Hollywood 'heavy' leads campus acting workshops

Despite being known on film and television for playing tough guys, actor Patrick Kilpatrick impressed students and faculty with his approachability and gregarious personality during a three-day acting workshop at Hampden-Sydney in October.

Kilpatrick is known for his villainous roles in the films Minority Report, Under Siege 2, and The Replacement Killers; he has also appeared on many television shows, including CSI Miami, Cold Case, 24, and had a recurring role on Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman.

Actor Patrick Kilpatrick taught Hampden-Sydney thespians skills for success.

“He was amazing,” says Matt Dubroff, lecturer in fine arts and director of this fall’s student production The Homecoming. “He was packing decades of experience into a three-day workshop, so the students were blown away. He gave them tremendous insight into what it takes to be a working actor in Hollywood. They loved spending time with him.”

Students met with Kilpatrick in Crawley Forum. He spent the first day focusing on auditioning and acting techniques. The second day, he covered screen writing and script development. The final day, Kilpatrick discussed production, distribution, and financing in the film and television industry.

Junior Chris Griggs says, “He stressed that stories are everywhere, waiting to be told. It is easy to take these stories for granted, but many have the potential to move millions of people. Mr. Kilpatrick was quick to point out that the current economy has caused a dramatic shift in Hollywood: the old world of studio domination is out; the Wild West has risen again.”

Whether auditioning, writing, or producing a film, Griggs says Kilpatrick had one over-arching piece of advice: “Deliver the goods.” Thanks to Kilpatrick’s expertise, another generation of Hampden-Sydney actors is better prepared to do just that.

Another Pat worked with theatre students in November—this time Pat Shaw. The New York-based actor, dancer, writer, and director explored the concept of  “the moment” and of developing trust in the performer’s “unique physical instrument.” Shaw says, “The goal is to banish fear from improvisation through fostering a state of joyful attention towards your partner and your ensemble.”

Shaw teaches improvisation and movement for actors at colleges across the country for the National Theatre Institute at the O’Neill Center. He also performs regularly, including recent appearances in Under Milk Wood, Romeo and Juliet, Negative Space, Gone Eatin’, and the film Kitchen Hamlet.