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Alumni Spotlight: Gregory Tharpe

FC Alumni helps bring “The Shift” to the big screen

Angel Studios releases the long-awaited debut of “The Shift,” a faith-based movie about a man who went from living a good life to having everything taken away. The movie is a modern-day retelling of the biblical book of Job, on Dec. 1. The studio is most known for the recent release of “Sound of Freedom” and the TV series “Chosen” and has worked with two Fresno Christian Alumni in the process. 

 “The Shift,” had to raise funds and support on the journey to the big screen. FC Alumni Gregory Tharpe, ‘04, was there from day one  working alongside the creators which took a total of eight years.  Alumni Kyle Gentz, ‘05,  also worked on the production of “The Shift” as a camera operator.

Most people purchase a movie ticket, enjoy being entertained without knowing the complex journey it took to complete the project. One of the original issues for “The Shift” was funding. Tharpe helped solve that problem as he made short films for the movie, using his local notoriety and voice to help raise more than four million dollars. Besides raising funds, acting and finding local film locations,  Tharpe had a small acting role in the feature film which was frustratingly cut in post-production. 

Gregory Tharpe on the set of “The Shift”.

In an interview with Tharpe, he shed light on the film industry and his early interest in acting. Growing  up in a broken family, he spent a lot of time in front of a TV as a distraction. This led to an early fascination with movies and acting leading to a lifelong goal of being an actor.

Tharpe found inspiration in other actors with a favorite being Chris Farley and desired to see more wholesome options for entertainment. 

“I find that there is a call for better films that are more interesting that have a great value system, especially a great Christian value system,” Tharpe said.

During high school, Tharpe was a part of the drama productions and those infamous class movies at every NOTS formal.  One teacher that greatly impacted his career was his drama teacher at the time, Tom McEntee.

McEntee gave great advice that stuck with Tharpe for years.

“One of the best things he ever did for me was take me out of center stage,” Tharpe said. “He told me to become an amazing costar. To perform so well that you make others shine.”

Gregory Tharpe in the movie “The Shift” released in theatres Dec. 1

Tharpe’s advice for the younger generation of students considering the film industry is to learn about every aspect of theater and film that you can. 

 “Listen to your heart and if you really have a calling… I would say dive in and really learn not just the acting, learn every aspect of it,” Tharpe said.

Proud of his Central Valley upbringing, Tharpe has stayed local even though other job opportunities have opened up in Los Angeles.

“Everything that I’ve done I’ve done here locally,” Tharpe said. “I’m more proud that I’ve been able to do it here and not have to go down and live in what some call the LA fishbowl.”

Today, Tharpe continues to further his education while acting and bartending locally.


Angel Studios

Do you know a FC alumni we should highlight? Leave a comment below.

To read more Alumni spotlights read, Alumni Spotlight: Ellie Koleen or Alumni Spotlight: Juli Amodei


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About the Contributors
Tyler Hamm
Tyler Hamm, Journalist
Tyler Hamm is a junior at Fresno Christian who is an all-around athlete who is always looking for an adventure. He enjoys competing in volleyball tournaments, working out, and cooking up some BBQ. Tyler looks forward to developing his writing and photography skills.
Erin Poudrier
Erin Poudrier, Journalist
Erin Poudrier is a freshman,  who is new to The Feather. Poudrier loves playing volleyball for Fresno Christian. She plays acoustic and electric guitar. You might find Erin in the kitchen crafting a layered cake. She hopes to learn how to write and post articles for The Feather.
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  • H

    Hailey HigtonFeb 2, 2024 at 10:08 am

    very interesting! great job!

  • F

    fidel BeltranDec 18, 2023 at 7:23 pm

    Awesome article. Thanks for writing it. Great job Greg.

  • J

    Josiah ThiesenDec 17, 2023 at 12:38 am

    Greg and Kyle did an amazing job on this! I had a smaller roll in this but I am the 3rd FCHS Alumni (2002) to help make the short for Brock. It’s amazing the reach that our video students have had in the industry.