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Elon professor hits the small screen in 'One Tree Hill'

by Laura Wainman,
    Theater professor Kevin Otos brings  something  very unique to the classroom. He is able to teach his students something he has done himself.
    Thanks to his recent role on the popular TV show “One Tree Hill,” Otos has added some new skills to his repertoire.
    Otos plays the role of Dan Scott’s (Paul Johansson) cardiologist. In the episode, Dan is waiting to receive the call from Otos that a heart is available for his transplant.
    Otos appeared in the Feb. 3 episode, but it wasn’t his first experience with the CW drama. He first auditioned for the show in December 2007, trying out for the role of a reverend, but he was not chosen for the part. He auditioned again, this time for a role as a basketball coach, but was again not selected. His persistence was rewarded on his third audition when he was chosen to play the role of Dan’s doctor.
    “As a theater professor it is my responsibility to stay current in my field of work,” Otos said. “That includes putting myself out there for auditions on current projects.”
    This hands-on experience will undoubtedly be a great benefit for Otos’ students.
    He said he feels he learned one thing that will prove particularly helpful for his students.
    “One of the hardest things in acting is learning how to perform under pressure,” Otos said. “In TV and film, you are moving so quickly and you cannot afford to psych yourself out in your head. If your mind is cluttered it can negatively affect your performance. You must learn to control the internal game, and that is something I feel I can teach my students better now. I want to make sure they know how to maintain a positive headspace.”
    Otos spent the night before his scene was shot in a hotel in Wilmington, N.C., preparing for his role. The next day, he chose to go for a walk around the city.
    Getting out assisted in maintaining the positive space an actor thrives on.
    “The last thing I wanted to do was sit in my hotel room until the shoot worrying,” Otos said.
    The whole scene was shot in one hour. According to Otos, it was an improvement from his first experience on set.
    “In TV you work very quickly, because there is so much to get done in a relatively short time frame,” Otos said. “After I had gone to costumes and makeup, I ran through the scene about three times with Paul and the director. The crew was just coming off of lunch, so I got to see a few of the regular cast members. Then we shot the scene and it was a wrap.”
    Though having his own students — and even a little boy in his daughter’s class — recognize him from the show is a great feeling, it isn’t the best part. Otos’ favorite moment of the experience came after he f    inished shooting the scene and the director said “mark that tape.”
“This is always my favorite part, because it means we have created something the director thinks will be a part of the final product,” Otos said. “It feels great knowing that you have given a performance they want to use.”
    Despite the popular claims that many “One Tree Hill” cast members have a tendency of “diva-ness,” Otos swears he saw nothing of the sort on set.
    “Everyone was very professional, courteous and even generous,” Otos said. “There was definitely a positive and encouraging mood on the set.”