By Abby Walton
In 1991, a young Ray Cortopassi stepped onto an Illinois stage in his first role in a community theater production.
“The play was Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” and I played Giles Ralston, the innkeeper who owned the local bed and breakfast,” he said. Today, most people know Cortopassi as one of the news anchors for Fox 59 Morning News. It might not be that surprising that as a young person, he enjoyed performing, but what most people don’t know is that although Cortopassi is an outgoing person, he had serious doubts about whether he could get up on stage and perform. “I would always second guess myself. I thought it would be fun to be on stage, but I didn’t know if I could do it and often worried that I would fail,” he said.
At Columbia College in Chicago, Cortopassi finally gathered the courage to try out for the play, “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
“When it was my time to audition, they called me up and asked me what my name was and I said ‘Mortimer’ which was the name of the character I was auditioning for,” Cortopassi said. “I didn’t get the part.”
Even though he thought he’d never do it again, Cortopassi tried the acting thing one more time after his wife gave him acting lessons as a gift. After that, Cortopassi decided to try community theater again and that’s when his role in “The Mousetrap” came along. After that came a few roles here and there until he got a job as a print reporter in Chicago.