Acting: It’s the Mules’ Fault
October 25th, 2017 by Mike Teegarden

Tom Firth with some of his mules that got him roped into acting.

Tom Firth has a budding acting career, and he places blame squarely on his mules.

“If it hadn’t been for my mules this might not have happened,” says Tom.

Tom, a resident of Anza, California, has a small speaking part in a Western television series called “Tucker’s War,” filmed in the Anza area. Director Stephen Savage is a veteran of the entertainment industry. “Tucker’s War” is in the same style as “Lonesome Dove.”

Tom and his friend Steve Silkotch, who also is in the show, were talking about the show one day.

“Jokingly, I had said something to him, that you need a crusty old sidekick with a mule,” Tom says. “He laughed and said, ‘You’re not too far off, your time is coming.’ I didn’t think anything more of it. Later on that summer, I got a call from Stevie and he said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna be doing some filming this weekend. Would you be a member of the posse?’ I said sure.”

That short conversation led to Tom’s nonspeaking role in the series pilot as a mule wrangler in which he appears with his mule, Zane Grey.

The story of “Tucker’s War” takes place right after World War I. The lead character, played by Steve, is a Medal of Honor recipient having trouble returning to his cowboy life. Tom plays Charlie Carson and his twin brother, Caleb.

“Tucker’s War” also features Wolfgang Bodison (“A Few Good Men,” “CSI”), Don Swayze (HBO’s “True Blood” and “Carnivàle”) and Angela Daun (“Entourage,” “Tropic Thunder”).

The pilot and first episode have been released and can be viewed at

Although Tom’s character dies in the first episode, he is slated to appear in future episodes as the twin of his original character.

In 2016, Tom had his first taste of acting, appearing in “Ramona,” California’s official play. 2017 will be the 95th year of the production, performed at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater. Tom says there is a film in the pipeline that could happen next year.

Tom was a lineman at Anza Electric Cooperative before retiring. He now serves on Anza’s board of directors.

Tom says this has been a whirlwind year.

“It seems I’ve done everything from rebuild the 94-year-old Americana Trail at the Ramona Bowl, to teaching a Master’s Leave No Trace program in the Sierras, to even hiking a portion of the John Muir Trail with my niece,” he says. “It has certainly been a busy year.