A story about Cory Kahane incorrectly said he was a graduate of Encinal High School. Although he attended Encinal High and took many classes there, he graduated from the Alameda Community Learning Center.
ALAMEDA -- One of Alameda's own will be seen on Lifetime when the network airs "The Cheating Pact" at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Cory Kahane, 23, managed to land the role of high school student Scott Mulvaney in the much-anticipated movie.
"When I was younger, it drove me crazy that I looked super young, but it made all the difference when I auditioned for Lifetime," Kahane said. "They really wanted actors who looked young enough to be high school students, but who had a bit more maturity and experience as performers."
According to his father, Encinal High School drama teacher Gene Kahane, Cory began practicing his craft as a young kid in the lobby of the Alameda movie theater.
"Cory has always wanted to perform. He did 19 shows at Encinal before going on to DePaul University in Chicago. He graduated from DePaul's theater school last spring," said the proud father.
Since graduation, Cory Kahane has performed with local Chicago companies including the much-admired Remy Bumppo Theatre. He also secured representation with the Gray Talent Group and recently did his first regional television commercial.
Landing the role of Scott in "The Cheating Pact" was a bit of a fluke, according to Kahane.
"I was in Chicago, sort of at loose ends and decided I'd go to Los Angeles for the pilot season just to see what it was like," he explained. "Although as a long-time (San Francisco) Giants fan, it was really weird to go to Dodgers territory."
In Los Angeles, Kahane enrolled in several casting director workshops.
"Basically, you pay to work in front of a casting director and hope for the best," he said. Thanks to Gray Talent Group's Los Angeles connections, Kahane landed several auditions but none led to any acting jobs.
"I was sleeping on people's couches and running out of money," Kahane said. "I had already booked my flight back to Chicago when I got the audition for Lifetime."
"The Cheating Pact" tells of three high school students under pressure to do well on their SATs (Scholastic Achievement Test). As anyone with teenagers can attest, colleges use these tests as an important tool in deciding acceptance eligibility. Determined to do well on the tests, the three students convince the "smart" girl in their class to take the exams for them. An elaborate scheme for the girl to take the test in a variety of locations unfolds. When the girl turns up dead, the three students become suspects in her murder.
The true story of six Long Island teens who paid a brainy former graduate of their prestigious high school between $1,500 and $2,500 to take the SAT for them inspired "The Cheating Pact."
Kahane spent four days on the set filming his part as the slightly nerdy Scott Mulvaney.
"Laura Williams is the character who the teens hire to take the test for them," Kahane said. "I'm the more goody-two-shoes smart person who ends up unraveling everything."
While Kahane found Los Angeles a very humbling experience, he also hopes to return.
"Everyone was so nice and so professional," he said. "We were just busting through my scenes so fast that I didn't even have time to appreciate all the talented people I was working with. So many of them were actors I'd admired for awhile."
Back in Chicago, Kanane is busy taking improvisation classes at Chicago's famed Second City, writing his own sketches, and going on as many auditions as possible.
"I just want to work as an actor. I've always been ravenous for work -- maybe to the point of being a little crazy," he said.
While waiting for that next big movie role, Kanane is fulfilling a childhood dream of appearing in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on stage.
"I've always loved the story and wanted to be in a production some day, and this Christmas I finally will get my chance."