After college, Harrison started his acting studies at the famed Actors Studio, with Lee Strasberg, where he is a lifetime member. After which, he attended Milton Katselas’s classes, where he also taught classes. From those experiences, Harrison forged a sense of himself as an artist. He began to act in plays, film and television.
As a boy, Harrison was a movie fanatic. There were few movies he did not see. The film that struck and moved him most was “Blackboard Jungle.” There in the balcony of the Bijou movie house, he witnessed a life alterting acting performance by Sidney Poitier. For the first stime in his young life, he saw a portrait of himself on the screen. A larger than life 3 dimensional image that spoke softly and earnestly with a tad of eloquence. Though his language was an indication of street dialect, it somehow resonated the most sophisticated communication he had ever observed. This was his inspiration, his turn to the acting profession. If that man, that beautiful Black man could do it, then why shouldn’t he. Interestingly, years later he told the beautiful Black man the affect his portrayal has on a very young boy in the dark, sweltering balcony in the deep South. The man was moved, very moved.
During his military service, he was convinced that being on stage was his calling. He joined a do-wop group and sang for service clubs and Officer’s clubs in Great Falls, Montana. Viewing a room full of people from that side of the footlights was exciting. He since realized it’s the only time he’s really alive. Most definitely, he had the bug.
Feverish from his acting and performing addiction, Harrison found himself in Hollywood, looking for a fix. He managed to score an underground film that only partially quenched his thirst. And like so many others, he continued to search for the next dealer, forfeiting meals if he had to. He was damn near skin and bones when he found his next dose. It was a TV show and a guest starring role. There’s no describing what a high that was. Now he was completely hooked. And by any means necessary, he forged ahead to maintain a consistent buzz. Series television, movies, wonderful plays and awards following, further confirming his addiction. The drug has never worn off and he has not come down from its effects. His film history shows the effect of the drug.