Phillip Irwin Cooper
Actor/writer/director Phillip Irwin Cooper came to Los Angeles from the Gulf Coast of Alabama with a sunny disposition and a suitcase of small town values hoping to find work in TV shows with “Heaven” or “Angels” in the title. Soon after procuring roles in Death Becomes Her, Shock ‘Em Dead, and Death Patrol, he saw a light at the end of the terminal tunnel when he landed a small recurring role on Days Of Our Lives, only to have his character fatally crushed in a pile of rubble after an unfortunate hospital explosion a short time later.
Having practically given up, Phillip returned to the deep south to help out during a family crisis and came back to L.A. three years later to write a one-man-show inspired by his experience where he played himself and 23 other characters. Counting For Thunder ran for seven months. Phillip starred in the film adaptation from Wolfe Releasing, a project he also directed, wrote and produced. At its World Premiere at Rhode Island International Film Festival, Counting For Thunder took home the Jury Award for Best Alternative Feature. The film won Audience Awards at both Columbia Gorge International Film Festival and Fairhope Film Festival. As Phillip enjoys doing most things backwards, the book only came out in the summer of 2019.
In both the book and film, ‘counting for thunder’ refers to a moment near his mother’s passing when she discovered she’d been doing things backwards her whole life, as well, since she’d been taught to count from the thunder and wait for the lightning.
This blog will track Phillip’s own endeavor to count from the lightning in a town where lightning, not to mention thunder, are rarely seen or heard.