Advancing National Service

For This Iraq Veteran and Actor, Hollywood’s Hard Knocks Don’t Seem So Tough

January 22, 2014
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For This Iraq Veteran and Actor, Hollywood’s Hard Knocks Don’t Seem So Tough
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Iraq veteran Chris DeVinny was close to a television debut. Now he's writing a play starring veterans.

When Chris DeVinny served as a Forward Observer in the Army in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, one of his most unpleasant experiences was digging through burning garbage, trying to locate some missing guns. He told Erin Prater of the Fort Collins Gazette, “I remember thinking, ‘No matter what happens, where I’m at in the civilian world, I’ll always be able to look back on this day and remember that nothing sucked as bad as this.”

This perspective has proved useful as DeVinny pursues an acting career in Los Angeles, and endures the disappointments typical of aspiring actors. After his discharge from the army, DeVinny used GI Bill funding to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. Since then DeVinny, now 27, has landed several parts in theater productions, and works as a handyman on the side. What DeVinny thought might be his big break came in September of 2013, when he was cast in a small roll as a Navy master-at-arms in NBC’s drama “Ironside.” Unfortunately the show, starring Blair Underwood as a wheelchair-bound police detective, was canceled before the episode DeVinny appeared in aired, sending him back to auditions. But he’s also writing a play about Iraq War veterans and plans to cast fellow veterans in all the starring roles. There shouldn’t be any complaints, no matter how grueling the rehearsals are.

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