SYRACUSE Whether you’re a member of her family or a member of her Film Talk audience, an evening with Siobhan Fallon-Hogan can be intense, uproarious and sometimes unsettling. Raised in Cazenovia before pursuing a successful career as one of Hollywood’s most versatile comic character actresses — the woman has an absolutely manic gift of gab.
More than 180 film fans and students turned out April 16 at Le Moyne College’s Coyne Performing Arts Center to hear what the fast-talking Fallon had to say about her three decades in show business. They heard plenty. Her tongue never rests. It’s like a jabbering little jackhammer.
A graduate of Le Moyne, Fallon-Hogan was introduced to her audience there by Julie Grossman, a professor of English, communications and film studies. “She’s part Lucille Ball, part Maureen O’Hara and all herself,” Grossman said.
For her part, Siobhan — who will turn 52 on May 13 — reminded aspiring actors to “believe in yourself, or pretend that you do.”
Recalling her days as a Le Moyne undergrad, Siobhan credited English professor Neil Novelli for grounding her in Shakespeare and also thanked the late Marshall Nye for casting her in musicals in Manlius.
Though her mom and dad encouraged her to think positively, Siobhan admits she suffered self-doubt before finally deciding to tackle acting. She’d tried typing. “That hurt my neck,” she said. She tried waitressing. “But I was too nervous and kept dropping things.” She tried teaching. “But I was too stupid,” she said.
Her mother bristled at the thought.
“You’re not stupid,” her mom insisted. “You’re street-smart!”
With that sentiment ringing in her ear, Siobhan set her sights on New York’s Great White Way but found that becoming a professional thespian could be a bittersweet experience. “I’ll never forget the day I got my Actors’ Equity Card,” she said. “That day my life went from black-and-white to Technicolor. I made it!”