Stephen Burhoe felt that if he was going to direct actors, he should know what they were going through. So he enrolled in an acting class. As part of the class all students were required to audition for the plays produced at the college. They wouldn’t have to accept a part, if offered, but they did have to complete the audition process. Mr. Burhoe got the part of the young love interest in Moliere’s Tartuffe. He accepted the part. He found the rehearsal process totally enjoyable. Then on opening night of his first performance he heard two things that would change his life: Laughter and applause. The bug had bitten.
He matriculated to San Diego State University as a drama major. Before graduating with his Bachelors Degree in Drama, he was able to perform in professional theatre and even did his first national commercial. After Graduating he relocated to the Los Angeles Area and was soon doing theatre and was hired by Knott’s Berry Farm to play “The Beaumont Bear” in their stunt show venue. In addition he played various parts in the street gunfighter program. He portrayed characters from dumb cowboy bank robbers to wily medicine drummers. It was a great training ground, very much like vaudeville, but with the added distractions to the audience that come with an amusement park. Soon he was writing new shows for the park and started his own stunt team that worked corporate functions, other amusement venues such as Calico Ghost town and even the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1990 he moved on to Universal Studios to work on their new western stunt show. He landed a full time slot on the stunt team and while still running his own company, put in some five thousand performances as the comic in the Universal show over six years. During this time he also started working television, including directing some regional commercials and an infomercial, which he also hosted. In 1996 an injury to his back put an end to most stunt work.
Realizing that the demands of the physical comedy he had been performing were no longer a viable way to make a living, he returned to more conventional acting. He started training with the legendary acting coach Jeff Corey. This opened up a new perspective on acting and “The Business”. He started booking more television and national commercials. His work included spots for Sears, Maxwell House Coffee, Pillsbury Grand Biscuits and more. He also became a recurring sketch performer on The Tonight Shoe with Jay Leno. Eventually he was asked by his agent Mary Grady, known as the biggest children’s agent in Hollywood , to teach a class for new clients. It was a mixed bag of kids and adults but Mr. Burhoe took to teaching like the proverbial duck to water. Another bug had bitten.
Soon after the death of Jeff Corey, Mr. Burhoe opened his own acting studio in Ventura California . He named it The Players Craft, an homage to Corey’s Actors Craft. For a decade he trained kids and adults in acting, public speaking and professional presentation. Many students have gone on to work in film, television, and professional theatre. He became know as one of the best children’s coaches in the business. In 2008 the economic down turn forced the closing of the studio. Mr. Burhoe continued to teach and eventually decided to relocate to New Mexico where he felt the environment was more conducive to continuing coaching as well as finishing a series of scene and monologue books for young actors. He now lives in Albuquerque and is thrilled to be part of the New Mexico acting community.