Actor to use firsthand experience to advise students

Broadway, television and film actor Michael Kostroff will share his professional acting experience with theatre students in Buschman Theatre today.Kostroff will discuss getting into the acting business, how to overcome obstacles and the often-made mistakes actors should avoid, said Harry Parker, chair of the theatre department.

Some of Kostroff’s television career includes “General Hospital,” “Boston Legal,” “Veronica Mars,” “The West Wing,” “ER” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” according to the Internet Movie Database Web site.

Kostroff is most recognized as Maury Levy on HBO’s “The Wire” and for an Arby’s commercial as a man who gets whistled at by construction workers.

“Kostroff’s name or face is sometimes not recognizable, but he has been successful in his career.” Parker said.

Kostroff, originally from New York, worked in Granbury last summer. He met TCU staff members who wanted him to talk with students about their professional careers, Parker said.

Parker said he hopes the discussion will help students learn about getting into the professional acting business.

Desmond Ellington, a sophomore theatre and communications major, said he is interested in learning about an actor with such a diverse performance background.

“It will be nice to hear his personal experiences that could help me with my career,” Ellington said.

Kostroff writes an online column about audition information for professional actors at backstage.com, a Web site for the acting industry.

Ellington said he wants to ask Kostroff questions about other career choices and what Kostroff’s parents think of his career now.

Senior theatre major Michael Cook said he is more interested in learning about auditions.

“People can talk about what to do at auditions, but you never know unless you experience it for yourself,” Cook said. “It will be nice to be able to talk with someone who has been in that situation and made it because it eases the apprehension of not making it.”

Kostroff will sell his book of backstage anecdotes called “Letters From Backstage” after the discussion. The book is about his two-year experience touring on the road as Thenardier in “Les Miserables” and as Max Bialystock in “The Producers.”

Students will be able to get books signed and ask questions about professional acting and the audition process.