About Ken Thompson,
The Actor

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Friday, Aug 19, 2022   9:24AM PDT

I started acting in the early 70s, when my mom got me involved in Junior Theater in Bakersfield, California. I was in the neighboorhodd of 10 or 11, I suppose. I had fun, and kept doing it. Then in junior high I took a drama class, and started to figure out exactly what I was doing. I kept on with it in high school, becoming a theater nerd and still having fun.

Mostly. There were a few people in theater then that were really good at it, and most of them were very full of themselves (it was high school). I figured if they were the people that were going to continue on with theater, I didn't really want to be around them, so I went on to junior college and a four year college doing other things, and stopped doing theater.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have stopped theater. There are people in every walk of life you aren't going to want to be around, don't let them stop you from doing what you want.

I wasn't absent from performing, though. I was involved with a local renaissance guild in Sacramento for many years, as well as The City Of Sacramento Pipe Band, so I found ways to get in front of a crowd.

Then my son took a class at Folsom Lake College in theater stagecraft. He was behind the scenes, building sets and taking on the duties of an assistant stage manager. One day I drove him over to the theater, and went in with him. Almost instantly the sights, smells, just the feeling of being in a theater came right back to me. I wanted to do it again.

So a few months later, the next audition came around. It was for a play called Rhinoceros, which I had never heard of and knew nothing about. I signed up for an audition, and in the couple of weeks between then and the actual audition date I talked myself out of going about a dozen times. Even that day, I was thinking "who am I to think I can act? And at a place that'll be full of 20 year old theater students, what do I really think I'm going to do?" And came that close to not going.

But I did go, and got the part of The Old Gentleman, and absolutely loved it. I've done several shows with Falcon's Eye Theatre, and a handful of other theater groups in the Sacramento area. And one movie - I was an extra in the Netflix move The Prom, which involved sitting in a crowd with 300 other extras, but hey, I did it. And if you're quick you can see me for a half second or so. :-)

That's how I got here. I've met and worked with a lot of wonderful people along the way, as well as one or two people I don't really want to hang around with, but that's not gonna stop me this time.

Oh, and "Ken Thompson, The Actor" was a line from one of my early shows, Midsummer Nightmare 6, not just my own hubris. :-)