Spotlight on Ohlone:
Ohlone actor gets his time in the spotlight
By Sarah Hashemi, Staff writer.
Thursday, March 11, 2010—Reprinted from Monitor.
Acting has become one of the most competitive jobs in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 3 percent of actors are employed. This slim statistic is not discouraging to aspiring actor Ray Holston.
Holston is an 18-year-old theater major at Ohlone. Despite limited experience, he has already showed enough potential to win himself a summer scholarship to study theater at Fresno State University in the summer of 2010.
The $1,100 scholarship will allow him to study under The Steppenwolf Theatre, a professional theater, from Chicago, Ill.
In high school, Holston was always focused on basketball, playing point guard for James Logan High School.
Although, in Holston’s senior year, everything changed when he was cast as Orgon in Logan’s production of the play Tartuffe. “It was a life-changing experience because all my life I thought I was going to play basketball,” he said.
When Holston reached Ohlone, as an undeclared major, he took another chance at acting and auditioned for Ohlone’s fall production of the Rabbit Hole.
Not getting cast, Holston became determined to prove director and Professor of Theater and Dance, Thomas Blank wrong for not casting him in the play.
Holston did this by taking every opportunity presented to him and taking the on film acting class offered by Professor Blank.
When summer rolled around, Blank offered Holston an opportunity to tag along to the Irene Ryan Acting Competition that the Rabbit Hole cast was participating in.
Holston took part in workshops, and even though he did not directly participate in the competition, he impressed the judges. “We left a day early, and I got a phone call from a friend saying I won a scholarship. I was blown away.”
This 24-day summer program will be an intense 8-10 hours a day training, studying acting and its theory. Upon competition of this program, Holston will receive 6 college credits.
Holston said he will be forever grateful to Blank for seeing the potential in him, “For seeing something that I always saw in myself.”
After Ohlone, Holston wants to go to UCLA as a theater major. He is determined to do this and act beyond an educational level.
“[Even] If I have to sleep on somebody’s floor, get a job as a waiter, until my shot comes.” He remains practical and realistic about his dreams by already having a plan “B” in case success does not come.
Holston wishes to pursue acting as a career, preferably in the film industry. He said that his goals in acting are for people to witness and appreciate how hard he works, as well as how dedicated he is to this profession.
“I would like people for people to see me and say, ‘he is a really good actor’—not because its totally talent, but for the amount of work I put into becoming a character and who the character is.”
Holston said he realizes how difficult acting will be but says considering the set backs for colored actors or actors of other races, his life goal is to pave the way for them, to make it easier for any actor of any race to become successful, like his role model Sydney Poitier did for Denzel Washington and Will Smith. “It’s a big goal but it’s accomplishable.”