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Actor relishes time in the spotlight

Many have become accustomed to hearing the brash, yet likeable Greg Tharpe, ’04, brag about his pending Hollywood career.

With a leading role in his junior class Night of the Stars movie, an active chapel video series, “Man in the Hall”, and a presence in every drama production since his sophomore year, Tharpe has already done his share of media work.

“Being in Fresno Christian’s drama class for three years has been a good experience,” Tharpe said. “I have been able to better my instrument of drama which has helped me gain attention outside of school.”

According to his drama teacher Tom McEntee, Tharpe is flamboyant and loud, qualities that have thrown him into the spotlight.

“I like him,” McEntee said. “Our three years together have been fun. I have challenged him to create new personas and not rest with old material; I think it has been a good experience.”

Tharpe seems to be exploding into the acting world with a new Central Valley comedic sitcom called The Greens of the San Joaquin, in which he plays Jay Gray.

“Working on the show was an unique experience, Tharpe said. “It heightened my familiarity with and stress of being in front of the camera and what it will be like to be on TV.”

Tharpe’s participation in this environmentally informative series is pro bono, which he hopes will make a big impression on film companies screening his resume for community service.

The five-part mini-series focuses on two neighboring families in the San Joaquin Valley, the Grays and the Greens. The latter are environmentally aware while the former are prone to pollute the earth, therefore establishing the conflict throughout the show.

Comedy ensues in the interactions between the members of the two families and the budding romance of Jay Gray (Tharpe) and Gabby Green, currently a freshman at Fresno State University.

“Our relationship on the show ignites the friendship between the two families,” Tharpe said. “While the families would normally have nothing to do with each other, the romance between our two characters brings them together.”

Getting on to the set was a breeze for Tharpe due to his various acquaintances and connections in the local acting community but it did not hurt his chances that he had played roles similar in high school.

“My role of Jay Gray fit me because I have played a geeky, asthmatic character before,” Tharpe said. “This was the next step for me to expand my abilities and depth of character.”

Tharpe’s role and the mini-series will air during July on KSEE 24 in Fresno, PBS in Bakersfield, and ABC in Sacramento. If the series gets a positive rating, it will be made into a TV show with a possible two-year contract.

“I already knew many of the other applicants at the audition,” Tharpe said. “Dale (Julin), the director, liked my style and didn’t hesitate to give me the part. This is a great way to get TV and movie exposure and it also opened up the door for a paying voice-over job for Fresno State.”

Tharpe next is scheduled to audition for the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA), a theatre college, on May 8 in Los Angeles. For high school graduates looking to continue their education in acting, students can go online for information at www.thehighschoolgraduate.com/profiles/AMDA/ or to AMDA in New York City at www.amda.edu/.” “Brianna Stobbe, Photographer” “During a March drama performance, Tharpe as Benvolio, left, is attempting to persude Romeo, played by Chis White, right, to “”look at other beauties”” in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” “” “” “American Musical & Dramatic Academy – New York City

High school graduate – AMDA

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