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Draper Journal

Tom Proctor: From Utah to the big screen

Oct 04, 2018 12:18PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Tom Proctor singing and playing guitar. (Margie Rogers/courtesy)

By Michelynne McGuire | [email protected] 

Growing up near Lehi, Tom Proctor’s life took a fateful turn, drawing upon his real-life cowboy skills in some of the roles he has played throughout his career in TV and movies. 

One day before his success on screen, he and some others were tracking for signs of what was taking some of the calves down, and unknowingly rode onto the set of a movie being filmed. 

“That’s how I got into the movie business. We rode onto the movie set,” said Proctor.  

That accidental turn took him into a direction with destiny. Working with what he had at the time gave him skills for the next project yet to arrive. 

“When I was a kid, we couldn’t afford cowboys, so I had my dogs trained to do what cowboys couldn’t do,” said Proctor. 

He would ride in front of the cattle and trained the dogs to take up the rear.

So when the television series “Ancient Secrets of the Bible” needed someone to herd sheep and cattle around, Proctor and his dogs were prepared to do so. 

“I put all the animals on Noah’s Ark, because I was really good with animals,” said Proctor. 

He also had an interesting variety of pets, which he also trained, as a kid. 

“Growing up, we didn’t have television and Nintendo, so we trained animals,” said Proctor. 

“Which is kind of different now because I live in Los Angeles in an apartment that’s a no-pets building, going from having wolves, cougars, raccoons, horses, to a no-pets building,” said Proctor, laughing at the contrast. 

Proctor says he does enjoy LA, but it has definitely been a change from his former life as a cattle ranger. 

“You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy,” said Proctor. 

The move to Los Angeles has paid off with an ever growing resume. Now Proctor has some big films under his belt, including “

Guardians of the Galaxy,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Birth of a Nation,” “Independence Day,” “Django Unchained,” “Looper,” “Lawless” and “Wilson.” You may have also seen Proctor in some TV shows as well: “Justified,” “Zoo,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Bridge,” “ER,” “Brooklyn99,” “Baskets,” “Good Behavior,” “Roots,” “Underground” and “Turn in Nashville.” 

Having endured his share of rejection that comes with acting and working incredibly hard to attain an agent, he has paid many dues to get where he is in his career. 

 “Acting does build character, because you have to be able to accept rejection,” said Proctor. 

Proctor keeps busy. When not auditioning or filming, he’s promoting his new band.

During a recent visit to his old stomping grounds this July for his Working Man Tour, Proctor promoted his band, Tom Proctor & the A-Listers.

Performing in backyard BBQs, a veterans home and more intimate settings, Proctor hoped to give back to those who enjoy his music.  

“Working Man” is the album title and it is dedicated to the working men and women of America. 

His band, Proctor said, are the “very best in Nashville, the best session musicians, they are the best of the best.” 

Proctor describes the genre of music as being “American,” having a country feel. Everything tells a story. His music has a little bit of everything, and he has three albums of original songs so far.  

He wants his music to have an affect on people. He likes the idea of concerts, but also enjoys the intimate backyard playing.

His band members have impressive resumes of their own. Geoff Butterworth is the music producer, Billy Thunder is on drums, Mark Corradati is on bass guitar, Mark Thomas plays lead guitar and Proctor sings. Proctor’s plan is to keep building upon his own musical popularity and growing audiences.  

“Just want it out where everyone will enjoy it. The band has put their hearts and souls into it — they want to tour, they want to work,” said Proctor.

“Having this band of musicians is like having a beautiful woman — if you don’t pay attention to her, somebody else will,” said Proctor. 

With all his ambitions and endeavors ongoing, he shares a motto to ponder:  

“If you don’t chase your own dreams, somebody else will hire you to make theirs,” said Proctor. 

Following his dreams wasn’t an easy road, but he has achieved many of them. And now, he and his wife, Margie, have started their own company production company, Rode Hard Films.