channel Wednesday, March 13.
In the reality-style show, ordinary folks spend part of a week at a notorious site while strategically-placed cameras record their encounters with ghost-like activity.
The episode at the old prison involved a married couple and a male friend who traveled from Hamilton, Ohio, to spend time in the foreboding structure.
On a lighter note, the Cockayne Farmstead is presenting a "Spring Break" fundraiser at Moundsville Country Club from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21. Both men and women are invited to join in the fun.
The event will showcase fashion purses, Jamberry Nails and items for the home from vendors such as Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple and The Farmstead. Froehlich's Classic Corner will serve an array of hors d'oeuvres. Christie Thomas of Christie's Cakes and Catering will give a demonstration featuring some of her desserts.
Special presentations will be offered by Bill Bryson of Uniglobe Travel on "Traveling the American West" and by Justin Trabert of Best Buy Mobile on "The Connected World and How We Live in It."
All proceeds will benefit the Cockayne Farmstead. Organizers say that reservations should be made in advance.
Tickets can be purchased at Gold, Khourey & Turak and the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library. A limited tickets will be sold at the door at a higher cost. For more information, call 304-845-1411 or 304-845-9750.
Linda Comins can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org