Author Topic: Local actor offers advice during Norfolk conference  (Read 1113 times)


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Local actor offers advice during Norfolk conference
« on: April 26, 2015, 08:25:27 PM »

By Selene D. Guerrero, The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK -- John Roberts walked into class at the Generic Theater and pulled up a seat. The room was big and Hollywood-style mirrors with large, round bulbs lined the back wall.

The class of five briefly chatted about past and current acting projects and then Jason Kypros, their instructor, walked in.

Kypros, with his gregarious personality immediately gave off the feel that he knew a thing or two about what he was teaching.

The class was called “Auditioning/Acting for the Camera,” and was one of multiple classes and workshops offered free of charge through The Hampton Roads Theater League: Theater Con ’13 that was held July 8 -13. Other classes included Method Acting, stand-up and improv, and puppetry 101.

The conference, in its third year, helps local talent flex their acting muscle and according to Jeanette Rainey, executive director of Generic Theater, the yearly attendance has held steady at around 200.

Roberts, a retired Navy petty officer 1st class, has been taking advantage of the training for two years, having studied acting 22 years ago he joked that he has “gone a little stale” and the classes make excellent refresher courses.

“I’ve done a grand total of zero,” he said about acting in front of a camera. He added that local projects and film programs occasionally use homegrown talent and if given the opportunity, he wants to be prepared.

The class started with brief introductions then Kypros went through some audition suggestions, such as providing casting directors a current resume listing even the small roles and always ask questions before an audition in order to know where to direct attention.

Kypros, who says he’s been acting since grade school, said he hoped to instill a sense of confidence in the performers and answer any questions throughout the class.

The Norfolk native had been in a locally shot movie in 2001 based on a John Grisham novel called “Mickey.” Soon after shooting, he moved to Los Angeles. Now back in Virginia, Kypros travels the state as the Virginia Lottery “Game Guy.”

“Doing the movie was good experience and it helped me get my Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card,” Kypros said.

While in L.A., he studied Improv Comedy at The Groundlings, a theater and school that boasts alumnus such as Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig and Phil Hartman.

For the class, Kypros briefed the artists on headshots, telling them to make sure they have multiple color photos that look like them, nothing altered.

“Always have a hard copy to give casting directors and a digital copy,” he said.

Kypros stressed the importance of accepting rejection and suggested that actors go into an audition, give it their best, thank directors, walk away and forget the audition ever happened.

“The minute you’re done,” he said, “just forget about it because it will make you crazy thinking about whether or not you will get the call back.”

He gave an example about his current gig as the “Game Guy,” where he didn’t hear back for a year and then one day his phone rang, he had the job.

He reminded the class that the business is vain and to own an audition.

He suggested to walk into the audition already in character. This makes it easier to stand out.

“Set yourself apart when you walk in,” he stressed, “It’s your one and only shot, give it everything you got.”