Hollywood actor Collins visits ‘home’

Star in ‘Sniper’ films meets with students attending Canajoharie

Actor Chad Michael Collins spoke and answered questions from Canajoharie High School students about his career as an actor and his time as a student at Canajoharie. (The Leader Herald/Briana O'Hara)

CANAJOHARIE — Actor, Chad Michael Collins, best known for playing the franchise lead roll of Master Sgt. Brandon Beckett in the SONY pictures, “Sniper” films, once again walked through the halls of Canajoharie High School where he once attended school. Collins, who was home from Los Angeles for the holidays focused on the theme of “possibility”as he spoke and answered questions from Canajoharie High School students on Thursday.

Several of the students asked Collins questions ranging from his past as a student at the high school, his acting career and what led him into the acting business.

“Being back is great, I come home almost every year around Christmas to visit my family who all still live around this area,” Collins said. “It’s a blast. This is the first time I’ve been able to talk to the students outside of cousins and stuff like that, so it was really nice to share my travels and my ventures with them and answer their questions. I do love coming back; L.A. being a city of almost 20 million, coming to a town of thousand is always really a literal breath of fresh air.”

“What a great positive message he had for he kids. To have a speaker who actually grew up here, went to school here, who these kids can identify with,” said James Carey, Canajoharie Earth science teacher who also coached Collins in junior varsity basketball and football.

Carey said everything Collins talked about such as, work ethics, rejection, possibilities and not giving up is something the school has been working on for years with the students.

Students of Canajoharie High School listen to actor Chad Michael Collins speak on Thursday. (The Leader Herald/Briana O'Hara)

“It seems like a lot of times we don’t get a lot of traction and it’s hard to get the message across and here comes Chad without any coaching from us, has the same one and hopefully some more students take it to heart,” Carey said.

Collins graduated from Canajoharie in 1997. While attending the school, the Canajoharie alum played on the school’s football, basketball and baseball teams.

He then attended Ithaca College where he received his undergraduate degree in journalism. Collins then got an internship his senior year at Ithaca College at a public relations firm in Los Angeles. From there he began what he thought would be his career working in public relations, but little did he know he would be convinced to take an acting class which led him to his first role as an actor.

Since then Collins has made appearances in more than 25 television and film credits such as roles in ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” and “Castle;” CBS’s “NCIS,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Blue Bloods,” “2 Broke Girls,” and “Bones” on Fox.

“It’s always good to see the former students, especially people who are happy in their lives,” Carey said.

“I sat in the same seats as they did 20 years ago, but I’ve kind of found my path and my direction in life and live in a totally different unexpected profession in an unexpected city, so I hope that they take away that no matter what they want to do, no matter where they want to go, it’s possible,” Collins said. “It’s possible for me,I literally sat and stood, learned with the teachers they’re learning with right now, so hopefully that’s the big take of it that they have.”