Renaissance Man

La Habra resident’s love for performing constant throughout diverse life.


The Orange County Register

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LA HABRA – To say Bill Engle has lived an eclectic life would be an understatement.

Getting his acting and writing career started at age 12, Engle ventured into the entertainment arena where he was featured in motion pictures, such as “1776,” and television series, such as “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”

He then went on to be a police officer for seven years for the Buena Park Police Department, but returned to his roots in the entertainment field working for Fox Studios as the security manager and executive director of materials management.

Today, the La Habra resident utilizes his police background teaching comedy traffic school and owns a hypnotherapy practice in Brea, which, he says, ties his many career experiences together.

Although Engle has had a myriad of jobs, there is one aspect that has stayed constant since he was 12 – his love for performing.

For the past 13 years, Engle has been heavily involved in the La Habra Depot Theater, both as a director and actor.

He is getting ready to direct the theater’s next children’s show, “Honk,” which opens July 27.

Question:How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

Answer:I’ve been a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild since I was 12. When I was 12 I also wrote a play that made it onto PBS.

From there I just continued to get experience writing, directing and acting.

I’ve been in many motion pictures and TV shows. I have been directing plays all over Orange County since the ‘60s, and have also done a couple commercials and educational films. And for writing, I did a lot of comedy; I wrote for the “Carol Burnett Show.”

Q: What do you do for the Depot Theater?

A:I’ve been on the board of directors for the past four years and I get involved in the plays, either acting or directing.

Q: Do you prefer being on the stage or on film?

A:I do prefer the stage over film as a performer because of the connections with the people.

What I like about the stage is you get a lot of feedback. If you’re bad, they’ll let you know, and you only get one chance a night to do it right.

Q:You said your hypnotherapy business “ties everything together,” how so?

A: I’ve been doing that for more than 20 years and I have my own practice, Purpose Driven Hypnotherapy in Brea.

I like to help people that have emotional issues or social phobias.

I think you need an actor’s voice and the police officer experience helps because there’s no one that can come in to see me with something that I haven’t seen before, and that builds an instant rapport with them.

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