Category: actors

An Interview With Actor William Ngo

William Ngo  is a Los Angeles based actor whose credits include New Girl and Mr. Stache. Here is a link to his reel:

http://vimeo.com/46857941

 

 

Q: What made you want to become an actor?
A: I just fell into it. I went to UC Irvine, where I studied Sociology, then spent two more years at Cal State Fullerton studying Advertising. I pursued a career in advertising for a year, but didn’t really get anywhere. I ended up in a temp position at CBS Outdoor. I was there for three months, then my assignment ended and I was looking for a new job. I just thought it’d be fun to work as an extra in the meantime. Then I found that I could do that full-time. Then I thought, “Hey, it’d be cool to be an actor”, and I started going on auditions and booking roles (during my first week of acting class). My first role was a paying role and I was like, “Ok, I got some natural talent for this. I just have to hone my skills.” Things went really well. I got into SAG really quick and landed an agent really quick and I came to realize this is what I love and this is what I want to do and I don’t want to do anything else.

Q:  How did you get your first audition for your first speaking role?

A: I found it through craigslist. It was a short film that paid me $150 to say five lines. I lucked out. It was a very professional set with a full crew, cameraman, sound, hair and make-up, wardrobe, and craft services

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Q: What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

A:
It depends on what you mean biggest. There are four that I rank as my biggest. There is a national Toyota commercial that is the one job that I have made the most money from. I had a Co-Star role on MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger, which was my first television Co-Star role. I did a film called Mr. Stache with Amy Smart (Just Friends, The Butterfly Effect), Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Ann Benson (Betty White’s Off Their Rockers), and narrated by Kali Rocha (Grey’s Anatomy, Buffy), which played at the Tribeca Film Festival and on Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand. It was the first time I had a trailer and worked with recognizable actors and in something that had the prestige of playing at one of the biggest film festivals in the world. Most recently, I had a Co-Star role on New Girl, which is probably the biggest, most recognizable project I’ve had a role in. It was the first time I had a Co-Star role on a network television show, one that is very popular at that and on the biggest network, and it gave me my first on-screen television credit.

Q: . What has your biggest disappointment been?

A: This is a difficult question to answer. The closest I have come to getting a part I really wanted and then not getting it was when I was put on a avail for an Under Five role on America’s Most Wanted. It was between me and one other guy, and I ended up not getting it.

Q: . What was your co staring role on New Girl?

A: I was credited as Asian Card Player in Season 1, Episode 21, “Kids”. There’s a scene where Winston (Lamorne Morris) goes to pick up his boss, Joe (Phil Hendrie), who was running from a house with a bunch of Asian guys chasing him. I was the one yelling at him in Chinese. The idea was that we were a bunch of gamblers and he owed us money.

Q:  You’ve appeared in a lot of stuff. Has anyone ever recognized you on the street?

A: Thanks. Actually, people have recognized me more from big movies I worked on as a featured extra, such as Yes Man and The Amazing Spider-Man. The Spider-Man gig was great though. They flew me First Class to New York and put me up in a Four Star hotel in Midtown Manhattan. I lucked out. I had a huge room with a great view all to myself and I got to go to Tribeca on the closing night of the festival to see Mr. Stache, the film I did with Amy Smart and Rich Sommer. I was only disappointed that I didn’t get upgraded to a principal actor on Spider-Man. I was hoping and thought I would since they were spending so much money on me anyways.

Q: . What does Jeff Goldblum’s Intensive Professional class entail?

A: They hold us to a very high standard at my acting school, but he held us to a particularly high standard. We were in his class twice a week and he wanted us to use all of our senses and to be very specific in terms of what we detect with our senses. We worked on scenes, improvisational exercises, which he called improvised scenes, and monologues, particularly those from Edgar Lee Masters’ masterpiece, Spoon River Anthology, which is very difficult material to work with because it’s written in very old language, but very beautiful and poetic, almost like Shakespeare.

Q:  Who is your biggest acting influence?

A: There isn’t one actor that I can say is my biggest acting influence. I actually draw from a lot of different sources to do different things, like famous actors or actor friends of mine that I admire.

Q:  What is your strangest work story?

A: Well, I’ve had some pretty crazy jobs as an actor. One time, I spent a week role-playing to train Navy Seals. I got to shoot at Navy Seals with assault rifles and also got interrogated. We got to play at a different location each night, an abandoned medical building, a vacant office floor, an abandoned neighborhood that used to be military family housing, culminating in our largest playing field, an abandoned correctional facility and there was a helicopter too. It was a big production.

Q: To a certain extent everyone who ever told a lie is an actor. What is it that sets what professional actors apart from non actors?

A: Well, yes, and no. At my acting school, we study Meisner Technique, and our definition of acting is, “Living truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. For us, there is no acting or pretending, but living, behaving, and reacting. It’s about truth and honesty, revealing the deepest truths of yourself and humanity and sharing that with the world. As I once heard an actor say, acting is about telling the truth to ultimately tell a lie. I guess, another way to answer your question is that when we’re acting, we suspend disbelief and actually believe what we’re saying to an extent. Plus, we have to do it on a stage in front of an audience or on a set in front of cameras and crew people watching us and we have to do it on cue and we get paid for it. That’s what sets us apart from non-actors.

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 Aspiring Actor and Director Izzy Pollak

Izzy Pollak is an aspiring actor and director who recently made a film about Trayvon Martin. Here is a link to his website:

www.IzzyPollak.com

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: At the end of my junior year in High School I saw the acting programs Senior Thesis. This consisted of all of the theater conservatory members putting on a collaborative piece that they thought represented who they were. I attended the last night of performances where emotions were running high. By the time they took their bows, every person in the small 50 person black box theater was crying. Maybe it was the performance, or perhaps it was the environment, but as the lights faded to black and the audience shuffled out of the theater, I remained in my seat awestruck and mesmerized. From that moment on I knew I wanted to pursue act as a career. Throughout my life I had occasionally been in musicals since they were fun to do, but never thought about it as a possible profession. (I was considering business or political science before I changed my mind) What a trip those pursuits would’ve been.

Q: To which method of acting do you ascribe?

A: Listening is the proven method to successful acting in my opinion. Reacting to whoever or whatever you are opposite, and being in that moment is the only way to keep it alive. Sure there are methods of getting emotional, and pulling rabbits out of hats, but all of that crap needs to be thrown out in the moment otherwise you will overthink it and be in your head, not in the character. Acting isn’t, being is.

Q: Who are your acting idols?

A: Definitely Johnny Depp because he becomes an entire person. A
star, absolutely, but he doesn’t use that as a crutch to be the same person on camera every time. Another person I look up to is Kevin Spacey. Beyond his incredible presence on camera, he also pursues his craft on the stage (he recently starred in King Richard III). Furthermore, he often releases short films that he produces and acts in which are created for the love of art. If you haven’t seen his most recent short, check out “The Ventriloquist.”

Q: What director would you most like to work with?

A: The Wish List: Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, JJ Abrams, Wes Anderson, and Michael Bay. The yin and yang of a greater director is one who has a strong vision of a piece, and will work with you to meet that vision, but trusts the actor enough to know when it is time to back off and let him or her play the way he or she sees fit.

Q: What do you like about Hollywood films?

A: Hollywood is beautiful because of its scale. Everything can be executed on screen these days with the combination of video effects and creative grit. Furthermore, Hollywood creates full cinematic experiences, all-encompassing and impeccably produced. I love this aspect of the industry.

Q: What don’t you like about them?

A: I would say a major downfall of Hollywood is the illusion that one must spend so much money on a movie. One benefit to the economy is the tightening of budgets. And although some may see these cuts as restrictions, a true artist will not only navigate around the issue, but create a better product because of it. This is reinforced by technology getting better and cheaper as productions can be executed with less people, less equipment, and in less time.

Q: What film role could you have nailed?

A: There really isn’t a single role I can type cast myself in, but perhaps a hybrid will do. Perhaps Ryan Gosling’s role in Blue Valentine and Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs makes sense, I’ve been told I have a healthy mix of vulnerability and volatility.

Q: What makes you fame worthy?

A: Hmmm… What makes anyone fame worthy? How much they want it? How much they worked for it? Who their dad is? What they will do with it? I have a deep desire to be famous, and although many would laugh and criticize me at the prospect of my initial statement, let me earn back some respect. Notoriety offers exposure to an audience. Charlie Sheen uses it to promote Tigers Blood and Winning, Bono uses it to support Africa. Both men famous, apparently worthy of it since they have achieved it, but in my personal opinion I think one is using the gift better than other. I have much I wish to change about this country and this world. The backward-isms that are prevalent in modern society, specifically Western society irritate me, and I believe fame would give me a sturdy platform to found social change on.

Q: What inspired you to make a film about Trayvon Martin?

A: Fear is one aspect of modern society that is extremely detrimental to social welfare. Never a healthy emotion, fear, in my opinion, was the driving force behind the killing of Trayvon Martin. Wanting to make a film that exemplified the negative effects of fear, I took the case and explored the prospect that everyone might’ve told the truth. What I shot was the scenario where both parties were innocent (or guilty) independently of each other, a situation that inevitably escalated given the fact that there was a gun involved. There has been a wide range of reactions to the piece but it has consistently sparked conversation amongst those who have viewed it about what right and wrong means comparatively in moral and legal contexts.

Q: Give us your Oscar speech?

A: Kids, young men and women. Life is about happiness. Responsibility is necessary of course, but responsibility to who? Use your time in school to cultivate your expression through what you love. Consider the fact that your parents care a lot about you, and probably have your best interests in mind, but financial stability is not paramount in the pursuit of happiness, although to many it does help. If you want to be a scientist, do it, and give yourself to it completely, if you wish to be an artist, do so with love and empathy for the human condition, the same goes for business, sports, and the other professions. Remember that everyone is human, we all bleed, we all cry when it hurts, and laugh when it’s funny, every person around you is bonded by this time we are in, since we are all limited by mortality. Love unconditionally, give yourself completely to what you spend your precious time doing, and live with passion.

 

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 Former Home Builder and Aspiring Actor Bruce Kade

Bruce Kade is a former home builder who has come to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Here is a link to his Facebook page:

Q:  How did you get into the home building business?

 

A: My Uncle built beautiful expensive custom homes. I remember going to his model homes and just being in awe of them and I would tell my parents I wanted to build homes like my Uncles when I grew up. Sure enough when I finished college I went to my father for help and we started building custom spec homes. We started out with just building two homes in the first year, by year four we were building 25 homes a year.

Q: What is the biggest difference between running a business in Canada and running a business in the United States?

A: It’s pretty much the same. There are a few differences between the tax system and the way you set up companies, but for the most part it’s very similar.

Q:  Do you think working conditions are better for American laborers or Canadian Labors?

A: H’mmm, great question. I would have to say I give the edge to Canada for a few reasons. The first being free health care. A lot of employers in USA can’t afford to offer health care or if you’re a small business owner you may not be able to afford a health care plan for your family. I think it’s a huge advantage to not have worry about paying $500-$1000/month to insure your family for health care. Another nice thing in the Canadian labor laws is women get close to a year off paid maternity leave, here in the States I think its 12 weeks. Pretty crazy that Moms are expected to put there 3 month old baby in daycare and head back to work so fast!

Q: What is your weirdest work story?

A: Well, I have a few, but of my HVAC tradesman was actually a high-ranking member of a powerful criminal motorbike gang in Canada. He actually did great work and I could not believe it when I found out! We found out he used the HVAC company to clean his gang money.

Q: What makes someone a good boss?

A: I think a good boss is open-minded and listens to his employees. Employees are doing their tasks every day and they usually come up with better or more innovative ways to do them.

 Q: What makes someone a good employee?

A: A good employee needs to be reliable and trust worthy. Shows up every day ready to work hard and ready to contribute to whatever the task is at hand. Obviously a positive attitude and outlook on life goes a long way too.

Q: What was the most challenging home building job you ever had?

A: One job we were hired to do, the house ended up being on a lot with a very high water table. When we excavated the basement water kept coming in from everywhere. We ended up having to dig down deeper, do lots of pilings and add tons of crushed rock, and several sump pumps to pump out the water whenever it rose to much. It was a very painful, expensive and stressful build.

Q: What made you get out of the business?

 

A: I moved to Phoenix AZ in 2008 seeking better weather. I was sick of building homes in -20 degree weather and snow. It’s not very fun building a home during the winter. Some days you’d be shoveling 2 feet of snow off the floor of a house you where framing, or on the roof trying do the roofing in a snowstorm. When I moved to Phoenix I was ready to build homes but that’s when the market took a huge crash. So we shifted our game plan and went into foreclosures and flips. That’s what I’ve been doing in Phoenix for the past four years.

 

Q: What made you want to become an actor?

A: I met an author that approached me to be in her movie, she just liked my look for the role. I thought it sounded cool, but I didn’t know how to act. So I went to take a few acting classes and caught the bug!! Since then I’ve had three small roles in feature films, landed a manager and an agent.

Q: What kind of training have you had (or are you taking) in acting?

A: I’ve taken classes at Margie Haber’s Acting Studio, as well as with Amy Lyndon. Both awesome classes that taught me so much. I still have tons to learn and I think I’ll be taking acting classes for the rest of my life, always developing and growing in the craft.

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 Bria Lynn Massie

Bria Lynn Massie is an actress who stars in the film Alone Together. She has been told that she is not pretty enough to be an actress. Here is a link to her website:

http://www.brialynnmassie.com/resume.html

Q: What made you want to become an actor?

A: It definitely seeded itself as a young girl, making home videos with my younger brother and spending hours on hours sitting in my house watching movies. It wasn’t until middle school though that I realized this was what i wanted to do.

I was a typical angry, insecure and lonely preteen, often being told I shouldn’t be feeling what i’m feeling, i’m just being dramatic, there are worst things that could happen, that’s not a big deal. Even if the person knew nothing about me, what was going on in my life, or how someone’s actions affected me. It was between acting in the school plays and going home to watch movies that I found my escape where it WAS okay to cry, be disappointed, angry, it WAS okay to even be ecstatically happy, it WAS okay feel these emotions, if only for a few hours someone was validating my human experience. Not shrugging it off and moving on. I knew I wanted to carry on that acceptance, and as an actress, even if for just a few hours, or even just a few minutes, let our public feel that it IS okay to cry, it IS okay to feel and experience these human emotions. It IS okay to care about another person. I think that acting is the only thing in this world anymore enforcing the right to a human connection. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they are alone.

Q: You have been told you are not pretty enough to be an actress what did they say was wrong with the way you look?

A: My family was fairly poor, both my mom and my dad were working full-time because they were very driven to keep me and my brother in a nice neighborhood with a nice school and with nice things. Even if that meant cutting back on activities or routine that every wealthy child in our area had. Such as Braces. I was blessed with crooked teeth, one of my baby teeth didn’t have an adult tooth behind it so it never fell it, and in turn the other teeth became misarranged to accommodate this, and the infamous “snaggle tooth” smile that Kirsten Dunst has been hounded about. You know, I’ve actually been told that I would need to fix my teeth if I wanted to be taken seriously. I’ve even had a casting director ask me over the phone after seeing my reel, “Do you still have those teeth?”. The most frustrating thing was spending tons and tons of my own money to learn and become better, to have nice clothing, to know how to do my hair and makeup, be the best I could be, but it always came down to something that I just couldn’t work at. No critique could make them better, I would just need to save up thousands upon thousands of dollars to “fix”. Sometimes I’d be called, the girl with the teeth. I have though, been very lucky to encounter individuals who support their look as well.

Q:  Why do you think looks are so much more important for actresses then actors?

A: Typical girls like to aspire to be like a celebrity. It seems more and more about the looks and the fame rather than how they became famous or talent anymore. People want beautiful doppelgänger or to be told they look like a beautiful and revered celebrity. Take celebrity icons that made their big break with a leaked sex tape, or known for their party life on top of coming from billionaire families. Women more than less nowadays get their power from being beautiful and wealthy. In turn, women will aspire to be like these icons, learn their tricks, shop in their clothing line, replicate their make up, if it works for them it must work for everyone. Beauty and the appearance of wealth. The “best”. The actresses they see becoming famous or who are famous unfortunately are found following suit, otherwise most women wouldn’t deem them worthy of being so high up in the hierarchy. Jealousy is a terrible monster, and if the actress can’t hold her own for “why” she is up there, being the best of the best, then she is more than likely kicked to the bottom. They can’t show any weakness or it is blown much more out of proportion than someone who isn’t a celebrity. It’s a very sad and barbaric thing that society is doing. I think Southpark  even did an episode on that haha. Its easier to gain popularity from being beautiful than being talented.

Q:  There have been leading roles for woman playing con artist, bank robbers and serial killers; why is Hollywood so reluctant to make a movie about someone who doesn’t look perfect?

A: Well, hollywood has actually made a great amount of movies consisting of someone who doesn’t look perfect, of which the character is typically played by a beautiful actress who is hidden behind messy hair, glasses, braces etc. and undergoes a transformation pertaining of makeup, hair does, nice clothing etc. Its considered “empowering” for women to gain confidence after getting done up, and even men. We are taught to fix whatever isn’t working and our drive to be the best is so prominent that it blinds everything along the way. The confidence, the attraction from the sexes, being the best. This beautiful actress is what we aspire to be like and hope we can feel like after we undergo our own transformation.

Q: What do you like about Hollywood?

A: The vast amount of opportunities and people here. It amazes me the talent and the array of difference that you can see, even just walking block to block!

Q:  What don’t you like about it?

A: It is a very unforgiving and judgemental town. There are just so many people here that it is hard to prove you are the best just by being yourself. But it’s when somebody sees that you are that it is the most rewarding experience I’ve found. And Hollywood seems to be full of a bounty of rewards to those that find them.

Q:  Who are some of your acting influences?

A: Helena Bonham Carter, Jodie Foster, Felicity Hoffman, Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci and Kirsten Dunst.

Q:  What is your wildest acting story?

A: This was back when I was doing theatre during high school, it was opening night of “Footloose” which is mostly music, I mean…its Footloose! Singing and Dancing in every scene! Well, it was during winter where in WA we get amazing thunderstorms, it’s just taken for granted that every year the power WILL go out. We were all waiting backstage after being called for places waiting for our cue to go, the audience was already informed that the show was beginning and we were moments from the curtain being drawn. Then the power went out and the emergency lights came on in the auditorium. We were lucky enough to have a live band, even if that meant the music wouldn’t be transferred to the sound stage, and after a moment of collaboration from the director, went on in the emergency lights. We were also very lucky to have amazing vocals that could belt louder than the band. We truly brought live stage back to its raw roots. It was an amazing performance and the power came back on after intermission.

Q: What director would you most like to work with?

A: That’s a hard call, there are so many incredibly talented directors out there. Probably between Martin Scorsese and Sam Mendes.

Q:  What film role could you have nailed?

A: I couldn’t say as the movies that come to mind, the actress also did a phenomenal job at as well haha! For certain though, if anyone is one day brave enough to write and produce a feature film of the Hunchback of Notre Dame (and sticking to the book), I could nail the role of Esmeralda.

 

 
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 Steve Dez

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Steve Dez is an aspiring actor who lives in Los Angeles. Here is a link to his website:

 

 

http://SteveDez.Tumblr.com

Q:  What made you want to become an actor?

A: This one is quite the story, it started when I was about 5 years old, I was afraid of the dark and sleeping alone so I slept every night with my parents. My dad used to watch HBO late at night and I couldn’t sleep because of the TV, then when my dad passed out I just took the remote and started watching a lot of stand up comedy and HBO series and I said; “Hey, I want to do that”. That’s my first reason. My second reason was when my mom was running errands in the morning, she always checked on me to see if I was asleep. I started to “pretend” that I was sleeping and my mom believed it, and I said WOW! I can’t believe it actually works. And the last reason that made me want to become an actor was the fact that everybody in my school was superb at sports, I always wanted to be amazing in sports but I sucked at everything, in basketball I was too short, in track I lacked speed, in bowling I lacked money (we had to pay crazy fees by those times) , even on Ping Pong I lacked coordination, but every time I did acting I exceled and got lots of awards and recognition for it so it was pretty obvious.

Q:  What do you like about Hollywood?

A: Hollywood is the place where the movies are made. It’s like a candy store to a small child. A beauty salon for the ladies, a gym for the fellas and my special sanctuary for dreams. Here is where stars are made, literally because there is a star at every corner of the Boulevard.

Q: What don’t you like about it?

A: I think sometimes Hollywood could be extremely overrated. It’s not really what you expect (Coming from a guy that lived for months there). I’m currently a resident of Downtown LA and I love it. Hollywood gets wayyy to crazy sometimes, because ALL the clubs are there so, expect a lot of people, Crazy amounts of TRAFFIC and it makes me so sad to say but there’s like tons of homeless people all around hollywood. I go to Hollywood all of the time I just don’t live there anymore because of these things.

Q:  What famous role could you have nailed?

A: Mostly commercials. There are tons and tons of commercials I would’ve nailed but I haven’t due to the fact that I haven’t signed with an agent yet. I been up for KFC commercials, Sprite Commercials, Chevy commercials and tons more brands, but the key to booking them is definitely having a good agent because they look up to that rather than auditions itself.

Q:  What method of acting do you ascribe to?

A: I’m all about Viola Spolin Technique and Groundlings. Improv is taking over the acting world. Taking names and kicking butt one day at a time. Almost 88% of the auditions I’ve been it’s all about improv, because just doing a cold read of the sides is not enough. I would say to all my fellow actors to take improv classes because is going to help you in the long run.

 

Q: What kind of day jobs have you had and how do they influence your work?

 A: This one made me smile. I feel like Kristen Wiig all of a sudden. She said one time on an interview similar to this one that she had numerous of ODD jobs. I’m the same guy. I worked cleaning boats, server at a  Mongolian stir fry restaurant, bartender, concession stand, ticket ripper and box office at a movie theater, receptionist for a electronic store, I was a Spanish teacher assistant for first graders, a Stand Up Comedian, I been even one of those guys that dresses up like Dora the explorer, Barney, Spongebob and all those characters for little kids birthday parties, and more and more jobs.

They’ve all helped me in any way, shape and form to make me the actor that I am today. I had to deal with an immense variety of people, so that helped me relate to each and every different type of audience/customer I get. Everything in this life is a learning experience.

Q: What is your wildest work story?

I’m not sure if this question means work as in regular work or now my acting work but let me give you an example of both.

Regular Work:

I’ve worked as a school mascot before so getting in a suit wasn’t a problem for me. When I got hired with the company Party Group for Kids back in Puerto Rico I had to dress up as many cartoonish characters. My first show I thought it was going to be a High School Musical show which didn’t require me to wear a suit, but it got cancelled. So, my first show I had to put on a suit to portray one of the characters from “The Backyardigans”. As soon as I came out, all of the kids came and hugged me and I could barely walk. This was in Puerto Rico and almost summer time so it was like 90 degrees plus I was in that suit. There was one of my co-workers that literally passed out because she couldn’t handle it. I was in the brink of passing out, but thankfully I didn’t.

Acting Work:

I thought that my acting career was always going to be glamourous like everybody dreams about. I wanted the leads, and the supporting roles all of the time. So my first “official” big thing I booked (besides plays) was a feature film. They booked me off my youtube videos because they liked me. My audition sucked, but thankfully they did a background check on me and found that I just got a little nervous on the audition and I’m an awesome guy. They cast me as the supporting role of Skippy. The only thing I knew about the character was that he was a male stripper and he had a lisp. So I started working out since I was going to be shirtless and practicing my daffy duck skills. They later told me that I need to get ready to wear short type of underwear, like a speedo, so I said cool. The day we finally started shooting, they gave me thongs to wear and I was like “WTF” , but then after an hour or so I decided to do it even though that wasn’t the way I wanted to start in the business, but hey everybody starts from something right? .

Q:  Who is your biggest acting hero and why?

 A: So many and I only get to pick one. I would say that my biggest acting hero and the only person I been starstruck when I met him was Robert Downey JR. He has great acting techniques and he comes from a theater background just like me. He’s exceptional in movies like Chaplin, IronMan and Sherlock Holmes and he always tries to reinvent himself in some type of way. He’s also a really nice guy and down to earth. He hangs out a lot in Hollywood and he’s truly a great actor. I hope I could have the opportunity to work with him someday.

Q: What director would you most like to work with.

There are so many directors to choose from. But, I’m a guy that loves the classics so I would have to say Steven Spielberg . He’s a genius, with movies like Jaws, E.T, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and more. He’s truly an amazing director and his creations are just marvelous. I go to the Universal Studios here in Hollywood and every time I see the set for War of the Worlds I just think is crazy what type of mind this guy has. I would love to work with him it would be a dream come true. I would also love to work with James Cameron, Christopher Nolan and others.

Q:  What makes you fameworthy?

A: I’m just unique in every way I am. I’m different and I’m trying to do it all. I may come at first glance as just a funny guy that has a very unique look, but extremely gifted at comedy. I’m also quite gifted in drama too, I just don’t do them too much because comedy is my passion, but a well-respected actor can swing through both like Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Shia Labeouf, Robert Downey J.R, and Bradley Cooper just to name a few. I’m willing, determined and young. Came here with a bag of dreams and just making them come true one step at a time.

 

 

 

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 Judy Cerda

Judy Cerda is a California based actress who appears in the film Tibet in Flames. Here is a link to her website:

http://www.imdb.me/judytheactress

Q. What made you interested in becoming an actress?

A. Watching TV as a little girl and gaining an interest in acting so I could pretend to be somebody else with a different family and a more exciting life. I used to watch commercials and tv shows and think to myself “I could do that!” and I would imitate the actors and create my own commercials to perform for my parents and neighbors. Then I started taking tap, ballet and jazz dance lessons which got me into performing. I knew then that I really wanted to be an actress more than anything else.

Q. What is Tibet in Flames about?

A. It’s a very dramatic and political movie about the situation in Tibet where Tibetans are committing suicide via burning themselves (hence the name) in rebellion to those opposing their religion. The movie shows how strongly the Tibetans feel about their religion and their right to practice it. It is currently making the rounds in different film festivals.

Q. What role do you play in the film?

A. I play the role of Matty, a doctor and the best friend of a Tibetan man on the verge of suicide. The role was a really emotional role and showed how sad it is to lose a best friend. I also had some beautiful scenes outside in a gorgeous garden in front of a lovely house so it was an enjoyable experience. The director and crew were wonderful to work with.

Q. What has been your greatest professional triumph?

A.  I think there have been several. One that comes to mind is being able to cry on cue in movies. My most emotional role was “Lola” in the movie “To You For You”. Lola is a woman on death row who is pleading with her lawyer/brother to save her from execution. This role required hours of filming and crying over and over again for the retakes and I think I did really well with that. I had to really ready myself for the role and the emotions it entailed during the rehearsal before we began filming. I also felt that a personal goal had been achieved when I had a lead role on the national tv show “I Almost Got Away With It” as Debra Mason, which was another emotional role that required crying, yelling and showing lots of emotion. This show has aired several times on the Discovery ID channel, the Discovery channel and On Demand TV.

Q. What has been your greatest disappointment?

A.  Projects that get cancelled. I have been cast in a few feature films and web series that got put on hold or cancelled due to lack of funds. This is a real disappointment when an actor goes to the trouble of auditioning and competing hard for the role, getting cast and then being informed later on that they are still working on obtaining funds, crew, etc. and that the project may not happen after all. That is such a waste of time and very discouraging.

Q. What method of acting do you employ in your work?

A. No particular method. I believe acting is about putting yourself in a character’s place, feeling empathy for this character and developing a style for that particular type of person. You have to really feel it and believe you are that person for it to work. I get irritated when I see so many bad actors out there who study under bad so-called acting teachers. I can usually spot them right away. They don’t show any emotions, they whisper and can hardly be heard, and are so afraid of overacting or projecting that they don’t act at all. It’s always easier for a director to tell an actor to tone it down than it is for them to try to get the actor to show emotions or act as a real person would. It’s better for actors to overact than underact in other words because doing something with a character is better than doing nothing, and being heard on camera is so important. Whispering can get an actor’s scene cut because they can’t be understood and therefore are a waste of time on the screen. When I play a character, I attempt to understand their feelings and their words, what they are going through in the scene, and then let it all out as I imagine the character would.

Q. What is your wildest backstage story?

A. When I was in the movie “The Final Duel” playing Coach Charlie, a fencing coach, there was another actress in the film who got really sick. We had been filming all day for a few days which included fencing lessons as the actors playing fencers in the movie and me as the fencing coach, needed to be able to play the sport for real somewhat. So we were pretty busy with our fencing in between our takes. Well this one girl seemed to have some kind of seizure which resulted in someone on the crew calling an ambulance. As it turned out, they were able to help her on the spot and did not take her to the hospital but she did need to lie down and rest the rest of the day. This changed the whole schedule that day as she was in several scenes, two of them with me. I suggested that we just do my close ups in the scene while she was down and let her do her other scenes the next day if she was better, but the crew seemed to be agitated and had a big meeting among themselves, and decided they all wanted to wrap for the day. They wanted me to come back a third day to complete my scenes with this girl, but I was unable to due to my filming in the movie “Albatross” as a TV reporter the next day. It turned out they ended up cutting those scenes between the girl and me since I couldn’t make it the next day. It was too bad because it shortened my role in the movie but this whole incident was unexpected and I did have my other filming commitment the next day.

Q. What do you like most about film acting?

A. Being able to portray so many different characters. It’s really exciting to play so many different roles the way I have. I have played prostitutes, TV reporters, school teachers, real estate agents, flirty girlfriends, cheating wives, nice wives, best friends, villainess women, queens, witches, victims and so many more types and it’s nice to challenge myself to be different people for each role. Watching yourself on the screen in a movie theatre or seeing yourself on tv is pretty thrilling too. It makes it all worth it.

Q. What do you like least about it?

A. Seeing others who are not as talented get roles because they know directors personally and have the time to follow them around in the business.

It’s hard if you know you have the right talent and look for a role but hear that a relative or long time friend got the role. I know one director who puts his neighbor/good friend in the lead in every movie he does without realizing that she really can’t act and incapable of showing emotion on screen, crying on screen or even showing the fear that some of the roles have required of her. When things like that happen, it’s easy to dislike this business and wish I had become a psychologist instead. There is some unfairness in this business whether we like to admit it or not.

Q. What film role could you have nailed?

A.  I could have played the role that Sandra Bullock played in The Blind Side movie. Not only did she have blonde hair like me in it, but she dressed just like me. I tend to wear a lot of short dresses/skirts and high heels. I dress up a lot for any occasion and she reminded me of myself the movie. Plus, she was very determined and organized in the way she played the role which is definitely my style. She was firm yet feminine and I know I could have played the role just as well.