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Phil plays "grandpa" in Disney/Pixar film, “La Luna”

Phil plays Nonno (grandpa) in the Disney/Pixar film, “La Luna”, nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for Best Animated Short Film. It was theatrically released with Pixar/Disney's feature film “Brave”.

Marin Independent Journal
LifeStyles
Marin Snapshot: A story of bliss for Mill Valley actor Marin Snapshot: A story of bliss for Mill Valley actor
by Jim Staats

Phil Sheridan story telling in Mill Valley
Mill Valley resident Phil Sheridan, a professional actor and storyteller, reads Cinderella in the children’s room at the Mill Valley Public Library. (IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel)

MILL VALLEY ACTOR Phil Sheridan may get recognized from roles in TV shows such as "Nash Bridges" or voice-over work including "Grandpa" of Sim City video games, but his biggest fans are the youngsters for whom he serves as storyteller at local libraries - twice a week at the Mill Valley Public Library and once a week for the Sausalito Public Library.

A one-time librarian and bookstore owner who moved to the area from Long Beach in 1964 to attend University of California at Berkeley, Sheridan caught the acting bug for good as part of a traveling troupe of performers in the '70s. The 73-year-old father to four grown sons and two grandchildren slipped into a variety of fairy tale characters to recount his passion for telling stories.

Sophia Bare listens to Phil Sheridan read The Gruffalo.
Sophia Bare listens to Phil Sheridan read The Gruffalo. (IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel)

Q: How did you get into storytelling?
A: About seven years ago, a Mill Valley librarian fell ill and one of the jobs of children's' librarians is to tell stories. I started subbing, got to be quite popular and saw this as a good way to pass the rest of my life.

Q: Describe your typical audience.
A: I average about 25 kids, usually preschool age of about 4 years old, over a few weekly events. Schools bring classes into the libraries, especially on weekdays. I encourage parents to bring infants. They don't understand much, but they pick up the vibes. I read about six books for 30 to 40 minutes. Kids get restless after that time.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a storyteller?
A: The ecstasy I feel every time I share this stuff with the kids, introducing them to the value of living things, the power of words and the value of language. To share something so pleasurable and exciting for the audience, it's a place of bliss. I'm really becoming young again.
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MoreMarin.com
Marin Focus: Actor (& storyteller) Phil Sheridan Marin Focus: Actor (& storyteller) Phil Sheridan
By Joan Lisetor

Phil Sheridan Actor

He falls to the ground, victim of a heart attack. The medics arrive.

“Good God, get him to a hospital, quick...”

There are helicopters overhead, sirens, flashing lights, breaking glass.

It’s all in a day’s work for actor Phil Sheridan. The 74–year–old began acting in college and has been at it ever since. Being practical, he got a degree in library science from U.C., Berkeley, in the mid 1960s.

“The ink was still wet on my degree, and I high tailed it over to the Marin Civic Center library and asked for a job,” he said. “They asked if I could start the next day.”

That was the beginning of a career that has taken the Southern California transplant to San Quentin as a librarian. Then there was the book store he owned in Ross and the years he worked as a diamond broker.

While he still works as a fill in reference librarian for the county, nothing has suited him nor pleased him more than his current life’s work: telling stories to children. He tells stories two mornings a week at the library in Mill Valley, his home town for more than 40 years, once a week at the Sausalito library and the Hunter’s Point YMCA and at children’s birthday parties. His dream is to tell stories to children on television.
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