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POST-GAZE'I-rE, JUNE 20, 2014 Page 9 00LLIN-. ,adway Stage to the seems to be a suffering art- ist. I mention that I don't see him pulling a VanGogh and cutting an ear off. "I sometimes clip a finger- nail, but that is as far as I go." I find it amazing he is able to draw such meaningful doodles without having met his subjects. It is as if Ken has a sixth sense. "I've had relatives of people I've drawn tell me you cap- tured something there, and I'm like I did this from a pho- tograph. I guess it was sub- conscious, but that is such a compliment." Ken got his start with the Wall Street Joumal in 1994. "I had an agent and she got me my first WSJ job, and dfather they hired me to draw sports figures. I did every sport. I even did the Winter Olym- pics that year." I ask if he got to go, "Oh no, it's all pho- tographs. You're trying to make my life much too glamorous. I'm not a sports person and I know very little about it, but I would look at photographs and just hope they wouldn't come out look- ing like chorus boys or some- thing. And it worked cause they had me doing that for almost four years." I bring up the subject of Hanca World Stage drawing political figures without having his own views, either positive or negative, come across. "I have to be real careful if it's somebody I know and that I don't like, and they don't want my drawings to be editorial. They just want me to show the person. It can be frustrating, but then I think of the paycheck and I push forward." Caricature can be a bit of a minefield particularly when drawing different David Bowie ing cruel, I never try to be cruel. I've never had a problem." I ask Ken how old he is, and as he tells me he is 65 he reflects a bit on his very interesting journey. "When I turned 50 my life Aladin ethnic groups: Because so many of the early illustra- tors had a field day making hateful statements with their disgraceful pieces. Ken is comfortable with any subject he doodles. "I grew up around a lot of prejudice, but I never under- stood that, it didn't make sense to me to be prejudiced. I just didn't understand why people didn't like other people. It usually is from ig- was actually better. I got started in my late 30s that is when I got my first big break. Things have just got- ten better. The really great thing is I don't think I peaked too young, and I'm not jaded. It's like things are happening. I'm hearing from all these people I went to high school with and they are so happy to be retiring, and I'm thinking I love what I do, I would never retire Madmen norance and fear of the un- known. With caricatures, it's interesting we are talking about this, when I got my first assignments to draw black people my editors would sometimes be very nervous, but I would say, "You shouldn't be nervous', and this is true, I've drawn blacks, I've drawn Asians, you know, all types, and I approach all of them the same way, and I think it shows in that. It's not like I'm trying to make fun of any par- ticular person, it's just the way I see them without be- unless somebody stopped paying me." Fallin talks about his time in 1975 at the New School in New York and studying under famed cartoonist Mort Gerberg. "I wanted to be a cartoon- ist for a brief period. Mort knew all these cartoonists at the New Yorker, and every week he would bring one in to talk to us, and we had people like George Booth and Charles Addams, and they were wonderful. And for our assignment every week we Ken FaUin had to send a batch of car- toons to the New Yorker, and we had to bring in our rejec- tion slip to show proof that we did it." Ken had spent a number of years after school as a starving actor as he kept pursuing his dream. What went on during those "lost years" from school until your big break in 1985? "I did everything you can imagine. I've had just about every job. I've never worked in a hospital, but I've done just about everything else. I've been a waiter and a cab driver (Ken drove for Red Cab in Brookline, MA). I was drawing and acting, that was my original goal and the reason I came to New York. I got a job in 1979 working Liza Minnelli in a summer stock company in Connecticut, and I was making more money doing their posters for the shows and doing caricatures for the actors. You know, they'd pay me like five bucks for a drawing of them, and since I was only making like $45.00 a week as an actor, this came in very handy. I still thought of myself as becoming an actor but it got to the point I was making more money doing illustra- tions, these rinky-dink jobs, and dogs. but they were coming in. What's ironic is nowadays I have meetings with Broad- way producers and directors and writers about my art, but I'm always thinking, gosh, why didn't I know these people when I wanted to be an actor. But it all worked out, I have no complaints. "It wasn't until my late thirties when I got my big break. It got to the point where I didn't think any- thing was ever going to hap- pen, and I was very discour- aged. But then things just started happening and it was great. I think you just sort of have to be ready. If you believe in yourself, and I have to admit there were periods that I didn't, but if you can just sort of hold on and have somebody else tell you they believe in you that helps too." "I have to throw this in because everyone has a parent story. My father never understood what ! did as an illustrator until I started working for the Wall Street Journal, and other people would say 'look at what Ken's drawing here.' And he started taking pride in it, but he could not believe people would pay you to draw. He was a salesman. If I was selling drawings that would be one thing, but he finally got it. Just before he died he told me he was proud of me, and that made it all right, but for years he thought I was a bum." What else would he like people to know about him? "You can say I am very kind to animals. I do dog rescue, that's my big, big thing. I help rescue dogs out of the shelters here in New York. Our main goal is to get them out of the kill shel- ters because we have very bad shelters here in New {Continued on Page 13) Bill Bratton former Boston and NYC Police Commissioner -j