By Stephanie Rebman
TUPELO – Waiting tables or bartending while waiting to catch a break in show business may sound cliche, but it’s working for McCoy Butler.
Butler, 23, can be found behind the bar at Fairpark Grill or South most days, but he also is a model who is pursuing acting.
Butler attended the Showcase South talent expo over the weekend in Southaven to meet and greet talent scouts from New York City and Los Angeles, and time will tell where he lands.
Butler, who graduated from Pontotoc High School and Itawamba Community College and currently lives in Tupelo, already works with DAN Talent Group out of Nashville. One of his biggest gigs so far has been a vintage Johnny Cash fashion show.
“It was my first actual legitimate fashion show,” he said. “The constant music, the catwalk – it was nerve-wracking but it was exciting and had your blood pumping.”
His goal is to to act, and it doesn’t matter on what stage. He believes if he can tackle bartending, he can act.
“If I can jump on top of it back there, I can jump on top of it in something else,” he said.
And he got some practice doing just that with the recent Corinth Theatre-Arts play “Sordid Lives.”
He played Ty, a character going through therapy, and most of his lines were monologues.
“It was difficult for me,” he said. “It was mainly monologues that were five, six minutes a piece. It was just me on the stage and it was the most nervous I’ve been in life – ever.”
But, while nervous, it was a life-changing moment.
“That was the test, and now I’m hooked. It turned my nervousness into excitement.”
Butler said it’s all about “placement and people” in the modeling and acting world, and his portfolio is ready.
“The people I’ve worked with have been very complimentary,” he said.
For now, what gets him going while at the two restaurants is the customer who comes in and challenges him to make a new, creative drink or something he hasn’t heard of before.
“Anything extra that makes me pay attention and I get to know the person, I love it,” he said.