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Pieces of Eight


Shearin Takes Guest Role in NBC Season Finale

By Michael Crane

“There is a lot of positive energy on the set,” said Theatre Professor John Shearin, of the NBC drama “Surface.” The series, which films in Wilmington, will feature Shearin in a guest role in the season finale.


“I play a chief supervisor of security at a high tech manufacturing and storage facility in Wilmington,” Shearin said. The episode—in which a tsunami threatens the North Carolina coastline—was filmed last month.

“Surface” examines a web of human activity following the discovery of mysterious sea creatures that suddenly appear in various locales across the planet. From a family in Wilmington to naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, the program is billed as “entertainment for all ages in the tradition of ‘E.T.’ and ‘Close Encounters.’”

In addition to his duties as director of the School of Theatre and Dance, Shearin auditions for roles when the work syncs with his responsibilities to the university.

“There are so many variables that go into every casting decision,” Shearin said. “ Once I do the audition, I forget about it.

“I was knocked out when my agent called me. I hadn’t given it a thought.”

After notification that he’d won the part, Shearin “rushed home, packed a bag, and rushed to Wilmington to report to wardrobe.” After getting fitted, he learned he’d have to make some personal modifications before filming started the next day. “I shaved my beard off that night,” he said. In the morning, “Surface” makeup technicians and stylists completed his transformation, shaving his moustache and giving him a military haircut.

Ironically, Shearin served in the armed forces as a military police supervisor of security—with a moustache. “And now my head is freezing,” he said.

Shearin directs ECU/Loessin Playhouse and ECU/Loessin Summer Theatre productions throughout the year. He’s held leading and guest roles in series such as “Hunter,” “Matlock,” “Bret Maverick,” and “The Young and the Restless.” “Surface” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

This page originally appeared in the Feb. 3, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at