We’d like to introduce you to an incredible lady named Polly Craig. Polly was born in Orlando, FL and grew up in Massachusetts. She raised her five kids as a single mother on Cape Cod where she was a professional photographer and freelance contributor to Cape Magazine.
In 1983 she moved to Georgia to pursue a professional acting career. Then in 1984, she got her first speaking role, which entitled her to join the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. When she felt the need for more training, she relocated to North Hollywood and enrolled in the prestigious Joanne Baron’s Beverly Hills Studio to study the Meisner Technique. To finance her classes, she worked as an office manager for the Center for Surrogate Parenting.
She then moved back to Georgia to resume her career. Look for her in One Last Thing, Déjà Vu, and My Dog Skip, to name a few. In one fun role, she gave David Cross a black eye and knocked him on his butt in Run, Ronnie, Run. She also says she had great fun “flaunting her wares” to Kevin Kline in her bathing suit in Last Vegas. Between these moments, there were TV shows and commercials, among them a Telly Award-winning Kodak moment.
Looking back, she realizes that drama classes helped her to construct better novels. Because of them, she writes in whole scenes and finds that dialogue is second nature. These abilities make her tales interesting and readable. She has also served on the Board of Women in Film/Atlanta and has been serving as Chaplain for the National League of American Pen Women/Atlanta for twelve years.
The following books by Polly Craig can be found on Amazon:
A Medal for Dr. Mary; Lethal Intentions; Scarlet Acres; Situation Desperate: Send Chocolate; and The Damage Done.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: I lived and brought my kids up on Cape Cod. When I was there, I was a professional photographer and a freelance contributor to Cape Magazine. One of my projects was to cover the movie, Star, the story of Gertrude Lawrence’s founding of the Cape Playhouse—the oldest playhouse in the country. The stars were Julie Andrews and Richard Crenna. I was scheduled to interview them and take pictures. Robert Wise was the director and he said, “You can shoot anything you want, but when we’re shooting don’t flash your camera” because cameras all had flashes in those days. I loved it so much!
Julie Andrews was rather stand-offish, but when I became an actor, I realized she was going over her lines. Richard Crenna was divine. He was so handsome and so sweet! So that was when I decided that I was going to do film.
The funny part of it was that there was a scene where Julie Andrews and Richard Crenna were supposed to be getting married in a small cottage. The extras at the wedding were people who lived on Cape Cod, so they were not familiar with the film business. When the couple came out of the cottage, everybody was supposed to throw confetti. Well, the extras were so enamored they couldn’t get it right! They kept throwing the confetti at the wrong time, so the crew had to vacuum up every bit of confetti and start over multiple times. It was the whole project that thrilled me, and that’s when I thought, when my kids are educated and it’s my turn, I’m going to do my thing.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Woodstock, and what do you love there?
A: O’Charley’s, and I like their “California Salad” and their lovely warm buns.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Woodstock?
A: Since 1999. I just wanted to get out of Atlanta. I lived behind Cumberland Mall in nice condominiums, but it was so crazy. When I came up here, you know, there was a two-lane highway.
It’s alright now, but I have to go down to Buckhead to audition. I’m not afraid of the highway. It’s just a pain. The traffic is lousy, and the drivers are not very courteous, but that’s life.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Woodstock?
A: Juanita Hughes is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, and my kids just love her. They don’t see her very often, but they just love her.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A: I would not go anywhere outside the country because I love America so much.
I did go to England (I loved London) but I would not be happy going there now because the climate of the world has changed. When I went, the people were lovely, and I said, “Is it okay to walk alone at night?” and they said, “Oh, yes”. Well, no matter where you go now, you can’t walk out at night.
So I would stay here and I would travel the country. That’s what I would do.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: I remember seeing Gone with the Wind when I was a girl. I guess that is my favorite movie. I’ve seen it a couple of times.
I like all of the PBS stuff, you know. I couldn’t tell you a favorite. I love the ones about Victoria, Elizabeth, and Oliver. That’s my favorite kind of stuff.
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: Be kind to one another.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: To produce my screenplay! To produce all the things that I’ve done and probably to act in them or to have a part in them in some way.
Q: What is your favorite music, or which 3 bands would you like to see (dead or alive)?
A: I like the classics: 60’s and 70’s music. I like to hear the words of a song and I don’t like to hear the same words over and over. There’s this song they play at the gym, and the refrain is the same phrase over and over. I keep thinking that the lyricist must be a really lazy person. I wasn’t a big fan of Sinatra but of the others, Peggy Lee and all of those.
Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Woodstock?
A: I think the only nostalgia that I have is that I liked the small highway, and now the big boxed stores have come in and it’s changed the feeling of the place. A lot of the little antique places are not there anymore, and I used to like going in—I didn’t buy much—and looking around. Now, there’s a little one next to the Goodwill. It’s a consignment shop, and they have a lot of interesting things there.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Woodstock would you have lunch?
A: Although she is no longer with us, Golda Meir comes to my head, and I’d like her to come here. I don’t know where. I just like O’Charley’s!
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Woodstock?
A: I have several wonderful neighbors who are very special. One lady, we swap off. If she needs to go to the hospital, I take her, and she’s going to take me next week. She’s a great lady. Her name is Diane Staubus, and she was a Spanish teacher for years. She is truly kind and good.
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I’m pretty open. I can’t think of anything!
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Peace, stability, and kindness. I’m big on kindness.
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? A Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: A housekeeper!
Polly in Community
A few years ago, Polly had the opportunity to be featured in a Publix commercial that just might make you tear up. Don’t believe us? Check it out!
You can find Polly’s books on Amazon. The list includes A Medal for Dr. Mary; Lethal Intentions; Scarlet Acres; Situation Desperate: Send Chocolate, and The Damage Done. Her admitted favorite and crowning achievement is A Medal for Dr. Mary.
A Medal for Dr. Mary is the story of the only woman to win the Medal of Honor. It has earned five stars on Amazon and an Honorable Mention in NLAPW’s nation-wide contest. She has given lectures about Dr. Mary to book clubs and other groups on Cape Cod, in Atlanta, Canton, Woodstock, Marietta, Roswell, Vero Beach and in other locations.
Screenwriter, Danny Wright, read the book and proposed a collaboration. They are currently shopping their screenplay based on that book!