News Column

Permian grad moves from gridiron to in front of camera

July 5, 2014

By Don Munsch, Odessa American, Texas

July 05--Josh Ontiveroz describes his life in stages.

The first stage revolved around playing football from boyhood through high school. He starred for the Permian Panthers and was a captain his senior year.

Now the next stage could involve a stage -- literally.

Ontiveroz has been bitten by the acting bug and plans to see how far he can go in the performing arts by moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

"The same intensity that I had for football and the same motivation that I had for football transferred over to acting," he said. "And I now I can't stop."

A June graduate of Permian, Ontiveroz, 18, has starred as a background actor in "Dallas" on TNT and has done some print work as a model. He is open to performing in theater, musical theater, commercials, television and movies.

Ontiveroz performed in Permian's Black Magic choir but is a novice to acting.

"I've always been told I have a certain look and face people remember, and I just took it for what it was," he said.

For now, he will head to L.A. to see where his talent can take him, meeting with representatives of Global One Management and to look into American Musical and Dramatic Academy in mid-July. He auditioned for some agencies in Dallas and then went to a modeling agency in New York. While in New York, he went to Ford Modeling for interview but said he didn't have "the right look for what they were looking for."

Ontiveroz had hopes of playing Division I football, but when he saw that a college career was not going to pan out, he became more interested in pursuing acting. He has almost 30 hours of dual credit college credits to fall back on if he decides to go to college.

"I definitely want to get out of this town, because you can't pursue acting in this town," he said, adding that going to Dallas "would be nice, but the main goal is to get to L.A. because that's where the industry thrives."

He got a callback for a background role on three episodes of "Dallas" -- his scenes were shot last fall and winter in the Dallas area -- and has done auditions in Dallas and through Skype. He just got back from Waco where he did print work modeling for GMC trucks that will be in magazines and pamphlets.

He was a drug cartel security guard in "Dallas" and held an AK-47 and worked with Jesse Metcalfe ("John Tucker Must Die") and Jordana Brewster ("Fast and Furious" movie franchise), both of whom were helpful and nice.

"It was amazing -- the whole atmosphere and the camaraderie," he said about his experience on "Dallas." He got a glimpse of how actors and staff can spend a whole day of shooting for two minutes of scenes.

Ontiveroz said many people didn't know about his new passion.

"It was funny, I always kept it kind of quiet," he said. "I didn't let anyone know but close family that I was even pursuing an acting career. I was never in theater or anything like that."

He auditioned for a movie about former Texas Longhorn football player Freddie Steinmark in "My All American" and earned a background role but ended up declining it because he wanted to focus on school. The movie started shooting in May in Austin and continues through July. The movie chronicles the tragic tale of Steinmark, a defensive back who starred for the Longhorns' 1969 national champion team and died in 1971 from bone cancer. (Incidentally, Aaron Eckhart will star as legendary UT football coach Darrell K. Royal in the film.)

Ontiveroz credits his mother for being his manager, as she dug around for places looking for talent.

"But agency-wise, I don't have anything official yet," he said, adding that a company from Georgia sent him a contract and he is examining it.

Alison Ontiveroz, his mother, said Josh went to a casting call event in Midland, where representatives from several agencies were on hand. He got several callbacks.

Josh's family is fully behind him.

"We're just real excited about seeing what comes out of this," Alison said about her son's foray into acting. "I just couldn't ask for a better kid and I just hope his dream does come true for him."

Josh plans to take acting classes and said he would have to get a job to support himself in L.A., including being an extra in productions. He is prepared for dealing with rejection -- commonplace in the business -- and said he lives to hear just one "yes" that would come from a casting agent.

"The best part about acting is you can become brand new and live in that role and stuff," he said.

Ontiveroz envisions himself as more of dramatic actor and especially likes the work of Oscar-winner and native Texan Matthew McConaughey.

He said family and friends have been supportive and encouraging. Everyone knows about his a acting career now.

"It helps to have support, especially from your loved ones, and I can't begin to explain how awesome it is," he said.

He encourages anyone who has a dream, no matter what it is, to "give everything you got, because you only have one life to live, so make it count."

Ontiveroz is the son of Orlando and Alison Ontiveroz.

Contact Don Munsch on Twitter at OAInteractive, on Facebook at OAInteractive or call 333-7641.


(c)2014 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)

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Source: Odessa American (TX)

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