Payson Drama Student Wins Amc Acting Contest


If any Hollywood agents come knock-knock-knockin' at Sarah Hock's door trying to wave multi-million dollar movie contracts under her nose, they'd better be prepared for bitter disappointment.

Hock isn't interested, thank you very much.

Award-winning actresses, you see, can afford to be picky.

On Sunday, this 18-year-old Payson High School senior learned that she'd won a regional acting contest sponsored by the cable television channel American Movie Classics. The prize: a $500 check to be used for tuition or books, and a brand new VCR for her school.

At first, her response was much like that of any actress who walks away with the gold.

"When they called, all I could say was, 'My God! Really? Really?" Hock said.

But within 24 hours of learning that American Movie Classics liked her, they really liked her, Hock was considerably more down-to-earth.

"For me, acting is more of a hobby," she said. "I enjoy it. But it's not one of those things I would want to pursue as a career. There are so many other greater talents out there. I enjoy watching it, and I enjoy being in it, and I'll probably always be involved in community theater and stuff like that.

But I'm happy where I am, just participating and not making it a career. It's a fun hobby."

Frankly, Hollywood agents, she may just be playing hard to get.

To enter the contest, students from areas all over the country had to send in a videotape of themselves performing a five-minute monologue.

At the urging of her drama instructor, John Siler, Hock sent in a clip of her performance from the recent school production of Jerome McDonnell's "Addict."

Hock played Jymme, a character who ... well, let's let Hock describe it.

"She's a 17-year-old female babysitter who takes drugs and begins hallucinating and chases the little boy she's watching onto an overpass, where he falls off onto the freeway."

The play, Hock said, is "a very, very serious drama about how drugs can affect other people's lives. It was kind of nice that we could just take my performance right off the video we already had, because I was really into it, and we had the whole atmosphere right there."

Now that Hock has won the regional contest, her tape will be automatically entered into a national American Movie Classics contest, where the prize is a trip for two to New York for a live taping of the cable channel's program, "Behind the Classics."

"It would be nice to win that one, too," Hock said, "but there are a lot of other very talented people out there. I'm really just happy to have won here."

That's what she said today. But what if Brad Pitt begs her to appear opposite him in his next movie? Might Hock reconsider her career path?

"Not really. I don't think I could do it as a job. It's very stressful, I know. I don't think I could do that day in and day out."

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