IFH 106: Directing Actors & How to Become an Actor’s Director with Per Holmes

Directing actors can be one of the most difficult parts of wearing the director’s hat. Actors speak a language that a director must understand if they are to pull and nurture an amazing performance. Unfortunately, film schools do not teach this must need a “foreign language” course.

I’ve worked with every kind of actor there is. From Oscar® Nominated to fresh out of acting class. Pulling a good performance can be tough and I would get very frustrated sometimes because I couldn’t speak their language.

Then I met Per Holmes. Per created a gaming change course years ago called “Hollywood Camera Work: Mastering High-End Blocking and Staging.” I loved this course and it’s a must for any filmmaker.

When I heard he was creating a “Directing Actors” course I was in. I was able to take the course right before I shot my first feature film “This is Meg” and it helped me immensely. I was able to speak the actor’s language and nurture the performance I needed for the story.

Directing Actors, Hollywood Camera Work: Mastering High-End Blocking and Staging, Per Holmes, Visual Effects for Directors, Hot Moves: The Science of Awesome, directing, film director, film directing, actors, acting

I asked Per Holmes to be a guest on the show because I’ve never taken a course where the instructor was so detailed, thought out and passionate about the subject. Directing Actors is INSANE.  Here’s a bit on the course.

Years in the making, Directing Actors is the most comprehensive acting and directing training in the world. Created by Per Holmes, the course teaches a better way to be a Director, by having extremely strong technique, and the right philosophy and personality on the set.

Through almost a thousand examples, we cover literally every acting and directing technique, every interaction between Actor and Director, and we cast, rehearse and shoot 9 scenes.

Directing Actors is the result of Per Holmes’ personal obsession with resolving once and for all the best way to work with Actors. Every known technique has been tested, and the results are surprising, sometimes shocking. Directing Actors has involved almost 150 people through 7 years of development and 3 years of shooting and editing, including almost a hundred talented Actors who have gracefully allowed us to show the process without any filters.

Get ready for some MAJOR KNOWLEDGE BOMBS. BTW, Per has given the Indie Film Hustle Tribe a gift, 30% OFF ANY of his course. Trust me Per does not do this EVER. Just use the COUPON CODE: HUSTLE. The links to the courses are below. Enjoy!

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 9:51
May I introduced to everybody Mr. Per Holmes, who is the creator of Hollywood camera, camerawork.com and he is an amazing amazing human being doing God's work. But film but films God works. So Per, thanks for being on the show, sir.

Per Holmes 10:08
Thank you.

Alex Ferrari 10:09
I appreciate so. So I wanted to get started with a little I'm gonna go back deep in your past a little bit you've got started I know it's scary I know when they do it to me I get scared too. When you start you started out in the music business if I'm if I'm correct, I'm

Per Holmes 10:23
Not completely actually I did want to be a filmmaker when I was younger, like in the 70s and 80s. And I want to short film competition and stuff like that. But then music was the equipment I could afford. Feeling. And so I ended up getting into the music industry. And, you know, that was actually that was my Screw you, you know, I'm quitting college and northern High School and, and, and just working in the studio all night. And then I got a record out. And it was actually a hit in where I came from, which was Denmark. And so then I had a music career and learned, like a lot what, what it means or what happens when your medium, I would say medium successful in the music industry. I mean, it was a big hit there. But I think internationally, it was still kind of a blip, right. Um, and that finally became my angle into directing again, because I mean, we're creating all these great music video concepts. And then I was hiring these directors to screw them up, basically. And there was one thing that we did where I thought what we had was really good. And we brought in this director and then he just, you know, not answered great and did something completely different. And I'm like, this is it. I'm directing the next one, right. And so the next one was a like a huge music video like $250,000, green screen motion control, character animation, all that stuff. And that was really my bit. That was that was my Baptism by fire.

Alex Ferrari 11:58
Now this was back in the day when there was money for music videos.

Per Holmes 12:01
Yeah. 50,000 was in the middle there. I mean that Yeah, I say now, I know, tell me about it. But the other half of that is that you can make things that look good on a completely different budget. I mean, the only option then was to shoot at 35 millimeter. Exactly. I mean, just the pain you feel from hearing all that money running through the camera. I mean, you really want to cut as soon as possible.

Alex Ferrari 12:22
You know, I'll tell you what, I remember when I was shooting a commercial back in the day on 35. And I had to do a slow mo shot. And it was a super It was a super slow mo shot. And it was like about 90 frames or 120 frames I think was the fastest the the Aerie could go and all you would hear is that that sound of the film flying through and you're like, Oh my god, all you see is dollars flying. You hear it? It is like nerve racking. And you're like Cut, cut, cut, please just cut.

Per Holmes 12:54
Yeah, and then all you have to burn through like another 1015 meters to stop the camera.

Alex Ferrari 13:00
Exactly when you're going that fast. I know we just did it ourselves. Yeah. So So you got you did you did a bunch of music videos, and then you started becoming I read somewhere that you got kind of obsessed with cinematography?

Per Holmes 13:14
Um, no, I mean, well, so here's the thing. And that maybe reflects to all this stuff that I'm that I'm doing here is that I'm half of my reason for doing it is trying to figure out how to

Alex Ferrari 13:26
Do it. Okay. So you're learning as you're teaching?

Per Holmes 13:29
Yeah, so I did, I did some music videos and commercials. And then I basically realized that this is actually not really my native medium in the sense that music videos, I don't understand why you would edit here and not there in a music video because there isn't a narrative. There's no arc, there's nothing evolving. And then I realized, well, okay, I guess I'm a narrative director then. And then I shot a bunch of short films really, to really to practice and that kind of gave me all the problems that I needed to solve. And I felt that it was kind of pointless to just hammer on, for example, do you know catering and makeup and production if all I'm doing is trying to figure out the camera work, okay. And so then I started blocking in 3d, because then I could just really block a lot I could, I could, you know, block, shoot and edit five, six scenes a day, and that really amped it up, okay. And as I was doing that, I was assembling a reel for myself of everything that I felt I really completely understood so that I could just watch that again again and again and again and brainwash myself with it until it would stick. And I also just, I realized how hard it is to concentrate on acting and visual storytelling at the same time. And, and I think everybody has that experience is that if you want to concentrate on the actors at all, then you have to really let go of the blocking. And unless you then have a dp, you can really pick up that slack for you, you're basically going to end up doing two reverses and a master and a couple of tracking shots, and then you're going to sit in editing and bang your head on the table. Right? totally boring. Right? Yeah. So I realized that I have to become a lot better at this because I feel that, I mean, basically, the way that I divided in my head is that as director, there are two responsibilities you have on the set above all others, and one is working with the actors, because that part absolutely has to be live, all the other stuff, you can you can, you can prep and you can do all kinds of things. But in terms of working with the actors, that's what you're capturing, there is his moments and you can't stage that ahead of time, you have to have more than 50% of your head and that until kind of the actors can run on their own batteries. And I've I felt that it was impossible to do both at the same time. So I set a standard for myself is that I have to become so good at blocking that you can wake me up at three in the morning hand me a new script, new location, I don't know anything about the project. I just blocked the hell out of it in 10 minutes.

Alex Ferrari 16:10
So and So basically, you're you're learning your craft. It's crazy. It's crazy, isn't it?

Per Holmes 16:18
I mean, that's, I mean, I understand that a lot of people you know, like to shoot a lot of things, I felt that the things that I had done, showed me what the problem what the problems that I had were and I felt that it wasn't there wasn't much point in it for me to move on before I I became better at it because it's still I mean, you know, total respect to two people who shoot a lot of movies and build up their skill set that way but I feel that it's a big investment to make a movie besides the money that goes into it. By the time you're done. You've spent years on it and then years going to festivals and getting mark a distributor on everything and I feel that I would rather throw that energy about something where I feel that I'm bringing my a game Yeah, yeah and and so for me, it was simply I you know, there's I don't remember which painter it is. But there was some there was some painter who's who spent 10 years just learning all kinds of different crafts and, and didn't feel like he he needed to paint in terms of having an output. Because what's the point before you before you have a bigger dynamic range, and better skills, so that so that when you have an idea, you can actually make it?

Alex Ferrari 17:35
Yeah, it's the and it's the whole 10,000 hour meaning concept?

Per Holmes 17:41
Yeah, it could be. But that's just me. I mean, I don't want to I don't want to say anything bad about people who stack the bricks in another order and, and, and build up their skill set by by doing and doing and doing, I'm more of the stop and think kind of guy. And I felt like I needed to figure out blocking. And that's where the master course came from. Because I realized that I'm you know, I'm apparently it seems like I'm doing something here that nobody has made for, for whatever reason. And and it could be really useful for a lot of people. So then that that was kind of the last decision really is that this ought to be a course.

Alex Ferrari 18:19
So then so then you put together this master course on camera movement and shot composition, basically.

Per Holmes 18:25
Yeah, and and when I realized that this ought to be a course I also knew how big a project that would be. So actually, I worked all through the night and all through the next day, just to make sure that by the time I felt like quitting, I would already have done too much.

Alex Ferrari 18:40
You're like, well, I've gone down the road too much. Now

Per Holmes 18:42
I can't stop. Now. Now Now I have to finish it. So I

Alex Ferrari 18:45
read somewhere that it took us about 15 months and over over and over 4000 man hours to develop that that course something a lot of

Per Holmes 18:52
that. Yeah, I think it was year a year and a half of desperate full time work to get that to grow together that was just basically squeezing it in between whatever other work that I had. And then thankfully, I got a gig on a documentary that that suddenly, you know, paid well, we're here to all other things where you got paid too little here I got almost paid too much. And that went straight into Hollywood can't work. That was why that this was capable if existing because otherwise I I mean, who can afford to take a year off to do something like that. And so I was just working it in between all the other stuff.

Alex Ferrari 19:29
Now I just so the audience knows I took this course probably about 10 years ago, and it's how you've been doing this for about 12 years now. Right?

Per Holmes 19:38
Yeah, yes. How we can work has existed for about 12 years. I mean, obviously everything else goes back a lot further.

Alex Ferrari 19:45
Of course, of course, but I actually took the course original that's how I discovered purrs work and I took that course when I was starting out doing like really my you know, I started getting into my short film work and all that kind of stuff and it was invaluable. It was so well Well done, and there was just nothing like it in the marketplace and there still is nothing like it in the marketplace. It was the truth. It's absolutely the truth. And I'm not alone. Have you have a nice list of customers Apple, Disney, Pixar, ILM, DreamWorks, Fox, you know, so all the big players take this course and see value in this course. So it's it's pretty amazing what you able to do. And I have another friend, I have another friend of mine who does another course called Apache bird from inside the Edit. Who does this? I've seen that? Yes, yeah, he's about 200. He is going to have 200 tutorials when he's done, he's on 60. Now, he reminds me a lot of you because it took him two and a half years to do the first launch of it. And when you have somebody put so much passion in what they do, it just spills out of the screen because we're so not used to see quality work.

Per Holmes 20:57
And I think it's also it's deciding to solve the problem. Yes. And because there are a lot of these things that have been allowed to stay vague. And for example, there's a lot of there's there are a lot of directing techniques. And a lot of cinematographer techniques, for example, that have just never had a name, it's just, you hold the camera. Yeah, one of these, you know. And and I mean, I have, I have a need to feel that I have explored something enough that I found the outer wall, and I feel okay, this is the area that we need to understand. And it seems like that's what he's doing also with inside the Edit is that I mean, if you really have to describe like literally the whole thing, then how do you even approach that you have to get everything on the table, you have to find enough patterns in it that you can find a way to reduce it, all this information is just something you can actually then work with as an artist. And that means that once you if your goal is to really explain the whole thing, then you also start to have to confront all the logic problems that have always been there, but that nobody ever really went deep enough to solve. And I fell for example, in the master course, for example, there is a there's a move that I call a pivot. And the reason that I'm saying that I'm calling it is because it didn't have a name that I knew of. And basically, if you imagine that you have that you have one character standing still. And then further out, you have another character who's walking, and then you're tracking in the opposite direction to basically keep them in the frame. And then you can do that back and forth. And that shot didn't have a name. And but it had a it had a link to an editing technique where you keep one object fixed, and then you cut around that object to get another object. So that object stays in the same place in the frame. And so I thought okay, well then I guess that's called a pivot, but it's that kind of stuff. That's those are the places where you get stuck for like a week just on that because oh my god, what do I do? There's something there's a logic problem here. And then you basically have to go back to the drawing board and solve those things.

Alex Ferrari 23:11
Well, let me ask you a question. How would you approach this? I'm curious, have you have you answered this question? If you have two people sitting at a table, which is a very common scene in most movies? How would you make that interesting? in your in your, from all of your experience? What

Per Holmes 23:25
would you do? So they're just sitting there? They're sitting there having dinner talking?

Alex Ferrari 23:28
no arguments, and I think just a simple two people talking, having dinner at a table.

Per Holmes 23:34
So this is really hard to do on the radio.

Alex Ferrari 23:40
To the best, yeah, this Yeah, this

Per Holmes 23:42
is what I would say that I would, I would do. I don't think you have that much wiggle room, I do a couple of sizes on each, then. And then I do some tracking shots that go a little bit back and forth. And then I think we're kind of maxing out on on what we can do the moment there's any kind of movement or somebody comes over interrupts them, I might think about what's the mood in the scene. So for example, keeps the shot, keep the shots wider in some parts, but that's actually more I mean, if you're shooting full passes, then that's more of an editing technique than a blocking technique. But why not build some movement into it? Why not have one start away? Why not? I mean,

Alex Ferrari 24:27
you could create you could create other things. But so if it's not just two people talking so it could be somebody walking to the table could be another person. And so it all depends on the scope of the scene before you can actually separate

Per Holmes 24:36
I think I shouldn't take the script too, literally, if it says they sit around on a table around a table. So what what if one stands up and then sits down? I mean, basically, anything you can put in there, so you just have anything to cover besides just to static frames.

Alex Ferrari 24:51
That makes sense. Yeah, that's a great piece of advice, too, because a lot of times directors will read a script and they'll just go see it and they'll just go Oh, it's two people sitting down talking and that's what they do. They Literally just sit down and talk. What's the

Per Holmes 25:01
thing is that the script is like what a court stenographer would write down after the fact. And that can only be the tip of the iceberg. You can't, you can't see in the script, why anybody thinks the way that they do I mean, you can already you, I mean, and that comes especially to acting you're, you're in trouble if you take the script too, literally, because the script, the characters in the script are paper thin, and you some people then do script analysis to try to drag it out. But let's get real, we're inventing it, and that's fine. So we'd let's create all these new layers to it. And then once you, once you understand your characters better, then you could also easily come up with some better movement for them without just having them sitting.

Alex Ferrari 25:43
It all depends on the intention of the character and what they're trying to do in that scene. And that really, that makes it a little hard

Per Holmes 25:49
within a hypothetical scene. But of course, I don't know that you have a million options, if they're just sitting there,

Alex Ferrari 25:56
right? There's there's only and then other than that, then you're turning into a music video, you can go a pie, you can be you know, POV of the flower. And I think a lot of times directors try to be cute. But well, that becomes

Per Holmes 26:07
style over substance then correct. And then it's actually a distraction, or, you know, let's shoot it through the bushes, then suddenly, it feels like there's a stalker there. Or, I mean, the thing

Alex Ferrari 26:17
is, thing is a lot of times I see in, in films, like film that filmmakers do that is when they start making that style over substance thing. And they're like, well, I just want to make this cool shot. But if it doesn't move the story, the story for it doesn't move the scene forward, or doesn't work with the intention of what the scene is supposed to do for the story, then you're just kind of waving, you know, waving your you know what around, and just like, look how cool I can make this look. And that's where it turns into a music video. Yeah, basically, I'm

Per Holmes 26:44
not very good at that. In terms of making style in this, I mean, that's something that I recognized as a weakness. And that's why I choose people to work with, we're stronger than that, because I actually end up being quite boring when I'm directing. And I have to, I have to make myself man up and do some cool shots. Right? Because, you know, once they're talking, then that's, that's the part that I'm interested in. And then I have to make myself make cooler shots is let's let's just put on another hat. Let's say that this was only about style, then what would I do? and get some of that in there as well?

Alex Ferrari 27:19
What would Michael Bay do?

Per Holmes 27:22
Michael Bay do,

Alex Ferrari 27:23
right? Because I mean, oh,

Per Holmes 27:24
and then I would also, I would for a static shot like that, I would really try to get some other movement in the frame, even if it's traffic in the background, or smoke or rain or, or whatever. Because lock shots like that they're really painful in the long run,

Alex Ferrari 27:38
right? And you got to create some sort of interesting things in the frame to kind of keep the energy going, if it's a static shot like that. And then you've got these masters like Scorsese, who can do both stylistic yet works with the story beautifully. And that's what he's built his entire career upon. But let me ask you a question you've seen I'm sure. 1000 first time filmmakers and first time cinematographers in your day, what are the biggest mistakes that you've seen when they're composing their shots? or doing blocking or camera movement?

Per Holmes 28:06
Oh, that's difficult. I'm actually usually quite impressed. Like, wow, that looks great. All right. I think often too many shots.

Alex Ferrari 28:19
Okay, too much coverage. Too much coverage?

Per Holmes 28:21
Yeah, I mean, obviously, you can shoot too much on the set and then not using use it and editing and then nobody would ever know. But I think Well, I mean, here's something that you would notice behind the scenes, for example, I've been quite an advocate against too much storyboarding. And that's something that that has caused outrage places. But here's the thing though, it's, it's objectively true that when you when you block from a storyboard, you're basically breaking your scene into these very little small pieces that you're then hoping to glue back together. And what you're not realizing is that each of these is a new camera setup. And moving the camera is the most expensive thing you can do on the set, because then you have to redo the lighting and then suddenly seems like there's a break, then the actors run off somewhere else, then you have to get them back and and that means that unless it's a small change in setup, expect that you're that you're going to probably blow 20 minutes on not shooting while you're while you're rigging, if not longer. Yeah, if not, I mean, I mean, assuming that everybody's everything is running. And that's not assuming that you're suddenly realizing that you need to change the shooting direction again, because you forgot a shot. So now we need to relate the master as well. But basically, when you block from a storyboard you're doing, you're doing one shot of time at a time basically one piece of actions. Let's get the thing where you pick up the cup and let's get the thing where you get up from the chair. And that is obviously very painful on the actors because it's 123 act and then they can hardly get into it before you say cut.

Alex Ferrari 30:00
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Per Holmes 30:12
It's really tough on the, on the, on the production itself. And it's terrible in editing because because you really depend on this sequence working. And I've think I've, I've gone more overboard on this than anything else, I did a music video that was completely storyboarded from start to finish and, and my line producer was just having a heart attack all the way through. But I mean, it's just every 10 minutes yours over, you realize that if any of these shots don't work, then the whole thing is shot, right whole thing is screwed. And, and so the reality is that when you then show up for shooting, you're going to realize that oh, this storyboard frame is this place. And actually this storyboard frame is also in this place. And now you start to turn it into real blocking, which is set up based and not shot based. If you're smart, you do that, or I mean, your dp eventually will ask for it, because it would be insane to move the cameras back and forth between all these storyboard frames and shoot three seconds, right? So basically, you should be working for coverage and that it and that means that there's nothing wrong with using a storyboard, you could use a storyboard, sometimes you have things that are sequential in a movie. But most of the things most of the things in a movie are coverage based, which means that you're covering it as though it were a multi camera shoot. And you're, even though you're going to shoot only one or two cameras at a time you're planning them as if all of them are running at the same time. So then you say, okay, so while they're here, I'm in this right angle, master and then I have this over the shoulder and then he walks out, I push down on the character that remains. And and so you have this little dance that happens around the characters and then you can go happily shoot them one at a time, because you know that while I'm in this camera, got that shot that shot and and then sometimes you have some places in the scene like entry and exit and stuff like that becomes very sequential. But if you think if you do a camera diagram, actually, let me let me change that a little bit. If you both storyboard and do a camera diagram, then you get the best of both worlds. Because in the camera diagram, you can't see what the shot looks like. Right? Huge weakness of camera diagrams. But camera diagrams are still the native language of camera work. Right? You can't see height. I mean, how are you going to? How are you going to draw a crane up

Alex Ferrari 32:31
here? Right?

Per Holmes 32:33
That's a little hard.

Alex Ferrari 32:33
Yeah, in a diagram. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, when I do when I do setups, I mean, I'm, I used to do a lot of storyboarding early on, because it was kind of my crutch. So it was kind of like that thing. I'm like, I could hold on to storyboarding. I still like storyboarding, to a certain extent, but not as much, maybe for more complex scenes and things like that. But for basic stuff, I do shot lists, a lot of shot lists, and diagrams. So shot list is like this is kind of what I want to get covered here. And then, and then here's the, the camera dialog, we're at the camera die diagram, where I'll be able to move the camera around a little bit, to show the DP, hey, we're gonna do coverage over here, we're gonna get this, this, this and this shot over here, move the camera over to this side, we're gonna get this, this this over here. And then if we have some time, let's play around a little bit. And then and then also open, keep open to the the cinematographer, because obviously they're gonna have some ideas. If you hire a good cinematographer, you are going to have ideas. Yeah, and I have ideas at once.

Per Holmes 33:23
And that's the thing is that if you if you can take, if you can figure out a way to turn a 15 shot scene into a five shot scene, and usually when you clean up your blocking, you hit almost as good a result and like a third of the setups, there's nothing better than knowing that you're under time, because that's going to be the first time you're actually responsibly allowed to be creative on a film set is when, when you're spending your time responsibly. Don't tell your crew that we're under time, though, because then everybody scales their effort, right? starts. I mean, I think it's probably good for a cruise, if everybody feels we're a little bit behind.

Alex Ferrari 34:01
Yes, apps, apps, apps, the freaking

Per Holmes 34:05
point is that in, in planning a scene, there's going to be stuff that you that you hadn't seen, you're going to be on the set, and then you're going to realize that there's this amazing shot through the doorway. And I hadn't planned for that I have to get that shot. How are you going to work that in if you're already going over time shooting these three second storyboard frames. And so even so storyboarding is not necessarily bad for action for visual effects. There's really no other way to do it. Also, for anything, that sequential action, where things are basically pieces of action that go back to back, you don't have another realistic option. But even if you're doing coverage, the thing to realize is that the storyboard frame is kind of the first time you see anything from the movie, and that means that they're also a little bit precious. And you see, for example, in the matrix, they came up with a lot of the production design in the storyboards, right? I mean, imagine that they had followed this advice, and we're not done storyboards that would have been Different movie,

Alex Ferrari 35:00
but again but that was the kind of movie that was and they were taking it from the graphic novel and the Japanese. Yeah. So it made perfect sense it was such a visual movie that they wanted to kind of they really but also I don't know if you know this they beat that script up for almost three to five years. So they were beating that up so much and then the sequels did not have that much time obviously. But the the first one the first one they beat it up so much that's why it's a masterpiece for what they did it is so yeah, and I have that artifact is great. I wasn't crazy about the sequels. But yeah, yeah, they are the matrix book that I got that I still have has all the artwork, all the storyboards. So it is it is beneficial, but also, they beat they spent so much time pacing all that out. Doing animatics. And what are your feelings on animatics? is a general demeanor like David Fincher? animatics?

Per Holmes 35:50
You mean previous?

Alex Ferrari 35:51
Yeah, previous like, I know, I know. A lot, okay.

Per Holmes 35:55
And actually, a lot of Hollywood camera users, that's probably my most famous audience is basically anybody who does previous uses this. And that means that that, you know, I mean, basically, these techniques, and these ways of thinking about it are basically used on every blockbuster that you see, because I know a ton of these previous people working on on Batman and Avatar, and The Hobbit and, and all this kind of stuff, because it's always I mean, in previous that is what you're doing, you're basically walking. And so you know, who doesn't want more input on that if you're sitting in that role, and right, I mean, the whole course, the whole master course, is really in kind of a previous environment. Yeah, and I just, I think previous is much better than storyboards. It does mean that you have to either be able to animate or know somebody who can animate, but it doesn't have to be hard, you can just have these stick figures floating around. Because the moment you have an actual scene up and running, and you have a character moving, then you very naturally start putting in a shot. And then you start putting in different shots. And then you're basically getting as you would in live action, getting the same coverage over and over from different angles. And then you render out all these pieces and take it into editing and then now you're almost working in 3d the same way as you would in live action that you're working with footage. You're you're working with tags that go along, and have interesting things at the end and all that stuff. And so I think that's a great thing to do, both for regular scenes. And I think for because there's also there's, there's a huge minus that. I think it takes a while to figure out in storyboards, which is that you get timing terribly wrong in storyboards. And I had to think about that for a long time about why that was I done this music video that I talked about that was storyboard, I storyboarded that out and it was edited. I had time codes in the script, I'm not kidding. But then I saw it afterwards. And then I just it felt so slow. And my my editor was hating me because I had left like literally no editing options. He was like trying to just go a little bit back and forth between the previous shot to just get the Edit rate up. But I there wasn't even any handling anything. And I think that the reason is that a hand drawing just simply takes longer to read than a shot. And that means that as soon as you what takes you two seconds to understand in a drawing takes you one second to understand and an actual shot. And that means that if you if you're stuck on your storyboard, especially because in a music video, you're kind of tied, you're tied to your time base, you can't make it go faster, at least you can do that in a movie.

Alex Ferrari 38:41
It was funny that it's

Per Holmes 38:42
just agonizingly slow. And and but in previous you get the timing right. Yes, it's it's much closer to the real thing. You can look at it and understand what it is in a microsecond?

Alex Ferrari 38:53
Well, I mean, David Fincher is famous for that, because he previous is this entire movie. I mean, he does it to the nauseum. He's like, he's basically the Kubrick of our day. In that sense, he's so anal and so technical. But he literally, like he literally says

Per Holmes 39:07
other side. There's another side to that, because obviously, a lot of the scenes that are in a movie like that are not really worth preventing. But if, if you if you literally do it to the whole movie, then you get a new thing that you can do, which is that you can see how your showed a shot. And then you can and now you know that for when you really shot it, shoot it because otherwise, when you see what you shot, that's the first time you realize what you should have done and right, it's painful. You can skip that step, right? And you can because you you're going to find all kinds of story weaknesses, you're going to find pacing weaknesses, you're going to find it suddenly weird that we're cutting back and forth between these two plots. And you're going to I mean, you're actually going to get a sense of the rhythm of the whole thing. And I think anybody who has the resources should do something like that. Oh, absolutely. And by the way, do the straight up blocking I don't think it's an extravagant thing. I just think that if you can't animate, then you need to be able to hire somebody who can animate and previous thing an entire movie is like real work, knows it's a team to suddenly be funded, like properly funded in order to do that. But I think that's a great thing. And there are some programs. There's a shout out, for example, to something called movie storm. Okay, storm co.uk. That's actually made by Hollywood camera users who wanted something to block in movie storm, okay, I don't know what's going on with iCloud. It seems like everything is getting great except the camera work. But obviously that can change on a moment's notice. But there are programs that allow you to do something. And I think even if it's crude, and if the cameras kind of robotic, I still think that's worth, I still think that's worth doing, because you're probably going to learn something about what you're shooting. And then so that's, that's going to be kind of the beta that you do there. And then you can maybe do it better when you shoot it for real.

Alex Ferrari 40:58
I'll definitely put links to those to those applications in the show notes for everybody listening. A quick story. When I was doing my I did an animated Japanese animated movie that I co directed with a good friend of mine who's the artist, and he originally gave me 30 shots, for the whole whole thing. So then I did a scratch track to it, to prove to him like that you're going to need more than this. And he's never edited before in his life. So when I put it together, you just found the pacing was just so slow, and we ended up with 95 shots when I was done with him poor guy took him something that was going to take him a month took a year was done, but you got the pace. And that's something that and that's something else you could do with storyboards if you can't at least previous, if you can do a rough track, you know of the scene and really just a scratch track and then just edit the storyboards. Yeah, you're not gonna get the movement, but it's something maybe a little bit more low budget, which but if you could do other ways, that'd be better too.

Per Holmes 41:52
By the way, this is also another really good reason for, for not shooting sequentially. I kind of hinted at it before but when you're shooting, so what I call it sequentially, basically back to back storyboards, you're really locking down your edit. And I think it's important to realize that you suck as a judge of timing on the set. And the same thing is in terms of how to pace an acting performance, it's important to realize that that pacing happens in editing and that means that whatever floats your boat on the side, whatever the actors feel like doing is fine because if you have concurrent shots and you're and you're working in parallel, then and you know that no matter where we are in the scene, I have two or three editing options you know, you can control you can only control time on the edit point because that's where you can jump ahead or jump back in time on the edit point. But when you have to stay in a single shot, the only way you can make it go faster or slower is to actually speed it up which would be idiotic right and that's why if you shoot for coverage and you just always make sure that no matter where you are in the scene I have two or three cutting options and also make sure that not all your shots are so why is that you can see everybody because continuity becomes harder the more people you have in a shot oh yeah and so if you make sure that you have singles and and editing options then you can make the pacing in editing and that also means that you don't have to obsess over the pacing I mean Okay, so what that there's a little dead air and the acting performance I mean if the actors feel good doing it don't fix that problem. Just speed it up in editing,

Alex Ferrari 43:28
flow just flow with it just flow with it.

Per Holmes 43:31
Well, it means that you can remove a burden and also by the way, I mean when you when you try to fix a technical problem like that, with an actor that's really bad they have to stop almost everything they're doing in order to fix that one problem.

Alex Ferrari 43:43
It's not their job to fix that I think it's that it's the job of the director and the editor to fix that

Per Holmes 43:46
cover you can cover around that but but but the moral of the story is that I think it's bad to assume that you understand timing when you're on the set because when you see it in the Edit What if the scene that you thought was going to be before was like really intense and then this is your landing scene, you're supposed to really come down and then you realize later that that whole scene that went before it's actually gone now. So now we're coming from a slow scene to a slow scene and now I need the scene to go faster or the other way around. You don't really know what context it's going to go into. And I just think it's it's a mistake to assume that you fully understand the timing in the scene when you're on the set you need to block in a way that leaves the timing open enough

Alex Ferrari 44:28
absolutely no question about it. Now I want to to my two other courses you took that you I took of yours, which are awesome. In my favorite is the VFX for directors which I want to talk to you about but then also hot moves the science of awesome. Please tell me how that came into play.

Per Holmes 44:46
Well, which one hot moves,

Alex Ferrari 44:47
hot moves? Yeah, hot moves.

Per Holmes 44:50
Okay, so actually half of the techniques that are in there. I was trying to figure those out while I was making the master course. But I that that was only a hunch at that time. And then I felt it's better to leave it out because it is a separate layer. And because basically, one of the, you know, one of the dogmatic lessons of the master course is that you should try to get your camera work to make sense, don't do shots just because they look awesome. And so hot moves is all the opposite of that is that this is this is just how you make them look nice. And basically there was something that I'd realized, but it took, it took really a while it took me like eight years for something like that for that to really crystallize which things that were that that made, I found a commonality between basically all the shots that people feel like putting in the trailers over and over and over again, because there's a certain dynamic in those shots. And that's, that's what hot moves is it's this. It's, I mean, it basically centers around these things that I call, see if I can remember them. There's there's grid theory, there's angle on a track. There's role and there's one, there's one more that I forgotten now. Right, right. It's me, for example. So grid theory is a kind of parallax that I don't think people have. I mean, I think obviously there are lots of people who do it intuitively. A person like Michael Bay does that intuitively all day long all day, on his face. Okay,

Alex Ferrari 46:22
no, honestly, I just want to say something you know, about Michael bag. I know Michael Bay gets a lot of crap for being Michael Bay. But I have to tell, and this is just my opinion, I think he is one of the most visual and groundbreaking directors in what he does. Because if you look back in every current action film, his language is what has been taken, they're taking stuff that he was doing back in Bad Boys, the rock, and Armageddon, those techniques are what the norm is now and were revolutionary when he started doing them. So as an action director, there is I mean, you could talk about story development, character acting all that stuff, that's fine. But as purely as creating awesome shots, there is probably nobody else on the planet, that does it better than has elevated

Per Holmes 47:10
that to an art form. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 47:12
And if you basically agree. I mean,

Per Holmes 47:15
obviously, I know people who had a hard time working with them. But flipside, there are a lot of actors who say that the details of the awful directing of Michael Bay are greatly exaggerated, right? Because there is also there's also another side to it. Which, which is that if he recognizes, and I think he's pretty honest about where he is, in terms of working with actors, then at least he's not pretending. And then he's not trying to, you know, let me open up your brain and poke around a little bit, and what was this thing from your childhood and all that kind of stuff, you can kind of more stand back and, you know, just make it faster. Right then leaves, then then that leaves actors to figure that out. And that's one of the reasons why. In directing actors, I'm kind of pushing back a lot on this whole thing that result directing is bad, because it's really not true. And I don't know where that came from.

Alex Ferrari 48:11
So explain that a little bit. Explain that result directing.

Per Holmes 48:14
This is a major Change of topic. I'm happy to go there.

Alex Ferrari 48:18
Okay. Okay. All right. Well, I'll go back to let's continue with the science of awesome, but I want to go back to the result of acting. Directing,

Per Holmes 48:25
yes. Okay, so, so that was hot moves, that I didn't feel simply that I was ready to do it, I didn't feel that I had figured it out properly. So it is a separate layer. Although I do think that now that I know how all those things fit together, I feel like they ought to be one course. And I guess at some point, I'm going to do a version of version two of the master course. And then I think one of the I would try to integrate them because there there is still some overlap, because some of the techniques are kind of getting started in the master course. So there's not as good a separation but I mean, if they were to be separate, there maybe also ought to be more separation between them, but I feel that they belong together.

Alex Ferrari 49:07
So that's the basics of basics of so the audience understands is the master course, is kind of like the meat and potatoes of Yes, of camera composition and camera movement. And is

Per Holmes 49:19
that this is stuff that you really have to do be able to do because eventually, no matter how many flying cars on fire, you have, eventually people are going to sit somewhere in talk. And that's the problem that you have to solve. Before it's for free. For example, it's it's I've noticed sometimes that people say, Oh, you should see this camera work. It's amazing. And then I see it. And it's actually a lock shot with a flying car on fire. It's not awesome because of the camera work. I mean, and actually visual effects. People are terrified of doing camera work, especially in live effects like that. I mean, they'd rather have 20 high speed lock cameras from different angles and then maybe Do a zoom push and posts because they I mean it's hard enough to blow up a building I mean let's not have the camera move go wrong at the same time.

Alex Ferrari 50:10
Right It's kind of like if you're a stunt man and you're going to start if you're going to jump off a building you don't want to go to the top floor right away. You want to start dropping off little by little and that's what the original masterclass does, it starts showing you the basics. And then once you master those basics, you keep growing and growing like with any craft, and a lot of a lot of filmmakers are so in a rush to impress people. And I was like that when I first started, I was so in rush to, to impress, like, look how cool my shot is. And, and sometimes you really you don't realize that it is a cool shot, but it might not be moving the story forward, or I might not it might not be in the proper context that I need for my story to move forward. So you really need those building blocks. And it takes time. It's not something you learn over a day or two. It takes

Per Holmes 50:57
that's maybe also that's this is just my personal opinion. I've seen a lot of new filmmakers who, who don't really appreciate the size of the skill that some of these things are and for example, there's one thing that I really like about Steven Spielberg and that is that he's still figuring it out.

Alex Ferrari 51:19
Yeah, he and he's the first one to invent and Scorsese to for that matter. And those that demand it's it's strange, because

Per Holmes 51:24
when you talk to people who were, like, halfway up the ranks, they're like, really arrogant and smart ass is like, Yeah, I know everything, man. Right? And, and those are the people who will, you know, who give you a hard time in order to emphasize themselves. But everybody on the top is extremely humble and are doing it for the right reasons. Because they're doing it because they want to figure it out. There's this whole juicy art form that I can spend a life and lifetime figuring out. And that's I mean, that's my impression a person like Steven Spielberg is is on his what I don't know, 4050 his movie, and he's still there on the set. Oh my god, I just discovered this awesome shot that if he steps in there, and then I rack focus, and then I push a little forward, then this happens, right? And I mean,

Alex Ferrari 52:14
it's a master it's the same thing with a master painter, like they

Per Holmes 52:18
Yeah, but that also means that actually if I mean if you're feeling intimidated about people in the film industry, like they're looking down on you, the ones at the top are not looking down at you know, the ones that the top you would relate to straight out.

Alex Ferrari 52:32
And then in a lot of them are trying to pull them up, try to pull people up and try to show them things and

Per Holmes 52:36
try that that too. But it's it's all this naughty attitudes are somewhere in the middle. Again, they're not that much at the top in my, in my experience,

Alex Ferrari 52:45
and I would agree with you in my experience, I've had a lot of I've had a lot of experience with directors in my day and working with a lot of different people over the course of my career. And I would agree with you the people that are at the top that I've met, that are top of their field are in that area of their of their career, they tend to be the most humble, they tend to be the most kind and the most, you know, open about what they do. Where the the young startup who hasn't had life, smack them across the face yet. Which it does, it does.

Per Holmes 53:16
And it's not being at the top that makes them like that. No, it's just simply the the outlook that they always have. And correct. I think that's great. And it's actually very, it's very disarming. And I think that i think that's great. And I think that's that's how everybody ought to think about it.

Alex Ferrari 53:34
So now your other course which I when I saw it come out I was just like, oh my god, I can't believe someone's doing this the VFX for directors because I'm a Vf I'm a VFX supervisor as well I've done and I'm a director, so I've always been a very technical director so I know a lot about the technical aspects of things. But to explain that to other directors sometimes it's such a pain and just the basics of what like what a green screen is you'd be amazed that the shots that come through my door like oh I shot on a green screen I'm like what I had one day I had one shot you know listen, I gotta tell you this once I once I had a shot come in or group of shots or this director had shot on a green screen and I use the term green screen very loosely, they threw up they threw up four different green screen blankets for and paste them together only normal and paste and pasted them no no but in one shot and pasted them together. So it was like grid, it was a grid of greens, different greens to make the one shot and I'm like you're out of your mind then there's a lot of heavy movement like a sword fighting in the front. And I'm like you're out of your mind. Like like Medicare. Yeah, I'm like, Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? I gave it to my VFX artists and you know, and he's like, You got to be kidding me right? I'm like, Look dude, if you got to do this, we're gonna get paid for it. But seriously,

Per Holmes 54:52
you have to then tell you something funny then because there is if you go on YouTube and look for video about East Enders visual effects There's a joke it's it's a it's from a comedy show in the UK where they're showing this soap opera how they're shooting the beer bottles and the people in the cafe separately and then you're standing there and like a green suits and lifting their beer bottles and it's so idiotic. is so stupid because there's no reason to make it that hard, right? I showed that to a bunch of animators at a you know, a major major major visual effects facility that I shouldn't say what is sure sure they didn't get the job not because this is the stuff that they're being asked to do all day long. Oh, yeah. Haha,

Alex Ferrari 55:38
yeah. Yeah, five shots like that on my computer right now

Per Holmes 55:41
kind of stuff they're being they're being asked to, I mean, because you know, the director will let it run wild and that means that half the scene is going to happen completely outside of the green screen on top of a brick wall and then now somebody has to roto that right of course and and when that goes wrong, then they're gonna say oh, let's just build him in 3d and motion capture it. I mean, just completely not job. It's it's and and then I was hanging, I mean, you could really save a lot of money if you just thought a little bit better about this. And then they're like, what? Nobody here is thinking about saving money. This is that's not even a priority. Some of these places that will spend a million dollars on an idea and then say, Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 56:23
what happens all the time? I mean, I have a bunch of the guys on my VFX team are like, you know, they work at the big at the big houses, and I'm big films, big. tentpole movies, and they, and they tell me the stories of how the directors are like, Oh, yeah, you know, we need to do, you know, like the amount of extra work that they do, because they just don't care. They're like, Oh, yeah, just do that. And then, because they know they have the money to do it, they have a team to do it. And they just do it that is

Per Holmes 56:45
actually unhealthy to before for people to be on to big budgets for too long is that Yeah, sloppiness that works his way into it. Yep. I think, I mean, I'm a nerd. In my spare time, I built electronics. When I was a kid from stuff that I found in a dumpster, I would solder the components out and learn how to build electronics out of those. And I think that having limited resources, I think you've become a better artist, I think you become a you become a better Craftsman than if you just land in the middle of it. And obviously at some point, you have to grow to a level where it's not like every single time you have an idea you hit a wall, it would be nice to get when you get or it is nice when you get to a place where you can all now now there's enough money that we can have ideas and do them. But I mean, I see a space a staggering amount of waste on some of these, I think, what was it I actually I read in cinefex on the watch the Johnny Depp, the Pirates of the Caribbean that you had this African tribe with these stick figures, these these, this, this, this tribes and we're I don't know what Sure, I don't think I remember the movie, but that these spiky plant things sticking out of all their heads, and they had these 100 people dancing, just basically a roto nightmare, and nobody put a green screen behind it. Oh, so they were talking about proudly how they rotoscoped that and somehow dodging the elephant in the room that somebody really, really screwed up on this and that cost like $100,000 because somebody didn't understand that you can't roto stuff like that. It's just such a pain. And that happens a lot. Because I mean, it's also these these big productions. They're really under pressure. And

Alex Ferrari 58:28
oh, yeah, I know.

Per Holmes 58:30
You, you use money as a substitute for concentrating.

Alex Ferrari 58:36
Or for or for skill or for craft or for whatever different reasons. Yeah, but

Per Holmes 58:41
anyway, that's that's where visual effects for directors came from. I mean, I was actually even then I was I was working on the directing actors course. But I felt that I wasn't ready. And I had this other thing that I knew how to do. And so so basically, I mean, I I'm a nerd in my spare time, I grew up on Commodore 64. And making border sprites, I mean, sure, sure, sure. Through the 90s. I sat on my very small CPU max doing ray tracing and character animation and that kind of stuff. Wow,

Alex Ferrari 59:13
I completely understand the language, you're just speaking. So I completely get.

Per Holmes 59:20
And so the thing is that when I got a break, directing, I already knew what I was doing at the visual effects side. And that means that for me, motion control and character animation and stuff like that, that was home base for me, but I could see how a lot of people really struggle with that. And they don't really have to because it's not like Oh, you're stupid. You don't know this. It's just there's too much for any single person to know everything anyway. So the assumption in visual effects for directors is that, you know, you're a smart guy, you just don't know this particular thing.

Alex Ferrari 59:56
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show

Per Holmes 1:00:07
and so I felt that it deserved a proper explanation and what I what I discovered after a while is that I'm actually slicing this in a completely different way than all the because every like a tutorial for example in After Effects will like spend 20 minutes on fine tuning the tracker and then that's what that tutorial is. And this thing your slice is in a completely different way because it asked the question is what what are the key issues so that we can make good decisions on the set? And then obviously in order for you to answer that question, if you're doing match moving, then you need to know enough about photogrammetry that you can either place the tracking markers or see if somebody else did it wrong, right. You need to know enough about keying that you don't bring back these impossible shots were a five minute timesaver on the set becomes they'd like a three week rescue operation and vote because the thing is that at a certain point you can't buy your way out of the problems for example if you have a guy with like big frizzy hair in front of a brick wall and you there is not a roto tool in the world good enough to ever make that not a compromise and that means that you can spend you know you can spend your entire movie budget on that and still not fix it and so and at some point it also means that you know whatever allocation you have for visual effects money you're now blowing it on on on getting up to zero instead of blowing it on making something extraordinary and it's just a terrible investment no so that that was the intention and and so obviously it goes very deep in 3d animation and match moving and especially integration which is putting 2d into 3d or 3d into 2d because that's that's like 90% of all visual effects works with some kind of camera tracking and then putting either people into a virtual set or putting a virtual set around the little part of the set that's real that's that's the vast majority of visual effects and so that's what you need to be able to make decisions about on the set because you need to think about you know, you think you need to think about the shot being trackable at the same time as capable at same time as matching the lighting because that's a place where people go really wrong on green screen if you take the time to either match the lighting or at least make lighting on green screen that has some kind of attitude. What people usually do on green screens like Okay, I'm gonna do flat boring lighting so let's just do even soft ambient light everywhere because that'll fit with everything but in reality it fits with nothing it's Yeah, it's much better if you just say okay I'm deciding now the sun is there and now and then we do some fill in some blue stuff for the hair and then once you're back in 3d you just put the sun in the same place and then you're just surprised at how well it blinds just because you bothered to match the lighting

Alex Ferrari 1:03:03
you know the funny thing is I've I've seen so many the art of visual effects is such a deep and complex art it's incredible it's

Per Holmes 1:03:13
it's insane they're easily the highest educated people on a film set it and there's no question density the people who get the least respect yes and so that's why I think it's it's strange there's kind of a in again, in my personal opinion there's kind of a low grade depression running among visual effects people because they they do get screwed over a lot they pour their heart and soul into making a five second shot work. I mean, they strain their weeks horrible relationships. And then Oh, oh, yeah, no, let's just make the whole thing blue.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:47
Yeah, no, no, no, I look I have conversations with my boys all the time about this specific topic, but it's it's such a deep craft, it's so massively deep that even on a $200 million movie or $100 million movie, sometimes they get it wrong. And I see that bad visual effects shots and those big movies. So when I talked to young directors who are arrogant or cocky, I'm like, Look, dude, you got to understand as much as you can, if you're going to do a visual effects shot and your movie, you better understand what's going on. Because if not, and you have no idea how many times I've gotten shots, that directors had no idea what they were doing and then and then it cost them like you said, cost them you know 1000s of dollars to fix it. Which you if they would have just thrown up the right key or thrown up a green screen or lit the thing right or done or put a tracking marker up or something along those

Per Holmes 1:04:36
lines. Once you get a workflow up. It's actually not that hard to do it right consistently, right? But understand that if you don't know then for example, you'll just have you'll have an intern just put some tracking markers on the background and that's it, not realizing that the only thing that makes match moving work is tracking markers at different depths.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:54
Right. But you know, the funny thing is, and I and a couple of my guys I talked to specifically about this problem is tracking markers. He goes, can you not put 450 tracking markers on the back, we don't need 400

Per Holmes 1:05:05
doesn't matter you actually you can track you can track a scene with like six or seven markers you can get a completely solid track out of that and then track the C stands as well you're golden

Alex Ferrari 1:05:17
right and that's the thing that a lot of a lot of people who just don't know that like tracking markers or lipsticks are good than 45 must be much better. And it's like no no, we got to clean all that stuff out and it's just more

Per Holmes 1:05:27
depends I mean of course one thing that I'm recommending in the course is that if you're going to do if you're going to do a lot of tracking markers do those that are off green meaning that it's the same green pen paper with like a drop of black in it so it just goes a little bit down a little bit up and then you can pepper them in there and you can actually key through them without I mean the the variance between the green screen and the tracking markers is less than the variance in just the lighting on the green screen. Right That means that you're crunching that out anyway and that's actually a nice way of working for from a directing perspective because you can just start shooting in different directions and and you're good and you're ready to rock and roll and now I have you don't have to stop and fix the tracking markers for every shot.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:07
So let me ask you, I want to ask you this question because I've been dying to ask you this question since I've wanted to put you on the show. Can you talk about why you do this because it is an immense amount of work it's a psychotic honestly amount of work that you did for what you do

Per Holmes 1:06:26
I completely agree it is a psychotic amount and there is a difference between having an idea okay it's a little bit big but let's get started to being in the middle of it and just feeling like quitting because and I mean I felt that on the master course not knowing that that would then later turned out to be the small one there and you're like oh my god I made 10 seconds today how and then I mean Jesus you make a spreadsheet and then you say at this rate this will be done in 2024 and it just it just becomes it becomes a matter of just simply I don't know optimizing your brain and what's interesting is that I mean so I've made an observation about why for example TV is often better than films and and one thing that you have in TV is that you have really a pressure to I'm snapping my fingers by the way that you have a pressure to get some stuff out and that means that TV scripts at least I would say often don't get the same endless be getting rewrites that a film script would get and that and for example you can see on The Simpsons you can see that very often somebody had a loose crazy thought and he just wrote it and that's like what's in the script and that's and that was that and the same way you it's you can use pressure to your advantage that you can be under so much pressure that you just can't stop you can't afford to stop and second guess everything and then you actually get into a very interesting song where you just hammering out stuff and you just you can't afford to be self critical because it takes too much damn time

Alex Ferrari 1:08:08
I have the same feeling with what I do with indie film hustle it's such a massive undertaking I mean nothing compared to what you do but you know I run this entire website by myself the podcast the posts, the every the interviews, everything I do all by myself plus I have a post production company on the side plus I plus a director on the side and a half twins so you know a young twin girls as well so on top of all I do it all on my own so I've gotten to that point now where you're right it's like there's so much pressure to continuously I don't have time to stop I have to just keep going and as new things and new opportunities open themselves up to me I have to like Okay, put it in the workflow boom and just and you just gotta keep cranking and just organ I just keep cranking along and you just don't can actually

Per Holmes 1:08:53
do something good for you as an artist and that's also why I'm starting to appreciate the the screenwriting teachers or the screenwriting courses where this is about, I mean writing a full length script in a week because yeah, that does take you to that place where you can't afford to, to second guess everything. And obviously when you're writing at that speed also your your plot and story structure is going to take a hit but then you could also work on that later. But the point is that you actually go to a different place where in and out you are you are more you're more in the zone, you actually get closer to wherever it is those things come from, by in terms of asking and answering your question, why do I do this? Well, I mean, these a lot of these things are things that I would be trying to figure out whether or not there was a course there is actually there's something that's beneficial for me just in making them which is that when you have to explain something to other people, you have to understand it a lot better than then even if you just want to use it as an artist because you get to you get to kind of fun Thinking and that's fine as an artist but if you need to explain it to somebody else, then you have to clean it up a lot more and that's going to confront all kinds of issues that actually force you to go pretty deep down the rabbit hole to figure out that these two techniques are actually two separate techniques and now they go I mean sometimes you take these week long detours in order to answer a simple question but so why I do this is I like to figure stuff out and I would be figuring these I would be working to figure these things out even if I wasn't making these courses, but I would probably not be as thorough there is a satisfaction in in making a model Sorry, I have to cough scheming shisha there there is a satisfaction for me in making a model like you would be you know, like you're a scientist and you're trying to figure out something about how two particles behave and then and coming up with a model that maps to the evidence I think there's something there's something something satisfying and working these things out. While you're in the middle of it, you kind of want some way out because it's really gentlemen especially directing actors is I'm looking around and I'm thinking this might be the biggest training program anybody has ever made of anything well let's bring that inside the Edit is gonna beat me to it but that's fine that's not a competition

Alex Ferrari 1:11:26
exactly no so let's let's talk about that because I'm super excited about your new course directing the directing actors, which is a mystery to most people and what you're doing I've had a chance to kind of skim through a few chapters of it and holy crap you've you've done what you've done with the camera work but now you're beating up act and act this way but in a good way in a good way because you're bidding up that concept of what is it really like you are the most methodical teacher I've seen other than probably Patty and both you guys should get together and have a drink because I'd been I love to be a fly on that wall daddy from inside because you guys are like so methodical about how you break things down and you just are literally just every aspect every component every gear about you know so it's it's wonderful wonderful one thing to do that with camera work and then visual effects and then you know the science of awesome but to do it with such a human craft as directing actors because you are now directing you are interacting with people and emotions and history and attitudes and ego and makes them sound very strange. Yeah, I mean, but that's but that's what but that's what human beings are, we're all that kind of stuff and then you try to pull emotions. So please talk a little bit about what this new Opus of yours is.

Per Holmes 1:12:54
So I do actually have a little bit of a secret weapon which is that to top it all off, I've always been really really interested in in in personal growth and psychology. And I'm, I've done that for so long that I'm not completely incompetent.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:14
Okay, it's a great way of putting it I love that that's a wonderful way I'm going to use that by the way I've done it so long I'm not completely competent by it That's great, great line

Per Holmes 1:13:26
Um, so hang on I just got interrupted maybe we can just make a tiny cut there so so I was this was never something that I was actually bad at I as far back as like as as I go I've always been pretty decent with actors. It was just intuitive and it was my skills were very limited and I also spent all of the 90s producing music and inadvertently I was actually training a lot of the same things but basically I always I mean it's you know you look at you sit and look at how we can work what is that well there really ought to be a directing course and then like oh my god I don't know if I'm the world's leading expert on this of course so I actually that that was a sort of a low confidence self confidence issue that I ended up changing my mind about okay because you know this is kind of touchy I don't want to criticize people and put a name on it but sure no, I I was going to do this course several times with some extremely recognized directors well acting teachers basically directing and acting teachers These are people who probably most people listening have either read their books or heard about okay and and I was completely fine doing that that Okay, let's make a course so we're I'm not the expert. I'm just going to help them structure it. But as I started working Working with them one at a time. Well, I started working with one and it fell apart and then I started working with another eye. I came away thinking, you know what, I think I probably know better than they do. Right? And that's kind of a strange thought to have because still, I mean, I feel like I know better than the experts but I don't feel like I know. Or that there was something that was eluding me there was some pattern to this that I was completely missing I felt and I also felt that they didn't really like me asking questions. I and this is very strange because obviously that's what I would do. I mean, I would sit with them and say, Okay, well so you say that this is a good way to talk to the actor, but I know from my experience that the opposite is also true. And there's this whole tradition over here that that contradicts to what you're saying so how do we reconcile that and they didn't really like that and they're like well, I think you just need to come take my class and somehow intuitively pick up what they had then failed to explain right? And then actually broke off they both broke it off with me after after a while that they didn't like that I was asking too many questions and I was being too creative

Alex Ferrari 1:16:18
and too critical too critical of what they're saying

Per Holmes 1:16:21
well it's not see here's the thing it's not critical it's just that if we're going to explain this to anybody then we're going to have to structure this and the moment I asked any kind of issue that how does this concept fit with this concept and you know, you say this is wrong to do but I have these 100 other people including major directors who do this successfully all day long. So how do we reconcile that and so that that didn't work out and then I said okay, well what do we do now? And then I just started toying with that for for some years in the background I said you know what, let me see what I can figure out and I basically just in you know, I as I said I was never bad at this but I was sort of in the in the middle space but then I started then then I basically got said okay, let's pretend that we don't know anything and let's get everything that anybody knows on this subject here basically anything that anybody has ever realized So for example, if somebody has success result directing somebody then we can't unilaterally say that's a bad technique that'll

Alex Ferrari 1:17:33
stop right there result directing define result directing because that's the first time I've heard that

Per Holmes 1:17:38
result. So here's the thing you know, you have a lot of thoughts going on in your head and the end result of that is some kind of behavior and for example if you're sad then there's all kinds of things going on and then the end result of that is some kind of frowny face and looking sad and result directing is basically skipping the whole inner process and just playing the end result like a mask and that means you know try to make it more sad let's make it more angry let's let's do all these things and so the

Alex Ferrari 1:18:07
way most directors talk

Per Holmes 1:18:11
so that's still bad well it's not really bad to talk like that that's kind of the misunderstanding is that it's not result directing that's bad it's result acting that's bad and basically if you get the actors to a place where they feel like they have to act a result then you've done something bad, but up to a certain point result directing is the most useful thing you can do with an actor because if basically, you have to you have to look at as an actor as somebody who could potentially play every character and that means that we have to make some decisions about what this character is and what it's what this character isn't right and that narrows down the choices so that sorry, I just completely trailed there What was I gonna say? Oh my goodness No,

Alex Ferrari 1:19:01
we were talking about results results

Per Holmes 1:19:03
right so um, no, I completely trailed so well look for your earliest editing point and then we'll say it's okay now I don't even know what the point I was gonna make but anyway we can go back to resolve directing which which is that

Alex Ferrari 1:19:21
it's the thing is that you actually are with result directing you're giving the actor a point and end point I don't know No, I

Per Holmes 1:19:29
know I know what my point is sorry too. Sorry to push you back. The thing is that with result directing you tell the actor what planet we're on. And that means that the first directing that you're doing and especially in rehearsal result directing is almost harmless. Is that if you say and make it more sad or make it more angry? That's or well let me put it another way. Really, that's not really ever a good way of directing because there's nothing an actor really can do with this and say okay, he wants an angry let's see, what could I play that could make this angry. That's the level that we that that we that we have to work from is what you would play in order to, in order to get the end result. As soon as you try to play an end result, then everybody becomes artificial and weird. But that problem is not really the result directing because what you're saying what the results are. And if we phrase that in just a slightly different way, and you say to an actor, I want to find a way to make this more angry, what could we play to make it more angry, now you're doing something else, now you're setting a goal. And the result is is a goal. But we're never suggesting or believing that you can play a result because nobody can play a result. And do it? Well, you take the biggest Oscar winning actor, and make them play a result and they're going to be stinking it up. Because it's just it's it's a complete misunderstanding of what acting is, to a large part acting is recreating a thought process and letting it roll and just seeing what happens. And that means that you can't really ever get the result that you have in your mind, you can you can hold a result that I know privately that I'm trying to get this scene more angry, I might even say to the actor that this is my secret evil plan, I'm trying to get this more angry. But in reality, we're trying to come up with what I call active ideas or active thoughts, which and that then that then we should take a little sidetrack down to what I think acting is so well, to to, to to just jump back a little bit. What I did was I got everything on the table. And to try to figure out is there some pattern here that that would reduce this that would that would make this simpler and easier to understand. And then suddenly, I realized that oh, my God, oh, yes, there is a pattern. How did everybody missed this? It's right there. Right, right. And so basically, that's, that's what turns into the layers of behavior, which is the, which is the first eight, which is the first eight volumes of the course. And so to just explain very quickly what that's about. So basically, the primary thing that you do as the director is that you help come up with what I like to call active ideas, because basically, what we're trying to do is we're trying to trigger some, some kind of behavior without actually micromanaging and strangling the behavior because it's like the moment you touch it too hard, it breaks, but you can you can touch it, you can you can push a little bit, and then and then it works. And basically. So here's here's an idea for what a behavior is, for example, if you're telling an actor on that line, lower your head a little bit, and then blink your eye. That's not behavior that's like an action. You're a puppet. It's a puppet. Yes, well, it's it to micromanage. And that is basically you're you're trying to now play a result without even caring what would naturally lead to that result. But basically, let me give you an example of a behavior for example, and typical active idea would be playing a moment before that I just got, you know, I just got a traffic ticket on the way over here. And I actually I was going so fast that I lost my license, and now everything sucks, go, what happens to you now your whole energy is down your, the delivery of your lines changes, let's come up with another active idea, let's try to Let's Play that you are expecting that's something that goes into the future that you are expecting that she's going to say some really rough comment any minute now she's gonna she's gonna completely shame you. Any minute now. Now you're playing the whole scene with kind of an apprehension. And you're basically recreating the thought process that somebody would have in that you would stand in that situation, you would be expecting to get that from the other guy. And now your whole behavior is different, you know, aligns around that idea. And that's basically this is what actors do all day long. And

that's what I felt that I had to map out the whole thing because there are so many different there, there are a lot of different active ideas. You know, what's another one we can play for example, what I categorize in the present, let's play in as if so let me play as if you are, let's let's play as if you are a police officer, and you don't believe that I'm telling the truth. That now my entire behavior. So look what happened now, I have a completely different behavior, even whether or not I have lines, right? I have the same behavior before the, you know, after the camera starts rolling, but you know, even between my word is when I'm listening, and that's an active idea. It's It's a simple thought that mass produces behavior. And that's the kind of stuff that you can play as an actor. It and that's what you have to do as a director. is come up with a lot of these.

Alex Ferrari 1:25:03
I'll tell you. I'll tell you one story I heard once that and this is not very ethical. But this this director did it and got the performance out of the the actor he wanted he, it was a movie called a tu mama tambien. It was a very famous foreign film, Mexican movie. And there was a scene where he needed a little boy to cry. So he just basically walked up to his to the little boy quietly and said, Your mom and dad just died in a car accident, Roll camera. And that kid was bawling, because he was a young kid, obviously not ethical.

Per Holmes 1:25:35
So too much, because there's too much not meant to get that it's not really meant to get that real, or I think it's not meant to get that real with kids. I would rather Of course, yeah, absolutely. Right. I was supposed to have that kind of a secret from the actors. It's this is supposed to be a game, you know. And once we know that this is a game, then we can go much further out that plank. Yeah. And I'm not crazy about him doing that with otherwise, that's never, that's straight up. That straight up directing. But that really also depends on that person actually having the imagination, right. That means anything. And so that's really, that's the other half.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:13
Again, again, like with camerawork, directing, and directing actors is such a deep and dark craft that goes,

Per Holmes 1:26:21
I don't know, it doesn't have to be I mean, I. I don't feel like that anymore. I feel that I get it.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:29
Well, no, but like, but like you were saying, but like you were saying, with Stevens, a bowl, we always get a bowl, there's no question about it. But like you were saying, with Steven Spielberg, like, there's always something new to learn, there's always something else that you constantly growing and growing as an artist. So it's not something that you learn quickly. It's like being a fine painter, it takes years, it's

Per Holmes 1:26:49
like playing the piano and right so it's a wrong expectation to have of yourself that you're supposed to be able to walk onto a set, and then bam, I can block I can work with actors, because obviously, all you can really do is fake it the best you can because it's, it takes some training and

Alex Ferrari 1:27:07
an experience experience. So So I wanted to talk one last thing, which is really important. And we talked a little bit about this off air is piracy. And I wanted to kind of talk about the I wanted you to kind of shed a light on piracy. Because look, we all know about, you know, pirates and movies being downloaded and courses being stolen and things like that I wanted, I wanted, I wanted a voice. For my, for my listeners to understand what it does to someone like you who's puts, arguably a decade now of work 1000s of 1000s of hours into these courses, and then someone takes it and just puts it out there for free. I want you to kind of talk about what that is like for you.

Per Holmes 1:27:47
Well, that is incredibly depressing. And I have to tell you, I've started changing my mind a little bit, and I have it here in my Evernote, I have a quote that I heard from somebody that actually helped me change my mind a little bit about this. But basically the knowledge of piracy is that that has really knocked me out a couple of times where I just want to go to bed again. And I'm like, I don't even have a chance What am I gonna do? Right? But So the reality is that what I've discovered is that there are enough people who think that it's wrong, or who don't want to bother that somebody who makes, you know, training programs, and we're not a big company, we're like, tiny, and, and we're not rich, we can we can just about afford doing it, and that's good enough. But it's, I mean, I think it's it really it really rubs me the wrong way when the when the discussion about piracy is and all these big evil corporations. I mean, that might be true for Star Wars. But every time you do that, for a web template or a tutorial, you're probably kicking somebody who's already down. And, and that really sucks. I mean, people think that like, yeah, it's Robin Hood, man. And, you know, you know, there's no rich, but there's a rich statement of freedom and autonomy, but probably you're taking it from somebody who's trying to eat buy. And so I just think it's important to get that straight. But, but that said, I mean, I that that also means that I'm incredibly thankful every time somebody buys something from me, I take it totally personally, right? I really do. Because, you know, and even if, if there's like a customer who's a little bit of a jerk, I mean, I really let it slide because I'm so happy that somebody is buying it, because without that I would just have to stop. There's nobody who can afford to stop everything and do this for this much time. Right? But I wanted to I want to read you a quote that I heard somebody somewhere because this was really getting me down so much that I have to tell you the truth when the hot moves was done. I had the master sitting on my desk and I couldn't bring myself to release it. It sat on my desk for a week without me Putting it out because I know that as soon as I put it out, it's going to be torn to pieces by people who feel that, you know, it's not just that they can copy it, but that they have a right to write and and that just bummed me out so much that I couldn't bring myself to release it and it just sat there. And then I just finally asked to think well, what else am I going to do never release it and then, but let me read your quote here that I dug up in my Evernote that says that you are too worried that people will steal what you have. Let this be your wake up call, especially if you're an artist, or a writer, or an intrapreneur, or a creative type, that there's always more to be gained from sharing knowledge than from hoarding it. Don't worry about people stealing your work, worry about the moment they stop, be honest, helpful, and undeniably good at what you do. No clever marketing scheme, or social media buzzword or competitor can substitute can be a substitute for that ever. Whenever people want what you have, regardless of the circumstances, you're doing it right.

Alex Ferrari 1:31:01
That's awesome. That's an awesome, awesome,

Per Holmes 1:31:03
and I felt like you know what? I this gives me some peace. And then let's leave it alone. I hope I hope it's possible to be good enough that somebody will say, you know what, let me buy it.

Alex Ferrari 1:31:16
That's I'm so glad you said that. And I wanted I wanted people to understand what what I wanted to put a face to the to the piracy sometimes because sometimes it is it is bigger, like oh yeah, I just download the latest Star Wars movie. I'm like, oh, they've already made a billion dollars. They don't need my $2 and my $10. But that might be that in the

Per Holmes 1:31:35
next movie over is an indie movie that's getting killed because of that it's an indie movie that doesn't have a chance. And everybody who's behind that movie now doesn't have a chance, right? I mean, I okay. Yes, it has a marketing effort. It has a marketing effect, as well. But I don't know that the that the marketing effect of piracy compensates for the loss, the fact that you've just you've just removed the entire demand.

Alex Ferrari 1:32:02
Okay, so I'm gonna I'm gonna hit you with the last three questions, which are I asked of all of my guests. Oh, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in life or in the business?

Per Holmes 1:32:14
Oh, my God, you should have prepared me a little bit. Sorry. I think Come on. Sorry. You're gonna have to cut there again? Sure. No worries. All right. No, it's just that it's evening here and being asked by my family, and some things I I don't know, I think a lesson that has taken me a long time to learn is to only do big things with people who already have experience being successful, because I've had some of the biggest financial accidents in my life by making some things that were actually successful with people who then tore it apart. Because somehow subconsciously, they believe this is the first and the last success I'm ever going to have. So I'm going to just have to give me give me give me as much as I can. Instead of saying that, if we could make it this big with this effort, imagine what we can do if we keep going. And

Alex Ferrari 1:33:21
that's profound, actually, that's actually an iOS Iser,

Per Holmes 1:33:24
I got really punched in the God from not knowing it's actually in the music industry. I was trusting who I thought was my my, the one person that I could trust and I got completely steamrolled over I lost four years of income. I, I was hammered back to the stone age with $40 in my cupboard, so I could always buy some milk and cornflakes and a half tank of gas. Wow, I got hammered back I lost like, major six digit money. And and that was that was because in retrospect, they weren't ready. And I think for me, it's important to be successful with people who don't panic when success happens and say, okay, that's great. Now let's see how we keep going in that direction. And whoever mord more measured, approach to success and failure.

Alex Ferrari 1:34:17
That is something that I think a lot of a lot of filmmakers should take to heart because I've met a lot of I've heard so many stories about independent filmmakers who they make a big hit and then all of a sudden people like oh, you will you got into Sundance and now like, and then that's exactly they've never experienced it. They've never gone through it. And because of that, and everybody

Per Holmes 1:34:36
on their team, they might have a manager who suddenly inside panicking Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, it's accessible. I don't know what to do. Let's, let's take something, right. This is this is tearing it down instead of saying, okay, our tree is sprouting. Let's see what happens if we keep watering it. Right, exactly. And let's just pull it just then they just tear it down. And obviously those people who did that to me I mean, I have two big legal I'd spend the last money I had suing them until I finally had to give up but by then thankfully I'd done enough damage. Right right. Right that actually I Well, I guess I don't know. I was happy knowing that they that they were down

Alex Ferrari 1:35:16
revenge is is a dismissive cold sir. So um alright so what are your top three favorite films of all time and it could be just the three films that come up to you at this moment

Per Holmes 1:35:26
Okay, I can I can name two I like Back to the Future and I like the Shawshank Redemption and then I don't know what else

Alex Ferrari 1:35:35
anything else

Per Holmes 1:35:36
I kinda like Titanic I know that's the

Alex Ferrari 1:35:41
I love Titanic I enjoy it a lot. And then what's one of the most under most underrated films you've ever seen? Oh, yeah, you really should prepare I should I should have said to these before I finally I mean, it's like

Per Holmes 1:35:55
you once in a while thing if somebody ever asked me what would I answer and then I have a great answer and now forgotten.

Alex Ferrari 1:36:03
It's okay.

Per Holmes 1:36:04
I really don't know I'm probably gonna have to bail. I don't know. No worries.

Alex Ferrari 1:36:07
It's all good. So where can where can people find you?

Per Holmes 1:36:12
So yeah, search Hollywood camerawork on Google or Hollywood camerawork calm, and that's worked not works.

Alex Ferrari 1:36:18
Gotcha. Gotcha. And parrot Thank you man so much for being on the show. And it's been a great episode. I mean, you've given us so much information about the craft and what you do and that's why I want to join the show man so I really appreciate you taking the time.

Per Holmes 1:36:36
That is awesome. I really appreciate it.

Alex Ferrari 1:36:39
I did I lie? Did I mean seriously the amount of stuff that he dropped all the knowledge bombs he dropped in this episode. were amazing guys. I mean, and I at the beginning of the show, I talked so much about the course and how what what a fan I am of it, so I won't do it again. But if you want to go and get to the course go to Hollywood camera work calm. And the as promised the 30% off coupon code is the word hustle. h u s t e l just type in the word hustle in the coupon code and you will get 30% off not only to directing actors course but anything the Hollywood camera work has to offer. It is it man I'm telling you it is amazing. So you definitely got to check it out. guys. I hope you guys enjoyed my talk with her. And guys, if you have any experiences or tips or advice about working with actors, head over to our Facebook group and give us some drop some knowledge bombs on us, man, go to indie film hustle.com forward slash Facebook. And you can sign up for our ever growing Facebook group, which is almost 6000 members at right now and growing daily. So definitely go and check that out. And of course, if you really want to take everything up a notch as far as your filmmaking knowledge is concerned, definitely check out the indie film syndicate guys, it is something that I'm very proud of, and it's growing all the time. It is a monthly membership, that you have access to all the courses that I do. And it really is full of a tremendous amount of knowledge that they do not teach you in film school. So it's pretty pretty crazy just to head over to indie film syndicate.com and as I said before the show notes for this episode are indie film, hustle, calm, forward slash 106. So as always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.




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IFH 086: Jenica Bergere – Insanity in Acting & Directing a Micro Budget Feature Film

What do you get when you add a stand-up comedian, a fearless actress, and a great personality? You get today’s guest Jenica Bergere. This is one of the reasons we cast here in my debut feature film This is Meg as the bitchy nut job Ruby.

Jenica Bergere, This is Meg, Jill Michele-Melean, Alex Ferrari, Indie Film Hustle Podcast

Jenica Bergere began her career as a stand-up comedienne becoming a paid regular at The Comedy Store as well as the Improv when she was barely old enough to vote. Jenica credits Russell Simmons for discovering and representing her as the only “crazy white girl” on his Def Jam slate.

Since then she has continued to hone her craft becoming an accomplished writer, actress, comedienne and now award-winning director with her feature film Come Simi for which Jenica co-wrote the screenplay with Doc Pedrolie (2010 Jack Nicholson Award for Screenwriting). Filmed ‘guerilla style’ in only 6 days, Bergere brought the film in for $10,000 and sites being a micro-budget filmmaker as something she actually enjoyed.

Distributors have called the film “brave”, a word that also defines Jenica Bergere as a director. Willing to take risks and do whatever it takes to get the desired results, Jenica brought her camera crew into the hospital room to film her labor and delivery, ensuring the shots were captured as she envisioned, directing everyone all the whilst.

Get ready to laugh out loud in this amazing interview with Jenica Bergere.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 3:53
So without any further ado, please enjoy my hilarious conversation with the amazing Jenica Bergere. Jenica thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show today. Thank you so so much.

Jenica Bergere 5:23
Does anybody ever say it's not my pleasure?

Alex Ferrari 5:26
But now you're the first so thank you for that. So for people who don't know Janica is a very pregnant as you like to put it.

Jenica Bergere 5:34
I'm very pregnant. I've been pregnant, very pregnant for the last three years essentially.

Alex Ferrari 5:39
Exactly. And is one of the main reasons we cast you

Jenica Bergere 5:43
which was so exciting because nobody's casting me this time round with my pregnancy with my last two pregnancies. I worked a ton Did you really well this pregnancy? I haven't. Other than Mrs. mag, no one's checking for me.

Alex Ferrari 5:57
Well, you know, it's just great production value. And I don't know if you saw it on our Facebook that we actually put up I think the first picture we put up of you I'm like yeah, it cost us $1,000 to get it to look like like, the makeup was amazing. And you had no idea how many people like Wow, that's a really great makeup job.

Jenica Bergere 6:16
That's a really great belly to great belly.

Alex Ferrari 6:18
I mean how did you do that? I'm like,

Jenica Bergere 6:21
I love how you put her double chin and that was amazing. Her double chin

Alex Ferrari 6:27
that's all post that's Photoshop that's all photos. So janica wanted to get it wanted to ask you a bunch of questions because I adore you you know I adore you

Jenica Bergere 6:37
and I you know excited when you guys called and said you want that because I you went away and then you came back with indie film hustle which is so you which is so great. Thank

Alex Ferrari 6:46
you so much. And I you know I absolutely the audit for the audience to know me and janica worked on a project 767 years ago, I think now and it was called it's very funny. It was zombie marriage counseling. Which was funny you were the counselor. And that's where I fell in love with you at that day. We shot I was just I was just oh my god, I have to work with her again. And then of course I don't call you for six

Jenica Bergere 7:12
years. We had like babies to make an olive oil

Alex Ferrari 7:15
to i was i was in I was in my my dark deep black hole and you were you were making babies. So but I'm glad we were able to jump on this one. But we'll get into this as Megan a little bit for first. What was your first job in the business?

Jenica Bergere 7:31
Well, my first job in the business was I was like three years old. My mom was at Ralph's in Van Nuys Boulevard on Van Nuys Boulevard. And somebody said they were a casting director. And then I would be cute in this commercial. And it was a GE commercial. Of course, I don't remember it. And my co star was Drew Barrymore. No Yeah, who is that? And that was before 80 so um, my mom was equally as crazy as Drew Barrymore, his mom and they stayed friends. And they stayed friends. I would imagine if there was texting back then they would have continued to text but because there wasn't they couldn't maintain their crazy relationship. So got it. But so that was like the first thing and that was I guess you could call it a discovery at a very a very young age. But it turns out I was just an extra on that and and Drew Barrymore was the lead on that which would make sense and why she was 30 and then I did like a bunch of commercials when I was a kid, but nothing, nothing significant. They were all sort of non union and then I did one commercial you see the back of my head and I got my sag card. I told my mom I don't ever want to do this again. I hate show business. I hate these. I hate I want to stay at school. I really only wanted to stay at school not to study just for the social aspect. Because I just wanted to see my friends I had a boyfriend he had a Ghostbusters t shirt has a machine super cute. Then my boyfriend Jamal Jemaine Warner, hi. We had a little like dancing club. I hadn't, you know, I couldn't fit showbusiness into my social schedule. My mom paid continue to pay my sag dues. But when I realized I wanted to pursue it I was in high school my senior year and you know when I don't know if you ever had this in your high school, but a person comes and does like an infomercial, basically for memorization. And they set it up in the gym and they explain like these tools for memorization, remember all that? Remember this? Yeah. So the guy came, they set up the microphone, and the guy was late. And we were all just sitting there in the in the auditorium or gym and I, my friend was like, go do some stand up and I was like, all right. So I got up and I did Eddie Murphy's whole act from delirious, delirious. Of course, Ron was okay, delirious was, you know the bomb. And then a big bounce shot came. And then from that point on my actually my theater teacher was like, I think you should pursue this. I was like really? Okay, I have a SAG card and she's like, that's half the battle. So, at that time I was in Palm Springs came to Los Angeles got a job at a coffee house called insomnia, which was popular and a producer came in her name was Lisa and she produced a show for VH one called naked cafe and they wanted people to improvise. And I got my first job.

Alex Ferrari 10:47
And and I read somewhere in your bio that you were worked with Russell Simmons, he was kind of like he kind of discovered you and innocence.

Jenica Bergere 10:55
Exactly. Um, so I kept doing stand up. I was really bad at it. But I was really young and bold. So people were interested, but I really had nothing to say. And Russell was like, You crazy white girl. I like you. I like you. He came to a show. Okay. And he was like, we started this company with to breathe. Life in ruffling gray, and breast and gray is the other half. That's the white side. With the black side. We have Def Jam comics, I think you should be on the black side. So I was the only white female comic on the black side of the Def Jam. Comics, right. And that opened up opportunities for everything. I did an audition for SNL. I was 19 years old. They got me an audition. I went flew to New York I audition in front of Conan O'Brien Dennis Miller. They were in the audience just randomly. didn't get it. Molly Shannon did.

Alex Ferrari 11:55
You're friends with Molly now you've worked with her? Many times? Yes.

Jenica Bergere 11:59
She did us a favor and did my movie many many years later, but but because we shared a limo ride back from our hotel. We both didn't get SNL and we knew by the time we're going to the plane. I was crying in the car. I'm 19 and she's like why are you crying? I was 40 and then she got it.

Alex Ferrari 12:23
So then you've done a lot of stand up obviously in your career. Now how is that prepared you for being an actress? Or has it

Jenica Bergere 12:32
um the only thing that's prepared is the leather the leather skin that I developed just for so many times bombing

Alex Ferrari 12:44
Oh, it's brutal i mean i want you and Julie and all any stand up my it's like it is so hard to go out front of a stage with a mic and make people laugh for you for amount of time like you might get one joke but to do a set of even a five minute sets. It's like an eternity. So these guys like that do an hour hour and a half and it's got people rolling for that long. I mean oh god and you also met Julie doing stand up correct?

Jenica Bergere 13:14
Yeah, well actually, Julie was the only female comic I've ever met that was nice. And I met her at the ice house which I'll call for the sake of the story the nice house she I think that the thing we had in common is that I knew that she was a good actress and so there wasn't a level it's weird it's like almost like somebody who's done theater you know it's you can be a part of an ensemble and stand up is very singular. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 13:48
There's literally a spotlight on you

Jenica Bergere 13:50
is literally a spotlight So, um, so we just remained friends but I realized eventually with stand up for me, is I didn't have I didn't I wasn't the best form for what I had to say as an artist. It wasn't it didn't exercise all of my muscles and my talents and I was trying to just get attention, I think on stage and that's not a good reason to do stand up. I remember opening for Rodney Dangerfield and it was a pivotal moment for me because I realized that he's the guy who didn't get respect and he had to tell you that that's where his funny came from. He really didn't get respect and he's this you know, he was this dopey dopey guy don't be fat guy and it it would ring true what I had to say I probably had not enough life experience at the time and I I found that it's better to translate my material through first a one woman show them a TV show and then a movie.

Alex Ferrari 14:50
Got it. So that's what you that's where you kind of started leaning more on being an actress than then yeah,

Jenica Bergere 14:55
I mean, I feel like I'll go back to stand up. I just It is such a grind.

Alex Ferrari 15:00
Oh, I know, I know, Julie. I mean, I've, I've worked with a bunch of stand ups in my day, you know, as a director, and I've seen it firsthand, you know, I've been on, you know, on, like a little tour where there's, you know, 10,000 people one night, and I've been in the comedy club, you know, when there's, you know, five people. And it's, it's a grind. It's like, you've gotta it's one thing to be the funny guy at the party. It's another thing to make a profession at making people laugh. It's it's very, very difficult. And also also cutthroat.

Jenica Bergere 15:35
It's cutthroat and it but it really is truly a gift. Like, I don't think I am gifted in that way. I think I have. I have, I'm fearless. And that's what made me stand out. But, and I had breasts and that was unusual. Um, but ultimately, it's a it's a you really have to be driven to do it. Just like you really have to be driven to be a politician. You have to really be driven to have that spotlight. That's just you. Right? Right. And I didn't. I didn't. I couldn't hack it once. I once I had my first daughter of my 19 children than I have.

Alex Ferrari 16:17
Yes, I see your Amish. It's nice. Very, very nice. That you obviously Roman Catholic, not joking.

Jenica Bergere 16:27
Half Catholic half Jewish. Both are your coincidentally horny

Alex Ferrari 16:31
sand. Obviously no television in the house at all ever, ever.

Jenica Bergere 16:37
bored, bored, bored as fuck, literally. Um, so. So once I had my first kid, I was like, I can't do this. I can't be like hanging out with the dude that's been working on a joke for two years. At a coffee house trying to get my material, right. It's not gonna happen.

Alex Ferrari 16:55
Got it? Yeah, your priorities changed. And things become clear. This has happened. It happens to all of us. I agree with you. 100%. Now, when you're working with a director, what do you look for? In a good director and a good collaborator?

Jenica Bergere 17:09
Well, first, what is their vision for the project? Like what the best directors I've worked for, have dreamt of their of what they're doing. It's I have worked with so many technical directors who are amazing visually and do not know how to speak to a human being. Yes, I've worked with great directors who were actors who really know how to work with actors, but you know, don't know anything technically. I think one of the best directors I worked with was Colin trevorrow, who directed safety not guaranteed and it's not a shock that he was essentially scouted as a mini me by Steven Spielberg for Jurassic World, because he from the moment I met him, it was so dear to him to tell this story. He knew every single part of the film and how he wanted to tell it and so he had you know, some of the technical side but he also had the heart of the story and he had partially he had worked collaborated with the writer of the story which Derek Connolly who wrote it who was amazing and had a great idea and he also just he wanted it to be special right down to the music. So

Alex Ferrari 18:31
if you guys haven't seen that movie, it is so much fun. And it is such a dear movie like you say it there's a lot of heart and safety not guaranteed.

Jenica Bergere 18:39
Yeah, I'm I'm really grateful to be a part of it. He's Oh, he was one of the best directors I've ever worked with. I've gotten to work with Curtis Hanson, who was amazing, because when I met with him, I'm doing this really dramatic scene playing alcoholic mother who's getting beaten by her husband, and who just who just wants the best for her son, but she doesn't have enough self esteem and has to work at Kmart. I mean, really high stakes and did this great scene and really just talked to my acting coach before I went in and really gave myself permission to go there and dark place. And after I was done, he said, looked at my resume looked up and he said, What was it like to work with Helen Mirren? And I realized, like, for working with him, I mean, he's, he's done amazing movies. Of course, for him. It wasn't about the indulgent performance or anything like that. It was like who was the person? And I said, what was great about Helen, because she directed me in a, in a short film that was actually nominated with a series of short films. For Oscar A lot of people don't know that. What was great about working with her was she was just like me, an insecure actress. She said, You know, I I am Same as in my native land. But here, it's very hard for Americans to adopt me. It's very hard for them to

Alex Ferrari 20:07
what are you talking about? Alan,

Jenica Bergere 20:09
we love you. Right? But she was That's what I'm saying. That's what was so amazing was that she was just an insecure actress like me. And that made Curtis laugh. And then I got another part in the movie.

Alex Ferrari 20:19
Oh, no, yes. It's amazing. You know, what's amazing about this business? It has, yes, talent is important. Experience is important. But it's so like, it's almost like so random. Sometimes a funny story could get you apart, or get your part extended, which can lead to somebody else looking at that part and go, Oh, well let me cast her and then boom, boom, boom, and you're in Jurassic World. Like it's, you know, it, there's a lot of work that has to happen, but I think it's just you got to kind of be in the game for things to happen, I guess. But it but once you're in the game, you

Jenica Bergere 20:54
also have to know your I think that the internet changed things completely for me auditioning, I could really see somebody's material before I went in, I could really know about them read about them know, their personal life, what, what kind of toilet paper they use, and everything before I went in, I could almost be a stalker before the audition. Almost. Um, but like, there's a difference between auditioning for TV shows, which is really frustrating. And the director is out of that process. There'll be in the room, they don't have a say, it's the EP. Know,

Alex Ferrari 21:27
who's the who's the who's the decision maker? Oh, the studio? No, no,

Jenica Bergere 21:30
that's the ultimate decision. The producer, the creator of the show, is who you're auditioning for. The writer, the writer, creator, producer, sometimes a non writing producer, if that producer likes you, you have to go to network to be approved. The director is completely just literally in the same position, you are hired hand hired hand. There is no I've auditioned for directors that I've worked with who love me who I've known for a TV show, and they have no say in it whatsoever. It is about the creator of that TV show and the network's relationship with that creator. And that's really frustrating place to be because there are several times that I've gone in, and two times something was written for me, and I don't get the job.

Alex Ferrari 22:20

Jenica Bergere 22:22
I've even seen in casting breakdowns, a jenica barrage error type, and not gotten an audition.

Alex Ferrari 22:32
That's why how is that happen?

Jenica Bergere 22:36
Because there's 30 people making a decision for television.

Alex Ferrari 22:40
As opposed to film a feature film, it's a lot less. Well, they're studio

Jenica Bergere 22:43
and then there's indie. So indie film could literally quite literally be for people, which would be amazing. It which is the amazing side thing. That's why I wanted to make an independent film because it was a reaction to a television show that I made. When I wrote a one woman show for the purpose of selling a TV show instead of doing stand up. I invited everybody in show business. They came. ABC, CBS, Fox, everybody was interested. I went around with a showrunner we pitched Fox past ABC past CBS past, Nickelodeon bought it for Nick at night. Okay, they said we buy it with one stipulation. jakka doesn't get to start it.

Alex Ferrari 23:25
Are you kidding me? No. So

Jenica Bergere 23:28
we said, okay, we developed it. It was developed to my life. But based on my life, my experience of my husband being a chef who cooks for celebrities, and I want to be one, it's Lucy and Desi in a restaurant. And my best friend who works, who my best friend character is like the NFL. She works for the city as a crisis responders. So she has access to planes, trains, and automobiles, because she knows the fire department, police department everything. So we're always trying to bust into these parties and work where my husband is. And at the end of the day, it was all about raising my daughter true. Because it's the only way I know how is is to act.

Alex Ferrari 24:06
Right? They wonder sounds like a great show,

Jenica Bergere 24:09
right? They love the story. They did not love. It's not that they didn't love me. They they were very clear. We're trying to make something of ourselves for our network, Nick at night. And we want to name and that's how it's gonna go. So we develop the show. And we had a script that they really liked, but it wasn't getting greenlit. So my non writing producer decided to produce a pilot presentation and pay for it. And we did it to prove that I could star in my own show. And Gil played my best friend. Right. And we promptly proved that I couldn't start my own show. Why? Because so much control was taken away from me. It became about even in the indie experience of creating a pilot presentation. There were Three non writing producers. One showrunner one writers assistant who became a writer on the show and became a crater on the show me writing a casting director who was helping us another producer who came on to line produce. There was so many opinion let alone I'm not I can't talk. Why? Oh, see? Yes. What? No, thank you. My husband likes to interrupt me. I see this, like, there she is talking about herself again.

Alex Ferrari 25:45
So I'm on indie film, hustle, please leave me alone.

Jenica Bergere 25:47
Please leave me alone. bigger fish to fry.

Alex Ferrari 25:51
So you can't you didn't. So there's so many people, there's so many chefs in the kitchen. No pun intended

Jenica Bergere 25:56
kitchen. And as a reaction to everybody saying this didn't work. The network's saying it didn't work. My people saying it didn't work. My agent saying nobody should see this if you want to save your idea. Which by the way, nobody's helped me with the idea since and I've gotten the script back. No one should see this as a reaction to that I wrote, come see me. I said, I want to I want to just take two cameras. I want to shoot six days. And this is what I want to do. And I met two producers who would help me do that Keith Carville at unified pictures. And he helped me because he saw the show. And he said, You're right. It isn't good. It isn't what I know of you. Let me help you make what you want to make.

Alex Ferrari 26:42
How cool now this is the this is the micro budget feature. microbead directed,

Jenica Bergere 26:46
that I directed. And I wasn't even planning on. It's not like I set out in the world to direct. I was like, I was encouraged by both him and James Porter Lacey who came along and helped me make a $10,000 budget. And my friend, Mary renew who cast who cast it and produced it. I was encouraged by all of them to direct it because it was my story for a while I wasn't going to direct it, somebody else was and then it was like, No, that's what went wrong with the TV show. I'm trying to tell a story. I need to be able to tell it the way I need, whether it's good or bad. I need to be able to tell it, right. And I co authored it with my friend Dr. joley, who's actually a way better writer than me and helps me structure it in a way that made it a film.

Alex Ferrari 27:35
And what did you shoot on? Do you remember the cameras?

Jenica Bergere 27:38
Canon Canon? HD seven.

Alex Ferrari 27:41
Okay. All right, so you shall

Jenica Bergere 27:44
Yes, and they bet he begged me my dp Peter Mohsen. and begged me not to use those he begged me for the Blackmagic we had in the budget $900 for cameras, we had two free cameras so we use the $900 for pretty lenses.

Alex Ferrari 27:58
And just like I haven't called you, you didn't call me true true. So it's it's a it's fair. I think at this point, I would have been more than happy

Jenica Bergere 28:12
to help you out with God, I don't would have been amazing. I would have been more than happy

Alex Ferrari 28:17
to do the post all that kind of stuff. But But now we're working on this as well. We'll get to that in a second. So tell me and you're now the the come see me that was scripted or a little bit non scripted as well.

Jenica Bergere 28:30
It was both it was it was about 46 pages. But the whole feature.

Alex Ferrari 28:34
She's definitely a little bit of improv there.

Jenica Bergere 28:37
Yeah, definitely Ember have in between, what what what I knew was what that what I wanted, from the scenes, and we would put five beats to the scenes. And there were very specific descriptions of what I needed that were between me and the DP for the script. And Doc, very elegantly doctored it, literally, and made it legible for everybody in the cast to read. Instead of like crazy, and then the moms like fucky. And this is just like, Yeah, he made it a little more appealing. Um, and, and we ended up improvising within those confines of the scenes, but we knew where we were going to shoot, we knew our locations. We had it all mapped out. And all the cast members had a Bible that I had written that was about 20 pages about who this family was, so that they had that to work with. Got it. And in most cases, the best lines in the movie came from people improvising, not something I'd written. And I wanted to have this organic experience with actors, because I had had such a non organic experience of telling my life of when I did the TV show.

Alex Ferrari 29:59
We'll be right back. After a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Jenica Bergere 30:09
I've tried to hit jokes and lines and it not working. And it not being like the real Josh. And this great actor, Joshua funk, who's an improviser, played my husband. And we just knew each other. So it just really worked. We really seem like a couple. And he also had to commit to because I wanted to give birth in the film. Because I was actually

Alex Ferrari 30:36
your method, your method director, and

Jenica Bergere 30:38
director. I was nine months or seven months pregnant when we filmed it. And we knew that we had one day left, and it was the day to give birth. And everybody was on call. And Josh, who played my husband, Josh, the one requirement I when I talked to him, I said, How do you feel about being in the delivery room and pretending to be my husband, with my real husband there and my kids and stuff like that, and he said, I think it would be fun.

Alex Ferrari 31:09
And your husband's just off camera?

Jenica Bergere 31:12
Well, what we did was we ended up delivering the baby and using the footage from the camera. And I talked to my ob gyn and having labor on delivery for 15 minutes. They left the room, my real family left the room. My fake family came in

Alex Ferrari 31:28
and your ob gyn did the scene. He

Jenica Bergere 31:32
we used his stuff from this from the footage we used in in the hospital room very minimal footage, obviously didn't want to show a bloody mess. So we use him delivering and the baby being weighed and the baby coming out and the baby being put on my chest. And it was actually in my was one of my most proud directing moments ever because the whole crew was standing outside the sound, my ad, my dp and my friends who were in the movie, and I said and James Porter Lacey produced, and I gave birth, and they all came in and they were like, okay, how's this gonna go? and Connie kitane was supposed to be in the scene and she was stuck in traffic texting me while I'm giving birth. Can you just wait? And I was like, no. I'm dilated. It's happening. Oh, but I'm almost there. She literally arrived 20 minutes after the baby was born. And we only had labor and delivery for 15 minutes. So Josh came in. And the ad said, okay, we shot a bunch of stuff in the hallway, and we think it goes, you know, scream, scream, scream, and then we come up on your face. And I said, No, no, no, no, that is not how childbirth is. It Josh is here. He's videoing it. The babies just been born. The scene takes place after the baby's just been born. Okay. Set the camera up. And you'll have to see it when you see the scene. It looks like they were actually there.

Alex Ferrari 33:03
Oh my god. That's so that's I mean, well, obviously, this is something I can never do as a director. So

Jenica Bergere 33:11
you will never have that luxury. I'm sorry. I'll never

Alex Ferrari 33:14
I will never know.

Jenica Bergere 33:16
But you could be invited. No, no, no, actually, you could. I'm pregnant. Do you want if you want to use it in Ruby, see we can. I appreciate it. I'm willing. I'm not kind of vagina.

Alex Ferrari 33:28
I understand. I understand. You are fearless. There's no question about it. You are one of the most fearless actresses I've ever worked with. So yes, without question now on on some technical stuff when you were finished with come see me. How did you get it out into the world? How did you get it distributed? How did distributors feel about it? You know, how did how did it go?

Jenica Bergere 33:52
I'm like any indie filmmaker. I made a movie for Sundance.

Alex Ferrari 33:58
Yes, of course we all do. mega has been submitted.

Jenica Bergere 34:01
Of course. When I got the I literally just made it for Sundance. I had no plan outside of that.

Alex Ferrari 34:08
Oh, really. So you were like just a lottery ticket. That was it

Jenica Bergere 34:11
just said this is it. And I thought I'm betting I'm literally betting 10,000. We spent 10,000. we're betting 10,000 and a childbirth on Sundance. And then I'll never forget the 6am email I got that was the standard email you get because my other friend had submitted her film and she she certainly thought hers was going to Sundance too. Right and we're both on the toilet I think at 6am texting each other and we received the same email. That seems personal but isn't personal, right? And I was just floored. I mean, I had no backup plan. There was no backup plan. And luckily James portal AC had a backup plan. He had always thought that we should just go straight Two distributors. And I said, Well, I kind of just made it to tell the story. And he was like, well, I kind of made it so people could see it. So

Alex Ferrari 35:12
you're like, you're like the product for the typical artists. Like I just wanted to tell the story. I could make money doing this.

Jenica Bergere 35:19
I literally was golly, gee willikers. And he had produced my friend, Lance Kinsey's film, that's an improvised movie that I'm in as well. Right before this movie. And Lance said to him, let me be very clear, James. I made this movie to make money. But I made the movie for the story, or the art for the art or the art I did. And then I realized that the one gratifying artistic market place. didn't accept it. I didn't have a backup plan. Luckily, it got into new filmmakers, la Yeah, which was a nice, great festival. They're wonderful. And it had gotten in before Sundance, and they said, Well, let us know if you don't get in.

Alex Ferrari 36:06
And I was like, as they as they, as they chuckled,

Jenica Bergere 36:09
exactly. And I was like, yeah, we're gonna get in, and I immediately called them and said, it's available. And then a great festival called first time fast in New York. loved it, and it was in competition with six films, and the people who looked at the film noir Martin Scorsese, Harvey Weinstein, and then Harvey Weinstein came and spoke to us filmmakers at the festival that was a great festival. And then it continued to go on to like 12 more festivals, Women in Film, it won Best Screenplay three times, which is hilarious because your problem is it's a 46 page script. But I attribute those awards to doc purely for making it making my crazy legible and palpable, and then randomly, we never had a distributor screening and we did not meet distributors at festivals. James emailed a the orchard, which is a big distributor, and they they district, they exclusively distribute duplass films. And she wrote back in a month or so and said, I love the film. And we'd love to release it a worldwide digital distribution. So it went on Amazon's AI, Amazon iTunes on demand. Virgin America airlines, which was exciting. And they're currently in negotiation for some kind of broadcast that we're hoping that we get and it just was released on DVD may 15. How cool

Alex Ferrari 37:48
is that? So yeah, have you hasn't made any money back? Can you tell Can

Jenica Bergere 37:52
you know not $1 $1

Alex Ferrari 37:58
not even a cent.

Jenica Bergere 37:59
Not even a sense. So

Alex Ferrari 38:01
a $10,000 movie has yet to make a profit.

Jenica Bergere 38:05
We keep getting guaranteed that we will make a profit.

Alex Ferrari 38:09
You have to I mean that I got

Jenica Bergere 38:12
what I feel good about is that I know how to make a movie for that little that's what I feel good about what I walked away from is okay, I didn't get into Sundance, I didn't break out as the newest, amazing, innovative director who uses her life story and all her stories.

Alex Ferrari 38:32
Like precious but different. Exactly.

Jenica Bergere 38:34
I'm not that different at this point, but um I once that didn't happen, I realized what we what I did, what I do know how to do is support art support indie filmmaking. And I went on to support my best friend who made her film. And she successfully crowdfunded for 50,000 I didn't want to crowdfund because I was too nervous to ask for money.

Alex Ferrari 39:06
Tell me about that.

Jenica Bergere 39:07
I let her ask for it. And she she's finished that that film is almost finished. Oh, great. And, you know, projects like this is Meg I'm absolutely rooting for because it's, it's born of, I would like to take some control and I have something to say, which is a little bit of the to go back to stand up, which is a little bit of why we started stand up. Like I have something to say I'm here. I'm different. I have something to say. Let me get on stage. Hopefully. We can have some fun tonight. And but at the end of the day, most stand ups No matter how much they have to say. Most stand ups want a TV show and want to be Seinfeld whoo

Alex Ferrari 39:51
Yeah, cuz after he got the first check when I went into into reruns, exactly. was a 300 million

Jenica Bergere 39:57
was something like something Bananas. I just don't get residuals for my episode of Seinfeld. So I'm sure I can imagine

Alex Ferrari 40:05
what he gets exactly what any of the main cast get. Exactly. So since you brought Nick up, let's talk about a little bit about this as mag. So you, you get a call from Julie. And and do you know the whole though? How this whole project came to be?

Jenica Bergere 40:22
I do. It's very similar to me she went through a pilot season that was hell. And you called her and said, I want to do something, let's get your friends together do this. And she was like, I'm tired of being treated like crap, I want to do my own thing.

Alex Ferrari 40:36
Right? I called her up and I said, Jill, I want to make a movie, I want you to be the star of it. And I want to talk about your experiences as an actress and a stand up in LA. Yeah, being a female, and not being 20 years old. Let's let's do something real. And, and like, let's call everybody up, and I end but by the way, jenica the first words out of my mouth, like Angelica has to be in it. She told me that. That was like one of the firt like, and jenica has to be so you even though hadn't called you You were always in the back of my head, I need you out and what we do jenica has to come in. Ah, so

Jenica Bergere 41:10
I was happy that you were involved. She said I'm we're the gang is back together again, is basically what she said. And as I'm in whatever, what you want me to do?

Alex Ferrari 41:19
I haven't. I haven't I know she called like, we cast the movie in three days. That's so rad. She just calls everybody up. And she's like, I'm making a movie. She's like everyone, everyone basically said, Yeah, let's go do it. What do you need? And it was so wonderful to see how fast everything got off the ground. Now, and obviously you jumped on the train because of your relationship with her and wanting to work with me. Can you talk a little bit about Ruby and your experience? Bring her to life?

Jenica Bergere 41:50
Well, it's funny because she wanted me to play this sort of retired actress who's claiming to be retired on purpose, because she's happily married with a bunch of kids. And when she first said that, I was like, Oh, I know how to play this because I'm not retired. But I have a bunch of kids and I know how to be a mom. What was different was that she's she Meg works for her. And she keeps her on as a nanny, which is something very LA and the nanny Meg never meets the children. Right? She's really basically supposed to be a paid friend. Right? And I know that she's the backup. She's the backup nanny. And I know these women, my daughter has gone to preschool with these women. And it was very difficult for me to tap into because the operative word that actually got me centered in playing the character improvising was be a bitch. Yes. And I never really get to be a bit. But everybody has an inner bitch. And now it came out guys have inner

Alex Ferrari 42:59

Jenica Bergere 43:00
even guys haven't Oh, that's for sure. I think guys are more in touch with their inner bitch than girls. You know, we don't really want to, we don't really want to rear its ugly head. But once I could. For me working on a character, I always have to get the costume and the makeup right. And not in a vain way. It's like what am I wearing? Like, I kill a texture like five times, like, Can we discuss what I'm wearing? I need to I want to wear a kimono? Yes. I was like, I need to come Oh, no. I'm also pregnant. grotesquely pregnant, I feel hideous. But this is a girl who was an actress. So she's obviously has some sort of vanity. And I'm not that kind of being an actress. So I had to put myself in the shoes of somebody who gets facials and takes takes care of themselves. Yes, of course. That was different. My idea of a facial is splashing water on my face. So um, so that was really fun. But once in the scene, first of all, Jill and I have worked together and a lot. So we're always I've always called upon her to play my best friend in things. And so that was really easy. And I like her so much. It was really hard for me to be a bitch to her. But again, when she gave me the license to do

Alex Ferrari 44:14
that, or you you went

Jenica Bergere 44:17
to went for it. And you're so you're so supportive, and if I don't get you to laugh, then I'm not funny.

Alex Ferrari 44:27
Yes, true. That's very true. You and many, many times I giggled quietly as the scene went

Jenica Bergere 44:34
Yeah, so it was just a really fun experience.

Alex Ferrari 44:38
It was wasn't it

Jenica Bergere 44:38
we haven't realized really I mean not want to do it again.

Alex Ferrari 44:41
Yeah, I'm trying to think of how I'm trying to think of how we can bring you back Ruby's birth. I think the birth I think we're gonna

Jenica Bergere 44:49
I'm gonna just keep I want because how is just think about it from this angle. How is the kid that I filmed the movie of giving birth to and by the way, my oldest daughter wrote the song In the movie that was nominated for an award, she wrote it. She was 10 years old, and she wrote a song and guitar that was nominated. So that was commemorated in the movie. How do you think this baby's going to feel if you don't commemorate her birth on your film?

Alex Ferrari 45:17
We'll have you at the end. At the end, the end credits sequence of bonus.

Jenica Bergere 45:25
Movie calls Megan's like, you need to have this baby for me. You need to pull it out.

Alex Ferrari 45:30
Like wherever you are, please just come, please. Come out. I'll show you. I'll triple your pay. I need you to pull this out. I'm so tired of these babies. We had such a good time and what you know what with this project specifically, you know, I've kind of really wanted to work with people who are very seasoned, like yourself and Carlos and our cast pretty much everybody on the cast is

Jenica Bergere 45:54
is Moe and Moe Collins and Deborah Irwin, Deborah and all the funniest women I've ever seen.

Alex Ferrari 46:03
I can't wait to do our scene together in a few weeks, but I kind of given license to like, okay, like, this is kind of like my experiment in a way too, because I was like, Okay, well janica What's Ruby fine, like, you know, let's talk and like let's just kind of make her up as we go along. So there's, I don't have a very preconceived, perhaps I have an idea of where I want to go with the story, obviously, but like things like I want to wear a kimono. I'm like, That's brilliant. You know, I feel a lot of times, you know, you hire an actor, and they should be responsible for their character. They shouldn't just be a movable prop.

Jenica Bergere 46:37
Well, that to the point of micro budget, micro indie filmmaking is on a large budget with great artists who are being paid. their opinions are all a part of, and you don't have as much collaboration, but on an indie project. As far as being an actor. What was so awesome about uncom see me was Karen Landry, who played the mom just brought it like I was like, she needs to look like she has no teeth. How are we gonna do that? I mean, she contorted her face in such a way we put latex on her face to make her more wrinkled, and we just put this costume together and, and she was down, she was down and in that costume for four days in the car, like and then then there's Tani, who is wild and has an amazing body and, and I needed to access that use it. And she had like the most incredible wardrobe I've ever seen. And to to bring that stuff is different than having a high paid person who's bringing their artist artistic vision, which is not to take away from it because I've worked with some amazing customers. Oh, no, absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 47:47
Like I mean, if you're if you're working on a bigger budget film, but I can tell depending on the kind of story you're trying to tell him the kind of movie you're trying to make. You know, obviously if you want to win if you're gonna have an Oscar winner, Oscar winner, like I worked once with the the wardrobe stylist from Sex in the City. You know, she's amazing. I mean, she was amazing. And I worked with her for a week on a project and my God, I mean, she's a genius. You Patricia right? forgot her name. I Trisha field. Trisha Trisha Trisha fields. Yes, exactly. And she was wonderful. And I learned so much from working with her. And you know, but it was just like, you got you want to work with with the best of the best, like you want to hire an Oscar winning dp, you know, but on this movie, I'm lighting it purely because this is the kind of story I'm trying to tell. And things like that. So it's just really, it's just, it's just, it's, by the way, I don't know if you have this experience. But when you try to explain what you're doing to people, they look at you with a tilted head like you're crazy.

Jenica Bergere 48:45
And they also don't believe the price point. Like I want to say for 15 they're like, yeah, you can't do that. No, you can't.

Alex Ferrari 48:52
It's beyond. It's beyond their comprehension. It's not like Robert Rodriguez didn't make El Mariachi for $7,000. Like they just couldn't grasp that. Like that didn't make any sense. Like, you know, oh, how much did Paranormal Activity cost eight. That's not possible. Like they don't they don't get that. And in today's world more than even back then it's so much more possible to do it now. If you have the right people with the right skill set and the right equipment.

Jenica Bergere 49:16
Exactly. Well, when I would say one tip for micro budget filmmaking is get seasoned actors. Yeah. Seasoned, seasoned people who have worked on film or if not season, then willing. Willing to just show up.

Alex Ferrari 49:32
Well, there's two sides of the spectrum. They're, like really need to work with season if not just anybody who work anybody will just show up and be a body but it

Jenica Bergere 49:43
but it's but it's true. It's like they just have to be willing to want to like make some thing. There are a lot of people who are who are come out of school entitled, I have met so many at least actors who have like open I have a BFA, but I have an MFA and I'm like, boy That has nothing to do with auditioning. That has nothing to do with somebody else's project.

Alex Ferrari 50:06
It's why you know, I call that indie film hustle for a reason, you know, you have to hustle and yeah, and no amount of schooling or degrees means anything. It's all you know. Like I always tell people like, you know, Max Spielberg had he got he might get a meetings, and he might get some projects set up. But if he doesn't deliver the goods, you don't care what the last name is. True, true. You know, at the end of the day that might open the nepotism will open the doors for you, but it won't keep you there. You know? Yeah, that's my experience.

Jenica Bergere 50:39
Well, I've never had nepotism so I don't even know what they experience would be.

Alex Ferrari 50:44
Wouldn't it be nice that you get like a Yeah, I worked with your dad on that Oscar winning movie. Once you come in, let's talk about your project. It would be

Jenica Bergere 50:50
nice, I'm finding it's less and less on every set. I'm finding that with this generation with Kickstarter. And seed and spark and Indiegogo that there are less and less nepotistic artists and actually hungry people who have something they want to say and do. Absolutely. And that makes that's what's really cool. Um, I'm still afraid to put my foot in the ring for fundraising for a project. I'm still trying to do micro budget on a studio level. That's what

Alex Ferrari 51:24
we're trying to do with this this bag. Exactly. A micro budget, but it looks, it looks insane for the budget that that it is.

Jenica Bergere 51:33
Because you know how to shoot? Well, I

Alex Ferrari 51:35
hope, I hope when it's all said and done, everyone will agree with you. So, so I wanted to talk real quick about one of your most famous parts, which is The Drew Carey Show. Can you talk a little bit about that experience, because that must have been so much fun playing that character?

Jenica Bergere 51:52
Well, I have one great story. I mean, great, but one exciting story of my whole career. Um, they, I was I played as girlfriend chair in the handy woman, and they wanted to do an episode at the Cleveland Browns stadium. So we flew to Cleveland for The Drew Carey Show, which was not unusual for the members for the regular members on regular cast members on Drew Carey, because they film all those great dance opening sequences and stuff there. But it was exciting for me. And I had no idea what to expect. In Los Angeles. Oh, you're on The Drew Carey Show. Oh, you work in Warner Bros? Oh, yeah. In the traffic suck from Venice to pass Avenue. I mean, that's about the extent of the conversation and I remember not being able to be seen for a show that I was right for. Because the cast director civil Isn't she on The Drew Carey Show she she's fat, right? And I was, let me tell you, triple tinier than I am now at least 90 pounds less. I'm not in I'm not that's not an exaggeration. Okay. So that was my experience of being on the true Gary show in Los Angeles, step outside of Los Angeles, into Ohio. And it was like, I was Priscilla Presley.

Alex Ferrari 53:11
Oh, really? like Beyonce walked in.

Jenica Bergere 53:14
I had no idea. I had no idea what to expect. And they were saying, What's your alias at the hotel? And I was like, let's let's an alias, I'd like to get it. What's your name gonna be because they were so famous in Ohio. And I you don't experience that in Los Angeles. I'm a working actor. I mean, I was discovered at Ralph's when I was three years old. Yeah, it's just a part of the business where business? Yeah, so we walk up to the Cleveland Browns stadium for rehearsal. This is just a rehearsal day we weren't even shooting. And people are like, which is my characters share, like 1000 35,000 extra showed up? No. Or maybe it was 13,500. Maybe you have the numbers wrong, but it was not a damn people, over 10,000 people, over 10,000 people. And they were like, Sharon, I was like, Oh my god, this is the power of Syndicated Television. And you know what the great thing about drew is he never ever took it in. He never once thought on the shit. He never wants acted that way. To the day of the show ending. He wasn't quite sure if he was good enough to be Drew Carey. And in one way that was sad. In a way it was actually endearing and charming. And what made him special is because he really just did not have an ego. And he's that guy, that sort of lovable guy that you see on the show. So that was a cool experience. And then and then they nominated me for an Emmy for the tool belt dance striptease that I did. But the me the academy did not or what They are Motion Picture Association set. Thank you. They didn't recognize my my genius,

Alex Ferrari 55:05
obviously, obviously, I think you in Ruby have that in common.

Jenica Bergere 55:09
Well, I could draw from that. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 55:12
There's a line you're like I was nominated. But you know, that was rigged. I didn't believe

Jenica Bergere 55:20
what is probably came from that, actually, from that experience.

Alex Ferrari 55:23
I'm sure it did. I'm sure it did. So I know you're I know you're very pregnant. And I know that this is, you know, you've spent way too much time on the on the show already. So I'm going to ask you a few questions left. And, and then I'll let you go and rest. What is the advice you can give any aspiring standup or actor trying to break into the business?

Jenica Bergere 55:46
however you're going to do, what you have to say about your life, in your experience is the important part. So find the medium to do that, and gather a bunch of friends and tell it. If that means stand up, then gather a bunch of friends on the road, and go and tell your story. That means a TV show performance as a one person show, show or get people together to film it yourself. And same with the movie. That's my advice. Waiting for an agent or manager to discover you doesn't happen anymore. There's no discovery. There's no door You are the door essentially.

Alex Ferrari 56:26
Great advice. Very, very great advice. Now, what was the lesson actually,

Jenica Bergere 56:30
and let me go back, my father said if you want to go be an artist, because he was a jazz drummer, who, pretty much when he passed away, died penniless, being a jazz drummer. And he had worked with Charlie Parker and dizzy glassbeam cliver Brown and Dexter Gordon, and he basically died penniless. So he knew what an artist meant. And he said, Jen, if you want to be an artist, then go do it. Go discover all the arts enjoy paintings at museums. Go take dance class, go sing, go, go get on a set, go help. Go lift some lights. He said do it all don't just try to you know, be famous. So I love that he gave me that. That advice because I've had that attitude my whole career. I'm not just gonna I'm not gonna just do stand up and commercials I'm going to do standard commercials, television and film. And if they won't hire me, then I'm gonna make it

Alex Ferrari 57:29
because now you can. Now it's now it's it's much more accessible. Exact 30 years ago, you have to shoot 35 millimeter and it's gonna cost you $100,000 just as a cop on the set.

Jenica Bergere 57:41
Yeah. Now you can't.

Alex Ferrari 57:43
So what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn either in the in the business or in life?

Jenica Bergere 57:50
I think I'm still learning it. I think the lesson I'm still learning is that just that hard work doesn't necessarily pay off. But you could just do a great job and there's you still can't stand with your hat out. Because it doesn't matter. that hard work doesn't necessarily pay off hard work is just hard work. So go do what you love, and focus on your family. I guess that's the lesson I learned was probably why I keep having children because I'm invested in my relationship with my husband who seems to want to breed all the time. And at the end of the day, I know that having a family is most important for me. And, and and with having said that I still am not giving up on my dreams and my ideas of what I have to tell I've just incorporating it.

Alex Ferrari 58:43
Right, because at the end of the day when the spotlight fades, you know, and it fades on everyone. Everyone. The people that you've built around you and your family being the closest people to you is what's important. And that's something I've learned in the in the short time I've been around as well. Yeah, with my family, so it's, it's not always the ones to Oh, thank you so much.

Jenica Bergere 59:05
I think you also probably learned this too. It's better if your kids are cute.

Alex Ferrari 59:10
Well, there's Oh, that's well depends. You know, I they're gonna be there. My girls are a little too cute. and prayed about what's gonna happen when they get older. Well, that's

Jenica Bergere 59:19
a man thing.

Alex Ferrari 59:20
It's a completely man thing.

Jenica Bergere 59:23
As a woman on the on the playground, I'm like, my kids are cuter than yours.

Alex Ferrari 59:29
They are cute.

Jenica Bergere 59:30
I mean, that's the stand up of me. I'm like my fucking kids rock.

Alex Ferrari 59:35
So, um, what are the three? What are your three favorite films of all time, whichever films that kind of come to your mind right now.

Jenica Bergere 59:43
Well, I'm embarrassed but not embarrassed to say safety not guaranteed.

Alex Ferrari 59:47
That's a great movie.

Jenica Bergere 59:48
I just when the moment I read that script, I was like, I have to be in this movie. And I actually was testing for a series that same day and I kind of screwed up the test so that I could be there on time to audition. And even though I It was not lucrative to make that decision. I knew it was a special movie, just the script alone. I wanted to be in it. That's one of my favorite movies. Et. Okay. To this day, I recall waiting online to see it. Yep, yep. And on off of Van Nuys Boulevard at the theater there and then waiting again, to see it. And Breakfast Club. There's a little john Hughes in me. I know I won one. There's something about that. It's not all of his movies are great. But there was something about what he captured about all their relationships that I can't let go of. I mean, I still think back to that movie, at least once a day.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:45
But that movie is also it was made in the 80s. But it's completely relevant today.

Jenica Bergere 1:00:50
completely, totally, because of the relationships because of the characters and the

Alex Ferrari 1:00:54
archetypes. Like the archetypes, we all grew up with all those archetypes.

Jenica Bergere 1:00:58
Absolutely. And there's I mean, that in Ferris Bueller? Those are the, I would say are you know if I could make a movie be that good. If I could write a movie that good then I would feel like I arrived or I did something. It's still is like, you know, there are masterpieces in the world. Like out of Africa.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:20
Sure, you know, Blade Runner? Yeah, I

Jenica Bergere 1:01:23
mean, those are masterpieces. And, but that I as a actor and as an artist, I always refer back to those john Hughes movies.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:34
And they're they're the masterpieces of his genre. Exactly. Without without question. I real quick, I'm gonna ask you, did you get a chance to work with Mark duplass at all? Or Yeah, with with?

Jenica Bergere 1:01:45
I'm not I didn't work with him. No, I didn't actually he, um, he we didn't have any scenes together. Okay, but I got to work with him in the in terms of the press of the movie and going to Sundance and be with him. And he's really super cool. And I've gotten to speak with him and his producer Stephanie Lang Hoff a lot since Yeah, he's, he's, he is. He's somebody to look to. He's just great.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:14
Yeah, for everybody who doesn't? I've mentioned him on the show before but if you guys haven't heard, or haven't seen any of his work, uh, Mark duplass is kind of like an inspiration to all of us to all of us as indie filmmakers, but also like for non scripted and also even though he script he actually writes his movies but he completely throws the script out the window once he's on set is what I heard.

Jenica Bergere 1:02:37
Yeah, I mean he a lot of his movies are improvised. But they have an outline when but safety not guaranteed was not that it was not improvised. It was very it was written

Alex Ferrari 1:02:50
it was written written there was there any input me I'm sure anytime you with him, he has to improvise.

Jenica Bergere 1:02:54
Not in our scenes not in my stuff with Jake Johnson. Okay, improvised and they were very specific about the words they really it wasn't they weren't like saying don't improvise. It was just very clear. It was an improvised movie.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:08
Like say say your lines say the lines exactly as written.

Jenica Bergere 1:03:12
Yeah, I mean, nobody said say your lines exactly as they're written but you didn't come to the set going. This is going to be mumble core. And we're gonna see where this goes. Colin really knew what he wanted and so did Derek and they were working hand in hand to tell they had as you can see in the movie, they were very specific in the vision of what they wanted.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:32
And Mark is actually the one who helped get that movie made.

Jenica Bergere 1:03:35
It wouldn't have been made without mark. He was so they have a mutual agent or manager or something gave it to mark and they said Mark said if I'm the dude who's who puts out the ad the classified ad then I'll give you money. And he brought on big beach. That's Yeah, that's awesome.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:55
He helps a lot of indie filmmakers out he produces a lot Oh yeah,

Jenica Bergere 1:03:58
I mean, he produces so much I you know, I haven't used the Mark duplass card and I haven't even shown him come see me or I don't even know if he knows about it. But

Alex Ferrari 1:04:09
you should probably reach out to mark

Jenica Bergere 1:04:12
you know what so many people are reaching out to him and wanting so much from him. I did reach out to him about togetherness because I have a sister theme in my film that is very relevant to the TV show togetherness and I auditioned for it and he wrote back a very sweet email can't wait to see your tape. Bubba and I didn't get it so that was about the extent of me asking for his help but if there's a project I think he's also an incredible actor. So is his brother so I thought he was amazing and Hump Day I mean he blew my mind and Hump Day I learned that was

Alex Ferrari 1:04:48
your sister Sister. Yeah wonder I love them which

Jenica Bergere 1:04:51
and Lynn Shelton is like I haven't I we were in safety not guaranteed to and I didn't get to meet her cuz she wasn't at Sundance, but I'm a huge fan and for the very reason of it's similar to john Hughes in that there's a relationships that are archetypes that are amazing

Alex Ferrari 1:05:12
question Okay, now let me ask you where where can people find you?

Jenica Bergere 1:05:16
jenica versioner.com jenica share on Facebook jenica per share on Twitter janica per share on Instagram I made it real simple.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:26
Okay, so that's where everyone could find you. So

Jenica Bergere 1:05:28
I have about two followers. I know I'm

Alex Ferrari 1:05:32
followers up for you. We're doing the best we can.

Jenica Bergere 1:05:35
Alex Ferrari and Jill-Michele Meleán those are my followers.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:45
Thank you so much for taking the time I really appreciate it and I cannot wait to show you the scenes of editing your scene and show you the final movie when it's all said and done. Thank you for so much for being a part of it.

Jenica Bergere 1:05:54
Has any guest ever said I love you?

Alex Ferrari 1:05:57
No you'd be the first

Jenica Bergere 1:05:59
I love you.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:00
Thank you so much love you too. As you can tell jenica and I had a lot of fun not only in this interview but you can only imagine the kind of fun we had shooting her scenes in this is mag with Julie it's the pretty hilarious I can't tell you I've been editing them. Recently actually, just yesterday, I was editing that whole scene. Parts of her scenes and I was I was on the floor. It's really really funny and, and really real. And in this movie jenica is fearless. And when I say fearless, you'll have to watch the movie to understand how fearless of a woman and of an actress she really is. So from the bottom of my heart genic I say thank you so much for bringing your amazing energy to this is Meg. And guys don't forget the please check out the indie film syndicate, which is my indie film, kind of hub membership community where you can get access to all of our online courses, as well as exclusive access to how we're making this is mag it's kind of called micro budget film masterclass. So it's pretty amazing. And I I really love you guys take a look at it. It's an indie film syndicate calm. And if you want to donate to the this is Meg, a campaign you can and get discounts on getting into the membership. And we've already started uploading a ton of stuff of what we've been doing. And I'll continue to upload monthly as we go from soup to nuts all the way from how we made how we got the LLC formed all the way to how we how we're distributing the movie, either self distributing it or getting it distributed by a major distributor so that check that out indie film, syndicate calm. And as always head over to filmmaking podcast.com and leave us a great review. Hopefully, for the show. It really helps us out a lot. So guys, thank you so much for listening. I hope you got a lot out of this episode. And keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.




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IFH 077: Acting & the Art of Being Yourself with Adrian Martinez

Being yourself in any situation in life is hard for many people. Actors do make a living playing other people but the art of being comfortable in your own skin is a lesson we can all learn. I invited on the show Adrian Martinez, an actor, writer, producer, and soon-to-be-director, with nearly 100 film and TV credits.

Adrian’s career began as a high school track star on NBC’s “Unsolved Mysteries“. Some in casting have called Adrian, “the sidekick to the stars,” as evidenced by his recent sidekick trifecta– Will Smith’s sidekick in Warner Bros’ “Focus,” Ben Stiller’s sidekick in his Fox remake of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Will Ferrell’s sidekick in Lionsgate’s “Casa de mi Padre,” to name a few.

Mr. Martinez’s TV work includes over forty guest spots, including a recurring guest star in CBS’ “A Gifted Man,” opposite Patrick Wilson, FX’s “Louie” opposite Louis CK, HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” “Sex and the City,” and is recurring on Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer.

Adrian is currently making his directorial debut with the film “iCreep,” through his production company, Paloma Pictures.

I wanted to have Adrian Martinez on the show to see if he would share some of his secret sauce for maintaining such a long and successful career…and he did. Whether your an actor, director, writer, or artist the knowledge bombs Adrian drops are massive.

BTW, this happens to be one of the funniest episodes I’ve ever done. Adrian is not only generous with his knowledge but he’s FUNNY AS HELL! Enjoy.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 1:01
Now today's guest is Adrian Martinez. Adrian has been in so many movies and television shows that have lost count I mean, he's played against Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. He was in the Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller. He was in the amazing Spider Man number two, he was an inside Amy Schumer. And more recently, he co starred with Will Smith and Margot Robbie in the movie focus. So his resume in his IMDB page is sick. I had a chance to work with him at a workshop many years ago, and he and I became friends. We, we went to the bat, we went to battle together on some projects during that workshop. And as as many relationships are, they are forged in the heat of battle. And that is what happened with me and Adrian. So I reached out to Adrian because I wanted him on the show to talk about what it takes not only to be a working actor in Hollywood, but what he's been able to do, being himself not trying to be anybody else but who he is. And that has been his success. It's been his secret sauce, on getting work and continually getting work for better part of two decades. working steadily. And being a working actor in Hollywood today is something that is to be revered because it is very difficult to do so. So I wanted to bring them on and kind of talk about what it's like to just do you and be you and and how much success he's been able to obtain because of that so it is a very eye opening a very just wonderful interview and I had a ball talking to him. He's super funny. And Adrian gives one of the best answers to my Famous final questions I've had anyone give me before so definitely stay around for that last question. I think you guys will enjoy it. So without further ado, here's my interview with Adrian Martinez. Adrian man, thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate you taking the time during the holidays.

Adrian Martinez 5:19
Oh, absolutely. Matt Lauer.It's been great.

Alex Ferrari 5:25
It's Alex Ferrari, sir.

Adrian Martinez 5:27

Alex Ferrari 5:33
We met God about what seven years ago

Adrian Martinez 5:36
Its always five years ago,

Alex Ferrari 5:37
It's always just no matter what it is. It's five years ago.

Adrian Martinez 5:39
No matter what it is, is after that point, what's the point? Its about five years ago.

Alex Ferrari 5:46
Alright. So about five years ago, we met at a leaf the this a wonderful kind of like summer camp for filmmakers. And you were there directing a piece called Manny, if I remember correctly?

Adrian Martinez 5:57
Yes, yes. Which you can catch on YouTube?

Alex Ferrari 6:00
Yes, yes, it was actually really I remember I remember I did all that I was helping you with the post production on that. It was a lot of fun watching that. And we had a ball, we had a lot of unique experiences during that summer camp.

Adrian Martinez 6:12
Yeah, we did.

Alex Ferrari 6:14
So let me ask you a question. What made you want to become an actor in the first place?

Adrian Martinez 6:19
Well, it's kind of like, the priesthood, you know, I don't think you actually choose the craft, it chooses you. And for me, it's, it's a very hard way of making a living. And so you need to have more than just a desire to do it, it really has to be a calling, I think, you know, it's like, social work, you know, like, people who do social work, and all they do is deal with problems, you know, problems with the system problems with themselves problems with the clients to do that for 20 years or so. You know, it's a calling, or like anything else. So I, I grew up just loving movies and obsessed with movies. And I would go to movies, and just sort of like, try to see the performances and then I would ask questions, like, Well, why? why did why is out the chivo making this choice? Or why didn't Gary Oldman did that and finally, I just shut up and said, you know, what, just do it yourself and, and, and I got into it, but I really felt an absolute need to do the work, not just a desire, and I think that's what sustains you is that need to do it.

Alex Ferrari 7:34
Right? As opposed to just trying to do trying to be famous or try to be rich for

Adrian Martinez 7:39
Being magazines and you know, all this. You know, if that doesn't sustain you what sustains you is this absolute need to do the work?

Alex Ferrari 7:49
Now, I heard a rumor that you in high school actually started auditioning for unsolved mysteries.

Adrian Martinez 7:56
Yeah, that was my first job. I was actually a sprinter back then. Okay. Yeah. Now I just run towards restaurants. But back then I was actually really, really fast. I was a medalist in the Catholic league. And in all this, I read, I think my best time was 100 yards and 10.6 seconds. Wow. Which was Yeah, I was motoring along. I mean, I was really fast. So I, they had this audition, they had put up signs at my high school for the summer audition. And, and someone told me not they're looking for sprinters. And like that I don't want to really, now you got to do is Ryan, they'll pay you like 600 bucks, which was scale, right? At the day at that time. And I'm like, Okay, and so I went and the audition was just basically like a sprint. And so I just left everyone in the dust. And I got the job as a high school. sprinter alleged rapise slash sprinter.

Alex Ferrari 9:03
That's a great start. It's a great start to the career.

Adrian Martinez 9:08
Yeah. And then pretty much after that, I was just doing all kinds of day playing work. And I was just doing, you know, America's most one I did when I was one of the fugitives. And one of the guys that I portrayed actually got caught. Oh, how cool. So this, you know, one less guy to worry about on the street. And it just became this thing, you know, and you just keep booking work and guest stars and eventually get movies and so forth.

Alex Ferrari 9:41
Now you you start your your New York guy, right? You live in New York now.

Adrian Martinez 9:45
Yeah, I'm based in New York, but I gotta lay around. I'd say 15 times a year. So it's at least once a month. Yeah, I mean for work or for testing or for Or, you know, any number of things.

Alex Ferrari 10:03
Got it. And there's a big difference between working in New York I'm assuming and working in LA as an actor,

Adrian Martinez 10:10
Or I don't know about that. I mean the work is the work of the business is different grade but still have to prove yourself on either coast, you know, right. You know, you'd never make it is what I'm saying is like it's always like, like people thought, Oh, well, you know, he was in Walter Mitty and now he's Ben Stiller sidekick. I'll get to his he said, Now he's not. He still had to go and audition for this other movie. I did call focus, right? with Bill Smith. Right? And so people say, Oh, well, not not Now. Now.

Alex Ferrari 10:48
He's arrived. He's done. He's done right?

Adrian Martinez 10:51
He said,

Alex Ferrari 10:52
So so so how many mansions Do you own now? And how many cars and are there crazy parties with naked women? That's the way it's about it's like entourage right? That's what I really try to preach man on on indie film hustle, man just to kind of break down that kind of, I just want people to like understand the realities of the business, and then try to make it within that reality and not to just constantly be thrown because we're sold this this Hollywood dream. And I always tell people who don't live in LA. I like you know where the Oscars are. I go Yeah, if you go to Hollywood Boulevard, when the Oscars are not running. It's not a really nice place. Yeah, it's it's like a disgusting cesspool. A place except for maybe that one block and even that one block you've got those weirdos coming out, just a spider man. It's, it's it's gonna go that's a perfect analogy of Hollywood. Like it's on TV. It looks insane. And otherworldly. Yeah, yeah, it looks like oh my god, this is you know, the streets are paved with gold and all this stuff. And it's it's not the reality of what the business is like. So, um, so I was gonna ask you a little bit about working because you've worked with some insane people, you know, some insane actors, Some legends, and obviously big movie stars, like Will Smith and stuff. How does it? How do you work? What What can you give advice to an actor who's working with someone of that caliber for the first time, because I can imagine is intimidating, working with, like, with tuuk, like, on an interpreter, you worked with Sean Penn and, and Nicole Kidman like that, you know, on on the in the UN no less. So like, how did you like walk into that first meeting with them? And like what cuz they're Legends? And you know, they're Oscar winners and stuff? How do you work? What What advice would you give to an actor like working with that caliber of of performance,

Adrian Martinez 12:44
I would say you have to approach it completely prepared, like know your lines, so well that you could say them as quickly as you can count to 10. You know, like, no matter how nervous you are, you can still count to 10. Because you got that down, Pat. That's how well you got to know your lights. So you don't even have to worry about that on the day. And then actually, I think it's really important to just be respectful. And say, I'm a great fan of your work. Looking forward to working with you. And usually, like nine times out of 10, the stars are very, very far, you know, generous and cool. They'll they go Yeah, it's gonna be great. or wherever, yeah, have a good time or something like that, right? And then and pay real close attention to, to not being too chatty, you know, like, if the star wants to talk, great, talk all night. But otherwise, just, you know, go over your lines, keep in mind what your objectives are. Stay focused on the job at hand, be professional, be professional, be professional. And I feel that's been that's that's worked for me. If you try to Don't try to say, hey, by the way, like between takes Listen, I wrote a script.

Alex Ferrari 14:13
Think I will? Well, I think you would be awesome in this.

Adrian Martinez 14:18
Yeah, I'm doing a remake of three amigos with Phil Smith and Ben Stiller. While you're walking away, hey, it's just not gonna work. Right? It's just not the time and place there's a protocol is a procedure you know, like, right. And this this happens, you know, no matter where you are in the food chain, you know, like people, people Facebook be with messages about I get this great script and you've been great for it. I don't know who you are. Now, you have to, you have to just kind of work your way into the system and earn the right to, to work with X, Y and Z. And so you definitely don't do that. On a set, unless they say, hey, by the way, I got nothing to do over the next three years. Do you have any script?

Alex Ferrari 15:10
Which has happened say how many? How many times does that happen? It's the equivalent of a good client coming to me and going all I have his time and money.

Adrian Martinez 15:19
Yeah. It's never happened in human history shouldn't happen,Okay,

Alex Ferrari 15:26
Then you can bust out that script you've been carrying around for five years in the back pocket, right? But you might have to cut in line for the grip because the grip also has a script.

Adrian Martinez 15:34
Everybody has a script in LA, it's so funny.

Alex Ferrari 15:37
I was I was talking to Michael Haig, who's a script guru out here in LA and I go, you know, every time I walk into a Starbucks, there's at least three or four laptops with with final draft open. Yeah, any Starbucks anywhere in LA at any time. And if not, someone's talking about it. It's something so unique to this town. It's not like that in New York by any stretch. But here it's crazy like that everyone has a script. So what was your what would you consider your big break in the business? Like after you've got this you're like, Okay, now I can make a living doing this?

Adrian Martinez 16:14
Well, you know, it's hard for me to say because I, you know, I haven't had a regular job in 15 years, but, but I don't know, I can't, I can't, you know, it's I don't know. I mean, I guess my career is different from someone else's like, like Jambo Jaeger. I'd like to break.

Alex Ferrari 16:35
You think you think Yeah, little independent film? He just started out, right? Yeah, like, I don't know how the hell that hat like Daisy, Daisy railly Ridley Ridley, I think your name out Ridley Yeah, like, that's kind of jumpstarts everything a little bit, you know, but look, look, and it could look

Adrian Martinez 16:53
In different kinds of careers. You know, there's the career like that, where you just get incredibly lucky, and you just pop and, and they find you and you're, and you're 20 and you're set for life. That happens 1% of the time. For the most part, I would, I would suggest that careers are more about building blocks, and time and patience. You need to be willing to put in at least the next 10 years of your life, auditioning and working towards building up credits getting established in the casting community. And then maybe one day, you get a chance to do something special. But the system has changed from when I started out and the 90s. So now I think it's more about really self generating work. And I tell this to people all the time that, you know, you can literally like take your script and do it yourself on an iPhone. There's a movie called tangerine that just got a Golden Globe nomination or an Independent Spirit Award nomination and it was completely shattered an iPhone. It got into Sundance

Alex Ferrari 18:05
Won Sundance they won Sunday.

Adrian Martinez 18:07
So you know, it's not like, Oh, you need anyone elses permission to to make it you can totally do it yourself that it has to be a great story. It has to be a unique spin on something. You do have to do the work. But it's possible. Much more than say waiting by the phone. And you know, just wondering, you know, How come nobody gives me a break. Like, forget all that forget that you don't need anyone's permission to work not anymore. Now, now we just can't use it as an excuse. You're always working as an actor, either you're auditioning, you should always be working either you're auditioning or you're in performance, preparing and doing the work itself or yourself generating your own work. And those are the three you know you so if that's what use you set up for yourself, you are always working you know, do you have a website? Do you have a killer reel? Have you shot your short film with your buddies or whatever? Have you written your full length script? In case they liked the short film version of it and they want to give you you know 300,000 to shoot the feature like these are the things you need to do have you started a Kickstarter campaign for the movie that you really feel will resonate with an audience do all that and then say you know you got nothing to do

Alex Ferrari 19:37
One thing I find fascinating about your career because ever since we met five years ago you know you've popped you know, ever since I met you then you started coming up in things I watch all the time I'm like oh there's age you know there's Adrian there's agent Yeah. And and you know, and it just you just started popping up and then I started kind of analyzing because I had I mean I'm I have a lot of actor friends and friends in the business and stuff. So I always Like to analyze people's careers and how they do what they do and how they're getting there it's just something I do because I'm still trying to make it as well doing what I do so what I noticed that you do you do i mean i don't know i torture actors at workshops in Santa Fe

Adrian Martinez 20:19
Movies you like it you know what I'm saying?

Alex Ferrari 20:24
Well sir, I am I am a director and independent filmmaker and director I've been in post production for about 20 years so that's where I kind of make my bones that's where I make my money and then I direct music videos commercials, and then I do my own projects short films and things like that. And then I'm always looking for that feature and I'm this year coming up I'm making I'm gonna be hopefully making my first feature film. Just like you said, bootstrapping it myself doing it myself with you know, more read more resources than most people have at their disposal between connections post knowledge cameras, all this stuff I have there's no excuse anymore.

Adrian Martinez 21:02
I like the role of the chubby Latina you have in that that's the one role that can really

Alex Ferrari 21:11
Do you know someone they know someone I can do if you if you can connect me to Luis Guzman, that'd be awesome

Adrian Martinez 21:21
He's booked for the next five years but I do know someone else.

Alex Ferrari 21:25
What I was saying about your career specifically is a lot of a lot of actors always are like trying to I don't know they're trying to be someone they're not they're trying to be the next this or the next that and what I've noticed from studying you at least from this point of view, is that you've been you you're Adrian Martinez there is no other Adrian Martinez out there and that's what's made you successful

Adrian Martinez 21:48
I think we're all relieved about that

Alex Ferrari 21:54
But the thing is that there is no one else like you out there I've never seen like there's like oh there's another Adrian Martinez type No there isn't there is only one Adrian Martinez. And by and by doing what you've done, and like doubling down and tripling down on who you are, you've been able to make a successful career, doing it and reaching reaching heights that a lot of actors don't do. where a lot of actors I've seen and I've worked with like oh I want to be this next Tom Cruise or I want to be the next this or that? And like look good, that's great. And you know how many like out here how many actors you know, like all the leading men, actors and all this kind of stuff. They all try to go after the big like, Look, just be yourself. You know, and if you happen to be Tom Cruise, great. If you happen to be Will Smith, great. But if you're who you are like I know, we did a great interview with Yancey areas and I think do you know Yancey? Yes. I love Yancey and yes he is he's one of those like you he's one of those workhorses guys that discipline pound in it for years. And yes, he and I've worked on a lot of projects together. He's a good friend of mine. And we and he I'm like I said the same thing. I'm like, Yes, you just do you. Like that's who you are, you're not trying to be anybody else. And I think that's the best advice you can give anybody in this business or in any business in general, but in the film business, as a director or as a writer as this or that. Just do you and I think you said you quoted I think in an interview once you quoted about No one's going to tell a better story. The Truth About You better than you or something along those lines.

Adrian Martinez 23:20
Well yeah, I mean, the most Absolutely. You know, sexy seductive thing is a person, a person that's completely confident in themselves and they're able to trust who they are, you know, to the nth degree, and they bring that into an audition completely trusting who they are. There's nothing more magnetic than that. The second they see you try to be someone else. They smell it yeah, it just pops in the room and you know and it's like someone just farted and it's no no no no, no no no that we've been there and done that. Yeah. It's the person that is completely comfortable with who they are. Like a Will Smith like a bell stellar like a Yancey area. So as terrific actor, yeah, these guys just they just trust who they are. And to to a level that is just, you know, oh, yeah, completely, you know, fantastic. And that's what's so magnetic. That's why we go to the movies and we see these these stars of performance. And I think subconsciously, you know, we want to be them on some level, you know, saving people's lives or getting the girl or getting the guy or getting you know what I mean? Like it's just like, it's all it starts. The Genesis is a complete, embracing of who they are as an individual. That's how it all begins.

Alex Ferrari 24:59
Like someone like the rock, who is the rock, and the rock, man, he's the rock he's, and he is so charismatic because he is who he is. And he tried being somebody else when he first started in the WWF. And it failed miserably. People smelled it, like you said,

Adrian Martinez 25:15
Like, Will Smith, he's intelligent, he's charismatic. He's funny. Offset, and when he works, it's the same skill set and the same essence of person that he is that that translates into these fantastic performances, and you have to see him in concussion.

Alex Ferrari 25:36
Oh, I know. I can't wait to see that. It's amazing

Adrian Martinez 25:40
But yeah, I mean, so that's what it is. It's about an absolute faith and trust in who you are as an individual. And then you add on the idiosyncratic idiosyncratic behavior of the character, right or the or the mannerisms or the whatever it is, like Johnny Depp and Black Mass Johnny Depp was Johnny Depp. You know, he's a he can be a very brooding soulful actor like Donnie Brasco. Right? Um, but then he adds on the mannerisms and the look and the whatever the character and black mass and so that's how you do it, man.

Alex Ferrari 26:23
It's like, well, like, like, um, I think, in today's generation, as far as directors are concerned, I mean, the directors that people really love to go see are people who just know who they are and love. And they have their style, and they don't even try to be anybody else. And I think the best one of the best examples of that is Tarantino, like, he doesn't care. Like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna make, I'm gonna make my movie. I'm gonna say whatever the hell I want to say, and this is who I am. And that's it. But that, yeah, that confidence as a filmmaker is so rare. Like I was watching last year I saw Birdman. And I was like, I love that. And I watched Birdman and I go, Oh, that's what a director does. Again, you lose. You forget after you watch all of these big Hollywood stuff that just keeps popping out. It's just the same old recycled crap from the 80s in the 90s. At this point, you know,

Adrian Martinez 27:14
I have to say, and it too is like the guy I would love to work with. I mean, I I just saw The Revenant and oh, I'm dying to see that is a good once again. Yeah, it's fantastic. And it's it's so brutally honest. Like every say, it's just so brutally honest. And the performance is so great. Tom Hardy Caprio. Yeah. I play the bear in that.

Alex Ferrari 27:45
It was not on your IMDb. You got to get your agent on that.

Adrian Martinez 27:48
Yeah, well, yeah. You know, we went back and forth. We're working on an uncredited situation. But the movies just like even the bear was good. I mean,

Alex Ferrari 28:00
The CG bear was fantastic.

Adrian Martinez 28:04
But yeah, once again, we're talking about a vision that's unique, that he completely trusts and he just does it. And it's just that's it. And nobody tells him how to do this, his movies that he just does,

Alex Ferrari 28:17
Right, and now he's at a point, we could do whatever you want. And now you can do whatever he wants. Yeah. Now you as an actor, you're able to do something that a lot of actors don't do easily is transition between comedy and drama. And you do it with such ease. Sometimes it's remarkable to watch, because I've seen you in some stuff that is just dropped down on the floor, crying that's so funny. And then you've done some amazing, dramatic stuff as well. Can you give any advice to actors about how you're able to do that? Because that's something that's very unique tools, you know, skill set?

Adrian Martinez 28:49
Yeah, I mean, basically, you still have to approach every role the same initially, but for comedy, you have to keep in mind the tone of it, it's sort of at the back of your head. But you don't play the comedy, you play the given circumstances of the same. You play your connection with the other character in the same and you play the truth of the moment. Absolutely. The Comedy just sort of, it's like in the back of your mind, it's layered in. But the different forms of comedy, there's satire, and there's more of that there's a dramedy that we see a lot of. So basically, stick to the truth of the same. be absolutely real and genuine and committed, no matter what it is. And let the tone of the piece, keep it in the back of your mind. But don't play it. Play the truth of the state and the truth of the moment and just let it be like that.

Alex Ferrari 29:48
Now, this question is a it's a large question. So see, let me see if you can answer it in the best you can. What makes a good actor

Adrian Martinez 29:57
You believe him while you believe her I mean, it's absolutely about the suspension of disbelief like, you watch a performance and you don't really fake Oh, that's acting.

Alex Ferrari 30:13
Kind of like when, like when Meryl Streep works.

Adrian Martinez 30:17
Yeah. I mean you just believe this the Marlon Brando in The Godfather. Yeah, I thought to myself, initially Wow, look at Brando, he's you know, it looks funny his jaws look inflated or something. But right around the start of the second I completely forgot it was brand new I was watching someone else right? Like I it was a transformation to me that and I really believed him to be this omnipotent powerful man that could kill people like that. But was also, you know, a human being with that loved his sons, right? I mean, that's that's fine art. There are a lot of that a lot of actors that do that. I think today working today. I mean, I would have to go with Daniel Day Lewis as the one that's able to just completely transform without losing himself. Like I think his soul, his intelligence, his spirit is in every performance that's sort of like the building block of the house. And then he adds on Lincoln, or he adds on gates on New York character. Yeah, I mean, but the essence is still him. But it's the ability to see a performance and and really believe it and and just sort of go with it and forget that it's a performance. That to me is great acting

Alex Ferrari 31:53
Now just just on the Daniel Day Lewis for the kids in the audience. Go Google Daniel Day Lewis, and Google a movie called my left foot. Oh, yeah. And that was the first time I was working in a video store back then. And I saw, I saw Daniel Day Lewis in my left foot, and I had no idea who he was. And nobody knew really, he was still coming up at that point. And I remember watching it and going, Oh, my God, I can't believe they found a guy who has this issue. Yeah, to be able to play this part. That's remarkable. And when I saw him stand up, except the Oscar was on the floor. That's where I was. I was a couple and at that since that day, I was like, wow, that's acting, and I got what acting was at that point in the game. Like, you completely had no idea that that man was not, you know, did not have the issues that that uh, I forgot. I forgot the character's name, but the character had remarkable. Absolutely. No, Meryl Streep. I mean, that's why she gets nominated every year. Because every time she does anything, she kind of does that. It's Yeah. It's and I was listening to. I think

Adrian Martinez 33:02
I like that joke with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were at the Golden Globes. Which one they said, Tina, they said Omarosa could be here tonight. She has the flu. And she's amazing. That's totally killed.

Alex Ferrari 33:19
That's really no, I had a I did an interview with Robert Forster. A while ago when I had, I've had the pleasure of working with him. And he told me Quinn's best direction to him was, he would stand right right before the scene he goes, just make me believe it. And that was it. That was his direction. And he'd say it often on set. And that's true. That's that's the job of the actor is to make the audience believe it. So now, I know you've you've been in that you've been in the business for a few years now. Five years, it lasts about five, five years. And you've gone through a few auditions in your day. A couple I'm sure. Um, can you please give any advice to actors about how they should handle the brutal sometimes brutal auditioning process?

Adrian Martinez 34:06
Well, I think the main thing is to stay on an even keel about it all, you know, like, whether it's an audition, or just a business in general, you just have to understand that there going to be times you get good news. Don't get too excited. Right? Take pride, but don't get crazy. there gonna be times you'll get bad news. They'll get all depressed, try to stay in an even place because that's where you're going to have to sustain yourself. It's that even place where you're going to live most of the time, the business will come and the business will go you're going to work and you're not going to work. But you have to be able to keep yourself and fill out your life with the people you love and, and go to a museum and really fill out your days. Not obsessing about the work because the work comes and goes As for your audition, I really feel you have to know your lines as best as possible. be absolutely prepared. Don't go in trying to shake hands and, and give out cookies, that's not gonna work. If they offer you a handshake, yeah, of course you shake their head said sit down, or stand up, give yourself a moment to take a sort of deep breath and reconnect with, with yourself as a person. Just give yourself that be. And sometimes they want to just like plow through all that. You have a right say, Sorry, I just need a moment. Right? Even Sorry, excuse me, I just need a moment. And just take that deep breath rechannel your energy go. And that has because sometimes you get caught up into giving them your power, you know, like, Oh, God, we got to start right away. Just do you do this? Yeah, I like to, I like to stand out, I want to set a rule for yourself, you have a right to take your time with the piece and you have a right to, to do it as you feel you need to do it. And then the directors in the room or get likes you Who asked you to do it differently. Right? If he wants to know that, on the day that you'll be able to take direction, because things change on set. So he wants to know if you can go with the flow. So they asked you to do it a different way. That is I mean, they didn't like the first take it means they did like the first take.

Now the direction in case that becomes a necessity. In TV, for example, scripts are written and rewritten while you're actually filming. So

Alex Ferrari 37:03
Yeah, now what? Can you talk a little bit about the difference between film and television? Because you've done so much of both?

Adrian Martinez 37:10
Yeah, well film is is. It depends on what kind of movies to like independent movies, you can improvise a lot of independent movies, you could improvise in feature films, a lot of what I did in the movie focus was improvised. I had two records that really respected me and trusted me and knew how demented I was. So they were like, you are, yeah, if you ever want to say stuff, you know, that you think is funny, go ahead and say it. TV, that's not gonna happen, because TV goes through an advertiser, it goes through standards and practices, it goes through all these different levels of censorship, and you know, copyrights and all this. So what's written is what you're going to say. So you have to be willing to understand that and just make it your own as best as possible. So that's one difference. I think time is different, like time and TV, when you're filming television, it just goes by a lot faster that they're basically making a short film every eight days, if you're on a TV series, so every eight days, they have to cast it, set up the locations, produce it, shoot it, and do the post production for like one episode of the goodwife ad. So given that, you know world, they have to shoot fast, so you're gonna get like one, one or two takes top, you know, and then if you're like the guest star, it's interesting how it works. If you have a view that they are they'll do a master shot and they really like you. They like what they what they're saying. They'll take the time to add in a close up of you. And that's like the highest compliment like that's when they say like let's move in on Adrian for a single, that means they feel they've got the goods and they are going to spend the time and the money and it's a lot of money to ask these professional cameraman to move in on your face and capture you in this way. On a single close up. That's interested not crazy about you, they'll stay with the master and move on. Or they'll do like maybe a three shot just to kind of like but the highest compliment you can get on a TV set because it's so expensive, is when the director says let's get a close up of Adrian let's get a close up of Alex because that means they really feel they got the chops and you got the chops and they want to see it more.

Alex Ferrari 39:54
Definitely let's not get too close up on Alex please. Yeah, please No, no close ups on Alice. I'm I'm a behind the back. Let's pull back Yes, go back to the wide guy split.

Adrian Martinez 40:04

Alex Ferrari 40:07
So So another thing I'm, you know, I'm a director so I, I've worked with actors a lot and and I ncse this question as well and I wanted to ask you, our acting classes needed for act for an actor to become an actor.

Adrian Martinez 40:25
Um, you know, I feel like it's one of those things where it can be helpful. If you have the right teacher, you should have a basic craft, you know, you should know how to break down a script. And, you know, Buddha Hagen was certainly a wonderful teacher. And her book respect for acting is very helpful. And it's good to go to classes if, if you feel like you just need to be in front of people and just work it. It's important to do that. But don't get too, you know, attached to acting classes. Like, there's a lot of people I have known over the years that like, yeah, I'm an actor. Oh, yeah. Yeah. What are you working on? Oh, I'm doing the signal. Oh, yeah. What are you doing the signal? Oh, HB studio at? Right. Oh, yeah. Are you doing things that Yeah, I'm doing the same. Okay. And then you like two years go by four years go by six years? What are you doing? I'm doing Waiting for Godot? Oh, yeah. What are you doing that? Oh, well, HP studio. Like, alright, I know people that they love the safety net that an acting class provides. And so they just, they're afraid to break out of that. I've met people like that over the years. So do it. But don't get married to it. You know, like, just remember, you know, you want to be a professional at work, you know, and make a living at it. You know, and that's not going to happen in a class. So, but I think if you're starting out, you know, it's good. I think if you haven't worked in a while and just want to get back in shape, it's good. Just don't get too attached, because it can become a blankie. A blankie.

Alex Ferrari 42:24
For lack of a better term. Yeah, I completely understand. Trust me, I understand that completely. Now, one thing I know, an actor's get this more than anything. I think it's it's brutal. And anytime I'm in a directing, I always feel for the actors. How do you handle rejection? Because it's so much and so often? How do you handle it?

Adrian Martinez 42:46
Yeah, well, it goes back to staying on that even keel and understanding that it's not. It's not about you, you have to see yourself as, as like, you know, like a car that they're trying to sell. Right. And so we need we need a Honda. Okay. And you you might be a Ferrari.

Alex Ferrari 43:10
No pun intended.

Adrian Martinez 43:11
Yeah. And so yeah, you know, a Ferrari is great. You know, fries are amazing. But we need a Honda.

Alex Ferrari 43:22
Ferrari is never going to be a Honda.

Adrian Martinez 43:24
No, no, or vice versa. You know, we need a Ferrari, you had your hand you just saw. So you're like, you're not you can be great in the audition. You can be prepared and focused and so wonderful. But you're not going to get it because they just need that forearm. Right? And that's fine. But it's really important, though, to take pride in your work at the audition, like it's really important that the universities that you're prepared and you're doing the work, so that when you leave that audition, you can say you know what, whatever happens, I don't care. I nailed it, and I nailed it. And you can let it go there's a great scene in the movie that Gene Hackman did called Hoosiers no yeah. And what he's talking to the team and it's before the big games like let's you know focus on your fundamentals you know, really nail this and no matter what happens I don't care what the score says your winners in my book, you know, as I said, Before this you know, like, you go in and you nail it, and then you just got to release it. Right? Otherwise it's just gonna drive you crazy.

Alex Ferrari 44:37
Well that's one thing that Yancey actually said that same said something similar in the sense that he you go in no matter what the audition is, you do the best you can because you never know what comes down the line. This might not be the right project for this directory. You but the next one might and they might

Adrian Martinez 44:52
Happen to me too. Yeah, that just happened to me. I i audition for The TV show four series regular I picked out what it was and I didn't get it and and I really was good like I really good everything I had and it smelled really good I thought it was right for it and then I found out that they wanted someone who looked more demonic and more dark skinned and all this which is funny because I'm part Dominican.

Alex Ferrari 45:32
Of course of course can you be Can you be more Dominican We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Adrian Martinez 45:49
But I'm kinda like fair skin so I guess in their mind they just thought we need someone darker skin so that's the perception of the mannequin so um, two months later I got an offer like a straight offer for a pilot and when I did the research it was the same director that I had auditioned for for that TV show and he remembered so he kept my good performance at the audition in mind and then when let something more appropriate came up he just made me the offer to do it. And he talked about it I worked on it we shot it he talked about how you know how cool I was at that audition and and he's glad to finally work with me so you just you got to go in there prepared and kill it no matter what because you never know how things are gonna play out.

Alex Ferrari 46:45
Exactly you know and I've I've known that God I mean look at this I mean I've I've met so many people during that now leap those nine leap workshops I did three or four years ago and those connections and people that relationships you've made they've you know, it's amazing how they they five seven years later you connect with people again you like all because of that and you know, if I was a complete asked to you during that time, I would have not been able to have you on the show, you know so you know in some something as simple as being nice to somebody you never know anything. You never know how that relationship can grow and grow and grow like me and Nancy, you know, he asked, we met we did a little something and then it kind of grew into a really a friendship. It's just the way things is now which is a perfect segue into my next question about networking. How do you network as an actor in Hollywood? And how important is it to you is for you and your career as far as networking with other actors, producers, directors, any advice?

Adrian Martinez 47:43
Well, you know, I have to say, you know, one of the big modern skills is social media, because there are a lot of casting directors on Facebook. So when you go to a movie, and you like the movie, just take note of who the casting director is, and take note of who the casting director associates are, and assistants are, and jot down their names, and friend them on Facebook, and just say, Hey, I thought you did a great job with the movie sisters. Please keep in mind for whatever, they can friend you or they could not friend you but so if they friend you then then you can you know you're in a movie or something, you can send them a link, you can send them your reel. And they'll see it I've gotten word from people that you know, so I mean on Facebook or casting people in Facebook. And they they connected to me that that that that that happened that was not the case 10 years ago.

Alex Ferrari 48:45
So then basically what you should shouldn't do is just the second you you message them just ask them for something right away. Yeah, which is that a lot of people did, like you were saying people just call you up, like, I want you to be in my apartment. Who are you? You have to build a relationship, even socially

Adrian Martinez 49:00
You have to build a relationship. Yeah. And be respectful. Now a lot of times, you know, like, I friend casting people that I know, that I've worked with, like, and I didn't know they were on Facebook, right? Like Jen Euston. She's, she's amazing. She's she cast girls. And she casts Orange is the New Black Grinch. And, and, and she's, you know, I've, I've bought several projects with her office, you know, so at that point, I had a relationship with her. And then I saw her on Facebook and I friended her, and she accepted it because she knows me. And then, you know, I said, oh, by the way, I'm in the movie focus. And I invited her to, to the premiere. So you know, you can do that, you know, they know you. If you don't know the casting person. I think it's fair. Once they put out there on social media, I think it's fair to say Listen, I understand. I don't know your work. I haven't worked with you. I haven't gotten into but I saw your casting. And you know the movie, you know, Spider Man and I just, I thought he did a great job with that. Here's my link, if you ever get the time to check it out, I just leave it like that. And then just leave it like that. I mean, like, really leave it like that. block you because you kept writing and never got a response.

Alex Ferrari 50:23
Right, right. Drop seeds, drop seeds and see if anything flashes feed, see what happens. Float some balloons. So, um, now how do you prepare for part as an actor? I always find this part fascinating.

Adrian Martinez 50:40
I don't know I have an unusual approach.

Alex Ferrari 50:44
Why doesn't that surprise me?

Adrian Martinez 50:48
I yeah, I look at the script. And I really try to bring a unique spin on the character. Like I always try to find the humor. Absolutely. Because I think even the most cruel people can be funny. I remember Forrest Whitaker, he played that dictator.

Alex Ferrari 51:16
No, yeah. Last last minute Scotland. Yeah.

Adrian Martinez 51:19
Yeah, I mean, he was fantastic in that. But when you look at he's a charming guy. You know, he was he was funny. In that movie. He was charming. He was filled with light. But at the same time, there was all this power and destruction going on. So that's that's important is to find that humor, and then I always try, like, I always try to come up with like, a physicality that I think represents the character. I did a movie call. It's kind of a funny story with Zach Galifianakis and Viola Davis. And if you see that movie, like, I'm always like, combing my hair or fiddling with my hair. And it's not something overt. But to me, like that character who was in this adult Group Hall, where people haven't seen it, and he's kind of like, has some mental illness. To me, his his Look, the characters look, and how he was always obsessed with His hair was a way into the character. So if you see the movie, you'll see me always like, tapping my hair or combing my hair, or like just checking on it. And I did a movie called Casa de me, Padre. Yeah. It's so funny. I, I used an avocado for that, like getting like To me, this guy was either always trying to share it avocado, eating an avocado.

Alex Ferrari 52:52
And that was something you brought to the table. It was

Adrian Martinez 52:55
Yeah. And I had to fight for it. Because the writer was like, well, it's not in the script. Like I was like, Yeah, no, it's not in the script. But this is just my way of bringing something into it, that expands on the role. And that's fun. Yeah, I just feel like you have to bring something that's unique to the role. And so when I go through the script, base based on what I read, I try to come up with something that I think expands on the role, and it's just sort of interesting and interesting spin on it. And then if the directors are okay with it, you know, I'll add some dialogue, either at the top of a speech or at the bottom of the speech that I think will make it funnier, or more moving or whatever. But make sure please don't write to me and make me make sure the director is cool with that. Right? And usually in movies they are like they'll say, like, yeah, we'll do a one way scripted. And then we'll just do one way and we'll get to play around, right? When they play around, be prepared and have your ideas you know, at the ready, but make sure they work make sure it feels work.

Alex Ferrari 54:12
And also that they're open to it and they're open to it like what's it like with Robin Williams? That's all they did. They just like okay, they scheduled in his improv.

Adrian Martinez 54:22
Yeah, I guess the line in the movie focus where I say I'm accusing Margot Robbie of being a lesbian, you know, right. Yeah. And I say

Alex Ferrari 54:37
Every time you talk to every time you speak, I always smile is vagina or something like that.

Adrian Martinez 54:41
Yeah. And so, you know, that made the cat because A, the directors were open to it. And be Margot Robbie did not break character. He starts laughing stops to take the next It's not in the movie. But the fact that she stayed in character saved my ass. And that's a tribute to her professionalism that she just went with it.

Alex Ferrari 55:10
That's brutal. You know. And I saw that scene. I remember I saw the movie, it was funny as you did the whole Scarface tongue thing, which was nice.

Adrian Martinez 55:17
Well, yeah, that's my little.

Alex Ferrari 55:22
You know what the women love me. Anyway. So and So you've obviously been an amazing, you know, you've had an amazing acting career so far. Now you're getting into directing and producing as well,correct?

Adrian Martinez 55:34
Yeah, I mean, I feel like you absolutely. Like what I said before about soul generating work. Because I'm definitely a character actor, I've been the sidekick to a lot of stars. That does come a point where you want to also be able to say, what you feel is important, you know, not just be a plot device for someone else's ideas. And so to that end, I've written a few scripts that I'm going to get off the ground next year, and I'm really excited about it, because it's a chance to, to, you know, really lay claim to an idea. And from start to finish.

Alex Ferrari 56:15
And you're working on some, you've done some micro shorts, like improvisational shorts.

Adrian Martinez 56:21
Yeah, I mean, that's another thing that I really hope people do is like, you know, just grab your buddy and just start, start shooting something and put it on YouTube like this a guy I worked with a while too many call alexan fangire. Alex is a good guy. He's like, I don't know, it was like, 25 or something. And he had a bunch of shorts that he did. And Ben stole his company. caught wind of it. And now he's doing big time in Hollywood for Comedy Central. Nice. And he's, you know, the exec producer, and the creator of it, and he's on his way, you know, so it can happen, it can happen. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 57:09
So one thing I've noticed doing indie film, hustle, and this is something I've never had done it, you know, I'm consistently doing work, I'm consistently putting out content, meeting new people. And the and the blog is almost had, it's almost forced me, too, because I have a schedule that I keep every you know, I do a podcast every week, and I do a blog post every week and, and I'm constantly working towards putting out good content. And it's that every day thing like you have to keep showing up, you have to keep, like Woody Allen says half of Was it 80 or 90% of success is just showing up or something along those lines. By doing that consistently, all of a sudden, you'd look back and you're like, Oh, I got 40 episodes, a podcast, oh, look, I've, I've got you know, 40 article posts all of a sudden, and then all of a sudden, you turn around and you look back, and like, Oh, I'm on my 100th episode. And then that's what you start doing. And a lot of these guys who've made made it in YouTube, that's what they do. They just show up every day. And it just post every week or every other day, or whatever their schedule is. And then all of a sudden, they have this breadth of, of product out there. And yeah, people take notice.

Adrian Martinez 58:22
They do. And it's interesting, because we live in an age where like, the smartphone has everything immediately, you know, a restaurant, immediately you'll get it if you want, you know, a store immediately you'll get it. Something on Google, you know, but a career is more requires a great deal of perseverance and patience. And nobody wants to hear that like right now.

Alex Ferrari 58:48
Like you said,

Adrian Martinez 58:50
Just change the channel. They didn't want to hear that.

Alex Ferrari 58:52
But like, like you said, when we first started, before we go on that there's like, Oh, great, we're gonna get the depressed people for the holidays. We're recording this during the holidays, but it'll probably be released later in the year. But yeah, it's true. It's true. It's It's It's, it's sometimes it's a tough pill to swallow.

Adrian Martinez 59:08
And you have to be open to that you have to understand that it really is a marathon. And you have to pace yourself and keep going. You're going to hit walls, there'll be times you don't want to do it anymore. And that's okay. There'll be times when you feel like empowered and you want to take on the world. So it's definitely it's not for everyone. You'll have to put in the time, like I said, at least 10 years. But if you're ready to fight the fight if you feel like you have no other choice, yeah, then I wish you well.

Alex Ferrari 59:45
Now I'm, you've worked with some amazing directors. Adrian, what do you look for in a director.

Adrian Martinez 59:56
I want to feel safe. I don't want to feel like If I make a mistake that I'm going to be yelled at, I don't want to feel I, what I bring to the set doesn't matter. I'm a unique person, and I wanted to wreck it that gets who I am, and is willing to work with me. based on who I am in a safe atmosphere. You're there to fulfill the director's vision. But I still feel it should be a collaboration. I mean, he hired you, right? He hired you. And you're there to fulfill the vision. But obviously, they should be open and receptive to who you are, and to what your talents are, because each actor brings a different set of skills. And I think it's the smart director that's open to that. And then the stance that and says, Yeah, let's see what you got. And if it works, it works.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:57
That's not the first actor that spoken to who said that. That's, I think the number one thing that a lot of Robert forester said the same thing. And he actually said to He's like, and someone else also knows what they want is another big thing he's like, it's just someone who knows when the tape is good. And I don't have to sit there and do it. 40 times.

Adrian Martinez 1:01:18
Yeah, exactly. exactly.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:21
So are there any pitfalls that you can give actors advice on in the business, like any pitfalls in the business that you can give them warnings about

Adrian Martinez 1:01:31
Warning warnings? Um, ah, gee, I don't know. There are people who are not well in the business.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:49
That is the best way I've ever heard anyone. There's people who are not well in the business, that's great.

Adrian Martinez 1:01:56
So when you're on set, be prepared. Sometimes people will be inappropriate, sometimes will be unprofessional. And you have to decide for yourself what you're going to put up with, and what you're not going to put up with and know that going in. Right? If you're a woman, you know, and you're on set and someone tries or even if you're mad, and someone tries to exploit you, or in some way be inappropriate, you have a right to walk away. Right? And you have a right to to go to the first ad and say and say something just make sure that you understand what your power is and your power you have you have a right to defend yourself and protect yourself and not be in an unsafe situation. Under any circumstances. No job is so important that it means you you degrade yourself to get the job done. So keep that in mind keep your dignity no matter what.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:10
That's great advice.

Adrian Martinez 1:03:13
The rules have changed it used to be like in terms of money like they would fly you out to to be a recurring role. Now, there's a lot of local hires. So if you're an LA actor, and you want to work in New York and Orange is the New Black you're probably gonna do it for scale then not gonna fly out and you need to understand that you know, that's how it is and you have to decide well do I still want to do it same thing in reverse. I got offered a recurring on some TV show. It was in LA they wanted to be they wanted me to be an LA local hire. Even though I live in New York and I you know, I did the math I said not not going to do it. They should fly me out and put me up. Right? So they that that one didn't work out. But you take each one differently. Like there was another case where I would be an LA local hire because it was a favorite for a friend and and I thought the role was special enough. So just know that, you know, sometimes you're gonna have to spend to earn.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:30
Amen. A bed. Now, this is one of the I got two more, a couple more questions left engine. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn in film business or in life?

Adrian Martinez 1:04:47
Oh my god. Paging Oprah. Let's see. Well Say that again.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:57
So what is the lesson in life or in the film business that is took you the longest to learn. In other words, you might have beat your head against the wall a couple times, until finally like, Oh, this is why this is happening. Oh, this is what I should do.

Adrian Martinez 1:05:10
Um Great question, Alex, I would have to go with I am enough.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:20
Wow, what a great answer. I am enough.

Adrian Martinez 1:05:26
You know, you can spend so much time like, worried about your weight, your height, your skin tone, you can spend so much time worried about so many things at the end of the day. It really just comes down to trust in accepting who you are, as you are today, in this given moment, and it is a gift that the world receives it, you're doing the world a favor letting that out they're not doing you a favor. I mean, the light that you were born with is the light that they want to see. At auditions and in performances. You were born with that light and you don't need anyone else to filter it or change it. That's it. You were born with it. So just trust it and shine.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:26
There's like five t shirts in that entire answer. That's awesome. That's some words to live by my friend. It's That's wonderful, man. Really, really great answer to that. So these are the last two questions that are the most fun questions, but also arguably one of the I asked this of all of my guests, which is the one most underrated film you've ever seen. And then what are your top three favorite films of all time?

Adrian Martinez 1:06:52
I'll take the second with favorite films. grandfather's, the Godfather one and two. The Shawshank Redemption

Alex Ferrari 1:07:07
Man after my own heart

Adrian Martinez 1:07:10
And the tear runner okay. Of course it's very hard to answer that. Now of course talking sci fi Of course of course and it's of course Blade Runner. Talking fantasy in the woods you know the Wizard of Oz should go crazy. Right? Right. Um movie that's that's underrated is a movie called cheese. People need to see the Elephant Man starring. JOHN hurt as the Elephant Man, David Lynch. It was his first movie. Yep. And it's just really a fantastic movie that you should catch on Netflix over where it is these days. It'll break your heart and to me that's that's one thing I want to make sure that your audience understands is, is you should always really think of the characters pain. Every character has a great pain in his in his life. And that's that's from that's from Georgia South who was an actor. He did five movies all got Oscar nominated. And he was in. He was Fredo in The Godfather. He was in talk they afternoon. Fantastic actor. And he is talking about how Every character has a pain that and from that pain, you can build your performance because when you think about it, you know we're all motivated, motivated by avoiding pain or over in pain. So that's a great a great thing to hold on to. But yeah, I would go with the Alpha Man, you can really feel the emotional power of the performances in that. But there's so many

Alex Ferrari 1:09:09
No of course there's millions or hundreds, hundreds of 1000s of them but yeah, now where can people find you and find find out more about you.

Adrian Martinez 1:09:17
I'll give you all my address. I'm at

Alex Ferrari 1:09:21
My my home address is 1152

Adrian Martinez 1:09:24
My Twitter is taste of Adrian

Alex Ferrari 1:09:28
Brilliant name by the way. I love that and it's great.

Adrian Martinez 1:09:32
Also Instagram as taste of Adrian and then I'm on Facebook. Well, you know, friend me, I'm there. And yeah, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:43
And then did you have a website?

Adrian Martinez 1:09:46
AdrianMartinez.net and do you have a YouTube at all or no? No, but now that you mentioned that I think I'll make one.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:55
I'm glad I could help sir. Adrian man, thank you so much for taking the time man. This has been an eye Opening interview man, it's been wonderful. Hope you enjoyed it.

Adrian Martinez 1:10:02
Thank you, Alex and don't take another around five years to talk to me.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:07
Okay. As I told you, it was a very entertaining and informative interview guys. Adrian really answered that question the best I've ever heard anyone asked what is the longest thing? What's the lesson that took you the longest to learn? And that is your enough. And that is something that I want to say to you guys is your enough. You guys are enough to do whatever you're trying to do be you do you because that is the secret to your success. If you're honest with who you are as an artist, whether you're an actor, director, writer, whoever. Those are the people who make it. Those are the people who make a living, doing what they love to do. So if that's a lesson that we can learn from Adrian, I really it was well worth having him on the show. And just so you guys know that Adrian is making his directorial debut with his new movie, I creep. And you can check out more information about AI creep at his website at Adrian martinez.net. I like to thank again Adrian for taking the time out to be on the show and good luck to you new movie Adrian, all the indie film hustle tribe is rooting for you, man. Thanks again. Now an update on this is Meg. We are going we are working on our crowdfunding video. Right now we're getting everything ready for the campaign. We're looking to launch in mid June either the 14th or the 21st of June to launch and we'll be running for 30 days, I will let you guys know what's going on and give you all the skinny of what I'm learning. Because I'm working really closely with seed and spark calm. And they're giving me all the ins and outs of what makes a good campaign. And when it doesn't, I've never crowdfunded before, really. So this is an experience for me. And I want to share that experience with you guys. So you guys really understand what it takes to get this get a movie like this made this kind of micro budget movie. So I'll keep giving you updates to what's going on with Meg and again, if you want to sign on for any of this stuff I talked about earlier in the episode, you could just go to the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/077 thanks again for all the support guys. As always, head over to filmmaking podcast.com and leave us an honest review of the show. It helps us out tremendously guys, and if you want to be part of the indie film hustle community, head over to indiefilmhustle.com/facebook to sign up for our private Facebook group where all of us indie film, hustlers talk, post about each other's works, ask questions Connect. It's a really cool community and we're getting close to 5000 members of that group so definitely check that out indiefilmhustle.com/facebook. As always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive, and I'll talk to you soon.




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IFH 047: Yancey Arias – How to Make It as a Working Actor

Want to learn how to make it as a working actor? Well, studying actor, producer, and director Yancey Arias would not be a bad start. I met Yancey Arias years ago and since have worked on several projects together. I’ve always admired how Yancey was able to always keep working.

To date, Yancey Arias has over 70 acting credits in film, television, and Broadway. His credit list is kind of nuts:

I just got tired of typing, his credit list is impressive, to say the least. He’s also worked on huge studio tentpoles live Live Free or Die HardTime Machine and the Hands of Stone starring Robert DeNiro.

His first big break came in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon in 1992, which he worked on in different capacities for several years. His breakout role was on NBC’s Mini-Series Kingpin playing the lead Miguel Cadena, which was viewed by 25 million people.

I sat down with Yancey while he was in between setups on the hit show Marvel’s Agents of Shield. He’ll be popping up on the show in 2016. I really wanted to get a seasoned actor’s perspective on what it takes to make it in Hollywood.

We also discuss his work on indie films, his new life as a director and producer with his production company NYC Films and much more. Enjoy!

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:06
Today guys, we have a special treat. We have a really old good friend of mine Yancey Arias. He is an actor who's been in a million different movies. I mean, I can't even explain to you how many movies he's been in. He's been on so many shows. He's been on over seven he officially has 70 acting credits on film, television and Broadway over 70 acting credits on shows like castle NCIS, New Orleans, the sopranos, bones, Hawaii Five o elementary CSI New York and CSI NCIS Los Angeles, or noticed the shield and has been on big huge temple movies like Live Free or Die Hard Time Machine and the upcoming new film coming out with Robert De Niro call Hans of stone. He is a working actor as what I like to call Yancy yanxi is definitely a working actor he's been in the business for years and years and years. He you really won't find a nicer and nicer not only a nicer actor, but nicer human being. I've worked on with Yancey and a few projects in the past and he has been nothing but a pleasure to work with. And he you know, he teaches acting as well. And I you know, I wanted him on the show to kind of, you know, let people know what it takes not only to be a working actor, but to be a working professional in the industry. And a lot of the stuff that he talks about in regards to acting can easily be translated into directing writing, or any other discipline within the filmmaking business. Now if acting wasn't enough, Yancey is also a very good director and producer working with his production company, NYC films. He's producing multiple different projects as a director and a producer, and worked on a wonderful little film called The Shooting Star salesman with one of our former guests as a director Kiko the latter day now Yancey is a very hard man to get ahold of. He's working constantly. I actually got him to do this interview in between takes on the set of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD which he's going to be either has already aired or will be airing soon. So he's going to be in between so you'll hear some things in the background here some doors closing and opening. He's just basically waiting around between scenes, and he was gracious enough to to do this interview for us. So enjoy my interview with Yancey Arias. Yancey, man, thanks so much for being on the show, man. I know you're extremely busy. So thanks again, man.

Yancey Arias 3:13
You're welcome, man, please, anytime.

Alex Ferrari 3:16
So um, we'll get right to it. What was your first experience in the entertainment business?

Yancey Arias 3:21
My grandma, my mom, they were hosting a competition for the new those for the best lip synching group that there could possibly be in the Lower East Side of Manhattan

Alex Ferrari 3:36
Now Menudo is the one direction of our time,

Yancey Arias 3:38
That one direction of our time corrective but the Puerto Rican kids so yeah, and I basically was the intermission entertainment and I actually was singing for real I wasn't them singing I was just kind of like they threw me on stage two as a filler. And everybody sat down when they heard my voice and you know, it was a really nice experience because it was a beautiful song. That that was from the Menounos but it was something that that was touching to them because one of the guys was leaving the group and I sang his song no no v this is a Don't forget me. So all the girls went nuts and they started crying and you know and it was just like an amazing experience of of contacting an audience and giving them something they wanted to hear and also having a voice and being accepted and I was just like wow, okay, this might be something I like to do. And from there on, my mom supported me you know, in everything I wanted to do in terms of my entertainment you know, experience

Alex Ferrari 4:38
Now what what what made you want to be an actor, like there's a difference between jumping on stage on and singing,

Yancey Arias 4:44
Acting correct. So basically, when I went to high school about two years after the fact I was 14, I was 12. When that happened when I got on stage for the first time when I was 14 when I went to a high school by the name of St. John's prep in historic queens, and I met the Wonderful James are green who coincidentally, you know, saw me on the on the train on the seven train actually the nnr train headed back into the city with my with my guys that I hung out with from the baseball team and we were all clowning around singing, you know these these funny songs a lot of like do up and you know 50s greats and and we were singing always in forever I'll never forget forever. And he was like I want all you guys audition for the school play. So, you know, I was the only one who was interested in I auditioned and he gave me the lead role. I was the only one who could really sing that year. And he made a deal with me says I'm going to teach you how to sing. And you're going to teach him how to speak Spanish because he was an opera singer. So he wanted to sing with a better accent is arias. And coincidentally, my name is Yan teoria. So you know what, what a great duo. So he then introduced me to jack Romano, who was the main director of the stage of the place called stagedoor. Manor up in Loch Sheldrick, New York, where I studied acting, and singing and dancing and everything as a little kid from age 14 to 17. So I got a nice scholarship, you know, every summer doing, you know, plays, and during the winter season, I was doing plays with Mr. Green, and then at another high school that I had to end up going because I moved to Staten Island and more more Catholic. So throughout the high school years, I did about maybe 12 plays, right? And mostly musical, and some some some straight plays. But you know, I soaked it all up, man, that's when I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And it was literally at the age of 15 where I'm where I'm confirmed it like 14 I wet my feet 15 I was like No, this is it. This is me. This is where I am. This is this is my calling. So that's awesome, man. Yeah. And then I went on to college to Carnegie Mellon University. I was accepted there. And I studied there for another two years between age 19 and 20. And, and then at 22. I got Miss Saigon on Broadway and you know, I continually keishon Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 7:21
I must have been, wow,

Yancey Arias 7:23
That was a dream come true. Because when I was in high school, I saw Les Miserables, lay in the front row center seat, and I was bawling. It was just an amazing experience. Imagine I literally said, I'm going to be on this stage someday I will perform on this stage someday. And kid you not. That's exactly what happened. About five years later, I booked. I booked Miss Saigon. And I'm in that that theater in the same very the very same theater, if you can imagine when I was rehearsing for Miss Saigon. And I knew, and I was looking at the play from the audience perspective, because that's what you do before you you know, actually, when you when you jump on a show that's already established, you have to watch the show several times. So you see how it all works before you actually on there. And I was in tears, then, you know, well, I made it I made a very strong commitment and a conviction that I would be at this theater that's very theater working on this very stage and near I am and it was it was a wonderful training ground. It was a wonderful experience. I did it for six years. Yeah, and and during that time, I continue my studies with my coach Alan savage out of New York, and I was there every week doing scenes outside of what I was doing with the show, and he was helping me hone in my skills and just, you know, grow up in it, you know, and, and really just find a sense of like, a sense of like, survival and ownership the same time just like really understanding the journey, you know, that this is and where I really want to take my career and where I want to take my mission and my work. And so he was detriment. It was just, he was pivotal. And he was super important, you know, in summing it all up for me. And then I was doing a lot of you know, guest stars, you know, in all the all the New York cop shows like the law and orders in New York and the cover and NYPD Blue, all those shows that we shoot in New York, NYPD which shot in LA, but they sometimes came to New York. And

Alex Ferrari 9:31
So, ironically,

Yancey Arias 9:34
So I shot you know, anything that was in New York, I was shooting and then I realized that there was some really interesting roles that I never got a chance to be seen for. Once I actually signed on with paradigm back in 1995 years ago, I realized that there was some roles that that that I was missing out on and I had to be in Los Angeles. So that was in 2001 where I decided to move to Los Angeles and and try to compete for some of the more you know more interesting involved roles that that you know would be cast it out of La so that that was then my mission and I came out in online and and I've been here in Los Angeles for close to 15 years

Alex Ferrari 10:22
So so what's the big difference between working in New York and working in LA as an actor

Yancey Arias 10:28
Okay well New York you know you're you obviously have more tangibility to theater so you know you could do you can shoot on on any set in New York you know, between 6am and 6pm and then jump on the on the stage at night you know, and you know, knock out a great you know, as best as possible do your best work possible at night from 730 to 11. You know, and that was my life back then I was that's exactly what I was doing. So, I was I was it was such a wonderful experience to go from set to stage you know, almost every day and I did it quite often and it was amazing it was exhilarating and and definitely for a young person it's like you're on top of the world you feel like such a rock star. Right, right. Right. But you know, I definitely you know, have all the energy for that, um, you know, and La in LA you know, it's more like you know, basically if you don't have the right I guess outlets you could be sitting around because you know, sometimes I me personally, you know, I would work probably, I don't know maybe four or five times in the year so those projects would take me about you know, three weeks to shoot each one you know, and unless I'm on a series and I'm a series regular and it takes me throughout the whole year or at least say you know six or seven months you know, it would be like five to six months you know that I'm working in another five to six months in between that I'm not so what do you do with your time you know, so I found golf I found an adult baseball league we're planning on you know, I found I found poker but I played a cheap program and played expensive program

Alex Ferrari 12:23
Right you know you're not rolling that you're not rolling that hard.

Yancey Arias 12:26
I know I know my limits and now I have a kid right so it's like my baby boy is taking a lot of my time so yeah, a lot of the outlets that I was using is now you know focused on him

Alex Ferrari 12:38
Isn't it amazing that that happens when when kids come around isn't it

Yancey Arias 12:41
Oh I love it and you know it's great because now now I'm in more of like the seat of you know enjoying him you know watch him grow and what and watching him you know accept whatever whatever things that I throw at him and like read through our golf ball ball at him or baseball bat in a ball just to see him pick it up and do something with it and try to guide him through that that's that's just like that's you know, it's just an amazing experience you know where even if I had a girl I would do the same thing with her you know, right right kids period you know it's just like to see their light bulbs go off and then learn every day and just see what they pick up in the downbar 24 to 48 hours a new odd or new thing that they do or new behavior that's like that's like the most amazing production I've ever done in my life so that's that's definitely you know my involvement you know between work now for the last year and a half just just basically being with him and taking him to places to see how you know let's see how he reacts to stuff he's a

Alex Ferrari 13:42
Big guinea pig for you is what you're saying

Yancey Arias 13:43
Is it really good kidney you know it's so much fun because I've had I've had a wonderful life so far and I said I hope to have another 40 years in me you know we'd God Willing at least 4050 years you know but but with all that said you know like in this time of my life at 44 you know I have so much to give to my kids and I say kids because we want another one hit right right so so you know

Alex Ferrari 14:09
And I have to give I have to give you have to give you props man you are actually one of the few actors who actually admit their age of public oh

Yancey Arias 14:17
I don't care I know you I know you though it's after a while you don't you stop caring because when you do some high profile shows like kingpin or something like that or thief when the series that I did you know, sometimes you end up doing press and the press gets the information and then it's all over the place. There's no hiding it

Alex Ferrari 14:35
Not anymore. It's not the 20s or the 30s anymore. There's no hiding anything.

Yancey Arias 14:40
I mean, my look my look, the way I look at cameras is I eat right and I work out hard. So I still look about 35 I can play anywhere between 3536 to about 45 my age. You know so, so the age ranges there. I mean, I Yeah, I keep myself healthy enough throughout my life to be able to warrant that, but But yeah, I mean, the age thing, yeah, there's there's certain sometimes you would, there's, there's a sense of ages in the business in this isms everywhere, man, but you know, you limit yourself. Exactly. I just, I just, you know, do what I do, and I love and I also produce, and I direct and I ride and these are things that I do, you know, also along with, you know, being a dad, but also great outlets and for me to, you know, to stay involved and to stay creative, you know, during any spells that there could be, you know, if there's a dry spell in the business at all, you know, then I'm still creative, you know,

Alex Ferrari 15:44
So let me ask you now I want to get into some acting questions, because I, you know, I'm a director we've worked together on on multiple projects together in the over the years. I've never directed you, though, I do hope one day to to direct you. Yeah. But so I'm gonna ask you some acting questions. So this is a little bit selfish, because I want to know, but also for the audience as well. What makes a good actor, in your opinion,

Yancey Arias 16:09
A good actor is one that takes on the responsibility of the human being that they're representing. Great definition that takes on the rep, the responsibility of the story being told, you know, every story has some truth in it, if not all true, okay, even if the fact even if it's made based on nothing, and it's a fictitious story, someone was inspired enough to write it, that something in their life has changed is something that they had to deal with that was really specific, but they don't want to, they don't want everybody to know about it, it's in there, and you got to find those gems of information in every project that you do to understand that, whether it be, you know, sci fi, or based on a true story biopic that, that, you know, there's a very specific reason and a very specific audience that, that we're trying to reach out to, and to tell a story that is somehow motivate someone. So when you when do we become a responsible actor, then then the actor is now is now committed to communication, communicating that story, and committed to, you know, being a part of a team to bring that, that whole story to light. Whereas, like, if an actor is not that committed, then it really becomes about them, and about all their fears, and about all, you know, ego, when things like that, go and whatever else that has nothing to do with the story. So that to me, defines, you know, what, what a really good actor is.

Alex Ferrari 17:47
Now I, you know, directing actors over the years, one thing I always see sometimes is, a lot of times actors get in their own way. When it comes to playing a character, what would you suggest, as you know, in? I don't know how to say this, but how do you what would you suggest and how to get actors to get out of their own way? And I'm not sure if that makes sense. Does that make sense to you?

Yancey Arias 18:10
Yes, absolutely. Well see, here's the thing, you know, with proper training with the proper coaches, you know, actors find a safe space where they can create and they can be like, little lab rats or be like little scientist and just explore and, and, and, and, you know, work with all the different colors in the, in the spectrum, work with all the different colors on the palette, and just, you know, completely immerse themselves in the training process, so that they can learn to fuck up, learn to, they can learn to, you know, be bad actors to be great actors they do to just just, you know, not think so much, but just to create in the creative mode, you know, because there is no right or wrong. Prayer is there is you know, a commitment to the work and to try to explore so actors without proper training, do get in their own way because they're too worried. They don't have they don't they don't know. They don't, they haven't explored they haven't. You know, it's like, it's like, you know, saying, Okay, listen, young man, you're going to go from from Los Angeles, and you're going to walk all the way to Europe, you're going to walk all the way to a town called York shark. Okay, you're gonna walk away there. Here's a map, good luck. But if you know if, you know, if you, if you take that person, he's okay. I'm going to train you how to use you know, this tool that helps you get through that mountain, and I'm going to train you how to, you know, use this float to get to through the ocean, use this scuba gear and you know, gear him up. You got when you when you got when you go into any kind of, you know, a studio that's worth, you know, going to, they're going to stick in a suit They're going to, they're going to chew you up, they're going to give you a utility belt that you can easily access after many years of training, easily access these tools to understand what you need. So essentially, if you're a chef in a, in a, in a kitchen, in a world renowned kitchen, you got all the spices, you got all the, you know, you got all the materials laid out, and that took years of understanding how all those spices work, right. So, so good, a good actor who has a lot of training, you know, a good training, not just any training, but good training, like in good conservatory has explored a lot of those ingredients, and all of those tools to use in order for them to be able to come to a set or come to a stage. And, and, and live. So what happens it you know, it's a, it's a process in order to, to have that kind of freedom to have that kind of creative freedom to understand when they might be getting themselves into any kind of trouble, like getting getting to, in their own way, or, or when they're actually in the creative flow of it. And so, you know, a good good trained actor knows when, when they're in and when they're out. And so, you know, and they know how to get back in if they're out. Okay, so and that's why a good director, you know, basically will, will try to hire the best possible actors, so they don't, they, that part of the job is easy, they can, they can trust that their actors are going to, you know, show up to work and know exactly what, you know, what, what story they're telling, and, and, and, you know, the director can also then freely create, on many levels, you know, he doesn't have to babysit an actor, he can, you know, think about the shot and think about the lighting and the, you know, the costumes and the colors and all the nuances and a special effect that he might have, you know, so so it's really, you know, it's, it's interesting, being able to interest an actor who is primed to come to set to work that way. So So that's, that's, the key element is good training, to help understand how and when to when a person feels like, you know, an actor feels like they might be getting in their own way, and how do they bring themselves back to the story.

Alex Ferrari 22:14
So it's kind of like, you know, for another analogy is like, kind of going into a boxing ring, you know, you're not going to go up against Floyd Mayweather without any training. Or already fights in general, like, I'm like, I'm just gonna walk in, I'm like, I've seen someone throw a punch, I'm gonna try throwing a punch. And that's where I think a lot of actors do get in trouble. Because they, they look at like, Oh, I see what that guy is doing, oh, I can go do that. And you might get one lucky punch, maybe if you're lucky, but lucky, right? But again,

Yancey Arias 22:45
You got it, you got to follow through, because then it's like, you may win that punch, but you're not gonna win the fight. It's just, you know, that and that's what happens with a lot of young actors who come to Hollywood is that, you know, they come from wherever they come from, if they don't have training, and they don't have to support a support system, they get lost in it, because, you know, they, they feel like, I look good, you know, and I could do that I could be like, you know, dinero, or Brad Pitt or whoever, I can do that. And they show up without, you know, proper training and proper, proper skill or support. And, and, and they get buried, they get buried, all destroyed in Australia. Yeah, because they don't, they don't understand. You know, sometimes there's some people that, you know, that the studios will hire to, you know, because they're so beautiful, you know, and then they'll hire coaches for them on set. And, and, you know, if they're lucky, they take to heart the experience they have with the coach, and they cling on to the coach and the coach guides into their career for the rest of their life. Or if they're too, you know, I guess self absorbed and, you know, prideful, that they think they don't need a coach, well, then that's only going to last them for so long, you know. And that's, that's pretty much it. So you need to be kind of humble in this in this business. And at the same time, you have to be strong willed and know that, you know, if you want a career in this industry, you never stop learning, ever,

Alex Ferrari 24:04
Right! And like I always look at, probably one of the greatest living actors alive now is Meryl Streep. And you watch her, and she just, it just embodies whatever she does, it's, it's magical to watch actually, and like she just changes from character to character, with a fearlessness that and I think that's a big word to use when you're when you're an actor, to be fearless. And it's difficult to get to that point.

Yancey Arias 24:30
I think that there's, you know, the dichotomy of that is, is that, you know, you got to be willing to be fearful Branton oh not to have fear. So that's fine. Like, like when you go when you go to battle, you know, when you're at the top of the mountain and you're looking down at your enemy, you know, you you know, there's something that happens in the gutter, your stomach is like this may not turn out that right. Right, but you're willing to you're courageous enough to try, you know, and so You go and you go into battle so so you can't negate fear because fear is there right but you embrace that fear and and you courageously go into the fight and and and that's what is you know that that's the the amazing part of it is like some people get consumed by fear you know but they don't they don't realize that that that very energy is good energy and you can make that productive for yourself

Alex Ferrari 25:24
Absolutely fear can be a driving force if used properly correct now can you give any advice to actors about the brutal auditioning process which I've been on the I've never been in front to audition for someone who has been auditioning people and I try to be as nice as I possibly can to actors to come in but I've seen other casting casting sessions that are absolutely just brutal what what do you and I'm sure you've I'm sure you have a couple stories what what kind of advice can you give actors about handling that that kind of brutal auditioning process?

Yancey Arias 25:58
Well, this is a this is a 20 pound question. I mean, it's it's a big one but I'll try to break it down as quickly as I can. Basically, you know, when you when you're handed the material from your agent or wherever you get it from, you know, you commit to it 100% and you you learn it and you research it as best as you can so that so that when you go in you have creative freedom so that you're not tied to the page and your hand you know so that you can you know, do your best with that and then give an interpretation of the story that that is you know, on the page already then you know on game day when you before you go in before you go in you know you want to feel like you've put in the hours you put you put in the time you done your best to prepare now just go in and celebrate go and celebrate like you're actually shooting you have to have a sense of like ownership and and acknowledgement of the fact that you know life is a rehearsal you don't have to get it right enjoy the process so you go you go into the room where you're waiting for yes there's 20 other people but you know what, God bless them they're going to get there someday you're going to get your someday it's not up to you you know it's really not up to you all you can do the only thing that we have power over is celebrating our preparation Game Day is celebrating our practice you know when the guys go when the guys go to the Superbowl, you know they've been working hard all season and they continue to still practice they know their weaknesses and then when it's game day when it when they say Okay, it's time to play put it on the whistle goes it's a celebration man and everything else just comes off you may just everything comes through naturally without even thinking about it. And then understanding that you you There's nothing else you could do but that because the director and the producer and the writer, they're in the room and they're looking for what they wrote. So if you don't happen to be exactly what they're looking for, it's nothing against you they love your work and someday they might actually hire you on another project in case in point that's happened to me several times you know I wasn't ripe for a certain part but they loved my work I went in there with that attitude that I talked about and and they love it and then they hired me later on

Alex Ferrari 28:14
Yeah, it like I was trying to tell actors like sometimes just not personal sometimes they're not looking for a 510 Latino, sometimes they're looking for a six foot five black guy, right and it just that didn't get to you. Unfortunately before the auditioning process.

Yancey Arias 28:28
Don't let that shut you down exactly. Rock and Roll because you never know they might even write you in. They write you into the project

Alex Ferrari 28:36
Right and that's happened I've seen that happen many times with actor friends of mine as well, but you just got to do. I was interviewing Robert forester A while ago and he was just always saying the same thing. Like do the best work you can no matter how small the part is, no matter how small the audition is just bring your game. That's right every time and good stuff only good things gonna happen from that might not happen every time but eventually something happens from that. Amen. Um, now what kind of advice can you give about handling rejection? Because I know that's a huge part of being an actor.

Yancey Arias 29:08
Okay, could this be our last question or can we continue this?

Alex Ferrari 29:12
Or do you need Yeah, do you need do you need to head out

Yancey Arias 29:15
I do need to head out but but but I can answer this question and then maybe Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 29:20
Absolutely perfect. Okay.

Yancey Arias 29:21
So So, rejection you know, you have to have like skin of steel, you know, basically and again, if you go back to understanding, you know, how, how and why are we going to, you know, to these to the audition process, then it doesn't matter the rejection because you know, it has nothing to do with you. If you did your best that and you claim and you put your stake or you put your stamp, this is my brand, this is how I work. This is why I am this is what I love to do. This is hard prepare, you know, and it all comes out in the story when you when you tell that story, when you're dealing with the other actor or you're the casting person, and you have this great wonderful general genuine rapport with the other person and you're really in the scene and you really give yourself over to the scene into the other person and invest yourself in that way, then you did your job.

Alex Ferrari 30:10
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Yancey Arias 30:21
There's there's nothing else you could do you if you did your job, you did your job, you walk away. And and now next time that you know, I'll do the same thing again. You know, one of my friends, Jacob Vargas is so sweet. You know, I've worked with him several occasions. And kingpin job is etc. And my boy said it right. You know, he says, We're career auditioners, that's our career. You know, we go in every time like, we're on set, we're working, we're getting paid for it. And every so I mean, I saw I went another 1000 jobs maybe in you know, 30 years of experience of this of this entertainment industry. And I, in my mind, I did 1000 projects on IMDB, I did 70 projects. Right? But you know, but that's how you psych yourself out for this whole thing. You just say, you know, you psych yourself up for it, because you say Listen, this is my career. This is what I do. I meet people all the time. That's what I do. And every time I meet him, I give him my best best possible, you know, scenario, my bet my best foot forward, you know,

Alex Ferrari 31:20
Where what would you consider to be your big break

Yancey Arias 31:24
Big breaks for big breaks, I guess would be kingpin because that was the biggest audience that you know, I was able to, you know, share our story with 25 million viewers showed up the first episode, and we beat dragnet and and Sopranos that Sunday, I remember vividly, and then do the, the scheduling of the show got kind of wacky. So the numbers kind of, you know, did a little bit of a jump, but, but we maintained about 15 million viewers by the end of the sixth episode. And until this day, 10 years later, or rather, 12 years later, everyone is like, Hey, what happened to that show? What can we see it again?

Alex Ferrari 32:12
Yeah, I know you say that? Is that what you get? Is that what you get mostly recognized for?

Yancey Arias 32:15
You know, yeah, I mean, I would say 90 Yeah, 90% of the time when people see me they go kingpin. But then, you know, then I have a nice group of people that actually watch a lot of different things that I've been in and you know, they catch me on and whatnot and but I gotta say, that would be the the the show that broke me in and do Alan Coulter and David Mills, God blesses, so rest in peace, they were so great to give me that opportunity into into risk that responsibility onto me

Alex Ferrari 32:48
Now as an actor, what kind of what kind of experience is that? Because that's a very unique experience for an actor, you know, being kind of thrown into the spotlight like that. I mean, it's not like you're an overnight success. You had been working for years before you got that shot. But, but I'm imagining as an actor that what was the experience, like being thrown in front of 25 million people? Like, how does that work for you,

Yancey Arias 33:10
It was fantastic, because you said a key thing I've been in the business a long time prior to that I've already working, you know, on film and television for about 12 years prior to that experience. And in all the experiences I've had in different shows that I've worked on, in my guest starring or recurring roles, you know, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of people that were, you know, the leads in shows and the series regulars and, and, you know, I got a sense of, like, how I wanted to what I wanted to bring to the table for production, in terms of like the family atmosphere, the synergy, the synchronicity, the flow of happiness, and just, you know, I feel like when you're on a series and if you're a series regular, it starts from the top so, you know, spread the love and bring everybody together and make them feel like they're part of something special. So, you know, I made it very clear to everyone number one, number one on the call sheet is not my name, it's the production, it's the show. So it's number one, and we're all here to serve the peace. And I gave you know, I gave everybody the best, you know, support that I possibly could to help them and help me bring the best you know, product out there for the audience. You know, the best performances and the best, you know, the best love you see that kind of camaraderie and that kind of family atmosphere that you get to play with. from day to day, it does show up on the screen that greatness and, you know, that was a wonderful experience for, for me to have to have that responsibility and give people that kind of support and, and and love that, you know, I've always wanted to do when I got my when I you know, eventually someone gave me that responsibility. It's about sharing, it's about, you know, bringing everyone together and like a one big happy party, you know, awesome family. So So yeah, that was fantastic.

Alex Ferrari 34:59
Yes, Real quick, you're wearing your earbuds, right? Yes, they're it's rubbing up against your shirt. So if you could just hold them like apart, that would be awesome. But other than that was perfect. So yeah, so you've done a ton of TV work over the years. Now, how does that differ from your filmmaking experience?

Yancey Arias 35:18
Well, you know, it's because television was the, I guess, the avenue that I ended up being on quite frequently, especially after a show like kingpin and whatnot, you know, it's been a challenge to get into the film world because you know, it's like, you have to be careful not to become too popular on a TV show, you know, but but I'm lucky that I didn't get you know, to overuse or overexposed in any particular production on television. So I've I've been blessed in the way that I've played a lot of different characters you know, and and so when a film producer sees me as an actor, you know, they're like, oh, that guy's interesting he's always doing something different Yeah, you know, I know I know that face but yeah, okay. Yeah, it's a good act Okay, maybe he's right for this role. And if I am great, I'm on the film. And you know, I've been I've been working hard to get myself more into film as of late and for quite a long time rather I since I moved to Los Angeles 15 years ago, every so often I pop up in some films and some big blockbusters a lot of independence you know, and in the independent world, I realized that you know, in order for me to basically you know, kind of bring myself to the attention of the film world I have to kind of create my own project so I started producing, writing and directing and I'm on my sixth project right now coming out in theaters early that next year about March called restored me which is something that I produced on an accident and and then I have about three other films in development that we hope to shoot at least one or two saw, I hope to shoot in 2016 two new films for the public and a lot of my stuff is based on true stories you know, suspense thrillers or maybe even action just because like you know that's kind of the world that I love so much and and if you're going to you know commit time outside of your acting career you know, you better do something that you really love and you you know, you can put a lot of focus and attention to so that so that it you know, it drives your mission forward you know, whatever it is that you want to say in the world you know, and what are your reasons you want to help with it or in the world you know,

Alex Ferrari 37:48
now you've also worked like you said, you work on a huge tent poles and you've worked on small TV shows, what can you tell the actors listening? What is it like working in a bit like a big blockbuster, like kind of like the day to day vibe and also any any advice you can give to any actor who might get on as a day player or you know, on a big show like that, because it's a very different different experience than being on an indie project or on a television show?

Yancey Arias 38:15
You know, it's you know, Indian television Okay, specifically it's not very much different it's pretty much let's you know, let's move you know, you have a lot of pages in one day because for a television series you have you know, a week and a half to shoot what's supposed to be a whole episode that could you know, 45 minutes of you know, a footage and and you know, indie you have to shoot, you know, in 18 days, you're lucky if you get 25 days on an indie film. Yeah. So, so, you have 18 days is not a far stretch from you know, 12 days, you know, so So, you do have to hustle and you have to be in shape and you know, you know, good form that you're you know, you're eating right, you're getting to rest as much as possible you're working hard, you know, you're doing some exercise, you got to stay out there because, you know, there's no time to dilly dally, you know what I mean? So you really have to, you know, understand the PC you're in, give it your 100% you know, emotionally physically, you know, spiritually, mentally the whole nine yards, so you got to be ready for all that, you know, so it moves, it moves, really, you know, it's an animal that is definitely a little bit different from the, from the studio temples, because those films, you know, there's a lot more money involved, there's a lot more time involved, and they and there's a lot more intricacies involved, especially today with the you know, visual effects and all the wonderful you know, you know, toys and gadgets that are involved in some of the big films that you get to play with and all the green screen this and that, there's a lot more waiting around and prep for those kinds of films is is millions upon millions upon millions of dollars involved, you know, and so and right So they want to think they want it to be an amazing cinematic experience. Whereas in television and indie films, it's so much more story story story. And, you know, if we get something spectacular, visually, amen, but, you know, we got to get this movie in the can or TV show, you know, sent off to, you know, to post so that it can make it on time for airtime. I know. Yeah. So so you know, the so in terms of like, you know, the difference really is more, you know, against the, you know, big blockbuster films, you know, versus the TV shows and the independent films, you know, mind you, you know, if you have a week or two weeks to prep for a TV show, or an indie film, you know, you do everything that you can to get, you know, look under every rock creatively, you know, as to understanding what the piece is what you're fighting for, what you're trying to what you're trying to achieve in the whole, you know, story and your relationships with everyone. And understanding, you know, how, you know, the significance and the, the freefall that you're going into working in that speed and giving your absolute best for the story. You know, whereas when you do a big blockbuster, you have about a month or two months, maybe even six months prior to shooting. In one case, I had a whole year before shooting on a blockbuster hit Oh,

Alex Ferrari 41:20
what was that time it was that time machine? Was that time machine?

Yancey Arias 41:24
No at Well, you know what, that was a six month waiting period before I got on time machine and then Live Free or Die Hard was about two month waiting experience. You know, this is an indie film, but not really this is called the hands of stone, which which I was part of, and it's coming out next year to the Weinstein group with Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez. And that particular film, I I got the part almost a year before I did the role, so you know, and the role, as you will see is a pivotal one in terms of like, who fights Roberta Duran in New York City for the first time ever, you know, in the history of robidoux re Roberta Duran I coincidently had a whole almost seven eight maybe almost a year like seven eight months to a year before I was on set and it gave me plenty of time to work out you know, boxing wise and I just, I just boxed my butt off for two or three weeks excited to you know, to join the cast and the biggest compliment I got was when I when I finished a couple of the fight scenes I came off the rain came out of the ring and Robert DeNiro comes up to me and he's like hey what you know are you pro i mean you know what Jim what Jimmy workout of oh shit Yes, thank you Lord God thank you Mr. dinero great compliment Mr. Raging Bull. as fuck you know, like as an actor, you want to be able to disappear in your role you know what I mean? And and for him not to know that I was an actor on the set that I was actually thought because I was actually a real fighter. A huge fucking compliment as a huge compliment. It's so so I you know that that was a testament to my hard work for the 17 months to the year before I got on that set.

Alex Ferrari 43:14
And now you're also talking about directing and producing you produced a film with one of our guests prior guests. Kiko. Kiko Yes, the shooting star salesman. Yeah, we're the star of that one. And we talked a bunch about that, that in the in the episode, but that must have been fun. You did a great job in that short, I remember watching it in the beginning. Before it before I got released. I was like, man, it was a must have been fun.

Yancey Arias 43:40
I was fantastic. And you know, I'm trained, you know, classically and I went to Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, and you know, so so when I read the script, I felt like it was such an eloquent piece. And I felt like it was something that you never seen me do before. You know, and so I really wanted to challenge that, you know, myself and the peace to to see a Latino in that role. I mean, when it first came to me, Kiko didn't know what he wanted to do with me on the project if I just wanted to produce a them or not, and I read it. And I was like, who you have in mind for this what we were thinking like a 60 year old white guy, you know, I was like, Well, God bless the 60 or white men love them all. But you know what, I want to play this role. And I want to, you know, I want to do my take, and, you know, and he was like, Oh, wonderful. That sounds like a really good idea. I was like, Yes, it's a brilliant idea that before you change your mind, so we got into it, and he we had the best experience possible. And we were so in love. I mean, the, the show the actual short is playing so much for the last three years in all these different festivals, and it's garnishing awards and whatnot and acclimated. And, you know, we're just like on a shoot of fooling features. So yeah, that's one of the other things we're in development with, that we're trying to make as well. And we're just working on the script right now. So that's awesome. Yeah. So we'll hope hope to see that So I'm in the next two years.

Alex Ferrari 45:01
So speaking of working with the director, what do you look for as an actor and a director?

Yancey Arias 45:07
Okay, well, if I'm working with a director, okay, having having directed already, for me, like, I know, and I appreciate, like, being able to, like, talk to my actors, when they need me, you know, I don't like to be in their face, you know, so. So basically, like, I trust my crew, I trust my actors. And, you know, I set up cameras in such certain ways that it's like, I want, I want them to feel like they're almost onstage and they're having a live performance. So like they're creatively flowing, and nothing technical is getting in their way. You know what I mean? So like, I almost feel like, I'll put zoom lenses on cameras, so that, you know, they were in tight, but they don't know we're in tight, you got I'm saying, so I wanted to feel like we're, I want the audience and the crew to be like flies on the wall, watching something like really dangerous happening right now. You know, so I give them that space, you know, and I like that, you know, I like directors who give us space, you know, as big as because they give, giving us the respect and the honor of knowing that when they hired me that I'm going to bring the goods, I'm going to bring my preparation, and allow that preparation to be a celebration on set, you know what I mean? And it's not that I'm trying to say, like, you know, actors should take over No, that's not what I'm saying is that, you know, if, when I'm hiring somebody, I'm looking at mostly, you know, trusting noise, okay, this person is brilliant, they're great. They, they do, they do their work, they do their homework, they're responsible, they're not there, they're kind of people, they're loving people, they care for the peace, they're going to bring something, let's play, you know, so I like obviously, like, you know, before we actually start production, maybe a week of rehearsal, just to kind of get in there, you know, get dirty with the director, knock out all of these wonderful, you know, moments and scenes talk about things that, you know, we'd like to achieve in in all the scenes, and then, you know, finally, when we get to set that we're all on the same page, we're not, you know, wasting time on things that we didn't explore yet, you know, we're actually expanding on the exploration that we had in our preparation and our rehearsal, you get what I'm saying, if anything, there, anything gets stopped, we think for a second about anything is only about expanding and moving forward, rather than, you know, you know, stopping and not having had that prep time, you know, to get it. And then the other thing is, like, you know, sometimes I feel, you know, and this is nothing against certain directors and whatnot, you know, everybody has a different way of going at it, different roads at the top of the mountain, and as an actor, I understand how to work with all of them, you know, it's my respect to them and their craft, you know, because not everybody's wired the same way. But I do kind of tend to, like some of the directors who, you know, they're brilliant at what they do, you know, and they understand and respect what I do. And, you know, the talking is minimal, you know, it's, it's more about the doing, you know, and and, you know, if I need another tape, let's do another tape, because, you know, I have something special that that just came up out of the moment that perhaps, perhaps I didn't hit or didn't jump off the cliff on. And, you know, let me give you one, you know, hits and giggles, you'll, I'll surprise you, you know, even if it's an improv, you know, it's something that, you know, whether beyond the page or off the page, that it's something that is something creative, that allows us to, you know, to be and so, you know, I feel like sometimes certain directors like to talk for talk, you know, to feel their importance, and it's not, you know, it's sometimes an insecurity thing, and I understand it, I understand it, you know, and I and I respect them for feeling that way. In a way, it's a compliment to me that they want to share that moment with me and they want to talk about something, you know, but, but a lot of times, it's like, you know, just have faith in your guys and just do you know, just lead the way if I'm off track as an actor for anything, please come in and help me get back on track, right? If I'm driving this, and I'm, you know, I'm doing my thing, and they're getting it and I'm attaching the story. You know, some really good directors know how to leave their actors B and just, you know, basically just just be like, Oh, you want another one? No, you're good. Okay, great. Let's move on. You know, right. Right. Right. Right. It's it's not even, you know, it's just knowing when you have it, some some directors don't know when they have it, you know?

Alex Ferrari 49:49
Yeah, that's, that's that's what Robert Forster said. He says, like, I asked him the exact same question He's like, I'd like a director who knows when they have it. Great. That's a big thing.

Yancey Arias 49:59
It's a big thing, it's a big thing because, you know, otherwise, it's like, it's sometimes it gets kind of sticky and little muddy, but, but you know, I think that at the end of the day as an actor, without my directors hat on, as an actor, you have to be able to work with everyone and everyone style, you know, and just basically adapt. And, you know, remember that you're invited to a party, you know, and you have to respect everyone at the party, and the party and all your work on your work. And, and be ready to be ready to, you know, to adapt into I've already said that, but be ready to complement the project and to collaborate with the project because, you know, no matter what you came up with, that is so brilliant for your, you know, that you feel we want to share with the audience and we want to share for the, with the production, you know, things things are going to slightly alter, you know, for one reason or another technical things or, you know, story wise or, you know, whatever, you know, things do change. So be ready to change, be ready to adapt, you're ready to flow. So you know, you it's just like being a fighter, you know, I mean, like you can, you can basically train for, you know, 16 months prior to a big fight or three months or two months or one month prior to a big fight. And in that preparation, you know, you do you think of every possible thing that you have to do to fight that opponent. But when you're in the ring, when it's in the fight night, dude, anything could happen. Anything could, of course, be able to just flow and adapt. And you know, you know, go with it, you know, I'm saying and, and, and, you know, you're brave enough to go through it, you know, try to win. And if you did win, great, but if you didn't, at least you were brave enough to try. You know me, I

Alex Ferrari 51:49
think that's good advice for life in general, just kind of go with the flow. Anything can happen at any time.

Yancey Arias 51:55
Exactly. And don't freak out when something doesn't seem to be wrong, because what you think might be wrong, actually could be a blessing.

Alex Ferrari 52:03
Oh, I've had that too many times in my career. Too many times cop out for right. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yes. Um, hold the mic a little bit off, your shirt is still rather good. So I have a couple more questions. Are you good? Are we good on time? Yeah, so far. Alright, cool. Any advice you can give a working actor on how to make it as a working actor in the business?

Yancey Arias 52:32
Well, here's the number one thing, anytime you get the opportunity, remember that it you have to appreciate it with every ounce of your body and your soul. And then, you know, prepare yourself to do the best work you possibly can in the time of your life that you're in. Because every time you go in and do work for any production, you know, it's about being consistent every time. Like always bring your A game and I know it's exhausting, but you do it because you love it. And there's no other reason why you need to be there. Because simply because you love the story and you'd love to be on the project. And and be prepared because once the audience then feels that love that you brought to the table, like basically, like you're serving a dinner, a beautiful dinner, every time that you're going, you know that you put them on a show, you know, and so like every time you invite the audience in, to sit down and give you you know, your attention for you know, 45 minutes to two hours, you know, it's it's this amazing dinner that you prepared for them. So you know, otherwise, if you don't have it that great, then people don't want to come you know, to dinner anymore. So the more that you so the more that you you know, they're always bringing something delicious, different, something great, something interesting, you know, and your work is always on point, you know, you know, 99% of the time, you know, because remember you gotta leave 1% for failure for failure because failure is good thing it's a humbling thing.

Alex Ferrari 54:00
You know, it's a greatest teacher but you don't learn by winning all the time.

Yancey Arias 54:04
Exactly. But you get you'll learn by failure as well. But you know, you know your turkey always gonna be as delicious and scrumptious. You know what I'm saying? But but but no thanks. Yeah, if you're right for Thanksgiving, right? If you're, if you're consistent, right and giving and preparing the most delicious dinner, doing your best work, then, you know, people will pay attention and people want to keep hiring you. And that's how you become a working actor in this business. And the other thing that you have to do to also be you know, a working actor is that you have to have a lot of different things that you do, you have to learn how to dance you have to learn how to sing You have to learn you know, you got to know your shit as an actor, you have to you know, you have to pick up an instrument you have to do a lot of different things. Because sometimes a certain role calls for it and and if you go in on it, and you don't know anything about that, you know, it's going to be Difficult to cast you, you know what I mean? Because then you know you want you want to give the producers and director no reason to say no. You know, I'm saying so you're going for a role, and there's a specific skill attached to that role. You want to know something about that? As a general statement, right? Yeah, exactly that way, that way, you know, so sharpen your skills when you're not working on different things, whether it be dance class, singing class, horseback riding, guitar, horseback riding, motorcycle riding, be safe guys, you know, you know, any kind of contact sport, boxing, martial arts, you know, be good. Respect your body, understand, you can't hurt yourself, either, you know, but but train, train, you know, on all of these different arts, because, you know, you're going to be called upon to have to come up with that skill. And it's very apparent when you don't know what you're doing. And because of television, and television, and independent films move so fast, and the preparation is so small, you know, you want to have a head start. If he so so there's a big thing about vision questing. I call it vision posting, because I say to myself, look, you know, what, I haven't been called yet to play a guitarist, you know, someone who's good, but but like, I think of myself as I'm someday I'm gonna play someone special in history, who played guitar. So I play guitar. So I work on it, like every day, even playing little, you know, Nursery Rhymes to my son, you know, as long as I'm doing it, I, you know, out, you never know, when I really have to do it for a job. You know what I mean? I'm lucky that I do sing. I've been singing since I was a child. And I've done it on Broadway. And, Greg, we talked about before. So if there's a singing role, you know, I sing. So I'm gonna bring that to the table. I say all actors should learn how to do especially learn how to sing or learn how to use their voice, learn how to dance, or do yoga. Because it's really important, you don't just act from the head up, you act with your whole body, you know, you're communicating with your whole body. So you got to learn how to use your instrument fully your full on instrument from head to toe, so that, you know, you can apply that to being consistent at work and also being ready for something that might surprise you later on that, you know, oh my God, I've been in dance class all the time. Oh, this is a big dance movie. Oh, it's a big ballroom dance movie. Like what happened with you know, what was that movie?

Alex Ferrari 57:26
The ballroom of a strictly ballroom strictly ballroom

Yancey Arias 57:29
or another movie that Robert De Niro did the most amazing film of two years ago.

Alex Ferrari 57:35
Oh. Seven line playbook.

Yancey Arias 57:40
So somebody's playbook. Exactly so I mean yeah, I mean the characters didn't have to really know how to dance but it's good to know something

Alex Ferrari 57:47
it helps it helps with the part without question yeah, no are there are there any pitfalls in the business that you can warn actors about

Yancey Arias 57:55
pitfalls you know I would say the pitfalls are like in life don't expect so much don't don't expect you know that everybody's gonna kiss your ass or you know throw flowers you know down you're on your feet you know you know you appreciate every opportunity you have Be humble you know because if not, you know, people people will see that smell that and they don't want to work with people that don't appreciate to be on a project you know what I mean? They know that you know there's a lot of people I know that shot themselves in the foot because you know they think that they're poopoo don't stink you know what I mean? And and they get bad reputations you know so so as you know I say work hard Be humble do your best and and and you know try try and bring love to the table and nothing else you know you know I think also you know good training you know get yourself in a good you know space a good workshop or you know good class you can work out for a couple of years that you feel comfortable with and safe in and you can rock use you know, rock your best creativity you know, find a way to work out in spaces like that so that even you know as a working actor, you're still always growing you know in between and you're still you riding the bike in between work because sometimes you know, if if you don't work for maybe four or five months and all of a sudden you got a job and you got to jump back on the bike and you got to you know, kind of start the pedaling again whereas if you're already there and you've been in you know another production or working on something for yourself you know to expand your muscles and have character that you never played before you know that you know you you're ready and as soon as someone calls like BAM okay hello let's go and and that you know, what happens is some some actors get lazy they don't they don't work on their craft they don't they think that they know it all. And you know, like art art is an evolving thing and so you know, you never got it you're never ready and if you feel like you got it, then you're dead really creatively.

Alex Ferrari 59:56
And the one thing that you said that was I think it should be made a point of is like here's like a For two years you have to do this like this is not a short thing this is a long process to become a really good actor it takes years of determination years of work

Yancey Arias 1:00:08
yeah man still work out and I'm you know I'm 30 years in the business so yeah right you have to I say work out because I look at a class like a gym, right when I'm when I'm in a class I'm a structure I'm working out that's my workout time. That's my therapy time.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:23
So um, last two questions. The toughest questions by far what is the what is one of the most underrated films you've ever seen? And what are your top three films of all time?

Yancey Arias 1:00:38
got three underrated and no

Alex Ferrari 1:00:39
What? No, no, just one underrated three top

Yancey Arias 1:00:42
One underrated film and three top Yeah, that's a good one. I told you it's gonna be the toughest you're gonna give me a second I'm gonna start with the basketball okay maybe maybe the under one underrated one we'll come to but you know godfather of course you know godfather 123567 right That to me is the you know I could I could just you know a film is so great when you can like after 30 years of being in the business anytime it shows up on like you know any network or any you know any cable channel you stop what you're doing you watch and if you don't have time you go like I got to see that again and you go pick up the DVD and put it in

Alex Ferrari 1:01:34
a few of those movies yeah

Yancey Arias 1:01:35
you know and it's now as a director producer writer even more so it's like you know if you have a film like that you you go back and refer to shots and you go oh my god look at that carrot movie. Oh my God look at that amazing you know you know panoramic shot that they have or whatever you know or the way just the interesting lighting or anything you know cinema party decio and love cinema beautiful beautiful farm film that in terms of story and simplicity heart and soul heart soul passion I mean it was you know, just so good it just got me right away you know when we in terms of story and in terms of like all of that you know, inspiration you know is great great you know, it was one of those examples of fantastic movie that was probably shot for very little and very humbly but with a lot of love and care you know what I mean? Okay, so godfather cinnamon para decio and Gosh, I mean Hello

Alex Ferrari 1:02:46
whichever one whichever our wars okay fine

Yancey Arias 1:02:50
you know as a kid you know, it's like you grew up with that and it's so hard to get away from that today. The kid in me is so excited by those Star Wars is coming

Alex Ferrari 1:02:59
it's it's it's I've never seen the anticipation that the last time I've seen anticipation for a movie this much was was probably when the prequels came out. Like that was But even now more even now more so because

Yancey Arias 1:03:12
oh my god. Yeah, because the technology is so amazing. And JJ Abrams, like he's asked with Star Trek one and two that it's like, you can't wait to see what he's going to do with the Star Wars

Alex Ferrari 1:03:23
and you know that most of the most of Star Wars is he shot at old school practical.

Yancey Arias 1:03:28
Wow. Yeah. Well, I can't wait.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:30
I can't wait to see how he pulled it off. So yes, where can people find you?

Yancey Arias 1:03:37
You can find me at www ncrs.com. I check in there all the time. And you know, you can actually go to my forum and ask questions and I answer also on Facebook, Yancey areas and Twitter and Instagram and now Periscope. Your Periscope. Yeah, no, I'm a periscope when I have a good connection like I'm on the set of agents of shields today. And obviously I can't be on set with the periscope thing but I can do that so much. I can be in my trailer talking about it you know, I wouldn't talk about any plot well you know of course of course specific you know, I have to respect my my due diligence and silence of course to the project but you know, I can you know, I can just say Hey, guys, you know, I'm doing you know, this show watch me, you know, in the new year, you know, but But so, so yeah, so you can find me on all those social medias. And, yeah, and this 2016 and at least the first quarter, you're gonna see me quite a bit. I'm on. Agents of SHIELD. I'm on Bosch on Amazon. I'm on. criminal mind criminal my Criminal Minds beyond borders. is the new Gary Sinise show now Gary Sinise. I'm sorry. Excuse me, please scratch that. Wait Is it in New York CSI New York okay was the was the one that

Alex Ferrari 1:05:06
That was the one that was Gary Sinise Yes. Yes. Oh, sorry.

Yancey Arias 1:05:08
Yeah. I'm thinking somebody else I think Craig Kinnear for some reason okay. Similar actors but now yeah Gary Sinise is amazing anyway, so Gary Sinise has a new show called Beyond Borders. Is this the Criminal Minds Rand flagship and I haven't film coming out called restored me and I also have a film coming out called hands of stone so you can catch me in a lot of neat stuff in the first quarter of 2016

Alex Ferrari 1:05:40
And handsome stone is the one with a with with with Bobby I like to call Bobby Brown Yeah, yeah I've actually seen the I saw the trailer I'm not sure the trailer that I saw the poster for sure. I was like oh, and he's like he has he's the he's like the the trainer right

Yancey Arias 1:05:59
The trainer right? Yeah, I mean I'm sorry. Roberta Duran yeah the trainer and and we have you know, and then in my film that I produced is coming out restored me it's got a really interesting avenue that we're going because we're we're bringing a lot of spirituality to a very urban edgy, you know, based on a true story type film.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:23
Oh awesome.

Yancey Arias 1:06:24
So so you know it kind of goes in the faith based market but more but then it also dances in the you know, urban you know, Suspense Thriller world so it's kind of you know, in the end we have some really wonderful actors that you would be amazed that I was able to pull out you know, from my Rolodex of friends over the years that I've worked with and they've supported me and I've supported them and you know, we just try to make it a love fest on set and you know, bring actors you know, like much like George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh use a lot of the same people you know that's that's basically what I'm doing I'm trying to you know, I'm taking a you know page off their playbook and bring friends to the table we have a great time you know, so the classic dinner you know, so you just that's a really fun movie that I think a lot of people appreciate once it comes out restored me because you'll see a lot of the people that I've worked with and you'll go oh my god yeah he worked with on that one and he worked with him on that project and then and that you know in any get it you're like oh, I see what yes he's trying to go with his progress he you know, it's a big you know, Family Affair every time

Alex Ferrari 1:07:28
That's so awesome man thank you so much for taking the time out and sharing the experience your experience with with the crowd and hopefully, people get something out of a lot of this wonderful information that you laid out for us today man.

Yancey Arias 1:07:40
Good stuff man. hopefully help somebody.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:43
Thanks again for being on the show brother. You know, sometimes you just meet people in the industry that you just just love man and and Nancy is one of those guys. I absolutely love Yancey and would go to battle with him. any day of the week. He is one of those souls that is that he says a giving soul and he's such a great, he's also a very great actor. But more importantly, he's just an amazing human being and was blessed to have him on the show and share a little bit of nuggets of gold nuggets of information that he has. Anytime you can hear or listen to somebody who's been in the business for a long time give you advice. It's in your best interest to listen and I was listening as much as interviewing on this one as well. Because I've talked to Yancey a bunch I've never had this kind of detailed conversation with the antsy before so it was a big treat for me and I hope you guys got something out of it as well. Now guys, don't forget to head over to filmmakingpodcast.com and leave the show an honest review. It really helps us out a lot. So thanks again for all the support guys. I hope you I hope you guys are getting a lot out of this. I'm loving it and enjoying doing this show. And I plan to keep doing it for for a long time to come to want to try to help as many filmmakers as humanly possible. So keep that dream alive. Keep that hustle going. And I'll talk to you soon.




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IFH 036: Nina Foch: Directing the Actor – USC School of Cinematic Arts

Have you been confused and frustrated when directing actors? I think every director and actor has been frustrated with each other at one or more points in their career but don’t worry Nina Foch is here to help. I’ll get to who she is in a moment.

For a filmmaker, directing actors can be a daunting task. Actors seem to have a language of their own which us directors have a very hard time understanding. For those masters like Steven SpielbergQuentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese, directing actors is second nature.

They are able to understand the language of the actor. They are able to make a scene come alive. No matter how well a scene is written, if the director cannot communicate with his or her actors then all is lost.

RelatedUSC School of Cinematic Arts Online Course Directing the Actor 

What to do? Enter Nina Foch, the legendary film teacher from the gold standard of film schools, USC School of Cinematic Arts.

As I was looking for filmmaking courses online I came across this gem of a course that I couldn’t believe was available to us mere indie film mortals. A master class from USC School of Cinematic Arts called Directing the Actor by Nina Foch. 

Who is Nina Foch?

Nina Foch was a Dutch-born American actress of film, stage, and television. Her career spanned six decades, consisting of over fifty feature films and over one hundred television appearances.

Stanley Kubrick, Cecil B. DeMille and Robert Wise? Crazy I know.

Nina Foch: Hollywood Legend

This American-Dutch actress was born on 20th April 1924 and had a very strong presence on the stage, film, and television. At the tender age of nineteen, she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and became one of the favorites in the studio.

Throughout the 1940s and the 1950s, she established herself as one of the best leading ladies of the Hollywood industry. The actress ruled the screen for five decades having fifty feature films and hundreds of television appearances under her belt.

Hailing from an artistic background, her mother, Consuelo Flowerton was an actress and singer from America and her father was a Dutch classical music conductor named Dirk Fock. Although her parents divorced when she was a toddler both of them always encouraged Foch’s artistic talents. She enjoyed playing piano and art as well but her major interest was in action for which she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Film Life

As she had signed a contract with the Columbia Pictures, her debut was a horror film produced under this company. She played Nicki Saunders in the movie The Return of the Vampire in the year 1943. The film was by the director Lew Landers where Nina Foch shared the screen with the great Bela Lugosi.

Later on, she was again cast in a horror flick Cry of the Werewolf in the coming year. She has a very central role in this one as she played the werewolf herself and is known as the first-ever film made on werewolves which had a female werewolf in it.

One of her most memorable roles was surprisingly in a B-movie classed named My Name is Julia Ross, released in the year 1945. In the move, she takes up the job of a secretary for a rich family and ends up being involved in a plot of murder.

She was also a part of the musical An American in Paris which was released in the year 1951. The movie went on to receive an Oscar for the Best Picture with Nina still remembered in that remarkable role of hers.

One can never forget her role in the 1956 epic movie The Ten Commandments where she played the pharaoh’s daughter who found baby Moses in the bushes and adopts him. For this particular movie by Cecil B. DeMille, she was honored with a special award by the American Jewish Congress.

She also acted in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (1960). The film which finally ensured her entry into the Oscars was Executive Suite which was released in the year 1954. She received a nomination in the best-supporting actress category in this film by Robert Wise.

Apart from these, some of her other finest works include A Song to RememberI Love a MysteryEscape in the FrogJohnny Allegroand The Undercover Man to name a few.

Work on the Television

During her films, she was also regularly a part of the television series Houseman’s CBS Playhouse 90. Some of her greatest works on television include The AmericansYour First Impressionand Mr. Broadway.

She has been a part of a number of television series where she proved that she had quality acting abilities. She had a very long career span and some of the most credited TV shows in the latter part of her career include NCISBullJust Shoot Me, and Dharma & Greg. She even portrayed the elderly mother of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard.

Her acting skills ranged widely, therefore, it is hard to miss a type of role which was not played by Nina Foch. If she has been cast as a werewolf then we also have seen her portraying herself as the victim of a heinous crime.

Also, we find her to be a part of a numbered radio programs where she featured for an episode or two.


Although she appeared in a limited number of plays this shows where she managed to polish most of her acting skills. She gave 423 performances for her play John Loves Mary as Lilly Herbish on the broadway. This proves the popularity of that playback during the 1940s era.

Apart from this, she was also a part of the Twelfth NightKing LearA Phoenix Too FrequentMeasure for Measureand The Taming of the Shrew. She gave up on stage plays after the year 1955 and dedicated her whole time to television and films.

As an Acting Teacher

There is no denying the fact that Nina Foch dedicated her whole life to her love of acting and movies. She found some time from her career to focus on making acting easier for some aspiring students as well. This is the reason that she joined USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Not only did she work here but she also offered her teaching services at the American Film Institute for years.

She started teaching in the 1960s and continued to do so till her death in the year 2008. This shows that she dedicated 40 years of her life to helping others achieve their acting dreams. Some of the most accomplished directors have been her students including Marshall HerskovitzEd ZwickRandal Kleiserand Amy Heckerling.

All her students related that she had a deep philosophy about human behavior and thinking which was not at all easily understandable. She was more of a person who would teach something her students would actually encounter during their careers. This made her stand out as a teacher and influencing the acting, directing, and even writing of the students when they started their careers.

Her Farewell

According to her son, she had a blood disorder named myelodysplasia which had long-term complications. She became ill a day before and couldn’t fight for long in the hospital, finally, giving in to her ailment of 5th December 2008.

She is still remembered by all the film enthusiasts as a role model, teacher, and actress who gave her entire life and her efforts for the betterment of the film industry and to provide it some gems which will take the industry forward.

In addition to acting, Foch taught drama at the American Film Institute and at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she was a faculty member for over forty years until her death in 2008.

Nina Foch’s classes touch so many students over the years that one of her better-known pupils, George Lucas, decided to produce a course to capture the magic she taught in her class.

Before then this class was only available to masters students at USC School of Cinematic Arts. When I took the course I was completely blown away.

Nina Foch finally cracked the code. She teaches you how an actor thinks and how to speak to them, in their language.

She teaches you how to break down a screenplay in a way I’ve never heard of before. Nina shows you how to understand the intention of the characters in every scene.

These teachings are for both filmmakers and actors. Actors in the class gain a much better understanding of how to understand character and communicate better with directors.

Take a listen to a few of her former students:

This series of lectures are excerpts from Nina Foch’s directing class conducted at the University of Southern California. The lectures, organized into sections, cover script analysis, casting, directing, and acting. Spend some time watching Nina, learn from her and implement her ideas into your own work. You’ll be amazed at how far she can take you.

Who can benefit from Nina Foch’s Directing the Actor course? Directors? Absolutely. Actors? Yes. But, it’s equally valuable for writers, editors, producers, and anyone with more than a passing interest in the art and craft of filmmaking. This material can be used for an entire course, as part of a course, or a rich reference source to immerse yourself in your craft.

Here’s how this course escaped the hollow halls of USC School of Cinematic Arts:

For over 40 years SCA Professor Nina Foch (1928-2008) taught a distinguished generation of filmmakers at the USC School of Cinema-Television and the American Film Institute. 

In 2010, executive producers George Lucas, Randal Kleiser, and Ted Braun released The Nina Foch Course for Filmmakers and Actors on Digital Download, which brings an experience that has been available only in the country’s most select film schools to a wide audience. 

Take a listen to the podcast as I introduce you to the legendary Nina Foch. Enjoy!

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
Now guys, today's is a special episode I wanted to highlight a lady that you might not ever heard of. Her name is Nina Foch. I had never heard of our prior to taking her amazing course and if you've been listening to the podcast in recent weeks, you've noticed that the one of our sponsors has been the the Nina folch ko course that that we have in our film school. And I did that on purpose because I wanted to bring more attention to to the course because the course what Nina Fitch did and let me give you a brief, a brief rundown on who Nina is. Nina worked. She's an Oscar nominated actress. She has worked with iconic directors like ces sessile B, the mill and 10 commandments, as well as Stanley Kubrick and Spartacus. She was also an American, an American in Paris, among the 1000s of other credits for television and film, the people who took her course, which is a course that she taught in USC, University of Southern California cinema arts program, she taught a course called directing the actor, and I actually recently took this course online. And I gotta tell you, it's changed my life. It changed the way I look at directing actors, understanding the intention behind words and attention behind screenplays, she teaches you how to break down a screenplay in a way that not only for actors, but for directors as well. Because it she tells you how to find the intention of what the writer had in mind when he wrote it. Or when he or she wrote it. It was fascinating and to watch her just masterfully explain how to work with actors how to get in the head of an actor understand the language of acting is was amazing because for me, as a director, it's you know, working with actors, I know a lot of times can be frustrating because we speak two different languages. And over the years, I've learned how to work with actors better and better. But it's still something that I want to always improve upon and grow as a director. And Nina really, really allows me almost gave me like the Rosetta Stone of actors to understand how she they think, how they understand things, how they are expressing themselves. And then also, on the flip side of that coin, in the same core, she teaches actors how to understand directors. It's quite remarkable. So let's I want you to hear this quick clip from her class explaining how to win the fight on set as a director, take a listen.

Nina Foch 3:27
You know that the young male in the show will you know the lead is going to have a problem and pick a fight in the first week. Something's going to come up. It can be that their chair isn't there. It can be that their shirt as the wrong they're right, the tie isn't right or something about their haircut. It's going to be dumb shit, dumb, something, right? recognize that that's the fight, you have to win. You have to take over and quietly win that fight, then you have no trouble ever again. Because what that argument is about is fear. The young woman can do it too, in today's world, young woman can do it as well. That's about fear. That's about the person testing, whether the director, the actor testing, whether the director is the boss is the daddy, or mommy. And that's what that is you have to recognize that it's that fight. And what that's about is that you need to reassure them, that there is somebody that cares about them, that will protect them and watch them and give them good solutions. I have to tell you, I know that as an actor. It is so rare that you feel protected. Because most directors don't know anything about actors. They don't have a clue they know don't know how to help them. They don't know anything. And I'm talking about working now I'm because I'm still working a lot, you know, so I know what's out there. I know what's happening, happened in the last four months that I've been sick. But up until four months ago, for 60 years, this is the way it's been. So there's very little likelihood to change while I was having trouble breathing at UCLA. Okay, so be sure you win that fight and be sure you know, it's that fight and be sure you don't get engaged with it. Right? Be sure you're on top of it. No, you're being the parent, the parent, the good parent.

Alex Ferrari 5:35
As you can tell Nina, that little bit of it, just that little bit of nugget of information that you heard in that example of the course, that, you know, it's something that's happened to me multiple times on, on set, where an actor will come up and challenge you to see if, you know, you're, you're who you are, if you're, if you're going to be the boss or not. And they're testing you. And it's not only actors sometimes, and sometimes it's producers. Sometimes it's cinematographer, sometimes it's sound, guys, you'll be amazed. But that is you have to understand that that is a thing that you have to to look out for. And Nina was so eloquent in the way she said it, and how to deal specifically with actors. And it's not a bad thing. It's just you, the actors just trying to find out if I'm safe or not. And that's something that most actors don't get. Like. She said that most, most directors have no understanding of how to deal with actors. And that's why this course is so relevant today. So how the course escaped was basically I call it escaped that this course was taught for about 30 years at USC, and her students are I mean, a who's who of Hollywood from George Lucas to Ed wick from who directed Blood Diamond and Last Samurai to Ron Howard. araunah Underwood, who directed tremors and city slickers, Leola, Rick's who directed Toy Story Amy Heckerling Fast Times at ridgemont, high and clueless, Cameron Crowe, Steven summers, and the list goes on and on and on. And right before Nina was already starting to get older, she's passed now she passed in 2008. And George Lucas wanted to put together a course or wanted to at least document this amazing class that only film students at USC got. And this is the one and only online film course from USC film school, and George Lucas and Randall Kessler produced that they wanted to bring this amazing course to the masses so with the cooperation of the USC film school, and Nina they recorded an entire semester over I think it's over 400 hours of footage and they brought it all the way down they condensed everything to a four hour course with over 91 lectures or videos with the course and I gotta tell you it is one of the best investments I have ever made in my directing career I've it's changed the way I look at actors and in a lot of ways changed the way I look at castings and I've been doing this for years guys and what she did was kind of like mine mine altering almost this course and you know I don't want to make this into a big plug in you know, if you know if you go to our site and download it, I just want to share this information and you know, highlight things indie film, hustle, I want to highlight things that help filmmakers survive and thrive in the film business and this course is so monumental in the way it handles a subject matter that is not taught out there and it's there's no real good books on it out there that I know of. Nothing like what she does and you know, to to have worked with Stanley Kubrick sessile B, the mill, Lee Strasberg, you know, she's, she's such a unique soul that I wanted to highlight this this course, and highlight Nina herself she is. Now by the way, her course is taught in a very unique way, her unique teaching style, which is what she's famous for. It's right in your face, she doesn't care. She doesn't give a crap. She just tells you how it is. And sometimes it's not nice and not pretty, but she just tells you straight up to your face. And at the end of the day, you understand that she's trying to help you. I'm trying to get you to understand what she's trying to teach you. Because someone with 60 years of experience, you have to listen to you I mean with with that kind of credibility, and as they say street cred, you'd be a fool not to listen to it. So I definitely want you guys to get a hold of this course. It's if you go to indie film, hustle, calm forward slash USC. That's indie film, hustle, calm forward slash USC. And they'll take you to our page where you can download Nina's course, and I'm telling you it is a course that will change the way you look at things as far as a director is concerned and the black art of working with actors in a A lot of ways, it really opened up my mind in my eyes to what it's about and how you can actually understand actors and work better with actors and actors, you understand what we go through as directors a little bit better, the casting process is broken down better. And also for writers just her story ideas, the way she she knows how to break down scripts, and get the essence of scenes and the intention and that's the big thing, the intention of the work and attention of the scene. So if it scenes about this, and you read it, and it looks like it's just about, oh, I'm just gonna get, you know, a glass of wine. It's not about the glass of wine, it's about a million other things. And she explains that to you by how she breaks down scripts, and how she's broken down scripts throughout her career. And it's mind altering it really really is guys, so definitely check it out indie film, hustle comm forward slash USC, well worth every penny, trust me. Now if you want the show notes of this episode, please head over to indie film hustle.com forward slash zero 36. And I will have a coupon code for the course so you can get it at a discount. So definitely check it out. I wrote a beautiful article about her and all of her teachings and there's some videos there that you can watch from all these directors, we're talking about her as well as some samples of the course. So definitely check it out, guys. Now if you're a fan of the show, please don't forget to head over to filmmaking podcast calm and leave us an honest review for the show on iTunes. It really helps us out a lot and it really helps to get the word out on what we're doing at indie film, hustle. Keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you guys soon.




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IFH 001: Robert Forster | Oscar Nominee & Legendary Actor

This week we are joined by legendary actor Robert Forster. Robert has been a working actor for decades, appearing in a classic film like Medium Cool, the iconic John Huston’s Reflections in a Golden Eye80’s action classic Delta Force (love me a good 80’s action flixand Disney’s The Black Hole (one of my favorite films growing up).

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1997 for Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, which he credits with reviving his career. Since then Robert has been on fire in the second half of his career, appearing in The DescendantsLike MikeMulholland Drive; Me, Myself, & IreneLucky Number Slevin and Firewall, just to name a few.

I also have to mention his runs on NBC’s HEROS (I have high hopes for the reboot) and arguably the GREATEST TELEVISION SHOW EVER WRITTEN Breaking Bad. He just nails those last two episodes as Walt’s relocation/make me disappear guy. Just amazing. As you can tell I’m a big fan of Robert’s.

I had the honor of working with Robert on one of my films, Red Princess BluesHe supplied some remarkable narration that set up my film perfectly. He was easily one of the most professional and talented actors I have ever worked with; a professional of the greatest caliber.

In our interview, he dishes out amazing advice to young actors, directors and human beings alike. He even tells us his favorite Quentin Tarantino on the set direction he got on the set of Jackie Brown; worth it’s waiting in gold.


Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:05
Today I'm really excited about the show guys, we have Oscar nominee and legendary actor Robert Forster. On the show today, you might know him from Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown where he was when he got the Oscar nomination. And more recently, he's done films like the descendants of Olympus Has Fallen, Mulholland Drive, and then Delta Force back in the day and the classic Disney's black hole, which I saw when I was growing up as a kid, it was a real thrill and privilege to work with him on one of my films, red princess blues, where he came in to do some video for me, he was amazing. So I decided to sit down with him and do a real quick interview after our session. And he threw a lot of gems out there for actors, for directors, and even disclosed his favorite direction that Quentin Tarantino Tarantino gave him while shooting Jackie Brown, which was wonderful. So sit back, relax and enjoy the interview.

Interviewer 1:58
So over the years, when you look at projects, what attracts you to to the film?

Robert Forster 2:03
You know, basically, it's a job in hand, somebody hands you something and says this needs to be done. Once you realize that you can deliver the goods, you say yes. And then you go in there, and you get a chance to hit the ball over the fence if possible. And sometimes you do. And this is a great day. That's what actors lives are composed of a string of interesting days where you get a chance to be creative.

Interviewer 2:32
So out of all the projects you've done of all the films you've been what's been the most memorable or rewarding for you.

Robert Forster 2:38
Boy, that's a hard one because they're all pretty good. Like I say, when I was young, my mother sent me a book called White hyacinths at the beginning of the book, it said, If I had bought two loaves of bread, I would sell one of them to buy white highest and to feed my soul. Now from that I understood that life had a spiritual component and that you had to feed it, the end of the book, which is a series of essays about work and delivering your best and other such you know, lofty things. At the end of the book, the very last thing that said was, and the reward which life holds out for work, is not ease or rest or immunity from work, but increased capacity, greater difficulty and more work. And I thought, Oh, God, I hope not. I was a pretty, pretty lazy guy when I was young and was hoping that I could get through, you know, easy in life. Then I became an actor and I realized how important a day's work is to an actor. So when he asked me what was most memorable, the last thing I did was pretty memorable, which is this you know, you spent I spent some hours I looked at it last night, I read it a couple of days ago, I spent an hour here today just looking it over and reading it and asking myself now what can you get out of this, that that was meant, and then bring your audience into a little a little, a little life a little, a little story, bring them to somewhere else? And then you go in there and like right now and you take a few shots at it and and you know, it's not magic. You put down what the guy said and and it generally works.

Interviewer 4:24
So what advice would you offer aspiring actors.

Robert Forster 4:28
Never forget that there are this many of us. And this many jobs, it's not a mystery. It's very, very hard to get work. But when you do get work and you do have a creative job to put your energies to, it's one of the great things and when you don't have that in the day, you put your best energy to whatever else is in the day because it's a day of infinite number of possibilities of doing good or less good if you choose to. But when you do do your best, I remind that actors, you get that reward, they always tell you, you're going to get reward of self respect, reward of satisfaction. And if you were looking for what constitutes the good constitutes good life, self respect and satisfaction are big components in that. So whether or not you're dealing with something that's creative, or whether you make something creative out of going to get the groceries, you are in charge. And that's what I remind actors, whether or not you have something to work on, you got a whole day's full of things to make better.

Interviewer 5:34
What, um, of all the directors you've worked with, and you've worked with some incredible ones. What do you like in a good director? What do you want in a good director as an actor?

Robert Forster 5:43
A guy who knows a good take when he sees one? And can say, Yep, that's good. Now, you know, once you know, somebody recognizes a good one, you know, you're not dealing with somebody who is just shooting it, and shooting and shooting and shooting and just to see what somebody else will tell them is any good. That's what this like being a cook, you want to cook to have a good taster to know what tastes good, he doesn't have to ask somebody else. And they have to ask the the the the customer or the waiter? Does it taste any good? No, the chef is supposed to know whether it tastes any good. That's what you're hoping for, in a director, somebody who can recognize a good take and say, Good one, let's move on. Especially if you don't have much time, which young directors rarely do older directors with lots of money can take it, you know, at times if they want to. But young guys got to be able to find a good one and move on.

Interviewer 6:38
What advice would you give to younger?

Robert Forster 6:41
Well, you know, know the thing as well as some of your actors are going to know it because the act is going to come in knowing his material pretty well. I never met an actor who didn't work real hard at showing up prepared. Some do I imagine but not many. And so the actor will come in with a with a deep reasonably deep understanding of what he's doing some exercise and and you want to know the material as well as they do. So that you can you know, be helpful to them or at the say and the other extreme is what john Houston said, which is casting is 90% once you cast the right person, all you got to do is step aside, let them figure it out. Because you know, the actor is always trying to make something real out of what's going on and hopefully getting the best they can out of the material. So you got a willing partner in the actor and and when they're good. Do you give them a little little space? And if they're not you shape them up a little bit?

Interviewer 7:49
Do you have any interesting memories of working with any of the directors over the years and the films any anecdotes or stories?

Robert Forster 7:58
Well refine it a little little a little bit like the black hole, the black hole, I'm not sure I have any real good insights but that was the longest steady job I ever had six months exactly to the day 26 weeks from seven in the morning till sprint outerspace that would make it Disney studio in a soundstage. So only said my life. So they talked about. Well, sure. I you know, it was a remake of a favorite mine. It was actually a Jules Verne movie called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but they put it out in space. So they called the black hole. And I think they're remaking I hear that remake. Hey,

Interviewer 8:50
Now I had the great pleasure of job shadowing Quentin Tarantino on the set of Inglorious Basterds to learn from him as an actor. Yeah, what was your experience like working with him on Jackie Brown?

Robert Forster 8:59
Rarely do writers write such good dialogues. So you know, learning dialogue, I take the material and then I close the book and then I try to remember and visualize and internalize the speech. And then I try to say it as though I might be saying that to somebody and dissolve private and quiet when you're all alone, doing your work. And then I would go back to the, to the script to find out how we actually wrote it. And there were so many times when I might just try to voice a thought, because Don't forget, lines got to come out of your mouth away thoughts come out of your mouth. Can't be I remember the line and this is how I want to say it. It's got to be a thought. If you can make it that way and, and he can really articulate a thought on on paper, the way you might actually say it and you know it with little shorthand word couplings and the guy is very, very, very good. So that's one The great things about Quentin, then also he was, you know, helpful and encouraging, and maybe his very best direction that I ever heard him give. And I heard him give it a number of times to a number of people, including me. And he said, occasionally to an actor, just make me believe it. Well, let's remember, that's what the act is got to do make you believe it. So we can't be reciting words, he's got to be making you the other actor. And incidentally, the camera and the audience that may be watching, believe what's going on, if you can make them believe it, you can hold on. That's what's so good about documentary. And what appealed to me about making my work as believable as I could. So that it would be what documentary was, and that is, hold them hold their attention, because they believed, if you watch, you know, documentary, where you think you're being led into a world where they don't recognize they don't realize you're right there. Ah, that can that can hold you. And I've seen some great documentaries. And so that's one of the things I always hope for myself, and that, as I say, Quentin, asked actors to remember, just make me believe it.

Interviewer 11:18
Looking back over your career, what? Do you have any regrets? And do you have anything that you're that you're really most proud of? Or anything that you regret over your long career?

Robert Forster 11:28
You know, all regrets, I have very few of those. You make your choices, you do what you do? You know, I would have done things differently if I had the foresight. But but but now you you you make you take your steps and and you go along with them, you never know what would have been if you'd made the other choice. So there's no, there's no making regrets. You just deal with as well as you can with what you've got facing you.

Interviewer 11:58
Well, then my final question then sounds off of that. Do you have a philosophy on life? And if so, what what is it?

Robert Forster 12:07
Um, you know, I was born on the 13th of July, which was yesterday. I knew as a young kid, that 13 was a great number. When I was eight or nine, some kids said to me, 13 is bad number. I thought they were full of baloney. He said, Well, yeah, well, take a look the next time you're on an elevator and see if it has a 13th floor. And sure enough, it did not. And from that, I knew that there were people who believed in things that were not true. 13 is a perfectly good number. And they believed and made decisions. And a mistaken belief that of course, we know that is superstition. There are so many so many so many things that people believe that are not true. And so from a young age, I asked myself to try to fathom out what was true. Because if you can make choices based on what is true, then your chances of making good choices and good decisions are improved. And so what is my philosophy on life? See if you can find out what is true by starting with, of course, the big questions which people are welcome to ask themselves at any point. Why am I alive? Where do I go when I die? Is there God? I need to be a man. What's a husband? I think be an artist, what's a father? These are the big questions and they're probably other ones. So in a lifetime, and we know what Socrates, I think, said the unexamined life is not worth living. I heard that early on. And I thought that that is another true thing. So examine your life and keep wondering whether or not you've got a good line in what you're doing. And whenever you can, on a daily basis, deliver the best you can do what you're doing, because that gives you a test set at a while ago that gives you the best shot at the best future you've got coming. It gives you self respect. And there is satisfaction in delivering your best to whatever you're doing right now.

Alex Ferrari 14:28
Hey guys, thanks again for listening to episode number two. We'll have new episodes coming out every few weeks going forward. I hope you got a lot out of that interview. Robert was probably the one of the most professional actors I've ever worked with. I mean, we were doing a short film. And he showed up like it was a quote and Tarantino movie, you know, or you know, $100 million movie, he showed up with his a game and he gave it his all. It doesn't even matter what kind of Prop Magic that is he just came in and did his his thing. And I was so impressed, and so humbled to work with him. So remember to head over to indie film hustle calm for all the latest articles and resources that we're adding there almost every day or every few days. So check that out. And also if you want to stop paying submission fees, to film festivals, head over to filmfestivaltips.com that's FilmFestivaltips.com, and I will see you guys next time. Thanks.




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