Anteaters in the Arts: Kelly Perine

Alum Kelly Perine and UCI Drama Prof. Eli Simon. / Photo by Steve Zylius

“Hard work is the best-kept secret in Hollywood!” That was the advice Kelly Perine (M.F.A. ’98) gave to a class of 12 graduate students on a recent visit to his alma mater, the Department of Drama.

Perine is no stranger to hard work. Growing up, his innate ability for acting led him to Lake Forest Academy near Chicago, Illinois, where he studied stage acting. Perine went on to Pomona College in California for his BA in Film Studies and ultimately UCI. Today he is a working television actor, writer, director, producer, and comedian with an extensive list of  professional credits that include everything from sitcoms such as Seinfeld and One on One, dozens of national commercials and films, to his award-winning short Downward Hiro.

“Hard work is the best-kept secret in Hollywood!”

Kelly spent the afternoon offering advice to students for a road map to face the harsh realities of the entertainment industry and navigate the next phases in their careers. He stressed the need to work hard to achieve your goals and cited several examples from his experience of becoming a successful artist. He also shared many fond memories of his time at UCI and credits much of his success to the faculty and students he worked with at that time. Perine’s final thoughts to the engaged group were that of confidence: “Getting into a program like this means you are a good, no GREAT, actor. Trust yourselves out there!” And with that encouragement, the room erupted into resounding applause. 

Read the full version of the quarterly magazine for UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Follow Kelly Perine on Instagram at @kellyperine
Photo by Steve Zylius

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CONNECT - Fall 2019