Hamilton Major: Theatre
College Productions: My senior show was Miss Julie opposite Sarah Rafferty ['93]. I remember rallying a few friends to do Timon of Athens, a Shakespeare production that we put on at Colgate. I also wrote a play for a Russian studies course — a great performance we did in the Glen. Carole Bellini-Sharp [professor of theatre] helped facilitate my junior year abroad at the British American Drama Academy, which gave me the opportunity to be in London and really see theatre and take it all in.
After Hamilton: I moved to New York City with a few Hamilton friends — Valentine Sheldon ['91], Casey Jones ['91] and later Rob Enserro ['91]. We found a loft and shared the rent. It was a great time.
First Acting Job: I was cast in a pilot [the comedy Sibs] and then joined Another World, where I worked for three years. I was fortunate to find my first opportunity very quickly. I attribute my early success to taking myself seriously and working hard as an actor even before I came to Hamilton.
Big Break: Armageddon with Bruce Willis. It wasn't a major part, but it gave me a major feeling for the world of an actor and led to some good contacts and prime-time roles.
Current Role: Dusty Donovan on As the World Turns [for which he earned a 2006 Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actor]. They say I'm the most popular guy before Dr. Phil!
Best Thing About Current Job: This is as close to a 9-to-5 job as you can get as an actor. It's tough sometimes — you live like you're with the circus, with jobs coming and going. [This job] is good for my mental state of mind.
Favorite Role: I'd have to say Timon back at Hamilton. It was a great collaboration between Hamilton students and a few Colgate students I'd met while abroad in London. I had wanted to do Shakespeare, and to have the chance with such an atmosphere of collaboration was terrific. Casey Jones, my Hamilton roommate, played my best friend in the play. It was a great experience.
Biggest Challenge: Staying balanced as a person. To make the most of what you want to get out of this career, you make sacrifices. It can be very taxing. You can spend all of your energy as an artist to have an effect, but other aspects of your personal life can suffer.
Favorite Movie: I watch mostly old movies — the classics with Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles.
Actors You Most Admire: I learned a lot from so many. The ones I admire most are the true gentlemen. Steve Buscemi and Will Patton come to mind. They are incredibly down-to-earth and have succeeded in finding that balance.
Hobbies: At work they call me "the farmer." I bought a place in the Catskills last year and have a big garden. I love working outside, plus it's good for you. It's been my gym. I also go hiking and do stuff with my dad [Don McCouch '64].
Next Projects: I'm working on a screenplay. [Sister Hannah McCouch '88 is also a writer, having completed two novels.] It's a historical nonfiction film set in early America that deals with slavery. I'm getting more interested in writing and producing. I enjoy the autonomy.