Tag: interviews with actors

An Interview With Actor Dhruv Bali

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Dhruv Bali is an actor who appeared in the one man show, Pain is Temporary, Quitting Lasts Forever; here is a link to his website:
http://www.dhruvbaliactor.com/

Q: What made you decide to pursue acting?

A: While working on my Major in economics at The University Of San Francisco, I started taking theater classes. Since I loved doing Drama/acting in school I instantaneously fell in love with acting all over again, something that has been always close to my heart. After graduation I knew that I wanted to pursue it as a career since I have always believed that if one chooses what they love doing or are passionate about success is bound to come and you are happy doing it.

Q: What is “Pain is Temporary, Quitting Lasts Forever” about?

A: Pain Is temporary is a play/Solo performance which I wrote, directed and acted in. It is about the idea of ‘never giving up” as often times we give right before we are about to chieve our goal. There will be hardships along the way, life is tough and often when we are trying to achieve something we will be faced with obstacles but those are ust temporary if you have the tenacity to keep going and working hard towards what you want.

The play itself is about the hardships I had to face in my life in my prime years 19-22. I had gotten sick and had to take a break from college, spent a whole year going in and out of hospitals, suffered complete muscle atrophy to the point where I could not een climb stairs on my own. For a 20 year old who should be in college growing up I was suddenly scooped out of that life.
But I did not give up I kept fighting, got better and stronger came back to college, got my degree with a 3.97 GPA and was offered to be the valedictorian. I also achieved a physique for which people commend me to this day and aspire to look like.

We often times doubt ourselves and our potential, Pain is temporary is about the ideology that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and not give up until you achieve it.
The play was a very cathartic experience as I played 7 different characters in it all people who were somehow involved in my life during my tough time
Q: What inspired you to write it?

A: I have always been passionate about motivational speaking and the affect it had on people. I knew my story in itself was very inspirational and would help a lot of people who are going through tough times and don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. So when the opportunity came create a production of my own and open it to the audience at The University of San Francisco I knew this was the time.

Q: How did you go about getting it produced?

A: The head of the department at my college at USF were very supportive since they saw me get to where I was physically and mentally since I started at USF. They knew that it would be a very inspirational story for the students at the college as well since often times college is a place where people wanna quit or face a lot of obstacles.

Q: What do you hope to express as an artist?

A: I hope to tell true stories, inspirational stories and stories which inspire people to bring about a change. We often get so caught up with the fame and media attention that we forget that the real stories aren’t being told. The inequality between the rich and poor, environmental degradation, the affect of media and brainwashing our minds are all topic that surround but not everybody wants to talk about it.

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

A: Since my time at Penn State where I was a finance major I have been very passionate about economics and stock market trading, so I decided to do two things I love doing : Acting and finance. I call them both gambling since both my proffesion do not have certainity but a certain adrenaline rush which only the ones involved in understand. It has actually helped my acting since I can make my own hours now.

Q: What is your oddest Hollywood story?
A: Shortly after moving to Hollywood, I was walking to a CVS after midnight which was very close to my apartment. On my way, two gangs very having a fight. I continued walking by them when all of a sudden two of the gamg members came up to me started trash talking and hitting me out of no where. Since I am an actor all I was thing was please “don’t hit my face “. I ran to a a bar nearby and the bouncer came out and stopped them. He later told me that they were even carrying guns so I should be happy that I am alive. That was the oddest Hollywood experience I have ever had.

Q: What famous character from literature were you born to play?

A: A couple of characters come to mind. My top picks would be, Romeo, Robin Hood, Alexander the great, Tarzan and Don Juan. I will pick Robin hood though since he was the poor mans prince as I have always been very passionate about helping people, paying it forward.
Also Alexander the Great was such a great warrior and conqueror and his stories are just awe inspiring, he embodies my ideology of never giving up and believing in yourself and not stopping till you achieve your goal.

Q: What is the most useful advice you have ever received about show business?

A: Well one of the most useful advice has to be that its not about what you can do or how talented you are but who you know in the indusstr. Its all about networking, who you know and what they can do for you if you wanna get ahead in showbiz.

Q: What makes you fameworthy?

A: Like the famous line from Spiderman “With great Power comes great responibilty” same goes with fame I feel.
I feel with fame comes a certain responsibility, the power to affect people and bring about change. Too many people are famous for the wrong reason. I do not question someone elses hustle but I feel I will do things different if I am famous.

Personaly I know I am talented, hardworking , driven and very passionate about telling stories. I grew up in India so I have feel I understand the eastern mindset as well as the western philosophy. It has made me the person I am. I have a personable personality whit the charisma and charm that is needed to be a star. I feel those two are a lethal combination in todays world of social media as people want to know more about you. I feel I have what it takes to connect with my audience and tell true meaningful stories.

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 Actress Carlotta Montanari

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Carlotta Montanari is an actress who appears in the film Being American; here is a link to her IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3652766/

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: It started as a game for me. It was my favorite game as a child, I would record me and my best friend with a VHS camera while doing recitals, poetry, and creating acting contests to show our families. However in the city where I’m from, Riccione, there are not that many theaters or acting schools. But it just so happened that a local friend who was acting in Rome at that time, saw me while I was filming a commercial by the beach and told me that a great teacher from Rome was having a acting seminar in Tuscany and everything started there. It was an incredible connection and I took to it immediately.  My journey started there, with her, Beatrice Bracco who will always have my gratitude for giving me my first wings.

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A:  I see actors like athletes. Training is important to keep your your skill set sharp. I’ve trained with many teachers both in Italy and here in Los Angeles. They all gave me so much, not just in acting, but real life lessons that I will take with me forever. Stanislavsky, Meisner, Strasberg are my base and inspiration as actor and an “aware” human being.

Q: What is the main difference between the film industry in America and the film industry in Italy?

A:  I think in Italy we have so much history in the art of making movies and I am deeply in love and have huge admiration for the art and craft of the old Italian movies and the filmmakers. I think today the difference is on two levels, production process and the quality of the performances. My work ethic is closer to the American way and I see Italy as America’s closest competition in making quality TV shows. Besides TV was my first home as TV host and writer.

Q: What is Being American about?

A:  Being American is about an American family that has to do an emergency airplane landing and by mistake lands in Iraq, the enemy territory during the war. The find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and they are facing the cruelty and the sad reality of the real human conflict.  It’s a story written and directed by Fatmir Doga that speaks about humanity.

Q: What role do you play?

 

A:  I play the role of Karen, Tom’s girlfriend who was played by Lorenzo Lamas.

Q: What makes Karen an interesting character?

A:  Karen was a simple character with not much pretense and she is very understanding. I guess her simplicity and honest love for Tom is the best way to describe her.
Q: What was the most challenging audition you ever went on?

A: The most challenging audition? Believe it or not the more challenging ones are the ones where the character is extremely similar to myself.  I am not sure why.  Maybe because I can be very shy at times and those are the moments where I feel more vulnerable. And when I have a complex character to work on I find myself better able to relate and get into the head of that character.

Q:  What kinds of day jobs have you had and how have they influenced your acting?

A: I have been working since I was in high school. I’m from a tourist area by the sea so that’s what most students do during the summer break: they go to work! So I did different odd jobs growing up such as bartender, waiter, lifeguard, swim and fitness instructor and horseback riding teacher for kids. On the side I was modeling, graduated and worked as graphic designer too.

I loved every job and each gave me something and a real sense of being practical and the reality of life. How did this influence acting? I believe acting is richer when you have experienced many different things including adversity as it brings a great complexity to the performance.

Q: What do you miss most about Italy?

 

A: I miss my Family, my friends, and I would say I also miss also the change of seasons. I love the California sunshine but I love winters too..they make me feel cozy and inspire me. I miss the Italian gelato, food also, I cook a lot and I cook principally Italian..but still I do miss it!!

 

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

 

A: The films that inspire me are written very well and are masterpieces! And when a film is so great, any artist will wish they could have played a role in that film!-

So, yes, in my heart I was an Erin Brockovich, and Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, and Alice Harford in Eyes Wide Shut. Strong roles, complex personalities and the characters are very driven. Plus I am a dreamer and that’s what movies are about!

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 Christina Pflueger

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Christina Pflueger is an actress who appeared in the play The Lost Illegal; here is a link to her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/capflueger?ref=tn_tnmn

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: I’ve been immersed in the performing arts since I was a child, but acting wasn’t what I initially pursued.  I tried ballet, tap dancing, choir, even playing the violin, all of which had positive impacts on me in one form or another.  They gave me a taste of that spotlight that all true performers crave, but it left me craving for something much more fulfilling.  In high school I was part of a group called FAYA (Fine Arts Youth Academy), and every summer students got together to put on massive musical productions.  We did everything from stage managing, costumes, lighting, stage props and back drops, as well as promote and advertise for the productions.  My very first musical with them was Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat.  I wasn’t casted in any lead roles, didn’t even have a single line to separate me from the rest of the background choir.  But that experience was like nothing I had ever encountered before and it satisfied that craving in me for something more.  That’s the golden moment when I realized I wanted to pursue acting.

Q: What is the difference between acting on stage and acting on film?

 

A: Both stage and film performance can be very rewarding.  I can’t think of a single person I know that wouldn’t mind seeing theirs or a loved ones face on a television or the big screen.  I have had experience behind the camera as an extra and in a few commercials.  They were fun, but to me the monotonous “Okay that was a great take, now back to one” made me lose my interest pretty quickly.  The biggest, most obvious difference between the two is the instant response and gratification from performing live on stage.  Hearing the audience laugh, cry, sigh, boo, scream, and clap in reaction to you pulling off a line or a character is the most rewarding part of acting on stage.  That is what I live for.

Q:  What kind of training have you had?

A: Honestly my training is pretty limited.  I’ve had no fancy vocal or acting training, but I was given the opportunity to work with professionals through FAYA.  That’s about all that I can claim.

Q:  What is The Lost Illegal about?

A:   The Lost Illegal was a play that I was in written by a local playwright.  It was a semi comedic play concerning political issues based around current immigration laws.  Basically an illegal alien crosses the border in order to see her son get married.  A family who is very much opposed to the immigration issues stumbles upon her and tries to help keep her from getting caught at their own risk.

Q: What role did you play?

A:   My characters name was Tanya Ellis and I played the grand daughter of a lesbian couple.  In their youth they were very much involved in politics and rioting and these strong convictions were passed down to Tanya.  It starts out with her grandmothers bailing her out of jail after being arrested at a protest, along with a handful of other people.  This included the lost illegal.  Tanya takes her under her wing and makes it her mission to help her avoid the authorities.  She was a very strong willed, thick skinned character and one of the most difficult for me to try and connect with.  It was the first time I had to try portraying someone who was so passionate about actual current events, as opposed to the happy go lucky musicals I was used too.

Q: How do you deal with stage fright?

A:   Stage fright is a constant daily battle.  I like to put on a brave face and act like it’s not a big deal, especially around those who have it worse than me.  Just because I feel like my confidence will help build their own.  But in all honesty I believe it keeps a person humble.  It’s when an artist gets too comfortable that they lose all conviction.  They lose that connection with the audience of being human, like the performance and those watching are beneath them.  I try embracing my stage fright and working around it, as opposed to trying to conquer it.

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

 

A: I work at an old western theme park called Old Tucson Studios.  It was where the famous westerns came to life, among many other blockbusters and classic movies.  There is still filming that goes on today, but it has opened it’s doors to the general public to give the world a taste of what life was like in the old west.  I work in the Grand Palace Saloon.  I jump between playing a saloon girl and Lady Vivian, who is the madam that owns the saloon.  Basically, I sing, dance, improv, and act for a living on a live stage.  I have worked there for two seasons, and I love it there.  So it doesn’t really affect my pursuit of acting.  The down side is that I have reached my peak at Old Tucson.  It’s very difficult in Tucson to find a job in the performing arts that actually pays the bills.  So basically the only down side is I have nothing bigger to work towards unless I move.

Q:  What is your weirdest backstage story?

A:   I’m not sure if it can be classified as weird but it’s definitely funny.  I worked on a production of the musical My Fair Lady.  We did two evening performances, and the night that I wasn’t playing the lead I was stage managing.  Now there’s a part where the main characters Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are fighting and she throws his slippers at him.  When the slippers fly back stage it was my job to gather them and set them just off stage, so when Henry came back for them he could just pick them up.  I got distracted and forgot to go after them.  Just as he was headed for his shoes I snapped back to reality, scooped up the shoes and pushed them onto the stage.  What should have been a very serious moment turned comedic as the shoes flew past Henry on the stage.  The audience cracked up while I stood backstage just horrified.

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

A:   If I could play any role it would be Elphaba from Wicked.  Her character is so dynamic and deep and controversial.  She’s just a girl who wants to be accepted by society and tries to do what’s right even though it constantly backfires in her face.  Which I think most anyone has issues with in some capacity.  But more than anything she’s just a compelling, kick ass character and I would love the chance to be able to represent her.

Q: What do you think would be the best way to get people to see more live theater?

A:   I feel the stigma around theater, especially musical theater needs to be addressed.  Honestly this question makes me think about the t.v. show Glee.  About how the Glee club was on the bottom of the food chain and how much the students went through to prove themselves.  Although musical theater has come a long way since I was in high school, it still seems to hold a negative undertone with younger generations.  I believe that theater and the fine arts need to be implemented more seriously in our schools curriculum.  Younger generations need to develop a deeper connection and appreciation for the stage and the courageously talented people who work on it.  They are our future and who will be building the interest in theater in the future, who will be keeping the arts alive.  So that is my answer.  There are plenty of plays and musicals that are amazing with captivating story lines that keep audiences constantly coming back for more, so that’s not the problem.  What needs to be done is to get rid of the stigma and remind todays youth what theater really is, really stinking cool.

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 Jr Rodriguez

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Jr Rodriguez is an aspiring actor who appears in the film Lloyd the Ugly Kid; here is a link to his Twitter account:

Https://twitter.com/jrdagodson68

 

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A:  I have been interested in acting since I was a kid Ive always been drawn to performing when I was little I  was always good at reciting lines from movies an doing the different voices

Q: Who are some of your acting influences?
A:  my acting influences definitely Leonardo DiCaprio they way he takes on a character he really studies them an takes them on an also Matt Damon two of my favorite movies good will hunting an Rounders

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A:  I have done acting classes at John Robert Powers John Casablanca’s ipop growing up I went to the academy of arts San Francisco for on screen acting also improv an theater acting

Q: To what method of acting do you ascribe?
A:   i can play any role really I feel I dont wanna ever be type cast lol I feel I can do comedy, drama an action I would love to be a action hero I don’t take on different roles an challenges in my career

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how do you use it in your acting?
A:  I am a personal fitness trainer I feel that meeting different people an personalities helps  a great deal in acting helps with not being shy an being able to talk to people opens up your personality.

Q: What is Lloyd the Ugly Kid about?
A:  Lloyd the Ugly Kid is about a middle school kid having trouble fitting in because he doesn’t know who he is so he tries to be all kinds of different personalities to fit in but it doesn’t work its a fun kids movies

Q: What is your weirdest auditioning story?
A:  my weirdest audition I would say was for a movie I didn’t get I was running late the casting director was running late when I got in the room they were all screwed up they were suppose to be have lines for me they couldn’t find the script so they kinda just improved something an it was the worst they were so  un organized

Q: We are going to see you in some upcoming commercials; what products will they advertise?
A:  Yes sometime this summer i have a commercial being released Wizards of Waverly place I’m also gonna start filming my first lead role feature film called 100 blocks about a massacre that happened in Oakland California in 1999 were two cops died can’t wait for that

Q: What do you like about Los Angeles?
A:  LA is great I love the atmisfear I love the beaches I love to go walk around the beach

Q: What would you change about it?
A:  I wouldn’t change nothing about la its great the way it is its own little world different than anywhere else its great I love it maybe just hate the traffic lol I would change that less cars if I could lol
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 Nathan Austin

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Nathan Austin is an actor who appears in the film The Middle Ground; here is a link to his IMDB Page:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4543922/

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

A: Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in acting or being someone or something else in an existing world outside of my own reality.

I was born in the 1980’s; some of my earliest memories are from being in my parent’s living room acting like the characters I would watch in cartoons.  He-Man, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Thundercats were all characters that I would play like I was for hours.  I have a sister who is two years younger than me. When she was born even My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, and Barbie became part of my imaginative world.  All of the cartoons that I watched during my childhood always seemed more exciting and enticing than the actual world I lived in.  When I started kindergarten, I remember that I could not wait for recess just so my friends and I could go outside and enter into the imaginative worlds that we loved.

Throughout my life I have never lost the initial love for portraying a character.  As I became older and was allowed to watch television shows and movies outside of cartoons, I became more and more intrigued with characters and storytelling and bringing ideas to life on screen for others to watch.

All of that being said; what interests me more than anything about acting is bringing a character to life that others want to watch.  I love giving others the gift of seeing a character that would otherwise be kept secret inside their own imagination.

Q:  What kind of training have you had?

A: Life.

My training did not follow the traditional “actor” training.

I grew up in a very strict religious home where there were a lot of expectations put upon a person at a very young age.  Not only did I come from a strict religious background, but I also grew up in a financially struggling family.  I was homeschooled, my mother made my clothes or I wore hand me downs, eating out was a rarity, and toys were bought only for birthdays and Christmas.  As I became older and wanted to know more about the world I lived in and what mysteries there were, I was reminded time and again not only by parents but by church leaders that a wandering mind is wrong.  Questions were wrong and learning different methods of expressing ones self was wrong.  In everything that I was told was wrong I felt that there had to be a reason, a reason why everyone around me warned against trying new and radical things.  There was a point in my life where I wanted to “experience” what I was told was wrong but also appease my parents and religious leaders.  I began living different lives.  I was a saint when I had to be and a sinner when I could be.  I was the most respectable and honest person when I needed to be and the most dishonest disrespectful person when I could be.  I was playing to whoever was the audience.  I feel that a lot of people do this at some point in their life, but for me I felt like it could be used for far more than just making the people around me happy.  I realized that I could change my personality and demeanor to convince people of anything.  This realization did not make me want to use that ability for anything other than performing.

I did not attend college after high school.  Instead, I formed my first punk band called 2Weaktonotice.  I had the privilege of recording two cd’s and playing numerous shows from the age of 20 to 25.  The band was the first setting that I was able to put my acting skills to practical use.  I was punk on and off stage until the band ended.  I dove into my role of portraying a punk rocker to the point of getting numerous piercings and a few tattoos.  To me if I was going to sell an image, then I was going to be that image.  Afterwards, it was time to find a new character.

Before college I studied the techniques taught by Konstantin Stanislavski, Lee Stasberg, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Michael Chekhov, and Tadashi Suzuki.  This was through my own intrigue and research.

I did attend Murray State University in Kentucky at the age of 29 where I received a degree in theater; this is not where I consider that I received my training.

Acting is not the only artistic endeavor that I have pursued. As I said before I was in a band for several years, and I continue to play music now.  I also write and direct when the opportunity arises.  I have knowledge both on and off stage, in front and behind the camera.  Everything that I have done artistically has come from learning on my own in some fashion or another.  With music, I had friends that would show me a few things but for the most part, as with film and acting, when I had an interest in something, I sought out the knowledge of how to do it on my own.  I attribute that to being homeschooled.  I don’t remember exactly when but during my years homeschooling there came a point where my mother would give me my assignments, and I would basically teach myself.  In my mind it was simple, read the directions then do what they said.  It is basically the same way with anything.  What I have not been able to read instructions for in life, I have watched others do.  Paying attention to detail is one of the biggest things with art; the small things make up the big picture.

 

Q: What is The Middle Ground about?

A: The Middle Ground is a film about two brothers during the civil war era, Charles (the older brother) and Nathaniel (the younger brother), that grew up in Kentucky.  They had the same father but different mothers.  At about the age of 12 their mothers moving separated the brothers. Charles’s mother moved him South and Nathaniel’s mother moved him North.  They both joined the war, their designated sides.  They found each other on the battlefield.  Charles was injured when Nathaniel found him.  Instead of killing his own brother, Nathaniel chose to rescue him.  They became war deserters and returned to Kentucky where they had grown up.  Charles had a cousin named Lassalle that had stayed in Kentucky because she had inherited her family’s land.  Charles and Nathaniel hid out on Lassalle’s land where trouble found them.  I would say more about the film, but I much rather people watch it for themselves.

What I will say about The Middle Ground is that it was filmed entirely in the beautiful countryside of Kentucky.  All of the actors are from Kentucky, and the music is even by Kentucky musicians. It is a film that was made by the hard work and participation of none other than people who love art and believe in a beautiful idea that should be brought to life.

The Middle Ground is the end result of a group of people who put all of their time, money, and passion into completing a vision.

The Middle Ground is a work by unknown artists who were able to create a piece of art that can now be remembered for years to come.  It is about the history of a state that many know nothing about.  It is a piece of my life that will always be there for others to view.

Q:  What role do you play?

A: I played many roles in The Middle Ground.

As an actor I was Nathaniel, the younger of the two brothers, and I also played Michael, Nathaniel’s son who shows up at the end of the film.

Since this was my first independent film I also worked as a producer, crew, promoter, caterer, casting director, assistant director, gaffer, sound engineer, set designer, and any other job that you can think of that is associated with a film.

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

A: Since I grew up in Kentucky, and I was from a poor family most of my preparation had been done throughout my childhood and teenage years.  My character was the type that did not read too much into a situation but just went with things.  He made the best of his circumstances.  The director Dallas Lee Blanton did a very good job of using my own personal journey through life as the cornerstone of my character’s life.

I did add more of a southern accent to my speech for the role of Nathaniel, and I quit wearing shoes of any type during the whole filming of The Middle Ground.  There were days that we would be working for 16 hours and when I finally had a chance to sit down I would look at my feet and see nothing but crimson and black form the dirt and blood.

In the film, there is a journal that a doctor is keeping of old Charles’s stories while Charles is on his death bed.  I spent quite a bit of time writing actual stories from the perspective of both characters.  There is also a whole segment about the necklaces that Nathaniel and Charles have.  I came up with the idea one day while laying on the beach in Long Beach, California.  As soon as I thought of the brothers having necklaces in the film, I made one for myself and one for Dallas. I put mine on and did not take it off until The Middle Ground was finished being filmed.  I still have both of the necklaces.

Q:  What are the elements of a good war film?

A: This depends on what a filmmaker wants their audience to feel.  If it is sympathy, then the director has to create a reason why the viewer would be sympathetic to the winning or losing side.  If the director wants someone to feel excited about a war film there needs to be lots of action shots, explosions, blood, and constant high intense scenes.  If the director wants to persuade an audience to believe that a cause is worth fighting for, then the director has to give the audience a reason to back the cause.  Basically, a good war film is like anything else. It is in the presentation and who your target audience is. Not everyone is going to consider the same things as good.  That is the beauty of independent filmmaking; films can be made for a smaller target audience.  It’s like making films for your friends instead of having to please the entire world.

My own personal opinion of a good war film is one that makes me relate to the characters and makes me feel like I am there.

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

A: I am basically a freelance actor/entertainer/writer/musician/stand-up comedian.  I am fortunate enough to get principal roles in independent films and the occasional background work on bigger budget television shows and movies to not only pay my bills but also make my own films.  At this point in my career, I do not have an agent or manager, every gig that I get is from my own perseverance and hard work.

To be successful in the entertainment industry is no different than being successful in any other industry.  You have to work 24/7 or someone else will.

Q:  What is your oddest Los Angeles Story?

A: When my girlfriend, Angela Yonts, and I moved to California, we had no idea where we were going.  We both knew that we wanted to be close to Hollywood but that was about the extent of what we knew about California.  On July 1st 2013 we rented a Penske truck, loaded it up, and headed west.  That may not seem like a big thing but there is more.  First off when we went to the Penske rental place in Hanson, Kentucky, they did not have the size truck that we had reserved.  Instead, they only had the biggest truck that they rented out.  We also had to have a trailer hooked to the back of it to move Angela’s car.  It was not just Angela and myself that moved to California.  Angela’s mother also moved with us.  This may not seem like a big deal but her mother suffers from early onset dementia.  So we not only moved 2,000 miles from where we grew up, but we also had to move everything we owned and a mentally and physically disabled person.  The trip took us 4 days.  Every night we stayed in a hotel that did not have a parking space big enough for the truck and trailer.  Entering and exiting the truck was also a bit of a conundrum for Angela’s mother due to her disabilities.  Even though we were able to make it all the way across the country without any major mishaps we had yet to get to LA.  Our first night in downtown LA was less than amusing.  We arrived on July 4th.  The hotel that we had reservations with had told us that there would be room for the truck and trailer.  That was less that the case to say the least.  We were told by the hotel clerk to park in a parking lot across from the hotel.  Against our better judgment, we did as we were advised.  The next day when we went to the parking lot, there was a towing company there trying to tow the moving truck.  The lot attendant was furious that such a large truck and trailer was parked in the lot. We eventually got everything straightened out with the lot attendant.  We arranged for the truck to be left at a Penske rental lot for three days while we looked for a place to rent.  Luckily, I had a cousin that had grown up in California, and he suggested we look for a place in Long Beach.  That was the most helpful advice that anyone had given us since our arrival.  We were able to find a place and get moved in before we had to start paying extra for the truck rental.  The craziest part of the story is that while we spent our time in downtown LA we noticed a lot of people everywhere.  The later it got in the day, the more people, it seemed, occupied the streets.  I thought that this was due to the holiday season.  Not the case.  Once we got settled into our place in Long Beach, Angela and I were watching a documentary one night that showed the section of downtown LA that is considered Skid Row.  We had booked a hotel that was one block outside of the Skid Row radius.  Welcome to LA.

  

Q:  Who are some of your acting influences?

A: I have a big list of acting influences and I have different reasons for each of them.

Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lucille Ball, Bruce Lee, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Christian Bale, Bill Murray, Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, Carroll O’Connor, Kristen Wiig, Sarah Silverman, Pauley Shore, River Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvester Stallone, and Jackie Chan to name a few.

Brad Pitt: he is basically the first “hot” guy that I ever came to know through movies.  He was always what women wanted but for me he also was not afraid to put time into his character.  He has played roles that have made him dedicate time.  He is not afraid to transform himself for his role, both mentally and physically.  I love his performances in Fight Club, A River Runs Through It, Meet Joe Black, Troy, Kalifornia, and one role that I will never forget him in is The Dark Side of the Sun.

Edward Norton:  He is another actor that goes the distance to bring a character to life.  His work in Fight Club, American History X, and Primal Fear are unforgettable.

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Leonardo DiCaprio:  I just love how they dedicated their time to a role and how they will spend time becoming the character.

Sarah Silverman, Kristen Wiig, Pauley Shore, Carroll O’Connor, and Lucille Ball: they knew what comedy was and they were not afraid to take the jokes to a new level.  Or a level that others were not comfortable with.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Arnold is honestly one of the biggest influences on my whole life.  Not just because of film but also because of bodybuilding.  He applied the discipline of bodybuilding to his acting career.  Arnold has been some of the most remembered action characters ever.

Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Jackie Chan: I can talk about them all at once because they basically taught me the same thing.  Use your props to the fullest.  There are things and objects that we co-exist with.  Objects are useful.  They can make a scene so much more enjoyable.

Bill Murray and Robin Williams:  They have/had a diversity that shines.  Funny or serious, they did it all.

Bruce Lee:  To me, Bruce Lee was not just an influence on me as an actor.  Bruce Lee had an affect on my entire life and who I am today.  Bruce Lee was such a great man; he had a passion, and he showed everyone that when a person dedicates his or her life to something it can be accomplished.  Bruce Lee was as much a motivator as anything.  He had a very positive outlook and a drive to accomplish.  He accomplished whatever he set his mind to.  I saved talking about him until last because according to old sayings that is where he should be.  I can never express the appreciation that I have for Bruce Lee and the knowledge that he has bestowed on my life and me.

Q:  What is the best advice anyone has ever given you about acting?

A: I have never had any good advice given to me about acting.

I have only found this path because of the people that I have watched and read about.  Acting is not a practical application as a life long endeavor where I am from.

The best advice is what I have given myself.  If I can think it then I can do it, no matter what happens be true to myself, and I will be able to accomplish anything.  Nothing and no one can control my destiny.  Only I can.

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