This engineering grad decided to pursue another dream; now he’s reaching even beyond his ‘Breaking Point.’
Now resides in: Hollywood, Calif.
Degree: B.S., chemical engineering, cum laude
Family: Steve Templin (father) and wife Celia, Mary Templin (mother), Andrea Templin Rhinehart (sister), Jimmy Rhineheart (brother-in-law), Katie Rhineheart (niece)
What brought you to Tech? Tech has a wonderful tradition in engineering. When comparing Tech to other schools like Georgia Tech and even LSU, Tech offered the best available education at the best-bargain tuition. The tipping point for my decision to attend LA Tech was the faculty…they made me feel like family -- all the other schools made me feel like a paying customer.
You were active in lots of Tech organizations. Did that help you in your work today? While attending Tech, I joined/participated in as many organizations as my free time would permit. I was an Orientation Leader '99, a member of student government for three years (alumni chairman, head of sports promotions, and then a member of the president's council). I was involved in a few engineering societies and was also a member of SAE fraternity (alumni chairman, rush chairman, and events coordinator). As an actor you get accustomed to wearing many "hats," and as a student at Tech, I wore many different "hats" from day to day. I utilize my experiences from Tech to enhance the characters I portray, and boy did I have some experiences while attending Tech!
Tell us about how you went from Exxon to Los Angeles: I was highly recruited during my senior year at Tech. Oddly, earlier that year I was offered a part in a European soap that shot in Miami. At the time of the offer, I was ready to take my senior year off and pursue a career in entertainment. After I discussed my plans with my parents to move to Miami...well, to say the least, I stayed in school and finished my degree. After graduation, my shot at being a European soap star had passed and Exxon came calling. Two years later my inner voice became so loud that I had no choice but to listen…"Head West!"
Tell us about the series and where we can see it: 'Breaking Point' is an award-winning series that follows the lives of a group of friends in their 30s who are dealing with their dreams, triumphs and heartaches, as they struggle to maintain their relationships, livelihoods and sanity. When their everyday struggles become difficult to maintain and their world tilts off-course, some may go to extreme measures and commit a few wrongs as they hit their breaking point. Seasons 1 & 2 can be viewed at BreakingPointshow.com.
Advice to Tech students who want to pursue a career in entertainment/show business: Persistence, Persistence, Persistence! In the entertainment industry, we constantly hear of overnight success stories. If you dig a little deeper, you'll find that these overnight successes were preceded by years and years of pounding the pavement. A large part of their success comes from a complete and sometimes unrealistic confidence in their chosen path and an inability to accept defeat.
The hardest part of what you’re doing now: The rejection. You're too tall, too short, have blonde hair instead of brown, brown eyes instead of blue, too thin, too thick, they want a New York accent, no accent, someone who's darker/lighter, and the list goes on and on. More often than not in this industry it boils down to superficial elements of a person or who they know rather than their acting ability.
The best part: Creating and Playing. It is a wonderful experience to bring to life a character that was once just a figment of someone's imagination and words on a piece of paper. As an actor, I get to play a wide range of different characters, from the loving boyfriend to the loser to the psychopath. Every character is different as is every job.
Some celebs you’ve ‘rubbed shoulders’ with: Jack Black, Tony Goldwyn, America Fierra 'Ugly Betty,' Elizabeth Reiser 'Twilight Series,' Poppy Montgomery, Peter Bergman "Y&R," Joe Mantegna, Mike Tyson, Debbie Gibson, plus a few other celebs.
Has the ‘new’ of LA rubbed off yet? The 'new' of LA lasts typically a year. After that it's driving (more like sitting) in traffic to auditions, pretending like you're not waiting for “that” phone call, and finding another source of income until you get “the” phone call.
Your best memories of Tech: Whether I was doing lab experiments in my organic chemistry class or attending a Tech athletic event or participating in fraternity functions, I was able to forge so many relationships while at Tech. Each relationship enriched my life in one way or another.
Your advice to Tech freshmen today: Experiment and explore to discover yourself. As a freshman, you're just beginning to define yourself. Take time to figure out who you are and what you enjoy doing. Then you can decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. And the best part of it all is if you don't like what you're doing, change -- it'll be for the better!
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s…” Stop, then smell the roses. We tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It only takes a minute, but it's therapeutic to stop and enjoy the simple things that make life enjoyable.
Where do you see yourself in five year? Ten years? In five years, I'll be recurring on a TV show, working full-time as an actor. In 10 years, I'll have transitioned to making and starring in films.