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Trent Moore ’95

Acting the Part

By Donna Parker

Trent Moore ’95 has been working as an actor off and on since he graduated with his bachelor of arts degree in drama.  But it was a call from his agent for an audition near his Austin hometown that convinced him the best way to get ahead was by staying still.

“Sometimes a script tells you there are choices to make as an actor on how to play a scene.  The first time I saw this script, I knew exactly how it should work.  It was all about how to make stillness active and interesting.”

Trent, who, along with several Trinity friends, had founded a theater company in Portland, Ore., after graduation, understood that theater actors have a tendency to “overdo it.”

“This movie scene called for the villain (Javier Bardem) to come in and threaten my character – a nervous accountant.  Rather than overplay begging for my life, I decided to play it quietly.”

His audition strategy paid off and Trent won the coveted part in the renowned Coen Brothers film, No Country for Old Men, starring San Antonio-based actor, Tommy Lee Jones.

“Ultimately, it was the fact that I was able to walk right down the street from my house to audition for the movie that convinced me moving back to Austin for the film environment was the right one.  On set, (in New Mexico) it was such a laid back and happy atmosphere that I had to keep reminding myself I was actually on a Coen Brothers set.  It almost felt like someone was playing a practical joke on me!” laughs Trent.

“When I attended the first film showing in Austin, it was surreal.  You know your scene is coming, but you don’t know what it’ll really be like.  I remember being amazed that they took such a close up shot of me.  When I played it, I thought I was holding very still, but later in the film, Tommy Lee Jones gives a monologue and he IS holding still.  I felt like in my scene I was moving all over the place!”

Trent has since scored roles in “Friday Night Lights,” which also shoots in Austin but regretfully, the writer’s strike has since put the film business in enforced hiatus.

“Austin is feast or famine, so I spend my time caring for my two young daughters, Claire, who is 3 years old, and Vivian, just 7 weeks.  My wife, Kate Bowie ’94, also attended Trinity and works for the City of Austin in urban planning.”

“I’m older now and more confident in myself as an artist.  Trinity taught me that learning your craft is really what it’s all about.  Rob Baker-White, department of speech and drama, was my acting mentor and the first person with whom I had a good, unexplainable creative working relationship.  He knew how to push me and I just listened.”

Trent also has high praise for Steve Gilliam, department of speech and drama.

“We were, and are, really good friends.  He is an inspiration and has unabashed passion for what he does.  Both of these teachers believed in me as an artist and made me feel like acting is truly a professional path worth walking.”

You may contact Trent at trentmoore@mailcan.com.