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Georgetown to Hollywood

By the age of seven, Lisa Christine Carcon had a plan.

Her goals were to do well in school, specifically with regard to her writing skills, go to college and study theater, and then graduate and move to New York City to become a professional actress.

Carson, the daughter of Polly Carcon, a well known Georgetown resident and former nurse anesthetist at Brown County General Hospital, reached her goals and became a wife and mother as well.

Lisa Carcon was born in Paris, Texas, but she and her her mother moved often and lived in several locations. In the 1970s, Ed Roberto persuaded Polly Carcon to come to work at Brown County General Hospital. Polly Carcon then had a distinguished 33-year career at the hospital.

In Georgetown, the family first lived on State Street before moving to Home Street, where Lisa Carcon became friends with her neighbor, Glenna Neu Smith.

After arriving in Georgetown, Carcon attended Georgetown Exempted Village Schools and graduated in 1968.

When asked about memories of school, she spoke highly of Betty Liggett, an English teacher, who emphasized pronunciation and grammar and also encouraged Carcon’s writing skills.

Carcon also recalled math teacher, Paul Rainey, saying he was serious about motivating students to learn but was also very intimidating. If there was a disturbance in the class room, he would often strike the metal trash can with a wooden pointer, to the surprise of the entire class.

In addition to her academic studies, Carcon was involved in band, the swim team, and choir.

“I was very social, went to the proms, moonlight gardens and had several friends. I knew I was “prissy”, but I did try setting tobacco – once!” Carcon said.

The annual Brown County Fair was a favorite activity. She recalled how everyone bought new outfits to wear. She also spent time working as a candy striper at the hospital.

“(Carcon) and I first met in the sixth grade,” Smith said. “Her mother, Polly was always taking (Carcon) on adventurous trips to the city for movies, lunches, dinners and other interesting activities. Fortunately I often went along. These trips broadened her experiences and gave her a capacity to think ‘out of the box’.”

Carcon’s favorite activity, however was working for the News Democrat.

She prepared the copy, art work and layout for the 1968 Georgetown High School yearbook, “Ulysses”. She wrote to Charles Schultz, author and artist of the Peanuts comic strip and received permission to use his cartoon images for the art work in the year book.

Carcon also wrote for the paper, all of which fit well with her plan to move to New York City in the future.

In the fall of 1968, Christine entered The Ohio State University, majoring in history and theater. She excelled in history, writing and theater, but overall was an average student. She performed in theater productions and worked back stage.

As in high school, she enjoyed an active social life and joined liberal student groups on campus. She described herself as a “hippie” and was interested in women’s rights, an interest she retained throughout her working career. For her work-study program she was a switchboard operator in her dorm.

In her junior year, she took two quarters off from college and moved to New York City. She lived in a women’s rooming house and found it to be too expensive.

Carcon’s mother thought she was extravagant and unrealistic, but Polly Carcon still worked two jobs to help pay Lisa Carcon’s expenses.

Lisa Carcon’s first attempt to conquer New York City was not promising. She went to the famous Ford Modeling Agency to seek a modeling position. As Carcon recalled, they told her “you’re two fat, too short and too voluptuous.”

“I was devastated,” Carcon said.

Undaunted, after graduating from Ohio State in 1973, Carcon went to New York again.

She worked the usual fill-in jobs while studying acting under Lee Strasburg and applied to the Actors Studio. She hired an agent and was cast in small roles in two soap operas, Days of Our Lives and As the World Turns. In 1975, she joined the George Morrison Acting Studio, where she met a fellow actor and future husband, David Garcia.

In 1979, Lisa and David were married at the United Nations building. Carcon explained she was interested in world issues and the UN was an appealing wedding location.

Shortly after marriage, she honed her skills in television series development and became a teleplay writer, which is someone who writes screenplays for TV shows. Carcon was working on two films and public broadcasting programs including a series called Short Stories.

In 1986, after thirteen years in New York, she and her husband moved to Los Angeles to pursue more writing opportunities.

Through connections with the Cagney & Lacy detective series, she worked with executive producers Barney Rosenzweig and Jerry Weintraub, and was on the writing staff of the ABC series, China Beach. She personally developed a segment that dealt with abortion and a women’s choice. She was also involved in post-production, including editing sound and music.

Along the way, Carcon and David had two children, Rachel and Perry. After pursuing acting, her husband entered hotel management and is now the events manager for the California Club.

Rachel has a graduate degree from Teck School of Medicine at USC in the medical field and Perry is a medical researcher at a melanoma cancer clinic.

In 1992, Carcon was diagnosed with cancer. As a result, she made a life-altering decision to retire from television writing and deal with her health. When Carcon recovered from cancer, made a decision to become a “stay at home mom” and raise her family.

“Movie and television work was 24/7 and very hard,” Carcon said. “I chose to be with my family and I am glad I did. The Hollywood scene is a lot of partying, alcohol and drugs, the life style is very hard on family life. I feel I worked my plan and reached my goals. I’ve had a very happy life.”

Anyone who lives in Los Angeles and works in or near Hollywood is asked what famous actors they know.

In Carson’s case, her daughter Rachel went to school with Eddie Albert’s (Green Acres, etc) granddaughter, Thai Albert. As a result, she became very well acquainted with the Albert family and says that Eddie and his son Edward were very genuine, down to earth family people and are a joy to know.

When asked what a young person should do to become a success, she said “they should develop a plan, get an education, be realistic, work hard, be prepared to support yourself while learning and getting started, be thrifty, learn your craft, and most of all stay focused.”

Georgetown lawyer Stan Purdy contributed to this story.

Lisa Christine Carcon went from Georgetown to become a Hollywood writer.
http://ripleybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_IMG_1217.jpgLisa Christine Carcon went from Georgetown to become a Hollywood writer.
Lisa Christine Carson graduated from Georgetown and went on to become a Hollywood writer.

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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