Within this section:
For Richard Hatch, November 22, 1963 was more than
just a tragic day in the history of America. It
was also the beginning of a personal transformation
that would lead him, quite unexpectedly, into the arena
of the performing arts. Believe it or not, the Santa
Monica, California-born thespian better known to TV
viewers as Captain Apollo on Battlestar Galactica
and sidekick Dan Robbins on the final season of The
Streets of San Francisco had no aspirations to
be an actor. While he was "always curious" about the
performers he saw in high school plays, he thought his
calling was athletics - his "big dream" was to compete
in the Olympics as a pole vaulter.
"I never thought of being an actor," admits the boyish-looking,
fifty-something actor. "I was far too shy, too insecure."
Going "nowhere" in college, Hatch enrolled in an oral
interpretation class when a required English course
was booked solid. "It turned out to be my worst nightmare,
because I had to get up in front of people and read."
he says, laughing. "I found myself flunking the course
because I would choke up. I could hardly open my mouth."
Halfway through the course, President John F. Kennedy
was assassinated, a day that would affect Hatch in ways
even he could not foresee. "It struck such a deep chord
in me," he recalls. "I remember going home and crying
in the bathroom. It was violating; we thought America
was impervious to such things." While reading the newspaper,
Hatch happened upon an article about the slain President
that he decided to bring to class as part of an assignment.
Standing in front of his peers that day, the withdrawn
and tongue-tied student gave way to a different persona - a
"It was a major turning point in my life," Hatch explains.
"As I began to read this article, I got so affected
by what I was saying that I forgot myself. My voice
started coming out, I started looking at people - I was
expressing feelings and emotions I tended to keep locked
inside of myself."
Several amateur performers in the class, impressed
by what they had witnessed, encouraged hatch to hang
up his cleats and take to the stage. He didn't seriously
reflect on their feedback until a few years later, when
he formed a friendship with Elliot Mince, a Los Angeles
radio personality and manager who would go on to become
Don Johnson's press agent. At Mince's suggestion, Hatch
enrolled in the Eric Morris Actors' Workshop.
Fortunately for the still-shy Hatch, many of Morris'
techniques were based on the principles of Russian actor
and director Konstantin Stanislaviski. "It didn't matter
if you wanted to be an actor or not," remarks Hatch,
"the techniques helped you to open up as a human being,
to get more in touch with your feelings and how to express
He is convinced that the class "turned my life around.
I was a surfer boy--lifeguard at the time, going to
college and not knowing what the heck I was going to
do with my life. I didn't have an agent, I didn't have
anything. I was trying to pass time."
RICHARD'S BREAKTHROUGH TO SUCCESS
Hatch's casual attitude toward acting changed when
he performed a scene in class from the Tennessee Williams
one-act play, This Property is Condemned. "It
was the first time I really connected to the other actor
on stage," he recalls. "The teacher said that if I was
willing to work hard at it, I could have a career as
an actor. That was the first time I realized that I
could really be an actor."
that moment on his career began to take off, culminating
with a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Captain
Apollo on Battlestar Galactica.
During the past ten years in-between acting jobs Hatch
began lecturing around the country for many different
organizations on such various topics as overcoming fear
and producing powerful results, success strategies for
business and life, and becoming a powerful, dynamic
and compelling communicator.
Su-Shann Productions, now Merlinquest Entertainment Inc., was formed in 1980 to
create workshops and seminars dedicated to helping people
maximize their potential and live their lives in a more
meaningful, fulfilling and successful way. Drawing from
his difficult early beginnings as a very shy, scared
and introverted boy, Hatch has developed specific techniques,
processes and cutting edge information to help people
break through the success barrier.