Beginnings, Endings, and the Life In-between

Freshly graduated from  Michigan State University with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, Charles Van Eman turned down Club Corporation of America's offer to be the assistant manager of their beautifully appointed club in Louisville, Kentucky, and instead, with college loans hanging over his head, he painted the house he was renting to earn traveling money, drove to Pittsburgh to say goodbye to his parents, then, behind the wheel of a 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass with $250 in his pocket, he headed west to Los Angeles.   


Looking for adventure as much as seeking to become a successful actor, with luck and several inspiring acting coaches like Scott Allen, Gordon Hunt, and later Cameron Thor, he managed to get work. 


After doing several commercials and brief TV appearances he landed his first guest-starring role as a punk rocker dating Helen Hunt on the ABC sitcom, It Takes Two. Several TV and film gigs followed and then, with cast mates Linda Purl, Harry Shearer, Bob Picardo, David Clennon, and Carol Morley, he enjoyed a highly successful 100 performance run in the LA Public Theater production of Beyond Therapy directed by Paul Benedict. This was followed by a rambling trek through Europe, a recurring role on The Colbys, backpacking adventures in Joshua Tree, the Hoh Rain Forest, Mineral King, and Yosemite National Park, and performing in the world premiere of the play, Taproot, at the Cast Theater in Los Angeles. Next, he hunkered down in a bungalow three blocks from the beach in Santa Monica  and wrote his first screenplay.    


Using that screenplay as a writing sample he was offered a job adapting the Louis L’Amour short story, Bill Carey Rides West into an audio drama for Random House Publishing.  


After adventures in Hawaii, Peru, a couple years in New York City acting and studying creative writing at New York University, then backpacking through Glacier, Banff and Jasper National Parks, he returned to Pittsburgh to perform in the world premiere of the play, Spinners.


Back in Los Angeles he began writing his first novel while adapting six more L’Amour stories for Random House and accepting an offer from the L’Amour estate to research Louis’ biography.  After driving 15,000 miles around the country tracking Mr. L’Amour's highly adventurous life he came back to the theater appearing in his solo show, Beginners Mind.  Guest star appearances on several TV shows followed, and with Guerrila Theatre he performed in 24 Hours AM/PMShow Me The Love, and Shel’s Shorts.  For Random House he co-produced the audio drama Son of a Wanted Man. 


Please continue exploring the site to see Mr. Van Eman's recent creative endeavors. Best of luck on your adventure.  Be bold.