A break for Blake
Blake Hogue has always been a bit of a troublemaker.
Though he’ll be the first to admit that his former transgressions — ranging from getting kicked out of class for comedic interruptions, to getting temporarily kicked out of school for a streaking stunt during a football game — may not have served him well at the time, Hogue now views his past as an obvious indication of his future in television and film.
After graduating from Mayo High School in 1999 and studying acting at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Hogue traded in his status as a Spartan Scene celebrity (where, he recalls, his skits had to be pre-recorded as a precautionary measure) for a shot at the real thing in the city of angels.
It's really either L.A. or New York if you want to do TV and film. I had enough of winter. Plus, there's something appealing about a place where women wear bikinis half the year.
Any interesting celebrity run-ins?
A few. One time I stopped a catering truck door from hitting Tara Reid on the head. Maybe I shouldn't have.
What was your first "break?"
A small part in the movie "The Benchwarmers" after living here for three months. I was an extra, but the director picked me to run up to Rob Schneider, scream in his face, and run away. My first commercial was for McDonald's. It’s not great.
Can people tell you're from Minnesota when they meet you?
No way. I made sure to dump my accent before moving. But every time I tell people I'm from Minnesota, they always respond with "Min-eee-so-da." I do miss saying "pop" instead of "soda," though.
You were recently on an episode of the CBS hit series "How I Met Your Mother." What was that like?
It was literally the easiest job I've ever done. The casting director and I spent more time talking about flannel shirts than I did auditioning. Everyone on the show was really nice, but it was such a fast process, we didn't do much more than introduce ourselves.
What's next for you?
I'm taking improv classes and always auditioning, but it's all about doing your own things to get noticed. Write your own stuff and cast yourself in it. I wrote a play called "Life After My Grandma Died: The Karaoke Musical" — which is a lot funnier than it sounds — and a cartoon Web series with a friend who animates at "Futurama." I'm also writing an indie comedy that I'd like to film in Minnesota.
Ever come close to throwing in the towel and returning home?
Nope. I'm in it for the long haul. The only other thing I'd want to do is open my own karaoke bar. I'd call it "Land of 10,000 Blakes," and anyone named Blake gets to be on the wall of Blakes. I'd have to move back to Minnesota then because nobody else would really get the joke.
Any advice for people thinking about moving to Los Angeles?
Stick to your guns and don't give yourself a time limit. Have a life outside of your career to keep sane, but don't get too distracted. It's easier to lose yourself than find yourself in Hollywood. Also, if you just want to be famous, stay in Minnesota because we have enough of you already.