Conor O’Farrell, the Town Crier’s award-winning columnist, also is an actor. Currently, he is a regular on the new series “Game of Silence” Thursdays on NBC.
While it is not his first television series, he said, “It is the first time I’ve been a series regular. That’s a different thing for me.”
Most of the filming was done during the fall in Atlanta, but O’Farrell took some comforts and had family to keep him company. His daughter, Georgia, now lives near Atlanta and he spent many days visiting her. An avid kayaker, he also took his equipment east and spent other off-days testing the East Coast whitewater rivers.
The “Game of Silence” premier show, which aired Tuesday, April 12, scored very good ratings, according to O’Farrell. The industry magazine “Deadline” described the Tuesday performance as “solid,” winning its slot that night.
“It was a great party and the numbers were very good,” he said after the premier.
O’Farrell’s talent as a writer and experience as an actor may benefit the show. As the final episode was being filmed, he offered some suggestions about the direction his character might go.
“I like that, it’s really good,” was the response from the show’s creative team, he said.
O’Farrell had stressed that one of his pleasures working on this show was the stronger emphasis on characters. While it’s still a network series with an over-arcing plot, which is revealed in weekly episodes, the writers cared for and focused on the characters more than many network series.
“At my age, I like to be in a really creative show with good story telling,” O’Farrell said, examining his career. “It’s not the money, but being stimulated by a well-told story.”
Nevertheless, his age did affect his contribution to the show’s buzz. The network and producers organized a premier party during the East Coast broadcast. Cast members were asked to use social media.
“They want live tweeting for the East Coast,” he said days before the premier aired. “I’m not adept with social media.”
During the showing, Georgia emailed him and asked why he stopped sending tweets. He was puzzled until he learned that Twitter had blocked further tweets. He promises to develop that skill now that he has his first iPhone.
It’s as if O’Farrell embodies Yogi Berra’s statement, “I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.” Practice and more practice, keep playing the game. Whether its acting or writing, O’Farrell has demonstrated that his performance does get better.
O’Farrell’s acting career has spanned several decades. While never the classic heart-throb star, he has appeared in many films and television shows. For example, he was a mainstay in HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon” and ABC’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigator.”
Early, he learned that acting was showing up at auditions. But he had to overcome the fear of rejection. He confronted his own thoughts that tried to talk him out of going to the next audition.
“Acting is all about your state of mind,” he stressed. Overcoming that anxiety took time and effort, which many actors can’t endure.
Eventually he learned, “Playing a doctor isn’t about what you know about medicine, it’s selling the people in the room that you are a doctor.”
As Woody Allen has said, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” O’Farrell realized the value of persistence and consistency, which has led him to a successful and full-time acting career.
But his career as a columnist only began a few years ago. Similar to his acting, the more he does it, the better he becomes. Last spring, he received a second-place award for local columnist from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. This is a statewide competition. Later in the summer, the National Newspaper Association bestowed a a third-place award on him. Again this spring, O’Farrell has earned either a first- or second-place CNPA columnist honor.
“These articles and recognition are much more meaningful,” he stated. “The key is putting myself out there. They are my views of the world. It’s validating and much more personal.
“Without a formal education, I always thought that everybody else was smarter than I was,” he added.
O’Farrell can be seen Thursdays at 10 p.m. in “Game of Silence” on NBC and his column, “Off the Leash,” can be read in the third issue of each month in the Idyllwild Town Crier.