Quinta-feira, 14/12/2017 | : : UTC-5
The Reflection

Stephen Carver sheds light on the entertainment industry

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The entertainment industry has always been known as one of ferocity and power. It’s said that only about 0.0086 percent of the world is considered famous, with many hoping to become apart of that small group of individuals.

While some people do become celebrities, others decide to focus on different aspects in the industry, like Stephen Carver, who is now the executive director of The Kalamazoo Civic,

Headshot of Stephen Carver. Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Civic.

Carver  has been around theatre his whole life and was raised in the theatre business.

“I am the third generation of my family to be leading the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre,” Carver said. “My great grandparents were also professional theatre artists. So after four generations of theatre, you could say that theatre is in my blood.”

Carver said his first production at the civic was when he was in their production of Oliver! when Carver was six years old and participated in the Kalamazoo Civic Youth Summer Theatre until he was 18 and went away to college.

“I don’t really remember making a ‘decision’ to go into theatre until I started applying to colleges,” he said. “Luckily I landed a scholarship in the BFA program at Denison University.”

Carver had jobs in Chicago before he moved out to California, where he was offered a teaching job at Cerritos College. After moving to Hollywood, he was cast in small roles in a slew of projects like: The Golden Girls, Liar Liar, Ellen, Star Trek: Next Generation, and other projects.

Not only did he get to work in professional projects, he got to meet some professional actors as well.

“Steve Carell and I have been friends for a very long time,” he said. “I have also worked with John Carey, all the Golden Girls, Don Cheadle, Heather Locklear and Cheech Marin just to name a few.”

He said living in Hollywood was exciting.

“I was much younger and without a family,” he said. “Sort of like playing in the  ‘big leagues.’  But it’s a huge city and a huge industry. It’s tough to get started. So you have to have a lot of perseverance and a thick skin for all the rejection that comes with starting out.”

Carver said that acting in Hollywood was “Not as exciting as you would think” and described the experience of acting in Hollywood as being more emphasized on auditions, then the project itself. Carver said the process as being less restricted and more open.

“When I was cast in a role I learned that there was very little rehearsal, and little to no direction,” he said. “As a professional actor you are cast with the assumption that you have done all the ‘rehearsal’ work before you shoot the scene. For the actor it’s not a very creative or collaborative process.”

While also in Hollywood, he created his own company called Showfax Inc. Showfax is an online script distribution service that Carver saide “represented 85 percent of all the scripts that were in the process of auctioning and would send the audition material to actors.”

Carver said the company gave him business skills and experience that he will “use on a daily basis at the Civic.”

He decided to come back to the Civic earlier this year.

“[The Civic] is an amazing theatre with an incredibly talented community of volunteers to make it all happen,” he said. “For me personally community theatre is in my blood. Being able to utilize my professional skills in the arts and business is a blessing. I am incredibly lucky to be apart of this wonderful theatre and Kalamazoo community.”

In the upcoming season, Carver will be directing two plays, No Way Out and Red, which will respectively premier in February and March.

And to people reading this who also want to become involved in the entertainment industry, Stephen said to get an education.

“As an actor you need to spend an enormous amount of time on stage, in school and workshops developing your skills,” he advised. “Watch rehearsals other actors and the director. Learn by watching others. In college I interned at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. I did the crummiest jobs around the theatre just to be able to sit in and watch rehearsals of professional actors. It was an amazing experience. In LA I continually took classes and watched the work of other actors. Learn by observation and osmosis.”

 


Samuel Tilbury
About

Hi, my name is Samuel Tilbury and I’m a Junior at Gull Lake High School. This will be my second year on the newspaper staff and I primarily like to write reviews or opinion articles. My favorite topics to talk about are movies, television, politics, and the environment.

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