An Interview With Actor Corby Sullivan

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Corby Sullivan is an actor who appears in the film Pitstop which is part of The Sundance Film Festival this year. He also appeared as The Blue Collar Robot in the film Rise. Here is a link to his website:

http://www.corbysullivan.com/

 

Q: What is Pitstop about?

A: From the director’s mouth (Yen Tan): “It’s a story about several characters in a small Texas town, anchored by two working class gay men who are both struggling with their own loneliness. Their lives are unfulfilled for different reasons, and they all seek love and connection.”

Q: What role do you play in the film?

A: I play Les, a friend to the ex-wife of the central character (Gabe). She sets us up, and we wind up going on a hilarious and heart-breaking date.

Q: How did you get your role in the film Rise?

A: When I arrived at the audition, the director, David Karlak, said to throw away the sides and we completely improvised the entire scene. It was a thrilling way to attack the material, and it felt like we were really creating something special.

Q: You have done a lot of live theater in Los Angeles. What do you like about the theater scene in LA?

A: Well, it’s very easy to get distracted and lose your bearings in LA. Theatre gives you focus, and sets your North Star back to the Art and Truth of why we’re all doing this in the first place. That is something every actor needs in a place as crazy as Los Angeles!

Q: What don’t you like about it?

A: At times there can be a lack of loyalty to theatre in this town, which can be extremely frustrating….especially if you’re directing. It’s a strange paradox though, because everything in film and television is so last minute.  And honestly, how can you turn down a national commercial or two days on “Homeland” because you’re in a 50-seat theater production of “Godspell” that you’re doing for free? Other cities I’ve performed in seem to cultivate the theatre scene with a greater sense of pride and urgency than LA. It would just be nice to have a little more of that spirit here.

Q:  Why should people attend a film festival instead of just waiting for a theatrical release or video?

A: There is an electricity that thrives at film festivals. Everyone there is living in their element, feeding off each other’s energy and it’s intoxicatingly contagious. You don’t get that at a multiplex matinee!

Q: What famous role would you most like to play?

A: I would love to do a modern, southern, version of Jekyll & Hyde.

Getting to play such dual personalities, and exploring the psychology behind it all would be actor heaven.

 

Q: What method of acting do you employ most often and why do you use it?

A: Short answer: I try to use them all. My philosophy is to study many different methods with many different teachers (Meisner, Stanislavski, Uta Hagan, improv, body work, your high school drama teacher, etc), and combine the 10% from each one that I really connect with. This helps any actor find what works best for them individually, and really pushes them to become a well-rounded performer.

Q: What is your strangest film set story?

A: A few years ago I was cast as a caddy to a famous golfer in this huge Titleist commercial. When the director called “Action,” around 200 extras began cheering, and a big sweeping crane shot crossed through the sky as the golfer and I crested the hill. Suddenly in the middle of the take, the director calls out over the bullhorn for everyone to hear, “Cut! God, can we get some pants on the Caddy?! His legs are so white!” Instantly four golf carts full of khaki pants appeared out of nowhere to cover my Irish pasty legs. It was so embarrassing and hilarious at the same time!

 

Q: What separates art from crap?

A: That’s a tough one. It’s kind of like the old adage, “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure.” I feel like art is anything that can make you both think and feel emotion at the same time. A bigger test is to see if you’re still thinking about it a couple of days later. If so, that’s a pretty good sign you’re leaning more towards the art than the crap!

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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