No not that sorry excuse for television entertainment “starring” Donald Trump savoring each firing, but a real apprentice, a real man who has lived more life in six and a half decades than most folks will ever come close to living.
A product of Louisiana parochial schools Arlan Godthaab was rather typical of teen boys of the day, he was enthralled with drag racing. But rather than limit himself to illegal and dangerous street racing Arlan sought out the then drag racing super star Don Garlits and did not stop until Garlits brought him on board as a racing apprentice. Arlen quickly learned his way around mega powerful racing engines and sleek dragsters whose sole purpose was to travel one quarter mile faster than anyone else. He felt the amazing rush, the heart stopping exhilaration and inescapable pungent smell of the racing fuel. He lived a young man’s dreams to the fullest but in the end drag racing was not Arlen’s future so he moved out west to go to school.
He enrolled in both Ambassador College and in the Pasadena City College. Raised a practicing Catholic Arlen quickly found Ambassador College’s focus on what to him seemed very extreme evangelical Christianity more than a little disturbing. Ultimately he and Ambassador College had a cataclysmic parting but he studied and thoroughly enjoyed the world of communications at Pasadena City College. This would prove extremely helpful in his later life but not immediately.
Arlan Godthaab was a long way from home and he needed to earn a living. So through some family and friends he secured a job with the Southern Pacific Railroad. He worked a while as a brakeman until one day he narrowly escaped a monster crash that took several lives. That experience brought his mind fully back to communications and his body to the doors of NBC Television in Burbank, California.
Arlan was accepted into NBC’s intern program where once again he found himself in the role of apprentice. He participated in every phase of television production and loved every moment of the experience. Eventually he worked with Fox Pictures and he was Segment Producer for the 53rd and 54th Academy Awards Shows. His skills became more or less focused on editing and related elements of post production where he became very successful running his own independent post production business. Along the way he became a major player in the ultimate success of the controversial film “The Best Little Whore House Texas.” His skill helped to turn that project from near disaster to a mega success.
But after many years, a whole lot of fun and much success the super apprentice Arlan Godthaab decided it was time to retire at the ripe old age of 55. Well not really retire retire but to at least step away from show business and pursue some more laid back job. But in doing that his attention was drawn to Craig’s List where he saw a casting notice. Someone was looking for a man to play the role of a Catholic priest, a distinguished priestly looking senior with white hair. Heck, Arlan thought that can’t be hard so he showed up and got his first film role in front of the camera. He was instantly hooked and so began his fourth significant career. Just to be historically accurate he had starred in a TV series about fishing previously but this was his first film project.
Since that great day about five years ago he has been in more than 100 productions including 12 films 6 of which have been award winning films. He was also a principal character in a Honda TV commercial which has become the most productive Honda TV commercial ever made. He has recently appeared as Sanford Belisarius in the 2012 release of “The Skull Rosary of Frao’ Ranggoh .” Very recently he was also offered a major role in a new feature film still in the early stages of pre production, “Dragon’s Seed” to star critically acclaimed teen actress Kari Irwin and likely to have one or more “A listers” on board when the project goes to camera.
Without doubt Arlan Godthaab was one the most interesting interviews I have ever conducted. He is a super well connected man but with no pretense. He is clearly very bright and articulate and a true adventurer. In many ways he reminds me of another late and truly great Hollywood legend, a man who interestingly touched both of our early lives, Robert Mitchum. I have no doubt about the total success Arlan Godthaab shall achieve in acting because success is something he demands of himself. But so much more importantly Arlan Godthaab is a genuinely good man. So when you are privileged to see him at work you will now know the mind behind the image.
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