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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."

JFK montage

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 Standing in front of his peers that day, the withdrawn and tongue-tied student gave way to a different persona - a budding actor.

"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 them."

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."


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."

Richard Hatch as Battlestar Galactica's Captain Apollo.From 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.

Hatch is the creator of the "Breakthrough to Success Bootcamps", which highlight his incredible ability to inspire, motivate and empower people to a higher level of fulfillment, success and happiness. His various insights and perspectives have helped thousands of people to overcome the number one reason people do not fulfill their potential - FEAR! Hatch gives people specific tools and information to discover what is getting in a person's way of accomplishing their desired result and how to remedy it. He will teach people how to powerfully communicate and manage their talents, product and services so they will reach the right people with the right message in the most effective way possible.


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