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After Hours: Leonard Alterman—Bitten by the performing bug

During the day, Mandarin resident Leonard Alterman practices law—primarily in the areas of business law, wills, probate and litigation—but after hours, you will find him pursuing his passions of acting and music.

You can find Alterman performing on stage acting in local theater productions, and playing his saxophone in the Putnam County Community Band in Palatka (where he grew up) and clarinet in the Clay County Community Band.

Getting bit

He says that he has always had the performing bug in him, recalling that his first “real gig” was being the narrator in his kindergarten May Day pageant. To his acting love, he then added his love of music and went on to play the saxophone in his high school band and performed in many of his schools talent shows.

His first experience acting in a play was at Theatre Jacksonville as the Rabbi’s son in “Fiddler on the Roof.” After that he has never looked back and has been in more than 60 musicals and plays at local theaters and has even appeared in movies and commercials. He says people often say to him “You must really love trial work because it’s like acting.” His response to that: “I act for fun, but trial work is serious business.”

Revisiting old loves

After high school, Alterman’s music took a back seat to other events. In fact, he didn’t get back into music again until about 10 years ago when a member from his high school band organized a meeting of band members so they could all get together and play at a class reunion.

He bought a saxophone on eBay and the group practiced during the summer of 2002 until the reunion. Alterman says, “That little event led to me taking saxophone lessons, which then led later to clarinet and flute lessons and the formation of the Putnam County Community Band.”

Playing a new tune

The band, which Alterman was instrumental in starting, has grown from eight to its current 25 members. In addition to playing in the Putnam County Community Band, Alterman also plays in the Clay County Community Band and has played pit orchestra for a few theatrical productions, giving him a chance to combine theater and music.

He finds himself quite busy combining all of these performing loves—a play usually requires about six weeks of rehearsals averaging three nights a week, which becomes every night the week of opening, and his band rehearsals are weekly for one and a half to two hours.

But Alterman loves all of it. “I love doing theater and music because as a child I always admired and envied performers I saw on television and in the movies and wanted to do what they did,” he says, and is grateful that it turned out that he had the ability to do it.

“Besides the artistic satisfaction acting in theater companies and playing music with bands provides, I love the social activity and camaraderie—people pulling together to pursue a common goal and having fun doing it,” says Alterman. “Not to mention the lifelong friends I have made in both arenas.”

Leonard Alterman is an Attorney at Law in the Jacksonville area. He can be reached at 904-739-3440, alterlawjax@gmail.com, or through www.altermanlawyer.com.

 


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