Category: actors

An Interview With Actor Basil Hoffman

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(Originally published on Act.Land)

Basil Hoffman is an actor who appears in the film The Pineville Heist; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.basilhoffman.com/

 

 

Q: When did you know you were an actor?

 

A: When the audience loved me is a partial answer to a question that actually has two parts that need to be answered.   When I was in college, in the business school, two girls talked me into trying out for the annual original campus musical play (on the premise that I would meet a lot of girls, which I did).  The joy of performing for an audience and the laughter and applause I got as a reward completely changed my life’s direction.  I knew from that point that I needed to be an actor.  Even though it took me ten years after making that decision until I made a livable amount of money as an actor, my determination to pursue an acting career never waned.

 

Part two of my answer is this:  My career and the respect I get from those I respect in my industry let me know that I’m an actor.   I know there are many people in my line of work who feel comfortable calling themselves actors, which makes perfect sense.  Still, I feel better having other people call me an actor.  I can’t explain why.

 

Q: What is “The Pineville Heist” about?

 

A: “The Pineville Heist” is a suspense film about a teenager who witnesses a murder and subsequently becomes embroiled in the killer’s quest to retrieve the missing proceeds from his bank heist.  The boy is caught in a web of danger and deception until the end.

 

Q: What made you perfect to play the role that you play in the film?

 

A: The writer/director’s choice for me to play the part made me know that I must be perfect for it.  I didn’t audition (as often happens) for the role, so Lee Chambers, who created the project, left it up to me to find the qualities that he saw.  As a character kind of actor, I only become “perfect” (if that is possible) for a role by immersing myself in the material.  I don’t know how to play a part until I get to work on it, and then I usually find the man I’ve been hired to play.

 

Q: You have appeared in four Robert Redford projects. How does Mr. Redford communicate with actors?

 

A: In my experience, Redford hires those actors who he considers to be good actors he can trust to bring something good to the project.  He doesn’t do a lot of directing of the actors because he trusts his casting instincts.   He might do a lot of directing in some circumstances, but I haven’t seen it.  The direction he has given to me was always succinct and enhanced the truthfulness of the moment at hand.  I don’t know what he says to actors in an audition because I never auditioned for him.

 

Q: What is your creative process?

 

A: I begin by reading the script over and over again to absorb all of the information the writer provides about the story and all of the characters.  Then I reread all of the scenes in which my character appears.  Then I learn the lines, word for word.  It’s important for me to learn the lines as they are written, because the writer has created a character who speaks in a certain way.  To arbitrarily change the words would be disrespectful to the character, for the purpose of making the actor comfortable with the script.  Scripts aren’t supposed to be comfortable.  After I’ve mastered the words, I begin to behave as the character behaves.  To do that requires that I know everything the character knows.  (I address this process in more detail in my book, “Acting and How to Be Good at It”)

 

Q: What kind of day jobs did you have when you were a struggling actor?

 

A: When I went to New York to study I got a job on Wall Street doing statistical work from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. five days a week.  $1.50 an hour.  I had to keep that job (with some promotions and raises) for ten years.  I also took additional jobs like passing out fliers advertising plays and movies.  It was important that I never take a job that would interfere with my studies or my ability to audition or take an acting job.

 

Q: What advice would you give to a struggling actor?

 

A: I suggest that beginning actors understand their goals and not get confused about that.  Every actor has two goals. The short term goal is to get an acting job, and the long term goal is to get an acting career.  Other pursuits are directed toward achieving those goals.  Those pursuits include making a living, training, photos, being seen by casting directors, directors and producers, getting representation, publicity, etc., etc.  But jobs are the goal.
Q: What is the worst advice anyone ever gave you about acting?

 

A: There were two pieces of bad advice I got.  One of my first acting teachers in New York said that I needed to give up all of my preconceptions about acting.  That meant giving up my instincts, which turned out to be disastrous for me.  The other bad advice was the admonition that when I went to Hollywood I would have to have an agent.

 

Q:  What characteristics make a compelling war movie?

 

A: Humanity!  “Hacksaw Ridge” is a prime example.

 

Q: How does a guy from Houston, TX get a name like Basil Hoffman?

 

A: I don’t know where my name came from.  I do have a distant cousin in Birmingham, Alabama, named Basil.  My mother’s parents immigrated from Ukraine, and the name Basil (Vasily) is a somewhat common Slavic name.

 

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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An Interview With Actor Scott Vinci

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(Originally published on Act.Land)

Scott Vinci is an actor who appears in the film, High and Outside; here is a link to his IMDB page:

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1328866/

 

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

 

A: When I was a kid, I remember I dressed up as Groucho Marx for Halloween one year. Most kids didn’t even know who he was. I just wanted to make people laugh.

 

Q: What is High and Outside about?

 

A: High and Outside is a Baseball film. I had a small part and was never handed the whole script. So, I’m not totally sure.

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A:  I played the part of a salesman at a used car lot.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how did you draw from it when playing a salesman?

 

 

 

A: At the time I was working in the coffee biz (Starbucks) so I drew from that by talking to everyone. That’s what salesmen do. They don’t know who their next sale will be! My current day job is managing an apartment complex. Dealing with all types of tenants has helped with every role actually.

 

Q: What is your most memorable audition story?

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A:  I remember in college, I was auditioning for a play, and I forgot part of my monologue. I tried again and was a little too nervous. I still couldn’t remember. I felt terrible and my audition wasn’t that great, BUT I got the part anyway. The director and producer, at the time, had seen my previous work. They knew I could deliver, and I did.

 

Q: What is the best and worst advice anyone has ever given you about the pursuit of acting?

 

A: The best advice was, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” The worst advice was to crash auditions.

 

Q:  How would you approach playing a character that you did not like?

 

A: I would realize the thing I didn’t like about the character and find out why they were that way. Then I would remind myself, that’s not me and it’s ok to be this guy for a moment.

Q: What famous role would you like to attempt?

 

A:  In theater, I think Felix in the Odd Couple.

 

Q: What one thing would you like to change about the film industry?

A: When we go to the movies– free popcorn!

Q: What makes you castable?

 

A:  The fact that I work well, respect everyone’s time, and know how to build a character make me castable.

 

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

An Interview With Actress Caroline DeGraeve

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(Originally posted to ActLand.)

 

 

Caroline DeGraeve is an actress who appears in Josh Mitchell’s new film Hard Visit; here is a link to her website:

 

Q: What made you interested in working in film?

 

A: Last summer I was cast as the lead role of Beth Clark, for a western indie film called Cataract Gold (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnxviqZhW_Q).

I had no prior experience as an actor but the director, Paul Kiener, insisted I was natural. Upon my first day of filming, I felt I was meant to be in film. I was simultaneously at ease and excited. I knew I wanted to work in film immediately.

 

Q: What is Hard Visit about?

 

A: Hard Visit is about a struggling actor, Ben, who goes to his bookie brother, Smoothy, for help. Ben gets thrown into the shady world of gambling, deception and hidden agendas. When a conniving woman gets between the two brothers, the stakes run higher than ever.

 

Q: What role do you play in the film?

 

A: I play Piper Kissinger, a woman after Smoothy’s attentions in

the hot tub.

 

Q: How did you prepare for the role?

 

A: I put myself in the shoes of someone who seduces a man for personal gain.

 

Q: What is your strangest audition story?

 

A: When I was approached for the lead in Cataract Gold, I wasn’t even aware of auditions taking place. I was at a Starbuck’s waiting for my drink. I had just finished a hike in 100 degree weather. I must’ve looked a fright! I remember being frustrated that my phone wasn’t connecting to Wi-Fi fast enough and was probably scowling. In my periphery, I noticed someone staring at me and I was not in the mood for shenanigans, so I looked up, gave my best glare, and continued being preoccupied with my phone. The man staring turned out to be Paul Kiener, who proceeded to tell me he was casting for his western and that he loved my look. I wasn’t swayed to participate because I had no clue who he was and it just seemed odd to approach a stranger in line for coffee to audition for a lead role in a feature film. I did, however, take his card. After a few hours of searching online for any telltale signs of smut films under his name or any other shady work, and not finding anything, I gave him a call. I met him an hour later and read a few pages of the script for him. Next, he asked if I could ride a horse without falling off. I answered “yes”. Next thing I knew, I was in a movie. It was all very surreal, but I loved every moment of the experience and I knew I wanted more.

 

Q: How does your work as a bartender influence your pursuit of acting?

 

A: I act every day of my life. Bartending or serving is like putting on a show. You greet the guests differently based on what you read about their expression or behavior. In the hospitality industry, it’s important to learn how to talk to all sorts of people. You can’t be afraid to engage in conversation or draw their attention in some way. As a bartender, the bar is your ship, so to speak, and you are the captain. You have to read your crew, anticipate their needs, and know if someone is getting unruly or causing disharmony. Moreover, you should know how to approach each situation based on how you read each individual, or if any personal dynamics amongst your guests exist. If your assessment of any given scenario is correct, you will be able to slide right into any character you need to get the result you want. My personal thoughts or feelings are on the backburner while I work. It’s all an act.

 

Q:  Have you ever been offered a gig while you were tending bar?

 

A: Nothing of consequence ever came of several conversations. It’s a common occurrence for people to show interest in film or suggest working together on something.

 

Q:  What do you like about living in the desert?

 

A: Contrary to what many people think, I love the heat! Also, it’s a very relaxed lifestyle that has enough activity to involve yourself with, if you so choose. Also, there is a lot of talent in the desert. I filmed my short film, Real Smile (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6043410/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1) in the desert and had a lot of help from businesses and other artists in completing it.

 

Q: With which character that you have played do you have the least in common?

 

A: The role of Dolly in Gina Carey’s The One Year Pact (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7079604/) is very different from me. Dolly is a very vulnerable, dependent woman. In the scene, Dolly is embarrassed and in tears at something that happens and locks herself away to hide. I’m not a crybaby, nor would I lend much importance a situation that blemished a flawless reputation for propriety. I’m not interested in being seen as perfect. I believe our flaws give us the human connection we crave.

 

Q: Do you think aspiring artist are more susceptible to con men such as bookies and hustlers?

 

A: Yes. Aspiring to amount to anything in the entertainment world demands a lot of work and effort for almost no return. It takes guts and tenacity to keep at it. There will be pitfalls and disappointments but, in the end, it’s about how much you want it. Being confident, being a hard worker, and developing a marketing strategy are tools that will inch you along despite setbacks.

 

 

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

An Interview with Aspiring Actor Ravi Petchetti

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Ravi Petchetti is an aspiring actor and IT specialist; here is a link to his YouTube page:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W44zpdPLWsQ

 

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I always wanted to act and be in front of the camera. Acting gives me a real high since it allows me to portray different characters, go through various emotions, simulate varied setting which otherwise in real life you might not get a chance to do.

 

Q:     What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I have not had any formal training, I guess I am a natural 😊 I got briefly trained in JAZZ dance but that’s about it. All my learning has been on the sets.

 

Q:     You work in IT. How does your day job prepare you for the job of acting?

 

A: It doesn’t much except that the fact that we all pretend we know what the other guy is talking about in the meetings (though we really don’t ). Also aren’t we all actors in real life?

 

Q:    What is 71 Feet Diner about?

 

A: Actually ’71 Feet Diner’ is the working title, the actual short film name is ‘Nameless’ (Yes, isn’t that ironic?). It is about a lost guy trying to find the meaning of life. In pursuit of that – he roams around, meets different people from various walks of life and shares life experiences with them

 

Q:      What role do you play?

 

A: I play a role of a Pakistani bartender dealing with his own issues of life. As a part of the interaction with the main lead, he vents out his frustrations on him but later realizes his mistake due to his other good friends’ words of wisdom

 

Q: What experiences did you draw from when playing the role?

 

A: I could empathize with the role and understand the emotions the character was going through. We all have to go through the daily grind of life and in the process face various hurdles, frustrations but eventually learn to move on with life in the best possible way

 

Q: What would you do if you disagreed with a director about the way a character should be played?

 

A: I would be open and discuss with the director but finally go with what he says because I believe Director is truly the captain of the ship and ultimately it is his vision. A true actor needs to mold himself to that vision and be an enabler in fulfilling that vision.

 

Q:  What famous film role could you have nailed?

 

 A: I believe I am good at subtle acting and with everyday humor.  I am a huge fan of Seinfeld and I would love to reprise his role if it was rebooted again. Also I am a big fan of Robert De Niro and would love to do his role in Midnight Run

 

Q: What makes someone a bad actor?

 

A: I guess as soon as the audience loses interest in you. Actor’s job is to hold the audience attention and make them travel along with you without losing the interest.

 

Q: What one thing would you most like to change about the film industry?

 

A: I think I am too inexperienced, young to answer that question, I am just getting my feet wet in this industry. Maybe after 10 years, when I am enough experienced and successful, I will be able to answer this better 😊

 

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

An Interview With Actress Katherine Roberts

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Originally posted on Act.Land.

 

Katherine Roberts is an actress who appears in the film Assassin’s Apprentice; here is a link to her IMDB Page:

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6199153/

 

 

Q:  What is the Assassin’s Apprentice about?

 

A: The Assassin’s Apprentice is about an assassin Pete, played by Robert Picardo who trains his apprentice Kaylee, played by Tarah Page. The film follows her training and ultimately one last test which she decides to do her own way.

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A: I play Tiffany, a woman on a date with a mob boss who witnesses a surprising scene while at the bar with Pete and Kaylee. (I don’t want to give too much away!)

 

Q: What did you do to prepare for the role?

 

A:  I watched Scarface and studied Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance. I also talked with the director and producers on what they expected from Tiffany’s character, then rehearsed with my scene partners.

 

Q: What is the biggest difference between you and the character of Tiffany?

 

A: Well, I am definitely not as forward. I am a very friendly person, but Tiffany is a man eater!

 

Q: What made you interested in acting?

 

A:  I have always been intersted in acting, ever since I was young girl. I guess my affinity started when my parents would take me to the local theatre and I was amazed by the beauty and sadness storytelling could convey. I knew I wanted to be a story teller too.

 

Q: What is your strangest audition story?

 

A: I audition a lot for Latin American parts, which is great since I am mostly of Peruvian and Spanish decent, however I am not a native Spanish speaker, only conversational. I had to say a few lines in Spanish, which I did fine, but then was thrown a curve ball and had to talk in English with a Spanish accent, a la Sofia Vergara-let’s just say whatever what was coming out of my mouth sounded a mix between Italian and an accent you have never heard of. I was horriffied, as I’m sure the casting director was too. Let’s just say I didn’t book the job!

 

Q: What kind of day job or income source do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?

 

A:  I make most of my money from commercials and print modeling. I have wonderful agents and work pretty consistantly. Keep an eye out for me in Wells Fargo’s nationwide. Also, on the side I like to dog sit and dog walk my neighbor’s dogs. I am a huge animal lover. I also am developing an app, and freelance write. I try to stay on top of everything and I like to think of myself as a go getter, so whatever I set my sights to I commit myself 100%

 

Q:  Have you ever had a disagreement with a director about how a role should be played? How did you deal with it?

 

A: No never. I value the director’s vision on every and all projects I have ever worked on. Even if I saw my character in another way, I always listen and take in whatever the director sees. Ultimately, I trust the director to guide the actors to their best performances

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Q: What famous role could you have nailed and why?

 

A:  I am currently watching Girlboss on Netflix, and I know I could have killed the main role of Sophia. I was living in San Francisco during the time NastyGal took off and was born and raised in the Bay Area. I love playing characters with quirky relatability and I definitely could have brought that. However, I love Britt Robertson’s take on the character and am a big fan of the show.

 

Q: What is the most realistic movie you have ever seen about Los Angeles?

 

A: I’m not sure about movie, but the episode of Sex in The City where the girls visit Los Angeles is pretty spot on! The healthy eating, meetings, premiere’s, and just overall LA vibe is pretty realistic; and hilarious.

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

An Interview With Actress Cheyenne Hernandez

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(This interview was originally posted on Act.Land.com)

 

 

Cheyenne Hernandez is a Seattle based actress who appears in the film, The Cleaner and the Deadman and on the show Hawaii Five-0; here is a link to her IMDB page:

 

Q: What made you want to be an actor?

A: When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always a pirate. To this day! My brother and I watched “The Pirates of the Caribbean” when it first came out and I remember thinking, “Wow. Actors get to be Pirates. They get to be whatever they want! I want to be an actress!” My brother agreed with me and together we recreated our favorite movies around the house. We were assassins, pirates, cowboys… anything we could imagine. Life happened you know? I joined the Army and my brother was two weeks away from leaving for basic training when him and my other brother were killed by a drunk driver. At his funeral I made him a promise that I will die keeping. I will go on for all of us and I will live out our dreams. I auditioned for an agent and never looked back. With my Guardian Angels I feel as though I can do anything.

Q:  What is, The Cleaner and the Deadman about?

A: The Cleaner and the Deadman is about Two paid killers who are hired by the cartel to find a psycho drug scientist. The scientist escapes and the killers are faced with the all kinds of mayhem. There’s lots of action and what’s cool is that everyone involved truly has a passion for the arts!

Q: What role do you play?

 A: I play Liza Garrot. Liza is an undercover British spy affiliated with the two killers and she is a total warrior!

Q: How did you become involved with the project?

A: I made that promise to my brother Isaiah and  the agency still hadn’t sent me on any auditions. I felt as though I was letting Isaiah down and then a friend of mine told me about an ad requesting strongwilled women for a film. I had to be there THAT DAY and with only an hour left I almost didn’t make the audition. I didn’t have time to memorize the script so I did a cold read where I made myself cry and scream. I’ll never forget the directors face when he smiled and said I was exactly what they were looking for!

Q: Why do you think gangster movies are so popular?

A: I think gangster movies are popular because most people’s everyday lives don’t consist of scandal, shooting people, and deadly rivalry. I did say most! Watching movies that have that kind of plot gets people’s blood going. The more action-packed, the more adrenaline and it can be quite addicting.

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your acting?

A: I just finished up with my Army contract and am now focusing on school. I was a combat medic and I absolutely loved it! Being in the Army has influenced my acting a lot because I know what it’s like to feel like you would die for a complete stranger. I know what it feels like to lose a family member that does not share your blood. My work made sure that on a daily basis I was subjected to emotions ranging from ecstatic to petrified to enraged and because those emotions have touched my soul so regularly, I’ve learned to portray them through body language and facial expressions.

Q: Why Seattle and not LA or New York?

A: I’m actually going to school to be a dentist. I’d heard that Seattle had a great dental program along with an outstanding talent agency. I was living in Hawaii and once I fulfilled my dream of being in Hawaii 5-0 I decided I needed to try for Grey’s Anatomy too! As you can see, I’m a little impulsive.

Q: What role do you play on Hawaii Five-0?

A: I played Stacey Holden. At the beginning of the episode I’m this heartbroken girl who just lost her boyfriend but as the show goes on my real character comes out!

Q: What makes the new show different from the original?

A: The personalities! Each character has a purpose and you can’t even compare the characters from the original to the new one because they are completely different! FUN FACT: Dennis Chun (Sgt Duke Lukea) is in the new Hawaii 5-0 and his father was in the original! I had the privilege of getting to know uncle Dennis on set and I have to say he is an amazing person. In the military you can tell a good leader by the way he is with his troops. The great leaders eat with their men. They get to know them and they help them out whenever possible. Dennis could have ate with all the other famous actors but he sat right next to another new actress and I. He got to know us and he answered all of our questions without a hint of annoyance. Little did he know that he had just became my role model!

Q: What makes you fameworthy?

A: I’m not! Every day is a blessing. Every breath is a gift from God and the fact that he’s not only let me live this long, but gone the extra mile and helped me get roles in movies, shows, and modeling is more than I could ever ask for! All I can do is continue being the best person I can and spreading his love. I will work my butt off to make my dreams come true and if it is his will, it will happen. I know I’m on the right path though and once I get to an elevated level in acting I plan on using that position to spread awareness about drunk driving. The loss of my brothers is a heartbreak that I hope to prevent other families from experiencing. I am the change I want to see in this world and I’m here to do good.

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

An Interview With Actor Brian Harrington

 Brian Harrington Speaking (1)

 

(This interview was originally posted on Act.Land.com)

 

Brian Harrington is an actor who appears in the film Crowning Jules; here is a link to his website:

http://www.brianharrington.org/

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: I actually entered the entertainment world through the producing side of it. I was hired to help market my first film Rodeo Girl with Kevin Sorbo and the co-producer asked me to help do some digital marketing for their Kickstarter campaign. From there I just kept getting more and more roped in, helped them find some additional investors, and before long they were calling me an associate producer. So then after doing the casting on Crowning Jules, my second film, I knew I wanted to give it a shot on the other side of the camera.

 

Q: You have a unique look; do you think it helps you or hurts you in the long run?

 

A: Thank you! It definitely helps! The beard is the money maker all the way. People love the story about how I quit my job working at a bank to become a film producer and started to grow the beard and haven’t looked back since.

 

Q: What is Crowning Jules about?

 

A: Crowning Jules is about twin sisters, one is a nerd and one is a beauty queen, who take a cross country road trip to get to a beauty pageant. Along the way they come into possession of a stolen jewel and are pursued by some bumbling thieves. It’s a good all around kids and family movie starring Kristy Swanson, Kevin Farley, and Kenton Duty. Look for a release in summer of 2017.

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A: I’m a producer on the film and appear briefly as a guy working at a carnival.

 

Q: Of all the roles you have played, which one is the least like you?

 

A: I played a homeless guy on a TV pilot once, this girl was using me as a prop during show and tell for her class and it was pretty funny. But obviously not like me because I do have a home. haha

 

Q: What is your strangest audition story?

 

A: Probably when I made it onto Sacred Steel Bikes on Discovery Channel because the audition ended up being the part that made it on the show.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it effect your ability to pursue acting?

 

A: I’m a freelance marketing consultant and I’ve worked for businesses, non-profits, political campaigns, movies, and musicians. I like doing digital marketing and helping people with their PR. It ties in nicely with acting since I’m able to work from home and on my own schedule and the networking aspect is great for getting work done in both areas. Check out www.brianharrington.org/consulting to learn more.

 

Q: What famous role could you have nailed?

 

A: Hmm I don’t know how famous they are on the spectrum but I love how the shows Workaholics and Silicon Valley just portray normal looking funny guys. They don’t feel like actors to me when I’m watching the show and I think that’s definitely the kind of character acting I bring to my gigs.

 

Q: Your website says you are a  “political operative.” For whom do you operate?

 

A: Yeah so that’s part of my day job like you were asking about. I work for conservative Republicans.

 

Q: Who is in your motorcycle gang?

 

A: Haha I think you’re talking about the Discovery show Sacred Steel Bikes where I showed up on one episode as a biker model to portray a live painting done by famous motorcycle artist David Mann. That was a blast and so funny because I haven’t ridden a motorcycle since I road dirt bikes back in middle school.

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