Rochester-area native Cory Blevins has co-starred or had guest starring roles in more than two dozen television shows or movies since graduating in 1989 from Rochester Adams High School, where he decided to get involved with acting.
"My first role was actually before high school, with the Avon Players in Rochester," Blevins said. "I was about 13 or 14 years old. It was Camelot, and I played one of the young squires or something like that. It was mostly adults, and it was rough on my mom having to drive me there every night, but (my parents) were happy I was into something."
By the end of high school, Blevins decided to follow the acting path, much to the dismay of his guidance counselor.
"'Oh, no. We are surrounded by the auto industry,'" he was told. "My dad worked for General Motors, as a lot of kids' parents in the neighborhood did. But my parents encouraged me. I think they thought, 'Well, at least he's excited about something.' So, I went to college and focused on the theater department.
"It was like saying I wanted to be a carnival worker. Growing up in the midwest, it's like saying 'I want to go to the moon.' I always thought I would do it because I love it."
Blevins earned a degree in theater from Western Michigan University before obtaining a master's degree in acting from Florida State University and the Asolo Conservatory for Acting. "When I said I was going to go to grad school, my dad was just happy he didn't have to pay for it," he said.
While earning his graduate degree, he was cast in the 1998 movie, "Palmetto," alongside Woody Harrelson and Elisabeth Shue. In his third year of graduate school Blevins went to London to accept a Shakespeare fellowship, before graduating and moving to Los Angeles. Less than six months later, he landed a guest spot on "The X-Files," and has been doing guest appearances and co-star roles ever since.
Some of the shows Blevins has appeared in include "Justified," "House," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Law & Order: Los Angeles," "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," "Dexter," "Longmire," Parenthood," "N.C.I.S.," "True Detective," "Fresh Off The Boat," "Scandal," and "Grey's Anatomy." He has also had roles in the films "House Arrest," "The Thanksgiving House," and Cinema Verite," the latter of which he worked with actor James Galdolfini in one of his last roles.
Most recently, he was in his second show based on an Elmore Leonard book when he was cast in 2017 as FBI Agent Buchholz in "Get Shorty.” Last year's projects also included recurring spots on "Lopez," and a guest appearance on "S.W.A.T."
With film incentives in Michigan cutting acting opportunities in the state, Blevins only makes it home a few times a year for personal visits. However, even in Hollywood, finding jobs and performing are two full-time jobs. There are also the physical challenges of the job associated with traveling to different locations.
"It's like you're always standing on quicksand, and it's 100 percent commission based, so you're waiting for that next job to happen. Luckily, each month I have a job that comes forward.
"It's not an easy thing, but if you're committed and you love it, it can be done. The United States puts out so much of the world's entertainment. I still get residual checks because something is airing in Russia or somewhere in Asia. The U.S. doesn't just export cars."