Straight (Talk) Out of Hollywood

Straight (Talk) Out of Hollywood
Posted on 12/21/2021
Former Wildcat and current hollywood actor Yorke Fryer

Members of the Blue Springs High School Drama Club were treated to a visit from a former Wildcat and current Hollywood actor when Yorke Fryer spoke to them.

The 1999 BSHS graduate is an actor and producer known for his work in Extinct (2017), Accepted (2006) and Grand Theft Auto V (2013). Fryer has appeared in TV shows NCIS, How to Get Away with Murder and Zoey 101. He has also performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the nation’s most prestigious Shakespeare events.

Fryer spoke to a group of aspiring actors, artists, comedians, and directors. He told them of his experiences in Hollywood and in a variety of roles – all the way from voice over work for a toy company to working with legendary actress Betty White.

“I started just like you guys,” Fryer said. “Literally, my first theater class, I sat in the back row,” he said. “I also did Forensics and Speech and Debate - actually I did more of that in high school. I also loved sports and that was my real focus for quite a while.”

Fryer then took a trip to New York City with the Forensics team before his senior year and saw The Lion King on Broadway.

“This was right before my senior year,” Fryer said. “I really didn’t want to see it, but got dragged in. We were on the first row of the balcony. The show starts and a guy I didn’t know just starts performing right next to me. It startled me and before the first song was over, I was literally sitting there with my jaw dropped and tears streaming down my cheeks. I just remember how powerful that moment was and how one show was able to make me change the way I was thinking about life and my future.”

Fryer returned from the trip, quit the Wildcats football team, and auditioned for the school musical. After graduation, he attended college at Southern Methodist University to study directing and playwriting. By the time he graduated, he had performed in several plays and found work at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and then on to the Oregon Festival.

“Outside of Broadway, the Oregon festival is the place to work as far as theater,” Fryer said. “I worked enough to make a living and got very lucky. They offered to keep me and to sign on for the next year. That is an 11-month contract, so you basically perform all year long. That was a huge turning point for me.”

Fryer said the opportunities were great, but he still wanted to try his hand at bigger things. He started auditioning in Los Angeles and many opportunities opened for him. It was not an easy road, but he has found roles in TV, film, commercials, and voice over for video games. He has also worked as a director and writer. He is one of several former BSSD students working in the performing arts.

Fryer spoke to drama club members about the role of agents and managers, how to pick and choose what roles to pursue and the different opportunities available to prospective actors, directors, and performers.

“You can make a career out of performing in Oregon, but I had to ask if I wanted to try my hand at either New York City or Hollywood – and I decided to go to Los Angeles and see what I could do there,” he said. “I decided why not give it a try?”

“Now I am at a place where I have worked enough to have a foot in the door and know enough people to build those opportunities and relationships. It feels good to be able to come back and talk at my old high school.”