© Stephen Stanton

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Why I believe in giving back.

April 24, 2017

 

My "autograph" career really started after I first played Captain Tarkin on Season 3 of The Clone Wars. Having been a huge fan of Peter Cushing since I was a kid and first introduced to him in the early Hammer films, this was a dream VO job come true.  Not only did I enjoy his movies, but I always admired his willingness to sign for a fan - and that he never charged a dime. In fact, even when he was close to death, he continued to autograph cards so that his secretary would have something to send to the fans that continued to write to him even after he was gone.  

 

When my first big convention appearance was about to happen at Wizard World Anaheim in 2011, we decided that rather than charge a signing fee, I would offer my autograph for free.  In that one day appearance I signed about 700 autographs! 

 

Since then, my signing has always been for charity donations. At several conventions a group of us raised money for a 501st family whose baby had a mysterious illness and was in the hospital most of her young life. At various other events we donated our proceeds to Ronald McDonald House or Make a Wish. And a few years ago we became aware of a wonderful organization called The Starlight Children's Foundation which we have been donating to.

 

I've been very fortunate in my career. The fact that someone would want an autographed photo from me is not something I take for granted. And while I prefer not to profit from my signature, I know there are thousands of children who might benefit. I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting and speaking to some of them and their families and it's a feeling that truly makes me want to continue to give back. 

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