Rising Star Delores Wheeler: Longevity stems from tenacity

I believe my longevity stems from tenacity. The story of the “Tortoise and the Hare” is a good analogy. It’s not always the swiftest that wins the race, but the one who keeps a steady pace forward.

As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing actress Delores Wheeler.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve been in the entertainment business for over twenty years. I’m on the committee representing the regional SAG/AFTRA office in Dallas, Texas for the state of Oklahoma. This is where I presently reside.

I’ve always had an interest in the entertainment business. I often wrote, directed, and starred in my own productions with the local neighborhood children. They performed on my family’s front porch for the people in the community of the Fort Wort, Texas area.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The most interesting part of my journey has been the move to Los Angeles. I got to work at the same studios some of the biggest stars in Hollywood had worked. I loved walking the same pathways that the studios had named for some of the original stars like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I remember was when I worked for a dinner theater company. My costume had a big feather plume on the hat I wore. Everytime I turned my head I got a big laugh from the audience. I later learned it was because it hit my fellow actor in the face and tickled his nose, so they kept ii in the performance.

Working for a traveling theater group had it’s challenges. We never knew what kind of stage on which we would be performing. Adjusting to the acoustics, lighting, or sound system was often taxing. Film sets are, also, very demanding. The weather and other outside conditions vary considerably, Thus I learned flexibility.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have written three books available on Amazon. I wrote screenplays/teleplays for each of them. They were submitted to the Script2Screen program offered through the regional SAG/AFTRA office in Dallas.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

One of the most interesting people I met in the industry was filmmaker Daryl Zanuck, Jr. His father was one of the original forerunners of the Hollywood studio system when it first began. I, also, enjoyed working with Cubbie Checker, a music legend. His song, “The Twist,” is still one of the highest selling records to date.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I believe my longevity stems from tenacity. The story of the “Tortoise and the Hare” is a good analogy. It’s not always the swiftest that wins the race, but the one who keeps a steady pace forward.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I’m involved with the National Alliance for Mental Illness for the prevention of suicide and alcohol/drug addiction. Too many people in the industry succumb to self destruction practises due to the stress of this occupation. It has to be put in perspective and one has to find positive and healthy outlets.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Five things I wish someone would have told me when I started this path are:

  1. Everyone is unique. Audrey Hepburn was not considered a classical beauty, but her talent was evident. Ms. Hepburn is my favorite actress.
  2. Never give up. Judy Dench is still working after all these years. She is her authentic self. Ms Dench has been a working actress for decades.
  3. Don’t spread yourself too thin. I have many interests. I’ve learned to narrow it down to a few.
  4. You can have a family and a career. I’ve put projects on the back burner, but returned.
  5. Life is about choices. Believe in yourself. We are all one of a kind. God gave us individual fingerprints as well as talents.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote is by Audrey Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.” I’ve lived by that slogan.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My family has been my foundation. Without them I wouldn’t have progressed this far. They keep me grounded.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

If I could meet anyone, it would be Steven Spielberg. He is a survivor and entrepreneur. He changed the film industry.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I can be found on IMDb, Twitter, and Facebook. I’m on almost all the social media sites, but those are the main ones. Check out my books on Amazon.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!