One of the perks of being a reporter is that I am allowed, occasionally, to be nosy. Though I prefer to call it “curious.”
That allowance led me to meet Ken McNaughton last week, who I met as I was crossing the Main Street bridge on my way to the Obladi Hotel.
McNaughton was looking, rather intently, over the bridge, so I took a peek too. “They have lost their mother,” he said, referring to a handful of fluffy, baby ducks who were waddling in circles on the sand bar.
McNaughton is a fourth generation Australian who has lived in Ellicott City since 1993. I think it's appropriate to refer to him as a "Renaissance Man."
In between Melbourne and Ellicott City, he’s lived in London, Paris, Rome, Mexico, the Bahamas, Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Cambridge, MA – with a travelling commune.
When I asked what he did here, McNaugton said he was an actor – despite, I later learned, his Master’s Degree in engineering, which he put to use as a publisher with the American Institute of Physics.
After he retired, in 2004, McNaughton said he just wanted to try a few different things, one of which was acting. He is an extra in several major films and has had prominent roles in commercials and independent films (you can see him in Veep, some of which was filmed at the Dancel Family Center Y).
McNaughton also enjoys photography, and Ellicott City is full of photogenic architecture, streetscapes and nature scenes. Several of his photo essays are online, on the one and only EllicottCity.net.
There is, of course, much more to McNaughton (anyone who lived with a traveling commune is bound to have a few good stories).
For now, take a look at his photographs, read his essays and look for him on a movie screen near you.