Dr. William Totten of the Madisonville Veterinary Hospital experienced the thrill of the entertainment industry when he appeared in an episode of The Cowboy Way, a reality show that highlights three cowboys from Alabama.
“I had not heard about the show until I got the call, now the kids are hooked on it,” said Totten. “This was the first time I was ever in front of a camera. It is a pretty humbling experience to see all that goes on behind the scenes to get a show made.” The connection began with Liz Henson of Henson Dodge, who went to school with the mother of one of the show’s production managers. Henson called Totten and informed him that they wanted to shoot a scene at the veterinary hospital and he was pleased to offer his assistance.
The episode, titled ‘The Fall of Booger’, features a scene with Totten working on a horse named Studly, who was injured after tripping, as well as the horse’s owner Booger Brown, one of the show’s main characters.
“I have never been accused of being an actor,” said Totten. “They told me to just do what I do and pretend that the cameras were not there, which was the biggest trick. I tuned them out and spoke to Booger as if he was any other client that came in.”
While his wife Dr. Jennifer Sullivan was aware that her husband would be on television, they decided to leave it as a surprise for their three children Kaitlyn (13), Mason (9) and Owen (6). The family was simply watching the show together when the kids recognized a familiar veterinary hospital and a familiar veterinarian appear on their screen.
“It is the kind of show that we can all sit down and watch together as a family,” said Totten.
The experience gave Totten a new understanding and appreciation for the acting profession and how difficult it is to work a life in front of the camera.
“Anytime you work in front of a camera like that, you are opening yourself up to criticism,” said Totten. “In that regard, actors have my respect because that is something I could never do long term.”
Totten did, however, admit that he would be open to another similar short term experience if he ever got the opportunity.
Totten grew up in Seguin and graduated from Texas A&M in 1997 with a BS in Biomedical Science and 2004 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He worked at Crockett Veterinary Hospital for nearly four years before moving to Madisonville with his family in 2008.