The name John Robert Powers didn’t mean much to me until I watched my cousin—an adolescent who carted around a load of low self-esteem and wore baggy clothes, hair in her face and a withdrawn smile—turn into a shoulders-back, head-tall, smile-glowing, clothes-tight-and-flattering, life-of-the-party girl. The change was apparent to the entire family and got relatives like me wondering what they were doing over at the JRP modeling and acting school. Kim Flowers is the owner of JRP in Reno and Las Vegas and attributes the growth of confidence among her clients and the number of success stories coming out of her schools to her own background in entertainment and youth counseling. Find out about JRP and audition dates at jrpowers.net.
How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
I started training at age 6. My mom put me in ballet, jazz and tap, and I got the bug. I realized that I had talent and that I had a passion for the industry … and I was raised around it. My uncle is the boxer Joe Louis, and I spent a lot of time with him growing up. So, I met some of the celebrities that were around him, people like Diana Ross, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
What have some of your career highlights been?
One was when I was a spokesperson for BMW. We did a huge show in Germany. Also, working with Sylvester Stallone and Bill Cosby and meeting Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin.
How did you end up working with Stallone and Cosby?
I was in Rocky IV with Sylvester Stallone, and I was on the sitcom A Different World with Cosby. I also did a thing with Gary Shandling. I played a joke on him for a television bloopers show. I was 17 then. I’m 42 now.
Why did you stop pursuing your own entertainment career and begin helping other people pursue theirs?
I think it happened while I was still performing. I was in a program teaching at-risk youth skills like self-awareness, self-esteem, nutrition and social graces. I realized what a need there was for this type of positive reinforcement and how it changed the kids’ lives forever. These weren’t at-risk youth; they were just neglected. A big part of it, too, was that my mother had breast cancer. I moved and spent the last eight months of her life with her.
And how did that affect you?
It gave me a desire to help. It was a major turning point. When I came back to Vegas, I opened a school to teach modeling, acting and self-esteem. That’s what John Robert Powers does. It’ll be seven years in September since we opened up in Las Vegas and almost four years in Reno.
So does John Robert Powers work just with kids?
Mainly ages 4 to 17. However, I do have adults in their 50s and 60s who study acting.
What is your main goal with kids and adults?
It’s not about becoming an actor or model; it’s about lifeskills, self-awareness and confidence. We help people tap into their inner beauty. We develop the confidence that’s already there. I’ve been so blessed to be able to do what I do.