Q: What role do you play in Helen Keller had a Pit Bull?
A: I had the opportunity to play the role of the Antagonist in the film. The director, Josh Mitchell posted an ad on AA for the project which I submitted for and we stayed in touch with each other on Facebook– which was a first for me regarding film related opportunities. I did my “due diligence” (sorta-speak), and in turn stumbled across his video, “My Girl Does E.” I tell you what (LMFAO), I about fell outta my chair. It was BRILLIANT! I knew then and there this dude had that artistic edge that is not learned. You either have it or you don’t. We stayed in contact through a slow-and-go process eventually meeting up in person. But as I look back on it, I don’t think I was someone who Josh (initially) envisioned for the role. I knew he struggled from a creative standpoint in casting as this Antagonist was not your Hollywood-movie A-typical, see you coming a mile away kinda bad guy. Josh needed to capture that, “Something’s not quite right” to the character, without giving away the premeditated aspect all-together. But through the mentioned correspondence, couple with my conditioning and the body of work he had seen me do, he finally caved in (lol) and offered me the role… And I guess you’ll just have to wait and see his film to see what we came up with
Q: What experiences did you draw from in playing the role?
A: Sadly, from an Antagonist perspective there’s too much to draw from– especially living in Hollywood.
Q: What has been your greatest triumph as an actor?
A: Large or small, all reel-worthy roles are a pivotal step in the right direction. With that said though, what enabled me to realize my ability was my performance in the feature (inspired by true events), MUTILATION MILE. It was a difficult and physically demanding role which landed me in the hospital twice. It was beyond rough. A two-week hell-bent method approach to anger not often paralleled in film. And for me I can’t fake it. Every performance is do or die for me. I have to come organic. The director, Ron Atkins needed a cocaine-fueled rage to my character tore up at both ends, so on top of him leaving me unsettled by intentional sleep deprivation, in turn I slammed myself with continued Red Bull’s and coffee. I’d safely say I had roughly hundred+ servings of caffeine in the first week of shooting. This, and on minimal sleep, my body was crashing. First trip to the Hospital I discovered Pneumonia was setting in. O2 levels where dangerously low; in the 80′s. And still I walked out ADR (Against Doctors Request) after three hours of combined breathing treatments, a shot in the ass, and antibiotics– as we were not finished shooting that night. Second trip to hospital they though I was having a heart attack as blood pleasure was through the roof. And that night there was no walking out. Was it worth it? Sure. Did I leave a little bit of my life on the table? Yes I did. But as I look back I see it no different than the sacrifice Christian Bale made when he lost all that weight when filming, The Machinist. And while Mutilation Mile failed to see a properly executed exit-strategy yielding the notoriety I should (or could) have gained, my performance in this hard-ass ultra-violent movie and the movie itself gained global reviews, and yielded me a 2012 ”Award of Merit” for Best Supporting Actor from, The Indie Fest– which was kool being mentioned along-side projects like “Silver Case” starring Eric Roberts which won “Best of Show” in the Festival.
Q: What was your greatest let down?
A: Oh, boy. This one comes crystal clear. But it’s actually a two-part ordeal. It was the summer of 2005 and like most things which come in three, I not only ended up being better-dealt after being cast as the lead in the feature, Awaken The Dead replaced by Gary Kohn (Almost Famous), I was simultaneously cast in another feature, GASP which the city of LA ended up shutting the set down and had an arrest warrant for the director. Too boot all in this two-week, life-shattering fiasco, I discovered that my girlfriend (at that time) was back in Vegas banging someone who I thought was a friend. Yeah, “let down?” That was an understatement. It was a time in my life that the thought of taking a pipe-wrench to my face was a good time. But we’re not done… After picking my teeth off the ground in LA, I find myself with tail between legs and back in Vegas. But through this immense struggle, I find a strange inspiration to first-time write. So, there I go, off and running on my first script, flying away at the keys with two very slow index fingers. It was ugly. My writing was awful (and still is), but my ability in story-telling was solid. My screenplay, 40 BELOW ZERO received MULTIPLE looks and in late fall, 2008, a producer out of SLC read my script, fell in love with it and offered me a 15MM Letter Of Intent to produce my script– only for the producer to go MIA two months after signing paperwork… So, if you who/ever find yourself feeling some sense of misplaced self-pity, give me a buzz. I’ll get you feeling right as new.
Q: What sort of day job do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?
A: Day Job? Well, you should know I get paid to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and I’m all outta bubblegum!
Q: What sort of training have you had?
Extensive. I was really lucky to have had the opportunity to train under Joseph Bernard (IMDb). Joseph, an American actor, was best friends with Jerry Lewis and long-time friend of Marlon Brando. Joseph appeared in over 25 Broadway plays and several movies,including Murder Inc., Judgment at Nuremberg, and a number of other films that included Ice Station Zebra. His television roles included appearances on Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible, and he was the executive director and teacher at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute (1968). Joseph later made Las Vegas his new home leaving his mark not only on me but on hundreds of local-based actors and the Vegas community abroad. Sadly, in April 2006, Joseph passed away, but not without equipping me with tools necessary for my journey ahead. But following his passing, it took two years (seriously) to get past the fact he passed away. In 2009, I slowly found my way back on stage and continued my studies with a number of coaches including Doug Warhit. In 2013, Doug really helped confront a number of challenges (and fears) I was facing as an actor. He was named “One of the Top Ten Acting Coaches in Los Angeles” by Back Stage Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter.
Q: What is the biggest lie anyone in Hollywood has ever told about you?
A: That making it had to do with talent.
Q: The character you play bad mouths someone on the internet. Do you think the internet is an easy tool for revenge?
A: Yeah, the internet leaves anyone with a voice now. The director of Mutilation Mile used to kid that there should be some kind of aptitude test before being allowed to get on the internet. It’s kinda funny to think about it like that, but like most jokes, it has a hint of truth. In the entertainment world everyone wants to add their mustard– which unfortunately comes from a great percentage who are angry, somewhat smart, and premeditated in their trespass.
Q: What is special about pit bulls?
A: Honestly, I know nothing about pit bulls. And it’s been years since I had a pet. Any pet. But like many pets, dogs, regardless of their breed are nothing more than an extension of their owner and environment. I don’t want to give anything away about Josh’s project, but his story is a highly noble journey filled with several heart-felt struggles including a new-shared perspective on one highly misunderstood breed.
Q: What famous role could you have nailed?
A: Oh, man. GREAT question. I had to take a day to give this some thought but the role that always comes to mind is Brad Pitt’s performance in, 12 Monkey’s. To me his performance was ground breaking. The movie would not have been the same without him. If you replaced Pitt, the whole film’s presentation woulda stood at great risk in changing– yes, lol, even if casting me. But on the real, I’m definitely a character actor. The subtext to Pitt’s character was organic and was a role I would have loved to tackle– and could have. I wouldn’t have pulled off what Pitt did, but I woulda brought wood for sure to that role.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)