Hoopes attended Valley View Elementary, but mom Christine pulled him out every few weeks for acting jobs.
"We would drive to San Francisco in the middle of the day," he recalled. "I would have my script in the car, reading it while we drove there."
He remembers one filming before he was even 8 in which he was the son in a commercial for a birth control product.
"We drove out and I met the fake family -- it was the first time I had a fake family," Hoopes said. "Everyone was really nice. Then we went out and played soccer and ran around with the ball and they filmed it."
Around the same time he had a main role in a film called, "The Big Sleaze," in which a man manipulates his little kid character. It is still available on YouTube.
At Pleasanton Middle School he joined the Panther Players for one production, but it was at Amador Valley High that he was hooked.
"In my sophomore year I was doing every show that I could," he said.
And he discovered Pleasanton's teen improv troupe, Creatures of Impulse.
"Creatures of Impulse was the love of my life back then," Hoopes remembered. "I consider improv to be my specialty because of that."
He called improv a compassionate form of entertainment.
"When you're doing something by the book, there is a lot of opportunity to act for yourself -- you do your lines and you know them," he explained. "But with improv I have to be listening to everyone on stage, listening and helping the other people."
Hoopes was a member of the 2020 class that graduated mid-pandemic, and his shows at Amador and with Creatures of Impulse were canceled.
"It was pretty heartbreaking at first but I got over it," he said. "I figured there was nothing I could do about it."
He attended Santa Monica College with online classes for a year, knowing it was a good community college for transferring in Los Angeles. Two months ago he left for Loyola Marymount University to major in theater arts.
"Right now I'm in an acting class, and that's where I'm meeting mostly people who are like-minded," Hoopes said. "I have another class in theater history but acting class is where the passion comes out."
He is also learning writing and directing.
"I know if I'm going to be in the business I want to have multiple skill sets that correspond with it," he said.
He is looking for an agent, to earn money acting while in school. But meanwhile he works as a host at a Mexican restaurant where he is able to use his Spanish, learned in the dual immersion program at Valley View.
"I wanted it to be part of my personal culture even though I have no Spanish blood in me," he said.
Hoopes noted that the film industry has been doing pretty well because on movie sets everyone is vaccinated and tested and only interacting with one another.
"I did a film last winter during COVID, and it was just us the whole time," he said. "I flew out to Kentucky, and played a brother. One of my good friends got me the role -- we were brothers who were homeless, abandoned, and we find out our mom is living not too far away."
"It was shot in a car that was absolutely filthy," he added with a laugh. "The movie was actually fully improvised with a rough script. ... It was super fun and great to be in character."
The joke among theater students, he noted, is the best scenario would be if they could drop out of college -- because they've landed some massive role with Marvel or Disney.
But, with another year and a half to go to earn his degree, Hoopes plans to stick it out, looking forward to finishing his general requirements and focusing on acting, directing and production classes.
"I lived in Pleasanton my whole life until only a few weeks ago," he commented. "I seized every opportunity presented to me in my hometown; now that I'm in L.A. I plan on doing the same."
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