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Legendary Actor Gives Tips To South Coast High School Drama Students

Opening night is still weeks away, but dozens of San Marcos High School drama students are busy getting ready for their latest production, the classic musical “Damn Yankees.”

There’s a couple of parents watching a rehearsal, as well as a tall, distinguished-looking man. There are as many eyes on him as there are on the run-through, because not only does he know the story, he’s the man who played the lead character in the Academy Award nominated 1958 movie.

Tab Hunter was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1950’s and 60’s. One of the iconic actor’s most famous roles is as Joe Hardy, a long-suffering baseball fan who makes a deal with the devil to become a star baseball player, to help the struggling team he loves.

The Montecito resident agreed to spend a few hours at the high school in Goleta, to talk about acting and give the kids a few tips. It was a big afternoon for San Marcos High School drama student Alex Marquis. The 18 year old, who plays Joe Hardy in the musical, is meeting the man who made it famous.

Riley Berris, who’s a San Marcos Theater Teacher and Director, says the school’s Performing Arts Department, says it’s part of an effort to connect students with professionals working in the field.

While Hunter talked about what it was like co-starring with legends like Natalie Wood, and Raquel Welch, and working for Jack Warner, he admits he doesn’t watch his old movies, and has put Hollywood in the past.

Hunter says it’s fun to see the teens in action, and urged them to push what they do on stage and in front of cameras to the limit. He says taking chances leads to outstanding performances.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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