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Dean Biasucci appears onstage at Manhattan's Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in jeans, white running shoes and a blue Stanley Kowalski T-shirt, his body still, quiet, molded in shadows cast by a shaft of light falling from far overhead.
"You're a football player," his drama coach says, "and you're kicking the last-second field goal that wins the game."
Biasucci lowers his head and stares at a point on the floor. He tightens his lips and clenches his teeth. He arches his back, rises on the balls of his feet and slowly addresses the make-believe ball. He swivels his right leg, lifts his eyes and gazes at another point offstage. A weak smile flashes across his face.
" Dean!" snaps the coach. "You call that believable?"
"Sure," says Biasucci.
"Come on! What kicker would react that way?"
When not studying Method acting, Biasucci, 28, gets his kicks by methodically booting the ball through the uprights for the Indianapolis Colts. "I don't allow myself to get too emotionally involved with the outcome of a kick," he says. "I've trained myself to internalize. The problem is that in the theater, you're supposed to open up and express yourself."
The last notable Dean to follow Strasberg's teachings was a rebel without a cause. More Marlon Brando than James Dean, Biasucci is a six-year veteran of the NFL, second in Colt history to Lou Michaels in field goals made and first in accuracy (.736). "I'm not really a kicker, though," Biasucci says coyly. "I've been acting like one for a long time and I've gotten away with it. I can be anything I want to be."
And what he wants to be is an actor. He toured last spring with the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Julius Caesar, playing Marc Antony—Brando played the role in Hollywood's movie version. While twitting Biasucci for his flat inflection, The Indianapolis Star praised his "Friends, Romans, countrymen" funeral oration.